Matot-Masai 5777

BS”D Parshiot Matot-Masai 5777

Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Why are you afraid?

Major General Yaakov Amidror, former head of Israel’s National Security Council, said at a Monday press conference that at some point Israel will have to destroy all Iranian infrastructures in Syria. He stated that Israel’s interests must be taken into account by the Russians and the Americans when considering possible peace agreements in Syria.

In Amidror’s opinion, Israel needs to first of all “take care of its strategic goal” of “keeping Iran and Hezbollah from building launch pads in Syria.” Regardless of how much Israel wants the Syrian civil war to end, “the price can’t be having Iran and Hezbollah on our borders.”

Yalkut Shimoni (Book of Yeshayahu #499) deals with military conflicts of the future, which is now:

Interestingly, but not coincidental, the Yalkut states that Paras (Persia-Iran) will be the dread of humanity. World leaders will be frustrated in their futile efforts to save what they can. The people of Yisrael will also be petrified by the impending danger. And HaShem will say to us, “Why are you afraid? All of this I have done in order to bring you the awaited redemption. And this redemption will not be like the redemption from Egypt, which was followed by suffering. This redemption will be absolute, followed with peace”.

Who will bring about the final redemption?

In view of the life-threatening dangers facing our nation from Arabs and Moslems, military service in Tzahal is the fulfillment of the most essential contemporary mitzva.

In this week’s parasha, Moshe angrily rebukes the tribes of Reuven and Gad when they requested to receive their land portions on the liberated eastern side of the Jordan River without having to go to war together with the other tribes.

האחיכם יבאו למלחמה ואתם תשבו פה:


Would your brothers (the other tribes who still have to liberate the western side of the Jordan) come to war while you sit here?


Devorah the Shofetet, denounced the people of Meroz for evading the call to defend the nation! (Shoftim 5,23)

אורו מרוז אמר מלאך ה’ ארו ארור ישביה כי לא באו לעזרת ה…


Curse Meroz said the angel of the Lord. Curse its people because they did not come to help the Lord,

The Chareidi sector is opposed to military service in Tzahal, but are splintered regarding the reasons for their objections. The most extreme elements claim that the Medina was born in sin and has no right to exist, and would welcome the return of some foreign entity – even the Arabs – to rule over the land until the Mashiach appears.

Another group claims that since the sins of the secular are responsible for our security problems, they are the ones who must serve.

The more enlightened Chareidim claim that their Torah study is protecting the Medina, no less than Tzahal.

So, the question is: now that leading Chareidi rabbis have relinquished the helm of leadership of the Medina by prohibiting their students (numbering in the tens of thousands) from taking part in the defense of our holy land and nation, who will bring about the final redemption?

The answer is Iran.


Changes to the status quo are on the horizon

Current events are following HaShem’s plan as revealed by Chazal.

The US and European States signed a bad agreement with Iran, the result of an American President who is a closet Jihadist or an incompetent with a narcissist complex.

The Redeemer will be HaShem, but what is the role that Iran will play?

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 97b) records a fundamental controversy between two leading tana’ic rabbis – Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua.

Rabbi Eliezer believes that redemption will come about only after the Jewish people do teshuva (to repent and return to the correct path). HaShem will not initiate any act of forgiveness or redemption, but will react to our teshuva initiative.

Rabbi Yehoshua disputes this, claiming that when a certain point in time will be reached, and the Jewish nation will not have done teshuva, HaShem will create a situation whereby we will be forced to return to the Torah. This will be done by HaShem giving rise to a despotic leader whose decrees will be even harsher than those of Haman.

Rambam in Hilchot Bait Habechira 7,23 states:

בשעה שנכנסין הבנאים לבנות ולתקן בהיכל או להוציא משם את הטומאה, מצוה שיהיו הנכנסין כהנים תמימים, לא מצאו תמימים יכנסו בעלי מומין, ואם אין שם כהנים יכנסו לוים, לא מצאו לוים יכנסו ישראל, מצוה בטהורים, לא מצאו טהורים יכנסו טמאים וגו’.


When builders enter the Temple to construct or repair it, or to remove an impure object, it is a mitzvah for the craftsmen who enter to be kohanim who do not possess any disqualifying physical deformities.


If no capable craftsmen meeting those criteria can be found, then kohanim with disqualifying deformities should enter. If none are found, Levites should enter. If none are found, Israelites should enter.

It is a mitzvah for those who enter to be tahor (ritually pure). If no capable craftsmen who are tahor can be found, then craftsmen who are tamai (impure) may enter.

