Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ruminations on the Geulah

The Rebbe often told us we need only "open our eyes" to see the Geulah in process.

He meant the same "opening of the eyes" as did Adam and Eve when they ate from the forbidden fruit. "The eyes of both were opened and they realized they were naked." (Gen. 3:7) It did not say, "... they SAW they were naked", but rather " they REALIZED" they were naked. Through their minds' eye they knew they were stripped naked of their virtues. They had one simple commandment to heed and failed the test.

We too must not fail to heed the Rebbe's message - that we have entered the Era of Redemption. Why, you ask, what difference would it make; It'll come when it comes?

That's like asking, "What difference does it make WHO is Moshiach? If it's the Rebbe, fine, but maybe it's someone else; What difference does it make?"

This questioner may as well ask, why does the Rambam bother to give signs and qualifications by which to identify Moshiach? After all, what difference does it make?

The answer is because if we do know who Moshiach is, and if we also know we've crossed the threshold into the Era of Redemption, we are changed human beings. We then feel the urge to anticipate the inevitable greatness about to transpire. We then take to heart all that we do, discuss or think, accordingly, living with Moshiach in the present. It's not just a fact we store away like we'd store away the fact that we ate pizza the other day. No, it would definitely drive us in ways we'd not behave otherwise.

Chassidus came to the world to wake Jews up from their slumber. A new awakening needed to spur them forward. And now we are well on the way. The Torah tells us Moshiach is the ultimate purpose for which the world was created. See Ba'al Haturim (Gen. 1:2) on the words "... God's spirit moved on the water's surface". The beginning of creation had its ultimate purpose in its cross hairs.

We're now 10 generations away from the Ba'al Shem Tov, on the eve of the Earth's new Sabbath millennium. Look around; Feel the momentum. The Jewish people are reawakening. The enemies of Israel are gestating for a downfall.

By knowing who and when, we shift into a new, current perspective.

For example, the scholars among us would jump at the chance of learning Moshiach's Torah. Others would become more positive, enthused to do as Moshiach would want us to do, as Hashem would want us to do - now. Some would bring this awareness to those still in deep slumber.

That, in fact, is the whole idea of Moshiach; The main thing left for Jews to do is - accept Moshiach, because Moshiach, as King, will not impose his reign upon us. He wants us to accept him, under our own volition. This king will not reign unless he has a willing populace. Only then will he lead us collectively and thereby connect us to Hashem by a new order of magnitude, by which the whole world will then be uplifted to a Garden of Eden spirituality and physicality.

One day, when we see a piece of cake on the table, we'll see the real truth of that item - we'll see the actual divine life-force that gives that item its existence.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Who were the Erev Rav? (part 4 of 4)

A few among the Erev Rav, those who stand at the tip of every outcast Jewish movement, most probably have non-Jewish roots! These have been bastardized in foreign nations via some former mixed-marriages, or via sin, by mistake or purposely. But the rest of the Erev Rav are kosher Jewish children. The Jews are being misled through their ignorance. They do not conceive that their misleaders make them lose both worlds.

Both worlds indeed! This very expression is important to remember; Not only the world-to-come are the mislead made to lose, but actually this physical world as well, because, undeniably, when an accumulation of misled Jews reaches a critical mass within the Jewish nation, a new inquisition appears on the scene, a new Haman, where the Jewish nation loses blood. At such times all Jews suffer, including the non-misled, because the latter are also guilty for not having fought the Erev Rav with full vigor and earnestness.

In the outcome, however, genuine Torah-true Jews survive, while the Erev Rav factions entirely perish. Of all sorts of Hellenists in Jewish history, no traces remain. Only those Jews remain who keep tugging the Jewish fiber.

In our days [1942], everyone knows very well that again a horrifying "ביעור חמץ", "burning of the leaven" is transpiring today to exterminate the spiritual contamination amid the Jewish nation, and therefore confronts the present-day Erev Rav with the logical call to consider what they are doing. The punishment that Jews suffer therefrom the Erev Rav cannot avert because the Hitlers and Coughlins offer no noble status for Jews who broke away from Judaism. The anti-Semites even pursue and send to ghettos and concentration camps children and children's children of converts.

