Deconstructing Geula: When Moshiach shows up, we need to have some clue as to what happens next.
When a couple announces their engagement, it’s always interesting to see if the focus is going to be on the wedding, or on the marriage.
The more superficial the people involved, the more ‘Hollywood-headed’, the more they are trying to live life according to a Disney script, the more interest they’ll take in the big day – their chance to shine – with precious little thought to what really comes after.
Thousands of bucks will be spent on the pink champagne, the dress, the breath-taking venue in the Bahamas, flying the guests in on whatever replaced Concorde. And often, those types of ‘celebrity’ weddings hit the headlines in a blaze of glory and triumph.
Only for the marriage to fizzle out and fail, a little while later.
By contrast, when the focus is on the marriage, and not on the wedding, things are usually done pretty differently right from the beginning. The couple – and everyone else around them – is far more focused on what comes after the chuppa.
Where are the happy couple going to live? What are they going to eat? How are they going to get along together? How are they going to manage, day to day? Who’s going to be paying the bills?
Yes, of course, there’s still a do to arrange, and a dress to buy, and a band and hall to hire – it is a wedding, after all. But the wedding isn’t the focus, the marriage is.
All this came to mind, when I was thinking about what it really actually means to ‘live’ in the times of Moshiach.
So I decided, it’s time to knuckle down to the job of actually deconstructing geula.
Sure, it’s exciting to think about the ‘big day’ when Moshiach is finally revealed, and the geula gets underway in an open and revealed way.
But much like the wedding, that ‘big day’ is only the beginning of the process.
Over on ravberland.com, I recently drew together some of the more telling sources talking about what happens before, during and after Moshiach is revealed. You can see that post for yourselves HERE, and I’m not going to repeat all the information in this piece, other than to pull out a couple of pertinent observations.
Firstly, when the Rambam tells us that nothing is going to change when Moshiach is revealed, other than the subjugation of the nations, what he’s really telling us is that
There is no instant, ‘magical’, Disney-fied ending to all our troubles and tribulations.
We don’t step out of this reality, and step straight into a world where everything is an open miracle – not least, because most of couldn’t cope with that, and we’d probably either go even more stark, raving mad, or keel over with heart failure.
So let’s carry on deconstructing geula. Let’s drill down, and take a few examples.
Let’s say, you have a medical prescription you can’t do without. When Moshiach comes, how are you going to cope, if you can no longer pop out to the pharmacy for a refill, whenever you need to?
Or, let’s say Moshiach comes and you’re still living in the US, and no-one in your family knows Hebrew, and you don’t own a home in Israel, and you still have elderly parents to look after who are too old, or too ill, to be moved to a new country. But Moshiach came! So now, what happens next?
Or, let’s say Moshiach comes, and there’s a big announcement made in your shul that ‘some guy’ is saying he’s the Moshiach, and geula has now begun in earnest.
If you haven’t been doing some serious work on getting connected to your soul, and to God, and to the true Tzaddikim, how are you even going to believe it? And if you believe it yourself, how are you going to convince your husband, or your kids, or your siblings, that Moshiach really did come just now, and you all need to pack up the house and move to some tent city the Israeli government just set up in the Arava desert?
Who is going to come with you? Really?
If we’re serious about really deconstructing geula, and what it actually means for us all, let’s try to picture the scene:
“Honey, I know you’ve been waiting for Moshiach for years, but how do we know ‘some guy’ is really him?! I’m not prepared to throw our whole life away on a gamble…And think of our daughter, she’s got her final exams in four more months, but you want to up and move to some tent in the middle of the desert now?! You can’t eat sand, be reasonable, honey. When Moshiach really comes, we’ll all know about, and that’s when we’ll order the one way ticket, and finally make aliya. But I refuse to let you pressure me into making a rash decision, just because ‘some guy’ says he’s Moshiach….”
I wish what I just described is an exaggeration, a caricature, of the reaction the real Moshiach is going to get, but if anything, I’m playing down how bad it’s going to be.
Because as the sources in this article show:
- There is going to be a huge machloket over Moshiach, when he first shows up – i.e. it’s really not going to be obvious to a lot of people, frum or not, that he is who he is claiming to be.
- A war is going to kick off in Israel as soon as Moshiach is revealed – which means that no-one is going to be in a rush to move here right then, and even if they want to, there is no guarantee there will be any flights in or out of the country, depending on what’s actually happening here.
- Moshiach showing up is going to be accompanied by a whole bunch of totally natural, un-miraculous dramatic events that could totally change the world as we know it.
Yes, I’m back to the earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis part of the equation.
So now, let’s try to deconstruct geula a bit more, to see what the Rambam actually means, when he says:
The ‘subjugation of the foreign nations’ will cease.
What’s going to get that to stop, in our ‘deconstructing geula’ real-time breakdown?
What on earth is going to be happening in the world, to cause all the anti-semitic, Jew-hating countries who hate Israel to suddenly stop pressuring us to hold-off building more homes in the West Bank? Or to stop fighting back against the missiles and rockets from Gaza (even when they send over 400 in just one day)? Or to refrain from taking out Hezbollah tunnels into Israel that were dug over a whole decade, and that the Israeli army ‘apparently’ knew all about?
What’s going to change?
How is Trump’s mind going to get taken off his ‘deal of the century’ in the Middle East, which will boil down to some variant on forcing Israel to let go of land that God Himself gave to the Jewish people, in the name of ‘peace’?
How are the EU and its proxies suddenly going to stop funding all the lefty, anti-Israel ‘charities’ like B’tselem and Yesh Gvul? How is the UN suddenly going to take Israel off its agenda, and turn its attention to other things?
What’s going to change?
Clearly, something pretty big is going to have to happen, for our reality to change that drastically, and if you ask me, that’s where all the earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis come in.
And where are these natural disasters going to strike the hardest?
Answer: The same places they’ve struck in the past, namely the so-called ‘New World’.
Did you ever wonder, why the ‘New World’ was so sparsely populated, if it’s been there for billions of years?
Why were there so few people in North and South America? Why so few people in Australia and New Zealand? Why were the native cultures in these places relatively so stone-age?
Could it be, that no-one was building roads, or factories, or permanent dwelling places, because the ground there is fundamentally so unstable, and so prone to massive natural disasters? Could it be, that every time these civilizations started to make a little technical progress, another natural disaster hit to take everything back to square one?
Is that why it was so easy for the ‘advanced’ Europeans to cross the ocean and conquer the native peoples in the ‘New World’?
There is plenty of scientific evidence out there that the world is now entering another period of global cooling, and that this typically coincides with a massive uptick in seismic activity, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and a bunch of other weird and often dramatic geologic phenomena.
Every 200-400 years, the Americas are wracked by earth-shaking, massive quakes.
And we’re not just talking about San Francisco here. We’re talking about most of the continent.
And we’re not just talking about one, singular ‘big one’. We’re talking about a serious of dramatic geological events that are going to continue for a while, and come one after the other.
Again, let’s just try to come out of the Disney bubble, and ask ourselves what would happen if the modern USA, or modern Australia, got hit with the sort of earth-wrecking massive quakes and tsunamis that have clearly happened there in very recent times, tomorrow?
- If the highways all got cracked up, what then?
- If the underground water pipes, or gas pipes, all got broken up and shifted around, what then?
- If a local nuclear power station got jolted around by a massive earthquake, or flooded by a massive tsunami – as happened at Fukishima in Japan, in 2011 – what then?
Let’s bring it back to deconstructing geula:
If the planes are all grounded because of geological disasters, if society is fast sinking into chaos and mayhem – as happened post-Katrina – how are the Cohen family actually going to make it out of Brooklyn, to the promised land?
Tachlis, what happens next?
An open miracle?
The Rambam told us clearly – no open miracles at the beginning of the geula process, except that the subjugation of the nations will cease.
So what does all this actually mean?
Again, deconstructing geula is serious stuff.
Sure, it’s great to breathlessly discuss the flowers, and the menu, and the special beading on the kallah’s dress, but tachlis, what happens the day after the ‘big day’?
That’s what I hope more of us will start to turn our attention to now, because we can’t just use the coming of Moshiach as some sort of emotional crutch, to help us get through our difficult, stressful lives, or to give us a bit of a spiritual ‘buzz’.
I know that’s tempting, and I’ve certainly spent a few years doing that myself, until I realized it’s actually not helpful, and if anything, it’s slowing up geula.
Because the Jewish people have a lot of work to do, to get ready for Moshiach and geula.
Moshiach is not a Disney movie, it’s not a fairy tale, where ‘some guy’ shows up and starts granting everyone three wishes, like some sort of Santa Claus, or genie in a bottle. We have to seriously start the process of deconstructing geula because:
- Moshiach will show up, and there will be a big war.
