Rabbi Mendel Kessin: Extraordinary Aspects of the Redemption Process

In this most recent lecture in the series on End of Time events within the context of the Divine Agenda, Rabbi Kessin focuses on the “pre-messianic,” asking the question: what is the bridge that leads from the galus–exile to the messianic age?” The rabbi states out at the start that the scenario he describes could happen, based on chazal—the foundational ideas of the sages, but whether it will happen can only be borne out by history.

The Jews are in the latter stage of the final exile, the exile of Edom, the most protracted of the four: Babylon, Greece, Persia, Edom/Rome. Having discussed the exiles before, the rabbi augments this topic with an additional fascinating source. The future cessation of this Edomic exile is foretold in Jacob’s dream of the angels going up and down a ladder whose threshold is in heaven. The four angels represent the four exiles. The angel representing the Edomic exile, that exile based on Esav’s role in the messianic process (to be focused upon in greater depth later in his talk), ascended but didn’t descend. Why not? Why does the exile of Edom/Rome appear to persist, or to not end? Is there a secret here, a clue about the End of Time? The rabbi did not state the answer bluntly in the video so he supplied it afterward for this writing. That answer holds within it a theme to which the rabbi has frequently returned—the role of Esav. The angel of Edom, of Esav, does not descend the ladder like those of Babylon, Greece and Persia, those three other exiles hosted by powers which ultimately suffered dissolution. Esav doesn’t disappear. His role as persecutorial agent is transfigured. This we learn from the prophesy given to his mother, Rivka, during her turbulent pregnancy. The rabbi returns to this subject later,  and in greater depth, in the talk When Jacob asks G-d why the angel didn’t descend, G-d assures him that He, G-d Himself, will bring Esav down, meaning that G-d will change Esav from an adversary of the Jewish people to become, instead, their assistant. This brings the prophecy to fruition. Not only is there a qualitative change but there is a temporal one as well. In Esav’s metamorphosis, he goes from “stage 1” to “stage 2.”

The “bridge” from this existence to that of the messianic age is invoked by Torah, the book of Prophets, and chazal—the exegeses of the sages. The first invocation is from a verse from the biblical portion “Netzavim” in which G-d says, “Even if you are at the ends of the Heavens (are outcasts), from there your G-d will gather you unto Himself.” Why does the verse say that the exiles are at the ends of Heaven and not of Earth? After all, we see the Jew is the only nation to be found in far-reaching regions of the planet. The rabbi explains that “a Jew is never of the earth” no matter how distant he may be from spirituality. Why? “The essential idea of a Jew is that he is a ‘mesaken’—a rectifier of Creation; that is what he does” so his influence is felt in the physical world only as a result of his influence in the spiritual worlds.

Another implication of this verse is that no Jew will be “lost.” No matter how far-flung a Jew might be in terms of his secularity, his distance from Jewish life and faith, G-d will “retrieve him.” This portion of the metaphorical bridge, the culling of the nation’s distinct character, is embedded firmly within the exile, and the gathering is done on this shore. “Yekabetzcho”–indicates that G-d will separate the Jew from the Gentile, and this will be done on this side of the divide, so to speak. “Something will happen that will cause the Jews to become distinct as a nation even though they are in the exile.”

Yet another implication is based on the use of the word “yikachecho”—and he will take. This same word is affiliated with a husband’s taking of a wife. The same word appears in both contexts. G-d not only distinguishes the Jew from the Gentile and gathers him from the far reaches of his current circumstances, He also returns the Jews to their role as His bride, to that intimate spiritual relationship with Him, one of dveikus—attachment, indicating a “tremendous rise in consciousness.” It isn’t as if G-d will simply take the Jews to Israel and, only there, lift them up. This marriage, so to speak, happens in the exile. It is “from there” that G-d acquires his bride.

How does this happen? The rabbi here cites a passage from Prophets in which G-d says that “the totality of abandonment” of the Jews will only endure for a moment but that He will gather them with great mercy. This tells us that there will a torrential flow of compassion in the End of Time despite the demands of justice which dictate that the Jews don’t deserve it. This signals that “Jews will not be frightened and forced out.” The word “yikabetzscho” is used in both contexts, in both the separation of the Jew from the far corners of his alienation, and from among the Gentiles, to be gathered with rachamim gedolim—great compassion.

The main idea here is that this uplifting takes place from within the exile itself. It is not a feature of the messianic era already underway. G-d “will come into the exile and redeem the Jews.”

