Day 9 of the Omer, 1 week and 2 days
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THE DAY G-D REVEALED HIMSELF
The Day has come! The House is clean. The Chometz has been sold. The matzah is ready. We are about to sit down at the magnificent table and begin the Seder.
What does it all mean?
My friends, this year it should mean a lot!
The ring is closing tighter around Israel. Destabilization in the Middle East is introducing increasing chaos, which is always a dangerous phenomenon, especially with the volatile and violent nature of the "neighbors" who surround Israel on every side. Indeed, as we have seen in recent weeks, they are getting more aggressive. In addition, they vastly outnumber us.
When you add in the Western World the numbers become huge. Do they like us? Well, remember what Rashi tells us: "Esav sone es Yaakov ... Esau hates Jacob." (Rashi on Bereishis 33:4) I'll repeat a quotation that I have used before, but it is so relevant that it bears repetition. These words stand at the very beginning of my third book, 2020 VISION.
"In the End of Days, after the Children of Israel have returned to their land, the children of Ishmael and the children of Esau will unite to attack Jerusalem. They will form a world coalition against the tiny nation of Israel. But something will go wrong with their plan. The religious beliefs of the children of Ishmael and the children of Esau will clash, and the two nations will collide and destroy each other. This is what is referred to as the War of Gog and Magog. Following this cataclysmic conflict, the Final Redemption of the Jewish People will occur with the coming of Messiah the Son of King David." (Malbim on Yechezkel 32:17)
This is precisely the world situation we face today.
Now let's examine our ancestors' situation in Biblical Egypt.
Was it not exactly the same? Think about it, my friends.
Yes, the stage was smaller, but the entire world was "smaller" then; all of Israel was confined within Egypt, which was the world's most powerful country. "A new king arose" overEgypt, who was no friend of Israel, "so they appointed taskmasters over [Israel] in order to afflict it." (Shemos Chapter 1). From the distance of thousands of years these words sound relatively tame, but that is a mistake. Life in Mitzraim was every bit as frightening as the Holocaust or terrorism today. Pharaoh and his advisers devised a plan that would be copied in later centuries by Haman and Hitler (may their memories be erased!). Our situation was impossible! There was no hope, no way to escape from the Egyptians, and they intended to wipe us out, G-d forbid.
THE ONLY HOPE FOR OUR SURVIVAL WAS A MIRACULOUS INTERVENTION BY G-D TO RESCUE US FROM THESE IMPOSSIBLE ODDS, AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED! G-D'S EXISTENCE MAY HAVE SEEMED A "THEORY" TO SOME PEOPLE BEFORE YETZIAS MITZRAYIM, BUT NOT AFTERWARDS!
What before the Redemption may have been a hint or promise, became a REALITY after the Redemption, visible to everyone, including our enemies! "A handmaiden at the Red Sea saw more than the Prophet Ezekiel" (Mechilta Beshalach Shira 23).
My friends, this is what we can expect in the Final Redemption! As it was in Egypt, so it will be in that monumental day when G-d will end our captivity forever. The very impossibility of our situation now, the fact that we are COMPLETELY SURROUNDED by enemies wherever we are, the fact that they are much stronger and more numerous than we, simply makes it clear that the ONLY WAY we will be rescued is through a Redemption that will dwarf anything seen in the entire history of the world up to now! Can you imagine the magnitude of the Final Redemption!
"A staff will grow from the stump of Yishai, and a shoot will sprout from his roots. And a spirit of Hashem will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of Hashem....And it will be on that day, My L-rd will again show His strength to acquire the remnant of His people ... He will raise a banner for the nation and assemble the castaways of Israel ... the dispersed of Judah will He gather in from the four corners of the earth. ... There will be a road for the remnant of His people... as there was for Israel on the day they went up from the land of Egypt." (Isaiah 1:1ff/Haftarah for the Last Day of Pesach).
We will not have to imagine on that day!
We will not have to hope on that day!
We will not need hints on that day!
WE WILL SEE THE SALVATION OF ISRAEL JUST AS WE SAW IT ON THE DAY HASHEM TOOK US OUT OF EGYPT. AND IT WILL BE FOREVER! THERE WILL BE NO MORE ENEMIES! NO MORE FEAR! NO MORE SICKNESS! NO MORE PAIN AND TZOURIS! AND HASHEM WILL DRY ALL THE TEARS FROM OUR EYES! AND THE DRY BONES WILL LIVE!
"Then you shall know that I am G-d, when I open your graves and when I raise you from your graves, O My people. I shall put My spirit into you and you shall live." (Yechezkel 37:13/Haftarah for Shabbos Chol Hamoed Pesach)
This is really going to happen! The proof is that it has already happened in Egypt! Will it be this year? Only Hashem knows, but we all know it won't be long!
Chag Kasher V'Sameach to Klal Yisroel!
Roy S. Neuberger