The Footsteps of the Moshiach

Footprints

One of the signs of our times is increasing crime everywhere. In America this has been a problem for quite some time, but today it is also happening in Israel where common forms of crime include drug trafficking, money laundering, burglary, extortion, murder for hire, fraud, car theft, human trafficking, corruption, and black marketeering. – Cocaine and heroin abuse is increasing in Israel, with drugs arriving from Lebanon and Jordan.

We read in Israeli news reports about teens accused of raping their younger sisters, and a 64-year-old man stabbing his doctor during the examination in the emergency room. A 10-year-old boy extorted fellow students at an elementary school. The same boy also admitted to stealing computers from the school. A 21-year-old murdered his father, and a mentally disabled woman was gang-raped. The list goes on….

Many of our sages expected the coming of the Moshiach to be preceded by a period of tribulation. They predicted the time of tribulation and coming of the Moshiach at the end of the time of exile to be accompanied by a “wicked generation”. (Mishnah)

The Rabbis spoke of the footsteps (or footprints) of the Moshiach (Ikvot Ha’Mashiach). We find an ancient reference to this in the Mishnah, which reads: “With the footprints of the Moshiach presumption shall increase and earth reach its height… the wisdom of the Scribes shall become insipid and they that shun sin shall be deemed contemptible, and truth shall nowhere be found. Children shall shame the elders, and the elders shall rise up before the children, for ‘the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law: a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.’ The face of this generation is as the face of a dog…” (Mishnah Sotah 9:15, citing Micah 7:6).

 

Rabbi Jannai said: “If you see one generation after another cursing and blaspheming, look out for the coming of the Moshiach, as it says, ‘Your enemies, Adonai, have flung their taunts, flung them in the footsteps of your anointed one.’” (Midrash on Song of Songs 2:13, citing Ps 89:52)

 

The Rabbis derive this expression “the footsteps of the Moshiach” from the sufferings of David described in Psalm 89.

Today we live in a world constantly threatened by shootings, mothers killing their own infants, parents killing their children, children killing parents, inhuman behavior is becoming the norm, and we have run amuck having no restraints.

Why? Without law and real accountability, there is only lawlessness. The more tolerance today the less morals we have. There is a relationship between the two, no standard and anything goes. – In Israel’s apostasy at the end of the Book of Judges reads just as our society today, “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25) People commit suicide because they have no hope. Euthanasia is becoming an accepted alternative. Light is called darkness and darkness is light.

We live in a time unlike any other; terrorism, hate crimes, and behavior without restraints.  Lawlessness is increasingly becoming the norm of society. Sex scandals of presidents have no affect on their popularity, people don’t care; they are not in a position to point fingers for that would make them guilty as well.

Our leaders have become arrogant. Those who fear sin are despised and truth is missing. The young shame the old, and the old have become weak. The son rebels against his father and the daughter against the mother, both without shame. A wicked and adulterous generation, corrupt before G-D, and filled with violence.

If our sages are right, we can already see the footprints of the Moshiach today. – Psalm 89 begins with words of praise for G-D’s goodness and covenant faithfulness. It recounts the promises made to King David, and the covenant which God had established with him, then the Psalmist laments in what seems like G-D’s lack of remembrance of his covenant promises. But finally, in the closing verse of the Psalm, the Psalmist’s tone changes once again, when he proclaims, “Blessed be the L-RD forever! Amen and Amen” – Hashem is the only one we can trust, because He said: My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” (Psalm 89:34)

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