It Is A Time For Comfort

There is a great wailing in the streets and a gnashing of teeth and a shouting of incantations. There is a wringing of hands and the anger is mixed with depression and nervousness. The Jew is upset because the gentile refuses to accept him, insists upon hating him, keeps him a pariah. The Jew is upset because the nations of the world - the United Nations - lash him, brand him as racist and evil, hate him and openly demonstrate their desire to destroy him.

Foolish Jew:
"Foolish people and not wise" (Deuteronomy 32:6). Foolish for seeking relief from other gentiles, for not understanding that the condemnation in the United Nations and the increasing isolation of the Jewish people is a blessing and not a curse and a sign of the sure coming of the final redemption, whose beginnings are so obvious to all but those who will not see. Yes, that which the ignorant and the gentilized and the little men of little faith find as cause for anguish - the Jew of faith and trust and knowledge sees as a time for comfort.

Our rabbis tell us:

Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar Ben Azarya, Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva went up to Jerusalem (after the destruction of the Temple). When they reached Mount Scopus, they rent their garments (since they saw the Temple despoiled). When they reached the area of the Temple Mount, they saw a jackal run out of the site where once the Holy of Holies had been. They began to weep, except for Rabbi Akiva, who laughed. They asked him why he laughed and he asked them why they wept. They said to him, "This is the place concerning which the Torah says,
�and the stranger who enters it shall die� and now a jackal runs through it - shall we not weep?" And he replied, "This is exactly why I laugh, for it says (Isaiah 8), �And I shall call as faithful witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zecharia the son of Yovarchiyahu.� What connection is there between these two - did not Uriah live during the days of the First Temple and Zecharia during the Second Temple? But the answer is that the prophecy was tied to that of Zecharia. Uriah said, �Therefore, because of you, Zion shall be ploughed over as a field.� And Zechana said, �There shall yet come a day when old men and old women will dwell in the streets of Jerusalem... and the streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in the streets.� Until I saw that the prophecy of Uriah was unfulfilled, I feared that that of Zecharia would not be either. Now that I have seen the fulfillment of the words of Uriah, I know for certain that the prophecy of Zecharia will come true." And hearing this, in this language did the rabbis respond: "Akiva, you have comforted us..."

There is rhyme and reason, direction and purpose to history and the Jew has a clear and direct place within that history, direct and central for he is the tool of the L-rd, G-d of history, the central player in the drama. The title of the drama? The motif and theme of world history? The knowledge of the L-rd recognition of Him as the true and only G-d before whom all mankind must bow.

When Moses, our teacher, appeared for the first time before Pharaoh, the mighty emperor and sovereign of the ancient world, he cried out that the L-rd demanded that Pharaoh let the Children of Israel go and worship Him. And the mighty Pharaoh, powerful and arrogant, replied,
"Who is the L-rd that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not the L-rd and I will not let Israel go."

The theme was sounded, the battle joined - the struggle by the L-rd and His chosen people, Israel, to have the world and the nations therein
"know the L-rd" and recognize His kingship, the counter struggle by the nations and their refusal mouthed so arrogantly in the words "I know not the L-rd..." The history of man revolves about that struggle and about the efforts of the nations that "know not the L-rd" to destroy and humiliate His people. Persecution and humiliation of the Jew is the necessary consequence of contempt for any refusal to know their G-d, the L-rd.

And the greater the contempt for the L-rd, the greater the humiliation and isolation of the Jewish people. And the final redemption, the great moment of salvation and liberation of the Jewish people, the time of the Messiah, is tied irrevocably to the time when the entire world rejects the L-rd, proclaims as never before,
"we know not the L-rd," and turns fully and totally on His people Israel as the tangible symbol of their hatred and rejection of Him. It is at that moment when the whole world turns upon the Jews, at the time when travail and tragedy unparalleled in Jewish history beset us, when the Jew faces hopelessness and utter isolation, when he stands alone before an entire hating world, when the words of the Law ring true, "lo, it is a people that shall dwell in isolation," that we are assured that the final redemption is upon us. The promise of the terrible hatred and isolation is the guarantee that we approach the era of the final redemption. Listen:

"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog: Thus saith the L-rd G-d... In that day when My people Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from out of the uttermost parts of the north, thou and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and mighty army. And thou shalt come up against My people Israel as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the end of days, and I will bring thee against My land, that the nations may know Me... And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains... and I will judge against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will cause to rain upon him and upon his lands and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing torrent, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone. Thus will I magnify Myself and sanctify Myself and will make myself known in the eyes of many nations and they shall know that I am the L-rd."
(Ezekiel 38:14-23)

The banding together by the nations of the world against Israel is the guarantee that their time of destruction is near and the final redemption of the Jew at hand. You weep when the nations call Zionism "racist"? You tremble when the cantata of the nations omits the words:
"Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep"? I do not weep; I laugh and am comforted. For until I saw that the prophecy of the hatred of Gog was unfulfilled, I feared that his destruction would not be either. Now that I see the fulfillment of the hatred, I know for certain that the redemption of the Jew approaches.

Enough weeping and wailing and the following of leaders and rabbis who are pygmies of little faith and less understanding. Cease the wailing and shout forth the words of the mighty Sweet Singer of Israel, David the King:

"O G-d, keep not Thou silence. Hold not Thy peace and be not still, O G-d. For lo, Thine enemies are in an uproar and they that hate Thee have lifted their heads. They hold crafty counsel against Thy people... They have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may no longer be remembered... The Tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagerites, Gebal and Ammon and Amalek... To pursue them with Thy tempest and afright them with Thy storm. Fill their faces with shame, yea let them be abashed and perish that they may know that it is Thou alone whose name is the L-rd, and most high over all the earth." (Psalms 83)

Sing, O Israel, and gird your loins and flex your muscles and have faith in the L-rd, G-d of History. Come home to Zion and flaunt, and on that day will the L-rd be One and His name One. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
The Jewish Press
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