Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We'll Be Redeemed in Nissan Even Without Shibud of All 70 Nations

Image comes from unrv.com. Click to enlarge.


Shir Hashirim Rabba 2:19:


ר' יודן ור' חוניא -
ר' יודן בשם ר' אליעזר בנו של רבי יוסי הגלילי
ור' חוניא בשם ר' אליעזר בן יעקב אומר:
קול דודי הנה זה בא
זה מלך המשיח.
בשעה שהוא אומר לישראל: בחדש הזה אתם נגאלין.
אומרים לו: היאך אנו נגאלין? ולא כבר נשבע הקדוש ברוך הוא שהוא משעבדנו בשבעים אומות?
והוא משיבן שתי תשובות ואומר להם:
אחד מכם גולה לברבריה.
ואחד מכם גולה לסמטריה.
דומה כמו שגליתם כולכם. ולא עוד, אלא שהמלכות הזאת מכתבת טירוניא מכל העולם,
מכל אומה ואומה. כותי אחד, או ברברי אחד, בא ומשעבד בכם. כגון: ששעבדתם בהם כל אומתם, וכאילו נשתעבדתם בשבעים אומות.
ובחדש הזה אתם נגאלין, הדא הוא דכתיב: החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים.

I wanted to post this to show that we are destined to be redeemed during the month of Nissan. And that is really the main reason why I'm posting this post.

However, I got stuck on trying to figure out the names of ברבריה and סמטריה

ברבריה could mean any Barbarian people, which according to Wikipedia in English could really mean anybody. Wikipedia in Hebrew says that Barbarians to ancient Rome refers to either Germanic tribes, Celts, or Slavs.
The other possibility is that it refers to the Berbers, who come from North Africa. Perhaps, Numidia, but Numidia was gone in 46 BCE. However, the Berber people remain.

סמטריה - the רד"ל says is really סרמטיה, which is Sarmatia, which encompassed present-day Poland, Romania, and the Ukraine.
He also gives the Girsa of the Pesikta Rabbati and Yalkut Shimoni, which says Brittania, or Britain. (Interestingly, one of the theories for the historical basis for King Arthur is that the Roman Emporer brought Sarmatians to Britain. But I digress.)

I was thinking:

If סמטריה is really Sarmatia and ברבריה are really Berbers, then it really tells you the two main population centers of Jews in the 19th century, namely, Poland/Russia and North Africa.

Then again,

If Sarmatia should really be Brittania, or Britain, then, by extension, it could mean America and all parts of the British Empire, like Australia, Canada, South Africa, India, etc.
If Barbaria should mean European countries, then this would include France, Germany and Russia.
These are the present-day population centers of Jews outside the Land of Israel.

However, אח"כ ראיתי the footnote in the Buber Edition of Pesikta deRav Kahana, where he is pretty lengthy on the identification of these countries. He comes out that ברבריה is definitely North Africa and if the Girsa is סמטריה, then it is Sarmatia, and quotes the Aruch who describes Barbaria and Sarmatia as אומות בזויין.
The Buber Edition also says that for those Girsa'ot that say בריטניה, it should really be מורטניה, which is the country of Mauritania (which still exists as a country). He brings proofs to this from other places where Barbaria and Mauritania are mentioned together - namely, Yevamot 63b and the Sifri on Ha'azinu. He says that according to one opinion (Mar Zutra) in Sanhedrin 94a, all 10 tribes went to Africa, which could be the explanation of our Midrash.

But, knowing how "Barbaric" the Germans, Poles, and Russians were, I still like my Pshat.

Hodesh Tov to all.

5 Comments:

At Tue Mar 16, 10:19:00 AM 2010, Blogger Nonymous said...

I wonder if this is counter-productive - if chas v'shalom Mashiach does not come this Nissan, then people will feel terrible and lose faith. I know I got my hopes up when you wrote about the Churva shul being rebuilt, and your proclamations about 14th February.

 
At Tue Mar 16, 10:48:00 AM 2010, Blogger yaak said...

1) Despite the title, this post is not saying we will have the Ge'ula this Nissan. Rather, a Nissan.

2) You can check my archives. I never said myself that the Geula will occur at a certain time with certainty. There's always room for misinterpretation and I pretty much always use hedges.

3) Your argument is an old one. I've refuted it many times - often using what has been translated nicely on Israel613.com:

CALCULATING THE DATE OF MASHIACH'S COMING

Making calculations is perfectly acceptable according to many great rabbis of the past, and many did exactly that. For example, according to the Abarbanel, it is only forbidden to make the calculation based upon astrology; however, it is permissible to calculate a date based upon Tanach (Ma’ayeni HaYeshuah 1:2). The Ramban held that the prohibition of the Talmud only applied to earlier generations; now that we are on the eve of redemption, there is no prohibition (Sefer HaGeulah, Ma’amer 4). The Malbim concurs, and provides the following analogy to explain his opinion: The situation is like that of a father and son traveling a long distance. As they start out, the son begins to ask when they will arrive, and of course the father does not answer. However, as they near the town, the son asks the same question, and this time the father readily answers that it is only a short while before they reach their destination. So too it is with us: now that the time is clearly approaching, we cannot help but notice and interpret the signs all around us that tell of the impending geulah ... As the time of the keitz grows nearer, the doubts will become smaller, and at the keitz, all doubts will be removed ... As the time grows closer, the uncertainty recedes in the wake of the increasingly “abounding wisdom” (Introduction to Daniel). The Maggid of Dubno used a similar analogy as well. The Zohar even states that it is not God’s will to reveal the arrival date of the Moshiach, but when the date draws near, even children will be able to make the calculation (Bereishis 118a). According to the Vilna Gaon, there seems to be little problem making the calculation from his commentary, but one who does must promise not to reveal his finding to another: “And from here [what I have just written] you can calculate the time of the Final Redemption if, God forbid, we do not merit [to bring it earlier]; however, I have imposed an oath, in the name of the God of Israel, on the reader of this that he should not reveal it.” (Biur HaGra, Safra D’Tzniusa, Chapter Five)

 
At Tue Mar 16, 07:36:00 PM 2010, Blogger ytba said...

Well, the Brits do have a legend of Gog and Magog. They even feature them in parades, call them "the traditional guardians of the city of London" and even exported the concept of them to Australia (once dominated by Britain) for use as statues to adorn public places.

(I accidentally posted this on the next thread. Sorry for the duplication, and the fact that it won't make any sense there.)

 
At Wed Mar 17, 09:54:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blessings. i am a noahide and have been following the shirat devorah site and this too.
as noahides we too are waiting for redemption, ours will be on isr's merits.Since the holy sages wrote that we were all created for isr's sake.
when every shbt passes by, i will tell myself, 'this is one shbt less for the mosiach to come'.
we all need him and Please G-d, that he is sent now.

 
At Thu Mar 18, 09:44:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Shiloh said...

Anon, the only promise you get is that you won't be destroyed in a flood as per the Torah. All humankind are noahides, big deal. In the early first century this noahide requirement was to enable the pagans to associate with the Jews. To at least reach a level of purity to enable them to begin to learn Torah. Nothing more and nothing less. It's the beginning of the game, not the finish line. Sorry that you have been hood winked into believing this will lead one to the world to come. It is continued to be taught in a way that the rabbi's don't have to deal with you. Go learn Torah and live it to the best of your ability, starting with the 10 Commandments, not the 7 rabbinical commandments. Who do you fear, man or G-d? Tell all your other noachides to wake up.

 

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