Thursday, December 07, 2017

Following the Footsteps of Moshiach in 5778

Some footprints the Rebbe leaves are easy to spot.

Today’s deserves mention.

World events after all roll from Torah - the blueprint of the world. So we’ll follow secular developments only to see how living a Torah life renders a refreshing perspective of the whole.

Today President Trump announced that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish People! As far as America and most of the world was concerned, Israel was a country without a capital until now.

Today is Yud-Tes Kislev! Yud-Tes Kislev is a relatively new chassidic holiday. An ancient brightness, unbearable for mankind to see all along, is now becoming gentle on the retina. Chabad has turned this day into a Rosh Hashanna of Chassidus. It’s the day that commemorates the emancipation of the Alter Rebbe from certain death in KGB Soviet Russia, vindicating his purpose to further disseminate the wellsprings of Chassidus. With every Rebbe of Chabad these teachings gushed forth and burgeoned. Permission was granted to spread these hidden segments of Torah wholesale worldwide. And of course that new bright light is the light of Moshiach.

The Alter Rebbe said to his chassidim to live with the times!”. He meant put your heart into study of Torah as apportioned by the week and by the day of the week.

In time it evolved to mean doing one’s allotment of study and prayer for the day, every day doing “the Chitas” (חת׳׳ת), which is: The daily portion of that week’s Chumash parsha; The daily Tanya lesson; And the recitation of that day’s Tehillim portion. Under thrust of the Rebbe MH”M, it also means to include all that you see, feel, hear and interact with, against a new landscape. To gain proper perspective, the Rebbe meant “Think Moshiach!”

So, on this Yud-Tes Kislev, what does that industrious talmid find in today’s portion of Chumash, parshas Vayeishev, in the fourth section of it, being that today was Wednesday? He learns the segment about Yehuda and Tamar.

In perek 38, possuk 15, says the Baal Haturim:

לזונה. ב' במסורה. ויחשבה לזונה. איכה היתה לזונה (ישעיה א, כא). מה תמר בבזיון ולבסוף בכבוד אף ירושלים סופה בכבוד, כדכתיב (זכריה ב, ט) ולכבוד אהיה בתוכה. וזהו זאת קומתך דמתה לתמר  (שה"ש ז, ח

Translation: Just as Tamar had to compromise herself for the sake of lawful progeny in ignominious trappings to serve a glorious cause, so too Jerusalem must suffer disgrace before it exults in return to dominion. This we learn from the hold word (see image with search results - two "hits" in all Tanach) that repeats itself twice in Tanach. What do these two references to the same word portend? One references Tamar, the other references, Jerusalem. Then too the name Tamar appears in the same verse with reference to Jerusalem - in Shir Hashirim.

Well, by coinciding Yud-Tes Kislev, the day Trump made his epic announcement, is the Rebbe trying to tell us something, or not? Are you hearing footsteps of Moshiach yet? Does today’s Baal Haturim not bespeak of worldly events happening today under our watch?

Here’s another "living with the times" point:
This week is among the shortest days of the year. That means that midday is indeed noon and not much later than 12 p.m. as midday would be on a summer day, when midday is much later than 12 p.m.

Well, if you make the Jewish calculation where every "God's day" counts as 1,000 human years, then we are already into Friday, erev Shabbos. That means by the year 5778 we are plenty past 12 noon already (ie, past 5500)! The timing of the rise of Jerusalem on a day when Shabbat enters earliest is significant. It implies the quick arrival of The Era of Ultimate Redemption, the day of eternal Shabbat. See you at the dancing in Yerushalayim!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

"Garments" - And of Redemption - 5778

מחשבה דיבור ומעשה
These Garments Can Lift the Soul ...
Whether at any moment you are thinking, speaking or taking action, you are using these 3 faculties as a generous gift offered by God to mankind.

These are faculties that do not belong to the soul; That is, because they can be expressed in more ways than one, they can be used by the soul but not in a deterministic way. There is no instinct for us to think, talk or act in specific ways under such restrictions.

You can, for example, change garments, as when you catch yourself thinking, saying or doing negatively and then you quickly revert to thinking (speaking or doing) positively!

These 3 faculties the Ba'al HaTanya calls "Garments of the Soul".

