Geula-Related Recent Links

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Edom vs. Paras - Is it Happening?

Is the war mentioned in Yoma 10a with Edom vs. Paras - with varying results - upon us?

Daily Wire:

U.S. Senators Push For Direct Military Response Against Iran After U.S. Soldiers Killed In Terror Attack

U.S. Senators pushed for direct military action against Iran on Sunday after news broke that at least three U.S. soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack carried out by an Iranian-backed terrorist group.

U.S. Central Command said in a statement that “three U.S. service members were killed and 25 injured from a one-way attack [Unmanned Aircraft System] that impacted at a base in northeast Jordan, near the Syria border.” Subsequent reporting said that more than 30 U.S. soldiers were injured in the attack.

President Joe Biden said in a separate statement that the attack was “carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”

There was a bipartisan show of support among U.S. senators for the Biden administration to hold Iran directly responsible.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was the most direct in stating what he believes the U.S. should do in response.

“I am calling on the Biden Administration to strike targets of significance inside Iran, not only as reprisal for the killing of our forces, but as deterrence against future aggression,” he said, later adding: “Hit Iran now. Hit them hard.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that Biden’s weakness was “again measured in American lives.”

“We cannot afford to keep responding to this violent aggression with hesitation and half-measures,” he said. “The entire world now watches for signs that the President is finally prepared to exercise American strength to compel Iran to change its behavior. Our enemies are emboldened. And they will remain so until the United States imposes serious, crippling costs – not only on front-line terrorist proxies, but on their Iranian sponsors who wear American blood as a badge of honor.”

“Target Tehran,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), adding that he specifically wanted to see the U.S. target the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the IRGC’s Quds Force (IRGC-QF).

“Joe Biden emboldened Iran for years by tolerating attacks on our troops, bribing the ayatollahs with billions of dollars, and appeasing them to no end,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). “He left our troops as sitting ducks and now three are dead and dozens wounded, sadly as I’ve predicted would happen for months. The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East.”

“Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander-in-chief,” Cotton added.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) posted on X that “Iran must be held accountable.”

“Yesterday’s deadly attack by Iran-backed militants on U.S. troops in Jordan is reprehensible – and part of a broader pattern of Tehran-enabled aggression across the region,” said Michael Bennet (D-CO). “We must work with our allies and partners to counter Iran’s malign influence.”

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NV) said, “Those responsible for this horrific attack must be held accountable.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said that Iran was “blatantly questioning U.S. strength” and that “it must end.”

“This is what happens when an administration abandons peace through strength in favor of appeasing the largest state sponsor of terror in the world,” said Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). “The White House must take immediate action, and in doing so, send a clear message to Iran: those who target our brave men and women in uniform will pay the ultimate price.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said that she would work to “ensure that those responsible for attacks on our military are held accountable.”

“It’s time to reestablish deterrence against Iran with a decisive response to these unacceptable strikes,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

“It is time to act with purpose and resolve in response to attacks that have tragically taken the lives of American service members and injured scores more,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). “We must respond to these repeated attacks by Iran & its proxies by striking directly against Iranian targets & its leadership. The Biden administration’s responses thus far have only invited more attacks. It is time to act swiftly and decisively for the whole world to see.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said “enough is enough” and that it was “time for clear and decisive action, and Iran must be held accountable for the malign activities of its proxies.”

“The President needs to order a clear, lethal and overwhelming response that demonstrates to Iran and to the world that whoever targets our men and women in uniform—or supports these attacks—will face the full might of the U.S. military,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

“Will Pres Biden finally take decisive action against Iran???” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) posted on X.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) wrote: “Mr. President, it is far past time Iran paid the price for its actions.”

“We must hold Iran accountable for all attacks against Americans, including this one,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) wrote on X: “This is a troubling pattern of Iran-backed groups feeling emboldened and we must hold all of those responsible accountable for attacks on the U.S. and our allies.”

 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Haftarat Miketz, 5784

The Haftara of Miketz is quite rarely read.  See this old post from 2010 showing how rare it is.  This is the last time it is read in the 5700s.

