Moshiach Zeit, Moving from Moshe to Shlomo Hamelekh

  • Reb Zalman’s original Hebrew is here (Excerpt, Yishmru Daat, pp 74-75.) [NOTE English translation below. Both translations by Gabbai Seth Fishman,].

The Mei HaShiloach text Reb Zalman references is here

Reb Zalman’s text:

And in truth, Moshe Rabbeinu (a’h) taught us until the coming of the Moshiach in an aspect of Sefer Devarim the torah’s principles. And according to the Mei HaShiloach (z’l) (cf Sefer Mei Hashiloach part 1, Masechet Menachot page 53) he says that for the present age the practice is according to Moshe Rabbeinu (Deuteronomy 17:11) “you shall not divert” (ibid 13:1) “You shall neither add to it, nor subtract from it,” but in the days of the Moshiach the practice will be according to Shlomo HaMelech according to the details of reality in an aspect of (Ecclesiastes 3:1) “Everything has an appointed season, and there is a time for every matter.”

Mei HaShiloach (from Mei HaShiloach I Menachos 53)

The rabbinic students said to R’ Preida: “R’ Ezra, the grandson of R’ Avtolas, who is a tenth-generation descendant of R’ Elazar ben Azaryah, who was a tenth-generation descendant of Ezra the Scribe, is standing at the door.” R’ Preida said to them: “What is all this? Why do you give his lineage? … If he is a scholar and of distinguished ancestry fine. But if he is of distinguished ancestry and is not a scholar, [may fire consume him!]” They answered him: “He is a scholar.” [R’ Preida] said to them: “Let him enter and come before us.” When R’ Ezra entered [R’Preida] saw that his mind was unsettled. [R’ Preida] therefore began saying,

[NOTE: Translated in accord with the Izhbitzer’s explanation below]:

“‘I said to God,” etc., ‘My good is in other than you.'”

[NOTE: The above is from the Gemara. The Izhbitzer’s commentary begins here:]

The thing dealt with that one, i.e. that Reb Preida was at that time the head and leader of the generation and crowned with glory in courtesy, fastidious in observance and maasim tovim as indicated (Eruvin 54b) in his teaching to his student four hundred times.

Also he was asked from heaven what he wants either good for his generation or longevity and he chose good for his generation over longevity.

And when they asked him (Megillah 27), “on account of which meritorious practice have you attained longevity?”, he said, “I never blessed in the presence of a Kohen,” and, this event occurred right before his passing.

For the time had arrived that God chose Reb Ezra to receive the Nasi role and, the practice would now be through Torah as a main thing and not through maasim tovim.

And Hashem brought it about that R’ Preida failed now, that he insulted the priest who was [also] a  tenth-generation descendant of Ezra in that he said, “I didn’t bless before a priest” [but he did].

And when he rose at the door, R’ Preida felt that Ezra had complaints.

And they judged from the section “And the people were looking to complain” since he was then the pillar of the generation and, Ezra had a complaint about him. And the punishment of the murmurers was by fire.

Therefore he said “may fire consume him”, for he saw that his mind was unsettled, i.e. that he perceived that the mind of Reb Ezra was thinking that Reb Preida would be honored in his coming to him.

R’ Preida opened and said: “My good is in other than you”

I.e. that it is not according to my mind to hold for you any good that you are coming to me. [R’ Preida was saying], for the important point by me is only…

“To the holy ones, they who are [interred] in the earth”,

and they are the holy patiarchs who allude to mitzvot.

“and the mighty ones, all My desire is in them.”

They represent good deeds and are fixed forever.

Isn’t it the case that in truth in the days of Reb Preida Hashem yitbarach chose this greatly that mitzvot AND good deeds were the main thing.


“When he [R’ Ezra] heard [R’ Preida] mention the word ‘mighty ones,'”

I.e. a thing that was fixed without change then

“he began and said, ‘Let the mighty come and exact retribution from the mighty,'”

I.e., how could it arise in your mind to make mention and strongly emphasize mitzvot AND good deeds since they [i.e., the latter] are only the outer manifestations [lit. garments], and, in addition, nations of the world have garments and grab [merit] from them and despite that it is said of them

“The mighty ones sank like lead in the water”

For in truth all vitality of each and every nation is through some garment from a good attribute. But, at the time that Hashem yitbarach will remove the garment Himself (if one could say so) from this attribute, then this nation will go to destruction with all its mighty ones.

And afterwards, he said,

“Let a beloved come”,

I.e. if you want to know for whom a mitzvah would be successful in action that it be fixed forever, this is King Solomon a’h, for he, in the building of the holy Temple made it with success, that Hashem yitbarach chose this without any change for ever. Nonetheless another person couldn’t boast for doing a thing like this,

“Let good come and receive good from good for those who are good,”

I.e. as the time when Hashem Yitbarach chose the Torah and gave it to us through Moshe his servant, this doesn’t change,

“Let this come and receive this from this for this nation… this refers to Moshe.. and this refers to the Torah”

that Moshe placed for the children of Israel. For on behalf of this, the Torah doesn’t change because it is the case that He only gave it to this nation, [NOTE: But not including Maasim Tovim; Hashem brought this for the generation of R’ Preida, but it was not to be in the generation of R’ Ezra]  and he did not give any portion within it to the nations as it is written that, “Moses put it before the children of Israel”.

One Response to “Moshiach Zeit, Moving from Moshe to Shlomo Hamelekh”

  1. Rabbi Scott Hoffman Says:

    You have to remember the distinction between R’ Preida and R’ Ezra was that, in addition to his leading through Torah, R’ Preida could successfully lead by Maasim Tovim, for the most part, until the end when he insulted the Kohen. Reb Ezra is going to be leading just through Torah, not Maasim Tovim, because it is the Torah that distinguishes us from everybody else.

    What Reb Zalman’s saying here is:
    “As has been the case since Reb Ezra, it’s got to be through the Torah because we lack experience. We’re still in the ‘Moses’ generations where ‘This is the Torah that Moses put in front of us.’ We’re ‘stuck’ with it. We can’t deviate to the left; we can’t deviate to the right.

    “But some day, we’ll go back to how it was in the old R’ Preida days and do things by intuition, by feel. That day is not here yet, when we trust everyone to be wise and judicious in judgment to such an extent that everybody can make his or her own independent judgments based on feel and intuition. That’s also why Reb Ezra was not given the freedom that Reb Preida was to do his Nissiyut in that way, where he could kind of choose the direction. It worked for one, but not for the other.”

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