So to what sin must the Erev Rav/political provocateurs hold on to, in their skirmish against Judaism, to set themselves up for extinction; When, in fact, with an about-face back to their own Jewish people and to Torah and faith, these provocateurs can be rescued from downfall?

We ask them, do they not yet see that Egypt has forsaken them, or that they can no longer persist with their foul play? We remind them they have only one choice - to remain faithful Jews and live in Jewish communities - or fall in the desert!

We regret their ripping themselves away for a downfall when so easily they can avoid it. Finally we remind them the Erev Rav emerged from Egypt together with the Jews - and did not suffer a downfall! Those Erev Rav who left Egypt changed their minds before the Plague of Darkness, during which time the real evil ones, the leaders, perished. Those that left Egypt shook off their resistance sooner and committed themselves to drop their leadership, to go with the Jews and become elevated with the entire Jewish nation. So why present-day mislead ones fall deeper instead of fetching for themselves an opportunity?

These sound assertions every Jew can learn from. It must become clear that today too we have an Erev Rav - and that they are all kosher sons and daughters, except that they are misled by a few obstructionists to adopt every viewpoint that no Jews share, by actual Gentiles who have no Jewish soul, by "Nefilim", as the Zohar calls them, fallen into our midst from Gentile derivation - and therefore these leaders are so strongly drawn to Gentileness, so strongly wanting to prevent anything that smacks of Jewishness. These misleaders are the true evil ones among the Jews and every Jew must run away from them lest they get dragged away by them to their deaths and to Hell. These very evil people are to be found everywhere; They are among the rabbis, among union workers, among journalists, among the most intimate movements, even among the synagogue leaders and other leaderships. As our sages tell us, on the eve of the Era of Moshiach, the Erev Rav will occupy the best Jewish leadership positions, which is why that generation's face will be the face of a dog.

Jews, sons of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yakov, use your built-in, congenital sense and smell out these "canine personalities" and - flee from them.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Who were the Erev Rav? (part 3 of 4)

God told Avrohom, "Through Yitzchok will pass your descendants". Yitzchok locked out Esav and passed on Avrohom's blessings to Yakov. Yakov, proud of all his righteous children, received the inheritance derived from Avrohom's blessings. During his lifetime, Moshe counted each tribe a few times and precisely recorded every paternal family's numbers. Before his passing, Moshe blessed each tribe separately. It was he whom God sent to the Jewish people. He spoke to the Jewish people. The prophets punished the Jewish people. King David in his Psalms speaks of the forefathers and refers to the Jewish people as "The Children of Israel", "The Tribes of Yeshurun", "The Tribes of Israel". Nowhere in Torah is even one word spoken of an alleged Gentile presence among the Erev Rav, whom some venture to say constituted more than half the Jewish population!

Among those who left Egypt, the Torah speaks of one solitary son of a Jewish mother and Egyptian father. Torah mentions both his lineage and his bitter end, because the man cursed Hashem. Torah says "And he was the son of an Egyptian among the Children of Israel"; One son of an Egyptian among all the Jewish people! How could Torah have said this had there been among the Jews, in fact, millions of Egyptians?

According to Torah, the Prophets, the Holy Books and the sages, the Erev Rav were a Jewish lot! This is why Moshe took them along - and suffered from them. This is also why they were able to raise trouble among other Jews, even to persuade the making of a Golden Calf; Because back in Egypt this bunch happened to be among the famous, assimilated and influential politicians.

Even though the Erev Rav were unworthy, many of their children became much better Jews, just as Korach had good children who remained alive and became important members of the Jewish nation.

Neither Yishmael's progeny nor that of Esav wanted to accept the Torah, even though they too descended from Shem and from our forefathers. Only the Jews proclaimed "We shall do and we shall understand!" (נעשה ונשמע). For this reason they became God's chosen people and merited all sorts of praise by the prophets and sages.