Besides being independent of the body's soul's makeup, these 3 garments are also independent in that they can be controlled by one of two of its body's souls. They can succumb to the will of the Animal Soul, that soul that comes with the body as a built-in feature. Or, they do the will of the Godly Soul that resides in every Jewish body as well.

An analogy might be: It's like when you step onto an escalator - but here, in our case, you can either take the "up" escalator, or the "down" escalator. One way or another you operate. But - either the product of thought, speech or action elevates you, or it denigrates you.

Your decision can lead to two paths of expression, two paths before they are emitted. The two represent your human choice. (More on "garments", here.)

So what's a good thought to now have, for example? Well, that the Era of Redemption is quickly unfolding before our very eyes - this year already being 5778! But unless you're tuned in to see, you may well miss it.

But thoughts of redemption, or words that express the phenomenon, demand a compatible perspective from current events. So here's one for you:

It says in Yeshayahu (49:23),
והיו מלכים אמניך ושרותיהם מיניקתיך אפים ארץ ישתחוו לך ועפר רגליך ילחכו וידעת כי אני יהוה אשר לא יבשו קוי

"And kings shall be your nursing fathers and their princesses your wet nurses; they shall prostrate themselves to you with their face on the ground, and they shall lick the dust of your feet, and you shall know that I am the Lord, for those who wait for Me shall not be ashamed."

Seems the world is finally headed in that direction!

Take the election of November 2016. Had it not been for that miraculous election of Trump to the White House a year ago that disposed the Clinton machine, the free world would surely have been overwhelmed by corruption and evil. Had Hillary grabbed the reins, Muslim terrorism would have had intimate governmental effect. She took money from the sheiks and had as her right-hand lady the daughter of a founder of the Moslem Brotherhood. Suddenly, out of nowhere it seems, came a miraculous turnaround, all in a matter of a few hours. It was very much like the Purim story, now with a Jewish princess in the office instead of Orwellian overseers.

But instead of a Muslim presence that was taking hold of the White House, we now have one where Jewish interests are at heart. The Trump administration subserves the waxing glory of God and His Jewish People for the good of mankind.

We see too how the Rebbe plays an important role, albeit, under the radar, in all of this (link).

Then there is, for example, the recent trip of Trump's Jewish son-in-law to Saudi Arabia. This came after Trump visited and spoke to the older Saudi King. Next thing we know, terrorism is being strangulated financially. Qatar is ostracized. Terrorism in Saudi Arabia, where oil money long cultivated evil octopuses, was being choked off. Now too seems to begin a new era wherein Muslims too feel the need to forge better ties with Israel and the Jews.

If that's not what the above verse is intimating, then maybe your vision of the upcoming Era of Ultimate Redemption of the Jewish People and the world at large is still buried in textbooks.

As the Malbim explained the above verse regarding the Jewish People's future - that they will be as the newborn, care given to have him breast-fed, and raised under complete protection from harm, so the world will know God is in full control.

Reminds me too of what the Rebbe said of this Era back in 1980 - that Israel's rise to glory in these days of Gog and Magog will be under full immunity from harm (Link)!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Trump - Go Solar! (Rebbe's Advice)

The Rebbe always was “ahead of his time” in knowledge. Here's an article from Derher magazine (derher.org) wherein the Rebbe, 36 years ago, outlined what ought to be America’s energy priorities. Now with Trump at the helm, seeking to make America great again, this ought to be required reading for him.

Fulfilling America’s Mandate Through
ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

Throughout the second half of the 20th century there were two rivaling superpowers in the world: the USA and the USSR. Whereas the Communists endeavored to promote an ideology of atheism and to stifle human rights and freedom, the Americans stood at the forefront of preventing their expansion.

The Rebbe declared on numerous occasions that the United States of America is a “Kingdom of Kindness” with a divine mission to promote a global awareness in emunas Hashem, as stated on every piece of U.S. currency: “In G-d We Trust.”

In an era of technological advancement, discovery and innovation, one of the most valuable commodities is oil to supply energy. Without it, society as we know it cannot operate. For over half a century, the United States has imported oil from foreign countries to meet the demand of energy that resulted from the post WWII economic boom.

This dependence on other nations for such a vital resource has, on numerous occasions, compromised America’s ability to assert its power to ensure that justice, morality, goodness and kindness prevail throughout the world.

