Maimonides in the Era...

The Era of the Messiah is a time that the Miztvoth- Commandments will be in their complete glory and will be even greater then the times of the Mikdash; Temple. And is part of the belief of the coming of Messiah. And therefore it is paramount to explain that �We will offer sacrifices and observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years according to their particulars set forth in the Torah. Therefore in the times of Messiah will be even greater then time times of the Mikdash Temple. As it is written in �Jer 36:26 he will remove the stone from your flesh�

As Maimonides States in the Laws of Kings, chapter 12, law 5. �In that Era there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition, for good things will flow in abundance and all the delight will be as freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-D.

The Jews will therefore be great sages and know the hidden matters, and will attain an understanding of their Creator to the full extent of mortal potential; as it is written Isaiah 11:9 �for the world will be filled with knowledge of G-D as the waters cover the ocean bed.� [1]

The understanding of the stages of Messiah is part of the basic obligation to believe in the coming of Messiah; outlined in the Thirteen principle of faith that one must believe and await his coming, Is part of the perfection of keeping the Miztvoth. The Messianic Age is the only one, which will enable men to realize their real and ultimate purpose in life.

Maimonides states this view in the code saying, in chapter twelve law 4: � the sages and prophets did not yearn for the Messianic Era in order that the Jewish people rule over the world, nor in order that they have dominion over the gentiles, nor that they be exalted by them, nor in order they eat, drink and celebrate. Rather, their aspiration was that the Jewish people be free to involve themselves in Torah and its wisdom, with out any one to oppress or disturb them, and thus be found worthy of life in the World to come, as we explained in Hilchos Teshuvah. [2]

We thus see that the belief in the Messiah is integrated with the entire view of Maimonides that the Torah as a whole was given for the purpose of helping man to self development in order to reach the human genus of the highest degree of intellectual perfection, the realization of which is only possible in the coming of the Messiah.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson [3] Explains that the times of the Messiah will be even greater than the times of the Temple Mikdash. This knowledge of the Messiah and all its details is connected to the first Mitzvah of knowing G-D, and since at that time we will have an increased in knowledge �for the world will be filled with knowledge of G-D as the waters cover the ocean bed.� and this is not possible to fully understand G-D without the Messiah.

And therefore is crucial and fundamental part to know that only in times of Messiah we �will attain an understanding of their Creator to the full extent of mortal potential"

And continues in chapter 12, law 5. �In that Era there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition, for good things will flow in abundance and all the delight will be as freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-D." Why is necessary to know the stage of the world. "The Jews will therefore be great sages and know the hidden matters, and will attain an understanding of their Creator to the full extent of mortal potential" why does have to say mortal potential it is obvious as we are merely men. 

Maimonides is telling us "The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-D." Is part of our Mitzvoth according to Torah in our times that our occupation is purely to know G-D. That even a person that his occupation is Torah must sustain themselves with business, however in the times of the Messiah "will be solely to know G-D".  And solely for that reason and for the sake of Torah, and this is why he writes "Only" for the will be no other motives even holy ones.

Halachah - Jewish law is to refine the world at large so that it will exist in harmony with G-D's will.  There have been times during which this intent has been put into practice by Jewish kings.  In the most complete sense, it will be realized when the Messiah comes, when the observance in all the Mitzvot associated with the Mikdash Temple will be restored and our people will devote all their energies to this goal.  Similarly, the effect of the Mitztvot in the world at large will be completed.  There will be no pressure or disturbances hindering the observance of the Torah.  Furthermore, knowledge, wisdom, and truth will be abundant.

In the Laws of Kings. Maimonides explains that there is a relationship of cause and effect between the obstacles and the generous flow of the divine beneficence. "  There will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition, for good things will flow in abundance".  For this relationship to the affected not only must man receivers the Divine blessings, but he must also be conscious of them.

Furthermore for this reason he emphasizes that in the time of the Messiah " good things will flow in abundance and all the delights will be freely available�.  Being involved in material delights in the time of the Messiah is however somewhat problematic.  At a time when humanity and the world at large will be refined and elevated to a state of perfection, it is difficult to conceive a man that would choose to invest his time in physical delights, by stating it will be" as freely available as dust". Although they will be accessible to man and he will partake of them for the sake of his health, he will consider them like dust as being worthless. 

Although we will live in an Era of material prosperity our attention will not be focused on it.  Rather the occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-D. Is part of our Mitzvoth according to Torah. This implies two concepts. One; Because good things will flow in abundance in all the delights will be freely available, and we will be able to direct all of our energies to the study of Torah. Two; More particularly, our energies will be directed to the knowledge of G-D.

At present, our study of Torah has many different objectives, most obvious among them knowledge of how to perform the Mitzvot, however in the Era of redemption our study of the Torah will have a single goal, the knowledge of G-D.  In that Era we will still observe the Mitzvot in perception. Nevertheless since nothing will disturb our Torah study, we will be able to learn how to observe the mitzvoth perfectly into a relatively short time.  Therefore our attention will be devoted into the deeper dimensions of Torah study.

