Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blood and Currency: HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Beshalach 5775

Parashat Beshalach 5775 
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Damim: Blood and Currency Flow

On this day January 27, 2015 when this is being written, we mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Russian troops (corresponding to the then 13th of Shvat 5705).
Auschwitz is much more than one more death camp in southwest Poland. Its very name brings to mind the thousands of camps spread out over Europe, where our people were systematically shot to death, asphyxiated in gas chambers, turned to ashes in crematoria or died by the hands of their sadistic Amalek guards.
This week’s devar Torah is dedicated to the survivors and the painful questions: Why does HaShem not punish the Germans and their very willing European accomplices? What is He waiting for? With every passing day, many of the now elderly victims pass on and the murderers are escaping with no earthly punishment. Why did HaShem not give the victims the opportunity to see their oppressors suffer?
No one can even begin to unravel the metaphysical secrets of God’s world. A philosopher once visited the home of a well-known rabbi, and asked: Why did God create the universe? To which the rabbi replied: “Would you like another cup of tea?”
Nevertheless, speculation in all areas has become a Jewish art; cultivated, honed and polished by generations of Talmudic conjectures, probings, and probabilities vs possibilities. So I would like to hazard a guess as to what HaShem has planned for the Amalek Europeans and Islamics in the very near future.
The Gemara in Brachot 12b delves into the question: At the time of the Mashiach, when we shall witness the most fantastic miracles, will we still discuss the Exodus from Egypt?
Ben Zoma attempted to prove from the verse in Yirmiyahu (23,7-8) that after the advent of the Mashiach, we will no longer even mention the miracles of the Exodus:
“Days will come”, declares the Lord, “when we will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Jews up from Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them’.”
The majority of the rabbis disagreed, contending that Yirmiyahu meant that in the future the episode of the Exodus will be discussed but it will be relegated to a secondary position in relation to the great miracles we shall experience at that future time.
Based on the generally accepted premise that nothing in the Tanach is superfluous, why did Yirmiyahu have to mention the Egyptian exodus at all when he could have stated succinctly, “Days will come”, declares the Lord, “when people will praise HaShem who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them”?
I submit:
By introducing the Exodus into his prophecy, Yirmiyahu is informing us that the final redemption will be generally similar to the Exodus from Egypt, with changes appropriate for the time and for the nature of our future enemies.
  1. Because of their commonality, the word “damim” in Ivrit refers to blood and also to currency (money). For both flow continuously towards a central point from which they flow out again, repeating the cycle without end.
Blood flows from the heart via arteries, makes a turn at the extremities through the capillaries and returns to the heart via veins, and continues in this cycle until death ceases the process.
Currency (money) flows to the governmental treasuries in the form of taxes, fines, etc., and is returned to the public as loans, grants, investments, etc. Indeed “damim” is blood and currency.
The first of the “Ten Plagues” was the metamorphosis of water into blood (damim). But now it is happening in Europe where their “damim”, currencies, are about to crash and turn their currencies into paper and their societies into chaos. The free-fall of the Swiss franc and the possible exit of Greece from the Euro countries, which would certainly be followed by Italy and Ireland, would leave the lender countries with deficits of trillions of Euros. It will signal an avalanche of inflation causing financial and societal havoc.
This should be seen on the background of our strong Israeli shekel and healthy economy.
  1. The second plague was the invasion of countless numbers of frogs into every place in the land, as the verse says (Shemot 7,28):
ושרץ היאר צפרדעים ועלו ובאו בביתך ובחדר משכבך ועל מטתך ובבית עבדיך ובעמך ובתנוריך ובמשארותיך:

The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs.
The financial turmoil of “damim” will be followed by an unpreventable invasion of Moslems who will fill every corner of their society. Moroccans, Libyans, Syrians, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Turks and black Africans of every sort, hundreds if not thousands who now reach the shores of Italy and Spain every night. They will “come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs”.

The Missing Letters Spell Desire

Despite the above, no one can predict with any semblance of exactitude the details of what HaShem will be doing. However, we have an indication that HaShem has changed from low to high gear in the final lunge towards our redemption. It is our return to Eretz Yisrael, and especially our sovereignty over Yerushalayim.
Our parasha concludes with the first Jewish-Amalek War. Yehoshua led our army in weakening Amalek, but he could not destroy them because HaShem wanted Amalek to remain as an existential threat to the Jewish people until the days preceding the Mashiach.
The parasha ends with the verse (Shmot 17,16):
ויאמר כי יד על כס יה מלחמה לה’ בעמלק מדר דר: פ

And Moshe stated: “HaShem placed His hands on His throne (and swore, as one who swears while holding a sacred article) that He will wage war against Amalek from generation to generation.
In the above verse, in the word “kess” meaning HaShem’s throne, the last letter ALEF is omitted, since the word should read  כסא
And the word Y’A, referring to HaShem is missing the last two letters VAV and HaY.
Our rabbis have taught that the incomplete word “kess” (throne of HaShem) and incomplete name of Hashem come to inform us that as long as Amalek is present in this world, the throne and name of HaShem will not be universally recognized by humanity.
Now, the three missing letters in this verse comprise the word אוה   (EVA) which means “desire”.
In Tehilim (Psalms 132:13) King David wrote:
כי בחר ה’ בציון אוה למושב לו:
For the LORD has chosen Zion, He has desired it for his dwelling:
Meaning, when HaShem is present in Zion-Yerushalayim – the city He desires – His throne and name will become whole, signaling the end of Amalek and its evil from this world.
The core issue in our lives today is the near future destruction of Amalek and Amalekism which has infiltrated the minds of gentiles through Christianity and Islam.
When it happens, it will spell bitter times for all Jews who will be present in the lands of those foreign nations, as befell the Jews of Europe who found themselves between the cannons of Germany and Russia.
The sands in HaShem’s time clock are running out. The doors of Eretz Yisrael are still open, but for how long?
Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5775/2015 Nachman Kahana

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