The light of Chanukah shines out even amidst the darkness
Chanukah is a holiday that was established as a time to give thanks, appreciation, and praise to Hashem. "We gratefully thank You, for it is You Who are HaShem, our God and the God of our forefathers, for all eternity, our Rock, the Rock of our lives. Shield of our salvation are You from generation to generation. We shall thank You and relate Your praise (Psalm 79:13) for our lives, which are committed to Your power and for our souls that are entrusted to You, for Your miracles that are with us every day, and for Your wonders and favors in every season – evening, morning, and afternoon, The Beneficent One, for Your compassions were never exhausted, and the Compassionate One, for Your kindnesses never ended – for we have always put our hope in You."


In "the days of the Hasmoneans, Mattithias son of Johanan, the High Priest, and his sons, the evil Greek empire oppressed Your nation, Israel, trying to make them forget Your Torah and to violate the commandments You gave us. Then, with Your great compassion, You stood up for Your people in their moment of distress. You fought thëir fight; judged their cause; avenged their wrongs.

Video: So, What is the Miracle of Chanukah Really About?:  One days' worth of olive oil lasting for 8 days, was indeed, miraculous... but there is so much more to this holiday than meets the eye (INN, 12/18/2011).

Focus On The Roses: "A person who gathers honey will not escape being stung by bees. A person who gathers roses will not escape being scratched by thorns."

"I (Knesset Israel) am a rose of Sharon, a rose of the valleys. As a rose among the thorns (nations), so is My beloved (Israel) among the daughters (nations)" (Song of Songs 2:1-2).

"The positive things in life also have negative aspects. Keep your focus on the beautiful roses of the world, and the thorns will seem trivial and inconsequential" (Rabbi Zelig Pliskin).

 

Psalm 45:1 "For the conductor on shoshannim, of the sons of Korah, a maskil a song of loves." Psalm 45 was founded in honor of the Torah scholars, who are as tender as roses and as beautiful as roses, and perform good deeds as fresh as roses. It is a song of praise for the Torah scholars, to endear them to the people, and to endear their Torah to the people (Rashi). "Their words flow with the sweet nectar of HaShem’s love, and we should seek out their council" (Rabbi Yitzchok Rubin, Tehillim: Rhythm of the heart Ch. 45, Torah.org).

 

I will be like dew to Israel, they shall blossom like a rose (lily, krokus) and it shall strike its roots like the Lebanon (the Temple). Its branches shall go forth, and its beauty shall be like the olive tree, and its fragrance like the Lebanon. Those who dwelt in its shade shall return; they shall revive like corn and blossom like the vine, its fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim; What more do I need the images/idols? I will answer him and look upon him: I am like a leafy cypress tree; from Me your fruit is found" (Hosea 14:6-9, Isaiah 27:6).

 

“To the Chief Musician, to the roses a testimony,.." (Psalm 80:1-2). We are told that this psalm was written by the members of the Sanhedrin in honor of bnei Yisrael, who are called roses. Notice that it is a song, for although it tells of our great difficulties, it never loses our sense of joy in being Jews. “Shepherd of Israel, give ear. You Who leads Yosef like a flock, You Who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth with Your might.” Despite all our woes, we are true to Hashem... and we await His light... (Rabbi Yitzchok. Rubin). When the chaff and the thorns are gone, there will be light.


”And the light (the Torah) of Israel shall become fire, and his holy one (the Holy One, or the righteous) shall become a flame, and it shall consume his thorns and his worms in one day” (Isaiah 10:17). ”And the house of Jacob shall be fire and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau shall become stubble, and they shall ignite them and consume them,.." (Obadiah 18). Esau will fall into the hands of the sons of Joseph. Tribes compared to a lion, Judah and Dan, like Joseph, compared to an ox, shall devour Esau compared to straw (Isaiah 65:25).

 

”But the wicked are all as thorns thrust away, for they cannot be taken in hand. But if a man touch them, he should be armed with iron and the staff of a spear; and with fire they shall be utterly burned in their place” (2 Samuel 23:6-7, Ezekiel 28:21-26). "For lo, the sun (day) comes, glowing like a furnace, and all the audacious sinners and all the perpetrators of wickedness will be stubble. And the sun (day) that comes shall burn them up so that it will leave them neither root nor branch, says the Lord of Hosts" (Mal. 3:19-21, Isaiah 26:6). As it is said: His (David's) seed will be forever and his throne is like the sun before Me” (Psalm 89:37).

Maoz Tzur Yeshuati - Mighty Rock of my Salvation: "...Greeks gathered against me then, in the days of the Hasmoneans, and they breached the walls of my towers and defiled all the oils. But from the remaining flasks a miracle was done for the roses; the men of knowledge, for eight fixed days of singing and rejoicing.