No reason in the world exists to think that particularly the children of Cham - Egyptians - took Torah upon themselves together with the children of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yakov - and even in greater numbers! The Prophets warned Jews of Egyptians; They described Egyptians as "flesh as the flesh of donkeys and their ejaculate quantity as that of horses!" Had Egyptians constituted the Erev Rav, why were Jews so proud of their forefathers if Cham's children outdid the Jews quantitatively for recognizing Hashem's unity and adopting the Torah of Moshe?!

"Erev Rav" means an excessive mixture, Jews who excessively mixed with the other nations, and excessively differed from each other. They were idealists, but with nothing that bonded them to the Jewish people. Not only did we have such a mishmash group in Egypt, but we have an exact copy of them here today in America! Take together all those various sorts of Jewish isms, all those who tore away from Judaism for one reason or another, from the wealthy assimilationist to the poor Yevsektsian, and you have no other name by which to call this bunch besides "Erev Rav" - a large mixture; Because they stand for hundreds of ideals as if they belonged to hundreds of different nations.

The kind of Erev Rav as we have today, we certainly had in Egypt, an age that preceded the giving of the Torah. They distance themselves from the authentic Jewish people - but Jewish they are! They join in with non-Jewish churches - but born as Gentiles they never were!

For some reasons, this segment of the Jewish nation finds itself with no sense for which most Jews had suffered for much of their lives, for which most Jews would sooner be burned alive than submit. This portion, in whom the core affiliation with Judaism is absent, is strongly assimilated, confused and mixes with many foreign ideologies and mannerisms, actually willing to sacrifice their own lives for the foreign ideologies and even for foreign nations. These are Jewish children who betray their own nation in the interests of modern Egypts! A few, like the wealthy assimilationists, think only for the benefit of the nations wherein they find themselves, while others, like the impoverished Communists, become obsessed with the like of a foreign "Red Russia". Only for their own Jewish people they possess no spark of love or consideration. Unfortunately, this Erev Rav in fact seeks a Jewish holocaust and would happily squander away the Jewish nation's existence!

These facts everybody knows. To understand such people for a few is near impossible. But we here will not touch the explanatory rationale of this bizarre phenomenon. We only want to mention the essential fact - that we presently also have such Judaism-hating elements today that tear from our flesh, spit us in the face, either from a religious or political perspective, or from a national one. This is our Erev Rav, who drag our children to all sorts of isms, to Godless grade schools, to all sorts of conversions, to spread enmity to Jewish Torah and its faith.

(Part 4 of 4: Here)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Who were the Erev Rav? (part 2 of 4)

The former questions, and innumerably more one can ask - really are not questions at all - because the Erev Rav actually constituted a mixture of assimilated and foreign-minded Jews! Only an insignificant number of actual converts were scattered in their midst, and of these the Torah tells us nothing.

This mass of Jewry that accompanied the Jews who left Egypt the Torah calls Erev Rav. They were a mixture of foreign-minded Jews who, at the time of exodus, stood distant from devoted Jews. They were truly from the lineage of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yakov, but grossly assimilated. They were a riffraff of arbitrary and whimsical thinkers.

Even today we have such a bunch, and when Moshiach will come to redeem the Jewish majority he will surely apply the same name, Erev Rav, to those Jews torn away by Communistic doctrine, anarchist rationale, socialistic beliefs, or break-away mindsets, whom today Hitler is chasing back into their ranks! Among these we can include the Reform movement or other torn-away heretics. If after the birth pangs of Moshiach such Jews remain, they will probably want to follow all the Jews. They will certainly be called Erev Rav, and Moshiach will certainly have to let them tag along, just as Moshe had no heart to stop them from tagging along.

This is how we must understand it, and are permitted to understand it, because nowhere does Torah say among those who left Egypt more than half were Gentiles. Had, in fact, a large mass of Gentiles actually accompanied the Jews, our sages would probably have created a separate tractate and called "Masechet Erev Rav".