And here, the rabbi introduces an idea from Midrash Raba, an exegisis based on the biblical portion “Tzav” from the book of “Vayikrah” which says, “Rabbi Huna states that ‘these exiles will gather only because of the learning of mishnayos—the ritual practices imparted in the Oral Law ’.” Why would this be so, and what are the implications of it?

The midrash addresses the scene when G-d speaks to Abraham in what is referred to as the “covenant between the pieces.” G-d confers upon the Jews the ability to offer sacrifices which would bring upon them great merit. Abraham, having seen in a prophetic vision that the Holy Temple would be destroyed, expresses his wonder as to how the sacrificial regimen could be done. Two powerful ideas emerge from G-d’s response: Abraham is told that the learning and study of mitzvos–commandments is equivalent to having done them. G-d tells Abraham that when there is no capability to offer the sacrifices, the merit can be obtained from studying them.

Noting these two dimensions to Torah, studying it and the inferential performance of the commandments one studies, we begin to understand the implications of Rabbi Hunah’s statement about the study of mishnayos. Doing the mitzvah itself earns merit, but studying the mitzvah earns double—one merit point of Divine illumination for having studied the mitzvah, and one point for having “performed” the mitzvah, albeit having executed it emblematically. This is the same principle behind “talmud torah k’neged kulam,” that learning Torah is equal to or greater than the other commandments combined.

What has this to do with separation and gathering from within the exile? Rabbi Hunah’s statement now takes on a powerful implication. G-d will NOT bring the Redemption to a Jewish nation that is “gone: assimilated, intermarried, completely gone, basically, as Jews.” If Jews are His children, He will not take his children who are “filthy with sin… and expose them to a Redemption that is beyond their comprehension.” A king doesn’t do that to the prince. Beyond this, the mashiach–messiah is an individual so endowed spiritually, that he is greater in spirituality than Abraham, Moses, or the angels. How can we comprehend, the rabbi asks, a person who is greater than Abraham, or Moses who spoke to G-d face-to-face- for many years?

Based on Isaiah 52:8, we see just that. The rabbi explains the verse which says, “Behold my servant will grow wise.” The verse then gives three expressions of ‘growth’: he will exceed/ grow, be uplifted, and become exceedingly high. The sages ask: why are there three expressions of growth given? And who is the servant? Some of the meforshim—sages of that period say the “servant” is the Jewish people emerging from the exile. The Targum says that the servant is the messiah himself. Why three expressions? The first expression—growth—refers to Abraham. The mashiach will be spiritually greater than he. How is that possible, one could ask. The second expression refers to the grandeur of Moses. How shall we comprehend the existence of someone spiritually greater than Moses? The third expression, “become exceedingly high” refers to the angels. “Imagine a man like that, walking among us, someone greater than Abraham, than Moshe and greater than the angels! Yet he’s only a man!”

What we don’t realize is that a man of that towering spiritual stature is the most dangerous person on the planet. Such profound holiness in the vicinity of a person can be deadly. “How do you even stand next to someone like that, talk to someone like that? That’s kedusha—holiness!” the rabbi exclaims. G-d cannot bring such illumination to a people who are tameh—impure. They could not tolerate such holiness, such an intimate attachment to Divinity. They would “succumb, just die” just as when G-d spoke the first two commandments at the giving of the Torah and everyone died “because the holiness was too great; that prophetic vision was too great; the dveikus—attachment was too great” so they died and had to be resurrected. So, what must be done to prepare the nation for his arrival? “G-d will rehabilitate them.” G-d will change them while in exile. The hachana—preparation required is a time of rehabilitation done “through mishnayos.”

By learning the mishnayos and, true to the principal of the dual-dimensionality of learning and doing, Jews will have the merit of both learning and observing the commandments just from the learning! This will raise the Jews to an incredible spiritual level and ascribe to them the worthiness to bring the Redemption. Rabbi Huna’s statement, therefore, implies that the exile must come to an end preceded by rehabilitation.

The knowledge in the Mishna is extensive: there are 4,192 mishnayos and each Mishna has, on average, eight halochos—ritual laws. Doing the math, there are 34,000-35,000 yedios—informational ideas constituting the entire oral law. When considering the introductory material, the “pre-mishnaic” material, there are over 100,000 yedios to contend with and extract illumination from. And yet, so much is missing because what Rebbe did (he who compiled the Mishna in Judea during the rule and under the auspices of the Roman ruler Marcus Aurelius Antoninus) was to write a record of the oral law, not a text. Therefore, what is missing is a self-explanatory feature the lack of which requires that the Mishna be taught. More on Antonius later. But despite this lack, the principle of learning Torah operates here too. It is exactly the astounding scope and depth of mishnayos, and that dual-dimensionality of study and its inferential performance of its laws, that can bring such an unfathomably rich spiritual infusion. The benefit?– almost incalculable.