• • • • • • 

On Yom Kippur 5734 (1973) Egypt and Syria declared war on Eretz Yisrael with a devastating surprise attack. During the first week of the war the situation was so desperate that many were certain that it would end in assured catastrophe. On the second day of Sukkos, U.S. President Richard Nixon authorized Operation Nickel Grass, a strategic airlift to deliver weapons and supplies to Eretz Yisrael.

In retaliation for the overwhelming U.S. support to Eretz Yisrael during the war, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)—an international group of twelve oil rich countries (which included seven Arab countries)— agreed to an oil embargo on the United States. The price of oil greatly increased, causing a major oil shortage in the U.S., which eventually triggered a major stock market crash.

To end the embargo, America pressured the Israelis to make devastating concessions to their mortal enemies, compromising the security of millions of Yidden to this day. This is one example of how America’s great diplomatic weakness was exposed due to its dependence on foreign powers for energy.

• • • • • • 

In a sicha during the historic farbrengen of Yud-Aleph Nissan 5741, the Rebbe emphasized the urgency of this matter and advocated for an immediate remedy.1 The following is a summary of the various points of the sicha.2

AMERICA'S MANDATE 

Recently, the Soviet Union’s policy of expansionism is causing a deterioration in relations between many countries and disrupting the world order. At the same time, Hashem bestowed the United States with the mission and the power to counter this evil. This will not only benefit other countries, it will also result in increased justice for the people of the USSR itself. The freedom to practice their religion, and especially so that the Yidden have the ability to serve Hashem in spiritual and physical tranquility. Isolationism is an inappropriate policy for this powerful and consequential nation.

USING OUR RESOURCES 

To succeed, America must be free of economic pressure from immoral dictatorships. As long as we rely on them for oil, our strength and influence is compromised. Recent events have illustrated that acquiescing to the demands of these rogue dictators and regimes has caused great harm to Eretz Yisrael and in turn harmed the physical and material wellbeing of the United States as well.

Freedom from this pressure will be accomplished only if this country utilizes the full potential of its resources. It is inconceivable that in this modern era, when oil is such a critical resource, the nation charged with the mission of bringing true peace, justice and morality to the world should depend on and be manipulated by lowly nations.

In truth, beneath American soil there is an abundance of natural resources of energy. If we would only develop our abilities to mine our own oil and coal, we would have long been freed from this irrational reliance on other countries, whose capabilities for exporting oil throughout the world were, ironically, developed by Americans! There is such an abundance of these resources that we can even export energy to others! Failure to do so is blatant ungratefulness to Hashem for the gifts he has bestowed upon us.

This is not simply in order to wield U.S. strength, or increase U.S. power. Hashem placed these resources in this nation’s soil, so that, ultimately, it will be able to spread Torah’s justice throughout the world, primarily the observance of the sheva mitzvos b’nei Noach.


SOLAR ENERGY 

Defeating the arguments of those resisting the development of these domestic resources (for personal gain, etc.3 ), or effectively ignoring these elements, will take a very long time. Even when this roadblock is finally cleared, it will take a significant amount of time to develop these resources to the point of full energy independence.

There is, however, a clear solution to America’s energy crisis: Solar Energy.4 To harness the light and heat of the sun as a source of generating energy. Solar technology requires far less time to develop than other energy sources and the southern region of this country is saturated in sun-light. The solar energy that can potentially be generated in those regions can provide ample energy for the rest of the country and even a surplus for export!

The development of this vital resource has already started, albeit on a very small scale5 and it should be greatly intensified. Doing so, based on belief in Hashem and in observance of the command to fully utilize the resources He provides, will make us fully energy independent in a very short while.

SHARING THE MESSAGE 

What can be accomplished by discussing this topic during a farbrengen, in a shul and beis hamedrash, in the presence of Yidden that have no direct impact on governmental policies?

As U.S. citizens we have an obligation to be concerned for the welfare of this country. More importantly, this issue concerns the Yidden behind the Iron Curtain, that they should be able to learn Torah and observe mitzvos under better conditions than they were able to until now.

The Rambam rules that even a single statement based on Torah, has the power to tip the scales for salvation, and past experiences have shown that issues discussed here have reached Washington.

When hostile nations can no longer use oil to manipulate U.S. policy, America’s influence will increase, without having to use force. The mere knowledge of our energy independence will nullify foreign pressure. Hashem has blessed this Nation of Kindness with plentiful sources of energy to accomplish a divine mission—to promote true goodness throughout the world.