The fact is, our sages do not call this group attached to the Jews as "Gentiles"; They use the specific term Erev Rav!

Everything Torah tells us about the generation in the desert simply does not dovetail with an exodus that comprised a majority of Gentiles.

Regarding several rabble-rousers or malcontents, Torah conveys to us their stories, telling us they were Jewish. The spies were Jewish. Korach and his company were Jewish. Datan and Aviram - Jewish. According to those who would cast several million Gentile bastards among 600,000 Jews, would mean that only Jews were the bad ones and trouble-makers, whereas the Gentiles happened to be Moshe's most loyal adherents; After all, Torah never reports (except the single incident of the Ish Mitzri) how any convert made so much as a peep against Moshe! How odd that Torah deems so worthy to tell about all those "sinful" Jews, as their misdeeds are repeatedly told and recounted, yet never does Torah see fit to breathe one word about the millions of "righteous" Gentile converts!

Certainly Moshe felt grief from his Erev Rav. A third of Jews, at most, were faithful Jews, believers in the ways of their forefathers; Two-thirds, on the other hand, were Egyptian assimilationists and foreign ism worshippers. The latter called themselves "Moshe's Erev Rav" because faithful Jews would gladly have left them behind. Perhaps it's also true God Himself did not want to expressly say these people should be taken along and left it up to Moshe, but definitely these were a Jewish flock.

The Torah speaks nothing of Gentiles among Jews who left Egypt. It makes sense and we can understand that Moshe had no good reason to take along more than 3 million Gentiles together with the 600,000 Jews. But he certainly did have a good reason to take along all Jews without exception, as well as a small number of Kosher Egyptians who submitted to servitude to the Jews. The Holy Zohar states this expressly: It tells us the converts stayed next to the sheep outside the encampments, and these were sustained by their Jewish masters.
(‫'‬דיהבין לון ישראל כמאן דיהיב לעבדיה‫'‬    כי תשא דף קצא‫:‬ב)

We can therefore conclude the Erev Rav were Jewish and among these a small number of converts came along who probably, still in Egypt, befriended some assimilated Jews.

Those who account for converts among those who left Egypt are correct - but they surely do not speak about the entire Erev Rav! R' Yishmael, R' Akiva and R' Yonanssan speak of the Erev Rav and their large numbers without mentioning one word about converts! They meant to say faithful Jews, faithful as their forefathers, numbered no more than 600,000, whereas the majority who left Egypt had assimilated and were distant from the faith. Other commentators who speak of converts furnish no numbers; They speak generally, as did the Rashbi, saying converts lived outside the camps, and for whom Manna did not fall, and that these were sustained by leftovers of the Manna that fell for Jews. From this alone it's understandable their numbers were small - because nearly 4 million converts could not possibly be sustained from leftovers of 600,000 Jews!

(Part 3 of 4: Here)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Who were the Erev Rav? (part 1 of 4)

The following article (translated roughly from Yiddish), written in 1942 (May, p.326-9, הקריאה והקדושה), under the auspices of the Previous Rebbe, appeared at a time when Europe was convulsing in the throes of WWII as Jews were being murdered by the millions.

The Rebbe here explains the term "Erev Rav" - a term many Jews, until today, still get wrong. I break it into a few parts, after the last of which you'll understand the connection between the Erev Rav and the Holocaust.

In only five simple words Torah neatly dispenses with the entire issue of the Erev Rav:
וגם ערב רב עלה אתם
A big mix joined them.

How many were they? R' Yishmael reckons there were 1,200,000 of them. R' Akiva says there were 2,400,000; And R' Yonanssan sets their count to 3,600,000! The Mechilta says "twice as many as made the exodus", which could mean twice 600,000 - or much more if women, children and elderly were included!

And what were their demographics? Here too opinions vary. Holy Rashi believes "they were converts from variegate nations". The Midrash, in a few places, says they were "Kosher Egyptians". The Zohar (191:1) says they were "Egyptian Magicians".