 

Bare Your holy forearm and hasten the final deliverance. Take vengeance for Your servants' blood from the evil nation, for the salvation tarries too long and there is no end to the evil days. Reject the Red One (Edom), in the shadow of the cross Raise up for us the seven shepherds."

Judaism: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden By Rabbi BenZion  Shafier:  The amount of suffering that a person experiences on this planet is weighed, measured and administered in exact dosages (INN).

Expose: The Vatican Wants to Lay its Hands on Jerusalem: The Vatican is now reiterating demands for control of religious sites in Jerusalem. Jordan's occupation 1948-1967 didn't bother them.

The Israeli government and the Vatican are deadlocked in discussions over the status of the religious sites. Vatican officials are now reiterating their demand for control over the religious sites in the ancient and holy city founded by King David as the capital of ancient Israel and now the capital of the reestablished Jewish state.

Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, declared that Israel might consider giving the Vatican “a greater role” in operating the sites. In the last weeks, the Roman Catholic Church’s authorities increased their political initiatives for Catholic control over some sites in Jerusalem.

The Vatican’s former arcibishop in Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, just promoted an appeal to the European Union and United States to “stop the Hebraization of Jerusalem ” (INN, 12/15/2011). See also Sunni Leader Warns Jews over 'Judaizing' Jerusalem  (INN, 11/20/2011). 'The Conspiracy'

Hamas Leader Calls For Assault On Jerusalem: "We'll lead intifada after intifada." Held under the banner of “Jerusalem, We are Coming,” Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh called for the formation of an Arab army “to liberate Jerusalem and the Aksa Mosque very soon” (One Jerusalem, JPost. 12/14/2011). And yesterday the Quartet called for immediate resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians (One Jerusalem, JPost. 17:12.2011).

Video: Arabs Try to Lynch Jew in Shomron: Arabs film a video of an attempt to lynch a Jew near the village of Asira al-Qibliya in Shomron. The video, which was filmed by the Arabs, shows a group of Arabs surrounding the Jewish man and begin to pelt him with rocks.. The Jew is shown tripping and falling on the ground, while the Arabs continue to beat him until several other Jews with rocks in their hands come along and cause the Arabs to run off.


In recent months, Arabs have attacked Jewish motorists with rocks, in what is starting to
 again become a common phenomenon  on the roads of Judea and Samaria, as it was in the days of the 2002 Second Intifada. In September of this year, in fact, the number of such attacks had  more than doubled  in comparison to the figures for September 2010 (INN, 12/18/2011).

Zechariah 9:13-17 "For I bend Judah for Me like a bow; I filled [the hand of] Ephraim, and I will arouse your children, O Zion, upon your children, O Javan; and I will make you as the sword of a mighty man."  And the Lord shall appear over them, and his arrows shall go forth like lightning. And the Lord God shall sound the shofar, and He shall go with the whirlwinds of the south."

To storm the people of the south; they are the Greeks. And some of our Sages interpreted [the phrase] as referring to Edom (Daniel Ch. 7, 2:31-35, 40-44) in the future (Rashi). The fourth kingdom "the feet and the toes-which were partly of potter's clay and partly of iron-so it will be a divided kingdom..." The lands of the Roman empire came to be dominated by Edom-Rome/Esau and Ishmael, represented by Christianity and Islam-comprise the latter day; Forth Kingdom (Abarnel).

 

"The Lord of Hosts shall protect them, and they shall devour. And they shall tread the sling-stones (1 Samuel 17:49 stone = knowledge of God, Isaiah 11:9, Daniel 2:35, Habakkuk 2:11-14), and they shall drink. They shall make a noise like [those who drink] wine, and they shall become full like the basin ( Their souls shall become full of all good) , like the corners of the altar.

And the Lord their God shall save them on that day like the flocks of His people, for crown stones are exalted on His land."
For the priests, the sons of the Hasmoneans, who boast of the crown stones in the rows of the breast-plate and the ephod, will be exalted with miracles on their land (Rashi). "For how [great] is their goodness and how [great] is their beauty! Corn [will give strength (Torah knowledge) to] young men, and new wine (Genesis 49:12, Isaiah 55:1-7) will cause maids to speak."


While Rashi and other commentators relate this prophecy to the Jewish uprising against the Greeks in the time of the Hanukah miracle, Targum Yonasan and Metzudas David (on v 13) and RaDaK (on Zechariah 10:12) relate it to the war of Gog and Magog, since YAVAN and MAGOG and other nations that will take part in that war are all brothers, sons of Noah's son Yapheth (Gen. 10:2). Verses 13-16 are thus a prophecy of how God will save Israel from Gog and Magog. From the reference to Ephraim as well as Judah in verse 13 it is clear that the Ten Tribes will be restored in the final redemption (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).