• • • • • • 

It is interesting to note, that during the year of 5741, construction of the very first large scale solar power plant, Solar One, was completed in the Mojave Desert, California, USA.

------------------------

1 While the U.S. and USSR are not specifically named throughout the sicha, the Rebbe was clearly addressing the recent turmoil caused by Soviet aggression and the ability of the U.S. to intervene.
2 See the full sicha in Sichos Kodesh, 5741 vol. 3 page 120 – 126.
3 The campaign to prevent the development of domestic energy resources is significantly funded by the oil monies of these foreign countries!
4 A week before this farbrengen, on 4 Nissan, Yidden around the world observed birkas hachama (see “Moments” column in this magazine). According to nusach Chabad, Kapitel 19 in Tehillim is recited, and it includes the words
“ואין נסתר מחמתו – Nothing is hidden from its heat.” This provides a clear lesson for the current discussion.

5 See the end of this article.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Footprints to the Era of Redemption - 5777

Not only can Jews practice their religion freely today in most of the world (when in most of Jewish history that was hardly the case), not only are two superpowers aligning today with Israel, not only does Israel thrive as a tiny country of its own with enormous physical and intellectual resources, not only have most Jews heard of the forthcoming so-called Era of Moshiach, and not only is the World War of Gog & Magog now raging, but notice how Jews and Israel remain immune to all the bloodthirsty infighting among Israel’s enemies. (The Rebbe’s 1980 Striking Prophecy)

Yes, were you to follow the standards of Nature, you might want to wallow in reasons for fear. For example, you might worry that Enemy X is destabilizing Jordan to the East of Israel, or that Enemy Y can menace from the North or that Enemy Z is tunneling from the South. But Nature too, is a divine facade meant to conceal the obvious. In fact, not only is the worrying needless, says the Rebbe, worse yet, it provides extra energy to the impure forces, in effect slowing the enemy’s quick demise, much like adding fuel to an enemy vehicle low on gas (Feeding Klipah at Sanctity's Expense).

Scanning the political\social panorama, it looks like it’s coming down to a matter of Jewish versus Muslim. Jewish versus Muslim serves to contrast between good and truth versus lies and bloodthirsty culture. Both cannot coexist. The Jewish nation, now that it’s long exile is coming to a close, waxes in glory while Muslim forces for the world to see wane into disrepute.

The verb that well depicts this final phase of Jewish exile, with the Era of Redemption’s full blown glory around the corner, is “to be pitted against”. For evil to be vanquished among people, it first must be highlighted, to delineate itself clearly from its foe, the good. And what constitutes good, and bad, for that matter? Truth of Torah, God and the Jewish family will be pitted in sharp contrast to the Muslim creed and tradition, or to any other identity that abhors Judaism.

Will such cognizance spread across the whole world? After all, Moshiach will reach out to every Jew no matter where he\she is. Will therefore the whole world’s populace have their radars tuned to this one particular issue, of all that’s out there?

If Redemption is in the wings, then that’s exactly what must happen, no? How then will the whole world be drawn in to one focal point of contention? Mankind will have to choose sides; Would everyone know what two sides are pit against each other?

You see it happening right under our noses right now. The world is at war with evil, which translates from the confrontation between Klipah and Sanctity, in its final duel. The Rebbe is taking and leading the charge, by himself! (The Wars of Hashem)

We recognize this general’s silent orchestration of local and world events because he leaves footprints on his trail. One such footprint we found earlier (The Hidden Hand of the Rebbe).

Putin too is part of the show. Is not the scene where Putin honorably presents a Chabad rabbi common, well in the open?

A 3rd footprint we noted is that Trump’s daughter and son-in-law bought a home next to a Chabad shul in Washington DC (Arutz7).

Trump is not just a locally popular name being bandied about; He’s being telecast worldwide! The whole world will soon know everything Trump says or does. The whole world must know this because all of mankind will be involved. The internet sprung up for this very reason, no doubt.

Perhaps Trump and Putin will forge a victorious flank that will subdue the evil counterforce that Muslims now represent, with all the terror they are fomenting. The actual logistics we can only guess, the alliances of pro or anti, who will topple who, etc. We could do well not to speculate, because the more Torah light we shed and the more Mitzvos we do, the calmer will be the final waves of exile.

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