17 December 2015

The Time of Jacob's Trouble? Part 1

BS"D בס"ד
5 Tevet 5776

Kindly pray for the baby who lost his leg as the result of an attempted murder attack on Jews: Yotam Shmu'el ben Ya'el.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


You will recall that in my last post, I had come up with an idea to bring redemption sooner, based on something my husband told me he learned: Get Yosef haTzaddik, the tribal leader who was sold by his brothers, to forgive them. I asked R’ Ephraim Sprecher about it and he said, no; it’s dangerous, it’s not required of us, and besides, Yosef had to forgive them during his lifetime. It appeared that I had to think in a different direction. So, I searched for the prophecy that talks about Israel’s unhealable wound. It turns out that the passage regarding The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, as it is known in English, is located in Yirmiyahu perek 30 (Jeremiah chapter 30). Have our current-day sages been discussing whether this well-known prophecy might be having its fulfillment now? I have no idea. Some, like R’ Chaim Kanievsky, seem focused on Mashiach’s imminent arrival. Will we know what we are going through only in retrospect? We will be taking a look at this key prophecy

Confusion on this issue is understandable. After all, the Jewish people have been undergoing terrible trials virtually without letup since the destruction of the 2nd Temple (Beit haMiqdash) and therefore it could be said that the time of Jacob’s Trouble has been for this entire period. (The Holocaust was not the only time a full third of the People (at least the Ashkenazim) were murdered; one other time I am aware of was by the armies of one Bogdan Chmielnicki, and I do not claim to know everything about Jewish history. For that matter, we do not know nearly enough about the suffering of the Mizrahi Jews through the centuries…) We see that from this prophecy a significant number of the People have to be physically located and ruling on at least part of the Land of Israel (v. 3), so the time period the prophecy is referring to is limited to the present day.

Some notes on the formatting: I took the Hebrew from the Mechon Mamre site because it is formatted with the Hebrew and English verses together, in columns. I chose Artscroll, a more modern English translation than was available there, so that it would be easier for non-English speakers (increasing numbers of whom read this blog) to understand (and actually, the Hebrew is better understood from it as well). The Rashi commentary in English is from Chabad (and I have adjusted it to reflect the Artscroll words, since both are translations in any case) and any commentary I have will be underneath that. Since Rashi does not comment on every verse, I may well comment on a verse where he has no problem (as every student of Rashi knows, he does not comment unless he has a problem.). I apologize for not having found the Rashi commentary in Hebrew.

Why me? Who do I think I am, anyway? Well, actually, v. 24, from the Artscroll translates: …in the end of days you will be able to understand it. The actual Hebrew phrase, tithbonenu bah, means more like you (plural) will observe, watch or look at, it. Could that not be rightfully taken to mean that the average person (Hebrew speaker/reader most likely) — not a rabbi or other sort of learned person — from the time period it refers to should be able to read the prophecy from within his/her context and be able to point at existing events that clarify what might be referred to by our prophet? 

I was hoping that at least one of the gedolei hador (great rabbis of our generation) would have done so already. It is entirely possible that I missed it, as my reading of Hebrew web sites is limited, and I have not seen it in English. Or, it may be that haShem reserved this work for me to contribute to. One way or the other, my poor effort will have to do for now; I will point to as many things as I can as we go. Again, I am not a rabbanit or a learned person in Jewish terms. Hopefully from this study we shall see whether in fact we do understand it and it resonates with and applies to us as we may suppose haShem intended – and whether we need to wait for another generation, as so many have in the past. You are welcome to add your insights in the comments. 

One note of exception: Now, this is neither the time for Christians to jump in proposing their “messiah” as the answer, nor for us to turn to the Muslim Mahdi, or any proposal that has us giving up, whether our G-d, ourselves, our land, our language or our way of life, when it finally gets restored to us. We do not look to anyone but G-d Almighty; otherwise we will fall into the idol worship the Xians offer us, and I would not want to contribute to the defeat at the hands of Yishmael, Esav and all their allies, G-d forbid, in whatever guise they come.

