Friday, June 30, 2006

End of Days - Where are we? (part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part 1

[Disclaimer: the dates mentioned here are suggested only. No dates are set in stone, as we know from tradition. -YY]

The Seven Years that Precede the Revelation of Mashiah

The Gemara describes in cryptic words how the 7 last years that precede the revelation of Mashiah will pass over Israel. Haza"l describe this using the 7-year Shmitta-cycle. Following is the description of Haza"l, and in the parenthesis is the appropriate Jewish year. (Be aware that these years do not mandate reality; rather they are just one possible explanation out of many.)
The rabbis learned in a Beraita:

The seven-year cycle that Ben David comes in:

  • The first year (5762), the following verse is fulfilled: (Amos 4)
    והמטרתי על עיר אחת ועל עיר אחת לא אמטיר
    and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city

  • The second year (5763): arrows of famine are sent

  • The third year (5764): a great famine - men, women and children along with pious people and people of action [righteous people] die, and Torah is forgotten from those who learn it

  • In the fourth year (5765): plenty, but not plenty

  • In the fifth year (5766): great plenty - people eat, drink, and are happy, and Torah is returned to those who learn it

  • In the sixth year (5767): Sounds

  • In the seventh year (5768): Wars

  • In the year after the seventh year (5769): Ben David comes


Sanhedrin 97


[Another source that speaks about the "7-year cycle that Ben David comes in" is the Pesikta Rabbati (36), and I thought it would be nice to mention this here.
The 7-year cycle that Ben David comes in, they bring iron beams and put it on his neck, until his posture became crooked. And he screams and cries, and his voice goes up to heaven. He [Mashiah] said before Him [Hakadosh Baruch Hu]: "Master of the Universe! How much strength will I have [left]? How much spirit will I have [left]? How much Neshama will I have [left]? How much will my limbs [be able to take]? Am I not flesh and blood?" On that moment, [King] David was crying and said (Tehillim 22:16) יבש כחרס כוחי וגו (My strength is dried up like a potsherd...).
At that moment, Hakadosh Baruch Hu said to him, "Ephraim, my righteous Mashiah! You already accepted this [suffering] upon yourself from the 6 days of creation. Now, your pain will be like My pain - that from the day that the evil Nevuchadnetzar arose and destroyed My house and burned My sanctuary and exiled my children among the nations of the world, [I swear] by your life and by the life of My head that I had not entered My throne. And if you don't believe Me, look at the dew that went up on My head [כביכול]," as it says (Shir Hashirim 5:2) שראשי נמלא טל קוצותי רסיסי לילה (for my head is filled with dew, my locks with the drops of the night).
At that moment, he [Mashiah] said to Him: "Master of the Universe! Now, I have calmed down. It is enough for a servant to be like his master..." (The Midrash continues with the description of the war with Paras, as was described in the previous section "Rabbi Yitzhak said...")
]

And from the little that it's possible to understand here, it's possible to see that it's true that 5763 was the year of [Israeli] elections, in which the evil government of Shinui-Likud rose to power, where they began to issue economic decrees against the weak population. And that is what's meant by "arrows of famine are sent". But this was just the beginning. In the year 5764, there was already a budget passed on the weak population, and the number of starving people in Israel continued to increase, and many actually died, and among them were even righteous people. Regarding the Torah that is forgotten, Rashi explains "Because they have nothing to eat." It's also possible to explain [that Torah was forgotten] in the shadow of budget cuts to Yeshivot and Kollels, which caused many Torah scholars to stop learning Torah. The year 5766, which we are smack in the middle of, will bring a turning over of the wheel [180-degree turnaround] - a cessation of famine and a return of the Torah after the budget allocations to the weak population and Torah-learners returned. In the year 5767, there will be "Sounds", and the meaning according to Rashi is "Rumors will go out that Ben David is coming" or "Sounds from the blowing of the Shofar as it says 'אז ייתקע בשופר גדול'". In other words, either it means that everyone will speak about the fact that Mashiah "Ba" ["בא" in Hebrew could mean "came" or "is coming"](which could mean either that 1)Mashiah already came and it's referring to Mashiah Ben Yosef or 2)Mashiah is set to arrive since there are many opinions that hold that he will be present already during the final war) or that the sounds of the blowing of the Shofar will be heard, and this is a spiritual blowing, which according to what I know, heralds a harsh judgement for the wicked. In the year 5768, the final war will begin - the final battle of the War of Gog Umagog between the nations and Israel (Rashi ibid). On the year following this, in other words in the year 5769, the full and final Redemption will arrive for Israel and for the remnant of the other nations of the world after the wicked is destroyed. (As can be recalled, even the Tsunami-foretelling rabbi said early on that the final Redemption will be in 5769, as was brought in the first update [from him], but he changed his mind along the way, from what he saw that everything is open and not obligated to be fulfilled according to the aforementioned calendar of events.)

