Rabbi M. Kessin: America’s Role in the Messianic Process

This lecture is somewhat of a departure from the track the rabbi usually takes, he tells us from the start. He doesn’t usually tell stories. “I’m an idea man—a concept man.” Indeed, the rabbi’s general approach is to explain current events in the context of the messianic process of the Divine Agenda using excerpts from sacred texts and exegeses of Jewish sages. But this lecture benefits greatly from the extraordinary impact lent it by this magical, and purportedly true, tale entitled, “The Chanukah Candle that Inspired George Washington.” It embodies the theme of the reciprocal and miraculous relationship the Jews have had with America as seen in the trajectory of history. To what extent the story is factual may never be known. Much research has gone into confirming its validity and, in spite of the assiduous efforts of several scholars, the original text has not been discovered and is probably irretrievably lost. In any case, the story dramatizes a truth nonetheless, as the rabbi explains. What follows is the story with his commentary emboldened:

A difficult winter. Terrible cold. We are sitting in Valley Forge and waiting. (We all know what Valley Forge was, one of the places that Washington was stuck in before he fought the British.) Why? I don’t know. Perhaps for better days than these. I am the only Jew here. Perhaps there are other Jews among us, but I haven’t seen any. We hunger for bread. We have no warm clothing or shoes to protect our feet. Most of the soldiers curse George Washington for going to war against Britain.

There are those who hope for his downfall, but I believe that his cause is just. We must expel Britain from America. She wants to put her hands in everything her eyes see. Although we are suffering here terribly, I am loyal with all my heart to George Washington. More than once I see him at night, passing through the camp, between the rows of sleeping soldiers. He gazes with compassion upon the soldiers who are suffering from the cold. And sometimes he approaches one of the sleeping soldiers and covers him, as a father would cover his son. (That’s a display of compassion.)

There are times when the hunger and the freezing cold torture me to death. But I don’t curse General Washington who is fighting for the freedom of America. At moments like this I think of my father in Poland. I think about all that he suffers at the hand of the cruel poretz. (A poretz was a lord of sorts, the lord of the manor; owned the town, and everyone had to give him loyalty, allegiance. He controlled everything.) I remember: I was a child then and I saw my father dancing before the poretz (degraded and disgraced). What an awful thing to see! My father was wearing the skin of a Polar bear and danced like a bear before the poretz and his guests. (And they were laughing; it was mockery. That is really what it was because this was the situation of Jews in Poland.)

What terrible pain! What great shame! My father dancing like a bear – and the poritzimthe poretz’s cronies laughing and rejoicing at the sight (at the tremendous degradation of this Jew). I decided then and there that I will never dance like my father before the poretz. Afterwards, I escaped to America. (So this Jew escaped to America. Why? Because this Jew could not tolerate the galus—exile because the exile at that point was rife with degradation and disgrace.)

And now I am lying in Valley Forge and shivering from cold. They say that Washington is losing (he was!) and that he can’t win this war. But I don’t believe all that. I lie at night and pray for him. (which is interesting….Britain at that time was a tremendous empire and Washington didn’t believe they would win. So this Jew lies awake and prays for Washington, which is significant.)

The first night of Chanukah arrives. (must be December—freezing—chaf-heh Kislev—the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev) On this night, years ago, (on Chanukah) I left my father’s house. My father gave us this Chanukah menorah and said to me, ‘My son, when. you light the Chanukah candles, they will illuminate the way for you’ (reminding him he is Jewish, and to always remember to light the Chanukah candles and do the mitzvos–commandments).