As for their right to speak, they have exercised it with impunity, with threats and abuse up to and including murder for many centuries, forbidding us our right to speak using censure, name calling and violence, and eventually covering it all over with law (the dhimma is that law, taken from Christian practice and applied by Islam; and lest Christians in the lands of freedom forget, it applies to those among them who live in Muslim lands also.).

It is the Jews' turn now to speak freely.

This first part covers through verse 11.


Jeremiah Chapter 30  יִרְמְיָהוּ

verses 1-11 פרקי

א  הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל-יִרְמְיָהוּ, מֵאֵת יְהוָה לֵאמֹר.
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from HASHEM, saying:
ב  כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר:  כְּתָב-לְךָ, אֵת כָּל-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר-דִּבַּרְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ--אֶל-סֵפֶר.
2 'Thus said HASHEM, God of Israel, saying: Write down for yourself all these things that I am telling you into a book.

Hava haAharona: on a scroll. As most know, in those days books as we know them did not exist, and the word "sefer" (ספר) referred to a scroll, such as what we use when Torah is read. Now we have a combination of both on the computer! We "scroll" up and down to read, and special commands must be employed in order to make a computer document act like a book. So, has what has gone around, come around again?!
ג  כִּי הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים, נְאֻם-יְהוָה, וְשַׁבְתִּי אֶת-שְׁבוּת עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל וִיהוּדָה, אָמַר יְהוָה; וַהֲשִׁבֹתִים, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-נָתַתִּי לַאֲבוֹתָם--וִירֵשׁוּהָ.  {פ}
3 For, behold, days are coming — the word of HASHEM — when I will return the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, said HASHEM, and I will return them to the land that I gave their fathers, and they will possess it.' {P}

Rashi: For, behold, days are coming: And you shall not say, Why should I write it, since they all will perish, and no one will read it, neither will anyone remember it anymore, for, “behold, days are coming, etc.”

Hava haAharona: And what is the State of Israel but the Jewish People's modern-day expression of return and possession of the Land of Israel? Even though we have a long way to go before complete possession and sovereignty is achieved — according to HASHEM's design, without either external or internal opposition — still, ANY sign of this is worthy of note here because of the LACK of any for nearly the last 2,000 years!  

UPDATE: I am not saying that the State is holy, G-d forbid; only that our boots on the ground as a Jewish entity in ANY sense is worthy of note.
ד  וְאֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים, אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה אֶל-יִשְׂרָאֵל--וְאֶל-יְהוּדָה.
4 These are the things HASHEM spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. 
ה  כִּי-כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה, קוֹל חֲרָדָה שָׁמָעְנוּ--פַּחַד, וְאֵין שָׁלוֹם.
5 For thus said HASHEM: A sound of terror have we heard; of fear, and not peace.

Rashi: A sound of quaking [terror] have we heard: Some interpret this as alluding to the tidings of Babylon, from which those exiled there quaked. But the Midrash Aggadah explains it as an allusion to the war of Gog and Magog.

Hava haAharona: The voice of terror (qol haradah, related to haredi) is at least as likely our voice, afraid that HASHEM is going to take our land away again through the goyim supporting terrorism here because 'it isn't ours', we are unworthy of it, because we have a secular government...for whatever reason! Our government reinforces this fear by their efforts to hand land over to the Arabs at the behest of the West, even though the latter's assurance that peace will be the result, has proven over and over again to be completely false. The nations, both (Middle) East and West, don't want peace. Their message is clear: They want us dead, whether killed now or made un-Jews first before being killed.
ו  שַׁאֲלוּ-נָא וּרְאוּ, אִם-יֹלֵד זָכָר:  מַדּוּעַ רָאִיתִי כָל-גֶּבֶר יָדָיו עַל-חֲלָצָיו, כַּיּוֹלֵדָה, וְנֶהֶפְכוּ כָל-פָּנִים, לְיֵרָקוֹן.
6 Ask now, and see if a male has ever given birth. Why, [then] do I see that every man puts his hands upon his loins, as a woman in childbirth, and all faces turn pallid?

