Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do You See That Which You See, Do You Hear That Which You Hear

By Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

We are in crisis, and with every day the crisis intensifies. There is a new Hitler on the world scene – Ahmadinejad, who unabashedly proclaims his plan to annihilate Israel, and he is preparing to do so. Some say that he is a few months away, and some say it will be a year or so ..... and still others say that he already has it in his hands. He has the arsenal that, in minutes, can do to an entire nation that which the gas chambers did to six million.

And what are we doing about it? “ Shockingly, NOTHING! Our world is crumbling and we are going on with “business as usual”

And should you be among those who take this threat to heart, you will quickly be assured that Ahmadinejad is a madman... not to be taken seriously.

Yes, I agree, he is a madman, and that is precisely why he should be taken seriously. We should be concerned. Madmen are mad enough to carry out their satanic plots.. Trust me– I know. I saw Hitler in action and I also saw a cruel, evil world willingly accept and participate in the barbaric extermination of our people.

Prior to Hitler’s conflagration, Hashem sounded the alarm. He sent us many wake-up calls, but we went back to sleep until the inferno consumed six million of our people. One would have imagined that we learned our lesson and would not allow this tragedy to be repeated. Hashem’s wake up calls have once again been sounded, but once again we have turned a deaf ear and shut our eyes. since Hitler’s conflagration was so recent and not something that occurred centuries ago, we would surely not fall into that trap again, but incredibly, we see it unfolding before our very eyes, We never absorbed the lesson. Tragically, we keep repeating the same mistakes and obdurately remain deaf and blind. Compulsively, we repeat the tragedies of the past. I have been speaking about this for many years, and there have been those who advise me to focus on “happier subjects” – subjects that are “entertaining”; subjects that are “light”. But I dare not remain silent, I dare not ignore the wake up calls and the catastrophe they portend, So my ensuing columns, which I ask all our readers to read with their hearts, will be devoted to this painful topic. I will limit myself to the wake up calls that we have witnessed in the last couple of years. But the wake-up calls commenced many years ago.

During the summer of 2002, a terrible tragedy occurred in a bungalow colony in New York’s Catskill Mountains, A mother had just bathed her infant and put her into her carriage for a nap. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a wild bear appeared, snatched the baby from her carriage, and made off with her. The shocking story appeared in newspapers and the media, but somehow it failed to make an impression, yet our Talmud clearly states that the generation that witnesses a wild beast snatching a baby from its cradle should sound the alarm with a shofar to awaken the people. But the shofar was not sounded and we were not awakened.

During the last few years, the number of catastrophes has multiplied to such an extent, that we have all but become immune to them. Natural disasters like tsunamis, Hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes [even in New York City], global warming, dead birds falling from the skies by the hundreds of thousands, dead fish and sardines washing up on the shores by the hundreds of thousands, wild animals..... lions, tigers, wolves, roaming the streets of Ohio, world economic crisis, devaluation of the dollar and the Euro, accompanied by crippling unemployment, high oil prices, hitherto unknown diseases, barbaric acts of terror, nuclear spill in Japan and today’s nuclear threat from Iran that threatens the very survival of our civilization, have all come to be accepted as the norm. “It is what it is,” we tell ourselves with resignation, and we go on with our lives as usual. But can all this be attributed to mere coincidence? Shouldn’t these afflictions give us pause? Shouldn’t we stop and take stock of our lives? But incredibly we remain blind deaf and dumb.

There is a story about a Hasidic rebbe who was walking with his disciples when he noticed a little boy behind a tree, crying bitterly.

“Why are you crying?” he asked.

“I’m hiding, and no one is looking for me.”

The words of the child were like a sharp knife in the heart of the rebbe. “Woe is us,” he said to his students, G-d is waiting for us to find Him, but we have failed to search for Him. Woe is us!”

Maimonides taught that, when suffering is visited upon us, we are commanded to cry out and awaken our people with the sound of the shofar, Everyone must be alerted to examine his or her life, and commit to greater adherence to Torah and mitzvos. Maimonides warned that, if we regard the tragedies that befall us simply as “the way of the world” – “natural happenings.” we will be guilty of achzarius – cruelty.

