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Who Is Moshiach's Vice President?
by Rabbi Gershon Avtzon
The source: The Talmud (Sanhedrin 98b) relates:  Rab Judah said in Rab's name: The Holy One, blessed be He, will raise up another David for us,  as it is written, But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them:  not 'I raised up', but 'I will raise up' is said. R. Papa said to Abaye: But it is written, And my servant David shall be their prince[nasi] for ever?  — E.g., A Caesar (emperor) and a half-Caesar (viceroy). 

The obvious question is: Why would Moshiach need a viceroy?


The Rebbe  (Likkutei Sichos Vol. 35 Parshas Vayigash) gives a fascinating explanation: When the Gemarah says that in the times of Moshiach, there will be a "  A Caesar (emperor) and a half-Caesar (viceroy)", it is not referring to two separate people. It is referring to the two responsibilities of Melech HaMoshiach.


1) He is the king of Klal Yisrael. The job description of a king is (Rambam Hilchos Melachim 

4:10) " In all matters, his deeds shall be for the sake of heaven. His purpose and intent shall be to elevate the true faith and fill the world with justice, destroying the power of the wicked and waging the wars of God. For the entire purpose of appointing a king is to execute justice and wage wars as I Samuel 8:20 states: 'Our king shall judge us, go out before us, and wage our wars. "


Moshiach is the ultimate king. He is a person whom like the Rambam describes (Ibid 11:4) "If a king will arise from the House of David who diligently contemplates the Torah and observes its mitzvot as prescribed by the Written Law and the Oral Law as David, his ancestor, will compel all of Israel to walk in (the way of the Torah) and rectify the breaches in its observance, and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him Mashiach. If he succeeds in the above, builds the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the Mashiach."


2) He will be a teacher to all of klal Yisrael. As the Rambam describes (Hilchos Teshuva 9:2) "In that era, knowledge, wisdom, and truth will become abundant. [Isaiah 11:9] states, "The earth will be full of the knowledge of God." [Jeremiah 31:33] states: "One man will no longer teach his brother, nor a man his colleague... [for all will know Me]." And [Ezekiel 36:26] states: "I will take away the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."


[These changes will come about] because the king who will arise from David's descendants will be a greater master of knowledge than Solomon and a great prophet, close to the level of Moses, our teacher. Therefore, he will teach the entire nation and instruct them in the path of God.


All the gentile nations will come to hear him as [Isaiah 2:2] states: "And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of God's house shall be established at the peak of the mountains... [and all the nations shall flow to it]."


His main novelty will be in his job as king. For under his kingship "there will be neither famine or war, envy or competition for good will flow in abundance and all the delights will be freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know God.


Therefore, the Jews will be great sages and know the hidden matters, grasping the knowledge of their Creator according to the full extent of human potential, as Isaiah 11:9 states: 'The world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed." 


Regarding this job he is called King (Caesar). Regarding his job as the teacher of Klal Yisrael he is called a Viceroy. The reason is: One cannot really add to Torah, only reveal things that were previously hidden.


There is another obvious question: Why are we calling Melech Hamoshiach with the title Caesar, who was a non-Jewish emperor?


Tosfos (Avoda Zara 10b) explains the source of the name Caesar. They explain that the emperor's mother did not give birth to him in a natural birth rather through an operation known today as a Cesarean.


What does this have to do with Moshiach? We explained earlier that the kingship of Moshiach will be a novelty. It will not follow the "natural course" of the kings that preceded him.  Under his rulership, the entire world - including the non-jews - will be serving Hashem, hence the non-Jewish title Caesar.


The Pesach and 11 Nissan Connection


The following are some of my own thoughts and feelings:


This theme is connected to the holiday of Pesach. The main person connected to the story of Pesach is Moshe Rabbeinu. We find something fascinating about Moshe: He did not get a formal Jewish education! He was raised - and probably received his doctorate - in the palace of Pharaoh! Is this the stereotype Jewish leader?


The same question is asked about the Rebbe Melech Hamoshiach - whose 110th birthday is this week on 11 Nissan: How can we believe that Melech Hamoshiach will be someone that did not learn formally in any Yeshiva, yet graduated the Sorbonne University?


There are a few points that have to be explained:


1) There is a common historical comparison that we find concerning the first and final redeemer. They both were growing-up in a time when there was a madman (Pharaoh/Hitler YM"SH) that wanted to destroy Klal Yisrael. There was a spiritual war to destroy and kill the redeemer of Klal Yisrael. The best place to hide them was in "the house of Pharaoh" i.e. the Sorbonne University .


This point is illustrated by the famous story told by Rabbi Mendel Futerfas: "When I was in prison, playing cards was against prison rules, yet his prison-mates would always play in their cell. The prison guard could see them playing, however when he came in, the cards would be gone and as hard as he would search, the guard could not find the illicit items. When he finally gave up and promised not to bother the prisoners if they would only tell him what they do with the cards, they told him that every time he came in, they would slip the cards into his own pocket and then pick-pocket the cards back before he left."


2) While Moshiach is a leader and a teacher - and the Rebbe definitely has both those qualities - his main novelty is that he is a "Caesar" - one that will bring world-perfection. To elevate the world, it must be elevated "from the bottom up". It needs to be elevated by someone "of the world", hence the "degrees" that Moshe and the Rebbe received.


Therefore we see that the Rebbe re-instituted the "seven Noahide  Laws campaign". He always quoted the Rambam (Hilchos Melachim 8:10) "By the same regard, Moses was commanded by the Almighty to compel all the inhabitants of the world to accept the commandments given to Noah's descendants".


The Rebbe has given over to us the obligation of bringing Moshiach. Let's all do our part to make it a reality now!

 

 


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