The Haftara that is read is the story of the 2 harlots coming to Shelomo Hamelech and both claiming the living baby as her own and the dead baby as the other's.

One could possibly say that this story is also an allegory for the Land of Israel.  The living baby is Eretz Yisrael and the dead baby is the lands of Galut.  The mother of the dead baby is the nations and the mother of the living baby is the Jewish people.  The mother of the dead baby ruined their lands and rendered them dead.  She next put the baby next to the mother of the living baby, signifying the Jews going to Galut.  The mother of the living baby wants her baby back, but the mother of the dead baby is not giving up, signifying the fight over Eretz Yisrael.  Eventually, the decision is to split the living baby - The Two-State Solution.  The mother of the dead baby is all for it, but the mother of the living baby (the Jewish people) reluctantly says that it's better to allow even antagonistic non-Jews to remain in the Land than to split the Land up into two.  

כז  וַיַּעַן הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר, תְּנוּ-לָהּ אֶת-הַיָּלוּד הַחַי, וְהָמֵת, לֹא תְמִיתֻהוּ:  הִיא, אִמּוֹ. 27 Then the king answered and said: 'Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.' 

In the end, the King of kings sees how much we don't want the Land split, so a Bat Kol comes out and says "היא אמו" - she is his mother.  The Land is given solely to the Jewish people.

This story occurred in the beginning of Shelomo Hamelech's reign.  He started his reign in 2924.  That is 2860 years ago.

The gematria of the verse above which includes היא אמו is 2864.  Since we will not be reading this haftara for another 17 years, this year is the closest the gematria of the verse gets to the number of years ago it occurred when it is read.

May we be awarded the full Land of Israel speedily in our days, Amen.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Tanhuma Speaks of our Ahdut Today

 Tanhuma on Lech Lecha:

מה כתיב למעלה מן הענין? וישמע אברהם כי נשבה אחיו, וכי אחיו היה אלא ראה ענותנותו של אברהם אחר אותה מריבה שכתוב ויהי ריב בין רועי מקנה אברם ובין רועי מקנה לוט אף על פי כן היה קורא אותו אחיו דכתיב כי אנשים אחים אנחנו

[Expounding the verse that begins the Convenant Between the Parts: אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה "After these things", we ask:] What does it say before this topic? It says: "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive".  Was Lot really his brother??? [He was his nephew and brother-in-law, but not his brother!!]  Rather, it's teaching us that we should take a look at the humility of Avraham.  After that quarrel where it says, "And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle", and nevertheless, Avraham called him "his brother", as it says, "for we are brethren".
As numerous people have already pointed out, there is an incredible Ahdut in the air that we haven't had in 50 years in Israel.  And this was after a terrible fight between right vs. left and religious vs. non-religious that was going on beforehand.

And just as Avraham was: וירק את חניכיו - he went to battle to free his brother from captivity, similarly, we are going to battle to free our brothers and sisters from captivity.  And just as Avraham was victorious in his mission, with Hashem's help, we will be victorious in our mission.

Another Midrash in Lech Lecha compares the Geula of Lot (who was actually necessary to produce the ancestry of Mashiah) from the 4 kings with the Final Geula:

דבר אחר:

  • ויהי בימי אמרפל מלך שנער, זו בבל.
  • ואריוך מלך אלסר, זה אנטיוכס.
  • כדרלעומר מלך עילם, זה מדי.
  • ותדעל מלך גוים, זו מלכות אדום, שהיא מכתבת טירוניא מכל אומות העולם.

אמר רבי אלעזר בר אבינא: אם ראית מלכיות מתגרות אלו באלו צפה לרגלו של משיח, תדע שכן, שהרי בימי אברהם על ידי שנתגרו המלכיות אלו באלו, באה הגאולה לאברהם.


This Midrash is saying that when we see the superpowers going after each other, we should expect the feet of Mashiah just as there was a Geula for Avraham when the kings battled each other.  (So far, we have US, Chinese, and French ships coming to the Middle East.  Are the Russians next?)

