Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Dash to Redemption in 5776

The Lubavitcher Rebbe inaugurated 1990 as the “year of miracles”. Since then we saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union, bringing Communism to a halt without one shot fired; The takedown of the Berlin Wall; The miraculous Persian Gulf War where 39 Scud missiles fired into Israel from Iraq killed nobody, this when just one Scud missile killed scores of American soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia; As well as a significant reduction of nuclear proliferation by the superpowers - ;“and they will turn their swords into plowshares”. (Isaiah 2:4).

Another not small miracle becoming apparent is the coming demise of the Islamic world. The whole world now has an open window to the cruelty and depravity of Islamic culture, where over 50 Muslim countries have zero to show in terms of success or advancement since the Middle Ages. Islam is still eating dust. It looks like Arab borders will soon disintegrate entirely; Whereas once you had Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, etc., ever since the “Arab Spring” it seems these borders will soon disappear, leaving behind havoc and anarchy. So the world will see, if not acknowledge, that this Jew-hating culture is and always was morally destitute.

We are watching the unfolding of Isaiah’s prophecy “I will instigate Egyptian against Egyptian, brethren against brethren and peer, city against city, kingdom against kingdom” (19:2), where Muslim enemies of the Jews swallow each other up, as Israel sits with arms crossed watching the show (thank God!).

The World War of Gog & Magog is pressing full-steam ahead while generally Jews remain and will remain untouched, as the Rebbe prophesied in 1980! (link)

The Arab chaos recently shifted into higher gear with the sudden onset of “Isis”, to accelerate the process.

Recall what Torah says of the Muslim (Yishmael): “He will be a human maniac; He will impose on every nation, and then every nation will be against him.” (Gen. 16:12) Torah tells us about this - that when Yishmael ultimately falls, Israel will finally rise. (eg, Baal HaTurim; Gen.25:18)

That is, before their fall, Muslims will become a gigantic threat across civilization. The tsunami of Muslims invading Europe may just be God’s payback to that continent where Jewish blood spilled like water. In an ironic twist, we see how today’s virulent anti-Semites now have Germans and other past supporters of Hitler as bedfellows.

This while waves of Jewish immigrants, mostly from invaded Europe, are flying to Israel.

And, while most Western countries have been thrown into economic distress, little Israel is finding gas and diamonds, building military prowess (eg. “Iron-Dome” technology, drones), and pushing forward full of vigor. (Even as domestic Muslims and queer sympathizers do their utmost to destroy the country from within.)

In summary, we are witnessing God promise in Torah coming true: As per the words of Bilam, “The Jewish nation will by itself prevail, without kowtowing to other nations”. (Numbers 23:9)  Despite prevalent and rising anti-Semitism in the West, in the U.N. and elsewhere, the Jewish people have a loyal shepherd in Hashem protecting them, taking His People to redemption.

We’ve turned the corner of exile, now dashing headlong to the Era of Ultimate Redemption. Soon we’ll dance with Moshiach in the streets of Yerushalyim, may it happen NOW, amen!

(Of course, if your perspective derives through the prism of “Nature”, then of course you will remain distraught about the “natural” threats of missiles, ISIS, tunnels, cyber attacks, etc. However, in contradistinction, trust in the Rebbe’s words and in Hashem’s Torah renders an alternate, very bright perspective.)

Monday, January 18, 2016

“The Great Shabbat” before Pesach - as of 5776

We call the Shabbat before Pesach “The Great Shabbat” because of a great miracle that transpired on the Shabbat before the Jewish Exodus from ancient Egypt.

What miracle was that? It turns out many answers exist to this question, but here we’ll only consider the unique view of Chabad’s Alter Rebbe, from his “Shulchan Aruch”.

“When the Jews ushered in their Pesach lambs on that Shabbat, Egyptian firstborns clustered around them and asked the Jews what they were doing ... They were told, ‘It’s for a sacrifice to God Who will kill the Egyptian firstborns.’”

“The firstborns then went to their fathers and to Pharaoh requesting they expel the Jews. When rejected, the firstborns went to war against their fathers and Pharaoh, killing many of them. This is what is meant by ‘the Egyptians were struck down by their firstborn’.” [Psalms 136:10]

Note the Alter Rebbe makes no mention of the Jews’ success but rather highlights the internal war that arose between the firstborns and their fathers. So what greatness is there in this miracle?

The answer lies in what the Rebbe continues to say, that this miracle served as “the start of the redemption and the miracles.” That is, the greatness of this miracle is not just because many Egyptians were killed (“the Egyptians were struck down by their firstborn”), but rather the order and demand by the Egyptian firstborns to free the Jewish People was the turning-point that embodied the beginning of the Exodus!

This miracle had even higher value than the miracles of their exit from Egypt. The exodus from Egypt occurred once the power and force of Egypt was broken or annulled, during the Plague of Firstborns, when God took out the Jews. In contrast, the miracle of The Great Shabbat occurred while Jews were still within the Egyptian exile, when, nevertheless, the dominant representatives of Egypt (their firstborns) demanded the freedom of the Jews.

This is why on The Great Shabbat we read part of The Hagaddah, for, just as on the night of Pesach, when the Jews left Egypt, we read The Hagaddah, so too we read part of it on this Shabbat, because that’s when actually began “the start of the redemption and the miracles”!

So what has this to teach us now? In my humble opinion, we are seeing the start of The Ultimate Era of Redemption as today we watch all enemies of Israel striking down and destroying each other (in accord with Isaiah 19:2).

(On the other hand, why we continue to suffer horribly from individual sacrifices by Muslim vermin - eludes me! It is simply unintelligible and horrifying.)