Rav Noson Wachtfogel served as the "Mashgiach" - Spiritual
Guide - for the students at the famous Lakewood Yeshiva,
which was founded by Rav Aharon Kotler, a leading Torah
sage. Rav Wachtfogel passed away in 1998.
This noted sage, educator, and counselor was known for the
outstanding character traits that he developed; moreover, he
was also known for his great yearning for the coming of
"Moshiach" - the Messiah who will inaugurate the age of the
complete redemption. He constantly spoke about the yearning
of our people for the complete redemption, and his teachings
expressed the following principle of our heritage:
"I believe with complete faith in the coming of the
Moshiach, and even though he may delay, nevertheless, I
anticipate every day that he will come."
Awaiting the coming of Moshiach was the Mashgiach's
hallmark, and he fulfilled the statement, "I anticipate
every day that he will come." In fact, when the Mashgiach
walked in the room during a festival celebration or
a wedding, everyone would form a circle and start to
joyously sing, "I anticipate every day that he will come."
The Mashgiach would then enter the middle of the circle and
dance heart and soul to these words, infecting everyone with
his enthusiasm and faith.
His dance expressed the yearning for the redemption of each
individual, along with the redemption of the community, and
the elevating spirit of his dance is expressed in the
following teachings that he gave over to his disciples:
1. It is written, "Then will come those lost in the land of
Assyria and those cast away in the land of Egypt" (Isaiah
27:13). The intent is that these people will come to
realize that they were "lost" and "cast away". Discontent
with the exile is itself a level of anticipating Moshiach.
Therefore, they - and all those who awaited the redemption
- will merit to "bow to Hashem o the holy mountain in
2. Our years in exile have been full of terrible pain and
suffering. We cannot even begin to imagine how great will
be our compensation for having endured so much. How glorious
will be the salvation and light that we will merit, due to
the endless afflictions we have undergone in this long and
dark exile! All the blood of our people that has been
spilled will be transformed into light and joy!
3. Those in our generation who have experienced suffering
and those who are now undergoing crises should realize that
these are the birthpangs of Moshiach. They should take
strength in the knowledge that these pains and difficulties
will not endure for long, because soon they will all be
coming to an end. Every day brings us closer to that
wonderful moment when Hashem will heal the broken-hearted,
and our sorrows and groans shall vanish.
"Shake off the dust - arise! Don your splendid clothes, My
people" (Welcoming Song for Shabbos).
May we be blessed with an elevating and comforting Shabbos.
Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen (See below)
P.S. The above teachings and related information is found in
the new book:
A Living "Mishnas Rav Aharon" - The Legacy of Rav Aharon
Kotler, by Rabbi Yitzchok Dershowitz, published by Feldheim:
This book shows how Rav Aharon Kotler "lived" the ethical
and spiritual teachings that he taught.