G-d’s Master Plan – XIX – Kosher Kemistry – Haftorahs Nachamu (נחמו) & Shoftim


I find it quite interesting that Haftorah Nachamu, which is read immediately after Tisha B’ Av, begins with the words נחמו, נחמו  meaning to comfort, comfort or to console, console. It is written in a similar pattern to that of the Haftorah attached to Parshat Shoftim, which will be read this coming Shabbat.

In Shoftim, the first two words of the Haftorah are – אנכי אנכי, which means” It is I, only I” who comforts you. In other words, Hashem is assuring us he is constantly watching over us. And that was proven true after the two Holy Temples were both destroyed on the same day of Tisha B’Av and Jerusalem fell into the hands of the enemy. G-d promised Jerusalem would be rebuilt and Jews would return, which we see happening today. It is our job to look more deeply into every major event that takes place and realize this fact. The Beirut explosion is a primary example.

Ammonium Nitrate ( אמוניום חנקתי)

Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi told a local TV station that it appeared the blast was caused by the detonation of more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse at the dock ever since it was confiscated from a cargo ship in 2014. 

In my August 9 Blog, I referred to an ABC-TV report which took a closer look at ammonium nitrate, but I want to emphasize a few more points as follows-  

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound and is a white crystalline solid consisting of ions of ammonium and nitrate. It is predominantly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer.[4]

Its other major use is as a component of explosive mixtures used in mining, quarrying, and civil construction. It is the major constituent of ANFO, a popular industrial explosive which accounts for 80% of explosives used in North America; similar formulations have been used in improvised explosive devices.

Many countries are phasing out its use in consumer applications due to concerns over its potential for misuse.[5] Accidental ammonium nitrate explosions have killed hundreds of people since the early 20th century.

There are two major classes of incidents resulting in explosions:

  • In the first case, the explosion happens by the mechanism of shock to detonation transition. The initiation happens by an explosive charge going off in the mass, by the detonation of a shell thrown into the mass, or by detonation of an explosive mixture in contact with the mass. The examples are KriewaldMorganOppauTessenderlo, and Traskwood.
  • In the second case, the explosion results from a fire that spreads into the ammonium nitrate (AN) itself (Texas City, TianjinBeirut), or to a mixture of an ammonium nitrate with a combustiblematerial during the fire. The fire must be confined at least to a degree for successful transition from a fire to an explosion (a phenomenon known as “deflagration to detonation transition”, or DDT). Pure, compact AN is stable and very difficult to initiate. However, there are numerous cases when even impure AN did not explode in a fire.

Based on the above information, it was easy to see why those responsible for keeping this dangerous stockpile in Beirut were so confident. It had not exploded for six years and therefore they must have thought – What could possibly cause this to explode now?

Hashem Comes To Our Rescue

Please look at the following Hebrew words and phrases-


אמוניום חנקתי,

The first word of course represents comfort, while the second phrase is the best translation I could find for “ammonium nitrate”.

Now let’s compare them-

If we take out the first three letters from the Hebrew word for Ammonium we have the following letters-


If we take out the first two letters from the second word meaning Nitrate we have the following letters-


By unscrambling the above 5 Hebrew letters we arrive at the following-



In other words, the Aleph stands alone and obviously that stands for Hashem

The other four letters spell out the word Nachamu in Hebrew or Comfort as discussed above

Just like it says at the beginning of the Haftorah attached to Parshat Shoftim, Hashem will come at the precise time and moment to rescue us from any imminent danger. And in this instance, G-d chose ammonium nitrate to do the job.

Therefore any terrorist group planning to attack Israel using this compound has seen those plans go up in a giant explosion and mushroom cloud.

And that is something we cannot deny because we all saw it with our own eyes. And this miracle was also broadcast throughout the world.

About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager /Fundamental And Technical Analyst. Wrote in-depth research on companies, markets, commodities for leading financial publications. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
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