At the end of the 19th century when HaShem saw that the time to return home had arrived, He certainly preferred that the initiators of our national renaissance would be great Torah scholars leading large numbers of God-fearing laymen. When the great scholars did not come forward, HaShem brought forth a non-observant visionary by the name of Theodor (Binyamin Zeev) Herzl to fill the historical void by establishing the Zionist movement. He was followed by groups of Jews who too were not Torah observant, but their hearts and minds were obsessed with rebuilding the Land and bringing millions of Jews home.

As the Rambam wrote regarding the construction of the Bet Hamikdash, the order of preference was from the observant craftsmen down to whoever there was who could do the job. HaShem gathered together Jews of every persuasion to clear the swamps, pave the roads, build the buildings, plant the vineyards, establish industries, form the military and a modern robust nation, called today Medinat Yisrael.

And just like the Bet Hamikdash, the moment it was completed, no tamai person could enter, no Levi could enter the precinct of the kohen and only the Kohen Gadol could enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur; so too the Medina. While it is being constructed, every craftsman can contribute his part; but when the Medina will reach a point decided by HaShem, changes will occur.

It is happening now, and those changes will be generated by Iran.


Iran’s role

Dire threats will be made by the Ayotullas of Iran to the people of Israel. The dangers will create here an atmosphere of trepidation, causing many people to leave the country.

Those with weak spiritual connections to the State and to Torah will either return to the Torah through teshuva or leave the land.

The three hundred and fifty thousand gentiles from the Soviet Union who do not want to convert halachically will leave.

Chareidim who do not identify with the Medina will find living more comfortable in other places in the world, and many kollel men will find that the tension is interfering with their learning, and leave.

Millions of Arabs will flee to wherever they can, as they did in 1948.

The radical leftists who undermine the foundations of the Medina will leave.

The Jews in the galut will certainly not want to be here.

We lived in Kiryat Sanz in Netanya and during the three weeks preceding the Six Day War in 1967, we witnessed whole families escaping their own fears for “greener” pastures of the USA and Europe.

Their punishment was swift in coming. It was during the Six Day War that Medinat Yisrael liberated all of Yerushalayim, and the Medina became three times larger in six days. Those who had left were not here to rejoice with us.

In the future, those who will remain here will be the Jews who have an “irrational” love for the Land and believe deeply that HaShem will never abandon His children in Eretz Yisrael. They will be the old entrenched families who came here a hundred or more years ago – the Rivlins, the Blaus, the Solomons, the Kahanas of Tzfat, and the Liders of Tiveria. And of course, the knitted kipot people and the military personnel who are willing to sacrifice all for the State.

This is the role set about for Iran. To create fear that will cleanse the country of “inappropriate” residents and retain only those who are sincerely loyal to HaShem.

When that happens, we will witness the most astounding and impressive miracles of salvation which will defy all human imagination.

The Mashiach will appear and Tzahal will be his vessel to destroy the foreign enemies of HaShem and prepare the Land for the reappearance of the Shechina in the Bet Hamikdash on the Temple Mount.

This is what the Yalkut Shimoni means when it says: And HaShem will say to us, “Why are you afraid? All of this I have done in order to bring you the awaited redemption.”

Now one might ask: why was Iran chosen to be the most outspoken enemy of the Jewish people in this generation?

I submit:

Humanity owes the Jewish people an irreparable debt for our many contribution, such as Monotheism, Shabbat, Justice, Morality, Science and so much more.

But there are two nations to whom we owe a religious and national debt, Iran-Persia and their satellite militia of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Cyrus, King of Persia, permitted the Jewish exiles in his lands to return and rebuild the Second Bet HaMikdash. Forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty Jews took advantage of the opportunity to return under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia.

For this we owe the Persians a debt.

Hiram, King of Tzur (Tyre) in Southern Lebanon, supplied King Shlomo with construction materials and artisans to help build the first Bet HaMikdash. Although he was paid handsomely, it appears that his merit has not been fully recompensed.

HaShem, whose accounting system of right and wrong, justice and injustice is perfect, will not consummate the redemption process of Am Yisrael as long as we owe these debts concerning the two Batei Mikdash.

With every passing day of belligerence and hatred by Iran and Hezbollah, the debt is diminishing until the hate neutralizes any residual good that they had done for us.


I hope and pray that HaShem will grant me, my family and friends to be among those who will witness these extraordinary events.

Shabbat Shalom,

Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5777/2017 Nachman Kahana