Redemption "Be'itah" or "Ahishena"

There are 2 types of redemption that could exist according to our sources: a redemption that is "Be'itah" - i.e. one that is set at a predetermined time (Rabbi Ovadia Yosef holds that this is the Redemption with which we will be redeemed, even though he holds, on the other hand, that the generation is "זכאי" ["meritorious"]) and a redemption that is "Ahishena" - i.e. one that will come earlier than its set time. The main differences between the 2 types of Redemption, besides the time that it will take place, is the amount of suffering the Jewish people and the whold world in general will endure until the Redemption takes place and the manner in which the Redemption occurs:
  • An "Ahishena" Redemption is a Redemption that comes suddenly, in a miraculous way. Mashiah comes, and the world reaches its correct fulfilment and purpose, together with all the beneficial designations that were promised by Hakadosh Baruch Hu by way of His prophets, as is described in Tanach.

  • A "Be'ita" Redemption is a Redemption that a long and hard process precedes it, full of suffering and tests for the Jewish people and for the world in general, which concludes with the terrible death of about two-thirds of the world, in addition to those among the Jewish people who, according to Hakadosh Baruch Hu's calculation, are not fit to be redeemed. According to some of the sources along with Kabbalists from our time, the percentage of Jews that are said to be killed during this situation, could reach Has Veshalom to about 80%, corresponding to the percentage of the Jewish people who were killed in Egypt during the plague of darkness, as is described in the words of Haza"l.


The type of Redemption that we will receive is dependant on us and on our deeds. An "Ahishena" Redemption is dependant on repentance that the Jewish nation will do. The righteous among our generation say that it's not referring to [a repentance] of all of Israel - just the majority of it - everyone according to his ability. In this scenario - that repentance will work for Israel - then, the "Be'itah" process, which we are currently in the middle of, will stop suddenly, and the Redemption will come immediately. However, in the scenario that it will not occur, then the difficult "Be'itah" process will need to continue until it reaches its harsh ending, and only then will the Redemption take place, and not for all Jews, and definitely not for the whole world.

It's worth mentioning at this stage that there are those who claim that a Redemption of "Ahishena" is no longer possible after Tish'a Be'av, 5765 (the day before the Disengagement from Gush Katif), because the "Stations of Ahishena", which were the dates of good-will for Redemption, closed up exactly on that date, which was the last "station". With that said, there is a bit of a danger with this claim, since it contradicts the foundations of our faith - that there is a chance for Mashiah's arrival every single day. On the other side of the coin, there are those who claim that the harsh prophecies already took place in the past - for example, during the Holocaust - that there are those who see in it and in the entire WW2 - the true War of Gog Umagog. For the different approaches on this topic between the Sephardic Kabbalists and Hasidic Tzadikim, one should read here. For the heavenly war between these 2 opinions, the turning around of "Ahishena" to be further than "Be'itah", and the integration of these 2 opinions according to the Vilna Gaon, one should read here.

Anyways, it's worth adding that according to Haza"l, there exist a few auspicious time periods for an "Ahishena" Redemption. Among them, one can count the month of Tishri, the month of Nissan, and Tish'a Be'av. For short possible scenarios for the 2 types of Redemptions from R' Lazer Brody Shlit"a, one should read here.

Similarly, it is accepted that reading the Holy Zohar (even without understanding the meaning of the words) brings the Redemption closer, and it is a Segulah to save one who reads it from the pangs of Mashiah with mercy. And also, in connection to bringing the Redemption closer, our holy rabbi, Rabbi Nahman of Breslov, זיע"א, says that unity among the Jewish people is what will cause the Redemption, and therefore, an effort towards it [unity] will bring the Redemption closer. (Unity as a nation starts with unity in the family, unity among peers, in the synagogue, etc.)

The Plague
[Warning: some of the details are graphic]

The closer we get to the decisive stage of the war, the closer we get to the difficult plague that will affect humans as with animals. The plague will be exceedingly grave, and will cause a lot of death among people. Unlike modern interpretations of the prophecy of Zecharia the Prophet, ע"ה, it's accepted nowadays to see his prophecy as being literal. According to the prophecy, the plague will cause decay of the bodies of the people affected. Before they die, it will affect the areas that have mucus, the eyes and the tongue, which will cause them to have a quick and advanced decay. According to part of the explanation of the prophecy, the decay will be so bad, that when a person wants to hold onto his friend's hand, some of the flesh of the hand will come off and remain in the friend's hand. This is the wording of the prophecy:
וזאת תהיה המגפה, אשר יגוף ה’ את כל העמים אשר צבאו על ירושלים: המק בשרו והוא עמד על רגליו, ועיניו תימקנה בחוריהן, ולשונו תימק בפיהם. והיה ביום ההוא, תהיה מהומת ה’ רבה בהם, והחזיקו איש יד רעהו, ועלתה ידו על יד רעהו… וכן תהיה מגפת הסוס, הפרד הגמל והחמור, וכל הבהמה, אשר יהיה במחנות ההמה,-כמגפה הזאת.
And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the peoples that have warred against Jerusalem: their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
... And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in those camps, as this plague.

