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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rav Shternbuch Shlit"a on Israeli and World Events and Mashiah

Kikar has the text and an audio of the words Rav Moshe Shternbuch Shlit"a spoke at a speech on Purim (and YWN has a PDF of it too - linked from here).  The following is a summary:

  • He says that newspapers confuse people into thinking that everything that happen in the world happens naturally and that Hashem's hand is not involved at all.  Therefore, look at newspapers only a little to see what is going on, but not so much that you'd think that everything is purely "nature".
  • He bemoans the fact that everyone is up-in-arms about the Draft Law, but no one is protesting the Giyur Law.  It's because to save themselves from jail, they need to protest the Draft Law, but the Giyur Law, which is a protest against Heaven, no one bothers.  This is wrong.
  • Similarly, about those who protest against the non-Jewish graves from the time of Terah and earlier and they go to pray by these graves for mercy, but don't protest the Draft Law or Giyur Law.
  • [YY- Updated the text.  Thanks commenter Jacob.]  There was a big deal made in the world about the capture of Crimea. According to a tradition we have from the Gr"a, this is a sign of the "bells footsteps of Mashiah".  We really don't know what these "bells footsteps of Mashiah" are, but it's definitely a sign that the Geula is close, and perhaps, he means פעמי is like פעמון - it's like a bell to awaken us to prepare for Mashiah.
  • The prerequisite for the coming of Mashiah is the war against Amalek, and in our days, we already in the midst of a war against Amalek, as the government here is Amalek Mamash by chasing after religion and wanting to totally uproot anything that has a semblance of religion, and they found for themselves some Amalekim who dress up as religious people to assist them.  So now, we are in a situation of the prerequisite for the coming of Mashiah.
  • We can now go back to what I first talked about - that if we entrench into our hearts very well on Purim day that HKB"H controls all nature, that would bring a great downfall for Amalek.  Therefore, we should announce all together, "I believe with complete faith that there is no nature or coincidence in the world at all."  Now, that we said this, we dealt a great blow to Amalek since we made an announcement that goes against their opinion that there is no Creator of the world.


The PDF has more info about this:
 והנה פורים הוא זמן שמגלים סודות, ויש אצלי הרבה סודות שלא אוכל לגלותם ולכן אני לא אשתכר, אמנם לפעמים אני משתמש בהיתר של המהרש"א (ב"מ כג:) שפירש את מאמר הגמ' שם שמותר לשנות במסכתא פוריא ואושפיזא שב"פוריא" הכוונה היא שבפורים מותר לומר על עצמו שהוא שיכור אפילו אם למעשה לא השתכר, אבל אני איני מחפש  התרים ואין דעתי נוחה לעשות כן ולכן לא אשקר לומר שאני שיכור. אמנם אע"פ שהבטחתי שלא אגלה סודות מ"מ אני מוכרח לגלות סוד אחד מפני שכבר גילה אותו ר' יצחק חבר זצ"ל תלמידו של ר' חיים וואלזי'נער זצ"ל ששמעו איש מפי איש עד אא"ז הגר"א זיע"א שגילה סוד זה סמוך להסתלקותו - וכה אמר: כאשר תשמעו שהרוסיים כבשו את העיר "קֶרִים" אז תדעו שמתחיל כבר פעמי הגאולה, וכאשר תשמעו שהרוסיים הגיעו לעיר קונסטנטינופול (הלא היא איסטנבול שבטורקיה דהיום הזה) אז כבר תלבשו בגדי שבת ואל תפשיטו אותם כיון שבכל רגע המשיח עומד לבוא, עכ"ד.