- Moshiach will show up, and there will be massive civil unrest and disruption occurring around the globe.
- Moshiach will show up, and there will be 4 sceptics for every single ‘true believer’, telling you that Moshiach didn’t show up, or telling you that you’ve got the wrong guy.
And then what?
- What are you going to do next?
- Where is your family going to live?
- How are they going to eat?
- How are you going to schlep all those sceptical family members into actually being ready for geula?
What’s the plan, tachlis for getting out of galut and getting across to the holy land? How long are you going to leave things, before you move? Where are you going to come to? How are you going to cope, mentally, if you have to leave your home and loved ones behind? How are you going to persuade even your closest family members to join you?
This is all stuff that we need to start thinking about, and especially, praying on, now.
I know it’s hard. It’s hard to really drill down, and to start deconstructing geula to see what it actually means, especially for people who didn’t already take that massive leap of faith, and move to the holy land.
Actually moving to Israel is definitely a big part of the process, no doubt (and it’s also the main reason why I tend to take ‘rose-tinted’ pronouncements about geula from people who don’t actually live here with a huge pinch of salt.)
But it’s not the whole enchilada, not by any measure. Even if a person already lives in Israel, there is a lot of work to do, and no guarantees that just being here is enough to guarantee a person will ‘make it’ through the geula process.
There are so many crazy people here, so many people who are ‘anti’ religious Jews, ‘anti’ rabbonim, ‘anti’ anyone who really could be the bona fide Moshiach.
When war breaks out here, who knows who will actually have the courage to stay and see it through, and who is going to try and run away as fast as their legs will carry them?
And there’s one more thing to throw into the ‘Deconstructing Geula’ mix, too, which is that our Sages say that the redemption from Egypt is the blueprint for the future and final redemption.
That means that at some point, Moshiach / Moshe Rabbenu will probably show up in Mitzrayim / Miami to give the people chizzuk, and to lead them out of a country that is being devastated by what appears to be a series of massive, back-to-back, natural disasters.
God isn’t going to just turn His back on people, because they didn’t manage to move to Israel yet. But at the same time, that doesn’t mean they are going to get a ‘free ride’ when geula really kicks off.
Because make no mistake, unless something huge changes, there is no way in the world that the USA would let 6 million of its wealthiest and most highly-educated, productive citizens leave to Israel en masse with their possessions and talents. Its economy would go into meltdown, and we all know that money is really the only thing that motivates Uncle Sam, for good and for bad.
So then what happens?
Moshiach / Moshe Rabbenu will return to Mitzrayim / Miami to lead the Jewish people out, and to reassure the Fed that the American Jews are only leaving for three days, and then they’ll come back and go back to work, and that all the money they want to remove from the US banking system will be repaid, and really nothing to worry about.
And America won’t let them, until America is broken by a number of massive geological disasters, and the country is left in complete disarray.
And then what?
4/5 of the Jews still won’t make it out, because even after all the miracles, they can’t quite bring themselves to believe in Moshiach / Moshe Rabbenu, and they really aren’t so keen on swapping the flesh pots of Brooklyn for some tent city in the middle of the Arava.
Maybe you’ll say that’s a stretch, but does this scenario really sound so far-fetched?
SO WHAT CAN WE DO NOW, TACHLIS, TO GET READY FOR THE ‘MARRIAGE’ AND THE DAY AFTER?
The main piece of advice is to start talking to God, every single day.
If you’re regularly talking to God, He’ll start helping you to figure out what’s coming from a place of truth, and what isn’t. He’ll start cluing you in to which people, which leaders, which rabbis, which writers are really ‘real’ out there, and who is a faker and distraction.
He’ll help you to work out which bad middot, which negative character traits, are getting in the way of you being able to actually make real plans to really ‘live’ geula, practically speaking, and to move past all the breathless, frothy excitement of ‘Disney-does-geula’.
Here’s a few other suggestions to ponder on the subject of Deconstructing Geula:
- Tachlis, can you buy something in Israel, maybe even something small and in completely the wrong location?
- Can you start to learn more Hebrew? And / or send your kids to a school where the focus is put on learning to really speak and interact in Hebrew?
- Can you start to at least spend a bit more time in Israel, getting more acclimatized to the country, and yearning for it more?
- Can you start to maybe just broach the subject with your spouse, or with your kids, about what happens the day after Moshiach comes, and how that might look, and what plans you might need to start working on, to come through it in one piece?
- Can you start to encourage your family to at least just think about how life could look in Israel?
- Can you start working on your emuna, and especially on your emunat tzaddikim, so that when Moshiach really does show up you aren’t actually just ignoring him, or worse, scoffing at him and calling him a ‘false messiah’?
- Can you start working up to talking to God for an hour a day, so you really have the spiritual strength you need to make the right decisions as required? Because Israel and redemption, like everything else worthwhile, is not going to come ‘easy’ to anyone.
I know, we all love Disney so much because they always have those cute happy endings:
Allakazam, the wand waves, and you step out of your big house in Five Towns, step into a jet, and 10 hours later, step out again to your big house in Jerusalem, with a great view of the rebuilt Temple.
But I can’t find a single authentic Jewish source that says that this is how geula is really going to be.
But there are plenty of sources telling us that it’s going to be hard work, dramatic, and like all birth processes, anything but easy.
So, it’s time to stop talking about the ‘wedding’ and to turn our attention to the ‘marriage’ that comes after. Because that is where the real discussion is to be had, and where the real work needs to be done.
Also see: Deconstructing Aliyah.
UPDATE ON ELIEZER BEN ETIA:
So, it looks like the Deconstructing Geula scenario I described above is about to start playing out in real time.
This just in:
Did you ever wonder how Moshe Rabbenu would go down in a Monsey Beit HaMidrash?
“Shlomie! Shlomie! You gotta hear this! Some guy in a frock just showed up in the beis medrash, and told everyone he’s the Moshiach!!!”
Shlomie heaved his stomach back inside the belt line of his black pants, stood up and went over to talk to his chevrusa Yankie, who was anxiously pacing backwards and forwards by the kollel’s coffee vending machine.
“Whaddya talking about, Shlomie? Calm down, speak slower. Who just showed up in the beis medrash?”
Yankie took a breath, stopped pacing, and turned to Shlomie.
“Some guy called Moshe something… He said G-d sent him to redeem the Jews, and he wants to take us out of Monsey to the promised land!”
Shlomie’s eyes narrowed. Another nut-job talking about G-d! The last 210 years, there’d been a lot of these imposters who’d showed up trying to con the Jews of Monsey that one day they’d have to leave and go to the ‘holy land’.
Wherever that place was meant to be…
“Where is this guy?” Shlomie demanded. “I wanna talk to him.”
With Yankie following behind, Shlomie headed off to the beis medrash, swung the doors open, and saw a tall, bearded figure standing in the corner with his eyes shut, rapturously reciting the bracha over a cup of water out loud.
Shlomie whispered to Yankie,
“Uhoh, this already doesn’t look good! What’s with this guy’s accent? Is he Sephardi?! And who spends five minutes blessing a cup of water?! This is definitely bitul Torah!”
Yankie muttered back, “Shlomie, we didn’t get the Torah yet…” But Shlomie didn’t hear him, as he’d already marched up to ‘Moshe the moshiach’ determined to kick this imposter out of the beis medrash.
“Sooo, Moishe… where’d you learn?” challenged Shlomie.
Moshe Rabbenu studied Shlomie with wise, kind eyes and told him gently:
“I’ve spent the last 60 years communing with Hashem in the desert.”
Shlomie eyes rolled so far back in his head they almost popped out his neck. Geez, the nerve of this guy!!! Still, Shlomie prided himself on being open-minded, so he decided to ask a couple more questions before officially excommunicating him.
“So, who’s your Rav?” he asked.
Moshe lowered his head slighty and said:
“Hashem. Hashem’s teaching me Torah. Although I did meet Rabbi Akiva a little while back…”
Shlomie snorted again. What? That guy whose parents were goyim who converted?!?
He tried one last time,
“Where did you grow up? Did you study at the Mir?”
“I grew up in Pharoah’s palace,” Moshe Rabbenu replied gently. “I had to flee Monsey-raim at the age of 20 after I killed an Egyptian by uttering one of Hashem’s ineffable names. I never got a chance to learn at the Mir….”
“Kishoofim!!!!” roared out Shlomie.
“Out, out, get outta here with all your dangerous Moshiach talk! You’re nothing but a crack-pot, a false messiah, a person who’s trying to pull the Jews away from learning Torah with all your talk about serving Hashem!”
Yankie muttered again “But Shlomie, we didn’t get the Torah yet…” but again, Shlomie didn’t hear him.