During processions through the desert, or when camped, where did they hang out? Rashbi says "the Clouds of Glory did not embrace them [i.e., they dwelt outside the camp proper], and in procession they followed after the livestock." "The Manna", he says, "did not descend for them; They would get their food from leftovers Jews gave them."

Besides the above inconclusive data, many questions remain on all the above standpoints. It makes no sense Egypt had in their midst that many "Kosher" Egyptians; Or that many "Magicians". And why does Torah remain silent about them; Like, did they or did they not circumcise themselves? Or, how did they fit into familial accounting after the Sinai event, or where there place was in the Jewish encampment's configuration? Did they marry, have children? Did they enter Eretz Yisroel in disregard of the law that Egyptians must not merge with the Jewish community until the 3rd generation? For if they did enter, this could mean the genuine Jews became diluted with 5 or 10 times 600,000 converts - a fact that's hardly credible.

After the Golden Calf affair, when Moshe prayed for the Jewish people, his main argument based itself on Jewish lineage with their forefathers. He said they were descendants of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yakov. He said not one word about converts that led astray the Jewish people. When Moshe ordered the Levite tribe to kill those who worshipped the Golden Calf, he said to kill "a man his brother", a man his friend and a man his relative". Later, when he praised these Levites, he spoke of killing "a man his own son and a man his own brother". This means those who died were Jews! Nothing was said of converts who died. What our sages did tell us was the Erev Rav bore responsibility for persuading the Jews to stray, and that Moshe brought them out of Egypt on his own accord.

When prophets, later in history, punished the Jews, they reminded the nation of their illustrious forefathers:
‪.‬"הביטו אל צור חצבתם ... אל אברהם ... ואל שרה"
Certainly the prophets could not have said this had the Jewish nation absorbed 3 million Egyptians, converts or other nationalities. That the Holy Books make refer to the Jewish nation with terms such as
"שבטי ישורון" , "בית יעקב" or "שבטי ישראל",
proves their familial lineage stems from Jewish forefathers. Had the Jewish people been a minority among those who left Egypt, then a few generations later it would have been impossible to lay claim to the pure pedigree of the Jewish forefathers that ran in their blood.

Otherwise, the Jewish people would not have been a nation but some mass of people clinging to a Moses-given religion, tugging about after him in the desert. What purpose could it have served the true children of Yakov to submit to persecution when foreign converts got the same privileges with no hardships to endure and no sorrow to taste? Why did God never once mention anything to Moshe about taking converts out of Egypt - when all God ever spoke about were the children of Israel and His promise to the forefathers?

Can anyone really believe the Erev Rav who dragged the Jews into all the quarrels in the desert were actually real Gentiles; Or that Jews would allow themselves to be so influenced by Gentiles? Or, that Moshe would refuse to send them away (but rather took upon himself they should come along)? Or that Korach and his cohorts, his family and the many Jewish leaders he influenced, God allowed be swallowed by the earth, but Gentile converts God wouldn't touch? Or, had Gentiles actually wanted to convert, that they would then have the audacity to oppose Moshe?

Many more questions remain on the Erev Rav topic had their real origin been from conversion. But the main question would involve the bond God made with the forefathers, as when God told them their descendants will be "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." If 5 or 10 times that many converts shared the paternal privileges accorded Jews, then the entire covenant made with Avrohom, and the promise "for your children shall be strangers in a land not theirs" (כי גר יהיה זרעך בארץ לא להם ...)‬ would amount to nil!

This is what Christians say in their teachings - that one need not be from Avrohom's lineage in order to be "The Chosen People". It's enough, they say, to be spiritual children of Avrohom. They make this claim so they can thereby take over the special status of being "The Chosen People".

(Part 2 of 4: Here)

Sunday, September 08, 2013

This is Torah and This is Its Reward? The Rebbe's Explanation

One bold chassid had a problem with a story related in Yom Kippur's service, so he asked the Rebbe for an explanation.

