The Preparation: HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Shoftim 5774
Parashat Shoftim 5774
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
Elul, the last month of this year 5774, begins this week. Elul begins a period of introspection lasting through Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur and Shemini Atzeret, when we contemplate the deeds we performed or refrained from doing, in the passing year.
It is also a time to deliberate what the near or far future may or may not hold. Where are we heading as individuals? What might prevail in one’s region of the planet and the state of the world?
The following are some scenarios regarding what we might be experiencing in the near future, based on our holy Jewish sources.
The Great Amora Rava (Megila 17b) states that the codifiers of the Tefila (prayer) liturgy were aware through tradition that the final redemption of Am Yisrael will occur in a Shevi’it year (a 7-year cyclical Sabbatical year), hence the prayer for our final redemption is to be recited in the 7th of the 18 prayers which comprise the Amida.
The Gemara questions Rava’s statement by a Breita (Tanna’ic source) that states that in the period of our redemption, the Sabbatical year will be the scene of great wars; however, the actual redemption will occur in the year following the Sabbatical year, so the prayer for redemption should be recited in the 8th blessing not in the seventh?
Rava replied that the Breita is correct that the 7th year will witness huge international wars while the actual redemption of Am Yisrael will occur in the 8th year. However, since the advent of wars against the enemies of the Jewish people in the 7th year will signal the beginning of the Jewish redemption to be completed in the 8th year, the proper place for prayers for redemption is the 7th blessing of Amida.
This coming year – 5775, beginning on September 25, will be a Sabbatical year. If it will, in fact, be the Sabbatical year referred to by the Breita than we must prepare for a year of world-wide confrontation and conflagration. According to what we see today, the major possibilities for international conflicts are as follows:
1. Parts of Europe will be dragged into a frenzy of war by what is now occurring between Russia and Ukraine. Western Europe’s major cities will be looted, burned, pillaged and plundered by millions of Moslems whose minds have been forever poisoned to revere and emulate Mohammed, the arch murderer who taught his disciples to use “allah” as a weapon to subdue and suppress.
2. The winds of war will engulf Egypt, as they perceive the loss of the Nile waters to upstream countries. Egypt has always been an enemy of Israel, and it would not take much for it to join with the other Arab nations in a war against Israel.
3. The Christian nations of Africa will enter the fray against their Moslem neighbors, and the “green” continent will become the “red” continent with the spillover into Israel.
4. The United States which was borne through wanton murder of the indigenous “Indian” peoples, and began its ascent to economic success on the backs of black slaves, will have to answer to the god of history. The detonator which will explode that society will be “establishment” anti-Semitism transferred to the masses through the media and academia. Many Jews will soon struggle to leave the US for Israel, but will be barred from doing so by US authorities.
4. The US will re-enact the Selective Service (draft) Law reversing the trend set by Obama of turning tanks into food stamps for the blacks, into turning food stamps into tanks.
The draft will become necessary to protect America’s foreign interests, and to prepare for internal mass insurrection by tens of millions of indigents and Moslems who will be prepared to burn down the great cities of that country.
When the draft will be restored, it will rake into its net both men and women, religious and otherwise, yeshiva students along with Moslem campus agitators.
5. The UN will pass near unanimous resolutions aimed at eliminating the State of Israel. The United States will join with the majority, causing great consternation in every sensible human being. Some people here who are not totally dedicated to the Holy Land, and others who lack fundamental trust in HaShem will try to leave, but will not find a country willing to accept them.
6. The enormous military threats to the Medina will cause this nation to return to HaShem in teshuva. The military will have a greater voice in day-to-day decisions of State, and the military will be led by God-fearing men.
7. China will attempt to extend its hegemony over vast areas of the Pacific, coming into conflict with the US Navy’s powerful fleet.
8. Iran will play a major military role, even to the degree of endangering the world order. The Zohar (end of Parashat Va’ai’ra in Shemot) states that Yishmael will provoke three wars: one on the ocean, one on land and the third near Yerushalayim – and Yishmael will be destroyed.
9. The Gemara (last chapter of Sanhedrin) reveals some tell-tale signs of the coming of the Mashiach. It will be a time when every nation will be in dispute with its neighbors; the oceans will become depleted of fish, we will be beset with worries and fears.
10. All the above vectors will at some point coalesce into one united force against the Jewish nation in Eretz Yisrael. At that point our Father-in-Heaven will save His children Yisrael in the most astonishing, unanticipated, electrifying ways, defying all human imagination.
None of the above are figments of my imagination. They are all recorded or alluded to within the Talmud and Midrashim.
If indeed this coming Sabbatical year is the one which our rabbis knew will precede the year of our redemption, then every thinking Jew should begin preparing for the initial period of trials and tribulations to be followed by miracles never before seen or spoken of.
“Preparation” means to come under HaShem’s protective wing in Eretz Yisrael, and performing acts of teshuva to become worthy of being among those who will merit to see the destruction of evil in the world and the fulfillment of our prophets’ holy words.
Yishayahu’s prophecy in last week’s haftara (54,17):
כל כלי יוצר עליך לא יצלח וכל לשון תקום אתך למשפט תרשיעי זאת נחלת עבדי ה’ וצדקתם מאתי נאם ה
Every weapon forged against you will not prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication before Me
And in the haftara of this week’s parsha – Shoftim (52,10)
חשף ה’ את זרוע קדשו לעיני כל הגוים וראו כל אפסי ארץ את ישועת א-להינו
The Lord will lay bare his holy arm (to punish the wicked) in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.