How can this rehabilitation be accomplished? The rabbi insists It CAN be accomplished, and in only two years!

How can such a vast quarry of knowledge be excavated in two years? The acquisition of information cannot be done in a fragmented way. The rabbi compares the endeavor to putting together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. If one sees the box’s cover showing the finished image, it is profoundly helpful. The fragmentary nature of a puzzle defies any penetration of insight simply by examining the fragments. By having an “overview” of the picture, you can do the puzzle rapidly. It is the same with the Mishna. The composition of a “mishnaic map,” a new format that would provide a similar overview, would allow for rapid learning. “Imagine,” says the rabbi, seeing each halacha in the context of the entire scope of all the halachos, seeing how each one fits into the big picture! You would see the totality of every halacha as a map.

Consider a geographical map: it reveals the geographical nature of its features i.e. whether it’s a city, a town, a lake, a road. It reveals the relationship of each feature to the others by means of orientation (north-south-east-west) and distance. The value of a map, whether on paper or in cyberspace– like Waze–is the same. “One can drive from New York to Los Angeles never having done it before.”

Likewise, with a mishnaic map. If this map affords such an accessibility to such expansive knowledge, “if this is the case, you can learn the entire shisha sidrei mishna—six orders of Mishna, 4,192 mishnayos in two years.” The rabbi’s insistence that this re-envisioning and reformatting would be effective is based on the fact that, for five decades, he has been evolving and designing just such a curricular map although he refrains from mentioning this. The Mishna, he adds, “lends itself beautifully to a diagram… retention would be awesome because the mind loves visual information.” The knowledge derived from this map “would be mastered in-depth” and that person becomes a talmid chacham–scholar. The rise of consciousness from this extraordinary pursuit would occur while still in the exile, and rapidly.

To re-cap:

1- The release from the exile happens from within the exile itself. It is NOT that the Jews have to chased out of the exile. It will happen misham—from there.

2- When it does happen, G-d will raise the Jews spiritually through learning in order to prepare them to accept the mashiach.

Where will this happen? The Torah portion “Toldos” tells of the advice and explanation sought by Rivka during her turbulent pregnancy while carrying Esav and Jacob who are battling within her. The prophets Shem and Ever tell her a very important prophecy which means, of course, that it must happen. She is told the following:

There are two mighty nations within you, two individuals from whom will sprout two mighty nations, but they will “separate, not be equal.” This inequality expresses itself as a balance of power in which neither equals the other at the same time. When the greatness of one is dominant, the power of the other is “subdued.” They are, in many ways, rivals. But in the end, the elder will assist the younger:j The verse says, “rav ya’avod tzair—the elder will serve the younger.” Because this is a prophecy, ultimately, “that is the way it has to be.” It must be noted that this prophecy has, embedded within it, the two-fold nature of the task of Esav, as the rabbi explains. The text can be understood in two ways due to one word that can be read two ways. Because the Torah scroll is written without vowel punctuation, the word “ya’avod—to serve” can also be read as “ya’aved—to persecute.” Therein lies the two-fold nature of Esav’s mission throughout all of Jewish history and explains the meaning and underlying spiritual causes of what is happening in the world today. This understanding about the dual meaning of one word based on two pronunciations is elucidated in Midrash Raba.

What does this say about the unfolding of history, especially to the present time? Since both children will be great nations, and both Jewish, both will be “charged” with the mission to rectify Creation. The separation that is prophesied refers not only to the imbalance of power but to the manner of execution of the mission: one done directly, the other, indirectly. Jacob and his progeny, the Jewish nation, accomplish the tikkun—rectification (an endeavor the Jews have been involved in since the time of Abraham and which is the purpose of Creation) directly via performance of mitzvos and teshuva. Esav does it indirectly, a term to be explicated in the following section. But at the end of time, the prophecy comes true and the elder’s mission is done “directly” when the elder assists the younger. What does it mean, to “do this directly”?