Since then, the menorah has been like a charm for me. Wherever I go, I take it with me. (it reminds me who I am.) I didn’t know what to do – to light the Chanukah candles here, among the goyim, or not. (The army is essentially all goyim–gentiles. Will they laugh at him?) I decided to wait until they were all asleep, and then I took out my father’s menorah. I made the brocha-blessing and lit the first candle. (We don’t understand the merit of that, what that means. It’s freezing. The guy is exposed to the cold, insufficient clothing, among goyim. He’s in America, non-assimilated, so he strengthens himself by lighting the Chanukah light. He made the blessing on the candle-lighting so, obviously, he’s a frummer guy, a religious Jew.) I gazed at the light and remembered my parents’ home. I saw my father dancing like a bear before the poretz and I saw my mother’s eyes filled with tears (because she realized the disgrace of a Jew in the costume of a bear dancing before the lord of the manor, being made a mockery). My heart was filled with pain and I burst out crying like a small child. (He felt the pain of the exile. Chanukah in many ways is a re-dedication of the Jews to their avodah—Divine service, to the Beis ha’Mikdash—the Holy Temple. They fought off the Greeks and, as a result they were victorious, found the oil that should have kept the menorah alight for one day, but, instead, a miracle provided light for eight days. But one of the essential ideas, among many, is that this represents the re-dedication of the Jews to G-d. That is what it is all about!) And I decided then in my heart, that for the sake of my father and mother, for my brothers and sisters in Poland (that he left behind), I must help George Washington make America a free country, a land of refuge for my parents and brothers who are subjected to the cruelty of the poretz. (He wants to make America a free country, not just for himself but for Jews in the Europe. It is bad enough they are in exile, but they are degraded and disgraced. His resolve to help Washington at Valley Forge was strengthened because he wants to make America free for all.

Suddenly I felt a gentle hand touching my head. I lifted my eyes and it was he, he himself was standing over me and he asked, “Why are you crying, soldier? Are you cold?” (How many generals are compassionate? More likely they are cold-hearted….take orders! We begin to see the greatness of this man, Washington.) Pain and compassion were in his voice. I couldn’t bear to see him suffer. (The suffering is reciprocal: they both acknowledge the suffering of the other and suffer themselves as a result). I jumped up, forgot that I was a soldier standing before a general, and said what came from my heart, like a son speaking to his father: (So, picture Washington, the general of the US army fighting the British—a losing battle—and you have a regular soldier, a Jew, who just lit a Chanukah light. Despite what we might assume, a Jew is greater than a general. A Jew can rectify Creation and even though this Jew didn’t understand this–what the hashkofa of a Jew is–he acted upon that concept. I don’t know if he saluted or not, but he stood before Washington as an equal and told him what was in his heart. What did he say?)

“General Washington,” I said, “I am crying and praying for your victory. (Amazing! He didn’t say he was crying because he was freezing or afraid to die tomorrow. He wasn’t crying for himself. This is a very important idea: crying for Washington and the future of the United States. We don’t know what the koach-the power of that is.) And I know that with the help of G-d we will win. Today they are strong (the British), but tomorrow they will fall because justice is with us. We want to be free in this land. We want to build a home here for all those who flee from the hands of poritzim, for all who suffer across the ocean. (The victory is not just for us but for all those who need a refuge from suffering.) The poritzim will not rule over us! They will fall and you will rise!” (That’s a nevuah—prophecy! He didn’t say ‘maybe we’ll win.’) General Washington pressed my hand. (Who can know what Washington was thinking. He knew the odds of winning against the mighty British army of battle-hardened soldiers. Odds are they were finished! It is only human that Washington would have felt dejected.)

“Thank you, soldier,” he said. He sat next to me on the ground, in front of the menorah.  What is this candlestick?’ he asked.

I told him, “I brought it from my father’s house. The Jews all over the world light candles tonight, on Chanukah, the holiday of the great miracle.” (The Jew would have explained the miracle of the freedom that was won but it’s not just freedom just to do what you want; it’s the freedom from oppression—exile, from being constrained from doing what you wish that brings meaning to life.)

The Chanukah candles lit up Washington’s eyes, and he asked joyfully, “You are a Jew from the nation of prophets (amazing!) and you say we will be victorious?” (Washington knew in some way that the Jew’s yichus—genealogical lineage is what?–prophecy!)

“Yes sir,” I answered with conviction. (The Jew answered in the name of his ancestors, prophets, the greatest people in spirituality and closeness to G-d.) “We will win just like the Maccabees won, for ourselves and for all those who come here after us to build a new land and new lives.” (For everyone who needs a yeshua—salvation.) The General got up and his face was shining. He shook my hand and disappeared in the darkness. (Imagine the impact this had on Washington in what was probably the darkest moment in his life, about to face an insurmountable challenge, certain that defeat is the most likely outcome when here comes this Jew with his Chanukah light saying that victory would be theirs because it’s what G-d wants. This is why Washington’s face was “shining.”)

