Paris Terror - 621 Years Later
The horrific attacks in Paris will be remembered by the brutality of its perpetrators - namely, ISIS. In Hebrew, ISIS is דאע"ש, which is the gematria of והוא יהיה פרא אדם plus the kollel (said in the name of Rav Mazuz Shlit"a). I stand in complete solidarity with the people of Paris at this time and the continuation of this post in no way minimizes that.
But there must be a cause for such an attack. Not to justify the attack, חס ושלום, but there must have been a spiritual cause in Heaven that would bring about the attack. I am not G-d and I don't pretend to be G-d, but I try to understand His ways in the best way I can. If you are not a fan of theodicy, then don't read on or else take what I have to say with a grain of salt.
Rav Lior Shlit"a connected it to France's role in the Holocaust. The usual suspects are being Mezalzel a great Talmid Hacham in blasting him for his statement. I personally see nothing wrong and everything right with his trying to understand Hashem's ways.
Along those lines, I was thinking that there is perhaps another sin at play here. The sin I refer to is the expulsion of the Jews from Paris and most of France in 1394. The Jews left Paris on November 3rd, 1394, which was Rosh Hodesh Kislev, 5155 (also confirmed here). Paris therefore became judenrein on November 4th, which was the 2nd day of Kislev. 621 years later, Paris suffered a terrorist attack on the 2nd of Kislev, 5776.
Lest one think that ISIS will not suffer for this atrocity, they most certainly will, based on the Mishna in Avot 2:6: על דאטיפת אטיפוך, וסוף מטיפייך יטופון [because you drowned others were you drowned, and eventually, those who drowned you will drown]. Nevertheless, we cannot forget the first part of this statement. One should not mistake HKB"H's attribute of ארך אפים for forgetting the sin. One who sees a bigger picture of history is able to discern a certain level of Mida Keneged Mida. The Parisians kicked out Benei Yisrael. They are therefore punished by being forced to bring in Benei Yishmael, causing havoc and destruction.
Why 621 years? I noticed some interesting gematrias with 621 in GezaGeza:
1) Bereishit 27:25
This is the very first complete phrase found with the gematria of 621 in the Torah, and it comes in Parshat Toledot, the same Torah portion as the attacks. This verse, which contains Yaakov Avinu's bringing the food to Yitzhak Avinu is a major contributor to Edom's downfall.וַיֹּאמֶר, הַגִּשָׁה לִּי וְאֹכְלָה מִצֵּיד בְּנִי--לְמַעַן תְּבָרֶכְךָ, נַפְשִׁי; וַיַּגֶּשׁ-לוֹ, וַיֹּאכַל, וַיָּבֵא לוֹ יַיִן, וַיֵּשְׁתְּ.And he said: 'Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee.' And he brought it near to him, and he did eat; and he brought him wine, and he drank.
2) Yirmiya 49:16:
This verse is part of a series of verses that discuss Edom's downfall. And the very words that equal 621 are "I will bring thee down from thence". Additionally, the first word of this verse contains צרפת backwards (using the idea that ל and ר are interchangeable - see Rashi and Metzudat Tzion on both Yehezkel 19:7 and Iyov 38:32).תִּפְלַצְתְּךָ הִשִּׁיא אֹתָךְ, זְדוֹן לִבֶּךָ, שֹׁכְנִי בְּחַגְוֵי הַסֶּלַע, תֹּפְשִׂי מְרוֹם גִּבְעָה: כִּי-תַגְבִּיהַּ כַּנֶּשֶׁר קִנֶּךָ, מִשָּׁם אוֹרִידְךָ נְאֻם-יְהוָה.Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, even the pride of thy heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill; though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.
3) Ovadia 1:3-4:
Just like the verse in Yirmiya, these verses in Ovadia are referring to the downfall of Edom and are actually quite similar to that verse. Both "Who shall bring me down to the ground?" and "I will bring thee down from thence" separately have the gematria of 621.זְדוֹן לִבְּךָ הִשִּׁיאֶךָ, שֹׁכְנִי בְחַגְוֵי-סֶלַע מְרוֹם שִׁבְתּוֹ; אֹמֵר בְּלִבּוֹ, מִי יוֹרִדֵנִי אָרֶץ.The pride of thy heart hath beguiled thee, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, thy habitation on high; that sayest in thy heart: 'Who shall bring me down to the ground?'
אִם-תַּגְבִּיהַּ כַּנֶּשֶׁר, וְאִם-בֵּין כּוֹכָבִים שִׂים קִנֶּךָ--מִשָּׁם אוֹרִידְךָ, נְאֻם-יְהוָה.
Though thou make thy nest as high as the eagle, and though thou set it among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.
4) Yeshaya 2:4:
We hope that 621 (the gematria of "nation shall not lift up sword against nation") years after Paris' sin, when Edom and Yishmael will both fall in this upcoming war, it will be the war to end all wars - for real this time.וְשָׁפַט בֵּין הַגּוֹיִם, וְהוֹכִיחַ לְעַמִּים רַבִּים; וְכִתְּתוּ חַרְבוֹתָם לְאִתִּים, וַחֲנִיתוֹתֵיהֶם לְמַזְמֵרוֹת--לֹא-יִשָּׂא גוֹי אֶל-גּוֹי חֶרֶב, וְלֹא-יִלְמְדוּ עוֹד מִלְחָמָה.And He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
5) Tehillim 3:6:
And as Midrash Shoher Tov says:אֲנִי שָׁכַבְתִּי, וָאִישָׁנָה; הֱקִיצוֹתִי--כִּי יְהוָה יִסְמְכֵנִי.I lay me down, and I sleep; I awake, for the LORD sustaineth me.
"I lay me down" from prophecy, "and I sleep" from Ru'ah Hakodesh, "I awake" via Eliyahu ... "for the LORD sustaineth me" via the King Mashiah.621 is the gematria of "I awake". "I awake" is the beginning of the Final Redemption with the coming of Eliyahu, followed immediately by the coming of Mashiah. After 621 years after the expulsion, the Jewish people will at last wake up and hold our heads high.