10 September 2015

You Are Standing Today, All of You, Before Hashem, your G–D . . .

You Are Standing Today, All of You, 
Before Hashem, your G–D

"the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers – all the men of Israel; your small children, your women, and your proselyte who is in the midst of your camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water, for you to pass into the covenant of Hashem, your G–D, and into His imprecation that Hashem your G–D seals with you today, in order to establish you today as a people to Him and that He be a G–D to you, as He spoke to you as He swore to your forefathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Not with you alone do I seal this covenant and this imprecation, but with whoever is here standing with us today before Hashem, our G–D and with whoever is not here with us today. (I believe this refers to us, all of us, today)
(Devarim 29)

Rabbi Pinchas Begins: "[O]ne of the most amazing things about this week’s Parshah, Nitzavim, is that it discusses something that was once only a distant dream and which today is already reality. A prophecy is being fulfilled right under our noses and most people just take it in stride. It is a remarkable thing that so many just see it as being another part of everyday life.

"The Torah says:

"And it will be, when all these things come upon you the blessing and the curse which I have set before you that you will consider in your heart, among all the nations where God, your God has banished you, and you will return to God, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, and you will listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you this day you and your children, then, God, your God, will bring back your exiles, and He will have mercy upon you. He will once again gather you from all the nations, where God, your God, had dispersed you. Even if your exiles are at the end of the heavens, God, your God, will gather you from there, and He will take you from there. And God, your God, will bring you to the land which your forefathers possessed, and you [too] will take possession of it, and He will do good to you, and He will make you more numerous than your forefathers.
(Devarim 30:1-5)

"[E]xactly 70 years after World War II ended, a number that represents potential major historical change. The world is upside down. Right is wrong and wrong is right, from a Torah perspective. Our enemy has become best buddies with our once staunchest ally, who is at odds with our leader because he fights for Jewish security. The forces of chaos are getting stronger in the name of peace. The last time that happened was in Munich in 1938.

"as far as the Talmud is concerned, it [the end of this Shmittah] is the lead-in to the Messianic Era (Sanhedrin 97a)? (...) all of the signs that the Messianic Era is imminent, as mentioned in the Talmud, have come true."

"After Moshiach comes a major war will be instigated against the Jewish people, as mentioned in the Holy Zohar . . . This is the War of Gog and Magog spoken about in Yechezkel, Zechariah, as Midrash Tehillim, and it says:  In the future Gog and Magog will war with the Jewish People three times and go up against Jerusalem; he will assemble and anger the nations to go up to Jerusalem with him. (Drushei Olam HaTohu, Chelek 2, Drush 4, Anaf 12, Siman 10)"

"Has this not been going on for some time now, and so many times before? How many predictions of Moshiach’s arrival have come and gone, going back at least to Talmudic times? Remember Bar Kochbah and his crusade, and how it ended up in unmitigated failure? Aren’t we better off just sitting tight and waiting for Moshiach to tell us what to change and when?

"Good question. History has a good answer. If the signs are correct, we’ll know it soon. Something to think about this Rosh Hashanah."

From the commentary on the weekly Torah reading by Rabbi Pinchas Winston

I add here the commentary on the Haftorah for Nitzavim:

The seventh and last of the Haftarot of consolation speaks of the ecstatic time of redemption and also of the years of exile and its final throes. G–D says, "For Zion's sake, I will not be silent," which Targum Yonasan renders as a warning that as long as Israel is dispersed, there will never be tranquility in the world. History bears this out just as it will bear out the rest of the prophecy. Its closing passage describes G–D metaphorically as a Warrior coming from battle, his garments splattered with the blood of Edom the offspring of Esau, ancestor of the Roman Empire which brought about the current exile. (the Stone Edition, Artscroll Chumash)

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