My faith prevailed. Washington’s victory was complete. (You should know this is a nes niglah—an apparent miracle. Don’t kid yourself! Washington’s army was a rag-tag bunch of colonists, ill-equipped. Sounds like Chanukah, when 10,000 Maccabees won against the 110,000-strong of Greece. Of course, it was a miracle!) The land was quiet. My general became the first President of the United States and I was one of its citizens. I soon forgot the terrible days and nights in Valley Forge. But I kept the memory of that first night of Chanukah in my heart like a precious dream. (Here is George Washington, the Commander-and-Chief of the entire army, now the president, and the Jew had a personal encounter with him on a most depressing night.) I did not relate it to anyone because I said to myself: Who will believe me? I was certain that the General forgot it completely. But that was not the case. He didn’t forget.

The first night of Chanukah (1776) 5538 (a year later). I was sitting in my apartment in New York, on Broome Street, and the Chanukah candles were burning in my window. Suddenly, I heard a knock at my door. I opened the door and was shocked: my General, President George Washington, was standing in the doorway  in all his glory. “Behold the wonderful candle, (He remembered the date; he remembered the Jew) the candle of hope of the Jewish People,” he proclaimed joyously when he saw the Chanukah candles in my window. (This is not just the light of this Chanukah or even of 2000 years ago. This is the light of the geula—Redemption! This is the future.) He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “This candle and your beautiful words ignited a light in my heart that night. (Obviously, this light in his heart was what he desperately needed. Who knows the despair Washington was suffering that point when the Jew strengthened him?) Soon you will receive a Medal of Honor from the United States of America, together with all of the brave men of Valley Forge. But tonight, please accept this token from me.” He hung a golden medallion on my chest and shook my hand. Tears filled my eyes and I couldn’t speak. (The tears reveal how overcome he was by the realization that Washington not only remembered his deed, but that he fully understood the significance of what he was told about impending victory and the concept of redemption.) The President shook my hand again and departed.…

I came to, as if from a wonderful dream, then I looked at the medallion and saw an etching of a beautiful Chanukah menorah. Under it was written: “A token of gratitude for the light of your candle — George Washington.”

This is a true story.

The rabbi poses the challenge as a question: “How do we interpret this story, a story about the founding of America, hashkofa-wise—in terms of Jewish philosophical principles, particularly regarding the Divine Plan?”

He begins the answer by explaining the value of a Jew’s prayer: “The prayer of a Jew is incredible! We don’t realize the power of a Jew’s prayer.” Even Washington recognized that Jews are descendants of prophets, the rabbi says. At that moment in time, the rabbi declares, the tremendous merit of lighting that candle in such a foreboding and dreadful place and saying the bracha–blessing  bestowed upon that Jew ruach ha’kodesh—Divine inspiration enabling him to tell Washington that G-d intends for America to become that refuge, that bastion of justice. “Since it was ruach ha’kodesh, it instilled a great deal of faith in Washington because that is what ruach ha’kodesh does,” the rabbi says. There is something about ruach ha’kodesh that causes something in the mind to “click.” What is conveyed from someone so endowed inspires faith in its truth. Washington had a metamorphosis, a chizuk–strengthening in emuna—faith in the Providence of G-d.

Why did G-d perform this miracle for America? G-d willed America to transform from the ra’she’b’Esav—the evil aspect of Esav to the tov she’b’Esav—the good aspect. But there were kitrugim—prosecutions in the Heavenly Court where the Satan argues, as he must, that the sins of mankind make it unworthy of redemption. The Satan wants America to be under the British, that power-driven bulwark of conquest and domination, later in history to restrain survivors of the Holocaust from entering what was then Palestine (the “White Paper”) while allowing unrestricted entry for Arabs, a practice which caused so much trouble. So the transformation of America was a requirement of the Divine Agenda and G-d needed George Washington to know it and to hear it from the mouth of a Jew, a descendant of prophets.

The rabbi has discussed many times over the past five years the prophecy that Jacob and Esav’s mother received during her pregnancy. In the context of Trump’s role as president, it takes on stupendous relevance. The prophecy has two parts: the first part foretells of two mighty nations within her, two entities that would contribute to the tikkun—rectification of Creation, but in two different ways. Jacob, the Jewish nation, would do it by performing commandments or acts of repentance, or suffering when the first two “devices” weren’t employed. . Esav, who became Edom, which, ultimately, became Western Civilization, would contribute to the rectification by persecuting the Jews when they failed. He would provide the suffering. These twin brothers were in opposition (though on the same mission) also in that they would never progress equally. When Edom was mighty, Israel was weak and stricken. When the Jews served G-d and deserved the kedusha—holiness that sustains Creation, Edom would be compromised. History demonstrates this. And, of course, the persecution of the Jews by Edom was in lock-step with the Satan’s interest to survive and empower himself. As the rabbi has explained before, the holiness that sustains existence goes either to the Jews or their chief adversary, the Satan. The power is on one side or the other and Edom has, historically, been one of the Satan’s chief allies.

