Author Topic: Message of Rav Nachman Kahane  (Read 3776 times)

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Message of Rav Nachman Kahane
« on: December 25, 2006, 03:34:11 AM »
Message of Rav Nachman Kahane
By Moshe Lerman

The deluge which destroyed almost all of mankind at the time of Noach engraved an indelible fear in human consciousness that an event of comparable proportion is again possible. There are those who hypothesize that another worldwide catastrophe or pandemic could possibly occur and others who believe that it will definitely occur.

Every generation produces its seers who predicted the day and even the moment when Hashem’s wrath would again break out in all its consuming fury to take down the helpless species called Man, and although their predictions have time and again failed to materialize, they go on predicting the day when it will not be worthwhile to even get out of bed.

The pursuit of predicting future devastating events has an opposite parallel – the pursuit of predicting when Hashem will send the Mashiach to save His people Israel and the world. And, we too, have been disappointed time and again when the date arrived and we found ourselves in an even more precarious situation than before.

It is as if there is a competition between the two camps regarding which will arrive first: the Mashiach who will save the world from destruction or the unspeakable catastrophic event which will decimate all human life.

I feel that each camp is frustrated in its efforts to predict which will occur first because they err in their perception and evaluation of reality.

The future salvation and annihilation of billions of people are not separate events: they are inexorably bound together. At the time when HaShem will send down His fury on the world’s wicked, that will be the time when tzaddikim will find salvation.

This fundamental principle is articulated in the gemara Sanhedrin 98b when discussing the generation of the Mashiach’s appearance. The great amora, Ula, declares: “yasay velo achimenay” – let him come but I don’t want to see him, because of the great human suffering which will occur at the time. His fellow amora, Rav Yosef, declares that he wishes to be present at the time and is even willing to suffer so much as to “sit in the shadow of the Mashiach’s donkey’s dung".

Two approaches, two attitudes. But both agree that Armageddon and the Mashiach will share center stage simultaneously.

How will it play out? Who are the major players?

The first Rashi in the Torah quotes Rabbi Yitzchak in the Midrash Tanchuma who poses the question: the Torah is the book of mitzvot of the Jewish nation, therefore it should begin the first mitzva which Hashem commanded us – the calculation and declaration of new months and years, not the story of creation?

And Rabbi Yitzchak explains that Hashem began the Torah with the story of creation so that the nations of the world (the civilized nations who maintain the respect for law and order; not the murderous ones who have no connection with the spiritual-judicial world) who will in the future accuse the Jewish people of stealing Eretz Yisrael, would know that since Hashem is the creator of all that exists, He has the right to give Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish nation at the expense of all other peoples.

Here Rabbi Yitzchak stops. How will it play out? Will the goyim be convinced by our presentators? Will they cast our claims aside and mete out their idea of justice through war or other sanctions against us? Rabbi Yitzchak and Rashi, what comes next?

Yalkut Shimoni at the end of sefer Yeshayahu (#499) quotes the tana Rabbi Yitzchak, who states that in time Paras (Persia-Iran) will be the fear of the entire world. Iran, says Rabbi Yitzchak, will destroy the entire world.

The world leaders will go back and forth frustrated in their efforts to save what they can, to no avail. And Am Yisrael will also be petrified by the impending danger: And Hashem will say to us, “Why are you afraid. All of this I have done in order to bring you the awaited redemption. And this redemption will not be like the redemption from Egypt, which was followed by suffering. This redemption will be absolute, followed by peace.

It is intriguing to note that Rabbi Yitzchak with whose words Rashi begins his commentary, leaves us suspended not knowing how the final scenario of the world will develop, is the same Rabbi Yitzchak in the Yalkut Shimoni who sells it out:  Yisrael, Iran, the nations of the world – it’s all there. Rashi, when he chose the Midrash Tanchuma, knew what Rabbi Yitzchak said and appears in the Yalkut Shimoni, but Rashi purposely lets us “hang in mid-air” because when discussing the creation of the world it makes no sense to discuss its finale.

Rabbi Yitzchak’s description of the end of history includes the major participants, as noted above, but he is very discreet and refrains from divulging too many details; for this we have to go to the gemara in tractate Avoda Zara 3a.

In future time Hashem will mete out to each nation and individual his earned reward or punishment. The reward which will be showered upon Am Yisrael will evoke jealousy among the nations and Hashem will answer that the Jews who struggled with keeping the Torah against all odds deserve these benefits but the nations who did not, will not benefit from them. The nations will reply that had Hashem given them the Torah, then they too would have kept it. Hashem will then say that they are incapable of keeping the Torah, but nevertheless Hashem will command them with a mitzva kala (easy mitzva) for which, if they succeed, He will provide them with rich rewards, the mitzva of succah.

The goyim will run to build succot on their roofs, Hashem will then bring out the full heat of the Sun just as in the hottest summer day and the goyim will degrade the succot by hastily exiting them along with the difficulties suffered in the heat.

The rabbis in the gemara, by their golden choice of words, are telling us what Rabbi Yitzchak did not want to reveal – how the last scenes of history will play out, as follows.

After the close of the Second World War, the world’s major nations established the United Nations. This organization, arising from the shamples of the League of Nations, accepted resolutions intended to guide member states in their relations with other member states. Foremost among these resolutions is the rule that no nation shall threaten a fellow nation.

The UN is the “mitzva kala” which the gemara in Avoda Zara refers to because a succah is defined as “dirat arai” – a temporary dwelling as opposed to a permanent one. For the permanent one is in its respective geographical area and the temporary one is its presence twice a year in the New York headquarters building.

Hashem will “expose the heat of the Sun” making it most difficult to exist in its midst. The “heat” is the great moral dilemmas which face the member states. The “hottest” of which occurred when Iran threatened to “erase the State of Israel from all the maps of the world”. The UN did not remove Iran from its membership because on he one hand they have oil and will soon posess atomic weapons, and who did they threaten anyway – Israel. The UN escapes their moral responsibilities (once again) and the end of the world order can be measured to have begun.

How the end will indeed play out, no one knows for sure. But the connection between the words of the various midrashim and the realities of our life today are too clear to be overlooked.

In the end, whatever occurs the safest place to be when it happens will be Eretz Yisrael.

It is the Noach's arc of the end of time.