Piercing (Pirtzah) the Darkness that is (Tzarfat) at the End of Days, Part One
This story, though, of France as a nation of debased prostitution in the bedroom and in the halls of international diplomacy does not have a recent beginning. It goes back to the beginning of the 70 nations. We read from Bereishit 10 that Yafeth's son Gomer had three children: Ashkenaz, Rifat, and Togarmah. It is an accepted mesorah that Ashkenaz is Germany, and many think that Togarmah is Turkey. But what about Rifat? Rifat is the progenitor of ancient France which at its inception was a Celtic nation, only later to become a Romance nation after Caesar's invasion of Gaul. The name for Rifat in Sefer Ovadia is Tzarfat which is Rifat with a Tzadee added to the front of his name. To understand why he may have added that tzadee, an explanation will follow later in this post, but before there was Tzarfat (צרפת), there was Rifat (רִיפַת) without the initial tzadee. Now these Celts from Tzarfat migrated up into England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, but they got their start in the heart of France. So a study of Celtic immediately tells you that Celtic is a Germanic (or Gomeric) language which fits our profile. And as we know from Sefer Yechezkel, Rifat as one of the 70 original nations will gleefully join, the invasion of Israel lead by Meshech and Tuval as it says in Yechezkel 38:6: גֹּמֶר, וְכָל-אֲגַפֶּיהָ--בֵּית תּוֹגַרְמָה, יַרְכְּתֵי צָפוֹן וְאֶת-כָּל-אֲגַפָּיו; עַמִּים רַבִּים, אִתָּךְ. Gomer, and all his bands (that is including Rifat and Ashkenaz); the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north, and all his bands; even many peoples with thee.
Looking at the original name for the French nation, the actual origin of the name screams for an interpretation. The name Rifat is part of the Hebrew verb conjugation group called Binyan Pi'el (פיעל) with a Yud between the first and second letter of the root. Binyan Pi'el is always active voice and unlike the basic binyan Pa'al (פעל), Pi'el with a Yud almost always has a direct object as an object that is acted upon even if the object being acted upon is only implied and not mentioned. For instance, one can say that I sat or I sat down (ישבתי), Yashavti. Notice the sentence "I sat." or "I sat down." does not have a noun after the verb which is a direct object and that you can say that sentence without the listener asking for that direct object. This is often the case with Binyan Pa'al even though Binyan Pa'al may or may not act on a direct object. It can go either way. One can say "I wrote" (Katavti) or "I wrote the book" (Katavti et HaSefer.), same verb with or without a direct object. Yet, with Pi'el, the verb usually begs for the need for a direct object. Getting back to the Yud Shin Vet shoresh (in Pi'el), Yishavti ( יישבתי) means "I settled" which is very similar to "I sat down" except that I sat down does not have a direct object while to say "I settled" begs the listener to ask, "You settled what?" The answer would then be, (יישבתי את היישוב), I settled the yishuv or from another Pi'el word (קיימתי את היישוב) (Qiyamti eth haYishuv.)"I maintained the settlement." In both cases a direct object is called for by the conjugation of the verb in Binyan Pi'el. So getting back to our name Rifat, we see that Rifat (ריפת) before it became Tzarfat (צרפת) is a word in the Pi'el conjugation of the root (רפת). A Refet is a cow barn, a place where one houses cows and a place where one milks cows too. So our implacable enemy at the End of Days is an ancient Dairy Farmer! From his name we see that he works long hours in cow barns. Now for those of us who only drink Cholov Yisrael here in Eretz Yisrael and in places where it is readily available such as on the East Coast of the US or in Chicago, we really don't know if the French dairymen mix some of their cow milk with milk from horses or pigs, but at least the "face" that they show the world is that they are dairy farmers EVEN onto this present day. Notice that number One and Two in the world in dairy production are Canada at number One and France at number Two. Canada would of course be number One because in addition to their large French province, Quebec, their dairy production is supplemented by all their English speaking provinces in a much larger land mass than France or Quebec alone. Yet, the French are STILL number Two in the world while Canada with Quebec included is at number One at dairy farming and dairy product production. From this we see that Rifat IS still a dairyman even to this present day. (In the previous post at the End of Comments on that post, I discussed why this might be important for those who can begin to put this post together with that comment. I don't want to discuss it here.)