The second aspect of the prophecy says that Esav, who became an evil-doer, the firstborn who lost his birthright, will repent at the End of Time. The prophet says that the elder, Esav, will serve the younger, Jacob, meaning that Edom’s role as persecutorial agent will end. “There you are!” the rabbi says.

America would embody that assistance. America becomes the good part of Esav to assist Israel. It not only completes the rectification of Creation but becomes a global power to fight against tyranny. As the rabbi has explained in depth elsewhere, The Torah refers to Esav as the “man of the field.” Esav’s original task, before he thwarted it, was to go out into the world and prevail against and eradicate evil. According to this hashkofa, America  is to embody that mission as an ally of the Jews and help bring redemption to all mankind.

This is why the 17th of (the Hebrew month) of Tammuz coincides with July 4th 1776. Both those dates commemorate when the real exile of Jerusalem began with the breaching of the walls culminating in the destruction of the Holy Temple. That this date on the Jewish calendar coincides with 4th of July demonstrates that the downfall of Jerusalem would be reversed when the evil of Esav—Rome–would be transformed into a penitent and redeemed Esav—America.

Returning to the theme of Esav’s redemption, it isn’t only the Jewish people who require a redemption. Esav’s status as an evil-doer dooms mankind; they too are at risk of being deprived of olam ha’ba—the Future World. They too are in exile. Just like G-d deigns it necessary for the Jew to tell G. Washington that the land they were liberating would become the hope of mankind,  Esav’s exile too will end. Freed from their exile, they can support the Jews thereby earning them, namely Esav, the merit to “get an unbelievable chelek—portion of the Future World.”

The rabbi now considers the “Founding Fathers:”—George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison…..”G-d sent out a tremendous shefa—Divine influence of chochma—Divine Wisdom, to create those documents whereby America could be preserved: the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, documents that are the greatest expressions of justice and righteousness of law” the world has ever seen. This is the tov she’b’Esav required at the End of Time and it must be preserved. G-d sent the “right shluchim—emissaries” to ensure that the rectification of Creation would be fulfilled;  He Divinely inspired them.

And G-d has, since then, sent America what it needed. For example: America sinned by participating in slavery. Even though Americans didn’t do the actual kidnapping, they participated in the purchase and the retention of people against their wills. The punishment for that, according to Torah, is chayav misa—death penalty. “Since America must be preserved as the tov she’b’Esav, G-d has to correct that,” adding that Lincoln was the “right guy” for the job. Most presidents might have accepted secession from the union for those southern states that wouldn’t comply with doctrine to free the slaves. But G-d would not allow that split. So, for the survival of America as the tov she’b’Esav, G-d chose as emissary Lincoln, even though he really had no credentials to recommend him. He was born into very modest circumstances in Kentucky, practiced law there—”who was this guy? No one knew who he was and he became president. Why? Because G-d said that he must preserve the union.” To preserve the tov she’b’Esav, G-d needed to deliver an atonement to America under the penalty of the shadow of death. What was that?–the Civil War. The 700,000 deaths and strife caused by that war allowed America to survive. In addition, the freeing of the slaves in America was a sufficient atonement for their sin.

Elucidating further on the scriptural and exegetical evidence for the repentance of Esav, the rabbi notes that Esav’s head lies at the foot of his brother Jacob in the Me’aras ha’Machpela—the Cave of the Patriarchs—located in Hebron. His head is buried in that honorable place because it was only his body that was defiled by tumah—impurity, his taiva—hedonism that wrought the evil. The head is pure.

Another example has to do with chazir—pork. The “Gemara” says that this food forbidden to Jews, and which represents Esav, will one day be kosher, indicative of Esav’s purification.