May the Ahdut displayed until now allow for a victory in battle and ultimately and speedily lead to the Final Redemption, Amen.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Year 8 and the 9 Months - Part 2

In Part 1, I noted R' Ari Goldwag's חידוש about year 8 of the 19 year cycle and I noted that the October 7th massacre was at the very end of Tekufat Tamuz, which is also the end of the first trimester of the 9-month "pregnancy".

If we take this a step further, we can say the following:

There is a concept that the holidays of Tishri are compared to a marriage between HKB"H and the Jewish people.  Rosh Hashana is like Eirusin, Yom Kippur is like Nisu'in, and Sukkot is like the 7 days of Sheva Berachot.  We can possibly say that Shemini Atzeret/Simhat Torah is compared to the Yihud of HKB"H and the Jewish people alone (symbolized by the 1 bull brought on that day since קשה עלי פרידתכם).

Let's also take a look at Niddah 31a (translation from Sefaria):
תנו רבנן שלשה חדשים הראשונים תשמיש קשה לאשה וגם קשה לולד אמצעיים קשה לאשה ויפה לולד אחרונים יפה לאשה ויפה לולד שמתוך כך נמצא הולד מלובן ומזורז תנא המשמש מטתו ליום תשעים כאילו שופך דמים מנא ידע אלא אמר אביי משמש והולך (תהלים קטז, ו) ושומר פתאים ה'
§ The Sages taught in a baraita: During the first three months of pregnancy, sexual intercourse is difficult and harmful for the woman and is also difficult for the offspring. During the middle three months, intercourse is difficult for the woman but is beneficial for the offspring. During the last three months, sexual intercourse is beneficial for the woman and beneficial for the offspring; as a result of it the offspring is found to be strong and fair skinned.
The Sages taught in a baraita: With regard to one who engages in intercourse with his wife on the ninetieth day of her pregnancy, it is as though he spills her blood. The Gemara asks: How does one know that it is the ninetieth day of her pregnancy? Rather, Abaye says: One should go ahead and engage in intercourse with his wife even if it might be the ninetieth day, and rely on God to prevent any ensuing harm, as the verse states: “The Lord preserves the simple” (Psalms 116:6).

Rashi says that the 90 days represents ⅓ of the pregnancy.  The Maharsha says that Rashi was not exact since a pregnancy could last 271, 272, or 273 days.  However, if we take Rashi at face value, it's possible to say that Rashi was saying that really ⅓ is exact and the "90th day" that the gemara mentions is not exact, and the gemara meant that the warning "it is as though he spills ... blood" is for having relations the day before ⅓ of the pregnancy is over.  So, if the pregnancy was 273 days, that would make ⅓ of the pregnancy the 91st day - not the 90th day.  וצ"ע.

Tekufat Tamuz started on July 8th - the Shabbat when we read the first of the תלת דפורענותא haftarot, where we read:

ה  בְּטֶרֶם אצורך אֶצָּרְךָ בַבֶּטֶן יְדַעְתִּיךָ, וּבְטֶרֶם תֵּצֵא מֵרֶחֶם הִקְדַּשְׁתִּיךָ:  נָבִיא לַגּוֹיִם, נְתַתִּיךָ.5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.

If this day was the beginning of the "pregnancy", and the 91st day of Tekufat Tamuz was October 7th morning (as a Tekufa lasts 91 days and 7.5 hours), and that was the day of Simhat Torah, the day of Yihud with HKB"H, then כאילו שופך דמים.

(I don't know the reasons behind it.  הנסתרות לה' אלקינו.  I'm just making an observation.)

Abaye was correct in saying that since we didn't know when the "pregnancy" began at the time, we should still celebrate Simhat Torah.  Some merited to have Hashem's protection since שומר פתאים ה'. Others were לא עלינו not so lucky.

We hope that the rest of the "pregnancy" goes better.  The "birth" is also a big question mark.  It seems to be up to us how that goes.

Sanhedrin 98b (emphasis added by me):

שאלו תלמידיו את רבי אלעזר מה יעשה אדם וינצל מחבלו של משיח יעסוק בתורה ובגמילות חסדים

Rabbi Elazar’s students asked Rabbi Elazar: What shall a person do to be spared from the pains preceding the coming of the Messiah? Rabbi Elazar said to them: They shall engage in Torah study and acts of kindness.

