8 Elul 5774
From Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi's Facebook Page...
Chazal tell us that Moshiach will only come in a generation that is Kulo Zakkai or Kulo Chayav completely innocent and worthy, or completely guilty with not a morsel of good. Under these criteria it is hard to see Moshiach coming. "Completely good" sounds like a fantasy and not something we can imagine in today's world. Similarly we see so much good and so many wonderful people that it is equally incomprehensible to imagine a generation without a single good person. So what do Chazal mean?
Rav Elya Weintraub says that the Chofetz Chaim explains as follows. "All innocent" and "all guilty" does not mean that everyone is on the same side of the fence. It just means that everyone sits squarely on one side of the fence. In order for the Moshiach to come the world must be completely polarized. Everyone must choose where they belong, with Hashem or Chas V'Shalom the opposite.
Adam HaRishon was created perfectly good. The element of evil in the world was the snake who stood outside of Adam. Good and bad were separate and clearly defined. When Adam ate from the Eitz HaDaas the boundaries became murky, and good and bad became mixed together. Each person is good and bad at the same time. The face of evil and righteousness look the same to us and we can't tell who is who. We ourselves aren't really sure who we are. Sometimes we are good and sometimes less so. Moshiach won't come until the two sides are clearly divided and everyone knows where they belong, inside or outside. Moshiach's arrival will be the final showdown between good and evil.
People complain that our society is becoming polarized. The "middle ground" is disappearing. Clearly in a sense this is good news, and the best sign yet that Moshiach is on his way. Make sure you are standing on the right side of the fence. The most intriguing part of all is that when Moshiach does arrive, we may be pretty surprised to see who is on each side. The truth will be revealed and it will have nothing to do with our exterior appearance. Moshiach will peer deep within each person's heart and he can't be fooled!