With quiet dignity, Moshe Rabbenu picked up his staff, and headed out of the beis medrash.
Yankie was anxiously biting his fingernails.
“The nerve of that guy!” sputtered Shlomie. “I can’t believe people are falling for this! We’re only meant to be learning about Moshiach, not believing it!”
“But Shlomie, a lot of the really big rabbis – like Aharon HaKohen – say he’s the real deal…”
Shlomie harrumphed. “All these ‘rebbe’ types stick together, you know that.”
“But Shlomie,” Yankie tried again,
“This morning he turned the whole Nile to blood, and he’s told Pharoah there’s more natural disasters to come, if he doesn’t send the Jews out of Monsey-raim…”
“Kishoofim!!” Shlomie yelled again.
“Unbelievable bitul Torah! Instead of learning another three blatt Gemara this guy’s off doing black magic and talking to goyim! Don’t fall for it, Yankie, don’t let him fool you. Seriously, where was the guy’s hat??”
Yankie tried one last time:
“But Shlomie, we have a tradition from Yaakov Avinu that at some point, the Jews have to leave Monsey-raim, and that a redeemer will show up and take them out of galus…”
Shlomie sighed a big sigh, and put his enormous arm around his frail, naïve learning partner.
“Yankie, you’re a great guy, do you know that? Here, take a look over the other side of the beis medrash. Who’d ya see?”
Yankie turned his head, and spotted Korach, the Rosh Kollel, shtiggering away to the bachorim about how why the beis medrash doesn’t need a mezuzah on the door. Korach cut a fine figure in his Armani black suit, smart tie and brushed fedora, tilted at just the right angle to set off his jutting chin.
“Now, if someone told me that’s Moshiach, I’d believe it,” explained Shlomie.
“That guy’s related to one of the most important families in Monsey-raim; he’s got 14 kids – all shomer Toyrah ve-mitzvos – and he encourages his students to think for themselves. That guy is all about Toyrah and mitzvos. And his wife bakes a great kugel!”
“But Shlomie, we didn’t get the Torah yet,” Yankie wanted to say. But he didn’t because he knew there’d be no point.
Shlomie heaved his stomach back behind his shtender, and went back to learning his latest blatt on his My-Gemara i-Phone app.
“The nerve of that guy, ‘Moshe Rabbenu’!” he muttered to himself, thankful that he’d managed to save the guys in the beis medrash from another false messiah. Hrrmph!
As if the Moshiach would be someone who’d never stepped foot in the Mir…
I only ask, because recently someone sent me an email where they were referring to some comments made by Rav Berland that Moshiach comes as part of a many years-long process. According to my correspondent, the process started in [year] and will continue until [year], and the whole time, there will be more tests and more birur, or clarification, of where people are really holding vis-à-vis their true relationship with Hashem.
Now, I know three years is not really a long period of time in the big scheme of things, but I have to admit to feeling just a little down-hearted after I read that email. Because things are not exactly ‘easy’ – for anyone – at the moment, and so many of us are just kind of holding on in the face of some huge issues that we seem powerless to resolve or overcome by ourselves.
A lot of days, I get emails from readers telling me they’re literally just holding on by the tips of their fingers, waiting for Moshiach to haul them back up over the top of the ledge they seem to have fallen off.
Man, I can relate.
I have this weird ‘gift’ of picking up the heavy vibes bouncing around the world, and translating them into bizarre physical issues. (I write much more about the connections between body, mind and soul over on my spiritualselfhelp blog, and also in my book, Talk to God and Fix Your Health.)
So anyway, the last few weeks I’ve been dealing with another strange, but familiar phenomena, namely a weird bump that showed up on my left eye around a month ago.
This is the fourth weird bump on my eye I’ve had over the last few years, and when the first one showed up around seven years’ back, I completely freaked out and thought the worst. The nice eye specialist reassured me it was just ‘one of those things’ and would disappear by itself eventually.
It took that bump two years to go, which coincided with an EXTREMELY stressful period of time for me personally, and also Israel, that was going through a number of ‘mini-wars’ with Gaza.
And then a few months later, another bump showed up on my other eye.
To cut a long story short, I have now realized that by the time the ‘eye bumps’ show up, there are some mega-huge ‘heavy judgment’ vibes flying around, that in the past have corresponded to rockets from Gaza, terrorist attacks and small wars.
(Clearly, they also correspond to me having to make a lot of teshuva for things in my own life too, usually connected to very deep anger issues that are still floating around from way back when.)
But the point is this: Who can hack another three years of stress and heavy judgments like the last three have been?
I spend a lot of time trying to clear things out of my spiritual and emotional system, and trying to figure out what other bits of my character need some work, and that’s definitely helping to ‘lighten up’ the heavy vibes, at least in my own personal space.
But you know what? It’s really, really hard work, and I’m feeling kind of like I haven’t got so much energy left to keep digging that stuff up and dealing with it.
I’m not talking about small stuff here, I’m talking about big, life-changing things that have enormous consequences attached.
That’s the whole test we’re all going through right now, the test of ‘clarification’, or birur, where God is shining a very strong spot-light into all the nooks and crannies of our souls, and inviting us to fix things that we’ve left hanging since Adam HaRishon was walking around 5,777 years ago.
It’s really hard work! And that’s if you’re trying to do the work…
If you’re not trying to do the work, then paradoxically, it’s even harder work, because Hashem is just turning the heat up higher and higher and higher until we get the message and start to deal with all the issues we all have that we prefer not to look at or acknowledge.
The deeper our heads are in the sand, the harder God is now slapping us, to try to get us to wake up.
I know that really, it’s a kindness that this process of revealing Moshiach in the world is stretching out over a number of years. If it happened quickly, like most of us think it should, nearly everyone would keel over from the shock of it all.
Whaaat? You mean I’m not a perfect angel, and it’s not all everyone else’s fault that my life and relationships are in such a mess?!?!?!?
It’s not easy to go from a world of darkness and lies to a world of purity and truth, even when you’re inching slowly along the path. To do it in one day, or even in one week or one month, would literally give most people an instant heart-attack.
But still….three more years of this?! Really?
We can’t hurry Moshiach along, and we can’t force God’s hand. There’s a time and a place and a process that has to occur. But some small part of me still hopes that ‘three years’ is a typo, and that really, Moshiach is going to show up tomorrow.
When I’m not driving myself crazy with other things, I’ve been continuing to trawl through the Gemara sources and Tanach to see what else we can learn about how Hashem has typically used comets in the past.
Here’s some good news: There are so many instances in the Gemara where we find discussions of how Hashem used a comet to actually come and fight on behalf of his Tzaddikim / the Jews, and in this post, we’re going to take a closer look at some of those sources.
Let’s kick off with this, from Tractate Rosh Hashana, 11b, which describes how God used a ‘rogue star’ to cause Noah’s flood, aka the mabbul:
“In the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on this day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. R’ Yehoshua says: ‘That day was the seventeenth of Iyar, a day on which the constellation Kimah normally sets during the daytime – and the subterranean fountains normally become depleted.
“’But because the generation altered their practices to deviate from the natural order, the Holy One, blessed is He, altered upon them the works of creation. And He brought the constellation Kimah up during the daytime, and He took two stars from Kimah and brought a flood to the world.”
Here’s some more details about those two stars and the Kimah constellation, taken from the Artscroll notes:
“The constellation Kimah is a minor constellation located in the tail of the Lamb [i.e. connected to the ‘Aries’ constellation, which rises in the month of Nissan.]”
Why is it important to know that we’re dealing with a lamb (Aries) here?
More connections will be made when we get to the section, below, about Rebbe Nachman’s story called ‘The Bull and the Ram,’ but for now, suffice to say that the Israelites were redeemed in Nissan, the month connected to the Aries constellation, and were told to slaughter a Paschal LAMB by Hashem.
We also know that this ‘lamb’ was worshipped by the Egyptians (because remember, their pagan gods were all named for celestial bodies) – so the Jews were sending a very deep message to the Egyptians about Who really rules over the heavens.
Now, let’s skip over to Sanhedrin, 95b, where the Sages are discussing how Sancheiriv’s army was miraculously killed by Hashem as they camped outside the Jerusalem city walls on the eve of Pesach. (There’s that Nissan / lamb thing going on again!):
“The wicked Sancheiriv came upon the Jews with an army…The Gemara adds that this was not the only time a force so vast was marshaled against the Jews. And so they came upon Abraham, and so they are destined to come with Gog and Magog.”
According to the Maharsha:
“The three enemy forces mentioned here – Sancheiriv’s army, the army of the four kings and Gog and Magog were all defeated through clearly miraculous circumstances. Furthermore, all three wars represent turning points in world history.”
