Sunday, December 31, 2006

2500 Years of Glory: From Nebuchadnezzar to Saddam Hussein

It is raining here in Eretz Yisrael. It is a cool steady rain that is a sign of blessing. After a long dry spell, the Holy One Blessed Be He decided that on the Fifth of Tevet, the anniversary of "The Shepherd's" stroke, it was time to open up the Heavens to let us know that despite all of our failures, we are still blessed to be here. He still wants us here despite all the ugly ways that we have treated each other here over the last couple of years. Redemption is still coming b'itah even though some of us from the most learned to the most uninformed do things which in other generations would stop this process immediately. Yet, apparently the time of the remembrance of the daughter of Ya'akov is about to hit us this Spring whether some of us desire it or not. Thank G-d for His infinite Mercies from the hearts of those of us who taste it in our mouths when we pray.

When Ya'akov fled from Beer Sheva after receiving his father's blessing on the 14th of Nissan when he was sixty-three years old, he had many adventures which are in the medrash but not in the written text of the Torah. He was stripped of everything that he had by Eliphaz ben Esau except for his staff after he had crossed the Yarden as he was about to cross the Yabok. An instant later a horseman came riding by and was thrown backwards into the cold waters of the Yabok, giving him his clothes to go learn in the Yeshivah of Shem and Eber for the next fourteen years. All of this is in the medrashich writings, but in reality the next event in the text is Ya'akov's dream in Bet El. Here according to Rashi the earth from Yerushalayim to Bet El folded up underneath his head when he had his vision of angels ascending and descending on a ladder from Heaven. Here the text draws an inextricable link between Ya'akov receiving the blessing and the fate of Yerushalayim, as a matter of fact the fate of the entire stretch of Eretz Yisrael stretching from Yerushalayim to Bet El. Yours truly, the author of this blog, lives in that stretch of land. The angels were none other than the angels of the four kingdoms, Bavel (Babylon), Paras (Persia), Yavan (Greece or Ionia), and Edom (Rome). The distance of their ascension and descent on that ladder was directly proportional to the lengths of their rule over the Holy City. What is most important to understand is that at the End of Days all four angels would return to contest over the Holy City. Four angels coveting One City. What a confusing mess! Well to make matters more perplexing, the Talmud in Avodah Zarah specifically states that in reality only two of the angels will be around for the final contest. Apparently, the angel of Babylon and the angel of Yavan will not be official participants in this final contest. Now we know that the angel of Greece simply absorbed into the goals and purposes of the angel of Rome, for Chazal tell us that Greece is the Face of Rome. From this we see that Rome did not need to vanquish Greece in order to rise. It simply needed to absorb it in order to embellish its empire. Previously Persia under Koresh (Cyrus) had vanquished Babylon, and Greece under Alexander had vanquished Persia under Daryavush. The Greeks also were defeated by the Romans in the Punic Wars when the Greeks allied with Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Yet, the Romans ultimately absorbed Greek culture, not the other way around. In short the angel of Greece was absorbed into Rome and not simply vanquished.

This leaves one big problem. If the last Great War is between the Greco-Roman West and the Persians, what happens to the Babylonians? They too coveted and destroyed Yerushalayim like the Romans. How are they to be judged for coming against Yerushalayim? Well now we have the answer. Any quick study of Sadaam Hussein's life lead one to the inexorable conclusion that he was probably the reincarnate (gilgul) of Nebuchadnezzar. He tried to rebuild Babylon to its former glory. All of the the tank divisions in his army were named after great Babyonian kings. Most importantly of all on his coins he minted: 2500 years of glory: From Nebuchadnezzar to Saddam Hussein. Well now he and his guardian angel, the Angel of Bavel, are no more. On the Tenth of Tevet 3336, he started his 2 1/2 year siege of Yerushalayim. Exactly 2431 years minus one day later he has finally been executed. I am sure that the Sunni population in Central and Western Iraq that supported him are now in deep trouble. Long live the Kings of Persia and Edom, at least until this summer or the next, when the redemption of Israel puts an end to their folly too.

It is worth noting that Chazal (Our Sages of the Ages) tie three events together that occurred on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of Tevet respectively as great tragedies in Klal Yisrael's history. The 8th of Tevet commemorates the day when the Torah was translated into Greek by the Septuagint making it just another great book in Ptolemy's library in Alexandria. The Talmud says that darkness fell upon the world. On the ninth of Tevet, Ezra the Scribe passed away. He along with Nechemiah had built the physical and the spiritual walls of Yerushalayim for the returning exiles from Babylon. How blessed we are by his efforts. It is really in his merit that Hussein, a.k.a. Nebuchadnezzar who desired more than anything else to tear down those walls, was executed on his Yahrzeit.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rain did not start on the 5th of Tevet, but rather the 2nd of Tevet, Shabbat Zot Chanukah.

1/01/2007 2:57 PM  
Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

In actuality there were scattered showers on the 8th day of Chanukah. Some places got rain, but many did not. The first day of general rainfall was on the 5th of Tevet.

1/01/2007 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Moshe Meir said...

R' Dov:

Long time no postings...

Looking forward to the next one!

1/24/2007 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i gotta have more postings

1/26/2007 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rav Dov
What do you think of the new plan to give our homes in YuSh to the EU?
http://israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=120294
A Yid in Ginot Shomron

1/27/2007 7:20 PM  

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