Continued from Part 2 (or start at Part 1)
- 11) 7-Year Shemita Period in Which Ben David Comes
We know from the gemara Sanhedrin 97a
Our Rabbis taught: in the seven year cycle at the end of which the son of David will come-in the first year, this verse will be fulfilled: And I will cause it to rain upon one city and cause it not to rain upon another city; in the second, the arrows of hunger will be sent forth; in the third, a great famine, in the course of which men, women, and children, pious men and saints will die, and the Torah will be forgotten by its students; in the fourth, partial plenty; in the fifth, great plenty, when men will eat, drink and rejoice, and the Torah will return to its disciples; in the sixth, [Heavenly] sounds; in the seventh, wars; and at the conclusion of the septennate the son of David will come. R. Joseph demurred: But so many septennates have passed, yet has he not come! — Abaye retorted: Were there then [Heavenly] sounds in the sixth and wars in the seventh! Moreover, have they [sc. the troubles] been in this order!
As I showed in the first half of this post
, based on a Midrash that was similar to this gemara, the first 5 years of this Shemita cycle (5769-5773) were eerily accurate. Regarding the men, women, and children, pious men and saints dying in the third year, 5771 saw the brutal murders of Leiby Kletzky A"H and Baba Elazar ZY"A, and started a period whereby we lost many of the Gedolei Yisrael.
In the sixth year, we hear "sounds". Rashi's first explanation is that we hear sounds that Mashiah is coming. Refer to Rav Kanievsky, the Halban, and Rav Shernbuch above. The intensity in which we've heard these sounds has really picked up. Rashi's second explanation is that it refers to the sound of the Shofar. This
may help explain.
In the seventh year, 5775, there will be wars. The US-led coalition against ISIS is shaping up. Thousands of Hizbolla missles are aimed at Israel while they're not fighting Syrian rebels. The Gaza ceasefire is expiring on Rosh Hashana. The Russia/Ukraine conflict is still an issue. Terror cells are popping up everywhere in the world. Let's just say that it doesn't look like world peace is happening any time soon.
The Zohar mentions that in the 73rd year, a bunch of nations gather in Rome and get pummeled with rocks from the heavens while the Mashiah is revealed throughout the world, followed by an ingathering of the exiles. Since Adam Harishon was created in year 2, which at Rosh Hashana, 5775 will have been 5773 years prior, it's possible to call 5775 the 73rd year of the century. The Zohar continues and says that until the end of the century, Yishmael leads many nations to fight against Yerushalayim.
- 13) Troubles coming like a river
R. Johanan said: When thou seest a generation overwhelmed by many troubles as by a river, await him [i.e., await Mashiah], as it is written, when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him; which is followed by, And the Redeemer shall come to Zion.
This summer has been a summer for the ages. First, 3 boys were kidnapped, and we all prayed while the IDF went to go find them. Then, we found out they were murdered. This was followed by rocket attacks by Hamas that lasted the better part of 50 days. Then, the UN decided that Israel committed war crimes so it is now investigating those. Meanwhile, anti-Semites in the world have awoken from their slumber in the name of anti-Zionism or even the old-fashioned kind. Over by the Euphrates River, a new enemy has popped up, threatening to make a caliphate that includes Eretz Yisrael. This is not to mention Iran, who's happy the world is looking elsewhere and might just pop up with a nuclear weapon any day. Like a river indeed.
We have to constantly see what caused the Destruction of the Beit Hamikdash to see what is needed to rebuild it. Our sages tell us that baseless hatred caused the Destruction. This past summer, for the 18 days that we didn't know where the 3 Yeshiva boys were, the entire Jewish nation prayed for them in a show of unity for a cause. Unfortunately, the outcome wasn't what we had hoped, but our efforts to unite surely made an impression in Heaven.
R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: If Israel were to keep two Sabbaths according to the laws thereof, they would be redeemed immediately, for it is said, Thus saith the Lord of the eunuch that keep my Sabbaths, which is followed by, even them will I bring to my holy mountain, etc.
This upcoming Parshat No'ah, there is a worldwide Shabbos Project
to help those who have not had the opportunity to keep Shabbat before in their lives do so halachically with thousands and millions Jews throughout the world. May those who see the beauty of that Shabbat continue to see the beauty of future Shabbatot for the rest of their lives and may that Shabbat bring us to our immediate redemption, as promised.
A commenter reminded me of this one and I decided it really should be added.
- 15) 70 Years since the end of WWII
Rav Elchonon Wasserman HY"D said in the name of the Hafetz Hayim ZT"L that the period of Ikeveta Dimshiha will last 70 years after the next big war, which happened to be WWII. While it was thought at first
to be 70 years since the start of the war, it can easily be applied to the end of the war, which ended in 5705.
, there is much to be excited for in the coming year. The 1946-year wait may be coming to end. What does this mean for us? It means that we must repent. We are in the month of Elul when repentance is the word of the day. But, if our minds realize how great a feat our repentance can accomplish, it may give us that extra boost of energy to push the Yetzer Hara away for good. Furthermore, if we don't repent, a king whose decrees are Haman-like comes into the picture. Let's not go there. May the merit to see our Final Redemption happen mercifully this coming year. Amen.