Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Has the Time for the Redemption Arrived?

From Harav Ginsburgh’s address to the Derech Chaim Movement Conference, 6th Tishrei 5775:


Has the Time for the Redemption Arrived?

By:
Published: November 10th, 2014




Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, dean of the Yitzhar Yeshivah
Photo Credit: Yitzhar Yeshivah
Can We Calculate the Date of the Final Redemption? The question of when Mashiach will come is one that has accompanied the Jewish People throughout its history, especially during times of exile, war and anti-Semitism. Is there any calculation we can do to help us discover when all this will come to a happy end and Mashiach will finally arrive? In the Bible itself we already find hints to the elusiveness of the date of the final redemption. The sages relate that before his passing, Jacob prophetically saw the date of the final redemption and wanted to reveal it to his sons, saying, “Gather around and I will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days,”[1] however, as soon as he said that, the end was concealed from him and he was not able to reveal it.[2]
Of all Biblical figures, Daniel is the one who stands out the most in his wish to know “the secret end”[3] but, the answer he receives is in the form of a cryptic riddle and he says, “These things are closed and sealed until the time of the end of days.”[4] The sages even warned against trying to calculate the date of the redemption with the sharp statement, “Those who calculate ‘ends’ should breathe their last breath!”[5]

Nonetheless, many great sages throughout Jewish history have occupied themselves with this “dangerous” occupation. An example of a sage who was opposed to such calculations is Maimonides who explains in his writings why it is not necessary to calculate the date of the final redemption, and might even be detrimental to do so, because it encourages false messiahs and may result in dismal disappointment. Nonetheless, in that very same treatise Maimonides offers his own calculation of the date of the final redemption, as if he just couldn’t help himself… From the opposite perspective, knowledge of when the redemption will arrive can be encouraging and strengthen our faith and our anticipation of better times, and can motivate us to make a proactive effort to help it happen more quickly.
Many such predictions of the date of the final Redemption have already been and gone, and we have arrived at the 5775th year since the world’s creation and Mashiach has not yet come. But, if we do things right, this year could be a very auspicious one. It might even be the year of the final redemption!
Generally speaking, there are a number of Kabbalistic and Chassidic writings that claim that there are verses in Exodus that allude to the date of the final redemption. However, particularly remarkable for us this year, is the tradition that Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi (over two centuries ago) said that this verse alludes to this year, 5775.
The verse states, “And out of the one thousand seven hundred and five and seventy [shekels], he made hooks for the pillars; and he covered their tops and banded them.”[6] How does this verse relate to the date of the final redemption?
The way this allusion is deciphered is as follows: the number that appears in the verse, 1775, relates to the millennium that followed the destruction of the Second Temple (which took place in the fourth millennium, in year 3828). The Zohar states clearly that this millennium—years 4000 to 5000—is one thousand years in which the Jewish People is “in the dust.”[7] Adding another 775 years to this calculation, we reach this year, 775 years into the sixth millennium, 5775.
From our position at this stage in time, it becomes clear retroactively how the irregular order of the numbers in the verse are perfectly aligned with our history: first comes “The one thousand”—the first millennium of exile (4000-5000); then “and seven hundred,” another seven centuries until the year 5700 (1939-1940) in which the terrible holocaust began; “and five”—alluding to the five years of the holocaust (5700-5705), which was a time when God concealed His providence for the Jewish People; “and seventy”—these are the seven decades since the holocaust to our present day (5775), which with God’s help should be the year of redemption. All that is left to say is “Amen! May it be God’s will.”
The truth can be said that it is not our custom to occupy ourselves with calculating possible dates for redemption, because we are commanded to “Be sincere with Havayah, your God,” as Rashi interprets, “Walk with Him in sincerity and anticipate Him and do not research the future.”[8] Nonetheless, since such a clear allusion has come our way, we can certainly relate to this allusion to discover what it means to us, and what we can learn from it. In order to do so, we need to look at the original context of the above mentioned verse.
In the verses that precede this verse, Moses gives his account of what he did with the contributions that were donated for building the Tabernacle. Each of the Jewish People gave a coin that weighed one half of a shekel (a Biblical measure of weight), and all the silver that was collected was used in the construction of the Tabernacle. The half shekels of 600,000 people totaled one hundred talents (each talent weighed 3000 shekels) from which the silver sockets for the pillars of the Tabernacle were molded. But, the exact census of Jewish People was 603,550, so there remained another 3550 half shekels, i.e., 1775 shekels, from which Moses made the silver hooks at the top of the pillars and coated the tops of the pillars and their bands, as mentioned in the verse. What is the inner meaning of this?

The number 600,000 symbolizes the wholeness of the Jewish People and therefore was emphasized at the Exodus, at the Giving of the Torah, and at the entry into the Holy Land, which took place while this was the total of the census. From a Kabbalistic perspective, this number reflects the soul roots of the Jewish People throughout history, and even though today there are millions of Jews around the world, thank God, and may there be ever more, nonetheless the basic number remains 600,000 soul-roots, which divide into branches and sub-branches. Jewish souls have a close connection with the Torah, as the Zohar states, “Israel are connected to the Torah and the Torah is connected to God.” Just as there are 600,000 Jewish souls, so too “There are 600,000 letters in the Torah” (יש ששים ריבוא אותיות לתורה), a fact that itself alludes to the connection with the Jewish People, since the initial letters of the Hebrew phrase spell out the name “Israel” (ישראל). So, every Jew has their own letter in the Torah (and this is where Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, drew the inspiration for the wonderful idea of writing a Torah scroll for the entire Jewish People, in which every Jew can buy their own letter.)

But, what about the remainder? Those 3550 remaining souls who we don’t usually pay much attention to? There is an amazing Midrash[9] which relates that when Moses gave his account of how he had made use of all the donations, when he reached this remainder, he couldn’t remember how he had made use of it! Moses was so worried that the skeptics would think that he had desecrated their heartfelt donations by using the silver for his own use, God-forbid, that he was miraculously reminded of how he had used them. 