Judaism: G-d Fights Our Wars By Rabbi BenZion Shafier (INN).   

Min HaMeitzar Karati Yah.., “From the narrowness of distress (straits of exile and oppression) I called to Hashem, He answered me with the breadth of Divine relief (Divine Redemption). HaShem is with me (Israel), I have no fear; how can man affect me? HaShem is with me through my helpers; therefore I can face my foes. All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord that I shall cut them off" (Psalm 118:5-10). The Hebrew used here is as in Psalm 90:6 "it (the grass) is cut off and withers.” This speaks about the war of Gog & Magog.


"They encircle me like bees, but they are extinguished... as a fire does thorns,..The might and the cutting power of God was my salvation. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord deals valiantly" (Psalm 118:12-16). "You have given me the back of their necks; those that hate me, that I may cut them off (destroy or silence them)" (Psalm 18:41, Gen. 49:8). “Arm of the Lord" (Isaiah 52:9-10, 53:1) refers in the Scripture to the spiritual and military salvation of the Jewish people from the gentiles who tyrannize them ( Rabbi Tovia Singer: The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 ).


"With Your bowstrings You shall set (Your arrows)... toward their faces. Exalt Yourself, O Lord, with Your strength (over those who raise up against us/You); let us sing and chant of Your might" (Psalm 21:13-14, 7:11-18). Psalms 18 and 45; "speaks of arrows. The scholar’s weapons are the Torah insights... Their sharpness guarantees their effectiveness in penetrating the listener’s heart (Rabbi Yitzchok Rubin). "He turned upon them their own violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off” (destroy, the Hebrew used here can also mean; silence) (Psalm 94:23, Obadiah 15).


As a reward for Torah, nations shall fall under Israel. Isaiah 52:11 "you that bear the instruments of HaShem." Your weapons of war will be His Torah and commandment, and not the sword or the spear" (Metzudas David).

”They (the nations) surround me like water all the day; they encompass me together” (Psalm 88:18). A Song of Ascents of David. 'If it had not been the LORD who was for us', let Israel now say; 'If it had not been the LORD who was for us, when men rose up against us, Then they had swallowed us up alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul;..” (Psalm 124:1-6, 90:6, Isaiah 17:12-14, Zec. 14:7, Zep. 2:7). It is only God’s care and protection that have saved Israel from extinction.


God fights our wars if we listen to His voice:
The Amorites were like bees (in irresistible numbers)that swarm angrily onto anyone who threatens their hive (Ibn Ezra). "So I (Moshe) spoke to you, but you did not listen, and you rebelled against the command of the Lord, and you acted wickedly and went up to the mountain. And the Amorites, dwelling in that mountain, came out towards you and pursued you as bees do, and beat you down..." (Deut. 1:25-45, see also Numbers 14:25-45). Like a bee who buries his stinger into a victim and then dies, the victorious Amorites died after defeating the Jews (Rashi). Bechor Shor goes further, saying that there is no mention of Jewish casualities ; the Jews suffered only like victims of bee stings, who are in pain, but not fatally injured.

"You dug ears for me;.." (Psalm 40:7). You opened my ears; enabling me to hear Your voice.


Judaism: Weekly Lecture on the Book of Joshua-Chap 7 By Yehuda Glick (INN). Israel sinned and God delivered them into the hand of the Amorites. Joshua 7:5 "And Israel sinned with the devoted treasure (the booty, property dedicated to God). ”And the men of Ai smote of them (the Israelite force)... chased them.., and smote them..; and the hearts of the people melted (Heb., VAYIMASS,were filled with fear, became frightened, weak, faintness), and became as water” (Joshua 7:5).

Collective responsibility is a cardinal precept in Jewish life. The extent to which the community at large is held responsible for the actions of one individual is the theme of this chapter. A single individual's sin is the sin of the whole people, for we are all responsible for one another.

Missionaries Target Beit Shean Valley Kibbutzim: It what would seem to be a national campaign, missionaries have places palm-sized pamphlets containing quotes from the Bible and the New Testament with references to future prophetic events. Dan, of Kibbutz Beit Zera said he quickly gathered the material from mailboxes and disposed of it. “Such efforts are a waste of money. Kibbutz members are very much against prophetic material and oppose this missionary activity” (INN, 12/18/2011).