Zecharia 14

And it's brought down in a Midrash:
"התאנה חנטה פגיה" (The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs - Shir Hashirim 2:13) (The verse is expounded on to teach us about the death of those who did not merit to be redeemed in the exodus from Egypt during the plague of darkness, and nowadays, it can make sense on what will be in our era:) Said Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba: Close to the days of Mashiah, a great plague will come to the world and the wicked will perish.

(Shir Hashirim Rabba 2:33)

(In Tractate Avot (5:9), it lists the times where there is a great chance for a great plague (5768 and 5769 are 2 years which it can occur, and also, right after Sukkot any year). The Maharal explains according to this Mishna that the reason 'a great plague comes to the world' (i.e. that the plague will occur in the strongest proportion) is due to the theft of the poor that precedes it.)


There exists an opinion that's growing in popularity that the plague that's referred to here is the next stage in the development of the "Bird Flu" pandemic (H5N1). Since the pandemic has not yet developed into the next stage, it's impossible to know what the exact symptoms will be of someone who gets affected. However, according to the best scientists in the World Health Organization (WHO), we're talking about a development that will definitely occur - the only question is when, and the percentage of people affected and dying from this developing pandemic is of the proportion of a global holocaust.

The meaning of the development of the pandemic is that it will be possible to contract the disease - not only from animals that carry the disease (as is known, also other animals can contract the disease and transfer it. See this experiment, for example regarding cats), which is the case currently as these lines are being written - but also from human to human. The disease, according to scientists, will develop into the next fatal stage when it combines with another disease, and it will then form a new fatal disease, which according to estimates can affect one-third of the world (see the words of Scientific American brought down here where it mentions the proportions of the prophecy of Zecharia (13:9) that talks about this - that only one-third of the world will remain), and it will also hit the Western nations like the U.S. the worst. And surprisingly, unlike normal epidemics, it will hit the younger population more (which fits with the prophecy of striking the armies of the nations) than the older population.

For questions and answers of the WHO regarding Bird Flu and its development, click here.

Ben David Will Not Come As Long As Sharon is Prime Minister

A large number of Tzadikim, and at the head of them, the elder kabbalist, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, זיע"א, said that Mashiah will come only after Sharon will stop being the prime minister, as was reported on this site a number of times. During the month of Tevet this year, we were surprised, along with the rest of the world, to see what happened to the Prime Minister (although the matter was hinted to earlier via the Tsunami-predicting rabbi and via Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, Shlit"a) that whether he's already dead or whether he's not, he will never return to being Prime Minister.

This situation that made Sharon neutral - in an almost-clear G-dly interference - from being Prime Minister while his party rose to power - hints to this clearly - that in the current tenure of the Knesset, Mashiah will arrive. Therefore, since according to the words of many Tzaddikim, Ariel Sharon will no longer be Prime Minister during Mashiah's arrival, there was a need to cause this [demise of Sharon] so he will stop being the Prime Minister.

If that's the case, the event that occurred to Ariel Sharon, as bad as it was, is nevertheless an additional encouraging sign for the complete Redemption of Israel. For additional hints to the topic of Sharon in the Torah, read here. Incidentally, if at any stage, there is an official pronouncement of his death, I have an interesting speculation according to the sources, regarding the events that should be occurring.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

End of Days - Where are we? (part 1 of 3)

Translated from Hashem1.net

(I translated this to the best of my ability. If you find an error in translation, please let me know and I'll correct it as soon as I can. -YY)

According to everyone, we are currently in a period called "The End of Days". Or, practically speaking, at the end of this period, when we are standing before the final and deciding stage of the war of Children of Light and Children of Darkness, which will bring the revelation of the Mashiah and the revelation of the G-dly light to the world without it being hidden, where after that point, all inhabitants of the world that will remain will live with full peace and unity, with a full recognition of the Master of all the worlds, the King - King of kings - Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

Introduction

The purpose of this essay is to have a little order in the mess, and to be as brief as possible, in order to give everyone the opportunity to be familiar with the End of Days current events quickly. Whoever wants to expand [on each subject] can use the links that are embedded in the essay.

