The Time My Teacher Explained Why Mashiach Isn’t Here

This story left me scratching my head. It illustrates how far people will go to rationalize that their derech is the only one, in spite of any evidence to the contrary. With some drive-by theodicy thrown in for good measure. This story from NS:


I went to a school that was officially not chassidish, but 50% of the students and teachers were chassidish (the other 50% being Yeshivish or Sephardi), so we got our fair share of Chassidish and Yeshivish lessons.

We had a teacher once who claimed that Hashem especially coordinated it that the Baal Shem Tov never met the Vilna Goan because had they met, the Vilna Goan would have instantly become Chassidish and brought all the jews with him, and so all jews would have become chassidish. (Im confused as to what she thought would have happened to the sephardi jews. Or maybe she just didnt think they were real Jews)
Anyway, her point was that in a world where all Jews are chassidish, Hashem would have had to bring Moshiach, whether or not He wanted to. And He didnt want to at that time, so He arranged that the Baal Shem Tov and the Vilna Goan never met. (She claimed they had tried meeting a few times)
Needless to say I never listened to a word this teacher said again.
She wasnt a regular teacher but a special guest teacher that they kept bringing in for special occasions. And she is a really respected member of the community.


The Time My Teacher Explained Why Mashiach Isn’t Here

3 thoughts on “The Time My Teacher Explained Why Mashiach Isn’t Here

  1. DF3 says:

    It’s so sad they let this woman around impressionable children. Somebody might actually have taken what she said as actual religious teaching. It’s good you were smart enough to see past the illiteracy, ignorance, and lack of basic common sense.


  2. The story is interesting for what it says about her mystical/inspirational view of Judaism. The Vilna Gaon though that Chassidus was avodah zara, but all of his intellectual objections would have fallen away in the magical presence of the Baal Shem Tov. It’s as if she knows nothing about the history of Chassidus.

    The rational that she gives, that Hashem would have been forced to bring Moshiach, is exactly the sort of thing that many of the misnagdim objected to.


    1. Zorm says:

      This is actually a really interesting point. It shows how stuck people get in their thoughts and how hard they find it to see others point of view


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