Furthermore, there is a midrash—exegesis in the “Yalkut Reuveni” which says that G-d turns Esav’s clothing red as punishment for his evil-doing to which Esav reacts saying, “I cannot bear this.” So G-d turns his garments white, indicating purification.

As we approach the geula—Redemption, the exile becomes less severe because the Jews no longer bear the enormity of as many sins as formerly. The Jews no longer bear the intense brutality that they once did for example in Russia, in the Arab lands, or Europe. Their lot improved upon escaping to America and, today, Jewish life is relatively secure, even with the recent escalation of anti-Semitism. The kapporah—atonement required for past sins has significantly waned. The exile is waning and the signs are not just in America but world-wide. Putin’s treatment of Jews, his attitude toward Israel, is benign and, at times, warm. The rabbi has spoken about Putin’s relationship to Jews and his own personal regard for them.

Therefore, G-d will not “end America.” The problem is that, “America slips” and needs atonement just like they did for the sin of slavery. America is guilty even today, despite the great good America has done in the world, of gross immorality which the rabbi has described in other lectures: sexual immorality and perversion, hedonism, immersion in materialism. This gives a dying Satan the ammunition he needs to prosecute America in the Heavenly Court and condemn it restoring it to its status as the evil of Esav. What the Satan demands is the destruction of that country the Founding Fathers instituted—the good aspect of Esav. What is the instrument of that destruction?—”Joe Biden…and his crew.” The rabbi maintains that his election would be an expression of that judgement. One proof of this occurred during the Democratic Convention when the phrase “under G-d” was expunged from wherever it had traditionally been intoned because, “they hate religion.”

At this point, the rabbi insists that listeners must not mistake him for a campaigner for or against either Trump or Biden. “I’m not on anyone’s payroll nor have I been assigned to do anything,” the rabbi makes clear. His perspective, he says, is not based on the character profile of any candidate. His perspective is formed solely by hashkofa, those Jewish philosophical principles regarding the Divine Agenda. He admits to being a “Trump guy” because he thinks Trump has done a “fabulous job” and he admits to liking him for his competence and honesty.

The next of G-d’s objectives is to destroy the Democratic Party because they have contributed significantly to the destruction of the moral fabric of America, says the rabbi. The unfortunate death of George Floyd unleashed the turmoil that most freedom-loving Americans recoil from. The rabbi reasons that even those who don’t particularly like Trump will shudder to think what the alternative is—a country wracked with lawlessness and contempt for the Constitution. It would be an America where they could find no security, financially or otherwise. Most people, regardless of their political leanings, want simply to raise their kids, earn a living, live in safety. They see clearly how America would be debased, their lives compromised or destroyed, were Biden to win.

At the core is the question: Does G-d intend to retain the tov she’b’Esav or not? The rabbi contends that the outcome has nothing to do with Trump or Biden per se. “Don’t focus on Trump or Biden; it isn’t about them,” the rabbi maintains. “Those guys are just puppets. The key concept is the Divine Plan. You need to understand that…G-d isn’t concerned with what America thinks. Like I said a long time ago, ‘The only vote that counts (on November 3rd) is G-d’s;’ Everything else is irrelevant.”

The sum of all this is the rabbi’s conclusion that G-d does not will the destruction of this nation that was founded for greatness and righteousness. “America is the greatest nation that ever lived,” he extols, but with the caveat that it is the greatest among nations of gentiles. G-d’s will to bolster its status is a reasonable assumption particularly in its destined role to assist Israel, as the prophecy shows. As the representative of that tov—good, Trump is fulfilling his mission, particularly as it pertains to Israel. The rabbi has spoken at length about the good Trump has done for Israel and will continue to do. “Trump is the tov she’b’Esav. He doesn’t know that; I wish I could tell him that but he doesn’t understand who he is based on the messianic process. What other president moved the embassy to Jerusalem, declaring it to be the capital of Israel, recognized the Golan”…and the latest efforts of his administration to revolutionize the relations between Sunni Arab nations and Israel, fostering trade and, perhaps, an alliance against Iran.

In terms of hashkofa, the rabbi reminds us that, like Esav, Ishmael too will repent based on Ishmael’s having given Isaac the first privileged position in the burial of Abraham, their father. The Gemara says that Ishmael repents. This is why it was possible to have a rabbi among the tannaim (sages who lived in the Mishnaic period 10-220 CE) named Rabbi Ishmael! Though it will take time, the rabbi maintains that the return of Ishmael is underway and only Donald Trump could have “pulled this off; we know that!”