 גילוי פעמי משיח בזמנינו 

והנה בשבוע האחרון הרוסים כבשו את העיר "קֶרִים" ובכל העולם ישנו רעש גדול סביב לזה, ולפי המסורת שיש בידינו מאא"ז הגר"א זיע"א הרי זהו סימן ל"פעמי משיח", והן אמת שאין אנחנו יודעים בדיוק מהו הכוונה "פעמי משיח", אבל וודאי שזהו סימן לגאולה הקרובה, ואפשר שכוונתו שזהו כמו "פעמון" שמעורר אותנו להתכונן לביאת המשיח

We see that this tradition that the Russian capture of Crimea is a sign of the "bells of Mashiah" comes from the Gr"a ZY"A, who revealed it close to his death to Rav Hayim Volozhin ZT"L, who revealed it to Rav Yitzhak Haver ZT"L.

I'm a little unsure on why it's called עיר - a city - while it's really a peninsula. One small issue, but this is pretty big.


I just noticed that Rav Fish from this week has this too and wrote the wording slightly differently:

The Gr"a before he died, said to the Rada"l (Rav David Luria) ZT"L:

"On the day that the Russians will overpower the country of Crimea, and especially the great fortification of Kerch, look for the foot of Mashiah."

Rav Fish notes that the first place the Russians took over was Kerch.


At Wed Mar 19, 03:13:00 PM 2014, Blogger Jacob said...

A couple points here:

1) The Vilna Gaon zt"l was lying on his death bed in 1797, a full 14 years after the Russian Empire had already annexed Crimea. I wonder, then, what he meant when he said, "When you hear (i.e. in the future) that the Russians conquer Crimea...".

2) The last part of the statement implies that the real culmination of Mashiah is when the Russians conquer Constantinople (Istanbul). If I were a Jew living in 1878, the Vilna Gaon "sod" would have been huge news, as the Russian army's advance during the Russo-Turkish war brought it to Constantinople's footstep at Yesilkoy, before a peace treaty was signed drawing the border lines much further North. But I'm just not sure, given today's geopolitical climate, how a Russian invasion and conquest of Turkey fits in to a realistic scenario. Perhaps as a retaliation against NATO? I wouldn't put anything past Putin, but it does sound pretty far-fetched.

At Wed Mar 19, 03:26:00 PM 2014, Blogger yaak said...


Interesting on your #1. Good question - maybe a second invasion? I don't know.

The second part of the statement seemed to be more famous and not much of a Sod, as I've blogged before here, here, here, and elsewhere.

Rav Fish from last week also mentioned it (p. 26) and said that it comes from the book "Orchot Rabbeinu" of the Steipler, and that the Steipler explained that the idea is that they would capture the place.

At Wed Mar 19, 04:40:00 PM 2014, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Could the bell of Mashiach have anything to do with the fact that we just began ninth month in accordance to the count of the Ba'al Kerry? The first mention of prisoner releases in exchange for a pieces process was in an A-7 article dated on the 14th of Av 5773. So we began the 9th month during Purim.

At Wed Mar 19, 04:40:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gra ztzl seems very cryptic in his references on tne time and way geulah ie mby and mbd will commence There are no exact refrences to the zman except in his sefer even shleimah gogumagog during succot hoshanah rabah and geulah in nissan. Im hoping though these are refrences too "opportune Zmanim" for gogumagog and the keitz . The graztzl and ramchal are full of refrences to the mixed multitude erev rav erev zeir , its very confusing because in every community of jews there is erev rav and zeir trying to be the rosh of the jews . The zohar says the mixed multitude will lead us before the keitz " its heal has become its head ".

At Wed Mar 19, 05:07:00 PM 2014, Blogger Jacob said...


Thanks for those references. As for the GR"A's statement, I tend to agree with the Brisker Rov that it was only applicable in his time.

Also, regarding why it is referred to as a "city", it seems the peninsula got its name from the ancient city of Krym, (Eski Qirim in Turkic), known today as Staryi Krym.

As an aside, the Wiki page linked above points to the fact the etymology of the name comes from the old Turkic word Qir meaning mountain ridge, steppe or edge (since the city sits along the Crimean Mountain range), which quite likely is related to the Hebrew קיר.

