A Reflection on the Tragedy Which has Devastated Klal Yisroel

rabbi dovid abensonby Rabbi Dovid Abenson. As we all walk around shocked and numbed by the terrible act of cruelty that has taken place in our midst, the fact that 3 innocent neshamas have been taken from us in cold bloodied murder by arab terrorists, we are all asking the same question – when will this Golus end?

Some thoughts came to mind that I would like to share with you.

It is well known to all of us the famous dream Yaakov Avinu had in Parshas Vayeitzei, Perek כח Posuk יב, where he saw in a vision a ladder set in the land and its top reached to the heaven and Hashem’s melachim ascending and descending it. Rashi explains “ascending” as meaning that the melachim who escorted him in the land of Israel did not go out of the land of Israel so they ascended to the sky. The melachim of the area outside the land of Israel descended to escort him.

However, the Ramban brings down a very deep reason from Pirchei D’Eliezer, who states that Hashem gave Yaakov Avinu a prophecy regarding the significance and the purpose of his dream of melachim ascending and descending the ladder.

Hashem told him that this vision that he saw is referring to Klal Yisroel who will endure four exiles before Moshiach comes. These four kingdoms will rise and eventually fall which will lead us to the final redemption.

The first malach which Yaakov Avinu saw ascending the ladder was the Tzar of the kingdom of Bavel, (prince of Bavel) who ascended 70 rungs, then descended the ladder. This vision refers to Klal Yisroel’s first golus which will be under the servitude of the Babylonians which will last for 70 years.

The next tzar of the kingdom of Modai ascended 42 rungs then descended.

This meant that Klal Yisroel would be under the Modai rule for 42 years and then the Modai kingdom would fall. This would be golus number 2.

The next kingdom which actually conquered Modai was the Greeks. This tzar of the kingdom of Yavan ascended 180 rungs then descended. This meant that Klal Yisroel would be under the jurisdiction of the Greeks for 180 years and then the Greek empire would fall. This will be the 3rd golus.

Finally, Yaakov Avinu saw the tzar of the kingdom of Edom (Rome) ascend the ladder and did not descend. Yaakov Avinu was perplexed. Hashem replied by saying even if they (Edom- western society) rise like an eagle, (America and Germany symbol is a eagle) “I will bring them down from there”. (Ovadiah Perek alef, Posuk daled).

From Pirchei D’Eliezer we see that Klal Yisroel will endure only four exiles before moshiach comes. Preordained.

However, Rav Chaim Vital, who is the disciple of the Arizal, writes something very fascinating. There will be a fifth golus which will sprout out from the exile of Edom, called golus Ishmael.

As we see today, the media speak about the terrible cruelty and killings which Islamic extremists are performing around the world, even within their own people. Of course there is the focus of carrying out these atrocious acts in Israel. It appears that we are now in the Fifth golus. – golus Ishmael – the Arab exile. As Rav Chaim Vital continues and writes, that this will be the worst of all exiles. The situation will get so bad that our only salvation will be for us to cry out to Hashem and Hashem will listen and bring the redemption. This last statement was always puzzling – how is it possible that all Klal Yisroel will put their differences aside and unite as one people to cry out to Hashem.

We can now understand Rav Chaim Vital’s holy words. As we see, it is possible for all Klal Yisroel to unite together and cry out to Hashem. As we have all come together, all sectors of Klal Yisroel joining as one, throughout the world, to unite in tearful tefillah for our 3 brethern who were kidnapped, and cry out to Hashem to bring our boys back. Rav Chaim Vital writes even further that this is why the present golus we are in is called Golus Ishmael. We have the answer in the name itself. ISHMA-KEIL: Hashem will hear our cries and bring Moshiach.

May the tremendous achdus Klal Yisroel has felt over the last 18 days continue to unite us as one people, in crying out to Hashem to end this golus Yishmael, and may Naftali, Gilad and Eyal O”H act as Melitzie Yoshor at the Kisei HaKovod. May this be our last cry to Hashem to end our bitter golus we have endured for so long and that we all merit the final redemption b’mhera v’yameinu amen selah!

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  1. Thanks very much for these words of chizuk. It is truly up to us. If we keep the achdus strong, Hashem will hear our tefillos. We cannot afford to do otherwise. We must think twice before we speak or act. Imagine a parent with children who are all different. The parent wants his or her children to get along with each other despite their differences. When the children fight with each other, the parent is in pain. It could be that one sibling may reach out with gentleness and kindness to encourage another sibling to think about something differently or change some kind of behavior, but it is done in a respectful, sweet way. Let us do all that we humanly can to not bring pain to our Parent up in Heaven – Hashem. And b’ezras Hashem, we will be treated middah k’negged middah: We will not suffer any more pain.

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