Notice also Maan News' Propaganda Campaign Aganst Jewish Settlers : Settlers attack carol singers near Nablus (18/12/2011): Settlers attacked a Palestinian choir bus returning from a carol concert in Nablus on Saturday evening, choristers told Ma'an. The singers, from Bethlehem Bible college, said five men attacked them on a quiet road outside of the northern West Bank city. Hardline settlers have torched mosques near Ramallah, Jerusalem and Salfit... including rampage on an army base.


Nablus is the Arab name given to the biblical Shechem: So he (the angel Gabriel; "man of God") said to him (Yoseph), "Go now and see to your brothers' welfare and the welfare of the flocks, and bring me back word." So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem (Genesis 37:14).

Nablus, is known as the site of biblical Shechem, with friendship ties to Stavanger, my neighbourhood. Yet God's plan is for all humanity to unite "with one accord" (SHECHEM): "For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language (Hebrew), that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve Him with (SHECHEM ECHAD) one consent" (Zephaniah 3:9, Zech. 14:9, Deut. 6:4). To serve Him shoulder to shoulder (SHECHEM) in brotherly cooperation; (Gen. 9:23) " And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders (SHECHEM)..." 

Jordanian Media: Settlers Stormed Temple Mount’ : The Jordan News Agency has published an unusually inciting report that the monthly recital of Psalms in the Old City was a “storming of the Temple Mount.” Similar allegations often are reported by Palestinian Authority and other Arab media, but Jordanian media is normally more restrained (INN, 12/27/2011).

You delivered the strong into the hands of the weak; the many into the hands of the few; the impure into the hands of the pure (Isaiah 65:1-7, 66:17); the evil into the hands of the righteous; the arrogant into the hands of those who observe Your Torah. You gained a holy and mighty name for Yourself in Your world and You achieved a great triumph and redemption for Your people, Israel, on that day.


"...to Me shall every knee kneel, every tongue shall swear" (Isaiah 45:23, 65:16-25, 55:10-11, Zephaniah 2:11). After the war of Gog and Magog; UNITY  (when we will have knowledge of God in same language, Genesis 11:1, Zep. 3:9) -- "All the ends of the earth shall remember and return to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall prostrate themselves before You" (Psalms 22:28, 86:9, 66:4, 67). "...for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:11-12,14, Daniel 2:35, 1 Samuel 17:49).

 
Thus it was the offspring of Abraham the "Shem-ite", or Semite, who inherited the mission of giving spiritual leadership to the whole world. Yet even among those offspring, feuds between brothers started immediately when Ishmael rose up against Isaac (Genesis 21:9). Ishmael was firstborn to his mother Hagar and thirteen years older than Isaac, who was Sarah's firstborn. Under the Torah law of inheritance, it is the firstborn of a man's first wife, even if she is hated, who receives the firstborn's double portion of his estate (Deut. 21:16-17). Yet God Himself said that Abraham's line would pass through Isaac (Gen. 21:12). (Rabbi Avraham ben Yaakov, Torah For The Nations:  HOW CAN BROTHERS GET ALONG?).


Noach cursed Canaan, son of Cham; (see Deut. 27:16), "And he said: Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be their servant. God enlarge Japheth (representing Hellenism, Rome, Christianity, Gog & Magog; the sons of Cham also join the forces of Gog & Magog; Ezek. 38, Genesis 10:2-6), and he (or; His Presence, Shechinah) shall dwell in the tents of Shem (Israel); and let Canaan be their servant” (Genesis 9:25-27). God promsised to give the Shem-ites the land of Canaan (Gen. Chs. 15, 17).

The Tent of Shem: "In order to overcome hatred and war, man must develop a new language and a new way of speaking. This will be a feature of the messianic period in the future. "Then I will turn the language of the nations into a pure language so that all of them will call on the Name of G-d to serve Him with one accord" (Zephaniah 3:9). Then all mankind will unite in prayer to the One G-d in the "House of Prayer for all the Nations" in Jerusalem (Isaiah 56:15). This House of Prayer is the Tent of Shem in which Yafet will dwell"(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, Universal Torah, NOAH).

On this day, 1 Tevet, Esther was taken to the palace
of Achashverosh (Esther 2:16). Esther's presence in the king's palace enabled her to advocate on behalf of the Jews,and gain a reversal of Haman's decree to annihilate the Jewish people (Today in Jewish History by Rabbi Shraga Simmons).Although the Megillah appears to be talking about King Ahashverosh, the text frequently refers simply to HA-MELECH (the King). The sages teach that this term simultaneously refers to the temporal Ahashverosh while also alluding to the King of kings (Midrash Esther Rabbah). See Avraham ben Yaakov on the Book of Esther.

