01 Recent thoughts on the redemption in process
Chananya Weissman

March 4, 2020

“The fig tree puts forth her green figs.” Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba said: Shortly before the days of the Messiah a great epidemic will come upon the world and the wicked will vanish. “And the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance”: this refers to the survivors, spoken of in the verse “And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem.” (Midrash Rabbah Shir Hashirim, Chapter 2, 13:4, Soncino Press translation with minor changes)

This is happening in our time. For those who might scoff and say that there were many plagues throughout history, there are two answers:

1. There were several particularly auspicious windows of opportunity for Moshiach to come throughout history, and unfortunately we squandered them.

2. This is in fact the first time in history the above could have been fulfilled. Only now do we have millions of Jews living in Israel, to whom the second half of the prophecy can refer.

The coronavirus is the real deal, it’s going to trigger widespread devastation, and we should be anticipating the arrival of Moshiach imminently. Let’s all spend a little less time worrying about election fallout, petty grievances, and mundane matters, and spend more time making serious preparations — both for material calamities and to prepare ourselves spiritually for a big shake-up.

We are going to experience very frightening things, but these are also very exciting times. What we have waited for and suffered for for thousands of years is unfolding before us day by day.

If you are STILL voluntarily living in galus, wake up already and commit to returning home as soon as possible. That alone should be a merit to protect you.

If you are already living in Israel, the most important thing is to try to bring greater unity to the Jewish people. The first suggestion I would give is to commit not to say lashon hara about fellow Jews, and especially not on social media. If you have done so in the past, try to rectify it however possible and limit your use of social media as a form of teshuva and as a safeguard.

I’m neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but we are close enough to the end of the story that we can make educated guesses about the final pages of the book. The above is excellent advice in any case. Let’s not be asleep at the wheel.

March 6

This will be the first Pesach in a long time that the Jews in Israel will all be staying in Israel and the Jews in galus will say “Next year in Jerusalem” and really mean it.

March 8

“If she be a wall”: had the Jews gone up from Bavel like a wall, the Temple would not subsequently have been destroyed a second time.

Rabbi Zeira once went into the market to buy some goods, and he said to the shopkeeper, “Weigh them carefully.” Said the other to him: “Won’t you get out of here, you Babylonian whose ancestors destroyed the Temple?”

Rabbi Zeira thereupon thought to himself: “Are not my ancestors the same as his?” Later he went into a Beit Midrash, where he heard Rabbi Shila sitting and expounding: “‘If she is a wall’: had the Jews gone up from Bavel like a wall, the Temple would not have been destroyed a second time.”

Said Rabbi Zeira: “That am ha’aretz taught me well!” (Shir Hashirim Rabba Chapter 8, 9:3, Soncino translation with minor changes)

[Also see here for an excellent collection of sources showing Rabbi Zeira’s incredible love for Eretz Yisrael.

Perhaps what is most remarkable is that Rabbi Zeira actually accepted the rebuke on behalf of his ancestors — quite offensive as it was — from the shopkeeper. Nowadays you can hardly quote a pasuk from the Torah or a Halacha from Shulchan Aruch to many people, frum Jews included, without drawing their ire. But I consider it a matter of pikuach nefesh to at least make this information more widely known, and people can pay attention to it, mock it, explain it away, quibble with it, or dismiss it as they wish.

We don’t have living prophets in our time, so it is our responsibility to derive Hashem’s will from the written prophets, Chazal, and messages Hashem sends us through world events.

The message should be abundantly clear that the galus is over, Hashem is fulfilling His oath to bring the Jews back to their homeland, and the only thing standing in His way is the obstinacy of many of our people who simply don’t want to hear it, no matter what.

I write about this extensively in my sefer Go Up Like a Wall, which I am happy to share at no cost to anyone who wishes to read it (hard copies available in Israel for free, pdf can be emailed upon request, available on Amazon for worldwide shipping at the minimum price possible).

We are witnessing incredible changes in the world order, and things are moving with increasing speed as the ge’ulah unfolds, which was also foretold in the Midrash. (Shir Hashirim Rabba Chapter 6, 1:10) If you are not yet in Israel, the best decision you can make is to come now. If it is truly beyond your ability to come now, the second best decision is to resolve to come at the earliest possible opportunity and to pine for it. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be, and it may soon become impossible.

The life as you knew it in galus is over forever, whether you like it or not. Who is a wise person? One who recognizes what is coming.

I don’t care if I sound like a crazy person, an extremist, an alarmist, a Messianist, or whatever else some people might call me. If I wake up one Jew then it’s worth it. And even if I don’t wake up any Jews, at least my conscience will be clear for having tried.

March 8

I’ve just been informed from a relative in the USA that people are stealing gloves and masks from the hospital where she works (which I have heard is happening in other places as well), and that healthcare workers are being forbidden to leave the country. I expect martial law to be declared as things continue to deteriorate, and then you can kiss your rights and freedoms goodbye.

