Thursday, April 10, 2008

מגילה וגאולה#3

Eternal vs temporary Halachos
הלכות מגילה פרק ב

כ כל ספרי הנביאים וכל הכתובים, עתידין ליבטל לימות המשיח, חוץ ממגילת אסתר--הרי היא קיימת כחמישה חומשי תורה, וכהלכות של תורה שבעל פה, שאינן בטילין, לעולם. ואף על פי שכל זכרון הצרות ייבטל, שנאמר "כי נשכחו, הצרות הראשונות, וכי נסתרו, מעיניי" (ישעיהו סה,טז)--ימי הפורים לא ייבטלו, שנאמר "וימי הפורים האלה, לא יעברו מתוך היהודים, וזכרם, לא יסור מזרעם" (אסתר ט,כח)

All Neviim and Ketuvim will be nullified in Yemos ha-Mashiach, except for Megillat Esther, that will exist eternally like Torah itself. Even though the memory of tzarot will be nullified, as it says “they are forgotten, hidden from my eyes” the days of Purim will not be nullified.

Rambam seems to be identifying two Halachic changes to occur in Yemos Ha-Mashiach:

1.Our Torah study will consist exclusively of the 5 books of Torah, the halachot of the Oral Law and Megillat Esther.

2. Though the memory of Tzarot ha-Rishonot will be nullified, Yimei Purim will endure eternally.

1.Why won't Neviim and Ketuvim be valid for Torah study in the days of Mashiach?
2.Why are Megila and Yimei Purim unique in terms of eternal validity?
3.What unites the question of eternity of two seemingly disparate topics a) Torah study and b) Yimei Zichron?

Mitzvot and the end of human action

To answer these questions we are going to have to understand the objective or end of the Halachot in question. For some reason it seems that whatever end Tanach and Zichron Tzara serves in the Haolam Hazeh period comes to an abrupt conclusion in the Yemos Ha-Mashiach period. What end exists in Haolam hazeh that ceases in Yemos Hamashiach? Ralbag seems to indicate the direction in his intro to the Torah:

Praised be the creator, who, because of the desire to benefit the creations and facilitate their maturation, directed His hashgacha upon these lowly beings, developing them through the appropriate stages climaxing with the emergence of mankind.

The key to resolving the problems in the previous section rests upon identifying the specific parts of the aretz process that constitute Haolam hazeh and Yemos Hamashiach. The parts, once known, will enable us to differentiate the end that must be attained in the Haolam Hazeh stage through Tanach and zichron Tzarot from the end of the Yemos ha-mashiach stage. But what exactly are these stages that Ralbag speaks of? They seem to be stages of the development of material aretz into an environment sustaining generations of human educational development.

This hashgacha is not limited to the magnificence of man’s anatomy and physical abilities by which his physical existence is maintained, but rather extends to guiding man along the path of mental development- the one true fruit of human existence for whose sake alone lowly material reality is endowed with tzura to the extent that it is. We refer of course to the divine Torah, which is a regimen that orders those who practice it properly to true success.

Based upon Ralbag it would seem that there is something in the very nature of the material aretz which demands a Mitzva program including the full Tanach and Yimei Zichron (memorializing the ancient Crises) during Haolam hazeh which it will lack in the “stage” of Yimos Ha-Mashiach. What is the basis of these stages?

Ordering material aretz into an Olam through tzedaka

In reality the answer to this question is a very simple one-”guiding man along the path of mental development”. As we have noted many times Creation is a process of Chochma or “Tov” expressing itself in the universe during the six days of “Craft”. On each day an element of the wisdom of God's Craft was reflected in the material world. Man, however, has a unique active part in this process. Unlike the rest of material Creation whose “tov” emerges mechanistically, it is through Man's own action and choice that the human good emerges as a phenomenon.

28 And God blessed them; and God said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, conquer the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.'

We must conquer the material environment of Aretz and make it into a new product, a world suited to our socially chosen end. Man, as a mind does not live in the material space of Aretz per se. It is only our bodies that exist on Aretz. For the mind to emerge Aretz must be made into a platform, an environment instrumental to focus on human purpose-an Olam or world. Indeed the very name Olam connotes mental focus, a world of human purpose. This world may be the world of sports, entertainment politics or Philosophy. Yet each shares something in common, they are not primarily a place for the relationship of bodies, they are intellectual communities for the shared pursuit of a common end. But what is our end? Our end as a mind is the attainment of the Chochma of Pardes and ultimately Olam ha-bah. As we have seen in Yesodei Ha-torah.

Now I say that it is inappropriate to tour the pardes except for he who has filled his belly with bread and meat. “Bread and meat” refers to knowing the assur and mutar (i.e. the applied principles) in that which is not first principles. Even though these principles are called davar katan... they come first educationally, since they cultivate (meyashvin) the mind and additionally are the great good by which we develop this world (yishuv Olam Hazeh) and attain the world to come.

As Ralbag and Rambam point out, the Torah is instrumental to man choosing to become a mind that is moved by Chochma. This is done through using the tools of Torah in facilitating this unique “tov” on Aretz-creating an Olam platform suitable for this truly human development.

The most fundamental human acts in this world are Mishpat and Tzedaka. Mishpat acknowledges the reality of an overarching Chochma of Hashgacha governing aretz by applying a consistent conceptual rule to all men. Tzedaka does this as well, distributing material good in accordance with its Hashgachic end- the enabling of all men to have the resources needed to grow as minds.