In his book Siach Nechama (Discourse of Comfort), Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky writes that the Messiah lives and is with us right now, and the redemption is ready and waiting. When Israel merits it. The Messiah will be revealed and redeem them immediately.
The rabbi’s new announcement was explained in the Hebrew language website, Hidabroot. As an explanation, Rabbi Kanievsky quoted the words of the Jerusalem Talmud in Tractate Brachot (2: 4) and Midrash Rabbah on the Book of Lamentations (Chapter 1), in which it is stated that on the day of the Temple’s destruction, the Ninth of Av, the Messiah of Israel was born.
“It seems that what the Sages wanted to say was that even though the Temple was destroyed, redemption exists everywhere. The Messiah is alive with us and passes on in each generation to another body,” Rabbi Kanievsky wrote, adding: “And this is the message: that you should never despair because redemption is already here, Amen.”
Also, Rabbi Kanievsky often mentions the words of the Gemara in Tractate Ketubot that “a generation that the [Messiah] son of David comes is critical of the disciples of sages.”
“In this generation, there is much persecution and hatred of Torah scholars. It seems that in recent years, in particular, we see that all the signs mentioned in the Gemara have been fulfilled, and we look forward at any moment to the coming of the Messiah, if God wills it,” Rabbi Kanievsky said.
Similarly, Rabbi Kanievsky quoted the words of the Gemara (Sanhedrin 27: 1a) and the words of Maimonides (Hilchot Malachim, beginning of chapter 11), who wrote that “There are three matters that come only by means of diversion of attention from those matters, and these are they: The Messiah, a lost item, and a scorpion.”
“It seems that [the Messiah] will only come in the moment of distraction, [which contradicts the commandment] to wait for him at any moment, in which case [the Messiah] will not come,” the rabbi wrote. “But there really is no contradiction here. Because the very belief and waiting every moment for the coming of the Messiah causes the desired distraction. He will come to His sanctuary and the Messiah will be revealed. Because even if you wait for him, you still do not think the moment will come.”
Rabbi Kanievsky added that many of the great men of past generations, as well as his late father, the Steipler rabbi, prepared a special garment to wear when the Messiah comes. This shows the palpable expectation right before his coming.
The rabbi explained that redemption is compared to the dawn. Just as the sun begins to brighten the sky before dawn, but it is visible to the world only at the break of dawn – so is the redemption. During this time we are just before the dawn – the signs of redemption are slowly appearing. But the actual redemption will be revealed to the eyes of all only when the day breaks.
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky is one of the most prominent rabbis of this generation. He is a leader of the Haredi branch of Judaism and the author of numerous authoritative books on Jewish law.