It's the story of 10 topmost sages brutally murdered by a Roman ruler. He schemed as follows. He knew Torah's punishment for selling a kidnapped victim. He collected sages and asked them what Torah's punishment was for stealing a human and then selling him. They responded, as he wished, implicating the death sentence. Then he reminded them that Joseph had been stolen by his 10 brothers and sold for a pair of sandals, yet the brothers received no death punishment. Accordingly, he was going to make judicious use of that law and kill 10 sages for that still-unpunished crime.

Rabbi Yishmael, one of the sages, said, "You read the Bible's verdict correctly, but allow me 3 days to determine if deeper insight into this edict exists." The Roman agreed. During those 3 days, Rabbi Yishmael ascended the upper world and inquired of the angels. The angels said, "We hear from behind the curtain that your verdict is - to die." [They heard a divine voice - because Angels cannot see God]

Rabbi Yishmael accepted this decree. He descended and told this to his peers, then conveyed his submission to the Roman. The latter proceeded to brutally torture and kill the sages.

During one such horrific atrocity, an angel on high complained to God, "This is Torah, and this is its reward!? [For sages who most purely reflect Torah, by following, studying and immersing themselves in it - this is their recompense!?"]

Said God, "Don't ask me again lest I turn the world into water, into emptiness and darkness."

Said the chassid to the Rebbe, "Finally some angel who could no longer countenance this evil and savagery stepped up to complain, and to this God responds saying "I'll destroy the world"? Why did this dauntless angel, who was fully justified, get knocked down by God? Why the strange answer by God?"

The Rebbe said, "I'll answer your question with a tale".

A King once commissioned his ministers to find an impeccable tailor to sew for him an exquisite robe. They were given a most expensive and beautiful piece of fabric for the job - one made of gold threads. No tailor felt confident he could do the job, except for one experienced Jewish tailor who volunteered. So they gave him the job.

Because they hated Jews, the ministers warned the King to ask the Jew to return all remnants of cut fabric lest the tailor pocket them for himself and thereby become rich.

When the job was done, the tailor brought the robe to the king, who tried it on. It was a perfect fit and the king was thrilled. Then the king asked him for the remnants of gold fabric. The tailor said, "There were no remnants".

The king filled with fury and demanded the tailor be killed. But, as was the custom, the victim could have one last wish. "What's your last wish?", asked the king. "My last wish is to undo all the seams of your robe that I tailored for you", said the Jew. The king found this hard, but for his honor to respect the custom of the state, he conceded.

The tailor then proceeded to undo his masterpiece and when he was done he held up the entire fabric, and, to everyone's amazement, it was the very same whole piece of fabric he was given for the job in the first place. Then they understood the great skill of this tailor, who laboriously managed to fold and stitch the fabric ingeniously in such a way as to preserve it entirely without having to cut any of it away.

The king realized the tailor hadn't lied but was left now without his new robe.

Similarly, said the Rebbe, God did not shut up the angel who stepped forward with the complaint. Nor did God issue a threat. Instead, God explained that for the Angels to understand the reasoning behind the cruel decree He would have to take the world back to its original state as it was before creation, namely to water, emptiness and darkness, for only then would they understand the reasoning.

Monday, September 02, 2013

The Triumvirate Generation of Moshiach

For long now they made no sense to me - the words of the Rebbe - that we were "the last generation of Exile and the first generation of the Era of Redemption".

After all, how long is this generation's duration? The Rebbe first spoke these words back in 1951, in his very first Ma'amar, yet here we are 62 years later and not much looks different today from what seemed to be the situation back then. Had a generation passed?

The Rebbe strongly intimated all along, and especially since 1991, that his generation is the generation of Moshiach, King Moshiach, who will usher in the long-awaited Era of Redemption, yet Moshiach and his actions have yet to be seen and felt by all Jews.