Moses gave the Torah to the People of Israel and as such he saw in the Torah the letter associated with each Jewish soul, but why did these Jews slip his mind? Rabbi Moshe Sofer (author of the Chatam Sofer, a great teacher of Jewish law) said that those 3550 “surplus” souls don’t have a corresponding letter in the Torah scroll! Can this mean that there are some Jews who have no connection to the Torah and are so distanced from the Torah, that there is no hope for them, God forbid? Although it might seem to be this way from a superficial perspective, contemplating those souls more carefully we discover that when even Moses could not remember how they were connected to the Torah, it was God Himself who reminded Moses where their contribution to the Tabernacle was located. This means that these special souls have a direct connection to God that bypasses the connection with the Torah and can suddenly be revealed in them when God Himself gives them a personal reminder of their Divine soul-root.
When we connect this idea with the fact that the verse that alludes to these souls also alludes to the date of the final redemption, it becomes clear that the secret of the redemption is hidden in those very same Jewish souls!
True, our regular relationship with God flows via the Torah and the commandments, and someone who does not keep the Torah detaches themselves from this veritable lifeline to God—however there is another innate, hidden relationship that manifests in the direct connection between these Jewish souls and God. This unique channel of communication operates even when it bypasses the official relationship via the Torah (this is because the highest and most innate source of Jewish souls is higher than the source of the Torah). This is the relationship that is revealed by Jewish individuals who are suddenly “turned on” to Judaism at some later stage in their lives to become full-fledged ba’alei teshuvah (returnees to God and His Torah). Their souls are “reignited,” as it were, from the point of their most profound connection to God. Once the connection has been reestablished, the individual can begin to nurture their relationship to God via the Torah (a relationship that it is forbidden to abandon!)
The power of these ba’alei teshuvah is that which will arouse and inspire us all and transform us all into ba’alei teshuvah on the public scale and: “The Torah has already promised us that the Jewish People will eventually do teshuvah at the end of their exile and immediately be redeemed.”
This means that this year—5775—is an excellent opportunity for us to bring the redemption. The fact that a calculation of the final date of redemption exists for this year should arouse us to make every deed we do count. In practice, it is our task to take a proactive stance, doing all we can to reach out and “turn on” as many Jews as we can to return to their soul root and, moreover, we need to achieve teshuvah not only on the personal level but also on the public level, in a way that will allow for the Jewish People to conduct a Jewish life in their own land. This is the type of teshuvah that will bring the redemption closer.
So, when will Mashiach come? The calculations allude to this year, with God’s help.
However, Mashiach himself has already answered the enigma more precisely, “Today, if you listen to His word.”[10]
Footnotes:Redemption
  1. Genesis 49:1.
  2. Ibid, Rashi ad loc.
  3. Daniel 12:6.
  4. Ibid vs. 9.
  5. See Sanhedrin 97a.
  6. Exodus 38:28.
  7. See Zohar I 116b.
  8. Deuteronomy 18:13; Rashi ad loc.
  9. Shemot Rabah 51:5;
  10. Tanchuma Pekudei, 7.
(Original links are here or here.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Secret of Jericho

Mechanisms in place can elevate the level of a Jew’s soul. Although it arrived into this world from one level, it can now reach an even higher level.

He can achieve this in two ways: He can mend his emotive constitution, and he can strategize the way he thinks, speaks and acts.

Thought, speech and action are entirely under a person’s control! Changing one’s emotional instincts, in contrast, takes inordinate efforts that cannot be relied upon.

This is why G-d did not command Moses to spy on the Land of Israel. Moses sent spies on his own accord. But before Joshua took the Jews into the Holy Land, that's when G-d commands that he send spies, and then - only that they spy the city of Jericho - not the entire country. Jericho is the key to unlocking Israel!

Why only Jericho and not the entire country?

Spying out Jewish territory implies, at the spiritual level, inspecting one's own self for Torah-true resilience. The Jew's soul is his personal Holy Land. Spying out the entire Jewish land means spying out both one’s temperaments as well as one's behavior. In turn, conquering the Canaanite land means to overhaul the entire terrain, both emotive and behavioral. However, only the conquest of Jericho, one's behavioral component, can be relied on for full control.

This is why G-d commanded that only Jericho be spied out, be investigated to see if one’s own “Jericho” subserves G-d’s wishes. Jericho, which comes from the Hebrew word “odor”, relates to smell; Just as smell affects us, but leaves no imprint, so too thought, speech and action do not reside within us.

These 3 behaviors do not "own" the person. Speech and action certainly can be good or bad, completely under full control. Even a bad thought too, should it arise, can easily and effectively be deflected with a good one. In contrast, a poor emotional response cannot so easily be mastered.

These capabilities or energies derive from an outside - higher - source made available for our use; They are not as integrative with our being as are our emotive facets. We use them to interact, but they are not tightly bound into our constitution. These faculties are tools, as "ropes" to climb with, available at our behest.  They provide us with choice under our full control. We can ascend with these ropes to draw ourselves higher. Other ropes, also of higher source, but of the negative kind, can also be used, only these would take the Jewish soul to a lower than original depth. The choice is either to climb up with them to noble loftiness, or use them to climb lower and deeper into a rut.

To analogize, think of a car. The car will not function unless gas “from the outside” is fed into it. Similarly, our souls access thought, speech and action from available external albeit higher divine sources.

Because of their higher point of derivation, these 3 faculties can raise the level of the soul to guarantee it attains a higher perch from the level it originated from in the first place. Why else was the soul sent down here into the nethermost of all worlds - if not to improve its lot?

(We spoke earlier of sources of divinity, how one is higher than the other - here.)

This is why how a person can better himself; By proper control of his "Jericho" - his thoughts, speech and actions. Like a circus acrobat who swings from rope to rope to reach a higher landing, so too the divine soul, by grabbing on to the right 3 "garments of the soul", can lift itself higher from where it initially stood.

Of course, the corollary of this configuration implies the person can also climb steeply downwards. For just as he can choose to deflect bad thoughts and change bad speech and behavior in favor of good ones, so too, by choosing the 3 garments purveyed by the Bovine Soul, his Divine Soul can be dragged to a level far lower from where it originated.
(adapted from ma'amorim of the Rebbe MH"M)

Open Your Eyes

If we’ve crossed into the Era of Redemption, as the Rebbe announced in 1991, we’re told by the prophet Michah that G-d will show us the most awesome miracles. We’ll SEE these with our very eyes, he says, “אראנו נפלאות”.

Since Redemption is a process and not an event, the degree of revelation we’ll SEE over time shall increase - until Redemption reaches full blossom.

But now, rather early into this era, miracles must be seen not so much with the naked eye but with our mind’s eye.

This most probably is why the Rebbe urged us to “open your eyes” - your mind’s eye.

So, what do we see? We see that Israel once again rose from the ashes, exists, thrives, and stands strong. Moreover, we see how genuine Torah spirit remains the bulwark against the breakdown of social values promoted by secular or "Westernized" elements.

That people speak of this or that that the Prime Minister said or did, or how X and Y reacted to what Z did, may seem like meaningful political chatter, but, if truth be told, all it really does is hinder the pace of revelations, for only Torah and Mitzvot have significant impact on our lives and on the world. Were we able to shut our eyes to political drama and stuff our ears to this inherently futile diversion, we’d much sooner sense the amazing transformation that now chugs along at snail’s pace.

Alas we are but made of human fabric and it’s hard to overhaul our psyches. And this and nothing else is why it seems foolish to expect Moshiach’s full revelation to happen overnight.

The miracles that we will see will come as Nature itself transforms and raises the level of our consciousness to new heights of perception. We’ll see details with better resolution. We’ll see divinity as it is invested in everything around us.

But until then all we can do is look for the signs of Geulah introspectively.

Is that so hard? Not if that’s what the Rebbe wants us to do. He doesn’t expect us to thread elephants into keyholes.

Well then, what do you see now? Do you not see how all of those siding against Israel, like crap in water, are floating to the top? Do you not see how an eddy of murder, torture, mutilation and insanity creates a powerful vaccuum that is sucking all these evil elements into their abysmal annihilation? What’s more, do you not see that Israel, let alone the individual experiences of normal mortality counts, may as well simply folds its arms across her chest and watch how all her enemies that surround her are being flushed down that sewage trap?

Do you not see how every war Israel ever fought abounded in miracles? Do you not see, for example, how Hizbullah, much much more powerful than Hamas, sitting on Israel’s border, is also being sucked away and into the black hole?

