5 Menachem Av 5772
Rav Yehudah, our blog rav, has uncovered some pearls in his learning and wants to pass the treasure along to you. I can't do it justice, but I will try to remember the high points.
1) According to sources, the main problem of the final generation before Mashiach will be the same as that which plagued Sodom, along with immodesty which goes along with the Sodomite sin.
In the sefer Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh , the author relates the consequences of this sin to its punishment - mida k'neged mida." They do not reproduce (in accordance with the first commandment to be fruitful and multiply) so neither will the earth produce for them. Hence, we see the floods and droughts and fires across the world which are destroying all the produce of the earth.
2) According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we read about Aharon HaCohen's passing again in Parshat Masei because this parsha is always read in proximity to Rosh Chodesh Av, the actual time of Aharon HaCohen's yahrtzeit. And it's recounted in conjunction with the attack from the Canaanites to teach us that it is not our armies which protect us, but the tzadikim among us. As soon as Aharon had died, the Canaanites felt free to attack. And by the same token, within hours of losing Rav Eliashiv, ztz"l, Jews were attacked and killed in Bulgaria.