"To sever the towering cypress (Mordechai) sought the Aggagite, son of Hammedatha, but it became a snare and a stumblingblock to him and his arrogance was stilled. The head of the Benjaminite You lifted and the enemy, his name You blotted out..." (Maoz Tzur). Isaiah 55:13 "Instead of the thorn (Haman) shall come up the cypress (Mordechai),.." Instead of the wicked, who will be destroyed, righteous people shall arise and take their rule (Targum Jonathan, Rashi).

"And instead of the brier (Vashti) shall come up the myrtle; (Hebrew: HADAS) and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off (Isaiah 55:13, Genesis 9:11-17, Jeremiah 50:5). Esther had two names: Esther, her Persian name, which possibly means "star" - phonetically similar to the Hebrew word for "hidden" -- hester, and Hadassah, her Hebrew name. Hadassah is the feminized version of the word for "myrtle," HADAS. The myrtle leaf is shaped like an eye - representing God's watchful eye over Esther and over His chosen people. See 'Purim: Adar I'

"In those days and at that time. the children of Israel  shall come, they and the children of Judah together" (Jeremiah 50:4). The destruction of Babylon, led to the restoration of Judah and Israel and the return of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael. Jeremiah’s prophesy also refers to the reconcilliation of Judah and The Ten Tribes at the end of days ( from the "north": TZAFON-"hidden or dark region" ) after the destruction of Edom/Rome by the Persians (See Avraham ben Yaakov on Lamentations 4:21-22) or by the Kingdom of David (Daniel 2:35,44, 7:27) – or both.


After that, your children entered Your Temple and cleansed it and purified Your Sanctuary. then they kindled the lights in Your holy court and, thereby, established the eight days of Hanukkah to give praise and thanks, and You performed miracles and wonders with them, and we shall give thanks to Your great name" (Birkat ha-mazon on Hanukkah).

Satmar Rebbe Warns Jews Not to Oppose Obama: The leader of the Satmar Chassidic movement, Grand Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum, has come out against Jews who oppose US President Barack Obama (INN,  12/19/2011).

 

The Jewish people should not put their fate in the hands   of those who wants to destroy them, remain silent and not oppose those who feverishly work for the destruction of their heritage and only safe haven. Proverbs 31:8 "Open your mouth for the dumb, to the cause of all whose help has passed.” Bat-sheva's advise to Solomon, A king must speak up for the mute because they cannot defend themselves (Isaiah 53:7). See to that justice prevails in this world and that the unjust judgments of the world's leaders are rebuked (Psalm 82) And check out Iyov's glorious past Ch. 29.


A sword turned against enemies: Zechariah 13:7 "O sword, awaken against My shepherd and against the man who is associated with Me! says the Lord of Hosts. Smite the shepherd, and the flock shall scatter, and I will return My hand upon the little ones.” The kings and leaders of the nations were the shepherds, God's colleagues, to whom He  entrusted the fate of His "flock" Israel. When they harm instead of help, God will enleash the sword against them (Rashi). Then the flock will be free to escape, and God will turn His vengeance against the subordinates who helped molest Israel (Kara). See also Psalm 135:14-21.

Deut. 32:30-31 "How can one [person] pursue a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their [Mighty] Rock has sold them out, and the Lord has given them over? For their rock is not like our [Mighty] Rock. Nevertheless, our enemies sit in judgment."

 

The enemies should have understood all the above, that the Lord gave Israel over [to them], and that victory must not be attributed to them or to their deities. For until now, their deities have achieved nothing against our Rock. Because their rock is not like our Rock. Nevertheless, now our enemies are judging us. It must be then, that our Rock has given us over to them, because of our flight from Him into sin...see Rabbi A. Greenbaum on Jonah.

"God chose Israel as His witnesses, and He "set the borders of the peoples according to the number of the Children of Israel" (Deut. 32:1-21).  Among the various implications contained in these words is that the habitations of the Children of Israel, whether in their own or in other lands, are far from arbitrary. Rather, they have been sent on a mission to proclaim HaShem to all the different peoples of the world, each within their own "borders" and boundaries, geographical, racial, cultural and ideological.

Moses' song warns the Children of Israel not to rebel against their mission, for God would surely punish them, withdrawing His protection so as to leave them vulnerable to the ravages of their enemies and God's avenging forces
(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).