At first glance, it is difficult to understand why Maimonides would choose the term “cruelty” to describe those who view trials and tribulations as “natural happenings.” Such people may be unthinking, apathetic, foolish, blind or obtuse, but why accuse them of cruelty.

The answer is simple, If we regard our pain and suffering as “mere coincidence” we will feel no motivation to examine our lives, abandon our old ways and change. So yes, such an attitude is cruel, for it invites additional misfortune upon ourselves and others.

It would be the height of cruelty to dismiss that which is occurring in the world today as mere happenstance. Great Torah luminaries of past generations such as the Chofetz Chaim and Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, told us that we are entering the final stages of history – a period in time called “Ikvesa DiMeshicha – Footsteps of the Messiah” Our Torah foretells four exiles through which our people would suffer: Egypt, Babylonia – Persian-Mede Empires, Greece and Rome – [the exile in which we presently find ourselves, for it was the Romans who exiled us when they destroyed the Second Temple].

In Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, an early Midrashic work, it is written that, before the coming of Messiah, we will have to contend with a fifth source of tribulation that will come from Yishmael – the Arabs – who will inflict terrible suffering on the world and on our people. This teaching is reaffirmed by Rabbi Chaim Vital, the illustrious disciple of the Arizal, who wrote that before the final curtain falls upon the stage of history, Yishmael will inflict torture upon our people in ways the world has never before seen. One need not have great powers of discernment to recognize the painful veracity of these predictions, Consider only the suicide bombers, the decapitations, the hijackings, the missiles, the rockets and the constant, senseless, brutal acts of terror.

We are the generation that has been destined to witness the fulfillment of the prophecy given to Hagar the matriarch of the Arab-Moslem world [Genesis 16: 11-13]. “Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you shall name him Ishmael...and he shall be a wild ass of a man; with his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and over all his brethren shall he dwell.....”

The long arm of Ishmael’s terror has indeed reached every part of the world.

There is yet another amazing prophecy in the Yalkut Shimoni – a Medieval Midrashic compilation that eerily foretells the events of today and should give us all pause. Rabbi Yitzchok said: The year in which Melech HaMashiach will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be provoking each other, The King of Persia [Iran] will provoke the King of Arabia [Saudi Arabia] The King of Arabia will go to Edom [the leader of the Christian nations – the President of the United States] to take counsel and the King of Persia [Ahmadinejad] will threaten to destroy the entire world..

“The nations of the world will be outraged and panic . They will fall on their faces and experience pains like birth pangs...... Israel too, will be outraged and in a state of panic, ask, “Where do we go?”

“But say unto them, ‘My children, do not fear, The time of your redemption has come..... And this last redemption shall be different from the first that was followed by further bondage and pain. After this last redemption , you will not experience any further pain or subjugation” [Yalkut Shemoni, Isaiah 59].

The Klausenberger Rebbe, z”tl, referring to this teaching, said, “Remember these words. They are perhaps not understood now, but in time they will be, and will be a source of strength to our people.”

to be continued....

Part 2 here


Dov Bar-Leib said...

So dear wonderful Rebbitzen whom I met years ago at your Hineini Center in the Upper West Side of Manhattan: You are a precious stone, an onyx stone, who feels the pain of all the Jewish people, a true leader of Klal Yisrael. Come and be one of the 6 million Jews here in Eretz Yisrael to welcome the Final Redemption in Eretz Yisrael. There are 5.9 million Jews here already and counting. There are 100,000 spots left reserved for you if you want one of the spots. It is your choice. We are the gilgulim of the 6 million from a generation ago. We have suffered enough for past sins. If only we could refrain from a lack of common decency at this time, we would already be spotless. From the Yalkut Shimoni that you quoted we should expect miracles greater than the ones we experienced when we left Egypt. Years ago Reb Shlomo Carlbach wrote "The Krakow Nigun". It starts as a funeral dirge because of the proximity of Krakow to Auschwitz. And then Reb Shlomo saw the souls of the 6 million while he was davening, and he asked them where were they going. They said, "We are marching toward Yerushalayim. Let's dance." So the funeral dirge became a march, the march of the 6 million to Yerushalayim. Let's dance.