Then I came across these words in Yalkut Shimoni, in section 942 (תתקמ"ב), in explanation of       זכר ימות עולם
in the Torah-portion Ha'azinu:

בינו שנות דור ודור - זה דורו של משיח שיש בו ג' דורות שנאמר "ייראוך עם שמש ולפני ירח דור דורים"י
This generation of Moshiach stretches across or comprises three generations!   Puzzle solved.

UPDATE Dec. 15, 2013:
Had I been well-learned in Gemora, I would have also noted that this phenomenon of Moshiach is expressly mentioned in Sanhedrin 99a:
ימות המשיח ,,, רבי אומר שלשה דורות
and see Rashi (on spot) who refers to the above reference in Psalms (72:5) to explain this Gemora.

As it says in Pirkei Avos 5:21, "Explore it and explore it for all is therein contained." "הפך בה והפך בה דכלא בה"

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Feel the Pulse of Redemption

You might write off current Muslim events as "lucky" because Israelis find respite from direct armed conflict, which moments ago seemed certain when America's honcho said he'll lob a few Cruise Missiles into Syria to punish it for using chemical warfare (as if another means of killing is tolerable), but instead the White House freeloader turned tail and ran to play golf, as Muslims fight Muslims in the Middle East.

Based upon the Rebbe's prophecy of 1991, I think it has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the Era of Ultimate Redemption that's kicking into higher gear, if we just "open our eyes" to see.

Viewed strictly through Nature's eyes - it appears Israel has good reason for alarm because terror threatens her from proximate borders. But unless you view these events from a Redemption perspective, you're losing the bigger, all-encompassing picture, as we witness how evil forces, collectively the world-over, are headed towards implosion.

Hezbollah produced a lot of anxiety because it amassed formidable strength in the North. So what happened when it attained peak strength? It became embroiled in Syria's quagmire.

The Syrian civil strife draws into its net factors far and wide. Kuwait, for example, began a mass expulsion of its Lebanese Shiite residents over Hezbollah’s role in Syria, positioning itself at loggerheads with Iran and Syria. Saudis no doubt are pumping millions into the hands of Al Queida in its attempt to topple Syria. Russians, meanwhile, prop up Syria with heavy armaments. Not to be left out of its empathetic, Muslim agenda, America's regime is sending armored vehicles to Hezbollah (a terrorist organization, let alone an enemy of Israel).

Tensions along Israel's Southern border also got a reprieve as Egyptians fight Egyptians. Hamas, who supports Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, redirected its venom at Egyptian Army troops. Egypt, in retaliation, sealed up most smuggling tunnels between Sinai and Gaza. A bitter war is underway, and escalating, between Sinai Arab elements and the Egyptian army. To support the Muslim Brotherhood side, America canceled delivery of 4 F-16′s promised to Egypt. The Saudis and another Arab country were then quick to pledge billions to help finance the Egyptian army.

Turkey had sought dominion by aligning with Egypt. Even after foolish Israelis obsequiously offered millions of dollars to mollify an "angry" Turkey, suddenly Egypt and Turkey have become bitter enemies. Turkey badly wants its friend Morsi back in power.

Just when threats against Israel become red hot, God directs Russia to send in a few warships into the Mediterranean. Then God directs America to send in its warships too. Suddenly a strong shift of winds upsets the Syrian agenda against Israel because now a more significant development usurps the original "petty" agenda. Suddenly Syria is thrust into the limelight, with such important, superpower visitors at her doorstep. Syria must now greet its guests' heavy concerns. Syria thus tosses aside, "for now", the petty consideration of toying with little Israel, who does not warrant "major" concern.

Even as foolish leaders, such as Peres and Netanyahu, still wish to suck up to the Arab enemy, God no longer hides enemy motives and reveals their evil intentions for most Israelis to clearly see. As "peace talks" are in progress, Israelis saw how the PA President hosted with honor the terrorists responsible for many atrocities against Israeli civilians.