The worriers may continue to worry and bite their nails, but those of us that believe in the holy Rebbe’s words, while we do not trivialize the worriers’ worries, for individual sacrifices still mask the final and true redemption, find relief is SEEING and WATCHING how the Era of Ultimate Redemption is forging its way - to make this universe the utopia it was created for in the first place.

Redemptionists Chasing Their Tails

See how they paint their blogs “Redemptionist”. See how they desperately jump on clues when Moshiach will show up. See the breadth of scholarship they apply.

These people cannot get it through their skulls that seeking signs is futile because Moshiach will likely not show up in a bang. The Rambam says the world shall function “ordinarily” in Moshiach’s time (initial period).

Another reason signs never work is because humans are creatures of habit. The passage of time programs people to bide their time, to keep doing what they’re doing. Unless Moshiach parachutes in from outer space they’ll keep chasing their tails looking for that year during which he’ll pop in.

Well hear this sign-seekers: You’ll continue your hungry searching - all while it’s right there in front of you - under your noses! Moshiach already made his appearance! The Moses of the generation has already announced to the Jews the time of their ultimate redemption has begun! He also prophesied "הנה זה משיח בא"!

So for just what aspect of Moshiach are they so hungry in search of? Do they seek the end date of this gradual unfolding of the Redemption period? Are they after the retroactive start date?

Need signs? Then look at the halachic signs of how to identify Moshiach. Now here you have plenty - nay, ALL - signs that the Rebbe qualifies as Moshiach!

They need seek no more. They need to set aside the ego, set aside the smarts, and pour over the Rebbe’s teachings, especially since he invoked the midrash's prophecy, "The time of your Redemption has arrived, humble ones!"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

King Moshiach in Limbo

Even a pessimistic “Redemptionist”, he who rejects a qualified Moshiach candidate, understands we will not know anyhow for certain, until the war with Amalek is waged and the 3rd Temple is built, who Moshiach really is; Only then can we identify him with certitude. That’s according to Rambam.

In 1991 the Rebbe shook the Jewish populace at its core. He said, in effect, that Jews today, in order to bring on the Redemption, “need accept” him (e.g. see here or here).

With their return to the Holy Land, Jews now have a commandment to “choose for themselves a king”. I think the Lubavitcher Rebbe alluded to this very opportunity. Now that we've repossessed the Land of Israel, we become obliged to appoint a king.

However, even if a Jewish king can meet all requirements for being Moshiach, (as per Rambam), including the right pedigree, he does not nor can he behave as king of the Jews - unless Jews first designate him. If no Jewish king preceded him recently, then the people must launch this initiative.

Observant Jews know Chabad (“Lubavitchers”) considers the Rebbe as Moshiach, but the Jewish world at large, observant Jews not affiliated with Chabad, must also proactively participate. They too must recognize and acknowledge the Rebbe, as do Chabad chassidim, otherwise the pace of Redemption shall chug along.

Three commandments pertain to Jews in their land of Israel. The first is to nominate a king. The next two (war with Amalek and 3rd Temple Construction) must follow from the first; Nominating the king is a prerequisite to the other two.

This is what the Rebbe probably meant when he came out with his clarion call in 1991 to his thousands of emissaries, that the last step to take is to “accept him”. In fact, said he, without this step he “cannot” proceed. Moshiach’s mission cannot proceed unless sanctioned by the Jewish people. They must get together on this to move things forward.

Without acquiescing on this issue, even hypothetically, or by letting irrelevancies prevail, Jews hinder the process of Redemption; Moshiach needs Jews to accept his sovereignty!

Some Jews think all they need do is passively wait; They feel no need to contribute. But that’s because they do not yet appreciate the immense potential of their Jewish soul. They don't have time to think outside their box of conveniences.

Alas, most Jews so preoccupy themselves with Politics or Business every day - as if that really determines their Jewish future - for it will be Jewish when all is said and done. As if Jewish spirituality is insignificant ether. Meanwhile, that Jew does not yet “live Moshiach”.

Every single Jew is vital component and every Jew owns the obligation to participate in his King’s nomination.

Yes, there are plenty of Jews (observant with or without a kippah, with or without a beard) who still get thrills like when seated in a new auto, but the observant Messianic-thinking Jew regards this adolescent pleasure empty of adult priorities. The ultimate, he or she knows, is nothing less than Moshiach times; And everything else annoyingly distracts from the significant pleasure of remarkable revelations due when the Era of Redemption is in open bloom.

Eventually, I’m afraid, if not enough Jews embark on the bandwagon of the Rebbe as Moshiach, if critical mass is threatened by indifference, Hashem might tighten the screws to lurch apathetic Jews out of their exile slumber.

All this is NOT to say the Redemption is NOT in progress. On the contrary - we are well into this period that Rambam describes as “the world seeming to operate as usual”.

Sometimes the topic is, say, “Ebola”, another day it might be “ISIS”, or yet another day it might be “the stock market”, that preoccupies the casual, unaware Jew, but that the Redemption is past threshold and that he can accelerate its ultimate agenda (by preoccupying himself with Chassidus, Moshiach and Torah) - he still does not realize. He simply underrates or is ignorant of his own Jewish soul’s SPIRITUAL potential to reconfigure the fabric of this PHYSICAL world.

He does not know his own spirit’s strength. Who’d have thought an atom, 99.9% of which is empty space, could have produced the atom bomb?

The Rebbe first broke the news of the Redemption phenomenon. If we carefully squint to see clearly among the “usual” happenings, we can, in fact, see Redemption unfolding before our very eyes (e.g., here), only the process is in slow gear. Only the popular support of Jews can speed the Redemption’s ultimate revelations to come fast forward.

If only all Jews would, now, cherish the mitzvah to pick a king to rush us into the said utopia.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Ido the Prophet's Mistake

Ido the prophet (Kings 1:13) died an unusual death. G-d told him to avoid food and water in Beit El (a region of idolatry, where he prophesied to King Yerovom). He fell victim to an old man, a false prophet, who caught up with Ido traveling home, inviting Ido to dine with him. The old man duped Ido to believe he too was a prophet and that he now received a prophecy to tell Ido he can dine before taking his long return trip home.

Ido, upon taking to his trail again, encountered a lion that killed him.

Why this story in Tanach? What is its lesson? It teaches that a prophet’s mission cannot be changed by anyone other than he who delivered the prophecy to him in the first place! If Hashem dispatched him, only Hashem could now alter his mission.

The Rebbe of Lubavitch prophesied we have embarked upon the Era of Redemption. That means - for collective Jewry - they are on the road to complete redemption out of exile. It may not appear that way with the giant facade of exile still looming behind our backs, but if we “open our eyes”, we will see Redemption's manifestation unfolding as we breathe. We can begin to recognize the contours and scale of the entire transformation as we behold presently how Good and Evil become clearly demarcated for the whole world to see, and for each person in turn to pick the side he chooses, as the world turns into its new mode of existence. This Jewish New Year of 5775 draws down with it new lights with which to "see" the grand miracles that abound in this new era.