May we merit to see the Final Redemption sooner than we think with Hashem's abundant mercy. 

Monday, October 16, 2023

Year 8 and the 9 Months

To help understand R' Ari Goldwag's incredible חידוש about the year we're in, I created this table below.  If you haven't watched his video yet, it's highly recommended.

Yellow for regular years

Cyan for leap years

19 Year Cycle

Year
of
Cycle
Cycle 1Cycle 2Cycle 3Cycle 4Cycle 5
1
5701
1941
5720
1960
5739
1979
5758
1998
5777
2017
2
5702
1942
5721
1961
5740
1980
5759
1999
5778
2018
3
5703
1943
5722
1962
5741
1981
5760
2000
5779
2019
4
5704
1944
5723
1963
5742
1982
5761
2001
5780
2020
5
5705
1945
5724
1964
5743
1983
5762
2002
5781
2021
6
5706
1946
5725
1965
5744
1984
5763
2003
5782
2022
7
5707
1947
5726
1966
5745
1985
5764
2004
5783
2023
8
5708
1948
5727
1967
5746
1986
5765
2005
5784
2024
9
5709
1949
5728
1968
5747
1987
5766
2006
5785
2025
10
5710
1950
5729
1969
5748
1988
5767
2007
5786
2026
11
5711
1951
5730
1970
5749
1989
5768
2008
5787
2027
12
5712
1952
5731
1971
5750
1990
5769
2009
5788
2028
13
5713
1953
5732
1972
5751
1991
5770
2010
5789
2029
14
5714
1954
5733
1973
5752
1992
5771
2011
5790
2030
15
5715
1955
5734
1974
5753
1993
5772
2012
5791
2031
16
5716
1956
5735
1975
5754
1994
5773
2013
5792
2032
17
5717
1957
5736
1976
5755
1995
5774
2014
5793
2033
18
5718
1958
5737
1977
5756
1996
5775
2015
5794
2034
19
5719
1959
5738
1978
5757
1997
5776
2016
5795
2035


Another point that I will make is that October 7th is always (in this and the previous century) the end of Tekufat Tamuz and the beginning of Tekufat Tishri.  This year, since next year is a secular leap year, the Tekufa ended at 9PM on October 7th.  Therefore, Shemini Atzeret, which is when the massacre of Jews took place השם יקום דמם, was the last full day of Tekufat Tamuz.

(As an aside, the last time Shemini Atzeret fell out on the last full day of Tekufat Tamuz was when it fell out on October 6th, 1966, a few months before the Six Day War.)

If the 9 months started at the very beginning of Tekufat Tamuz, and we're beginning to "see the pregnancy" now, there will be an interesting 6 months ahead, when Tekufat Nisan begins right before Rosh Hodesh Nisan. 


Thursday, October 12, 2023

Appropriate Songs for the Matzav









New song:

Thursday, October 05, 2023

5784 and the End of Galut Yishmael

 Covenant Between the Parts:

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר לְאַבְרָם, יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע כִּי-גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָהֶם, וַעֲבָדוּם, וְעִנּוּ אֹתָם--אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת, שָׁנָה.13 And He said unto Abram: 'Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
יד  וְגַם אֶת-הַגּוֹי אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבֹדוּ, דָּן אָנֹכִי; וְאַחֲרֵי-כֵן יֵצְאוּ, בִּרְכֻשׁ גָּדוֹל.14 and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
טו  וְאַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶל-אֲבֹתֶיךָ, בְּשָׁלוֹם:  תִּקָּבֵר, בְּשֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה.15 But thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
טז  וְדוֹר רְבִיעִי, יָשׁוּבוּ הֵנָּה:  כִּי לֹא-שָׁלֵם עֲוֺן הָאֱמֹרִי, עַד-הֵנָּה.16 And in the fourth generation they shall come back hither; for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.'

Each one of these verses shows us something about 5784, as will be explained.

These verses are widely interpreted to refer to the Exodus from Egypt occurring 400 years from Avraham had "seed" - namely the birth of Yitzhak, which is also the 4th generation after they descended to Egypt.