One important introduction before the intermediate[?] conclusion: The prophet Yeshaya brings in a prophecy that he received from Hakadosh Baruch Hu the following words: כי יום נקם בליבי, ושנת גאוליי באה (For the day of vengeance that was in My heart, and My year of redemption are come. - Yeshaya 63), and Haza"l explain the verse this way - that the day of Redemption is covered from everyone because it is hidden כביכול in the heart of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and to translate the words of Haza"l: "If the heart won't reveal it to the mouth, to whom could the mouth reveal?" With this they mean to say that the exact time for the Geula is hidden from everyone. Additionally, this didn't prevent Haza"l from transmitting to us exact signs that are relative to the time the Redemption will take place, but they did not give boundaries to say that it must take place at this time period or another. The main thing coming out of this that should guide us is that it is incumbant upon us to fulfil the great Mitzvah of expecting the arrival of Mashiah at each and every moment, as it is something that is obligatory from the 13 Principles of Faith [of the Rambam], and we should not think that Mashiah will arrive on a certain day, a certain month, or a certain year because the matter ruins the simple faith in the arrival of the Redeemer.

According to what appears from the scattered sources on the site - which includes important sayings from all streams [of religious Judaism] (Hasidim, Sepharadim, and Litvaks) - it comes out that the year 5766 is a decisive year, and is extremely auspicious for the coming of the Redemption (there is even a famous dream of a rabbi on Yom Kippur to this effect). Since we're talking about statements that were not heard in our generation so explicit, the matter arouses great emotion and strengthens the faithful expectation of Redemption. Together with this, the Tsunami-foreseeing rabbi explained the current situation that we are in:
Literally, in every moment, we are able to hear the "hissing of the end", but as long as that doesn't occur, other things continue to roll along...The rabbi said that although on the one hand, literally at any moment, the Mashiah Tzidkenu can be revealed, on the other hand, he explained that we will enter a difficult period until Mashiah's arrival, and we must fasten our seatbelts well because we are going to travel fast, and according to what he feels, many things are going to happen soon.

This essay is an attempt to summarize the situation as to what has occurred until now, and according to what is apparent (according to what is revealed at the time of the writing of these lines), those things will continue to occur. Together with this, we must remember that at any moment, the whole situation could change, as was stated earlier, as the Rabbi and Tzaddik B.T. said after the incident that happened to Sharon:
The world, both from a spiritual and a physical aspect, can be so wishy-washy, and anything could happen within the span of a day...The things that the Kabbalists saw or understood, could simply change.

The book of Tehillim (Psalms), which was written with Ru'ah Hakodesh, says the following about our era:
אותותינו לא ראינו, אין עוד נביא, ולא איתנו יודע עד-מה. (We see not our signs; there is no more any prophet; neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.)
Tehillim 74

After we introduced these concepts, let's take a look at the main prophecies.

The Terror Attacks at the U.S.A. (9/11)

According to common knowledge, the Islamic terror attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in the U.S. in the end of Ellul, 5761 was the first shot in the War of Gog Umagog, whose length according to a number of commentaries (brought down in Rav Saadiah Gaon in "אמונות ודעות", and its source is from an explanation of Yehezkel) is 7 years, which is more or less corresponding to the tradition that the Gemara describes regarding "the 7-year period that [Mashiah] Ben-David is to arrive". Incidentally, the beginning of the war was predicted in an incredible way by Rav Amnon Yitzhak, Shlit"a, the head of the Shofar Organization, who stubbornly claimed throughout all of 5761 that the war would start that year, and when he was confronted 2 days before the terror attack, he stubbornly said that the year was still not over, and the rest is history. The matter was publicized in one of the newspapers at the inititive of deceased Arutz Sheva reporter Adir Zik z"l, who was one of the witnesses to the matter. Similarly, the Admor of the Shomerei Emunim Hasidic sect said about 2 weeks before the terror attacks that the U.S. will pay dearly for its denying Israel the right to respond to terror attacks against it, and the rest is history.

The beginning of the War of Gog Umagog

It's brought down in a number of commentaries, and expanded upon in the Malbim that the War of Gog Umagog (see the synopsis of the sources for the details of the war here) will be between Christianity and Islam (see here an attempt to locate the countries described in the Book of Yehezkel), and only in its final stage will it reach Eretz Yisrael, via joining forces against the people of Israel. The Zohar writes similar statements that before the arrival of Mashiah, the Ishmaelites (Muslims) will start 3 wars against the Edomites (Christians), and their final stage will be close to Jerusalem.