When Esav approaches his father, Isaac, to receive the blessings of the firstborn, Isaac realizes that he has already bestowed them on Jacob, “the blessings to do the tikkun, to bring G-d back.” Esav, distraught, asks if there are any blessings leftover for him. Isaac’s answer is profound: Isaac tells Esav that he hereby gives him a “tikkun challenge” to deliver that suffering the Jews deserve when they sin that they may get “kapporah”–atonement. Esav, and the nation that comes from him, the nation of Edom, is to be charged with rectifying their sins. So, although Esav’s patriarchy would seem to have been annulled due to his blessings having gone to his brother Jacob, his role in the rectification of Creation was not; it simply became two-fold: to persecute the Jews when they sin in order to facilitate atonement and, later, as the prophecy states, to assist the Jews in a direct, positive manner.

Returning to the words which can be read in either of two ways, we see the confirmation of this change in Esav’s mission. “Ya’avod” refers to Esav in ”stage two” when his mission is to serve. Read as “ya’aved” it refers to “stage one” when his task is to rectify the sins of the Jews through persecution and enslavement.

This is clearly borne out in history. Esav became Edom, which became Rome, which became Christianity and, ultimately, Western Civilization. Evident to all has been the persecution of the Jews by this entity begun by Esav via pogroms, expulsions, inquisitions. The predominant aspects of Western Civilization are: Europe, Russia, and America, as mentioned in previous lectures.

“There are two kinds of Esavs,” the rabbi says, refining further the dual nature and dual task of Esav. “The first Esav is the ra—evil one performing his task during stage one to persecute, to carry out his function of “ya’aved.” The other Esav, the Esav of stage two, carries out the function of ya’avod. This is the tov—good Esav. When we apply this concept to the three aspects of Edom—Europe, Russia, America, we see these two aspects, the good and the bad. The history of both Europe and Russia evokes the bad with its history of massacres and other forms of persecution. America represents the good. The worst you can say of it is that America is hedonistic, as was Esav. Compared to Europe and Russia, America has been benevolent, and even generous, toward the Jews in many ways.

Today, we recognize the Esav of stage two, assisting the Jews. But before delving into that, the rabbi asks if it has happened before? Yes–once before. As mentioned earlier in this lecture, Esav’s benevolent aspect assisted the Jews when he suddenly “deviated from the plan.” This occurred during the reign of the Roman ruler, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus who ruled in Judea, in Tiberias, and who assisted Rebbe—Rabbi Yehuda Ha’Nasi compile the Mishna we have today. “Antonius was enamored of Rebbe, so much so that he removed the tax burden from the talmidei chachamim,” and this, among other things, helped to create a tranquil climate for the Jews to learn Torah. What Torah did they learn? Mishnayos! There was no Gemara then. But there were many forms of it because each “ta’ana”—scholar so-called for that era had his own version according to his understanding which he would teach his students. Rebbe understood that a standardized format was lacking and must be created both for the benefit of such a compendium but also because he realized that exile was unavoidable and the oral law must be either be concretized or be lost, forgotten. So, the tannaim gathered in conventions and each recited his own version of the mishnayos, and Rebbe would choose the best, based on each version’s educational value. Were Rome persecuting the Jews, as it typically did, killing Jews for learning Torah, this productivity would have been impossible. Antoninus fostered the kind of benevolent environment that enabled the Mishna to exist in the form we have today—mishnayos. Antoninus was the tov she’b’Esav—good aspect of Esav, in the form of a Roman emperor who assisted the Jews. And yet more amazing is that this good aspect of Esav “is destined in the end to do the same.” And Esav’s merit comes again in the form of mishnayos! “Astounding when you think about it,” the rabbi declares. The dissemination of the mishnayos continues into the present . This too is the merit of Esav and, in the near future, that influence will still be felt.

It is happening again. The good aspect of Esav is asserting himself in the context of the present, in his “stage two” self. Among other manifestations the rabbi will discuss, there is the dissemination of mishnayos as he described earlier, one which will help bridge the gap between the exile and the Redemption by elevating the Jews spiritually as part of their rehabilitation.

The cohesion between the Esav of the past and the Esav of the present can be seen in what is happening today. What is happening in the world today “is totally irrational especially in terms of the elections” however, in a sense, it is understandable. The rabbi has spoken before as to his belief that Trump is a reincarnation of Antoninus and, as such, is the good part of Esav, Esav in stage two. He is part of the messianic process. As the rabbi pointed out previously, the gematria of the name “Donald Trump” is identical to that the Davidic messiah. He reminds us immediately that this must not be interpreted as Trump being the Davidic messiah, only that he plays a pivotal role in the messianic process.

