Iran diagnosis: Treat self before world's next surgery

Dear Rabbi Fried,
I feel very uneasy, upset and really beside myself about this Iran deal that this administration is doing everything in its power to push through.
I feel so powerless, like I’m sitting back and watching a repeat of the 1930s when nothing was done to stop the Nazis. It just seems worse in a way; we’re the ones empowering them when we could have so easily stopped them in their tracks. Is there anything that Judaism says about all this?
Marney L.
Dear Marney,
Not being a politician, I don’t address political issues in this column. But in this case I think that enough has been said from both sides of the aisle in Congress as well as both the government and the opposition in Israel, that I would not be considered dabbling in politics to concede that I’m horrified to the core about what we are witnessing, and I’m having trouble wrapping my head around it.
All the billions of dollars spent on Holocaust museums throughout the world don’t seem to be having the slightest bit of influence on the P5+1 nations fully empowering the most murderous nation on the planet with all that money can buy, and the money to do so, to continue in their openly, self-proclaimed murderous ways with not the slightest bit of remorse as to their hatred of their benefactors.
Nobody seems to have learned even the slightest lesson from the Holocaust and what murderous dictators mean when they say they’re out to kill. Why the civilized world is bending over backward, twisting itself into a pretzel and speaking double-talk to appease a country whose murderous program could be taken out in minutes and be done with it, rather to empower and vow to defend it, defies the imagination.
To me it’s quite clear, as we hinted to in last week’s column, that this fiasco is somehow part of the Al-mighty’s master plan of history, as its signing was pushed and pushed, until it went into the three-week ominous period leading up to the day of Tisha B’Av, the time of our destruction.
This was a clear message that this escapade is part and parcel of, and perhaps the next stage of, the long and arduous exile that we are traversing, and hopefully nearing the end of. They are correct; this really is about the Jews.
The Prophets speak of the final war of Gog U’magog, in which the nations of the world will be surrounding Israel, fighting around it and about it, until finally they will be defeated by the Al-mighty Himself.
There are actually a number of hints in prophecy and in rabbinic writings to a final nuclear war. The famed 18th-century Talmudic and mystical sage, R’ Eliyahu of Vilna, writes that the final war will last a whopping 12 minutes! Keep in mind that in his time, it probably took that long to reload one’s musket, let alone finish a war!
The Haggadah of Pesach, talking about the final war after mentioning the 10 Plagues, mentions “blood, fire, and ‘palm trees of smoke.’ ” Imagine a “palm tree of smoke” … Prophecy speaks about a fire that will sear the flesh off the face and the eyes out of the head…
I’m not a doomsday prophet or someone who sees all negative. On the contrary, all of the above need not happen, if we, the Jews, would wake up and smell the coffee.
God drops us hints to be a wake-up call for us to improve our ways, and should we do so, things could actually come out quite differently. Our sages teach us that the societal forces at play in these types of situations are merely the surface of what’s going on in the spiritual worlds. We are witnessing the symptoms, not the real causes.
The Talmud, in answer to the question of what should one do to save himself from the “heat of the final days,” says to be involved in the study of Torah and acts of kindness to fellow Jews.
Although we should all be writing letters to our Congressmen and joining the noble efforts of AIPAC and other important and worthy organizations to do our part to influence whom we can to defeat this deal, we, as Jews, have other ways to deal with it as well.
We need to deal with the root cause. In this way, coupled with our efforts and our prayers, may the Al-mighty have mercy upon His people and the world, whose fates are inextricably interwoven for all time.

Leave a Reply