At the end of exile, close to the time of our redemption, Israel’s troubles will greatly strengthen and intensify. Because of the tremendous travail that will surround them from every side, they will say, “Let the mountains and hills fall on us to hide us.” Their straits will become so dire that fathers will abandon their sons. Anyone who survives this period will be considered a triumphant warrior.
This will all come about since the Shechina will judge her house, Israel, and their adherence to sexual morality, in order to purify them for the Final Redemption and the good promised by the prophets. This good is utterly incomprehensible to the human intellect. The miracles and wonders of the redemption from Egypt will not be remembered in comparison to the final redemption. As it is written, “The days are coming,” says the L-rd, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the L-rd lives, who brought the children of Israel up out of Egypt,’ but instead it will be said, ‘As the L-rd lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave to their ancestors.” (Jer. 16:14-15).
At the time of the Final Redemption the miracles and revelation of the Shechina to Israel will be wondrous. All who are worthy will exclaim, “Here is HaShem; we hoped for Him!” (Isa. 25:9). They will literally point their finger at the revelation of the Shechina. Who will actually merit this?!
Therefore, during this same time, troubles will increase to refine Israel according to strict judgment. Every single person will regret according to their debt, and anyone who stiffens their neck and refuses to return will be lost. Whoever will return in teshuva, and welcomes and accepts the difficulties gladly, will be purified and made worthy.
The entire matter rests on the fact that the time will have arrived for the klipot (“husks,” forces of evil) to be nullified in the world. However, as long as their wickedness clings to Israel, how is it possible to nullify these “external forces”? The L-rd is the Master of Judgment, meting out a righteous and faithful justice, with no perversion. Therefore, Israel will undergo repeated purging and refining until they are clean and pure as refined silver. This divine process will be administered with strict judgment, since the klipa will demand any portion owed to it.
In these final days, nations will fight each other, each one’s sword against its neighbor, and Israel will be caught in between, with tremendous suffering. Each nation will desire to plunder this “sheep” and consume her flesh. However, the Holy One will take compassion on His people in the merit of the three holy forefathers [Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov], and their suffering will refine and whiten them. During this time of judgment, the Holy One will overthrow the seed of Amalek, cut it off from the world, and ‘erase him from under the heavens.’ ♦
Translated and adapted from Elima Rabbati by the RaMaK, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (1522-1570), one of the greatest kabbalists prior to the arrival of the holy Arizal in Tsfat. In this profound mystical work, the RaMaK mentions the need to accept difficulties in life with love, particularly during the generations close to the coming of Mashiach.