The Rebbe, besides being leader of the generation, is, as Moses was, a prophet. We have a monkey-wrench thrown into the fray (since the 3rd of Tammuz, 5754) that seems to obfuscate Natural and Supernatural aspects as to how they relate to Moshiach himself. But as long as people continue to learn about and understand Messianic issues, even if they deny the Lubavitcher reasoning, they are on the right path. (As the word “Moshiach” itself (משיח) suggests, which also spells out the words “from discourse”, (מִ  שִׂיחַ)).

No prophet can now deny the Rebbe’s mission (one he dreamed of since his childhood and) one he clearly asserted in the early 90’s. The Rebbe, as we Lubavitchers recognize, is King Moshiach. We base this presumption not on hunches but rather on the Rebbe’s own verbal pronouncements.

As the situation now deems, he cannot rule unless enough Jews acknowledge his sovereignty. A Jewish King requires the Jewish nation have a say in the theocratic initiative. May it be the will of Hashem that enough Jews awake from their diaspora slumber to commit to this fantastic turn of history, so we can already dance with Moshiach, bring Jerusalem alive with cheer and watch as Evil dissipates from physical existence and the 3rd Beit Hamikdash is built, when G-d and Jews will once regain universal prominence and nobility.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good Tidings on Your 10-Day "Return Trip" for 5775

You start off the new Jewish year with a 10-day “return trip”, cleaning out your head for the first 10 days of the year; A laundry job on the mind. And what are we if not our minds?

In lieu of fireworks and martinis to greet the new year, we Jews recalibrate our spiritual gauges, recharge our transcendent mindset that will guide us all year long; For the first 10 days of the year we resolve to stay close to Hashem and His Torah whenever we can.

This is why from Tishrei 1 through 10 we recite King David’s Psalm 130, “A Song of Heights”. By invoking this prayer, we call out, and thereby draw down, by force of personal contemplation, from an inner depth that reaches and touches another profundity, the supernal wish, for which He reciprocates with disproportionate revelation.


Wishing every Jew a fabulously redemptive New Jewish Year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The 1st of a 10-Day Trip - Rosh Hashana

The first day of every Jewish new year is a time for the Jewish soul to reflect inwardly. In fact, it is the first of ten consecutive days the Jew devotes to reestablish his bond with Hashem.

To start the year off right, to recharge the soul with divine inspiration to last an entire year, the priority that beckons is to perfuse oneself with a renewed commitment to Hashem. Yom Kippur caps off this 10-day period of “returning to Hashem” (תשובה).

What can תשובה accomplish? In the merit of diving into a new order of magnitude of commitment; Jolting one’s old composure in favor of a new divine insight that deserves attention; For a turnabout of one’s personality - A new dawn projects upon us, such as we never expected. Suddenly an even higher magnitude of insight shines in from Above, so intense as to render the hitherto trivial in comparison.

The legacy promised to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob makes for a beautiful mosaic and the pieces to the puzzle, as the now more keen Jew will assess, are fitting nicely into place. Soon we will be dancing in the streets of Jerusalem with Moshiach clapping us on!

5775 - ... Other Sources

?  אמרי בינה - of the Mittler Rebbe


(But you must read here, to absorb the message.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Inside the 4 Cubits of the Rebbe ...

Dr. Ira Weiss
This is simply fascinating! The longer he talks, the more you want to hear:

See here!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

SMS Message


------ SMS Text ------

Tanya: The world only exists because G-d keeps His light in it.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Fighting the Wars of Hashem

The Rebbe told us
(ש"פ חיי שרה תשנ"ב),
“The one job left to do is to disseminate to the world that King Moshiach already is operating in the world theater!” Already operating - in 1991!

One of Moshiach's jobs is to fight the wars of Hashem. But see how interesting - he's doing just that - single-handedly! Why on his own? Because he wants to show that, while other nations rely - “these on their chariots and those on their steeds” - we need only rely on Hashem.

Jews need not worry any more! They have the anonymous warrior waging chessmate against the enemies.

Everyone knows the proverb that "Moshiach's arrival shall come in breach of expectation". Nobody can predict Moshiach’s modus operandi for revelation because, we know, it will come unexpectedly (בהיסח הדעת).

The “unexpected”, however, cannot remain forever concealed. In the course of present time the unexpected must happen. Elazar Kenig, the Chabad rabbi in Nazareth Elite, concurs with the Rebbe's assertion, that "King Moshiach already is operating in the world theater!

He says: “It would be foolhardy to believe Israel can overcome her security problems as other nations rely, 'these on their chariots and those on their steeds' ‪‬(אלא ברכב ואלא בסוסים).  After all, the enemies of the Holy People, were each soldier merely spit into Israel, could drown Israel, so massive are their numbers."

He reminds us, “During the Persian Gulf War, the Rebbe invoked the Midrash, ‘It is the year in which King Moshiach reveals himself’, and he said, invoking the same Yalkut Shimoni, ‘Jews, have no fear! All that I do - is for your sake.’ Note the words ‘I do’ - that Moshiach is he who actively operates solely here! He started that war! He provoked Saddam Hussein into action. Then he prevented Israel’s participation in the war! Israel was prevented from presuming a consequence of ‘my power and my arm’s might’."

This is Moshiach’s own battle.

By the way, during the Persian Gulf War, amid the turmoil, with Kuwait invaded and overrun, the many enemies of Israel could well have swallowed up little Israel, G-d forbid, had they joined the fight. But the Rebbe handles the plot well.

Rabbi Kenig adds, “King Moshiach defeated the Communist Soviet Union", and this we'll not pursue here, for so many stories abound of the Rebbe's prophecies regarding Soviet Russia. But what more evidence do you need of this when we see Putin so often talking with a Chabad Rabbi and taking his advice as well? Russia is today very Jewish-friendly. Another important pawn as the Rebbe morphs the Diaspora into the Geulah!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

This Ongoing War of Good vs Evil

Soldier reciting שבת Kiddush
As we live concurrently with the Chumash weekly portion of Torah, where this week covers the portion of Vo'eschanan, we cannot forget the last verse (3:22) in the previous portion, Devarim, that left us off with:
"Do not fear them! 
For Hashem, your G-d - it is He Who fights for you!"
לא תיראום כי ה' אלהיכם הוא הנלחם לכם

Hashem, we know, transmits by proxy messengers on Earth to do His bidding, be the messenger an angel, a person, or a set of circumstances. Now, because the bidding is for war, and the period is Redemption, the messenger is a general. With the enemy frightfully close and venomous, the fight must be waged taken to the foe. (Although this general is hard at work, to most Jews he remains anonymous. As for his identity, we'll leave that for another time.)

The more prevalent perspective is a diaspora-conceived one. Here too, in its theatre of play, you have a "leader", where, say Bibi, runs the show.

Simultaneously two worlds function, each on its own level, where one's operation does not interfere with the other's. In fact, the higher world's orchestration also steers the lower world's circumstances unsuspectingly.

Vo'eschanan begins with Moshe telling us he wanted very much to take the Jews into the Era of Ultimate Redemption (for had Moshe stepped into the Holy Land, the  Era of Redemption would have immediately blossomed).  Moshe begged G-d for this favor, to be the redeemer of the redeemed.