At Wed Mar 19, 05:09:00 PM 2014, Blogger Jacob said...

sorry - the Wiki page is here -

At Wed Mar 19, 05:18:00 PM 2014, Blogger yaak said...


Thanks for that Wiki page. That helps explain it.

Re: the Brisker Rov, we only have a reference to what he said about the Russian ships statement, but not about the Crimea statement. If, like you mentioned, the Gr"a said this statement while Crimea was already a part of Russia, we have no choice but to assume that it was meant for later generations. It didn't occur when the Soviets took it over after the White Army lost to the Red Army. So, now would be a good time.

At Wed Mar 19, 05:28:00 PM 2014, Blogger Jacob said...

Ture. But the way R' Sternbuch put it, both statements were presented as one package. You can't just selectively accept the part that fits the times and then ignore the part that doesn't.

That's just my take.

At Wed Mar 19, 05:39:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

too cryptic for me this refrence to russia conquering some pinninsulah = bells of mashiach . what on earth does one have to do with the other ? The gra hid a lot , wondering what he saw that connected events . As far as calling russia amalak , no , he said germania was amalak , russia is yavan . Maybe this ties up with yechezkials vision of gogumagog where yavan = russia has zchut in this war for covering up his father Noach who when drunk was molested by his son cham . Edom =vatican /italy , amalak/germania russia /yavan , america a hybrid of all 3 .

At Wed Mar 19, 05:58:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cham amalak =288 these sparks are mainly in northamerica where amalak and chams reshaime dwell . Many in cham are good but like bnei yisrael were overly influenced by our rotten apples and even make them rabbis ?!

At Wed Mar 19, 06:14:00 PM 2014, Blogger yaak said...

I just noticed that Rav Fish this week has this statement, and only slightly different. I will post an update.

At Wed Mar 19, 06:23:00 PM 2014, Blogger yaak said...

Update posted. It seems that the city referred to is Kerch.

At Wed Mar 19, 06:29:00 PM 2014, Blogger yaak said...

One may ask how the Gr"a could have talked to the Rada"l when the Rada"l was born a year after the Gr"a died.

I have no idea.

I wonder if there is a mistake, and perhaps, he meant Rav Chaim Volozhin told this to the Rada"l, and Rav Isaac Hever heard it. Just a guess. Or the Rada"l is not involved at all.

At Wed Mar 19, 06:50:00 PM 2014, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

A Russian conquest of Istanbul makes sense because it gives them, Russia, access to the Mediterranean Sea without asking the Turks permission to have access through the Bosporus. Yet, this would only happen once the "War" was in full swing. If the West continues their wimpy response lead by the Obmamanable One, the Russians will have no reason to conquer Istanbul until something causes the West to actually resist. But take note that on Shushan Purim we entered the "9th month" of the Ba'al Kerry's 9 months of negotiations characterized by 4x (26)(HaShem) prisoner releases. The fact that the beginning of the 9th month and the Crimea referendum were on the exact same date is highly irregular to be just a coincidence. Did I even use the word coincidence? It is if someone rolled some dice (lots), and it came up snake eyes ten times in a row. Yea, the 9th month ends on Seder night for the 266 day count. Keep in mind that these "negotiations" have not really been with Abbas. They have been with the Ba'al Kerry. On the 14th of Av 5773 it appeared that the Ba'al Kerry was originally mulling over a release of 82 murderers. He jacked it up to 4x26 murderers the following week for "unknown" reasons.

At Wed Mar 19, 10:33:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 1st night of pesach in the arizls shaar hakavanot is binah . The wine is binah . Dov bear 266 night count on the 15th of Nissan is our number ! Binah the kabbalists call sg =63 its milui inner number is lz =37 its ribuah extension is =166 together is 266. The strong force of binah The Zohar calls the mother bird also a reference to the great eagle Moses. interesting pie =3.14159265 159 means it will always be "My ways are not your ways " for 160 =tzelem , 159 means even after mashiach comes and yes eventually dies we will never be the 160 after pie / Shadai . The next 3 digits are 265 .200 is the ribuah of Elokime ie extension + Adny =65 . These 2 names are from the left column of the tree of knowledge and have tikkun through our actions , "Talmud Torah keneged Kulam ".

