Very Relevant Today – from “With All Your Might, Volume 1”

» Posted by on Feb 9, 2011

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From the past but very appropriate for the present, the following is an excerpt from With All Your Might, Volume 1, Chapter Parashat Va’Ayra 5768:

Our experience of Egyptian bondage and subsequent miraculous exodus (yitz’rayim Mitzrayim) play a conspicuous role in our liturgy. In addition to the Pessach festival dedicated to these historical events, we recall the Exodus every time we recite kiddush; it is the closing recitation of the daily pesukei de’zimra; it links kri’at shema and the amida prayer in the morning and at night; and it is a major theme in the second blessing of birkat hamazon.

With all due respect to the suffering (although my forefathers from the tribe of Levi were not slaves) and the enormous miracles which HaShem performed for the Children of Israel, I would nevertheless have thought that the major thrust of the liturgy should be the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai for the purpose of establishing a Torah state in Eretz Yisrael.

A more basic question: What does the Egyptian experience mean for us today — 3000 years later; are not the calluses long gone from our hands, and the scars no longer noticeable?

And perhaps the ultimate question: Why did we have to undergo the Egyptian experience?

As we draw closer to the finale of history, the answers to these questions loom ever larger. They are based on the principle determined by King Solomon in Kohelet (1:9):

What was, shall be again; and what was done, shall be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun

The Malbim (Harav Meir Laibish ben Yechiel Michal) in his commentary on the Book of Yechezkel (32:17) states: 

It will come to pass in the end of days, after the Jewish people will return to the land of Israel, that the nations will come together in an attempt to to capture Yerushalayim.

The prophet names the nations who will come.

Gog, the king of Meshech and Tuval from the north and west who are uncircumcised and called “Edom,” who are the descendants of Yefet living now in Europe.

And Paras, Kush, and the House of Turgama who are all circumcised and adhering to the belief of Yishmael, will join with the children of Edom to attempt to capture the Land of Israel from the Jews.

But when they arrive, they will create chaos among themselves and make war on each other; that is, Edom will make war on Yishmael because their beliefs are different.

And there God will judge them by sword and blood as stated by the prophet Zecharia chapter 14.

And here the prophet (Yechezkel) relates how they all will be lost; and singles out Egypt, Ashur and Elam who adhere to the religion of Yishmael and are today circumcised. He then mentions Meshech, Tuval and Edom, their kings and princes from the north who are all uncircumcised. And between them will there be a war.

The first to be utterly destroyed will be the Egyptians, who are the closest to the Land of Israel and will come forward first and fall. Then the Assyrians and Persians will come to avenge their ally and they all will be destroyed.

Had the Malbim lived today,he would have been even more specific, in this fashion:

It will come to pass in the end of the exile and the Jewish people will return to the land of Israel, that many nations will come together in order to attempt to capture Yerushalayim.

The nations who will come are from the north and west and include the European Union and the nations which comprised the former Soviet Union who are all uncircumcised and called “Edom,” the descendants of Yefet living now in Europe and adhering to the Christian faith.

And Iran, the Arab peoples, and the House of Saud who are all circumcised adhering to the faith of Yishmael, will join with the children of Edom to attempt to capture the Land of Israel from the Children of Israel.

But when they arrive, they will create chaos among themselves and make war on each other. That is, the Christians from Europe will make war on the Muslims because their beliefs are different.

And there God will judge them by sword and blood as stated by the prophet Zecharia chapter 14.

And here the prophet (Yechezkel) describes how they will be lost. He singles out Egypt, Syria and Iran who adhere to the religion of Yishmael and are circumcised. Then Meshech, Tuval and Edom, their kings and princes from the north, who are uncircumcised, and between them will be a war.

The first to be utterly destroyed will be the Egyptians who are the closest to the Land of Israel who will come forward first and fall; then the Syrians and Iranians will come to avenge their fallen ally and they all will be destroyed.

The Egyptian experience, which concluded with the destruction of the entire Egyptian army, was brought about by HaShem to serve as a historical precedent for what will be in store for the contemporary Egyptian enemies of the State of Israel, as well as the Iranians, etc., who will follow them.

[note: from 2008] Last week, our Foreign Minister conveyed to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense committee, that not only are the Egyptians derelict in their obligations to seal off the southern border of the Gaza Strip; they systematically help and abet the Chamas murderers to smuggle in weapons and explosives for their Islamic fascist army.

When the Egyptians’ feathers became ruffled due to the disclosure, our Defense Minister was sent to assuage their sensitivities, and apologized for noticing the Egyptian violations.

Egypt maintains the largest army in the Middle East, supplied by the United States. But who is threatening them? Sudan or Ethiopia to the south? Libya to the west? And against whom does their propaganda machine churn out daily diatribes, which would do honor to Herr Goebbels?

Shlomo Hamelech said:

What was, shall be again; and what was done, shall be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun

But this time it will not be Yam Suf (the Red Sea) which will serve as the vehicle of our salvation. It will be the Russian-built Aswan Dam. This dam is one of most impressive in the world. It is 980 meters thick at its base, and 40 meters at its top; it measures 3,600 meters long and 111 meters in height. The dam has created Lake Nasser, 500 kilometers in length, with a width going from 10 to 30 kilometers, and with water capacity of 157 billion cubic meters. It is the second largest lake in the world after the Zambesi.

Yitro, upon being told by Moshe the details of the ten plagues, is overwhelmed. This is because as one who was privy to the diabolical plans of Pharaoh against the Jews, Yitro saw that HaShem turned every detail of persecution into a “boomerang” against the Egyptians.

The Russian-Egyptian military treaty which caused the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War, and the dam, the construction of which was part of the agreement, will be the Achilles Heel in the future punishment of our most dangerous enemy.

If I were CNN or Fox News, I would keep my cameras fixed on the Aswan Dam and Lake Nassar when hostilities break out.

This was known to our rabbis, so they brought the Egyptian experience to the forefront in Kiddush and in other important liturgies, in order to keep this message alive: as in the past, HaShem will not forsake His people Israel who have absolute faith in His Word.