In continuing with some thoughts from the previous post about Moshiach ben Yosef, one of the interesting issues that confronts us is the question, How will we know it is Moshiach? Will it be obvious? Will we know it instinctively? Will he be accepted by all Jews and the entire world?
Rav Shimon Kessin speaks about this, and explains as follows. As we saw previously, MBY is someone who has the highest level soul which is entrapped in the forces of Evil, much as the Jewish people themselves are trapped in the forces of Evil. MBY gets to a certain point (unbeknownst to anyone else) where he realizes that he is indeed Moshiach, and he figures out how to release himself completely from the forces of Evil. At this point, he possesses a tremendous understanding of the greatest light of the Torah, and how it applies and explains the ultimate secret of the Universe, which is how Hashem's hand is in every single event that occurs, both to the Human race at large, as well as all the events in the lives of every individual, as well. With this understanding, he will possess the key that unlocks the answer to every single event, past, present, and future. This information will be available to him, beside for his skill in prophecy, as an outcrop of his understanding of the highest חכמה - wisdom.
He will attain this level over a certain period of time, most likely relatively short, perhaps months. Once he has done so, he will be ready to reveal this light to the Jewish people as well. He must bide his time, however, until the nation is indeed on the spiritual level to receive this light. This will also be a somewhat gradual process, again relatively quick. Hashem will pour out a desire onto the Jewish people that will make them begin a certain spiritual search. This concept is referred to in the passuk הנה ימים באים נאם ה והשלכתי רעב בארץ לא רעב ללחם ולא צמא למים כי אם לשמוע את דבר השם - Days are coming, says Hashem, and I will send a famine in the land; not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but to hear the word of Hashem.
This desire will be unquenchable, and there will be only one who can fulfill the spiritual desire - Moshiach himself. It is much like a man and woman who have met and fallen in love. If you ask them how they know that they are meant for each other, the answer may not be forthcoming - they just know. Here too, the Jewish people will know, that he is the one, without a shadow of a doubt. He will be able to provide answers and spiritual advice for every single ailment that befalls any individual, and his advice will always work. This is spoken of in the passuk in Yeshaya רוח חכמה ובינה עצה גבורה דעת ויראת ה - he possesses a spirit of wisdom and understanding, advice of strength, knowledge and fear of Hashem. This all stems from the wisdom of the Torah, the light of which he will reveal, which contains this depth of understanding of every event in the life of all men. This light will quench the thirst of the Jewish people, and draw them all back to Eretz Yisrael and Jerusalem - כי מציון תצא תורה ודבר השם מירושלים - from Tzion (גימטריא - יוסף) shall come forth the Torah, and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem.
This whole process is followed by the war of Gog Umagog. This war is waged against Moshiach ben Yosef by the forces of Evil, led by Amalek, that will deny his spiritual power, and he will vanquish them for all time, with the help of Moshiach ben Dovid. This represents the final removal of the forces of Evil from inhabiting the mind of mankind. The Yetzer Hara will completely return to the state it was in before Adam Harishon sinned - completely external to Man's essence. Thus, the job of Moshiach ben Yosef will be completed, and Moshiach ben Dovid will then be crowned king and take the mantle of leadership to raise the world to an even higher level, which is the complete destruction of the forces of Evil, even those that are external, and the lifting of Mankind to the level of spirituality they are destined to reach in order to enter Olam Haba - the World of Pure Good and Ultimate spirituality.
One last thought that I would like to share that Rav Kessin says is that although it is very difficult for us to imagine, our desire for spirituality when these events come to pass will be unbelievable. If one could think of the greatest physical desire that he has, one that is uncontrollable, perhaps, this would not compare to the type of desire we will have to come close to Hashem. This will be imbued in every single Jew, and at a later stage, in every non-Jew as well.
May the day be soon, Amen.