by Yochonon Donn [HT: Shawn]
Harav Moshe Wolfson, shlita, spoke Tuesday night in a rare mid-week assembly for his kehillah, Emunas Yisroel in Boro Park, asking bluntly why there is no greater uproar within the community over the potential for war over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “Why are we quiet? Where is the awakening? Why is everyone so apathetic?” asked Rav Wolfson, who is also mashgiach of Yeshivah Torah Vodaath. “Everyone is busy with narishkeiten, we don’t hear the alarm? We don’t know that we have to pierce the heavens for rachamim from the Ribbono Shel Olam?”
Rav Wolfson told the packed beis medrash of nearly 1,000 people that the potential for a war encompassing Iran, Israel, Europe and the United States over the next few weeks is a real one, and Klal Yisrael must prepare itself spiritually. “Everyone knows that there is currently a growing danger from Iran – and it is a great error for whoever does not know this,” Rav Wolfson said. “Why should a Yid not know what is happening to [other] Yidden? Everyone must know what is happening in regard to other Yidden. Everyone must know what is happening in Eretz Yisrael.”
Rav Wolfson began talking this past Shabbos about the dangers from the Iran crisis, when he stopped and said that it was not a subject to discuss on Shabbos. He said he would continue the topic during the week. The last time he called for a special asifah during the week to discuss current events was in 1991, prior to the Gulf War.
Rav Wolfson started his address, which was carried live by Kol Halashon, with the famous Rambam, who writes that it is a mitzvah to daven during troubled times. “If you don’t daven,” the Rambam says, “then it is a cruelty, since it will get worse.” “The leader in Iran says clearly – he repeated it this week – that he wants to kill, Rachmana litzlan, every Yid in the world, just like Haman,” Rav Wolfson said. “If he will be successful, chas v’shalom, in getting the nuclear bomb – and experts says he will have it by the summer – it will be a great danger for Klal Yisrael.”
“A good part of the world’s Jews live in Israel, and the government there says that they will attack Iran first, before they could get the nuclear bomb. If that happens, everyone knows that that will cause a world war.” Rav Wolfson said that he heard that Harav Yosef Rosenblum, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivah Shaarei Yosher, spoke recently about the crisis with Iran – he said that during this eis tzarah, “Hashem is judging us on every klal and on every prat.”
Rav Wolfson quoted the Pesikta, who says that the year when Moshiach will come all nations will battle each other. The spark that will set it off, according to the Medrash, will be when the king of Paras – which is modern-day Iran – will threaten “Arabia,” presumably Saudi Arabia, such as is happening today. Arabia will go for an alliance with Edom – the culture of Edom is today’s Western world, Europe and United States. Paras will then destroy the world and the Yidden will be thrown into turmoil. Hashem will then say: “Do not fear, the time for your Geulah has come.” Rav Wolfson noted how eerily similar this Medrash is to what is occurring today. “We don’t have to be in a panic,” Rav Wolfson said, “Hashem will perform miracles for us. But efsher takeh. Maybe the time for the Geulah has arrived. We must prepare for the Geulah.”
Rav Wolfson said that since the Holocaust, Hashem has performed great miracles for the Yidden. Eretz Yisrael, which today hosts most of the world’s Yidden and most of the Torah world, merited supernatural siyatta diShmaya during its wars. When the Palestinians shoot missiles from Gaza, they land mostly in empty areas and cause little damage. When then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein shot 39 Scud missiles during the Gulf War, only one Yid was killed – that man had previously received a klalah from the Chazon Ish. “This a hashgachah niflaah that is reserved only for Yidden who learn Torah, who keep the mitzvos and who will ultimately do teshuvah,” Rav Wolfson said. “Hashem wants to do nissim for us. Israel is surrounded by 300 million Arabs and we are still there; that means Hashem wants to do yeshuos. We must prepare for yeshuos.”
But just like Eliyahu had to daven on Har Hacarmel even though Hashem had already promised to bring rain, Hashem still wants the tefillos of Klal Yisrael today, even though He had promised to bring yeshuos. In order to qualify for these miracles, Rav Wolfson said, we must strengthen in Torah, tefillah and chessed. He specifically suggested saying Tehillim 46 every day, adding that he is asking his own kehillah to have the kapitel printed out and stuck to the back of every siddur. During the Suez campaign in 1956, the Belzer Rebbe asked that people say that particular kapitel, since it is a segulah to prevent warfare. “Everyone has to be mispallel that Klal Yisrael should be saved from chevlei Moshiach, that he and his family should be saved,” he said.
Rav Wolfson also spoke about kevias ittim for Torah, not interrupting even “if the cell phone rings.” “I heard from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l, that when a Yid sits down to learn it should be like Shabbos,” Rav Wolfson said. “That is the only time that one is pattur from work.” “In a beis medrash it is Shabbos. … If someone interrupts his learning and he picks up the phone, he brings the marketplace, he brings the office into Shabbos. He is mechallel the Shabbos.”
But above all, Rav Wolfson said, Yidden should keep in mind that we live in momentous times, and we should prepare for the upcoming era with emunah and bitachon. “In the next couple of weeks there will be news,” Rav Wolfson said, “and with the help of Hashem, it will be good news for Yidden.”
Source: Rabbi Eli Goldsmith