He was turned down. Jews would have to wait over 3 millennia for Redemption to finally happen. In our present generation (and we are lucky therefore to be part of it), a Moses of our generation is fighting the Jews' battles. He's doing it on his own. He operates behind the scenes, by himself. Unlike the first Moses, this chief has been granted the privilege to be the redeemer of the redeemed.

Single-handedly he beat back Iraq's 39 Scud missiles during the Persian Gulf War.  He needs no helpers. Nay, he does not want any help. He certainly doesn't want to leave the impression that brains and strength won the day; He wants only that Divine Providence be credited for the victories.

These days we see a wider plan of action coming into play, one that has the world tuned in again, this time with even more diverse appeal and with the most menacing scenarios.

This war has the whole world focused in! No matter what hell breaks loose elsewhere, all eyes remain riveted on that small piece of property hugging the Eastern Mediterranean. Nothing can steal the spotlight from this show called "What's Going On in Israel?"

This war has got to be the final one, the last duel of Good versus Evil.

Iran may become another flashpoint, or some other foe, but focus on Israel will always capture universal appeal, will always remain center stage from now on - for one simple reason: Moshiach touches the lives of everyone, so everyone will have to know of him! Divine Providence will see to that. Everyone is almost forced to tune in or weigh in!

Moshe's overwhelming desire to enter Eretz Yisrael pivoted on his wish to see Jerusalem and the Place of the Holy Temple (Rashi 3:25).

Watch therefore, in our present day, in our present ongoing war, how Jerusalem and Temple Mount issues will be revved up, for Moshiach too, the Moses of our generation, has his eyes set on these two holy entities, which belong to the Jews only.

The war of Hamas is the ultimate fight against Jewish existence. Moshe reminds us in our Torah portion, therefore, who we Jews are and what privileges we have:
"You are a people bonded with Hashem, your G-d, as you are alive today!" (4:4)
ואתם הדבקים בה' אלהיכם חיים כלכם היום

The Jews (and their supporters) will therefore triumph in ultimate victory.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Tisha B'Av - From Condolences to Cheers

Nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans destroyed the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem. Banished from their beloved Land of Israel, Jews were scattered across the globe.

Was this punishment? Yes, superficially, but no, when you look at the destruction of the Temple as a phase in the rebuilding of the 3rd temple. Without the Second Temple's demolition, the Third Temple would be unattainable.

Holiness, should it suffer a decline, suffers the decline for the purpose of achieving thereafter an even higher than original state of holiness. As a prerequisite for this higher level of holiness, the descent is a necessary component, as sure as a seed must first decompose in the earth before it "recovers" and creates a tree.

The first two Temples were built by human hands. The third Holy Temple will be built by God, leaving about 1% of the job for man to finish.

To merit this ultimate, eternal Temple, Jews had to undergo exile for nearly two millennia, which forced upon them a refinement that only an exile, a long one at that, could accomplish. Exile to the Jew has been the smelting process from which he can be extracted in his refined state.

Tisha B'Av for Jews is a day of mourning for on this calendar day both Temples were destroyed (and other Jewish tragedies). But chassidus of the last several generations has given impetus to think positively of the whole mess, to reveal that despite the travails, an ulterior purpose, a good one, is being served.

And therefore Tisha B'Av is also the day the supernal light impregnating this darkness took conception. For on the day of the 2nd Temple's destruction, a higher cause was also put into motion; On that day, Midrash Eichah tells us, Moshiach was born.

(A question arises for those who believe the Rebbe of Lubavitch is Moshiach, for the Rebbe's birth date is different from Tisha B'Av; Here's a resolution of that riddle: link)

This brightest of stars, we began seeing glimmers of its shine breaking through the fog of a turbulent world, at least for those whose eyes are keenly focused to the teachings of our sages and Rebbeim.

This bright floodlight will soon bathe the earth, will raise the earth orders of magnitude in spirituality, will reward people with this new insight, will sweep away evil and will bring the utopia meant for in the first place - may it happen very soon, in our own days.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Heading South - to Help Our Soldiers

We Jewish folk are a special people, with a special land, a special mission (to embrace the Geulah), a special language and a special relationship with The One G-d!  [9 min.]
video

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Rebbe's Tactic for War

Said 32 years ago, the Rebbe tells how to deal with terrorists. Of course, what the Rebbe said then applies just as well today!



(Spoken Yiddish & Hebrew Subtitles.
1 min.)

video

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pictures Media Won't Show of War with Hamas

Note too the "disproportionate" behavior of Israeli soldiers, as compared with those who use children as shields.












Friday, July 18, 2014

Just Look at the Miracles

Just look at the miracles since operation "Cast Lead" until today, or from earlier, since Jewish settlements came under rocket fire by the Arab enemy. After thousands of rockets rained down, which could have left in their wake considerable damage, God forbid, by the grace of Hashem, when the sirens, noise and explosions faded away, all we saw were miracles.

Many rockets the "Iron Dome" smashed in mid-flight. Shrapnel therefrom caused little damage. Many other rockets God's unseen hand "diverted", guiding them to open spaces. Where a few rockets made direct hits, damage was inflicted upon material only, but not upon soul.

Also distinctly unique, we note that some glimmer of broad political favoritism gleamed our way from across the global spectrum.

Too, think about the raids terrorists tried to pull off under the thick of night. In one such move, 13 heavily armed Hamas/Palestinian operatives emerged from a tunnel they dug, the mouth of which opened within the borders of a kibbutz. Then there were nightly terror incursions we stopped that came in from the sea, also under cover of darkness. In Hashem's good, free grace, we nipped all these potential horror scenarios in the bud.

A couple, Chabad emissaries of the Rebbe living in central Israel, wrote to the Rebbe via his Igrot Kodesh. The wife, inasmuch as they had no "security room" available at their present locale, asked whether to move to where her parents live, where they have one. The Rebbe answered (vol. 7:161) "Regarding your question of moving from ... it seems entirely unnecessary ... besides not knowing which place is safer, soon anyways you will have overcome your worries with fear alone. And since fear depends upon one's will, you have the option not to fear at all and instead rely entirely on the good graces of Hashem, may He be blessed, free grace so no anguish shall come of it, God forbid."

We have much to be thankful for to God as He pours upon His people free charity.

The miracles and wonders we see make upon us a reciprocating demand: We need publicize the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach's declaration that "Israel is the safest place". We ought to check our Tefillin, our Mezuzot, if they were last checked long ago; Carry with us a Chitat (Chumash, Tehillim and Tanya - bound in one), as well as a charity box; Fix a charity box on every room wall in the house; Sign up for a letter for every living Jewish soul in a Sefer Torah; and learn about Moshiach, Geulah and the laws concerning the 3rd Temple, out of sheer joy that we are beyond the threshold and into the Era of the Final and Ultimate Redemption of the Jewish people.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Unified Troop of 304,805 Soldiers

This is one way the Rebbe fights for Jews.

video

Thomas Jefferson & "The Book of Jihad"

If you came to this post because its title drew your interest, please read this fascinating piece of American history!

UPDATE;  In light of the above, Joke of the Day 7/30/14 here).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SMS Message


------ SMS Text ------
Rebbe:
"G-d desires and is concerned about the honor of Jewish people more than his own honor!"  We see how much honor, therefore, we must give each other.

G-d bless you.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Definition of HAMAS

I Googled "meaning of Hamas in Arabic".
Found this: "enthusiasm".