The Gemara continues:
“And an angel of Hashem went forth and slew one hundred and eighty five thousand of the campy of Assyria, and they arose in the morning, and behold they were all dead corpses….With what did [the angel] strike them? R’ Eliezer says: [The angel] struck them with its hand…The Jews who witnessed the splitting of the Sea saw the same hand that was destined to punish Sancheiriv.”
The Gemara is setting up a link between the ‘modus operandi’ God used to bring about the miracles of the Exodus, and the punishment of Pharoah’s army, and the way Sancheiriv’s army was miraculously killed. What is that ‘modus operandi’? Read on.
The Gemara then puts forth different options for how the angel Gabriel (God’s agent for this purpose) killed the Assyrians, with one saying that ‘Gabriel breathed into their nostrils and they died’, while others saying that ‘Gabriel clapped his hands and they died’.
Elsewhere in the Gemara, we’re taught that Nadav and Avihu died the same way that Sancheiriv’s army died. How did they die? They were electrocuted! The descriptions above also accord with the idea that ‘something’ disturbed the static electricity held in the dielectric air of our atmosphere, and channeled it down in a way that it electrocuted literally hundreds of thousands of Assyrians.
In 96a, the Gemara tells us:
“With reference to Abraham’s war against the four kings, Scripture states: And at night, he and his servants deployed against them and struck them etc….R’ Yitzhak Nafcha said:…the implication is that ‘night acts’ were performed on behalf of Abraham (i.e. the very stars in the sky fought on his behalf.)”
TO SUM UP WHAT WE’VE LEARNED SO FAR:
- The stars came and ‘fought’ for Avraham against the four kings
- There’s a link between how the four kings were miraculously defeated, how Sancheiriv’s Assyrian army was miraculously killed (on Pesach Eve), and the future war of Gog and Magog.
- There’s also a link between Sancheiriv’s defeat and the events of the Exodus – with the ‘same hand’ being used to punish the Assyrians and the Egyptians.
- We’re explicitly told that God took two stars from the ‘Kimah’ constellation to cause the mabbul
- The Kimah constellation corresponds to the month of Nissan, and Aries, the Ram.
- We know that the Exodus occurred in Nissan, and that the miracle involving Sancheiriv was also Nissan (erev Pesach).
- We also know that there is a famous teaching that the Jews will be redeemed in the future, too, in the month of Nissan.
OTHER TIMES THAT HASHEM USED ‘COMETS’ TO COME AND FIGHT FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE
Now, let’s head over to Tractate Brachot, 58a, where there are some more connections to be made. There, it says (talking about Hashem’s power):
“Who performs great deeds that are beyond comprehension…and the strength – This is a reference to the Exodus from Egypt, for it is stated regarding the Exodus: Israel saw the great hand etc. And the splendor – This is a reference to the sun and the moon, which stopped for Joshua, as it is stated: Then the sun stood still and the moon stopped… even everything in heaven and earth – This is a reference to the battle against Sisera, for it is stated regarding that battle: From heaven they fought; the stars from their courses, etc [fought against Sisera.]”
That same section of the Gemara then goes on to talk about the fall of Rome, the war against Amalek and the war of Gog and Magog.
What the Gemara in Brachot seems to be telling us clearly is that:
- God regularly moves stars out of their regular orbits, and the celestial bodies to fight against the Jews’ enemies.
- When this occurs, it’s often referred to in Scripture as ‘the great hand’ of Hashem.
- This ‘great hand’ showed up at the Exodus; when Joshua fought the Caananite nations; and when Deborah the Prophetess fought against Sisera.
- There is a connection between these events, and future events including the fall of Rome, the final disappearance of Amalek and the war of Gog and Magog.
MORE REFERENCES TO THE ‘KIMAH’ CONSTELLATION
In case the links weren’t starting to come into sharp enough focus, in the very next section, Brachot 58b, the Gemara then starts talking about comets, the ‘Kimah’ constellation, and the blessings a person should say when they experience:
- Lightning and
- Tempests (i.e. very strong winds)
As we know from THIS post, all these things start happening in abundance when a large comet approaches and starts disrupting the earth’s weather and other things.
The Gemara has a whole discussion about earthquakes in Brachot 58b, that makes it clear that earthquakes happen because God is upset about the ongoing exile of the Jewish people, and that He’s shaking the ground in sympathy, as it were, with Jewish suffering.
I.e. – the earthquakes are on our side!
What’s even more interesting, though, is the discussion about the comets and the Kimah constellation. The Gemara tells us:
“Upon seeing the Zikin, one says Blessed are You… Whose strength and might fill the world…What is the meaning of zikin? It is a kochva d’shavit.”
The notes explain that Rashi describes this kochva d’shavit as having a long shape, like that of a rod, while the Rambam describes it as a star with a tail – clearly, a comet.
“Shmuel said: The paths of heaven are as clear to me as the paths of Nehardea, except for the path of a kochva d’shavit, of which I am ignorant.”
The Jewish sages who codified the Gemara knew all of the heavens inside and out, as Shmuel attests. But, even they couldn’t predict the path of a comet, because (as we learnt in THIS post) a comet’s tail is always changing, and the amount of ‘drag’ it exerts on the body of the comet can radically change its course and path.
To put this another way, a comet’s course is only known to God, and is 100% affected by the actions and teshuva of the Jewish people, and mankind more generally. No-one can predict ‘comet events’ with any accuracy!
MORE ABOUT THE KIMAH (ARIES) CONSTELLATION
Now – no coincidence here! – the Gemara starts talking about the Kimah constellation, that we already know was responsible for the mabbul, and by inference (because it’s part of the Aries constellation that governs Nissan), probably also played a major part in whatever ‘comet’ experiences were going on at the time of the Exodus, and Sancheiriv – and maybe the other times too.
(I haven’t found any specific dates for Sisera’s defeat or Joshua’s miracle over the Ayalon valley, that we’ve seen are also associated with ‘stars’ fighting for the Jews. If you, dear reader, can help fill in those blanks, that would be amazing.)
“He makes [the constellations] Ash, Kesil and Kimah…. What is the reason for the name Kimah? Shmuel said: It is called Kimah because it looks like a hundred stars.”
In modern astronomy, ‘Kimah’ has been identified with the Pleiades star cluster.
I’m going to paraphrase the next bit, but feel free to go and look all this up for yourselves and draw your own conclusions.
The Gemara explains that the constellation ‘Ash’ is also called ‘Yotha’, and that it could either be the ‘tail of the Ram’ (i.e. Aries) or the ‘head of the bull’ (i.e. Taurus, which equates to the month of Iyar, when Noah’s flood began).
The Gemara then explains that ‘Ash’ follows ‘Kimah’ (i.e. Taurus follows Nissan) because: “When the Holy One, Blessed is He, wanted to bring a flood on the world, He took two stars from Kimah…And when He wanted to close the gap [in Kimah], He took two stars from Ash and closed it up.”
The discussion ends:
“Rav Nachman said: In the future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will restore [Ash’s stars] to her…”
Why is this so important to know?
Because Benayahu explains that God will take the stars from Kimah, and put them back in Ash, and then create two new stars for Kimah, in fulfillment of the Prophet Isaiah’s statement about what’s going to happen when Moshiach comes and the redemption actually happens, that: “Behold, I am creating new heavens and a new earth.”
IN OTHER WORDS:
- It appears that the time that redemption / Moshiach is going to occur, is when Kimah / Ash are ascendant (Nissan / Iyar).
- We now know that at that time, stars will once again be moving around the heavens in weird ways – two stars will ‘disappear’ from Kimah and go back to Ash, and Kimah will then have two ‘new’ stars appear in their place.
- The last time two stars ‘disappeared’ and then ‘reappeared’ from Kimah, Noah’s flood happened as a result.
- If the Tzaddik of the generation, Noah, had prayed for mankind to make teshuva, the flood wouldn’t necessarily have destroyed the way it did…. So it’s still all to pray for IN 2017.
REBBE NACHMAN’S TALE OF THE BULL AND THE RAM
Now, let’s take a look at Rebbe Nachman’s tale of the Bull and the Ram. You can read that story for yourself HERE, but here’s the main points:
There’s a king who decreed that anyone who wanted to stay in his land would either have to stop being religious, or leave.
Some left, many stayed, and the ones that stayed become marranos, or hidden Jews.
This first king died and his son takes over. He rules with an iron hand, and his ministers start plotting to kill him. One of the ministers is a Jewish marrano, and he goes to tell the King about the plot, and saves his life.
The king then swears to give the marrano whatever his heart desires – so the marrano asks for the right to wear his tallith and tefillin in public, and openly practice as a Jew.
The king begrudgingly agrees.