With ever-improving relations with the Sunni world and eventual sovereignty, Israel will benefit also from the economic advantage of not having to divert so much money to the military. Additionally, better relations with countries like Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, means the end of the “Palestinian cause which, of course, is absurd!” The right of the Jews to the land, “biblically, historically, and legally” has always made their claim absurd.

What is the gift bestowed on the Jews? They are tifferes and ozbeauty and might, gifts mentioned in the morning prayers: G-d “girds us with might” and “crowns Israel with splendor.” What is the mystical understanding of these traits? The splendor is chochma—wisdom. And oz doesn’t pertain only to military might. It refers to success in all areas of endeavor.

Returning to the turmoil between Jacob and Esav and the imbalance of power that characterizes their relations, the rabbi asks, “Where is that beauty and might?” If you want to see the beauty of America, the splendor, it has been New York, the showcase of Edom’s wealth, power, sophistication, elegance, and success. Manhattan now is a “ghost town… people moving out in droves. What does it mean?” The might is being transferred to the Jewish nation. “It’s hard to believe… N.Y., the great city of civilization… is dying.” Here, the rabbi almost gets into a tirade denouncing DeBlasio but simply sums it up saying, “I don’t even want to talk about…..what this guy is, ” nor about Cuomo who is “not far behind,” but noting that G-d appointed DeBlasio as the perfect emissary for the job of demoting, perhaps dismantling, the glorious stature of the once gleaming Big Apple. And here the rabbi notes the fate of the great centers of education: MIT, Harvard which don’t even have populations on campuses; they are all “home on Zoom.” This is evidence of Edom’s splendor being compromised. And as it drains, “where does it go? It goes to Jacob.”

This is a strong sign of the Redemption.

The merit of America, as expressed in its success and global importance, is due to its long-standing benevolence toward Jews that allowed them to grow spiritually via Torah-learning. The rabbi points out another example of this principle of benevolence to Jews resulting in material success. He sees it in the example of Japan which became an economic powerhouse despite its lack of natural resources and the damage it suffered in WW2. Before China supplanted it, Japan had the second greatest economy in the world because it enabled the Jews to survive when they escaped Nazi Europe to Shanghai and, because Japan governed Shanghai, enabled Jews to establish the Mir Yeshiva. By virtue of Japan’s benevolent sponsorship, “the angel of Japan appeared before the Heavenly Court,” rightfully demanding compensation for its kindness. Because of Japan’s gifts of refuge and support, Jews eventually emigrated to Israel and America where the merit of Torah learning continued to all who acted as sponsors. The reward for those who support Jews in their performance of commandments and Torah-learning is difficult to calculate, the rabbi points out, but certainly it amounts to the presumption that G-d has an interest in ensuring that America prevails.

But there must also be a metamorphosis of the Jewish people. “While the The Eirev Rav—mixed multitude are in power, the Jews cannot repent.” Who are these enemies of spirituality? They are that segment of Jews identifiable as leaders and influencers who would sever the connection between Judaism and G-d and His Torah, sever the connection of the covenant, and reduce Judaism to “kugel.” Their control must end in order for the Jews to become spiritually elevated. The rabbi has described this process as a kind of rehabilitation, similar to that which the messiah experiences just prior to his appearance. The Jews must be spiritually rehabilitated and, under the current governance and its climate, the Jews cannot be spiritually elevated yet, for Redemption, they must be! “Once Redemption starts,” the rabbi pronounces with great emphasis, “it is unstoppable and irreversible.”

“Who knows what this Rosh ha’Shana will be—5781,” the rabbi asks. “If all this is true, then this will be the greatest Rosh ha’Shana we’ve ever seen, when G-d will decree that the Redemption will begin.” It doesn’t mean we will see the mashiach–messiah himself, necessarily, because there are many “precursors” to the mashiach actually being revealed. Consciousness must be elevated and it may begin with this year. It is not only the Jewish people who will be redeemed; Esav too will be redeemed. He wants to repent. “The entire world is in exile, in the dark!”

The rabbi recommends we “just stand back and watch; we are far closer than most of you think.”

About the Author
Robin is a retired Language Arts high school teacher who taught in the Los Angeles Unified District for 25 years. After retiring in 2010, she hurriedly made aliyah in 2011.
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