After last week’s radio show on Tamar Yonah, I received some passionately written emails claiming that I had, like the spies, “weakened” the resolve of the Jewish people by positing a frightening Paras beats Edom scenario. One listener even claimed I was akin to “the spies.”
But truth be told, I simply lost track of time and the music started, my segment was over suddenly, and I didn’t get to finish on a positive note. That’s showbiz!
But more truth be told, positing a scenario where Paras wins has sources in Jewish tradition (mesorah), and many of our generation’s leading Sages are sounding the same note, including R. Kook of Tiverius, R. Amnon Yitzhak, and R. Shalom Arush. Each is warning the Jewish people to repent or face terrifying circumstances.
Telling it like it is is not being a spy. Being a spy is saying the Jews are not a holy enough people to prevail – “the land consumes the people”. That, I did not say. The Jews are certainly holy enough to repent sufficiently to avoid catastrophe, HV’S.
Edom vs. Paras – Explored Again
As described in this blog before, the Talmud presents a difference of opinion as to who will will the End of Days “Edom vs. Paras” conflict. One Sage, the final word presented by the Talmud, states that Edom will win because its a “decree of the King”, i.e. HaShem.
An “Edom wins” scenario involves Edom beating Paras in the war, and then allying with Yishmael to take Jerusalem away from the Jews. In this scenario, there will not be a total occupation of Yishuv E”Y by enemy forces, but rather the nation will be “split” as foretold by Zacharia. As things stand, this certainly seems to be where its going.
While a terrible scenario, the Edom wins “split scenario” also gives the Jewish people more time to do tshuva. For the Yishmaelite occupation of the land will not be total, complete, and, G-d forbid, genocidal.
However, if HV”S Paras wins, Yishuv E”Y could be facing a more extensive occupation by enemy forces. The Talmud talks about Persian forces in the Galilee, for example. This, I believe, is what our great Sages fear if we do not sufficiently do tshuva in the face of an increasingly likely Edom vs. Paras war.
The only way Persian/Yishmaelite forces could occupy Yishuv E”Y is, HV”S, if somehow the IDF/IAF would fail in defending the Yishuv.
Some holy sages believe that the reconstitution of Yishuv E”Y, and the IDF/IAF in particular, is a manifestation of Moshiach ben Yosef, who proceeds and provides a “throne” for Moshiach ben David. Our great Kabalists, including the Arizal and the Ohr haChaim, urge Jews to continually pray that, in the end of days, Moshiach ben Yosef should live and not die.
Hence, a Persian occupation could be a manifestation of what is known as the “death” of the Moshiach ben Yosef.
But there is a way to prevent this from happening.
“Just Behave Yourself And Be A Good Boy”
A few years ago I attended a Daf Yomi shiur with R. Mendel Senderovic, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Milwaukee Kollel. During the shiur, we covered the famous Edom vs. Paras Gemara. A person asked, “So who’s going to win?”. R. Senderovic wisely answered, “I don’t know, just behave yourself and be a good boy.”
So what is the “being a good boy” that will save us?
To answer this question, we must look at the root. Moshiach ben Yosef is rooted in the divine attribute of Yesod (foundation). Yesod is the brit milah. The holy Abir Yaakov writes that all suffering is tied to the Jewish people’s not guarding their brit milah properly, and that the ability of the Jewish people to prevail in battle is connected to guarding the brit milah. (The gematria of milah is 85, which with the kollel, is 86, the attribute of strict judgement).
Thus, to the extent the Jews protect the “covenant” and strengthen and rectify Yesod, Moshiach ben Yosef “lives.” And thus, to the extent Moshiach ben Yosef “lives”, the Jewish people shall prevail and maintain sovereignty over at least part of Yishuv E”Y during and after Edom vs. Paras and throughout Gog and MaGog.
Guarding the Brit
Our Sages say that Yishmael has merit to reside in E”Y because of their circumcision. Paras’ symbol is the “bear”, which represents unbridled lusts. Thus, to prevail against them, and for Moshiach ben Yosef to prevail against them and live and not die, the Jewish people must regain their true strength and guard the brit.
Clearly, in our generation, Jews are having a hard time properly guarding the brit in the face of fiercely powerful and perverse lusts. As described in my recent article about Islam, these are the sins the Satan is actively prosecuting us for.
Bottom line, the message is clear: if we face this challenge and make strides to rectify it, however incremental they might be, Yishuv E”Y will prevail and Moshich ben Yosef will live and not die during Edom v. Paras.
A Deeper Way To Guard The Brit
There are obvious ways to Guard the Brit, the most obvious of which is to guard one’s eyes from pornography and improper thoughts. But what else is there to do? Here, there is a deeper secret still.
As described in the post, the Destructive Drive to Win, the Holy Temple was destroyed by a blemish in “Hod”, the the ability to be “modeh”, to admit/accept that somebody else is right, or to stop arguing for the sake of peace.
Hod is not only a counter to the attribute of Netzach (Victory), but it also provides the “restraint energy” of Yesod. So, in a very real sense, to the extent we can manifest Hod, i.e., the cessation of pointless argument with our brothers and sisters, i.e. Jewish unity, we can facilitate the rectification of Yesod.
Jewish unity and Yesod are intimately connected. The rectification of Yesod cannot happen without Jewish unity. Thus, even Torah observant people who do guard the brit properly can, by striving for Jewish unity and ahavat Yisrael, bring down and provide the restraint energies necessary for more and more Jewish people to do tshuva and properly guard the brit.
And in this merit, Moshiach ben Yosef will be strengthened, Paras will fall to Edom, and Yishuv E”Y will live and not die. And so it should be His will.