The subject of the War of Gog Umagog is not only physical, as it so appears from a shallow outlook, but rather, it has deep spiritual roots. One who wants to understand its spiritual meaning, like the subject of Mashiah Ben Yosef and the difference between him and Mashiah Ben David - and their connection to this war - is invited to read the words of the Maharal of Prague on this subject. Incidentally, there are 3 wars of Gog Umagog. We are currently dealing with the third and final one (the other 2, according to popular logic, were WW1 and WW2).

The date of the beginning of the war is also mentioned in our sources. As is known, on Shabbat Hol Hamo'ed Sukkot, the Haftarah in Yehezkel that deals with Gog Umagog is read. The reason for this is that we have a tradition that the War of Gog Umagog will break out on Hoshana Rabba (brought down in the Mishna Berura - and earlier, by the Ziditchover Rebbe, זיע"א, and its source is from the words of Rav Hai Gaon from about 1000 years ago, and according to his words, the Resurrection of the Dead will occur on the holiday of Pesah, after the conclusion of Gog Umagog, and therefore, the Haftarah of the Resurrection of the Dead is read then). The fact that the "War on Terror" started with the war of [George W.] Bush (Many respected people claim that Bush is Gog, which explains his thoughts that he speaks with Hakadosh Baruch Hu) against Afghanistan exactly on the night of Hoshana Rabba proves, according to many, that this is really the War of Gog Umagog, even though there are those that say that Hoshana Rabba is supposed to be date of breaking out of the final stage of the war (the stage against Israel), and it's possible that this will also be fulfilled (and if this will occur, it comes out that according to Rav Hai Gaon, we're talking about a stage that will last about a half year - until Pesah).

The Continuation of the War - Against Bavel/Iraq

After Afghanistan, the Christian nations did not quiet down, and they continued their war campaign towards Iraq (today, it's already known that they didn't have a true reason for this war, except for "voices" that Bush heard...), and it's logical to say that even this stage in the war is written about in our sources. About it [the war] and about the time period that will take place - the prophet Yirmiyahu prophecied - in his prophecy that after 70 years will be completed for Bavel, it will be captured by an enemy, and not much longer afterwards, it will be destroyed. The war against Iraq occurred exactly 70 years after its independence (the original Bavel did not reach 70 years, so it's impossible for Yirmiyahu's prophecy to be referring to the original kingdom). And so, we see again right before our eyes the fulfilment of the words of our prophets completely. (There is even an interesting fulfilment of a prophecy on the capture of Sadaam Hussein). The final destruction of Iraq and Baghdad, that the prophet describes after the fall of Bavel by the hands of its enemies (the Christians) will occur during the duration of the war, probably soon, and it appears that it's referring there to a war with unconventional means, that what appears now what will occur between the U.S. and Iran [will occur] on Iraqi soil (see here to expand on the war against Iraq).

The Next Stage of the War - Against Paras/Iran And/Or Against Assyria/Syria

The wicked Bil'am, who according to our sages, despite his great wickedness, knew the endtime (this is why Haza"l said about them what they said - see here, Siman 11), informed us in a prophecy that is written in our holy Torah, the Torah of truth, what will occur immediately before the arrival of Mashiah, and he said this:

אוֹי מִי יִחְיֶה מִשֻׂמוֹ אֵל! וְצִים מִיַּד כִּתִּים וְעִנּוּ אַשּׁוּר וְעִנּוּ-עֵבֶר וְגַם-הוּא עֲדֵי אבֵד

Alas, who shall live after God hath appointed him?
But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, and they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall come to destruction.


According to the explanation given to these words from sources that are more than 2000 years old, the meaning of the words is like this: "Woe is to the nation that will be found in the world at the time that Hakadosh Baruch Hu redeems Israel, at the time that giant ships of the Romans (Christians) will come and fight in the vicinity of Assyria and in the vicinity of Ever, and they will be victorious there, and they will cause affliction to the inhabitants of the place. However, even their lot will come to destruction, and then, the kingdom will be given to Mashiah and to Israel."

The War with Paras Close to the Arrival of Mashiah

The subject of the war of Christianity against Paras close to the arrival of Mashiah is written about explicitly in a Midrash that Haza"l brought down about 2000 years ago:
Rabbi Yitzhak said: The year that King Mashiah will be revealed, all the kings of the nations will provoke each other (wars, armed and verbal confrontations in the entire expanse of the world). The king of Paras (Iran) will provoke an Arab king (Iraq? Saudi Arabia? Jordan?) and the Arab king will go to Edom (who is understood to be by Haza"l as the Christian empire, who is in our days probably the U.S.), to take advice from them (requesting help and assistance from the U.S.).