However, there are various Midrashim that say that the Berit Bein Habetarim also refers to future exiles as well. (See Pirkei deRibbi Eliezer 28 and Bereishit Rabba 44:18 as examples of this.)  Note further that the end of this chapter of Pirkei deRibbi Eliezer says that the final exile before Mashiah is that of Yishmael.  (I've discussed Galut Yishmael on this blog in the distant past.  See the links here)

Verse 13

When did Galut Yishmael begin?

Just like our other Galuyot that occurred after Yerushalayim became our capital (i.e. excluding Galut Mitzrayim), which began after Yerushalayim was taken over in a disgraceful way, it makes sense to say that Galut Yishmael began in the same way.

According to Wikipedia:
The Islamization of Jerusalem began in the first year A.H. (623 CE), when Muslims were instructed to face the city while performing their daily prostrations and, according to Muslim religious tradition, Muhammad's night journey and ascension to heaven took place. After 13 years, the direction of prayer was changed to Mecca.

The idea that Islam would choose Yerushalayim and the same spot as the Beit Hamikdash as their target of worship is Replacement Theology 101 (something Yishmael would learn from Esav).  That 13 years later, they decided to turn their backs toward Yerushalayim adds insult to injury.

Note the date that this occurred: 623 CE - exactly 1400 years ago.

The gemara in Sanhedrin 97b brings down a Beraita quoting Ribbi Natan, who speaks of the opinion of "Rabboteinu" (our rabbis), who say that the time period until Mashiah comes is 1400 years. Although that opinion is rejected by Ribbi Natan, it seems that he only rejected it because he doesn't believe in making any calculations for various reasons - not that the calculations are wrong or that Rabboteinu's words were totally incorrect.  This calculation of 1400 years is based on 400 years being a "period" (based on verse 13 above) and the verse that says that the final exile will last "until a time and times and half a time", which tells us to multiply 400 by 3.5, per Rashi on the gemara.  It comes out that if the starting point is the "Islamization of Jerusalem", the 1400 years concludes this year.

(Avid readers of this blog may remember a similar post that I did 4 years ago with a very similar idea but with a slightly different starting point.)

As noted, we only know the 1400 years if we know the 400 years from verse 13.

Verse 14

In 5783, there was an earthquake in Syria and Turkey, killing over 50,000 people and affecting about one sixth of Turkey's population.  We'll see what lays in store in 5784.

Verse 15

Rashi on this verse notes how Avraham was told that he will die at a time that his descendants were either completely righteous or no longer - or not yet - wicked.  Yishmael had done Teshuva at the end of his life (and Esav had not yet acted immorally).  Yishmael doing Teshuva at the end of his life is symbolic of Yishmael doing Teshuva at the end of its world dominion.  

Saudi Arabia, the seat of Ishmaelite power, is on the verge of a peace treaty with Israel.  And although its demands hardly constitute a complete Teshuva, the fact that it is willing to make peace is definitely a form of Teshuva.

Verse 16

Most scientists consider a generation to be about 25 years.  Google searches seem to confirm that number.  That being so, since the State of Israel is in its 76th year, it is now in its 4th "generation".  The creation of the State of Israel has been the biggest chink in the armor of Malchut Yishmael to date.  Will 5784 break it for good?  Israel is on the verge of having the majority of Halachic World Jewry on its land.  Will it happen this year?  Time will tell.

(One more thing about the number 76 is the something I've mentioned previously on this blog - the idea that Rabbeinu Bahye talks about on the verse לִי נָקָם וְשִׁלֵּם, לְעֵת תָּמוּט רַגְלָם: כִּי קָרוֹב יוֹם אֵידָם, וְחָשׁ עֲתִדֹת לָמוֹ - that the word למו (gematria of 76) is a sign and hint to the Redemption.)

I will conclude with the famous Ba'al Haturim at the end of Hayei Sarah:

על פני כל אחיו נפל וסמיך ליה ואלה תולדות יצחק לומר כשיפול ישמעאל באחרית הימים אזי יצמח בן דוד שהוא מתולדות יצחק:
When Yishmael falls at the End of Days, then [Mashiah] Ben David, who comes from Yitzhak, will sprout.