Anonymous said...

Confirmation! I have always felt that I was present in the Holocaust. Just two days ago I told a friend that when I go to Yad v Shem, I feel as though I am looking for myself in the pictures and searching for my connection. Thanking for sharing this information And yes, I am now living in EY, this is our seventh year, B"H", here in RBS A.

Thank you.

Devorah said...

You might be interested in this: about the holocaust and reincarnation: Rabbi Yonassan Gershom

Anonymous said...

"We are the gilgulim of the 6 million from a generation ago."

Please site sources.

Dov Bar-Leib said...

I cited the source of the tzaddik Reb Shlomo Carlbach. On that specific issue he is my only source. There is also the source from Zecharia 13 that says that 2 out of 3 at the end of days will not make it. There were 18 million Jews in the world before the Shoah. By 1945 that number had been reduced by 1/3 to 12 million. So if 6 million are reincarnated in Eretz Yisrael, the question then becomes what happens to the remaining 6 million, the remaining third. That seems to be an open question. Apparently according to Rav Effie Buchwald (from the mid 1990s) about 2 million America Jews have intermarried and no longer identify with the Jewish people, and if you asked them, they would even deny that they are Jews. Another 2 million Jews would tell you that they are Jewish but are completely unaffiliated. Some of them though are already intermarried too and are having children, half of whom are Jewish simply because their mother is a Jew. The remaining 2 million are affiliated with Jewish synagogues or organizations. So for the final third, the spiritual Holocaust is one of their own making and only by hook or crook do they leave a spiritual legacy behind. Yes, many of the remaining third are doing fine Jewishly and of course will be redeemed if they survive the final travail of Gog UMagog outside of Eretz Yisrael, ken yirbu. Also, Devorah, how does one subscribe to comments with the new system??

Devorah said...

I don't know how we subscribe to comments now, Google changed the format - I'll try and find out.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately we had false alarm about Moshiah and making aliya. A lot of jews suffered a lot selling their businesses , houses... Myself, I think like others that we wait Moshiah here in New York, where a lot of Torah places like in Israel. People afraid to move because nobody exactly knows what is going to be in Israel, USA, Russia etc. Those who knows they don't say. I prefer to wait Moshiah here , in Brooklyn NY.

Dov Bar-Leib said...

The Talmud in Chullin seems to be extremely harsh on gentile and Jewish legal jurisdictions that actually grant marriage contracts to men who lie with other men. Call it a marriage or a civil union with the same rights as a marriage, the entire NorthEast corridor of the United States actually allows such marriages and grants those men who lie with men marriage contracts or civil union contracts. From the Gemorrah in Chullin it would seem that such places are a makom sakanah, a very dangerous place to live in. Perhaps if you insist on remaining in America for the final stages of Gog UMagog, you should move to a place like Dallas, Texas or Memphis, Tennesee whose legal jurisdictions will never even consider legalizing the abomination and granting it contractual status to boot. Both Dallas and Memphis have thriving Jewish communities so that you would not be moving to a desert. Also Dallas actually has one of the healthiest urban economies in the US. Both G-d and the free market are part of the average person's everyday life in Dallas. The love affair with Brooklyn, given the present spiritual state of affairs with then entire NE corridor of the US, is a bit warped maybe?

Anonymous said...

Our Hahamim says that we have to choose place to live where Torah is, and place like Dallas, Texas or Memphis, Tennesee whose legal jurisdictions will never even consider legalizing the abomination is no Torah. If Hashem will do something to New York (G-d forbid), I will accept it with love and die as Kidush Hashem.

Dov Bar-Leib said...

I beg your pardon. Memphis, Tennessee is a makom Torah par excellance. The Greenblatt family dynasty is from Memphis. The Baron Hirsch Synagogue is in Memphis, one of the largest very active Orthodox Synagogues in the world. Here is an article about one of the tzaddikim from the Greenblatt family who spent most of his life in Memphis, Rav Ephraim Greenblatt:

The sad part of this story is that he lost his entire life savings because of Bernie Madoff. That is another story unto itself.