Then, the King of Paras will go ahead and destroy the whole world (Iran starting terrorist acts or a war throughout the world, according to its threats). And all the nations of the world will tremble and be panicky and will fall on their faces. And pains like birth pangs will take hold of them (great fear from the Iranian terror in the world).

And Israel will tremble and be panicky (due to the Iranian threats of wiping Israel off the map) and will say "Where will we come and go? Where will we come and go?"

And He will say to them (כביכול, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will answer Israel the following): "My children, do not be afraid! Whatever I made, I only made for your benefit! Why are you afraid?

Do not be afraid! The days of your redemption has arrived!"

(The Midrash explains: when this occurs, despite the fact that Israel will be afraid, there will be nothing to be afraid of; the troubles that the Iranians will do will foretell the arrival of the Redemption!)

And the first redemption (the Exodus from Egypt) is not like the final redemption (the arrival of Mashiah), since in the first redemption, you had pain and servitude to foreign kingdoms after it (the exiles), but in the final redemption, you don't have pain or servitude to foreign kingdoms after it!...

Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi said: At that time, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will lift up the Mashiah to the heavens, and will spread over him from the splendor of His glory [to protect him] because of the nations of the world because of the wicked Persians.

He [Hakadosh Baruch Hu] will say to him: Ephraim (one of the names given to Mashiah), my rightous Mashiah, judge these [nations] and do to them what your soul desires, since if it were not for My mercy that overcame you, they would have destroyed you already in one moment, as it says: "הבן יקיר לי אפרים וגו"

Why does that verse say רַחֵם אֲרַחֲמֶנּוּ - a double expression [of mercy]? Rather:

"רחם" refers to when he was trapped in jail, where every day they used to gnash their teeth and hint with their eyes and make gestures with their heads and shoot out with their lips, as it says "כל רואי ילעיגו לי, יפטירו בשפה, יניעו ראש וגו" (Tehillim 22, the entire chapter).

"ארחמנו" refers to when he comes out of jail, where not 1 kingdom or 2 kingdoms come against him, but 41 kingdoms surround him. And Hakadosh Baruch Hu says to him "Ephraim (another name for Mashiah), my righteous Mashiah, do not fear them, for all these will die with the wind of your lips, as it says: "וברוח שפתיו ימית רשע" (and Maran Hagaon R' Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a described this using imagery through his dream - that the Mashiah will do to the wicked "Pooooooof", and it's over).


The righteous Rav Yonatan Eybeshitz זצוק"ל זיע"א, who lived about 300 years ago in Prague, strengthens these words even further, and says that practically speaking, even if the time that our righteous Mashiah is supposed to reveal himself has come, he will still not come as long as Paras did not fall in the hands of the Christians, and כביכול, even Mashiah will complain about this. This is what he writes in his book:
[In Yishayah 45, it says:]‘כה אמר ה’ למשיחו לכורש, אשר החזקתי בימינו’ - Thus saith the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden - [and Haza"l explained in Megillah 12 the following:] I have a complaint against Cyrus! I said he will build my Temple, and he commanded 'Whoever is among his people, let him go up'.

[Now, R' Yonatan Eybeshitz is explaining the matter:] The commentaries already were bothered by the question: What complaint is there to Mashiah?! But, rather, the matter is the following: They said in the Gemara (Yoma 10): Ben David will not come until the Persians will fall in the hands of the Romans (=Christians) (The actual version of the text of Gemara that we have is like this: "Rav said: Paras is destined to fall in the hands of Rome... because Rabbi Yehuda said: Ben David will not come until the wicked Roman kingdom will spread throughout the world for 9 months." It appears that R' Yonatan Eybeshitz had a different version and commentaries on that version - Hashem1.net).

And the commentaries analyzed this and said that since it did not say "Before Ben David will come, the Persians will fall in the hands of the Romans", (but rather, "Ben David will not come until [that time]"), this must be teaching us that even if the endtime has arrived, nevertheless, he will delay until the Persians fall by the hands of the Romans!"

...

And that which we mentioned earlier, that the Mashiah, when he sees that the time (endtime of Redemption) has come, and he's (still) suffering from bad things (sicknesses and hardships), he just needs to wait until the Romans (Christians) will rule over the Persians. And that is what is bothersome to Mashiah: "Builders [- Persians will fall] by the hands of the destroyers [- Romans]?! And Hakadosh Baruch Hu said: "I have a complaint against Cyrus, who transgress My commandment, and that's why they will be punished." Hashem should hasten the Redemption and Salvation and the Redeemer is coming to Zion, Amen.

(Ya'arot Devash, vol.2, the end of Derush 13)


(Incidentally, perhaps, it's possible to find an additional source for this in Rashi on the Gemara in Sanhedrin 98, who explains that before Mashiah comes, the Persian magicians who bother Israel will be destroyed.)

