If we cannot assist the building of the Land, how can we pray for redemption?

08/02/07

Do you believe that it is assur to assist in any way in the attempt to establish Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel prior to the arrival of Moshiach(bimhero byameinu)?

If so...do you not believe in the power of tefilloh?(as you are aware we Davon that David should return and that Yherushaleyim be built bekaroyv). So either, you hold that the tefillos are ineffective or you believe that we are able to try and assist to bring moshiach - even though this would seem to go against the oath of not arising in a choma - (even if it is a spiritual one). Which is it?

Rashi writes that the oath against forcing the redemption includes "praying too much for it". The question is how much is too much? Our regular daily prayers are obviously not considered too much, otherwise Chazal would not have ordained them.

The Yismach Moshe on Shir Hashirim answers that we find that great tzaddikim such as Eliyahu Hanavi (when he brought the drought) and Choni Ham'agel (when he prayed for rain) had the ability to push Hashem to answer them using an oath. This is what is meant by praying "too much" using oaths to "force" Hashem to bring the redemption.

The same answer is given by the Chasam Sofer (Likutei Shailos Uteshuvos, siman 86). He mentions the story of Rabbi Yosef Dela Reyna who tried to use oaths and angels to force the redemption to come.

The Satmar Rav (Vayoel Moshe siman 29) says that "too much" means for certain tzaddikim who have a special power to pray for redemption. He refers to the Gemora in Bava Metzia 85b in which Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi heard from Eliyahu Hanavi that Rabbi Chiya and his two sons had special powers of prayer, as powerful as Avraham Yitzchok and Yaakov together. So he called a fast and brought them to pray before the ark. When they said "mashiv haruach" the wind blew, and when they said "morid hagashem" the rain began to pour. Eliyahu Hanavi came down and stopped them before they could say "mechaye hameisim".

The Shinover Rav, in his last years, did not travel to Tzanz on the yartzeit of his father, the Divrei Chaim. He explained that one cannot imagine the power of prayer at the grave of a tzaddik on his yartzeit. Since each prayer contains a prayer for the redemption, he was afraid that by praying there he would transgress the oath not to push for the redemption too soon. (Maamar Yechezkel, p. 27)

One the Chazon Ish was told about someone all of whose prayers were only for the coming of Moshiach, such that he did not pray for anything else. The Chazon Ish responded that this is forbidden under the prohibition of forcing the end. (Zechor Ledovid, p. 153, in the name of Rabbi David Frankel)