Baruch HaShem he is now in Yerushalayim. I believe that it is from your New York City arrogance that you make such a statement that Memphis is not a makom Torah. By saying such things, you discourage people from moving to a makom Torah without the evil abomination of remaining in a place like NY which as of last year now grants marriage contracts for a universal abomination. You have an imperative, to find a Makom Torah that is not a danger to your life. Perhaps you need to travel west of the Poconos for the first time in your life to actually seek one out.

Anonymous said...

What I said is true. New York is the largest place for Torah(larger than Memphis, Tennessee for sure). You convince people to leave. Are you so sure that for those readers who are going to make aliya if they not find themselves in a new place they hearts will be broken forever. Are you guarantee that? If you mistaken, how you do teshuva on that?

jacob said...

anonymous, it appears you dont know dov. he has been saying these things for years and no one calls him on it. HaRambam warned us in his moreh about letting the imagination run wild. this blog could learn a lesson or two from him.

Anonymous said...

My opinion is that it might heart people very much. Some people are so naive, and when it touches sensitivity it hearts. I know real stories that people went back after they made aliya.
And for my brother Dov, I want him to realize the importance of damage those Neshamot who listened then regreted.

efraim said...

hashem is beyond the largest conception we have of His plans. people try to figure it out and then convince themselves they know. True, the bigger the imaginative capacity, the more cautious and bitul you need to be. (it is worthwhile to daven to be worthy to sit in the shadow of Mashiach's donkey's dung...) the moment you are confident you know, that is the sign you don't. the biggest tzaddikim, both hidden and not, have admittted that we are in a grey area that anything can happen. G-d wants teshuva and life. as for those waiting for a big apocalypse, don't be caught in the group that is actually disappointed when it doesn't happen. oy vavoy. we are being tested silently right now on our minute to minute reaction to everything that goes on around us, personally & globally. rejoice in good, don't exult in destruction, and let HaShem fight His final war. read the letter that the ramban wrote to his son ("igeret Ramban") to begin to understand our true place in the world--in proper proportion. all chochmot and endgame fantasies will be blown out of the water. who knows? perhaps it will be wonderful and compassionate?? geula is 100% this time.

Anonymous said...

Efraim you are right on the money. I completely agree with your comment.

Anonymous said...

Dov Bar Leib said
"By saying such things, you discourage people from moving to a makom Torah without the evil abomination of remaining in a place like NY which as of last year now grants marriage contracts for a universal abomination. "

Why do you allow this to pass through on your blog Devorah? I know you probably won't post this but there are many readers that are not happy with what he is saying.

Dov Bar-Leib said...

On the issue of remaining in New York City or NY State or any state that grants marriage contracts or civil union contracts with the rights of marriage to the abomination, I have nothing to apologize for. You should not be there anymore, or you should be planning to leave such legal jurisdictions. I don't post anonymously, and I am not apologizing for saying that one. I will not predict times and dates anymore, but it is obvious that the moments are close. If you want to remain in your New York guilded prison, by all means stay where you are and the growing amount of anti-Semitic graffiti and crimes. If I hurt the feelings of 3 million NY Jews but somehow save their lives by getting just a few to leave, I will not have to account for it in Shamayim. No more predictions, but we are obviously so so close. And for once in your lives venture west of the Poconos or even the Geo. Washington Bridge (but I am sure that you have been to Jersey which also grants Civil Union contracts for this abomination). So go west and find a morally sane place to live. If you want to stay away from EY, that is your decision. If you want to do it in baby steps, Cleveland, OH has one heck of a Jewish community (Beachwood, University Heights, Cleveland Heights, South Euclid, and Shaker Heights for fans of the Stone Chumash and Irving Stone). Apparently Ohio is still one of those morally sane places. Try it out.

Moshe said...

Dov you definetly need another half hour frank discussion with Rav Tidhar
on the teshuva to make. The Gedoley and poskim from New York and outside New York don't say those thinks that we have to live New York and to make aliya.

Anonymous said...

I am annon 9:18 am AND I happen to live in Israel. I and many like me find your predictions and all knowing attitude offensive. It is NOT what you wrote about NY per say, it is the fact that you know what G-d thinks.
Please do teshuva.