Rashi: whether a male gives birth: Whether it is customary for males to give birth, so that labor pains should seize them like a woman in confinement.

his loins: like מָתְנָיו.

Hava haAharona: Yerakon  ירקון: nausea and vomiting repeatedly, green sickness. The people in this verse are queasy in addition to, or from, fear. Some translate this word as pale(ness), pallor, pallid, etc. — this in no way begins to describe our experience, our life-threatening distress.  We are not “pale” from fright — what is happening to us is disgustingly nauseating in the extreme! But we should not expect the nations to regard us with understanding, patience or even simple common humanity. Their own evil is not evident to them.

his loins: like מָתְנָיו.: Seems as though this word is the usual Hebrew one and the prophet's word is a synonym. Rashi was quite the grammarian.
ז  הוֹי, כִּי גָדוֹל הַיּוֹם הַהוּא--מֵאַיִן כָּמֹהוּ; וְעֵת-צָרָה הִיא לְיַעֲקֹב, וּמִמֶּנָּה יִוָּשֵׁעַ.
7Woe! For that day will be momentous, there is nothing like it; it will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he be saved from it.

Rashi: that day: The day of the assassination of Belshazzar and the downfall of Babylon. Another explanation: the day of the downfall of Gog.

Hava haAharona: Does Rashi mean to say in his "other explanation" that "the time of trouble for Yaaqov" AND the War of Gog uMagog might occur at approximately the same time??? Well, we could possibly see that, has v'shalom! (English video w/Hebrew subtitles)

…but he will be saved from it: despite the claims of the "daughter religions" and their attempts to dumb us down regarding our own sources (nothing worth linking to on the Internet...but we now have unredacted sources to compare with them...) we DO have salvation and HASHEM will show them! I dearly hope they have the web links and contact information for their nearest Noahides handy!
ח  וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַהוּא נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, אֶשְׁבֹּר עֻלּוֹ מֵעַל צַוָּארֶךָ, וּמוֹסְרוֹתֶיךָ, אֲנַתֵּק; וְלֹא-יַעַבְדוּ-בוֹ עוֹד, זָרִים.
8 It shall be on that day,  — the word of HASHEM, Master of Legions  —  that I will break off the yoke [of the conqueror] from your neck, and I will tear your straps; and foreigners will no longer enslave him.

Rashi: I will break off the yoke [of the conqueror]: The yoke of the heathens will be removed from Israel.

Hava haAharona: The yoke of the heathens (zarim זרים): In addition to Christianity, which worships a man as G-d, I would include Islam as well. Under certain circumstances they allow themselves to consume raw flesh, both human and that of living animals — videos are available if one has the stomach for them — in addition to murdering, stealing and lying. The holy Ramba"m likely never saw such violations of the Noahide Laws during his time as physician to the sultan in Egypt. And that's not all...but I have to move on.
ט  וְעָבְדוּ, אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם, וְאֵת דָּוִד מַלְכָּם, אֲשֶׁר אָקִים לָהֶם.  {ס}
9They will serve HASHEM their God and David their king, whom I will establish over them. {S}
י  וְאַתָּה אַל-תִּירָא עַבְדִּי יַעֲקֹב נְאֻם-יְהוָה, וְאַל-תֵּחַת יִשְׂרָאֵל--כִּי הִנְנִי מוֹשִׁיעֲךָ מֵרָחוֹק, וְאֶת-זַרְעֲךָ מֵאֶרֶץ שִׁבְיָם; וְשָׁב יַעֲקֹב וְשָׁקַט וְשַׁאֲנַן, וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד.
10 But as for you, do not fear, My servant Jacob, the word of HASHEM, and do not be afraid, Israel; for behold, I am saving you from distant places, and your descendants from the land of their captivity; and Jacob will return and be at peace and tranquil, and none will make [him] afraid.

Rashi: But as for you, do not fear: Because of all the evils that you will see befalling Babylon in whose midst you are.

and tranquil: like וֹשָקֵט.