Maimonides goes on to say  �for the world will be filled with knowledge of G-D as the waters cover the ocean bed.� this example of the water covering the ocean does not seem to fit with understanding, for covering seems  implies is beyond comprehension, can just as the water concealed that what is in the sea.

To the contrary by quoting   �for the world will be filled with knowledge of G-D as the waters cover the ocean bed.� He highlights the manner in which the knowledge of G-D will permeate the world and the thought processes of every individual person. A vast multitude of creatures likewise inhabits the ocean, however when looking at the ocean, what we see is the ocean as a whole and not the particular entities which it contains. Similarly, although in the Era of the Redemption the world will continue to exit, individual creatures will lose consciousness of their separate identity and will be suffused with the knowledge of G-D.

The Era of the Redemption will not negate the world existence; on the contrary, it will affirm the true existence of the world. As Maimonides  bring in his very first law Yesodei Ha Torah 1:1 � All the Beings of the heavens, the earth, and whatever is between them came into existence solely from the truth of His Being.� And this how Maimonides begins and concludes the Misnah Torah, the compendium of the entire Oral law. With this he emphasizes that the ultimate purpose of creation of the world will be when King Messiah Comes.

Maimonides begins by saying the first Mitzvoth is �to know that there is a G-D� and since one must know of G-D before any Mitzvoth therefore we can not say this is the first Mitzvoth. The Knowing of G-D .As the Abarbernel [4]   writes, �The first Mitzvoth to believe that there is a G-D. We already know that he exists. Therefore we must say that it means, that G-D is complete and that he dose not need any thing, and that all, need him.� And this that �He Is� and needs no one is understood according to intellect, since he created intellect he is not bound by it. As explained by the Rashbah he can be two opposites and no rules apply. 

Therefore the belief and knowledge of G-D is in three stages. One: The general belief that G-D exists before the Mitzvoth. Two: The belief and knowledge according to intellect that he is the first. And all come from him. This is the first Mitzvah. Three: And even grater knowledge, that he is not limited by intellect. And the mind itself understands this. As it says � the greatest knowledge that you do not know him.�

Likewise in Mitzvoth we also have three stages One: before any Mitzvoth, one must except the yoke of haven, like when the Jews said before receiving the Torah we will �Do�  and then we will �hear�. As the belief that G-D exists before the Mitzvoth of knowing G-D. Two: To understand with ones intellect the Mitzvoth, action to be able to do by learning Torah. Three: Great is study that brings to action. To fulfill because it his (G-D�S) will. And the third stage will only be when the Messiah comes that one will be totally �Only to know G-D� [5] one will have no other motives even holy ones.  Only for the sake of the knowledge and understanding of Torah. And not to be rewarded in the world to come. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-D. The Jews and the nations of world will be free to study Torah and its wisdom.

In the words of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi:  the founder of the Chabad branch of the Chassidic movement. Chabad (an acronym of the Hebrew words for �Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge�) is a philosophy and approach to life in which the mind and intellect play a key role in man�s endeavor to serve his Creator.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman summarized the fundamentals of his philosophy in a slim volume known as �Tanya,� on which he labored for twenty years. On the title page of Tanya, Rabbi Schneur Zalman states the aim of his book: to demonstrate how the fulfillment of the divine purpose in creation �is indeed exceedingly close, in a long and short way.� � �The era of Messiah ... is the culmination and fulfillment of the creation of our world�the world is to this end that it was created... In the future , the light of G-d will be revealed without any obscuring garment, as it is written: �No longer shall your Master be shrouded; your eyes shall behold your Master�[6].

�A semblance of this was already experienced on earth at the time that the Torah was given, as it is written: �You have been shown to know that the L-rd He is G-d,  there is none else beside Him�[7] ... [But] then their existence was literally nullified by the revelation, as our sages have said, �With each utterance [the people of Israel heard from G-d at Mount Sinai], their souls flew from their bodies...�[8] Yet in the end of days the body and the world will be refined, and will be able to receive the revelation of the divine light ... via the Torah.�[9] The  Rebbe explained the laws of Noah are a means to bring about universal peace among all nations, and to refine the world to bring about the Era for all to see � That G-D is one and His name is one�.

Conference on the Noahide laws November1, 2009 Chabad of VA - wwwNoahide.org

[1] Maimonides, Moses. Shemonah Perakim. Translation into English by J L Gorfinkle under the title The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on Ethics. New York, 1912.

[2] Ibid

 [3] The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson  Likutei Sichos  vol. 27 p250 Kehot Pub. B. N.Y. USA

[4] . Reines, Alvin J. Maimonides and Abarbanel on prophecy. H.U.C.A.Press

[5] Rambam, Finkel,Avraham Yaakov, Yeshivah Beth Moshe 2001, 62

[6] Tanya Ch (Isaiah 30:20)

[7] Deuteronomy 4:35

[8] Talmud, Shabbat 88b

[9] Likkutei Sichot, vol. XI, pp. 8-13.