Isaiah Ch. 53 is famous for its depiction of God's tormented servant, reviled and persecuted by those around him, for whose sins he atones through his illness and suffering. Isaiah 53:4-5,10 ”Indeed, he bore our illnesses, and our pains-he carried them, yet we accounted him as plagued, smitten by God and oppressed. But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed.”  ’He suffered in order that we might have peace.'We brought suffering upon Israel for our own selfish purposes: it was no as we had claimed, that God was punishing Israel for its own evil behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                                          

"But it pleased HaShem to crush him by disease (to cause him to repent): if his soul shall consider it a recompense for guilt (ASHAM),.. ” Just as the ASHAM (guilt sacrifice) was only offered voluntarily out of the person's loving desire to repent, so one must accept suffering with love. And if he does, what is his reward?  ”he shall see his seed (ZERAH, offspring), he shall prolong his days (long life), and the purpose of HaShem (his Torah study) shall prosper in his hand." Who is God’s Suffering Servant?  The  Rabbinic interpretation of Isaiah 53 by Rabbi Tovia Singer

LISTEN FOR FREE : The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 - part 1-2 by Rabbi Tovia Singer: There is no chapter in the Hebrew Bible that missionaries point to with greater confidence than these well-known passages that describe the Suffering Servant.  They insist that anyone who reads this chapter will be convinced that the prophet clearly spoke of Jesus of Nazareth.  In this two-part lecture, Rabbi Singer illustrates how the fourth Servant Song of Isaiah has been completely misapplied by these overzealous missionaries.

Zechariah 12:10 ”And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.” "They will look to God and mourn over those of them that were killed by the nations during their exile" (Rashi). It is noteworthy that awareness of and mourning over the Holocaust have been a key theme in Jewish culture in our times.


The prophet Isaiah mentions all Israel as one man. Isaiah 41:8 ”But thou, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend.” Isaiah 44:1-2,21 ”Yet now hear, O Jacob My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. Fear not, O Jacob My servant, and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. O Jacob, and Israel, for thou art My servant I have formed thee, thou art Mine own servant O Israel,” Isaiah 45:4 ”For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel Mine elect.” Isaiah 52:13 “Behold My servant shall prosper,” The righteous among them.


Ezekiel 34:27-29 ”and they (Israel) will know that I am the Lord when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from those who enslave them…” It remains to see if the US & EU, etc, ”are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,”  or if the fire emanating from king Solomon is enough... 

Zechariah 13:8-9 "And it shall come to pass throughout all the land, says the Lord, two parts of it shall be cut off. They shall perish, and the third shall remain therein. And I will bring the third in fire; and I will refine them as one refines silver, and I will test them as one tests gold."

According to Metzudas David, the "land" refers to the whole world, and the "two parts" refer to all the other nations, who are included under Edom and Ishmael, while the "third" that will be left refers to Israel . However Rashi interprets the "third" that will be left as those members of the other nations who will convert. See also Malachi Ch. 3, Ezekiel 22:18-22, Isaiah Ch. 1

"I will smelt them as one smelts silver in order to remove the impurities, i.e. I shall bring upon them troubles in order to destroy the sinners and rebels, and to see if those who remain will stand firm in their faith" (Metzudas David). In the straits, many Jews will join forces with Gog. Rashi states that some of the converts will suffer troubles during the birth-pangs of Mashiah and the War of Gog and Magog in order to test if they are true converts, because many of those who initially converted to Judaism will then return to their earlier errors and join with Gog and Magog (Zechariah 12:2, 14:14).

"He shall call in My name, and I will respond to him. I said, "He is My people"; and he shall say, "The Lord is my God." "When he prays, he will pray to HaShem and not to his first god" (Rashi). See also Psalms 34:12-23; 50:14-23 ; Zechariah 12:10 , Isaiah 58:7-14 ; 65:24 -25 ; Jeremiah 29:11-14 ; Zechariah 10:6-9, Hosea 2:18-25 .


The image of the oak tree and the terebinth repeatedly shedding their leaves (Isaiah 6:12-13) expresses how all the sinners will be successively cast off with repeated refining until only the trunk of the tree - the complete Tzaddikim who will return to God with all their hearts - will be left (Rashi). See Isaiah Ch. 4, 24:1-6, Zechariah 14:16, Jeremiah 3:14-15.

As explained in the Babylonian siege against the city of Jerusalem; Ezekiel 5:12"A third of you will die through pestilence, and through hunger they will perish in your midst, and a third will fall around you by the sword, and a third I shall scatter to every direction, and I shall unsheathe a sword [in pursuit] after them."  

A third of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were to die under siege through
the burning "fire" of plague and famine, a third would be cut down by the sword while trying to escape the Babylonians, while a third would be scattered in every direction in exile, and even there the sword would chase after them.


"Nine million Jews  was under Hitler's control in 1942. From these 73% were killed, about a third of all the Jews world over" (Bernt Hagtvet, To Explain A Genocide). 6 million Jews were killed, about 6 million Jews are living in great tribulation in Israel and about 6 million Jews and members of the Lost Tribes of Israel are living in the Diaspora/exile. Does this mean that they are in danger of being killed along with the other nations? 


The only consolation in all of this was God's instruction to Ezekiel in verse 5:3: "You shall also take from these a small number and bind them in the corners of your garment." - "These are the few people who would go into exile to Babylon and live" (Rashi). Yet even some of these would be burned in the fire that was to ravage the House of Israel (5:4).
The saving of the remnant through being bound in the corners of Ezekiel's garments suggests that these were the people who "took hold of the Tzitzis" of the Tzaddik, i.e. followed his advice (see Likutey Moharan I, 7) and that they were saved in his merit.


Zechariah 8:20-23 prophecy how after the future redemption of Israel many nations will come to seek out HaShem in the Temple in Jerusalem.  "And ten men from all the languages of the nations shall take hold and seize the corner of the garment of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." Since there are seventy nations, the verse teaches that seven hundred men will take hold of each corner, and since there are four corners, each Jew will have 2,800 men hanging onto his Tzitzith! (Talmud Shabbos 32b). This requires merit.

Their Hearts Melted: Exodus 15:14-16 ”People heard, they trembled; a shudder seized the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chieftains of Edom were startled; [as for] the powerful men of Moab, trembling seized them; all the inhabitants of Canaan melted (Heb., NAMOGO, dissolved). Terror and dread (fear) falleth upon them; by the greatness of Thine arm they are as still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over that Thou hast gotten." The Canaanites had reason to melt, for they were about to be displaced. Or as in Psalm 65:11 “with raindrops You dissolve it (make soft; the earth).” God Who subdues the mightiest forces can revitalize the most parched land and withered nation.

Joshua 2:9-11,24 Rahab saw that the Jewish conquest of the land was Divinely ordained. ”And she (Rahab) said to the men, I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that your terror (fear of you) is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted (NAMOGO, dissolved, wandering and moving, as in I Sam. 14:16 ”...and, behold, the multitude melted (NAMOG) away, and they went hither and thither”) away because of you.

For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you completely destroyed.

And as soon as we heard, our hearts melted (VAYIMASS, their hearts were filled with fear, became weak, frightened, faintness), nor did there remain anymore spirit (RUACH, no courage remained) in any man because of you, for the Lord your God He is God in heaven above and on the earth below. And they said to Joshua, -For the Lord has delivered into our hands all the land; and also the inhabitants of the country have melted (NAMOGO) away because of us.”  See also Hosea 13:15 "...and his (Ephraim's) spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up..."

Exodus 18:1 "
Now Moses' father in law, Jethro, the chieftain of Midian, heard all that God had done for Moses and for Israel, His people that the Lord had taken Israel out of Egypt." He heard about the miracles at the Red Sea and the war against Amalek and came to stand by the Jewish people.

The juxtaposition of Jethro and Amalek shows the contrast between good and evil people. both of them had heard about the Exodus, but Jethro reacted by casting his lot with the nation of God, while Amalek became the symbol of treachery and evil by defying God and launching an unprovoked attack on a weak and weary people (Deut 25:17-18). Miracles alone do not transform the beliefs of the Amaleks of the world; those who refuse to recognize the hand of God will always interpret events to suit their purposes (Or HaChaim).

Deut. 4:39 "And you shall know this day and consider it in your heart, that the Lord He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth below; there is none else." Take it to your heart. There are many things that people know intellectually, but do not take to heart, in the sense that this knowledge controls their behavior. 

Joshua 5:1 "And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, that were beyond the Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, that were by the sea, heard how that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel, until they were passed over, that their heart melted (VAYIMASS, their hearts were filled with fear, became weak, faintness, frightened), neither was there spirit (no courage remained) in them any more, because of the children of Israel." 

“The Book of Joshua is trying to teach us step by step from the very beginning; initiative is your hands, you go ahead, but don’t forget, God is leading, He has His plan and part of His plan is to teach the nations that are here, to fear Israel, to fear Israel means to fear the God of Israel. To fear the God of Israel, means the One and Only God of this world” (Judaism: Weekly Lecture on the Book of Joshua-Chap 8 By Yehuda Glick (INN). 
 

Leviticus 26:36-39 "And those of you who survive (i.e., those exiles whose wickedness remains intact, despite the penalties given; Lev. 26:14-35) I will bring fear (faintness, weakness) in their hearts in the lands of their enemies, and the sound of a rustling leaf will pursue them; they will flee as one flees the sword, and they will fall, but there will be no pursuer. Each man will stumble over his brother, [fleeing] as if from the sword, but without a pursuer. You will not be able to stand up against your enemies.

You will become lost (from each other) among the nations, and the land of your enemies will consume you. And because of their iniquity, those of you who survive will rot away (melt away, disintegrate, pine away) in the lands of your enemies; moreover, they will rot away (melt away, disintegrate, pine away) because the iniquities of their fathers (assimilation, idolatry, etc) are still within them." - unless they repent with all their heart and seek to appease God so that He will allow them to return to the Land ( LEV. 26:40-46).

"They will rot away:" The Hebrew word YIMAKO is an expression of melting (Lev. 26:39), and has the same meaning as YIMASS, “they will melt.” As in Ezekiel 21:12 "Because of the tidings (the horror that was soon to afflict Jerusalem), for it cometh; and every heart (among the exiles of Babylon) shall melt (become weak, faintness), VE-NAMESS KOL-LEV and all hands shall be slack, and every spirit shall be faint, and all knees shall drip with water;.." Similar is, “their (Gog & Magog's) flesh will melt HAMEK their eyes will melt TIMAKNAH and their tongue will melt TIMAK (consume away, waste away, Zech. 14:12).

And similar is “my bruises are… NAMAKO decayed, they fester, because of my foolishness” (Psalms 38:6,3). For Your arrows have been shot into me (for correction), and Your hand has come down upon me..."
In this kapitel, we find David suffering from illness. However, he doesn’t see it negatively but instead tries to turn his trial to a positive advantage (Rabbi Yitzcok Rubin, Tehillim Ch. 38). Suffering must be recognized as chastisement for sin. One must repent and look to God for salvation.

 

The looming threat of war and descending into latter-day barbarism hangs like a dark cloud over the nations. "For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but upon thee (Israel) the LORD will arise, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And nations shall walk at thy light (the Torah, Proverbs 6:23), and kings at the brightness of thy rising" (Isaiah 60:2-3).

 

Isaiah 49:3,6 'Thou art My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.' Yea, He saith: 'It is too light a thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the offspring of Israel; I will also give thee for a light of the nations, that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth.' Isaiah 42:6-8 "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house" (exile, which may be physical, or worse still, mental and spiritual).

 

When Job was at the height of his greatness he guided the people through the darkness with the light of God's Torah. Job 29:2-3 "Would that I were as [in] my early months, as [in] the days that God watched over me, when He lit His candle (Mitzvah) over my head; by His light I would go through the darkness."

 

"For a commandment is a candle, and the Torah is light, and disciplining rebukes are the way of life,.." (Prov. 6:23).

 

In every occasion of darkness and trouble that came to the world, Israel had light. "...and there was thick darkness over the entire land of Egypt for three days... but for all the children of Israel there was light in their dwellings" (Exodus 10:21-23, Esther 8:16-17, Hosea 6:1-3).

Brighten up the lights for IDF soldiers in Shomron this Chanuka: Every year residents of the Jewish communities in Shomron reach out to the IDF soldiers in the bases and at check points to bring them the joys of Chanuka. Motorcade processions equip with music and dancing yeshiva students dance with the soldiers. Chanuka donuts or given out and giant Chanuka menorah's at light in the bases and at main cross roads of the Shomron to display the miracles of the Macabbim.   

 

We ask our friends of be part of this project by giving a Chanuka gift that will go directly to the IDF soldiers on duty in the Shomron. 

 

Donations for this can be made online via this link: Chanuka gift for IDF soldiers  - Shuva Israel.  


"As we contemplate the wanton violence, warfare, terror and crime in the world today together with the licentious godless cultures that breed them, we may well feel that this verse applies directly to our age. We may take comfort in the fact that we are free to turn off the media and immerse ourselves in the study of God's Torah, and in this way His light shines to us even in the midst of the surrounding darkness that grips the world" (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).

Zechariah 14:14 "And Judah also shall fight against Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the nations round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance." 

"Mine is the silver, and Mine the gold, saith the LORD ofhosts.The glory of this latter (ACHARON) house shall be greater than that of the former, and in this place will I give peace,saith the LORD of hosts" (Haggai 2:9, Isaiah 56:1-8, 60:6-7,13, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Chs. 40-47).
The apparently redundant word ACHARON "latter" or "last", thus alludes to the Third Temple, which will be the greatest of all!

Suggested meanings to the Hebrew name AHARON is "high mountain" or "exalted." See Isaiah 2:2 and Michah 4:1. Ezekiel Ch. 44:3 and 46:2 gives us a glimpse of the messianic king, a Cohen Gadol.

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