At Wed Mar 19, 10:43:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yaak forgive me im the above anonymous , was trying to show correlations . I wish the arizls number system on how shemot and the tree of knowledge works wasn't so advanced ! its a real shame that kabbalah has been put in the hands of robbers . I respect rabbi Ginsburg shlita for attempting to teach it , his chachmah in torah and wisdom is great bli ayin harah . Its really a beautiful system the gra ramchal abir Yaakov say if you have yirat shamayim you should taste the ramak in or neviime says if you don't have fear of heaven its the orlah foreskin that hasn't been pealed back uggggg.

At Thu Mar 20, 07:07:00 AM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Yaakov and everyone - given that sometimes the simplest explanation might be best, I ask, concerning the "ringing bells of Mashiach": Do you think it might be Mashiach, as it were, ringing the doorbell? And we have to answer?

I don't know whether people had doorbells in the Gr"a's time, but that wouldn't make any difference if it were a prophecy now coming to pass in terms we understand.

CDG, Yerushalayim

At Thu Mar 20, 09:19:00 AM 2014, Blogger Jacob said...

Very simply, the word פעמי in that context most likely should be translated as footsteps rather than bells (as in Shir Hashirim 7:2 מַה-יָּפוּ פְעָמַיִךְ בַּנְּעָלִים). Other versions of that story of the Gr"a records the phrase as רגלי משיח rather than פעמי משיח.

At Thu Mar 20, 09:51:00 AM 2014, Blogger yaak said...


You're probably right as to the original. But in Rav Shternbuch's explanation of the phrase, he clearly means "bells".

At Thu Mar 20, 10:46:00 AM 2014, Blogger yaak said...

Thanks. I updated the post with the latest translation.

At Thu Mar 20, 02:30:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would just like to add here that Amaleik really means the one(s) who want to eradicate the Jewish people (physically & spiritually). In every generation Amaleik rises to try and exterminate us, c'v. There are amaleikim all around us from every nation, etc. (also, they are doubters who doubt Hashem is watching over us, His people. raizy
Would also like to add, maybe the 'bells' refer to the 'bells' that the Kohanim wore at the bottom of their Robes.

At Thu Mar 20, 11:05:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moldova fears they are next. Then, continuing south, comes Romania, with its port city Constanta.

At Fri Mar 21, 01:19:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know where this statement of the Gra is printed. I mean in a sefer of the gra or his talmidim?

At Fri Mar 21, 01:55:00 PM 2014, Blogger yaak said...

It's not printed anywhere as it is apparently a "Sod".

The statement about the Russian ships crossing the Bosporus" is only printed later in "Hevlei Mashiah Bizmaneinu" and in Orchot Rabbeinu of the Steipler. I don't think there is an earlier source since this was also an Ish Mipi Ish statement.

At Mon Mar 24, 03:19:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand corrected russia is yafet not yavan . yafet helped cover noah after cham castrated him . what the hell is that all adbout castrating ones own father . I guess he had issues . Whats troubling cham has 2 letters for mashiach like shem yafet only 1 letter .

At Mon Mar 24, 04:05:00 PM 2014, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Russia is huge, from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. I believe there are 8 or 10 time zones in Russia. It encompasses three of the ancient Yafetic nations: Meshech in Europe, Tuval in Western Asia east of the Urals, and Magog in the Central Siberia and the Far East. The ancient Magogites (Mongols) went everywhere and almost conquered the world once or twice. They conquered China in the 12th or 13th Century. And they sent tribes into the American Southwest, the Navajo and the Apache. When Yechezkel speaks of Meshech and Tuval, he is speaking of Russia. When he speaks of Magog, he might be speaking of Russia, or he might be speaking about the United States or even China.


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