Respecting Everyone & Dealing with Tragedies
The Gemara in Sanhedrin asks: what is Moshiach’s name? The Gemara answers that ‘the Yeshiva of Shila says, his name is Shiloh. The Yeshiva of Rav Yannai says his name is Yeenon [a name very similar to Yannai]. The Yeshiva of Rav Chanina says his name is Chanina. And there are those that say his name is Menachem’.
The Gra explains that all of these opinions are one and the same, as the word Moshiach is an acronym for, Menachem, Shilo, Yeenon, and Chanina!
I would like to suggest an interpretation of this Gemara and the Gra on a deeper level.
In Judaism, a person’s name is extremely significant. It is very much connected to his personality; a name describes one’s essence. Hence, when the Gemara asked “what is the name of Moshiach,” the Gemara was asking “what is the essence of Moshiach”? What is his personality like? What are his attributes? The Gemara answers by bringing these four opinions, each one saying that Moshiach will have our particular personality, our particular specialty. [I believe the Maharal discusses the details of these personalities.]
Now we can truly appreciate the Gra’s explanation. The Gra is telling us that they are all right. Moshiach will have the positive attributes of Rav Shila, Rav Yannai, Rav Chanina and of what the name Menachem entails- all of the names combined! Because Moshiach will be the Gadol of perfection, having the positive attributes of all the authentic Orthodox Jewish groups without any deficiencies!
I saw the following line about Moshiach in the name of Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky Zatzal: ‘The Satmar chassidim say that he’ll be a Satmarer. The Klausenberger chassidim think he’ll be a Klausenberger, and the Litvaks are certain that he will be a ba’al Mussar. And then when he comes every Yid will look at Moshiach and say,”see it’s as I said! He’s one of our very own!’’
I believe this is same idea, that they [and all the other authentic Torah groups] will all be correct, because Moshiach will have the positive attributes of all the true Torah Hashkafos/personalities without any deficiencies.
We know that the second Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred. I believe one large way in which baseless hatred manifests itself is how many of us view, judge and talk about Yidden who have different beliefs and behaviors than ourselves. We look at their deficiencies. We say [or think] ‘that group of Yidden are not careful about this Halacha. That group of Yidden are not careful about this Hashkafa. That group of Yidden are doing this wrong…’ etc.
If we want Moshiach, the Gadol of perfection, to come, we must recognize that we are 12 different Shvatim, each with a unique ‘personality’ in Avodas Hashem. We have different mehalchim [ways] and different Gedolim, and that’s okay, as long as we do what we are supposed to be doing, and respect the other groups for what they are doing.[Editor’s note: I would just like to share a quick thought about the 9 days. Our Rabbis teach us that during the 9 days, we decrease our happiness. One of my Rabbeim shared a beautiful thought: Our Rabbis have taught that we should minimize our simcha during this time. It never says that we should not have any simcha during this time, because a Jew must always be happy. No matter what comes your way there is always an obligation to be happy. We can always find a silver lining even in the darkest of clouds. Even on Tisha Ba’v, which is one of the saddest days of the year, we do not say Tachunun, as is the practice on Holidays! The reason for this is that we understand that Hashem demonstrated that he cares about us through the terrible tragedies that took place on Tisha Ba’v, as a father who loves his son will punish him when he does something wrong. The punishments are a demonstration of how greatly Hashem values our potential.
May we all be zoche to greet Moshiach, and then, we will be able to understand why Hashem gave us so many tragedies, and we will make the same Brocho on both good and bad events.]
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