So now we can begin to understand the “psychotic rage, and hatred of Trump.” In the nearly-four years of his presidency, Trump has achieved historic changes in America, changes for the better. Without getting into the details of his accomplishments, it would seem irrational. When you add to this the candidacy of Joe Biden, who is not, like most opposing candidates in an election, merely a variation on the policies and ideology of the other. “In Biden, you have a diametrically opposing candidate, a polar opposite.” The other question is: Why would anyone vote for Biden? The rabbi makes clear at this point that he is not advocating any candidate but merely stating facts which render this situation “bizarre.” Biden is “cognitively challenged and would never have a chance” were it not for a hatred of Trump that is so extreme, Biden could never be considered a viable candidate otherwise. It would be absurd. It is logical to assume that, given his condition—be it dementia, Alzheimers, whatever, he would be easily manipulated.

The other bizarre factor is that Biden’s track record after forty-four years as senator and vice-president is that of having no record. He hasn’t achieved anything significant in all that time. Worse, there is criminality to which he has admitted, bribery in threatening to withhold money from the Ukraine unless the powers that be fire the prosecutor who was to bring a case against his son, Hunter who worked for Barisma, a holding company for a group of energy exploration and production companies based in the Ukraine but registered in Cyprus. Biden was recorded on video making the threat. “That’s bribery! That’s a crime!” the rabbi exclaims.

The other incredible thing about his candidacy is that he makes no secret of his intent to “change the fabric of America.” The America that has long stood for freedom, rule of law, independence, self-reliance, free enterprise, and limited government, would become, instead, a bastion of lawlessness—particularly as the de-funding of the police makes clear, bloated government, corruption, and hostility and censorship regarding religion, religious liberty, and traditional values in general. The Democratic party, exerting its will through Biden’s executive power, would substitute democracy for dictatorship. Perhaps worst of all would be the continuance of the legitimization of immorality in the form of same-sex marriage and the more recent legislation protecting and defining gender in a perverted way, particularly as it pertains to the workplace and other institutions. As the rabbi has discussed before, such normalization of deviant sexuality renders a nation subject to the death penalty according to G-d’s justice.

Because Biden’s candidacy is so aberrant, because it “defies the imagination,” his candidacy is a miracle, a nes niglah–open miracle. That millions would contemplate voting for him, shows that some portion of America is irrational. This miracle indicates that we are “at the end.” The Satan is dying and, in his desperation to survive, tries to, in a sense, revert the progress of Esav from stage two back to stage one. Trump, as an agent for a “stage two Esav,” is a tremendous threat to him. Power has been granted by the Satan to enable people to convince others not to vote for Trump. Such goings-on would be “comical if it weren’t so tragic.” Should the good of Esav prevail, the Jewish mission of tikkun too would prevail. The Satan needs their mission of tikkun to be halted, their existence extinguished, or, at the very least, stymied. Defeat Trump at all costs, the Satanic forces declare, because, as the prophecy suggests, Trump will assist the Jews in many ways, creating, as Marcus Aurelius did, a tranquil, secure atmosphere as existed in Tiberias enabling the Mishna to survive. In the present day, such a climate is poised to facilitate that rehabilitation which is the last stop before the bridge is crossed.

For those interested in further information on the history of Esav and Trump’s role in fulfilling the prophecy, please see the rabbi’s videos: “The Hidden Story of Esav” and “Purification of America in the End of Days.”

Where can we find a parallel to this notion of separation and spiritual enhancement, of rehabilitation to a very down-trodden Hebrew population? The template is always Egypt. G-d tells Moses, the mashiach of that time, to go to Egypt and redeem the Hebrews. But Moses, initially, was not the great leader he later became. It was only after matan Torah—the giving of the Torah that he was great. Before that, “he was only potential.” So returning to the Egyptian model, we see a people on the 49th level of tumah , meaning they were almost irredeemable, so immersed were they in the sinful culture of Egypt.

Forward to today. The Jews, particularly in America, are, likewise, on that 49th level of defilement, unruffled by the gross immorality in American culture that the rabbi mentioned earlier, coupled with immersion in materialism, invested in vacuous pleasure, all of which render them nearly irredeemable. They don’t observe the Sabbath, family purity, kashrut—kosher. They are, ostensibly, “gone.” So we see their ineligibility and their inability to receive messianic light. They must be rehabilitated and separated from the gross nature of the Gentile culture around them.