And in recent years, the Kabbalist Rabbi Daniel Zer expressed a few times on this topic that there is a sign that was transmitted to him, that the War of Gog Umagog (apparently, the final stage) is approaching, and that will be [the outcome of] the tensions heating up with Iran. The rabbi said many times that it's mentioned in the words of our sages that the destruction of the world will begin with Paras:

You should know one thing: I have a sign [transmitted] to me that Gog Umagog is close. I spoke in the past about Gog Umagog. When the Gulf War broke out, they said that this was Gog Umagog. I told them all: Understand, the Gemara says and the Midrash says and the Zohar says that there is one sign when Gog Umagog is close. Do you know what the sign is?

The Gemara says that the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash started with Paras, the destruction of the world will begin with Paras. The Zohar and Midrash say that Gog Umagog will begin with Paras.

When it was the Gulf War, I told you: as long as Paras is not in the middle of it, this is not Gog Umagog. Now, pay attention, Paras is starting... The whold world is afraid of Paras. Now it is starting to speak of "wiping Israel off the map"...

from gog1.com, the End of Days site


The head of the Yeshiva of Kabbalists, Harav Hagaon Binayahu Shmueli, Shlit"a, also mentioned the Iranian/Persian cause [of war] a number of times, and said that the Persian threat in its source is supposed to be extremely harsh. However, he hinted in his words that with Hashem's help, with the merit of learning Torah, the evil decrees during the war with Iran will not take place:

You should know that now there are those that are starting to arouse decrees against the nation of Israel, like these Persians. They are waiting when...

"Esav hates Yaakov" - You should know that this is a rule. This is a halacha - Esav hates Yaakov. The nations of the world from time immemmorial and constantly were never able to stand the nation of Israel. The are constantly searching for any way how to destroy us from the world, Has Veshalom. But, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will not let them do so.

However, as they decreed last week, Has Veshalom, to wipe Israel off the map, ... the Zohar says: you should know that Paras is destined to go to Israel, approximately 45 kilometers from Jerusalem (according to the calculation of Parsa'ot of the Zohar). Do you know where that is? That's the area of Dimona - in the area of the atomic furnace[?], and it [Paras] will make - Bar Minan what the Zohar says - a 12-month great war, so much so, that even Mashiah Ben Yosef will be killed [in that war] - so says R' Shimon Bar Yohai. That's how [terrible it will be]. Don't think that these matters are frivolous...

You should know that if one (of the nations) should arise and will want to do this and will start to do this, many of its allied nations will join it. Many allies will join it. (May it be Hashem's will) that there will not be troubles for the nation of Israel, Has Veshalom, [and may it be Hashem's will] that no one should be injured. Any Jewish soul that is injured is a great tragedy for the nation of Israel. It is forbidden to allow one Jew to be injured.

(In the duration of the speech, the rabbi spoke of the advice that is given in this occurrance. To watch the full video from the gog1.com site, click here.)


Anyways, what's apparent now is that we're talking about a war of Iran (who's led by a crazy man, who apparently thinks that he's the messiah of the Muslims) against the U.S. (who's led by another crazy man, that he will capture Iran), and not an Israeli war. (According to the Targum Yonatan Ben Uziel, Israel will stay on the sidelines during the period of the war.) In brief, we're talking about something along the lines of a Gulf War, or as Rabbi Lazer Brody Shlit"a described it: "ה’ יילחם לכן ואתם תחרישון". [Hashem will fight for you and you will remain silent]. The chances are high that the closer the time comes, we'll hear more and more statements about the news of this war and its impact on Israel.

From the interesting statements on the subject of Iran from the end of the month of Kislev, 5766, whether they came from R' Brody Shlit"a or whether the came from the Kabbalist Rav Daniel Zer Shlit"a, it's possible to conclude that it's expected an explosion of nuclear equipment in Iran without any war mixed in.

My friend, R' Yaakov Nathan, brought some of the aforementioned sources and added some sources from Chabad, and added an even deeper explanation regarding why we are waiting for the downfall of Paras/Iran. To read the interesting words (in English,) click here.

To be continued...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dreaming of Mashiah Lately?

Nava has.

Much Hatzlaha to Nava on her new blog - Dreaming of Moshiach

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hashem1.net Updates Geula Status Post

Hashem1.net has updated his Geula status post. It's quite long (and quite good), and I don't know if I'll have the time to translate it like I did last time.
BL"N, I'll try to do so, but it may take some time.
If someone beats me to it, let me know and I'll BL"N post a link to it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Kavod for Gedolei Hador

Halacha Yomit tells you the הלכה. I just link to it.
(See the concluding sentence.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rav Shteinman: Ge'ula Close!