|טו הִנָּךְ יָפָה רַעְיָתִי, הִנָּךְ יָפָה עֵינַיִךְ יוֹנִים.||15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; Your eyes are as two doves.|
וַתָּבֹא אֵלָיו הַיּוֹנָה לְעֵת עֶרֶב, וְהִנֵּה עֲלֵה-זַיִת טָרָף בְּפִיהָ; וַיֵּדַע נֹחַ, כִּי-קַלּוּ הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ. 11 And the dove came in to him at eventide; and lo in her mouth an olive-leaf freshly plucked; so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
And just PRIOR to sending forth the dove the first time we read:
וַיְשַׁלַּח, אֶת-הָעֹרֵב; וַיֵּצֵא יָצוֹא וָשׁוֹב, עַד-יְבֹשֶׁת הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ. 7 And he sent forth a raven (or crow), and it went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
So in verse 7 we learn that first Noach sent forth the menuval or reprobate bird representing the most morally debased nations of the world as represented by the Oreiv (the Raven or the Crow). These nations accuse even Noach of having relations with their mate (the female raven) because they would have relations with Noach's wife if they could have the opportunity. Then according to Rashi, Noach waited 7 days to send forth the Dove who represents both Yawan and Israel because both are without blemish. As it says, in the Zohar 237a on the verse from BaMidbar 19:2 dealing with the red heifer:
ב זֹאת חֻקַּת הַתּוֹרָה, אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה יְהוָה לֵאמֹר: דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה תְּמִימָה אֲשֶׁר אֵין-בָּהּ מוּם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-עָלָה עָלֶיהָ, עֹל. 2 This is the statute of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer, faultless, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.
The Zohar states that this is Yawan who is close to the path of emunah (but not there yet). What the Zohar seems to be saying is that Yawan, more than any Noachide nation, has the potential to keep the 7 Noachide Laws. This is the difference between the reprobate bird (our raven in the Flood account) and the dove who is released seven days later. With their infatuation with the number 7 and the laws of nature, one might think that this would be second nature to the Greeks, but it isn't, of course. Free will is a second nature, but choosing the Yetzer HaTov is NOT a foregone conclusion. It is so much easier just to morally follow the other nations of the world that you are Hellenizing because of your conquest. And that is precisely what ancient Greece did. Because they had no Tzadee attached to the name Yawan, there was no guarantee for them to choose the harder path of righteousness. So ancient Greece fell away, and only the Dove who attaches the tzadee or righteousness to its national destiny gets to turn the Yon (יון) the male dove released by Noach into (ציון) Tzion. From Tzion the Torah will go forth, and the Word of the L-rd from Yerushalayim!
So the French seeing all this and knowing their antecedents (since they are from Yafeth like Yawan is) on the Ark of Noach, see all this and decide that they too want to be tzaddikim!! But their definition of a tzaddik is NOT to follow the commands of their Creator. Remember the French have a national tendency far more than the Greeks to adopt the culture of the nations of the world in order to be loved by them. That is really the essence of their evil inclination, and they seem more adept at doing that than every other nation. So, presto!, they decide to determine their own definition of their righteousness by how beloved they are!! And in that merit of being beloved by so many nations (70 it seems), they get to add a tzadee to their name!! So from working in the Refet, as a milk producer, suddenly they are instantly a tzaddik!!....in their own minds of course. Remember in the 18th Century, there were two Revolutions for spreading democracy to Mankind: The American Revolution which predicated their revolution on making a this worldly covenant with the Creator of the Universe and the French Revolution who simply believed in their motto: Liberté, égalité, fraternité (We are all free. We are all equal (not because we are created equal but because where we must end up must be equal). We are all brothers.) Notice that by not predicating their revolution on a barometer of Noachide righteousness attached to their Creator, the French Revolution was doomed from the start. And the American Revolution? Well it just produced the greatest self-generated noble experiment in human history at least for serving G-d for reward in Olam HaZeh. American national service to G-d may not be for Olam HaBa, but it is not America that is the Eternal nation in Olam HaBa anyway. That distinction belongs to Israel. But as a Noachide nation, at least America got the Olam HaZeh interaction with G-d down pat. In contrast, the French Revolution internally was a disaster, but in their intense desire to be loved by the world, they continued to apply those disastrous principles to the world in which they excelled, the World of International Diplomacy. So now at the end of history when 2/3rds of the people in all nations have reached a level of putrid reprobation, the spiritual level of the raven on the Ark, the French have become the focal point of uniting the debased values of the 70 nations of the world and pointing at G-d's chosen nation claiming to be more righteous than we are by virtue of how beloved they are amongst those 70 debased nations. In this way, France is the last seat of the Evil Inclination at the End of Days.
Note: None of the above is meant to imply that all Frenchmen are steeped in the immoral value of diplomatic prostitution. While the tendency of that French nation IS precisely that, individuals are often better than the cultural tendency of the nation that they are a part of. And while the peak of the bell curve in France is toward this bad midah, the range of individuals at the base of any bell curve is far greater than the differences between nations as represented by where the peaks of the curve are in comparison with the peaks of the curves of other nations. And French Jews?: Obviously, the less French you are in this horrible character trait of desiring to be loved by a fallen world, that some have absorbed over this long galut, the more likely that none of this applies to you.