This king dies and is succeeded by his benevolent son, who is really into astrology, and asks his astrologers what could destroy his children. The astrologers tell him to be careful about a bull and a ram.
This king dies, and is succeeded by his son, who also rules in a very autocratic way, and comes up with a plan to conquer the entire world without war. This son also bans all bulls and rams from his kingdom.
This king creates a statue made of gold, silver and other metals [similar to the one seen by Nebuchadnezzer in the book of Daniel] and puts it on a hill, so that ‘all seven planets shine on it’. People start asking this statue what they should do in life (i.e. worshipping it), and by way of this statue, the king conquers the whole world.
This statue only has power if the king ‘lowers the haughty and raises up the lowly’. So, the king issues a command that all the privileges, rights and rank should be stripped from the ‘worthy’ people of his realm, including the Jew’s privilege to wear his tallit and tefillin.
One night, the king has a dream, were the bull (Taurus) and the ram (Aries) signs of the zodiac are laughing at him. He wakes up extremely angry and frightened, and asks all his wise men what’s going on, and whether its connected to his family’s tradition that they could be destroyed by a bull and a ram.
One wise man speaks up and tells him about an ‘iron rod’ that can dispel all his fear, and the king takes his family and sets out to go there. BUT – the road is guarded by the angel that oversees anger, and this angel is in charge of all the destructive forces in the world. Only he knows the path to the iron rod.
When they get to this angel, he directs the King and his entourage to go on a path that passes through a fire that is so hot, that a person is burned if they get within four miles of it.
The entourage looked, and they saw kings and Jews wearing tallit and tefillin walking through this fire. When the king sees this, and against the advice of his counsellor, he decides he and his family can also cross through the fire. They are burnt to a crisp.
When then counsellor returns home and tells everyone what happened, the Marrano has this to say:
“They were destroyed because of me. The astrologers saw something, but they didn’t know what they saw. From the skin of the bull, tefillin are made. From the wool of the ram, the tzitzit tassels of the tallith are made. Therefore, because [of the tallit and tefillin], the king and his family were destroyed.
“The kings who walked through the fire unharmed have in their land Jews who wear the tallit and tefillin. But [this king] did not allow the Jews in his land to wear the tallit and tefillin, and therefore he was destroyed.”
THE CONNECTION WITH PSALM 2
Rebbe Nachman’s story is connected to Psalm 2, which Artscroll tells us: ‘alludes to the encounter between the nations and the Messiah.’
Once again, there are a lot of ‘hints’ about what’s going to be, when the Moshiach is revealed:
“Why do nations throng and regimes talk in vain? The kings and princes of the earth take their stand and conspire together against Hashem, and against His Moshiach…He who sits in heaven will laugh at them and mock them. He will speak to them in His anger and His wrath, and terrify them….[Talking to the Moshiach]:
“You will smash them with a rod of iron, like a potter’s vessel you will shatter them. O kings, be wise, o judges of the earth, be disciplined! Serve Hashem with awe, so that you may rejoice when there is trembling.
“Yearn for purity, lest He grow wrathful and your way will be doomed, for blaze in a brief moment will His anger. Praiseworthy are all those who trust in Him.”
TO SUM UP WHAT WE JUST LEARNT FROM REBBE NACHMAN AND PSALM 2:
- There are four ‘kings’ or kingdoms, and these correspond to the four kings who persecuted and exiled the Jews.
- The last kingdom is Rome / Edom / Xtianity.
- The kingdom’s astrologers have a tradition that a ‘bull and a ram’ can destroy the (non-Jewish) king and his descendants – but they don’t know how, or what it really means.
- The non-Jewish king and his family are ultimately mislead by the angel of anger and destroyed by fire.
- The non-Jewish kings who encourage their subjects to practice Yiddishkeit can ‘pass through the fire’ unscathed, as can practicing Jews.
- The tallit (wool) and the tefillin (leather) are what mitigates the power of the ‘ram’ (Aries) and the ‘bull’ (Taurus).
- The non-Jewish king and his descendants are killed because of the Marrano, i.e., the Moshiach.
- The world’s leaders who are ‘conspiring’ against Hashem (and the Jewish people) are going to be smashed into pieces when the world starts ‘trembling’.
- Anyone who’s at least yearning to serve Hashem properly, and to act appropriately, and to have emuna will come through the process OK. (And clearly, it also helps if they’re careful to lay their tefillin every day and wear tzitzit, if they’re Jewish men…)
I’M NOT PRETENDING I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT ALL THIS MEANS
Or, how it all fits together. I know there are people out there with a much higher level of Torah scholarship than I possess, and I’d be very happy to get more ideas or pointers about what all this may be telling us, tachlis.
But at the end of the day, God has been pushing me to get all this stuff out there, because some clear themes are poking through that if we trust in God, or at least WANT to trust in God and to walk in His path, we’ll be OK.
That’s not my idea or my opinion – that’s the message from Rebbe Nachman, the Prophet Isaiah, the Sages of the Gemara, and many other huge Jewish leaders, too, right up to our own modern times.
Emuna and emunat Tzaddikim (which includes believing in ALIVE Torah sages, and not just in Torah sages who already passed on) are the key to being on the right side of the comet equation.
To all the peeps out there who are trying to expect Moshiach every day without going bonkers, I thought I’d try to describe the paradox we’re all facing.
On the one hand, there is more and more evidence mounting that the world is about to see some very dramatic and apparently dangerous and destructive events.
We all know the weather’s gone cuckoo, that our personal lives are SO challenging in about a million different ways, and that the world really can’t continue being this fake, superficial, uber-materialistic place where God is effectively out of the picture for most of mankind.
(Even most of the so-called ‘religious’ people in the world often don’t have an authentic connection to God that makes Him really real to them, sadly including many otherwise observant Jews.)
Part of us feels like something has to change, and part of us even really, really wants that change to happen.
But then, there’s the other side of the coin, where much as we hate being enslaved to our i-Phones, and the internet, and our jobs, and our appearances etc etc etc, we also still quite like it all. And the idea of changing fundamentally, or having our lives change fundamentally, so that our souls really are in the driving seat and God is all there really is, Ein Od Milvado, is actually really scary.
Then, there’s the third element in the mix (at least for me…) in that I’ve been down this path before, and I really did try to live in that spiritual world for a few good years – until we went broke and reality dawned on us that if we didn’t ‘come back down’ into the material world, we were literally going to end up living in a dumpster.
I’m so nervous of that happening again!
I was wrong before, or at least, ‘premature’ before, so this time around, I’m really trying to not get carried away again, as God showed me clearly that we have to keep working, and functioning, and making teshuva, and having Shabbos guests, and cleaning our toilets right up until the last moment.
So, how do we deal with all the evidence the End of Days is really right around the corner – and is probably going to involve a huge comet / planet disrupting modern life so thoroughly, that NOTHING is going to be how it was before – which will lead to Moshiach, but also, potentially, to changes that are so big, we can’t really get our heads around them?
The short answer is, I don’t really know.
But at the same time, these are the guidelines I’m trying to follow in my own life, so I’m kind of ‘Moshiach ready’ (at least, as much as I can be given my ongoing flawed state) without going completely and utterly bonkers:
1) Talk to God for an hour a day.
This isn’t just a ‘Breslov’ idea, it’s the only way to really start internalising our emuna that God is real, and running the world. When there’s a big planet bearing down on you and / or WW 3 kicking off, believe me you won’t be able to fake it at that stage.
2) Avoid pointless speculation as much as possible.
Sure, it’s kind of ‘fun’, in that weird way, to spend half an hour reading about all the horrible things about to happen to other people, and about all the theories about who is trying to do what, and why. But how is that helping, really? Much better to spend that ‘speculation time’ saying a Tikkun HaKlali, or grabbing some face time with the Creator.
3) Work on your own bad middot, instead of dissing other people.
This is where I really fell down in that aborted post last week, as it’s SO EASY to project our issues (especially the more subconscious stuff we’re still half-blind too, and that keeps overpowering us) on to other people. Remember, the world is just a mirror. The more I go on about evil Erev Rav / crazies / horribles etc, the more that shows me I STILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO ON MYSELF.
4) Avoid machloket and lashon hara like the plague.
It’s another tough one, especially with all the lies masquerading as truth, but again, what good does it do YOU to take a stand on other people’s issues? Who really cares if Trump is good or bad? Who really knows, anyway? And if that holds for things like Trump, it holds a billion times over for discussions about holy Tzaddikim. If you can’t say something good, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Your life seriously depends upon it.
5) Minimize internet, movies, i-Phones and Facebook as much as possible.
Yes, it’s half fun I know, but it’s still really just killing us all, and stopping us from developing spiritually. I have such fights with myself to stop wasting precious time on internet crud – and I barely read anything at all online!