To the dread of liberal leftist Israelis, the world will soon appear to gang up against Israel. Such Israelis, shamed of their religion, cannot bear feeling different from their Gentile peers. Anyhow, Hashem will extricate the Jews in miraculous fashion. To prepare for that "painful" transition, God gives wise Jews an opportunity to hear the bark rather than feel the bite, as Jews are conditioned by incessant anti-Semitic indictments of the "world body", the United Nations.

We are reminded of the divine instruction Jews received prior to crossing the Red Sea. As Pharoah and Egyptians raced headlong with their swords drawn, on their best steeds and iron chariots, against the defenseless Jews, Moses told the Jews, "God will fight for you; You just remain still!" (Ex.14:14)

By wallowing in politics, rather than indulging in Torah, Jewish people do themselves a disservice. Secular preoccupation, Chassidus explains, in and of itself augments the secular sector's importance as a factor on the world stage. It fuels their momentum. In and of itself, this preoccupation cheats the fuel's original intention by redirecting energies away from Torah consumption into foreign streams, incrementing the life-force of non-Torah elements. (I tried explaining this concept best I understand it here) But it does pay to view secular events from a tangential, casual perspective, because I suppose that's what the Rebbe meant when he told us to "open our eyes" to unfolding events as they reflect the Era of Redemption.

Sounds of War or Sounds of Redemption?

Drums are beating ominously for Israel, again. What people don't hear is the harmony in the background of God's orchestration.

Israelis frantically comb their stores and clog their phone lines in search of gasmasks. They already forgot the miracles of the Persian Gulf War when too they scrambled for gas masks - for naught.

Chemical warfare had just lay waste 1,000 people across Israel's border, including many children. So we Jews across the continent from brethren in Israel have more reason to sit more calmly. In Israel, to be sure, the threat and fear are far more palpable. But this scenario that plays out is a show for the Jews of the world, primarily, and a show to watch for the other nations of the world, secondarily. So what is in the offing?

Who would have thought that after 9/11 America would install a Muslim sympathizer into highest office, who would collect his administering staff from the worst anti-Semitic elements to govern the world's most powerful country? And who would have thought that this administration secretly supports the most radical of Muslim elements, at that?

The picture can be painted all black but its purpose only serves to highlight the one spot of light that shines from its middle, and that white spot will grow wider and brighter as Jews, and the world, can't help but focus in on. It is God's painting; God wants Jews to turn to Him - and NOT turn to America for succor! What better way to do it than by showing Jews they do not need America, and should not want America, but rather should beseech God and only God for assistance.

Jews can and will be extricated from this dreadful screenplay. Watch and see! Keep your arms folded and your prayer books open. We have the promise of the Rebbe on this, and ample evidence until now that he was 100% right, namely, that we have embarked upon the Era of the Final and Ultimate Redemption. This is more his, Moshiach's, fight than it is ours; On that too we have his promise. He also injected us with the right painkiller; He told us, over and over again, "think good - and all will be good!"

Jews in Unity Make for a Happy 5774

On the Jewish New Year we all stand in front of Hashem as One People, ranging from the "heads" among us to the "toes" among us, all parts of the same one body, all parts needing each other to function properly in unity and therefore without seeing others any less valuable. This unity is what gives Jews the power to self-sustain and prevail as we make our way out of the diaspora. You may disapprove of your fellow Jew's position, but only insofar as the position goes - but not his value as a person. Each of us was created for a vital purpose. If we stand firm in our unity, we stand in God's good grace, because that is what God wants of us. This is the whole point of Rosh Hashannah - the day of judgement. God wants us to crown Him, as God of the world of course, but particularly the God of the Jewish people who represent Him and have an intimate bond with Him, so our representation must be a collective effort in concert. This assures the Jewish people of a forthcoming bright, good and sweet New Year.

My fellow Jews - have a great and happy 5774, and may this year bring to full bloom the Era of Redemption we are now into, only not yet plainly seen because of our fleshy eyes. We see it with our spiritual mind's eye, and we trust the Rebbe's prophecy that he invoked in 1991. But we yearn for the revelation from a physical perspective as well, and may that happen very soon in our days ahead!