Monday, July 17, 2006

The Beginnings of National Jewish Teshuvah and The Coming Redemption

Rav said, 'All of the "Ends [of the exile of the Jewish People] have passed and the matter [of the Redemption] is only dependant on repentance and ma'asim tovim (good actions).' And Shmuel said, 'It is enough for the mourner that he stands in his mourning!' (i.e. the suffering of the centuries of exile should suffice even without repentance)

This [discussion] is like a disagreement among the Tana'im: "Rabbi Eliezer says, 'If the Jewish People repent, they will be redeemed, and if not they will not be redeemed.' Rabbi Yehoshua said to him, 'If they do not repent they will not be redeemed?! Rather, The Holy One Blessed is He will empower a king whose decrees are harsh like Haman's, and the Jewish People will repent and return to the good.' (Sanhedrin, 97b)

The Jewish People are facing a world leader today who has decrees as harsh as those of Haman. The president of Iran continuously talks of his sick wish to annihilate the 6million Jews in Israel (no doubt he would like to wipe out all the Jews in the world). Remember, Haman didn't impose a harsh life on the Jews, rather a date on which he wished to kill all the Children of Israel. His 'sick wish' wasn't realized - he was the one who was killed, he and thousands of his allies. The Jewish People had the upper hand because HaShem is always on our side. Today is no exception. The president of Iran is tirelessly working on building nuclear warheads that he wishes to deliver to the Jewish People on one of his missiles. He won't succeed. For, as the commentator RaSh"I notes on this week's Torah reading of Matos-Ma'asei, anyone who declares war on the Jewish People declares war on HaShem. That is why HaShem commands the Jewish People to "take the revenge of HaShem on Midian" for harming the Jewish People with their immorality, leading to the deaths of thousands of Jews.

Today HaShem helped the Jewish pilots blow up a long-range Iranian missile that was being prepared to fire on the Jewish People. This "monster missile" could have hit Tel-Aviv and possibly as far south as the Negev city of Be'er Sheva. The thousands of missiles that have rained down on Israeli cities have injured dozens and killed some people, but still a miraculously low number. We must realize that the Hand of HaShem is involved in all of this and improve ourselves. It seems as if Prime Minister Olmert recognizes this and is himself improving in the ways of the Torah. In merit of our improvement in the way of the Torah may the Jewish People see many more amazing miracles in the near future. Amen!


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