web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



War and Sukkos

Roy S. Neuberger

Roy S. Neuberger

They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.

Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.

Why are these events associated with Sukkos?

I spoke with two great rabbis about the threat of war. Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovitz discussed the devastating conflicts predicted for the end of history. Who can know whether he or she will live through these wars?

Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl recently wrote the following: “We must internalize that [Hashem] runs the world. He decides what is happening today in the world, not Assad, not Obama, not Netanayahu…. Hashem determines. We emphasize this in the tefillah of Rosh Hashanah: ‘Regarding countries, it is said on this day which is destined for the sword, and which for peace, which for hunger and which for abundance….’ We need not fear any human being, for He is with us. When we do as we are supposed to then He will shower us with good things….”

Since Rosh Chodesh Elul we have been reading, twice a day, the words of King David (Psalm 27): “Hashem is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? Hashem is my life’s strength; whom shall I dread? When evildoers approach me to devour my flesh, my tormentors and my foes against me, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army would besiege me, my heart would not fear; though war would arise against me, in this I trust.”

It seems illogical that wars are associated with Sukkos, the culmination of the entire Yom Tov cycle. This is “z’man simchaseinu…the time of our gladness,” when we sit in our sukkah enveloped in mitzvos, drinking in spirituality. The sukkah and the arba minim draw a circle of protection around us on every side. Why does the Torah associate this season with not just war, but the Ultimate War? Why, in general, is war associated with the end of history? Can Mashiach not come peacefully?

Of course he can – if we merit it.

* * * * *

Let’s look back on history. There is so much conflict. After Adam and Eve emerged from Gan Eden, when only four people existed in the entire world, one son killed his brother. Thus history began, and bloodshed has not abated in the intervening millennia.

There have been countless “peace movements” throughout history, but they have not altered the nature of life on this earth. World War One was called “the war to end all wars.” I need not tell you how woefully inaccurate that characterization turned out to be.

Am Yisrael says, “Achas shoalti…one thing I asked of Hashem, that shall I seek. Would that I dwell in the House of Hashem all the days of my life, to behold the sweetness of Hashem and to contemplate in His Sanctuary” (Psalm 27).

When are we going to see that “sweetness” and why are we having so much trouble getting there? Why is “z’man simchaseinu” associated with war?

Actually, it all makes so much sense.

Just picture it. The entire world is focused on Israel. What else concerns the world? There are countless hot spots, but everyone is on Israel’s case. There are countless instances of land being conquered in war but only Israel is being asked to give up its own – and biblically bequeathed – land to its enemies.

Maniacs abound, but why are they focused on Israel? Why was the dictator of the Third Reich, may his name be ground to dust, obsessed with Jews? Were there no other problems, no other peoples to hate? Why do the madmen and haters all agree on one target?

The nations of the world sense that the End is fast approaching. The prophets have told us that the civilizations that oppressed Israel for thousands of years – the nations that descend from Esau and the nations that descend from Ishmael – will disappear at the end of history, when Mashiach will rule and the Beis HaMikdash will cast its holy light over the entire world. The nations somehow know this time is close. They know the time of their rule is almost over and that the Age of Mashiach is about to begin.

About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, “2020 Vision” (Feldheim) is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Russian, and Georgian. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul” (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, and Georgian) and “Worldstorm.” Roy and Leah Neuberger speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “War and Sukkos”

  1. Orah Peer says:

    Great Article from my fav, Author !!

  2. Orah Peer says:

    Great Article from my fav. Author !!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Aerial view of Yemenite Village of HaShiloach, Old City of Jerusalem and Mt. of Olives.
Jews to Double Presence in Old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Silwan
Latest Indepth Stories
Arab children look at pictures of two of a kind - Arafat and Barghouti.

{Originally posted on author’s site, FirstOne Through} The town of Sayreville, New Jersey is in mourning. The superintendent of the town shut the high school’s football program for the rest of the year due to reports of sexual assaults made by upper classmen of the football team against the junior classmen. According to initial reports, […]

Jordan's King Abdullah

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

The Kinneret/Sea of Galilee

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Bibeye doctor

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

Does it not seem ironic that just on the day all of Israel is joyously celebrating another year of having concluded the public reading of the entire Pentateuch, we must mournfully and even tearfully commemorate the death of the individual who imparted to us God’s Torah in the first place?

Why is “Palestine” worthier of “statehood recognition” than ISIS, another terrorist gang seeking it?

More Articles from Roy S. Neuberger

In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.

Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves?

The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.

At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary “death” Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u’matar livrachah – dew and rain for a blessing – upon the earth.

“Logically” speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.

They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.

Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.

At the mikveh they were discussing Egypt.

So many things seem to be unraveling. It’s not just Egypt but the entire Middle East. No, it’s not just the Middle East; it’s the entire world.

What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/145547/2013/09/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: