Prior to his death, the Patriarch Jacob wished to disclose to his children the future of the Jewish nation.
We know only too well what those prophecies were, and Jacob knew that revealing the enormous suffering that the Jews were destined to experience would be devastating to his children.
The only way they could hear these things was if they "gathered together" and, by virtue of their unity, could share their strengths...
Jacob knew this lesson well.
The Torah tells us that "Jacob remained alone, and a man wrestled with him (Eisav’s guardian angel) until the break of dawn” (Genesis 32:25). Jacob discovered that he was vulnerable only when he remained alone ... the Torah further states
that when we join together, our strengths are not only additive, but increase exponentially (Rashi, Leviticus 26:8).
Together, we can overcome formidable
challenges (Rabbi Avraham Twerski):
Isaiah 41:14 "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I help thee, saith the LORD, and thy Redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel." The family of Jacob, which is weak like a worm, has no strength except the Torah in its mouth, with which they will "consume" the mighty, powerful nations.
Isaiah 50:8-9 "He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?... who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? Behold, they (the wicked nations) all shall wax
old as a garment, the moth shall eat them up."
Isaiah 51:7-8 "Hearken to Me, you who know righteousness, a people that has My Torah in their heart, fear not reproach of
man, and from their revilings be not dismayed. For, like a garment, the moth shall consume them, and like wool, the worm shall consume them, but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation to all generations." ”And I am like a moth to Ephraim
(Ten Tribes) and like decay to the house of Judah (like worm which eats the wood and pulverizes it)” (Hosea 5:12).
to their deeds, accordingly He shall repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands He shall pay recompense.
from the west they shall fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, His glory, for distress shall come like a river; the spirit of the Lord is wondrous in it...” (Isaiah 59:19-21). Heb. נֹסְסָה, ”is
wondrous in it”; an expression of a miracle (נֵס). Another explanation: נֹסְסָה means: eats into him like a worm in wood. “And it shall be as a tree
eaten to powder by the worms” (Rashi).
"And a redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who repent of transgression
in Jacob, says the Lord. "As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the Lord. "My spirit, which is upon you AND MY WORDS THAT
I HAVE PLACED IN YOUR MOUTH, shall not move from your mouth or from the mouth of your seed and from the mouth of your seed's seed," said the Lord, "from now and to eternity." For even in their
exile, My Torah shall not be forgotten from them (Rashi).
"And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone (knowledge of God), and slung it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone (knowledge of God) sank into his forehead,.. and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with
a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David... (1 Samuel 17:49-50).
"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image (of the Fourth kingdom) upon its feet that were of iron and CLAY and broke them to pieces. Then
was the iron, the CLAY, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them (see Isaiah 41:14-16); and the stone (knowledge of God) that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth..."
The Roman empire came to be dominated by Edom and Ishmael, represented by Christianity and ISLAM. Both
- one as strong as iron, the other weak as POTTERY - comprise the latter day "fourth kingdom" (Abarbanel). See Psalms 2:8-9.
"And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; nor shall the kingdom be left to another people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, but it shall stand for
ever" Daniel 2:34-35,44).
shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:11,13-14). It is the knowledge of God that dispels the cruelty
that rules in its absence (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
Why Cannot Jesus Be The Messiah? Both Islam and Christianity teaches that their Mashichim; Jesus
& Mahdi will kill their enemies: Revelation 19:11-16 ”Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. He was clothed with a robe dipped
in blood,..” To show that he was just come from recent slaughter.
Egyptian Cleric Mahmoud Al-Masri: When the Mahdi Comes, "Not a Single Jew Will Be Left on the Face of the Earth " The final annihilation [of the Jews] will come at the time of the Mahdi, or shortly before
the Mahdi appears. Then the Muslims will regain the Al-Aqsa Mosque, if they do not manage to spread Islam throughout the land... (MEMRI, Nov. 16, 2012).
If the Mashiach is going to build the Temple, the Mashiach cannot be a man of war and blodshed. Zechariah 4:6 'Not by military force and not by physical strength, but by My spirit,' says the Lord of Hosts." The building
of the Temple would be completed not through the might and strength of its builders but through God's spirit (Rashi). ”For out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem ” (Isaiah 2:3, Michah 4:2).
”And King David rose to his feet and said, "Hearken to me, my brethren and my people; as for me, it is with my heart to build a house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of the
Lord and for the footstool of our God, and I prepared to build.
But God said to me, 'You shall not build a house in My name, because you are a man of war, and you have shed
blood' (1 Chronicles 28:2,3).
So, the Mashiach will subdue the nations not through war but through the words of peace he will speak to them,
through which they will submit themselves to his influence" (Metzudas). ”...And he shall speak peace to the nations,..” (Zechariah 9:10). ”...and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips he shall
put the wicked to death” (Isaiah 11:4, 55:4-5). With the speech of his lips; truth, rebuke, etc. The Mashiach will not need to use armed force
in order to assert his authority but will do so through the power of his words.
Through increasing knowledge of God and from the knowledge within
each and all of us - it will eventually be possible TO REACH AN UNDERSTANDING, and for all the different types and kinds of people to coexist peacefully, as declared by the prophets: Isaiah 11:6-8, 65:25, Hosea 2:20, Ezek. 34:23-26, Lev. 26:1-9.
The Belzer Rebbe zy'a said that even from the wicked (rasha) we must learn. He advises that we observe the
manner in which they plan their evil acts, and the untiring way they go about doing it. This, says the Rebbe, is what the stanza here means: Me’oiyvai Techakmeini...
“From my enemies shall You teach me wisdom in doing Your commandments” (Psalm 119:98).
DIVINE ATTRIBUTES: Sometimes, in the speeches
of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one is able to find a good explanation. "God created the world for humans and humans for Himself. He created humans from mud and in the soil, but He did not want them to remain in the soil and with animal instincts.
He kindled the light of guidance in their souls and asked them to rise from the soil to the heavens and to Him with the help of wisdom, prophets and perfect men.
God has created man for eternity and has made them a manifestation of Himself.
mercifullness, kindness, knowledge, wisdom, zeal, concealment of sins, splendor, justice, bounteousness, generosity, greatness, love, glory, dignity, forgiveness, insight, kingship and all other goodness and beauty are attributes of God.
God has not created humans for aggression, bloodshed, rancor, selfishness and destruction. '
He made humans His vicegerents on earth and has asked them to, on the one hand, make earth prosper by using their God-given potentials and to prepare the ground for the growth of divine attributes in all humans, and to provide all with a life full of beauty,
amity, freedom, justice and goodness; and on the other hand in pursuance of this path, to prepare for a prosperous, everlasting life endowed by God's mercy.
God has obligated humans to live divinely and socially, FOR IT IS ONLY THROUGH SOCIAL LIFE AND INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS THAT DIVINE ATTRIBUTES MAY EMERGE..."
TO GOD: God Almighty has tied their perfection and true freedom of humans to their devotion and obedience to Himself. True freedom and obedience to God are in balance and in fact are two sides of the same coin.
Obeisance to God means confessing to monotheism and obeying His commands, and to be free from ungodly worship. Obeisance to God means the acceptance of the absolute truth, the absolute light, and the absolute beauty.
Obeisance to God means abandoning selfishness and animal instincts, power-seeking and aggression, surrendering to righteousness, justice, love, and perfection.
in this way, humans can achieve their true freedom and flourish, they can grow and manifest divine attributes, have affection for others, stand up for justice, and fear no power or threat, and defend the oppressed...” (Ahmadinejad's speech to
the UN General Assembly, Haaretz, 24/09/2008).
The Torah teaches us about the attributes of G-d by telling us stories of the outstanding Tzaddikim of all time,
who emulated His ways. The only way a human being can cleave to God is by emulating His ways. Just as He perform kind deeds,
so should you (Rashi on Deut. 13:5).
What is the meaning of the verse, "You shall walk after the L-rd your G-d? The meaning is to follow the attributes
of the Holy One, blessed be He. G-d clothes the naked, as it is written: "And G-d made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21); so should you,
too, clothe the naked. G-d visits the sick, as it is written: "And G-d appeared to him by the Oaks of Mamre"; so should you, too, visit the sick.
mourners, as it is written: "And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that G-d blessed Isaac his son" (Genesis 25:11); so should you, too, comfort mourners. G-d buries the dead, as it is written: "And He buried him in the valley" (Deuteronomy
34:6); so should you, too, bury the dead (Talmud, Sotah 14a).
”The Lord performs charitable deeds and judgment for all oppressed people. He makes His ways known
to Moses, to the children of Israel His deeds. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and with much kindness" (Psalm 103:6-8).
Seven Attributes Upon Which The World Is Based: After the sin of Adam had made them deficient, the seven attributes were replanted, reintroduced and strengthened by our great ancestors,
"the seven shepherds." In every generation and in every time man chooses, he can come and cleave to the attributes of the seven shepherds, for the qualities that they implanted have eternal strength.
The period during which the omer is counted is most auspicious, for once Israel left Egypt and became part of God's portion, a gate of purity was opened for them - a gate that the people of that era entered
and through which they became purified over a period of 49 days (the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot). They rose from the status of brickmakers and straw gatherers serving the Pharaoh of Egypt, to become a people especially chosen by God, a nation of
kohanim, kings and ministers, all devoted to His service.
This path of purification was paved then, and each year when this period arrives, the gate
is once again opened and the road made clear for all those who seek to assume the seven attributes in their completeness (From The Book Of Our Heritage By Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov). The counting of the omer demonstrates how much one's desire is; to purify, accept and implement the Torah in one's life.
The Seven Shepherds: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and king David; each correspond to a fundamental spiritual pathway (SEFIRAH) through which the world is metaphysically nourished and perfected (Derech Hashem
3:2:5, Zohar Chadash, Toldot 26c; cf. Zohar 2:256a).
In the words of Rabbi Eliyahu
Kitov: "Our forefather Abraham was the personification of the attribute of lovingkindness (CHESSED): He fed and sustained everyone with his great love, and with his overwhelming kindness he brought them under the wings of the Shechinah
(Gods Presence). Abraham would convert the men and Sarah would convert the women “the souls they had acquired in Haran” (Genesis 12:5). He had no jealousy, cruelty, or hatred in his character.
Our forefather Yitzchak personified the attribute of strength. Through him fear of God was introduced to the world. All of his strength was devoted to serving God and fearing Him.
Our forefather Ya’akov was the personification of glory. Everything he that he accomplished was done with simplicity and perfection. He was pure in his relationship to Heaven and to his parents.
All that he did, he did with perfection – in his relationship with Lavan, in his relationship with Esav, in his struggle with the angel. He was devoid of deceitfulness and treachery.
We might think that he was devious or crooked in his dealings with his father or his brother Esav, but the Torah (Genesis 25:27) testifies to his true stature before God and man: AND YA’AKOV WAS A PERFECT MAN – perfection to an extent that had never been seen before.
There are people who seem righteous in their nature and just in their actions, but are really corrupt. On the one hand, although Ya’akov’s actions may appear devious, when we closely examine his character, we find that HE
IS THE EPITOME OF GLORY AND UPRIGHTNESS.
Our teacher Moses was the personification of eternity – the eternity of Torah... Moshe who
was willing to give his life for Torah – merited to become its teacher and to transmit it to all the generations.
Aharon personified the attribute of splendor,
loving peace and pursuing it, loving mankind and bringing them close to the Torah. Anyone who saw Aharon’s splendor and holiness was immediately drawn to emulate him and his way...
Yosef personified the attribute referred to as the foundation: moral virtue. The righteous morality of Yosef was so great that he achieved the highest level of sanctity. This characteristic is called the foundation, for it
is the main base upon which the world rests..."
The family unit is the foundation of every thriving society. A nation's moral condition and its strength of character are
the key to its endurance. With 40 % of 2,2 million private households in Norway living alone (880 000), divorce and fractured households are now the norm.
"David ha-Melech was the personification of the attribute of sovereignty.” He represents the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth:
When we act in ways that manifest one of these spiritual attributes, the divine light (as directed through that particular transcendental conduit) shines down into the world and brings
it closer to its completion (Derech Hashem 4:2:2,5).
"Each of these seven attributes is related to the others; if there is no strength, then there is no lovingkindness, for
the latter attribute becomes soft-heartedness is it is not joined to strength.
Similarly, if lovingkindness lacks an element of glory it can degenerate into sin. In the same
vein, none of the other attributes can be considered complete if they lack an element of lovingkindness. EACH ATTRIBUTE HAS A LIGHT OF ITS OWN THAT SHINES FORTH FROM ITS COMBINATION WITH OTHERS" (R' E. Kitov).
Isaiah 40:5 “And the כְּבוֹד יְהוָה glory of God will be revealed and all flesh will see it together.” In the Era of Redemption "ALL FLESH WILL REVEAL GODLINESS."
The "glory of God" is normally understood as the reality and presence of the Almighty that will be recognized in the world. Nothing visually will be seen, but we can
become aware of realities that we can't see, like the wind, like love, like beauty...G-d now is not acknowledged by the world - but one day He will be (Rabbi Michael Skobac).
His honor, greatness, majesty and power will be recognized through the Redemption of Israel: Ezek. 38:16,23 "And you will ascend upon My people Israel like a cloud to cover the earth; at the end of days it will be, and I
shall bring you upon My land in order that the nations recognize Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog. And I will reveal Myself in My greatness and in My holiness and will be recognized in the eyes of many nations, and they will know
that I am the Lord."
Isaiah 60:1,3 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has shone upon you. And nations shall go by your light
and kings by the brilliance of your shine."
Each and every soul of the House of Israel comprises within it something of the quality of our teacher Moses,
peace unto him, for he is one of the "seven shepherds" who cause vitality and G-dliness to flow to the community of the souls of Israel, for which reason they are called "shepherds".
Just as a shepherd provides nourishment for his sheep, thereby supplying them with vitality, so too do the "seven shepherds" sustain Jewish souls with "vitality and G-dliness," each from his own spiritual level. Abraham provides the
Jews with the spiritual faculty of Chessed and love, and so forth (Likutei Amarim, Chapter Forty-Two).
Every created entity has a spark of G-dliness within it, a pinpoint
of divinity that constitutes its "soul", its spiritual function and design. When we utilize something to serve
the Creator, we penetrates its shell of mundanity, revealing and realizing its divine essence. Thus we elevate these "sparks", reuniting them with their Source (The Chassidic Masters, Exodus 25:2).
GOD’S UNITY: ”As you are well aware, the divine prophets had the mission to call everyone to monotheism, love, and justice and show mankind
the path to prosperity. (Ahmadinejad's speech to the UN General Assembly, 2010).
”...You shall love your fellow as yourself – I am HaShem”
(Leviticus 19:18). R’ Akiva said that this is the fundamental rule of the Torah (Rashi; Sifra). Hillel paraphrased the commandment, saying, ”What is hateful to you, do not do to others” (Shabbos 31a).
God demands that we want others to have the same degree of success and prosperity that we want for ourselves... (Ramban). God commands us to love even people whom it is hard to love (R’ Avraham Yehoshua
Heschel of Kopitchinitz).
Joshua 1:8 ”This book of the Torah shall not leave your mouth; you shall meditate therein day and night, in order that you observe to
do all that is written in it, for then will you succeed in all your ways and then will you prosper.”
"The only path to remain
safe is to return to Monotheism (believing in the Oneness of God) and justice, and this is the greatest hope and opportunity in all ages and generations (Ahmadinejad's speech to the UN General Assembly, 2009).
”The Jewish people, in the generation of Mordekhai and Esther, were far from G-d. They bowed down to the idol and ate and drank
at the king's feast. G-d wanted to draw them closer to Him. Therefore, he raised Haman who decreed that they would be annihilated” (Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe).
immorality reigned at the feast, as would be expected at occasions of that nature. In addition, the sacred vessels of the Bais Hamikdash were exposed and defiled but the Jewish people were indifferent to all... They should have protested and fainted at the
sight of the vessels but they were so insensitive to Hashem that they did not even respond!
Such indifference called for immediate action and once again Amalek was called
to give the shock. Haman, a pure descendent of Amalek suddenly suddenly rose to power and reminded the Jewish people to focus on Hashem... (Rabbi Dovid Siegel).
to PM Binyamin Netanyahu has compared Netanyahu's attitude towards Iran to the traditional Jewish view of Amalek, the ultimate enemy which must be destroyed (INN, 05/17/09). Thus Haman – from the seed of Amalek, who was Esau's illegitimate grandson –
attained power in Persia, and his descendants appear to have gained power in Iran today as well as over other groups that promote the killing of Jews, (Rabbi A. Greenbaum on Obadiah 1:2).
”If you are not sure Who the God of Israel is, the Bible gives us a hint in this matter. Scripture warns us that one day you will worship other gods that your fathers did not know (Deuteronomy 28) and this iniquity will bring about
national disaster” (Rabbi Tovia Singer).
Monotheism and Idolatry:
The Jewish people are meant to serve as HaShem's priests, whose task will be to bring the nations back to the path that they deviated from, teach them about the unity
of God and His Torah (Isaiah 61:6-11, Exodus 19:5-6), and to know and fear God. (Job 28:28, Prov. 1:24-33, 5:7-14). Peace will come to the world when the nations embrace God's Torah and the Seven Laws of Noah.