Hashem1.net (in his first post in a while) reports (via the magazine Bikhilah) that Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman said "The awakening of the Jewish world in the Diaspora, as far as we can see, testifies that it is clear that the arrival of Mashiah is close!"

The crowd who heard this was apparently left stunned.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lema'an Tzion Lo Eheshe

It says in Yeshayahu:

לְמַעַן צִיּוֹן לֹא אֶחֱשֶׁה, וּלְמַעַן יְרוּשָׁלִַם לֹא אֶשְׁקוֹט

Both R' Lazer Brody and Akiva of Mystical Paths are talking about the World Pride 2006 conference, party and parade scheduled for this August.

What a Bizayon to the Holy City!

Last year, it was postponed due to the Disengagement (perhaps, the only Zechut the Disengagement had). This year, we need to postpone it indefinitely.

We need to pray, write to the mayor, and pray some more that this event never takes place.

Moslem Cleric Admits to Temples

Arutz Sheva quotes a WorldNetDaily.com article that says that a Muslim cleric was fired from his post after making his views on the existance of the two Temples known.

Yehezkel says in 37:28 regarding the Ge'ula:

וְיָדְעוּ, הַגּוֹיִם, כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה, מְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל--בִּהְיוֹת מִקְדָּשִׁי בְּתוֹכָם, לְעוֹלָם

Only the Bnei Yishma'el deny it. Perhaps, this is where that turns around.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Making Aliya

There are quite a few Aliya blogs out there, but here is one from a friend of mine.
Check out his first post on why he's making Aliya. Hatzlaha Rabba to him and his family!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Zarqawi's Death at 2/3 Mark of War?

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (ימ"ש) was killed by U.S. Forces on June 8, 2006.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 (Hoshana Rabba, 5762 - it was October 8th in U.S. time).
The difference is 4-2/3 years.
4-2/3 years is exactly two-thirds of 7 years.
According to some (see here under the heading "War of Gog Umagog" and also mentioned in Arutz Sheva), the war of Gog Umagog started when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, and is supposed to last 7 years.

What the significance is is not clear. It's just an interesting thought.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Iraq's Nukes vs. Iran's Nukes

Wednesday was the 25th anniversary of the bombing of Iraq's Osirak nuclear plant, which was successfully carried out by Israel's Air Force - guided by the Yad Hashem.

Meanwhile, the international community is throwing a bone to Iran by allowing them to enrich uranium if it agrees to negotiate.

The irony cannot be any more striking.

Hmm. Let's take a look at 2 verses in Yirmiyahu Hanavi.

In Yirmiyahu 51:56, the prophet speaks about the destruction of Bavel (Iraq):

נו כִּי בָא עָלֶיהָ עַל-בָּבֶל, שׁוֹדֵד, וְנִלְכְּדוּ גִּבּוֹרֶיהָ, חִתְּתָה קַשְּׁתוֹתָם: כִּי אֵל גְּמֻלוֹת יְהוָה, שַׁלֵּם יְשַׁלֵּם

56 For the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, their bows are shattered; for the LORD is a God of recompenses, He will surely requite.


And 2 chapters earlier, in Yirmiyahu 49:35, we find this about Eilam (Persia):

לה כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, הִנְנִי שֹׁבֵר אֶת-קֶשֶׁת עֵילָם, רֵאשִׁית, גְּבוּרָתָם
35 Thus saith the LORD of hosts: behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.


The word "bow" (קשת) refers to their main weapon at the time(see Metzudat David on 49:35). Nowadays, what is any country's main weapon (if they possess it)? A nuclear weapon of course.

So we see that Hashem will find a way to destroy Iran's nukes no matter what the international community decides.

(Don't ask about Hoshe'a 1:5 - וְהָיָה, בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא; וְשָׁבַרְתִּי אֶת-קֶשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּעֵמֶק יִזְרְעֶאל - since that verse is clearly only talking about בית יהוא and not meant to be referring to future generations, unlike the other verses in Yirmiyahu which could have multiple meanings.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I've joined Mystical Paths

Akiva of Mystical Paths has graciously asked me to join his blogging team.

Mystical Paths is a great blog that often posts about the Geula, Israel, and Judaism in general from a Kosher Kabbalistic viewpoint. I am by no means a "mystic", but I do often dabble with amulets (just kidding) study halachic works by the Ben Ish Hai and Kaf Hahayim, who many times bring in Kabbalistic sources like the Zohar and Sha'ar Hakavanot into their halachic discussion.

I'll BE"H BL"N cross-post relevant posts on both blogs.