Yonatan Gordon

Lighting the candle of truth from Bat Ayin to Migdal Eder

As I prepare to leave Bat Ayin for an apartment tower in Jerusalem, I was reminded of a tower of a different sort.

When Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh first founded Bat Ayin in 1989, the name chosen was Migdal Eder (lit., “The Tower of Eder”), as in the verse (Genesis 35:21): “Israel journeyed, and he pitched his tent at some distance past the Tower of Eder.” But even though the location exactly fits where the Torah says it’s at, the present day name of “Bat Ayin” was chosen because the government was unwilling to accept such a messianic name.

candle light

How is this messianic? If you read the Targum Yonatan to the verse, the answer is clear:

Jacob took his tent and pitched it after Migdal Eder, the place from where the King Mashiach is destined to be revealed at the end of days.

But a lot has happened in 25 years, and the thought of sounding messianic is no longer taboo. Arguably, the hot topic of interest today is in fact the Redemption, and how current events fit into the greater messianic process.

Netanyahu is fond of quoting something the Lubavitcher Rebbe told him to have in mind while in the UN (from Netanyahu’s Facebook page):

Remember that even when you are in a world that is all dark and you light one candle, one candle of truth, the light – the precious light that this candle gives off, is seen from afar.

In the past, America was that one nation that would burn brightly alongside Israel. But as we see from this message from the Rebbe, the words quoted here were “all dark.” Meaning that even if you find yourself in a situation where even America is not shining, then the one candle of truth from the nation of Israel will then light up the “all dark” world.

As I prepare to enter the holiest city in the world, instead of leaving Bat Ayin, I thought it a good opportunity to conceptualize what it means to reveal this name Migdal Eder. In addition to the eventual renaming of Bat Ayin to Migdal Eder, I came to the conclusion that to settle Jerusalem is to settle the world with light.

The date chosen for the ultimatum for peace is the end of 2014. As everything happens by Divine Providence, I decided to take a look at what date the end of 2014, and beginning of 2015, coincided with in the Hebrew calendar.

Appropriately enough, January 1st, the day when “peace” is supposed to reign supreme, is the fast of the 10th of Tevet; the day when Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem.

Perhaps it is for this that the Rebbe said “all dark.”

Photo Credit: CC-SA, “Candle Light.” Author: Devilal (Wikipedia Commons)

About the Author
Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and co-founder of
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