March 9

An urgent call from Rabbonim for the Jews in galus to come to Israel immediately, warning that the gates will soon be closed. Come with whatever you can and just come. The Chofetz Chaim always had a suitcase prepared for the time in which we find ourselves. The goyim are busy “prepping” with food, supplies, and ammunition to protect themselves; a Jew preps by having a suitcase ready and coming home.

In a video two days ago they also referenced the Midrash in Shir Hashirim that foretold a massive plague coming on the heels of Moshiach. This is the one.

For thousands of years Jews have missed the warning signs and paid the ultimate price. If you are their gilgul, this is your time to make a tikun for that. Either way, be the ones to finally learn from their mistakes and don’t repeat it. Come to Israel and just figure it out when you get here. It will work out in Israel. This is where you need to be.

March 9

Things are moving faster than I can even write about them. I was planning on writing today that we can expect Iran to start a war imminently. Tucked away at the end of Tanna Debei Eliyahu Zuta is a little-known Midrash. Rabbi Yitzchak says that before Moshiach comes, Persia will threaten Arabia. Arabia will turn to Rome for help and be rebuffed. Persia will then attack them, triggering the war of Gog Umagog, and they will destroy [much of] the world. Persia is Iran, and Rome is the Western World, primarily the United States. (I don’t have the sefer in front of me at the moment, but I can quote the Hebrew at a later time, unless someone wants to beat me to it.)

Since Iran began making noise with its nuclear program about 10 years ago, I have been citing this Midrash, predicting that they would not be stopped, and anticipating the fulfillment of Rabbi Yitzchak’s words.

I was planning to write about how, thank God, Iran is being pummeled by the coronavirus worse than any other country. Much of their government has been infected, and some of their top leaders have already died. Their economy has been in a shambles and they were already facing massive civil unrest before this plague hit them.

Most countries under such circumstances would place a priority on some combination of salvaging their economy and protecting their citizens. If you had to pick one country that would prioritize neither of those things even in desperate times, it would be Iran. Their greatest priority is to annihilate their enemies in a “holy war”, and their first target is unlikely to be Israel or America, but their Muslim rivals in Saudi Arabia.

I was going to write that we can expect Iran to attack Saudi Arabia very soon, because Iran’s ship is sinking very fast, their leaders are sick and fearful for their lives, this is their greatest wish, and they have nothing left to lose.

That was yesterday. Today I wake up to learn that Saudi Arabia has shocked the world by driving down the price of oil to insanely low levels in an attempt to steal back market share from Russia. This is not only a punch in the gut to Russia, but to its ally and business partner, Iran. Iran’s economy is already crippled, and they cannot afford to lose whatever is left of it to Saudi Arabia.

If you cited the above midrash 50 years ago, people would think you were crazy. If you cited it 10 years ago or five years ago, people would find it interesting but not alarming. If you cite it today, it sounds like something you wouldn’t bet money against.

If you cite it tomorrow, it might already be history.

Gog Umagog is on the way. Jews, come home!

March 9

Saw this paragraph in a Washington Post article: “$20 oil in 2020 is coming,” Ali Khedery, a former US official in Iraq and onetime Middle East expert with Exxon, wrote on Twitter. “Huge geopolitical implications. Timely stimulus for net consumers. Catastrophic for failed/failing petro-kleptocracies Iraq, Iran, etc. — may prove existential 1-2 punch when paired with COVID19.”

Doesn’t take a prophet to predict how Iran is likely to respond at this point. It’s happening in our time.

March 9

From an article of mine in 2018. The time to leave like a mensch has passed. Now it’s a question of whether or not they will leave at all.

I am waiting until I must go with only the shirt on my back.

This is generally the Plan B of those with the previous exit plan, though they prefer not to phrase it in these terms. Israel is the safe haven option, if all else fails. It exists primarily so Jews will have a place to run if and when they have to run. Hopefully they will never have to run for their lives, because they don’t really want to live in Israel, ever, and people shouldn’t be forced to live where they don’t want to be.

Historically these Jews are the ones who recognize that they are no longer especially welcome in their foreign country of choice, but wish to liquidate their assets and leave like a mensch. Unfortunately they tend to miscalculate the window for being able to leave like a mensch, and at some point will be fortunate to leave at all.

There are millions of Jews around the world today who are uncomfortable being Jewish in their foreign country of choice, much as they enjoy living there. This discomfort may involve subtle expressions of hatred for the Jew or clear and present physical dangers that they have become used to. (The ability of the Jew to become used to this is second to none.) Even Jews who do not perceive overt threats to their existence generally sense a latent threat that can become activated at any time. We’ve always been everyone’s favorite whipping boy, nothing has changed, and we know it whether we like to admit it or not.

These millions of Jews are all waiting to book the last seat on the last El Al flight out of the country before all hell breaks loose, and do not wish to leave one minute sooner. We can only hope they are not incorrect in their prediction of when all hell will break loose, and that this last flight will not be overbooked. Jews do not have a good track record of timing these things right.