Now everyone knows Arabs, or rather Yishmaelites, and Jews go back 6 generations before Moses, when Hagar gave birth to Yishmael. So no wonder many words in Arabic have Hebrew as their source.

Hamas in Hebrew means robbery (Gen. 6:11 - see Rashi). But for Yishmael, the robber, it was more than that. He was enthusiastic about it. He was also a murderer and enthusiastic about that too (Gen. 21:9 - see Rashi). This latter fact the world can easily witness today as Muslims enthusiastically chop off heads, hands, mutilate, torture, hang, kidnap, rape, undermine, ... you get the enthusiastic picture.


So Hamas in Arabic went from meaning "robbery" to meaning "enthusiasm" in the course of time, as a natural progression for its lustful bloodthirst.

This is my conjecture of the lingual "coincidence".

See too:
The Psychology of Islam.

Muslim Hate for the World to See

Remember when Hashem first told Moshe go tell the Jews of Egypt they'll be emancipated? Moshe goes to the Jews, performs a few tricks, and - the people believed him (ויאמן העם).

Then Moshe turns to Pharoah to tell him to let the Jews free. But here he finds a negative response. From now on, says Pharoah, Jews will continue to fabricate bricks, the same quota, only they must find straw for themselves. Pharoah will no longer supply this material.

So the Jews are forced to hunt for straw where they can find it. They spread out over the land searching for straw. When the Egyptians see out their windows Jews prowling in their backyards and fields, they come out and attack the Jews with sickles, chopping off their legs.

The deep hate Egyptians harbored for their Jewish peers now becomes all too obvious.

And, as if no better time to go, Moshe disappears from the scene.

Moshe asks God, why this negative turn of events. Says God, I'll bring upon the Egyptians 10 plagues; They'll complain, saying, why punish us for Pharoah's sin; It is he who enslaved Jews. Why fault us?

Accordingly God set up a situation where the deep-seated hate of Egyptians came clear for all to see. When the 10 plagues arrived, every Egyptian knew exactly why he was being punished.

The 10 plagues and its aftermath visited upon ancient Egypt is also occurring in our days, as the current Era of Ultimate Redemption unfolds.

Rabbi Zimroni Chik of Bat Yam says we see the same phenomenon playing itself out today with the Arabs. The open and unabashed hate is there for the whole world to see. Arabs cannot complain they had nothing to do with it, it was strictly their leader's agenda. The world watches as Muslims behave hideously.

Take, for example, Israeli Arabs. It is plain to see they've long surpassed beyond all bounds the definition of "protest". Hundreds of Arabs, all over Israel, in "protest", have destroyed Israeli infrastructure, attacked cars with rocks and incendiary devices, butchered, kidnapped and lynched soldiers and babies, burned vehicles, grave sites, homes and forests, used knives, slingshots and sniper rifles, falsified pictures and videos, teach their newborn to despise, to commit suicide, etc., all because of their inherent bloodthirsty lust.

Also plain to see, for everyone in the world, how even among themselves, Arabs and Muslims are chopping off heads left and right, torturing, hanging, mutilating, first chance they get.

As they are annihilated, continue to be annihilated, and will be annihilated, these Muslims will know full-well exactly why they got their one-way ticket to Hell.

And God/Israel/Torah shall remain victorious.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Essence of Anti-Semitism

How to Confront Anti-Semitism

If We Don't Grasp the Underlying Cause, We Can't Form a Healthy Response


By: Rabbi YY Jacobson

The Uniqueness of Jew-Hatred

Hatred of the Jew has been universal, permanent and deep (1). Death for the Jews has been desired and plotted by the tyrants of every age. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Caesar, the Turks, the Christians, the Muslims, Stalin, Hitler and almost every great power that ever lived and flourished, defined the Jew as a target for abuse or complete annihilation. Jews have been expelled from nearly every country in which they resided—England, France, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Bohemia, Moravia, Russia, Poland and the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, and of course, from their ancient homeland, Eretz Israel.

Throughout the centuries, many millions of Jews were murdered, including millions of infants and children. The Babylonians and Romans killed three million Jews. The Christians and the Muslims in their Crusades, inquisitions, conversion decrees, blood libels and general religious fervor over a span of 15 centuries slaughtered millions of Jews, often wiping out entire communities. Chmelnitzky and his bandits beheaded 300,000 Polish Jews during 1648-49, while Hitler put to death a third of our people, including one-and-a-half million children. In nearly every country, Jews have, at some time, been subjected to beatings, torture and murder, solely because they were Jewish.

And though many of us thought that the evil of anti-Semitism perished in a post-Auschwitz world, we have been rudely awakened during the last few years as it once again rears its ugly face, particularly among Arab nations and in Europe.

Why such hatred and fear of a people who never constituted more than a small minority? Why did almost every great culture and civilization see us as their ultimate enemy? Are we really such an evil people as to threaten the wellbeing of virtually every civilization for the past 4,000 years? Why is it that otherwise sophisticated and educated men and women of academia are filled with irrational hatred toward Israel for this or that wrong behavior, while ignoring the horrors perpetrated en masse by its Arab neighbors?

Most scholars and historians, including many Jews themselves, choose to view this ongoing obsession not as something uniquely connected to Jews or Judaism, but rather as a multitude of isolated events erupting as a result of distinct circumstances.

For example, why do millions of Arabs hate Jews today? Why are thousands of them inspired to burn Jewish babies alive? Because — the common explanation goes — we are occupiers occupying their country and they yearn for liberation. If Israel would only grant the Arabs independence and hope, the venom would dissipate.

But why did they kill us before the "occupation" of 1967? Why did six Arab countries try to destroy Israel at a time when there were no settlements or settlers? Because, during the War of Independence in 1948 between the newly created State of Israel and its Arab neighbors, hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled their homes and ended up in refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza. The Arabs were seeking to return to their homes inside pre-1967 Israel.

But why did the Arabs initiate this war against Israel in 1948 and thus create, through their own error, the refugee problem? Why did they not accept the United Nations' partition of Palestine and accept the reality of Jewish existence in the Jews' ancient homeland? And why were scores of Jews murdered during the 1920’s and 30’s? For this we must search for another explanation.

The attempt removes the notion of anti-Semitism from anything distinctly Jewish. The Germans, we are told, hated the Jews because they were scapegoats for a depressed economy, and so many Christians wanted the Jews dead because they claimed we killed their god. Stalin murdered Jews because he believed they were capitalists, while Europeans of the Middle Ages were repulsed by the Jew because of his economic success, and on and on.

Yet this approach is unconvincing. To deny that there is a single ultimate cause for all anti-Semitism, to reject that an underlying reason has sparked the hatred of billions of non-Jews for four millennia, contradicts both common sense and history.

Anti-Semitism has existed too long and in too many disparate cultures to tolerate a claim that each culture hated the Jews because of some distinct factor disconnected from being Jewish. To believe that Jew hatred is just another form of racial or religious bigotry, lunacy, ethnic hatred, lack of tolerance, xenophobia, resentment of affluence and professional success, is to turn a blind eye to the core cause of this unique loathing. Of course, various factors may exacerbate anti-Semitism and cause it to erupt at a given time, but these factors do not explain the origin and genesis of this hatred. In “Why the Jews?” Authors Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin put it well: Economic depressions do not account for gas chambers (2).