6) Get close to the true Tzaddikim.
And this one is really the main game in town, because if you check back through all the ‘natural disasters’ and enormous events that the Jewish people came through in the past, they only ever merited it by sticking close to the true Tzaddikim, or Tzaddik of the generation.
- If you weren’t tight with Noah, you drowned.
- If you didn’t follow Moshe into the desert, you died in the plague of darkness.
- If you didn’t rally to the Maccabees flag, you died with the Greeks.
And so on, and so forth.
If we stick close to our true Tzaddikim, we’ll be OK whatever is coming down the pipe, even if it’s miraculously, earth-shakingly ‘bad’ for the whole rest of the world.
But without strong emuna, regular hitbodedut and at least a desire to live a more spiritual life, actually doing that in real life is going to be really, really hard.
Comets, and particularly large comets that pass close to the earth, can affect our planet in some hugely fundamental ways.
In this post, I thought it would be useful to track down some of the key ‘turning points’linked to comets in human history, as described by the Torah.
Can we see the fingerprints of James McCanney’s ‘Plasma Discharge Comet Model’, as described in THIS post, coming through in the Torah’s descriptions of things like Noah’s flood (the mabbul); the sin of Enosh ben Shet (the first idol-worshipper in the world), and also the Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai?
If the answer is ‘yes’, then that gives us a pretty good basis to assume that just as Hashem used large comets in the past to achieve key milestones in the human race’s spiritual development, He will probably do so again, in the time of Moshiach.
PLEASE NOTE: The Jewish sources below were all culled from Rabbi Dovid Brown’s wonderful work, ‘Mysteries of the Creation’. If you haven’t already bought his book, please do so, as he goes into much more depth and detail about many of the points brought below, and this post really stands on his tremendous scholarship and insight.
MOUNTAINS THAT ‘RUN’, ‘MELT’ AND ARE FORMED IN AN INSTANT
The first place to start is with James McCanney’s assertion that:
“During the close passage of a large comet, the ‘gravitational wave’ is sufficient to move waves of land and rock at speeds in excess of a thousand miles per hour, across land.”
Elsewhere, he tells us that:
“Mountain chains were ripped from the ground in a brief, violent motion as a massive planet / comet passed by earth.”
I’m going to keep my own comments very brief in this post, as the biblical quotations I’m about to list really speak for themselves:
Midrash Mechilta, Yitro, haChodesh 4:
“When God descended to give the Torah to Yisrael, the mountains rushed to dispute with each other. Each one wished the Torah to be given upon it. Mount Tavor travelled from Beit Aylim, and Mount Carmel crossed the sea from Spain to the Sinai Desert in order to be chosen for mattan Torah. Though their candidacies were rejected, their honor of the Torah was rewarded by their being replanted in Eretz Yisrael”
Psalm 29 (which Chazal in Sanhedrin 116a tells us is referring to Matan Torah):
“The voice of God is on the waters; the God of glory thunders…The voice of God breaks the cedars, Hashem shatters the cedars of Lebanon! He makes them (the mountains of Lebanon and Siryon) prance about like a calf, like young antelopes! The voice of Hashem lights flames of fire. The voice of Hashem convulses the wilderness…of Kadesh.”
The prophet Nachum (1:4, 5):
“The mountains tremble because of Him and hills melt; the earth goes up in smoke before Him, and the world and all its residents.”
Midrash Yalkut Shimoni 1:47:
“In the days of Enosh ben Shet, the third generation after creation, people began to anger the creator with new religious practices…Consequently, God brought on them three punishments: First, the ocean broke out and flooded a third of the globe. Second, whereas previously the earth had been entirely level, in those days it became mountainous, rocky and hilly (in the future, yet to come the world will be returned to its original level state.) Third, God reduced the height of men.”
Midrash Brayshit Rabba 49:6:
“For 25 years prior to the destruction of Sdom, God brought tremors onto the land and made the mountains around Sdom quake to warn the people they must repent, but they didn’t take the hint.”
Rashi on Parshat Vayeira, 19:25:
“The four cities of Sdom and its suburbs were situated on one table of rock. The angel overturned the rock and with that one act, the cities were overturned.”
TWO TYPES OF MOUNTAIN
Sources from the Torah basically describe two types of mountains in the world:
1) ‘Volcanic’ mountains, that were formed at the time of creation, in order to raise the land out of the sea and give the water that covered the earth depressions in which to ‘pool’ as oceans.
2) Non-volcanic mountains, that were formed AFTER the six days’ of creation by God, usually in response to some massive spiritual event like people starting to worship idols, or the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.
And guess what – modern geology agrees!
So far, we’ve seen proof from the Torah that mountains melted, ‘ran around the globe’ and reformed on a number of occasions, including:
- When the generation of Enosh started to worship idols
- When the inhabitants of Sdom sinned and were destroyed by God
- When the Torah was given on Mount Sinai
(I’m sure there are many more instances, too.)
GOD DOESN’T VIOLATE HIS OWN LAWS OF NATURE
Before we continue, it should be made clear that the ‘line’ between ‘miracle’ and ‘natural occurrence’ is completely blurred when it comes to any discussion of comets. As a believing Jew, we know that really there IS NO NATURE, in any area or sliver of our lives. Even the smallest occurrence, thought or action in the world is God’s doing.
That’s the first principle of faith, and the first rule of Emuna.
But when we’re discussing enormous, earth-shattering events like the destruction wreaked by close contact with a comet, the curtain that Hashem hides behind in the physical world essentially disappears.
Clearly, God is the one moving all these mountains around, and flooding the world etc!
Nevertheless, the Zohar reminds us (in Bereishit 138b, Midrash HaNe’elam) that:
“The laws of nature are never violated.”
Which is probably why 4/5 of Am Yisrael died in the plague of darkness, and why the world didn’t repent of its idol worshipping ways in the time of Noah, because their evil inclination had them convinced that the ‘Niribu’ of their time was a natural phenomenon, and nothing to do with God….
CHANGES IN THE EARTH’S AXIS
Another thing we learnt in the last post is that ‘near misses’ with large comets can change the earth’s rotation on its axis, and permanently shift the poles, completely altering the earth’s calendar and seasons and relationship to the sun.
Is there any discussion of that phenomenon, in Torah sources? You betcha!
“Before the mabbul (Noah’s flood), the apparent circuit of the sun was directly around the equator. The change in the attitude of the earth after the mabbul, so that the earth faces the sun at an inclination of the axis, is the cause of the varying seasons.
“Before the mabbul, the climate was perpetually warm due to the sun striking the earth directly at the equator. That environment was extraordinarily robust compared to the modern world’s, and the earth had greater energy in all its members, mineral, vegetable, animal and human. For this reason, their lives were extraordinarily long.”
Midrash Bereish Rabba, 25:4:
“Rabbi Yochanon teaches that the heavenly bodies ceased functioning during the 12 months of the mabbul. Rabbi Yonaton argues that they did function, but as the earth was heavily clouded, their effects didn’t reach the land.”
“Then the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the people took retribution against their enemies…so the sun stood in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to set for a whole day. There was no day like that before or after it…”
(Again, there’s lots more to say on each of these areas, but there’s a limit to how much I can type, so I’m giving a flavour here, and feel free to flesh it out in the comments section if you have more to add.)
FIRE AND BRIMSTONE / FLAMING HAIL
One of the things that occur with ‘near misses’ with large comets is that many of the accompanying gases, substances and rocks in the comet’s tail inundate the earth. That usually results in massive flooding on a scale that’s impossible to describe (as we know happened at the time of Enosh, when a third of the world was covered with water, and again with Noah’s flood, when the whole world was submerged by ‘strong waters’ for a year.)
But other things also ‘fall’ into the earth’s atmosphere from a near miss with a comet, including the elements that form naptha (crude oil), sulphur, and many other chemical compounds, metals, gasses, small rocks and other debris.
Often, these elements ignite as they fall through the atmosphere to earth.
So one of the key things that happen with close calls with comets is that the earth can be deluged BOTH by fire, and by water, at one and the same time.
Another thing to add into the mix is that an approaching large comet plays havoc with the earth’s existing weather and geology, triggering earthquakes and volcanoes. The Torah tells us that there are 8,000 volcanoes (or what it terms ‘gateways to Gehinnom) in the world – and many of these volcanoes are located in the oceans.
So with that knowledge under out belts, let’s see what Torah passages we can find that might be describing some of these phenomena:
Parshat Noach, Bereishit 7:4:
“In another seven days, I will bring rain on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights, and I will obliterate the whole establishment which I had made from the face of the earth.”