So, again, we look to Egypt where the Hebrews were rehabilitated while still in exile. The plagues became that means of providing that extraordinary vision that distinguished them from the Egyptians. Again, this was done before the exodus.

The ten plagues were really the ten sephiros–spiritual forces that “allow Jews to see G-d in a certain aspect, a certain kind of illumination. What G-d did was to physicalize them (the spheros).” G-d assaulted Egypt with these ten emanations of Himself to destroy the Egyptians and, in so doing, also gave the Jews a vision of spiritual light that each sephira afforded. The first aspect of the emanation appeared as its physical analogue– a plague whether of blood or death of the first-born. But the second aspect was that of pure divinity. They saw both. The raising of their consciousness was two-fold. For instance, the plague of “darkness” for the Egyptians, was two-fold. This darkness was far more than mere absence of light. It was an “existential entity” like that which we read of in Genesis. While the Jews witnessed the darkness and death for the Egyptians, they also witnessed that which raised their consciousness, the holiness they could attach themselves to as stated in the verse, ”and to the Children of Israel there was light in their dwellings” referring to that spiritual light. The rabbi here reveals another clue as to what killed the Egyptians and infused the consciousness of the Jews. The last plague is referred to not as the “last” but as the “one.” In the Torah portion “Bo,” it says, “Od nega echad–to bring the plague of one.” One would expect it to say, instead, “Od nega acher—to bring another plague.” This is a very powerful clue that what finished off the Egyptians was not so much the deaths of their firstborns but more so their perception of the Oneness of G-d. While that punctuated their end, for the Jews, it was the most powerful revelation of all while they were still, technically, in exile. The follow-up was at the giving of the Torah when the full-on revelation of His Oneness was given in the form of the tablets after the exile.

So, we see how the Egyptian model demonstrates the separation and preparation that had to happen before they were brought out of exile. In these times, the preparation and separation will take the form of the revolution in education that will have two expressions: one is through repurposing the way the mishnayos are formatted, taught and disseminated. But there is one more aspect of education that must change. There are 1.5 million children in the Israeli public school system being inculcated by a curriculum formulated by an institution which serves the agenda of the Eirev Rav called the Hartman Institute. Its curriculum, which was signed off on by the Ministry of Education 2-3 years ago, promulgates the notion of the “New Jew.” It answered the complaint that “a trend of ‘over-religiosity” was overtaking the schools.” It would impose a new trend of secularization. Their mission statement speaks of “an approach of pluralism, openness and critical thinking and with loyalty to democratic humanistic, universal values.”

In other words, the curriculum is meant to, as their mission statement makes clear, reduce Judaism to “a culture, a language, and a nation.” The children are, first and foremost, Israelis, not Jews. It intends to “neutralize the trend toward over-religiosity.” The danger of this cannot be underestimated, the rabbi insists. The children no longer know what krias shema is. Such a trend is in keeping with the definition of the Eirev Rav’s intent which the rabbi has offered many times. Their goal is to obliterate the covenant the Jews have with G-d and reduce Judaism to kugel and hummus. When Moshe went to Pharoah to request a 3-day permit to leave Egypt to worship in the desert, Pharaoh initially permits them to leave but stipulates that the youth must be left behind. Moshe refuses. The youth are the first group mentioned in Moshe’s request to go. Youth’s participation was both mandatory and crucial. So, the education now in public schools in Israel can be thought of as an abominable impediment to the preparation that is forthcoming.

Lastly, the rabbi speaks about the biblical portion “Nasso” in which twelve princes were to bring sacrifices as part of the ritual dedication of the Temple. The creature to be brought as sacrifice is read as “atudim”–he-goats but, as the inscription is written, can also be read as “assidim”—future. The notion of twelve goats becoming intertwined with that of something of the future suggests that there are twelve princes that serve in the future, twelve prime ministers, of which Netanyahu is the twelfth. The rabbi here speculates that there must yet come an “intermediary” who will lead the nation during the impending time of preparation and separation. Why could not Netanyahu be the twelfth and an intermediary? It is his ministerial power that has presided over a period of policies in absolute contradiction to that which would promulgate a climate conducive to spiritual preparation and separation from sinful conduct. The rabbi has enabled us to conclude that Netanyahu cannot be the intermediary, that bridge, between this epoch of spiritual ignorance and exile and that other shore, one of unification—when G-d seeks to unify Himself with His people.  When that time comes, the Jewish people can finally answer G-d’s question to primordial Adam, “ayecha—where are you?” and the Jew will answer, “I am here with You.”

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.