Haman's Attempt

The famous Purim story, recorded in the biblical Book of Esther and read during the upcoming Purim festival, relates one more attempt made some 2,400 years ago to reduce the Jewish people to a pile of ashes, this time by a Persian minister named Haman.

Haman approached the then-king of Persia, Achashverosh, and offered him a tremendous sum of money in exchange for permission to arrange a "Final Solution." He desired that every member of the Jewish nation, men, women and children, be put to death. The king responded (3): "The money is given to you (Haman), and the nation (of Israel) is yours to do with, as you see fit."

This interaction seems quite understandable to me. Achashverosh, a no less miserable anti-Semite than Haman, happily embraces the idea of a world devoid of Jews. Yet the Talmud apparently feels it necessary to illustrate the situation by means of a parable.

A Mound and a Ditch

Here is the Talmud's parable (4):

"Achashverosh and Haman are compared to two people, one of whom had a mound of dirt in his field, and another one who had a ditch in his field. The owner of the ditch said to himself, 'How I wish the owner of the mound would give me his mound in exchange for money, so that I can fill my ditch.' And the owner of the mound said to himself, 'How I wish the owner of the ditch would sell me the use of his ditch, so that I can remove the mound of dirt from my field and dump it into his ditch.'

"After some time," relates the Talmud, "these two men encountered one another. The owner of the ditch said to the owner of the mound, 'Sell to me your mound!' The owner of the mound responded: 'Please, take it for free.'"

The Talmudic illustration is clear. Achashverosh is compared to the owner of the mound—the mound being a metaphor for the Jewish people who lived under his rule. He desperately seeks to get rid of it. Haman is seen as the owner of the ditch, eagerly attempting to obtain the mound. When Haman offers to purchase the "mound" for money, Achashverosh gladly gives it to him for no payment at all, enthusiastically consenting to the annihilation of the Jews.

But here is the question: Parables quoted in Talmudic literature are never meant as entertainment, but rather as tools to clarify and crystallize an abstract or complex concept. But what is so difficult to understand about a story of two people who despise the Jews with similar intensity and eagerly cooperate to destroy them? Why do we need a parable about a mound and a ditch to clarify the situation between Haman and Achashverosh (5)?

And even if there is some difficulty in understanding what transpired between Haman and Achashverosh, how is it explained by means of this seemingly simple and superficial parable of a mound and a ditch?

What is more, the parable doesn't even fit the story it is attempting to illustrate. In the parable, the owner of the mound is seeking to dispose of his mound while the owner of the ditch craves to obtain the mound and fill his ditch with it. In the actual story, however, both the owner of the "mound," Achashverosh, as well as the owner of the "ditch," Haman, wish to dispose of the "mound" — the Jewish people — and get rid of it completely. You can't fill a ditch with a mound that you crave to annihilate (6)!

Two Layers of Anti-Semitism

What the Talmud is really attempting to convey via this parable is an answer to the question we raised at the onset of this essay: Why, nearly always and nearly everywhere, have Jews been hated? Why did Haman crave to kill every single Jew, down to an infant? Why would King Achashverosh be so eager to purge his country from all Jews? What have the Jews really done to attract such profound universal animosity?

It is this question — perhaps one of the great questions of history — that the Talmud is attempting to confront in this little passage.

Anti-Semitism, the Talmud is telling us, is multilayered; it contains a "body" and a "soul." The "body," or the outer, external layer of anti-Semitism personified by Achashverosh, sees Jews as a "mound." The inner, deeper and more complex layer of anti-Semitism personified by Haman views the Jew as the cause of a universal "ditch."

The external layer of anti-Semitism, harbored by many non-Jews throughout history, sees the Jew as a stranger in world history, a foreign creep, a "mound" that obstructs one’s free movement and enjoyment in his orchard. The Jew somehow “irks” him—and he is not even sure why. This Jew hater feels uncomfortable with the presence of the Jew. The Jew is a mount which does not belong here. The Jew may attempt to do everything possible to assuage the annoyance the anti-Semite feels toward him; he may sell himself, his soul, his people and his values, but it is usually to no avail: As long as the Jew is alive, he will remain, in many a non-Jewish eye, an irritable, cumbersome "mound." (6*)

But why? Why can’t they just see us as another ethnic group doing its own thing? This crude outer shell, or "body," of anti-Semitism, is born of a deeper and subtler space within the non-Jewish consciousness. Jewish existence opened a "ditch," a vacuum, in the heart of the human race, and every non-Jew, in one way or another, is aware of this inner void, causing him to look at the Jew either with admiration and affection, or with hate and repulsion, or with a mixture of the two.

Confronting a Ballad of Eternity

"What is the meaning," asks the Talmud, "of the term Mount Sinai? Sinai, in Hebrew, means hatred. Sinai is the mountain that gave birth to Jew-hatred." (Talmud Tractate Shabbat (7)).

Some 3,400 years ago, at the foot of a lone mountain, the Jewish people received a gift that transformed their life and destiny for eternity. No matter whether religious, secular or assimilated, that moment imbued Jewish life with a unique richness and nobility. The gift of Torah inculcated Jewish life with tremendous moral and spiritual responsibility, but it simultaneously granted the Jewish mind, the Jewish family and the Jewish community — rich and poor alike — a taste of heaven. The day to day life of the Jew became imbued with a depth of meaning and sense of purpose born of an appreciation of the Divine present in the heart of life, love, family, pain, values and money.

When the non-Jew encounters the Jew, he is, consciously or subconsciously, struck by a grandeur of spirit, a depth of living, a resonance of eternity and an echo of the Divine that is not easily described but very palpable. There is something about the Jew and Judaism that is larger than life and the non-Jew feels it, sometimes more acutely than the Jew.

The Jewish presence, challenging the world with a call from the infinite living moral G-d, opened a hole, a "ditch," a mental and emotional void, in the heart of humanity, craving the fullness and richness of life that the Torah has given the Jew. The Jewish people opened a profound wound in the civilization, causing it to wonder if the focus on the physical aspect of life was ultimately meaningless.

The non-Jewish response to this "ditch" exposed by the Jewish presence came—and still comes—in two different forms.

Many non-Jews, from various religions and cultures, responded by elevating their lifestyles to a higher plateau. They saw the Jew and his Jewishness as a model which they can, in their own way, emulate. They assuaged the feelings of emptiness by creating a life and value system grounded on the Torah's weltanschauung. The American nation is a great example of that. Founded on the Judaic ethic of respecting the liberty and individuality of every human being formed in the image of G-d, most of the Founding Fathers and so many of its citizens were and are authentic philo-Semites, cherishing and celebrating the Jew and his Jewishness.

John Adams wrote, "I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation." He wrote as a Christian, but added that even if he were an atheist and believed in chance, "I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization (8)."

Leo Tolstoy wrote: "The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire, and has illuminated with it the entire world. The Jew is the religious source, spring and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have drawn their beliefs and their religions."(8*)

This path, though, requires extraordinary discipline and sacrifice. Living with the G-d of the Torah is a tremendous burden. It demands that one challenge his or her ego, laziness and selfishness on a daily basis; it requires one to surrender many instincts, cravings, lusts and natural dispositions. It is rewarding and fulfilling, but not easy.