Gemara, Sanhedrin 108b:
“The people of that time [the mabbul] sinned by raising their temperatures with sexual crimes; in consequence they were punished too by heat, with water at boiling temperature.
Parshat Vayeira, Bereishit 19:24:
“God made sulphur and fire rain on Sdom…”
Parshat Vaeira, Shemot 9:22:
“Hashem said to Moshe, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven and there will be hail in the entire land of Egypt, on man and beast, and on all the grass of the field in the land of Egypt.’
“Moshe stretched out his staff toward heaven, and Hashem sent thunder and hail, and fire went earthward, and Hashem rained hail upon the land of Egypt. There was hail and fire flaming amid the hail – very heavy, such as had never been in the entire land of Egypt, from the time it became a nation.”
And Chazal teach us that some of those same ‘hailstones’ returned a generation later, to help Joshua overcome his enemies as he led Am Israel in the conquest of Eretz Israel:
“It happened when they fled before Israel; they were on the descent of Beth-horon when Hashem cast upon them large stones from heaven until [they reached] Azekah and they died. More died through the hailstones then the Children of Israel killed with the sword.”
THE SEVENTH WORLD
As we set out in THIS POST, where we discussed the six different ‘worlds’ that have existed since the creation of Adam and Eve, Pirkei deRabbay Eliezer tells us that the seventh world, the world of Moshiach, is also going to be a strikingly different place, physically, from the way we’re experiencing life at the moment.
Here’s a few of the statements we find in our sources about what will be happening in that seventh world:
Yerushalmi, Shkollim 6:2:
“Rabbi Yehuda maintains that in the future, grain will grow in one month and tress will bear fruit every two months. Rabbi Yossi asserts that grain will grow in fifteen days and trees will bear every month.”
Torat Cohanim on Parshat BeChukotai, Vayikra, 26:4:
“The Torah doesn’t promise us merely that in the future the earth will bring forth produce as it does today, but that it will produce at its maximum level, the way it did before the sin of Adam HaRishon. That is, crops will come up daily.”
Gemara Ketuvot 112b:
“In Eretz Yisroel in the future, even trees that today don’t produce edible fruits will bear fruit for human consumption.”
Prophet Yeshaya, 65:20, 22:
“There will no longer be a person who dies young, nor even an old person who doesn’t live out his natural life span, for a person who dies at age 100 will be considered to have died young, and a sinner will be cursed to die at a century…”
THE NATURE OF THE WORLD WILL CHANGE – NATURALLY
As you’re hopefully starting to grasp, the way God can cause these enormous changes in the nature of the world, and in human life, ‘naturally’, without breaking His own laws of nature, is via the massive realignments of planet earth that come along with close encounters with planet-sized comets.
There’s lots more to say, but for now, let me leave you with the following quotes about what’s in store for the world at the end of days, and I’ll leave it to you to figure out this could all be tied in to another ‘close encounter’ with a huge comet:
Midrash Dvorim Rabba 4:11:
“How will God enlarge Eretz Israel? When a scroll is rolled up, one cannot tell its length. When it’s unrolled, its size becomes evident. Just so, Eretz Israel is mostly mountains and hills. God will flatten it…then the true size of Eretz Israel will become evident.”
Prophet Zecharia 14:1-5:
“A day for God is coming…I will gather all the nations to Yerushalayim for war…And God will go out and fight with those nations like the day He fought the Egyptians at the Yam Suf.
“His feet will stand on that day on the Mount of Olives…east of Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives will split in half, forming a very big rift, and half the mountain will move north and half south.”
Prophet Yechezkel 38:18-20:
“It will happen on that day, on the day Gog arrives in the land of Israel,” says God, ‘My anger will rise…in the heat of My wrath…there will be an earthquake in Eretz Israel….The mountains will be demolished, stairs will fall and every wall will topple to the ground.”
Tanna DeVey Eliyahu, Rabba, Ch.2:
“At that time the whole world will quake and the people will wonder, ‘Is a new mabbul coming on the world?’ God will assure them, ‘No, this isn’t a mabbul. I have come, rather, to make a banquet for my children and rule over the entire world.”
May we all pass through the upcoming process peacefully and safely, holding firmly onto God’s hand.
Everyone and their dog seems to be coughing their guts up at the moment, or sniffling, or finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, even though they turned in for the night at 9pm.
The secular view of things is that everyone ‘has the flu’, or something similar. But the spiritual view of things tells us that something else, or something additional, is behind all the flus, colds and general fatigue and ‘unwellness’ that God is sending down to the world at the moment.
Here’s my view: the closer we get to Moshiach actually coming, and the geula actually happening, the more the world is going to start filling up with an amazing spiritual light of truth and clarity, what I’m going to call NiBIRUR.
The more of this NiBIRUR fills the world, the more of this spiritual light that starts to come down the pipe, the more the human body is going to suffer and breakdown, at least until the owner of the human body starts doing some heavy-duty teshuva.
Why is this?
Over on my spiritual self-help website, and in my books like Talk to God and Fix Your Health, I write a lot about the connections between body, mind & emotions, and the soul, and how they all affect each other, especially when it comes to mental and physical health issues.
On this blog, I tend to talk mostly about the spiritual side of life, but sometimes, like in this post, the contrast between the stuff I write here and the stuff I write on spiritual self-help starts to blur.
In a nutshell, the way God has built the human body (which remember was initially meant to be a body of pure light, but only got covered with skin after the sin of Adam) is like this:
- The physical body is ‘animated’ by energy, or Divine light, that has been mapped in the secular world as the energy pathways or meridians used in things like Chinese Medicine.
- When the body’s energy pathways are flowing and unblocked, a person feels good and is in good physical health. When they are blocked, stagnating, unbalanced or weak, this can lead to spiritual, emotional & mental and then physical health problems.
- Nothing but nothing stuffs the meridians up more than negative emotions and bad character traits.
So now, let’s return to the more ‘spiritual’ side of things to see what’s going on right now.
More spiritual light is coming down to the world as we get closer to Moshiach, and this process has been occurring big time since 2012.
As that spiritual light (aka NiBIRUR) hits planet earth, it’s impacting every human being at each level of their physical body, their mind and emotions, and their soul.
Remember, the body is just the vessel for the real us, which is our souls.
As that light travels through the three parts of our soul, aka our Neshama (our Divine soul), then our Ruach (our ‘emotional’ soul) and our Nefesh (our ‘physical’ soul, which also provides the body its life force), it’s illuminating all the blocks and the obstacles that are preventing that Divine light from passing through freely.
Why is it doing that? In order to bring these issues and problems to our attention, and give us the clarity that something is out of order and needs to be changed, worked on, prayed about and fixed.
The main way to remove all these blocks and obstacles (i.e. bad middot and negative character traits) is via hitbodedut, or personal prayer, where God will give you the clarity you need (NiBIRUR!) on what you actually need to do to achieve your spiritual Tikkun, or rectification.
Like, acknowledging your anger, for example, or admitting the loneliness that’s behind that midnight craving for chocolate cake, or the laziness or fear that’s stopping you from waking up on time in the mornings.
Once you do that work of teshuva and NiBIRUR, the block dissolves, the light can pass through and the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical malaise you developed as a result also disappears.
Now, what happens if you don’t do this work, as the light of NiBIRUR starts waxing in the world?
Simple: you go crazy and get sick.
Take a look around and you can see that happening pretty much everywhere at the moment.
Why is this happening? Because the extra Divine light that God is sending down to the world in preparation for the geula and the incredible spiritual awareness that’s going to be the hallmark of the time of the Moshiach is backing up in the system, and literally driving people bonkers.
Too much light = lots more illness – if we’re not doing the spiritual work required to dissolve the ‘blocks’ that are being caused by our bad middot and negative character traits.
That’s why even perfectly nice, normal, healthy people I knew 10 years ago seem to have morphed into completely crazy lunatics at this point in time with a billion chronic health issues:
Their bodies and minds simply can’t handle the increased light of NiBIRUR, because it’s just exacerbating the internal blocks and obstacles that were always there, but just not so obvious.
The solution is simple: acknowledge the problem, the flaw, the negative character trait, and ask God to help you uproot it. There is no other way of dealing with what’s going on right now and staying sane and healthy.
As time ticks on, the differences between those people who are clearing out their blocks and those people who aren’t is going to get more and more dramatically obvious, and there’s no pill in the world that’s going to be able to magic them away.
So there I was, in the middle of one of the most poisonous email exchanges I’ve had in about five years, where my three toxic and mentally-ill correspondents were all vying with each other to see who could say something even nastier, and even more soul-destroying, when suddenly I got an email from Shuvu Banim drop into my inbox.
The title of the email was:
“Don’t respond to the people who are against us. Every word they say is a diamond. Don’t throw the diamonds back!”