Hava haAharona: Despite the desires and plans of the nations to keep our land and people from experiencing peace and tranquility, HASHEM will bring them. The lands of captivity extended to the whole world before the State of Israel rose up.
יא  כִּי-אִתְּךָ אֲנִי נְאֻם-יְהוָה, לְהוֹשִׁיעֶךָ:  כִּי אֶעֱשֶׂה כָלָה בְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הֲפִצוֹתִיךָ שָּׁם, אַךְ אֹתְךָ לֹא-אֶעֱשֶׂה כָלָה, וְיִסַּרְתִּיךָ לַמִּשְׁפָּט, וְנַקֵּה לֹא אֲנַקֶּךָּ.  {פ}
11 For I am with you  — the word of HASHEM  —  to save you; for I will bring annihilation upon all the nations among whom I have dispersed you, but upon you I will not bring annihilation; I will chastise you with justice, but I will never eliminate you completely. {P}

Rashi: but I will chastise you with justice: according to the law of the Torah.

and I will never eliminate you completely: an expression of a sweeping destruction.

Hava haAharona: I will chastise you…according to the law of the Torah, etc.: Zecharia 1: 14 and 15: "Thus says the Lord of Hosts: I am zealous for Yerushalayim and for Tzion with a great zeal. And I am very much displeased with the nations that are at ease: for I was a little angry, but they helped forward the affliction." In other words, they made it a whole lot worse than G-d intended, and they will pay for it. We see grossly disproportionate punishment of Israel and Jews, not only in Israel but all over the world now, but its exaggerated nature is not from HASHEM. Therefore, let us cling to the hope this offers us.

More later, be"H.

Abba she-ba'Shamayim, may we be worthy of complete return (teshuva תשובה) and salvation (yeshuah ישועה) (not JC), speedily and in our days. Amen.

More reading: Beware the False Narrative h/t Mashiach is Coming | What Does "Exceptional Measures" Mean? | The Unraveling of the "Zionist" Dream | Price Tag is Not Terror. Period. | Shaba"k Hints that Duma Arson Suspects DID NOT Set the Fire | A Black Day for the State of Israel | Beware of False Messiahs and False Prophets |


Neshama said...

What do you think the following quote from your post would entail? The Halachos are pretty strict and for some it will be a torture.

"will chastise you…according to the law of the Torah,"

*About that video, when I first saw it I recognized pieces from other videos. I wonder if Rabbi Mizrachi really produced it to accompany his narration, or maybe the video guy put them all together? In any event, who is going to clean up the mess after all that destruction? I'm a housewife who cleans clutter, among other rewarding work, and I can't imagine that the video reflects something that will happen in that manner. Either it will be the end of everything we have ever known, or HaShem will accomplish His purpose via other means. If it's the end, then we also will not exist after this, but instead the worthy ones will accompany MBD into the 7th millennium, kuloh Shabbat!

HDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

I don't know, Neshama. Rashi said it, not me. But this is why I think people should study this prophecy along with all the rest. Today the concept that some nations and people can go beyond haShem's will when it comes to punishing Israel and the Jewish People is not very popular. We are taught that haShem does everything and we deserve whatever we get because it could come from a past life, so forget about defending yourself. But it seems that the verse in Zecharia says that punishment can be overdone, and haShem will punish the over-punisher.

What do you think the Shabaknikim will get if, G-d forbid, one of their imprisoned Jewish young men dies from their torture? Some Jews (or maybe they're not? Whoever they are) deserve the torture they are putting innocent people through.

Also I am coming to the conclusion that studying Navi and acting on the emunah we get from reading the prophets is the antidote to the NWO, the New Age Movement, etc.

Yonatan said...

CDG wrote: "Also I am coming to the conclusion that studying Navi and acting on the emunah we get from reading the prophets is the antidote to the NWO, the New Age Movement, etc."

Absolutely! After all, wasn't that the intention of Hashem sending the Naviim in the first place? So we would know what we need to do. It provides strength and direction.

Thanks for your efforts.

HDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

Yonatan, you are welcome.

Neshama, BTW, the video I linked to was the one Meir linked to on Dov's blog. I have no idea whether R' Mizrachi produced it or someone else.