Sadly, most non-Jewish cultures and civilizations in the past opted for an easier and more instinctive method through which to "fill" their mental and psychological "ditch": Rid the world of the Jew, they said, and the void will be gone.

This is the "soul," or the deeper, spiritual layer, of anti-Semitism, engendered by the very existence of the Jew—it is a resentment and hostility directed toward the cause of a profound emptiness in life. Adolf Hitler once remarked that his mission in life was to "destroy the tyrannical G-d of the Jews" and His "life-denying Ten Commandments (9)."

This, parenthetically, means that anti-Semitism is not only a "Jewish problem," it is a disaster for every moral and decent non-Jew as well. "Watch how a nation, religion, a political movement treats Jews, and you have an early and deadly accurate picture of that group's intention toward others. Anti-Semites wish to destroy the perceived embodiment of that higher call to the good, the Jews. But they do not hate the Jews alone. They hate whatever and whoever represents a higher value, a moral challenge (2)." Anti-Semites begin with the Jews, but they never end with the Jews alone.

Haman's Rage

Not all anti-Semites were aware of the "soul" of their hatred. Some, like Achashverosh, were only cognizant of the "body" component of their Jew hatred, seeing the Jew as a "mound" that disturbs and obstructs. They were unaware of the underlying drives behind their hatred.

Haman, on the other hand, was aware of this truth. He understood that he despised the Jews because they generated a "ditch" in the depth of his heart. That is why when the entire Persian elite bowed to Haman daily, with the exclusion of one Jewish rabbi, Mordechai, the Bible tells us (10) that Haman "was filled with rage."

Why? Imagine thousands of people prostrating themselves before you on a daily basis, except one old ultra-religious man with a white beard. Big deal! Why was Haman so perturbed by the sight of one obstinate Jew not falling on his knees to worship him?

Because Haman, in a very deep place, knew that Mordechai had it right. Mordechai's behavior resonated in Haman's inner heart. It exposed the truth that Haman was not a demi-god.

He thus approached Achashverosh and said: I have a ditch in my heart, which I cannot bear anymore. I must rid the world from its Jewish presence. Achashverosh, a far less intelligent and complex person, responded: Great! The Jews, for some reason or another, always irked me regardless. I'd be more than happy if you can remove this cursed mound from my presence.

The Conclusions

One of the many conclusions of the aforementioned idea is this. Appeasing and trying to bend over backwards to those who hate us will not supplant their hate with love. The animosity stems from too deep a place for it to be transformed through money or appeasement. It may be hard for us to accept, but the real Jew hater is driven by forces that are deeply powerful, as for him the Jew disturbs the core of his existence.

We can bend over backwards, but it will not change a thing. We can shorten our noses, we can assimilate, we can compromise—yet as long as we are alive, the anti-Semite will remain restless. There is nothing we can do or not do to change the anti-Semite. It is the anti-Semite who must change himself. It is he who must learn that as long as he lives with hate, he will deprive himself and his loved ones from a life of true happiness and nobility.

The proper method of dealing with Jew-hatred in all of its manifestations is not to attempt to eclipse or deny one's Jewishness and the unique role of the Jewish people in history. The gentile, instinctively and accurately, feels the "otherness" of the Jew; the non-Jew innately senses the holiness embedded within the Jewish soul. When the Jew denies this holiness, when the Jew, embarrassed by his Judaism, tells the world, "I am just like you," the non-Jew senses a lie, a secret conspiracy, and he despises the Jew even more. The world will forever dislike Jews who dislike themselves.

What can we do about anti-Semitism? We can and must stand guard against it. We must protect ourselves in every possible way. We must fight the hatred with unwavering determination, resolve, dignity and purpose. We must never duck or show weakness, which only intoxicates our haters into thinking they might prevail. We must never be ashamed with who we are and what stand for, as it is not our evil triggering the animosity; it is our goodness and holiness which drives our haters mad.

Most importantly, our primary and eternal hope remains in our relationship with G-d, the sole Master of the universe. As long as we are connected with the core of all reality, our existence is guaranteed.

That is why, when Mordechei and queen Esther learnt of Haman's decree, the first thing they did was engage in fasting, prayer, repentance and good deeds. Only after three days of fasting and introspection, did Esther use her position as the beautiful wife of the king and attempt to influence him, in the midst of a drinking party, to obliterate the decree against the Jews. Now, if Esther wished to impress her husband, she should have gone to a beauty-parlor not fast for three days!

The answer is, that Esther knew, as every Jew knows deep down in his heart, that salvation will not come from a man who sees the Jews as an eternal "mound." Salvation will come from G-d. Therefore, the first and foremost objective is to strengthen her relationship with G-d. Only afterward, are we called to follow the course of nature and attempt to influence world leaders to help secure the survival of the Jewish people.

Once we have secured our relationship with G-d, through the Torah and its Mitzvos, can we hope that G-d will manipulate the hearts of the Jew-haters to assist rather than destroy the Jews.

When the non-Jew encounters a Jew who is proud of his otherness, who cherishes and embraces his Jewishness and its unique role in history, more often than not the non-Jew is overtaken by sense of admiration and respect; he can begin to appreciate the Jew, learn from him and adore him. (11).

1) For a comprehensive discussion of this subject, the history and dynamics of antisemitism, as well as a convincing refutation of many of the popular reasons given for antisemitism, see Why The Jews? (Prager and Telushkin, Simon and Schuster, 1983.)
2) Ibid. p. 21.
3) Esther 3:11
4) Megilah 14a.
5) See Benayahoo to Talmud Megilah ibid. and Chasam Sofer - Toras Moshe L'Purim for their symbolic explanations of this parable.
6) Of course, one may answer that the parable is an imperfect one and it is just here to illustrate the point that the owner of the mound is willing to dispose of his mound without receiving payment. Yet anyone familiar with the Talmudic literature is aware of its extraordinary profundity and meticulousness. It is thus clear, that the comparison between Haman and an owner of a ditch seeking to fill it is precise and meaningful. Yet in the actual story, Haman's role is reversed, seeking to dispose of the mound and not have it remain in his territory?
6*) Perhaps we can add: The Mound represents significance & the dignity that Judaism confers upon all peoples; and that is why as a dictator who wanted to subjugate his populace he couldn't stand the Judaic disciple which affords such tremendous rights to all peoples.
7) Shabbas 89a. See Eyon Yaakov to Ein Yaakov ibid. -- The explanation for anti-Semitism that fallows has been articulated by Maimonidies in Igeres Taiman chapter 1.
8) For an elaborate discussion on this theme, See On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding, (Michael Novak, 2001).
8*) Quoted in Radican Then, Radical Now (Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, London 2000) p. 3 with reference noted there.
9) Quoted in Why The Jews? p. 30, see reference there. Cf Faith After the Holocaust (Eliezer Berkowitz, Ktav, 1973) pp. 114-127, where this point is brilliantly demonstrated.
10) Esther 3:5.
11) This essay is based on a talk by the Lubavitcher Rebbe presented on Purim 1965. (Sichos Kodesh 5725 pp. 444-454.)

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