Yesterday, I wrote: "With full acknowledgement that Hashem is in control of everything in His world, there are things which are perpetrated by human beings, like the Holocaust for example, that HKB"H, for His own reasons, allows to happen."
To clarify that statement further, there is no question in my mind that HKB"H has sent the coronavirus. The only question in my mind is whether He sent it directly, like the plagues of Egypt? Or did He appoint human emissaries to carry it out? As the prophet Zechariah (1:14-15) tells us....
Call out, saying, 'Thus said Hashem, Master of Legions: I have become zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion, a great zeal; and I am wrathful, a great wrath against the complacent nations, who, when I became slightly wrathful, augmented the evil.
[Commentary] When I decreed that a nation be a "rod of punishment" for My people, they exceeded their mandate and magnified the ordained punishment many times over.Quoting from the book Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum (Feldheim Publishers):
In the Torah it states (Devorim 21:29): "And this trouble has befallen you, in the End of Days, for you shall do evil in the eyes of HaShem to anger him."
In reference to the troubles of Chevlei Moshiach, the prophet Zecharya said (Zecharya 13:9): "And I shall bring one third into fire, and I shall refine them as one refines silver, and I shall assay them as one assays gold."
The Malbim comments: 'And I shall bring' - the third of Klal Yisroel that remains at the End of Days will suffer yissurim - fire - to refine and separate them from the dross; 'and I shall refine them' - to remove the dross; 'and I shall assay them' - after their purification, HaShem will assay them a second time, to see if they have been purified as they should have been. This is the same way one processes gold, which is smelted and refined more than silver, until only pure gold remains. We learn from here that HaShem will allow only those who are completely righteous (tzaddikim gemurim) to live and merit the Final Redemption.
...It is written in the Zohar, that Chevlei Moshiach will be divided into two separate periods: a period of seventy years... and a period of nine months...In the last nine months of the golus, the troubles shall greatly increase, and, at the end of this period, there will be a great fear, and then the Moshiach will be revealed.Is what we are experiencing now the "great fear" or is this just the beginning of the nine months with the prophesied "great fear" yet to come at Chanukah 5781? We may yet look back on this time and say it wasn't as bad as it could get. But, I really pray this really is the end of the nine months with Pesach 5780!
From Rabbi Pinchas Winston's commentary on Parashat Vayakhel-Pekuday...
...Redemption is not a door you just walk through. It is one you have be READY to walk through.
Therefore, God increased the slavery of the Jews before the exodus. The time for redemption had come, they had not been ready, and the increased slavery made up for the difference. Therefore, God sent Haman in Mordechai’s and Esther’s time. The time for redemption had come, the Jewish people had not been ready, so God sent Haman to speed things up.
The end is near. Exactly which one, nobody is really quite sure. Personally, based upon what I have seen and worked out, I think the final one. Yes, I know, that sounds too good (or bad) to be true. But that’s what I believe, especially since today’s “Haman” is a global one. It is affecting so many Jews and their ability to get to Eretz Yisroel.
If ever our choices have mattered, it has been over the last few decades. But if this is truly the end, and it should be a glorious one and one we can enjoy, then the choices we make today count the most. Four-fifths of the Jewish people died in the plague of darkness, because they made a very wrong last-minute decision. The Talmud expects a similar scenario at the end of days as well.
Look past the headlines. Look at the Torah’s version of history. Make the right choices. It is those that will separate you out to the side of good, or, God forbid, to the side of bad.