Dear reader, the timing of that email was so uncanny it gave me chills up my spine. How did Rav Berland know that my inbox was filling up with heaping sacks of these ‘diamonds’ at precisely that moment? How did he know that I was starting to get to that point of saying something that I’d probably regret – because the problem with arguing with mentally-ill narcissists is that you can never win.
If you answer back with even a fraction of the poison and hatred they routinely bombard you with, they’ll harp on it for years (all the while ignoring all the disgusting things they themselves say.) BUT if you don’t answer back – the feeling of powerlessness and helplessness can sometimes be overwhelming.
And then suddenly, Rav Berland showed up with some of the most precious, useful advice I’ve ever heard: the insults are diamonds. The emotional abuse they’re heaping on your head is diamonds. The lies and the poisonous comments they’re sending your way, it’s all diamonds!!!
Man, do I need some diamonds. I have my eye on an apartment around the corner that costs $2 million…
Part of the genius of our true Tzaddikim is that they can give you advice, in one sentence, that literally changes your whole life around. Rebbe Nachman also had that gift, and Rav Berland’s advice to ‘not throw the diamonds back!!!’ also literally changed the whole picture for me.
All of a sudden, I could calm down again. All of a sudden, instead of getting angry about all the emotional abuse stacking up in my inbox, I took a deep breath and saw things completely differently: being called a ‘parasite’ has to be worth at least 50 Koh-i-noors, don’t you think?
So at this rate, I’m at least half way towards making the down payment on that amazing apartment…
And I noticed an added bonus that happened when I stopped caring about all the insults and abuse that was pouring in: it dried up all by itself.
Emotionally-abusive people have very little of their own spiritual ‘light’. Just as Rav Berland explained in THIS POST, the sheker, the falsehood in the world only exists because it’s leaching off the kedusha, or holiness. I keep mitzvot. I (try to) be a God-fearing person. I (try to) recognize my flaws, and work on them. The people abusing me do none of those things.
It’s only my energy, my upset, my distress that gives them the strength they need to keep on attacking me. Once I stopped chucking the diamonds back at them, they had no ‘energy’ of their own to continue the fight and all three of them slunk off.
In this time when the end of the End of Days is fast approaching, the lies are going to multiply.
The deceitful, emotionally-abusive, anti-God people are going to drop their polite masks and really show us all what we’re up against. The fake rabbis are going to start popping up in more and more places, speaking all their lashon hara against the true Tzaddikim, and trying to spread their heretical ideas to as many people as possible. The warped bloggers, social media mavens and anonymous commentators are all going to jump into the mix, too, trying to convince everyone that ‘black is really white’, and that ‘good is really bad’.
How to get through this awful stage?
- Talk to God as much as possible, and ask Him to show you the truth. This isn’t about finding someone ‘out there’ to convince you anymore, it’s about clinging on to God, because God is truth and the closer you are to Him the easier it’ll be to spot all the lies.
- Don’t throw anyone’s diamonds back at them. That doesn’t mean you can’t respond to the lies generally – like I’m doing in my posts on Emunaroma, and like other excellent bloggers are also trying to do. But don’t get into any personal mud-slinging, as that just gives the klipot
People with pronounced, unrectified Erev Rav / narcissistic tendencies simply can’t accept or acknowledge the truth.
You’re wasting your time debating with them. When Moshiach shows up, and when we finally get to the Yom Ha Gadol, then God Himself will show who is really righteous, and who is really evil.
And until then, keep praying, keep your mouth shut, and don’t throw the diamonds back at anyone.
Recently, I’ve been having some correspondence with a reader about how easy it is to get swept up (and away…) with all the end of days stuff, to the point that you literally stop functioning in this world.
That happened to me for around long eight years, and while I do know that everything that happens is all from Hashem and all for the best, a part of me is still grinding an axe that my ‘pseudo-tzaddik’ spiritual guides didn’t step in and prevent me and my husband from getting too carried away.
Last year, one of my friends watched the video of Natan, the secular Israeli teen who died a clinical death, and who started sharing a whole bunch of stuff that he’d seen in Heaven, like foreign armies invading Israel in 2 days and Tel Aviv and Haifa getting nuked, God forbid.
My friend called me all het up, and asked me if she should quit her job and just spend her time making teshuva and preparing herself spiritually because, ya know, MOSHIACH IS COMING!!!!
And Moshiach is certainly coming, but the problem for me is that I quit my job, and my ‘regular’ life, and pretty much all I did was work on myself for eight years, which was all really good on the one hand, but on the other it’s still causing me some serious difficulties in my day-to-day finances and circumstances as Moshiach didn’t come in time to prevent me and my husband running out of cash.
This is what I told my friend last year:
“BH, work on yourself spiritually, do an hour of hitbodedut a day, make as much teshuva as you can – but don’t do anything you wouldn’t do if Moshiach wasn’t definitely coming tomorrow.”
Because the yetzer is very clever, and there are few tests of emuna bigger than turning your whole life around in anticipation of redemption, only for redemption not to show up on time and all your money to run out.
I always thought that me and my husband were pretty unique in how swept up we’d got in our fervent yearning for Moshiach. Part of why he struggled to go back to work so much was the idea that he was ‘selling out’ on the spiritual ideal of not being online, of guarding his eyes properly, of avoiding speaking to female clients. And on some level, he did sell out, but what could we do? Moshiach hadn’t shown up and we still had bills to pay and groceries to buy.
So, when a reader got in touch to tell me that she’d also recently got very swept up in all the stuff on the internet (and in other places) about the end of days and Moshiach, it made me very thoughtful. There are clearly many of us out there at the moment struggling with the balance between ‘this world’ and ‘the world to come’.
With her permission, here’s a little of what she shared:
“I am normally a very calm and rational person but I felt completely paralyzed with all of this [end of days / Moshiach stuff]. I knew I had uncovered the ultimate truth and everyone else was in total denial of the hectic state of the world and thought everything was normal.
“The Talking Bone of Ov” sounded like I was when I first heard about Nibiru and other end of days stuff. I was totally overboard freaked out and glued to the news… I caught myself before I went downhill totally but there was a low point for me when my behavior was scaring my husband a bit.
“Now, I have gotten out of the Armageddon outlook and decided to favor the rabbeim that talk about Hashem’s love for us instead…
“I feel so weird sometimes as if I am floating around, not grounded at all. I had myself 100% convinced that Moshiach would be here already and therefore assumed we wouldn’t have even celebrated Rosh Hashana this year…
“Now, I am just working on strengthening my connection with Hashem and really not going crazy about other things I’m reading on all of the geula sites other than Torah. It doesn’t serve a purpose for me anymore and I have to say it turned into something negative before when I was so deep into it as I forgot how to relate to the world and everyone around me. I walked around expecting doomsday every moment and couldn’t deal with fellow frum Jews walking around as if everything was normal. My friends were planning simchas and I couldn’t fathom them actually working out to be normal simchas. I was sort of pitying them in their oblivion. The yetzer hara at its best.
“Getting myself normalized has been a huge struggle as I don’t want to go the other way. I want my emuna to be stronger than ever and I want to approach life calmly, knowing Hashem, like always, is in charge of it all.
“It’s not a bad thing that I am into the geula – that in itself is wonderful – problem is that I drove head first right into it and I couldn’t properly relate to reality and people in the same way afterwards. That took me far away from the personal geula that we all need to do within ourselves.
“There is a Moshiach element in all of us, like the Divine spark that is part of us and like the bit of the original Adam inside us that unites us all as part of humanity… I am referring to an important part of life that is often forgotten about as we work for our daily bread. We have to look for and accept that this physical world is not all there is and elevate ourselves to actually look forward to a better world that is less and less physical and more and more spiritual.”
I can SO relate.
I got a lot of chizzuk from knowing I wasn’t the only ‘crazy’ in town who was so serious about Moshiach coming I actually made the spiritual work of preparing for Moshiach my main job for eight years. (Clearly, I’m not saying I finished.)
It’s difficult for me to know where I’m really holding these days, as while my Yiddishkeit is definitely more real, more compassionate and more grounded, it’s also more accepting of ‘the real world’. My husband is back at work, back online. I accepted my daughters need to find their own way and choose their own wardrobes. Two week’s ago, I even re-did my CV for the first time in 8 years, with the vague notion that perhaps I should stop writing such spiritual blogs and books, and get a ‘real’ job writing marketing material for some hi-tech start-up.
I’m still really stuck on that last one, as REALLY, I just want the books I’ve written to start selling in their millions, and for me to solve my cash flow problem that way.
Moshiach is definitely coming. Just I’m really not sure what I’m meant to be doing with myself now until he actually shows up. But it’s nice to know I’m not the only one wrestling with that question.