Why is this night different from all other nights?
On all other nights we prayed for redemption but our exile continued. On this night our prayers may be answered.
Readers, this is real. Great rabbis are telling us that the Redemption may be imminent. We must take this seriously.
This may not be an easy process. According to Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, zt”l, “the destruction of Edom [the West, where most Jews currently reside] will come about through the destruction of the world (as we know it). Tranquility will be disrupted, personal lives will be filled with worry, fear and yissurim and the entire world will cower in dread of destruction and devastation. Only then will the light of Mashiach be revealed.”
It seems as if our world is crumbling under the Hand of God like the world of ancient Egypt. I would offer the following suggestions as to the contemporary equivalents of the Ten Plagues:
Blood: Hatred and violence worldwide.
Frogs: Pollution and the worldwide pileup of refuse.
Lice: Endless petty annoyances adding up to torture.
Wild beasts: More and more crazy people in and out of positions of power.
Animal plague: The imploding economy (animals were the equivalent of currency).
Boils: Rampant disease, uncontrollable and strange illnesses.
Hail: Natural disasters: tsunamis, hurricanes, monsoons, tornadoes, wildfires.
Locusts: Drought and hunger.
Darkness: Psychological stress and mental illness.
Firstborn: War and terrorism, fear for our children.
Mashiach is referred to as “keren,” which is a horn, like that of an ox. By nature, the ox is a domesticated, herbivorous animal, but when aroused the keren can be a deadly weapon. Our rabbis may be hinting that the coming of Mashiach may involve a process in which great damage will be inflicted upon anything that obstructs the will of the Master of the Universe.
The keren is coming. The deadly horn will rip apart the civilizations that have invested their very life-force into millennia of hatred against the children of Almighty God.
The word of God…. I scattered [the House of Israel] among the nations and they were dispersed among the lands…. It was said of them, ‘These are God’s people, but they departed His land.’ But I pitied My holy Name … and I will sanctify My great Name that was desecrated among the nations…. Then the nations shall know that I am God … and I shall take you from the nations and gather you in from all countries and I shall bring you to your Land, and I shall sprinkle pure water upon you that you be cleansed…. Then they shall say, ‘This very land that was desolate has become a Garden of Eden and the cities that were destroyed and desolate and ruined shall be inhabited!’ I God have spoken…. [Ezekiel 36:22-32, Haftara for Parshas Para]
Just as ancient Egypt fell, so the modern capitals of idolatry and impurity will fall and never rise again. A new world will arise: “Torah will emanate from Zion, and the Word of God from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
The day before Passover this year we will make the blessing over the renewal of the sun – Birkas HaChamah. The clock will be set back to zero hour. A new Creation will begin and a new Garden of Eden will emerge, this time never to be spoiled by the arrogance of man. No one can predict the hour and the minute for these things to happen, but it seems the process has already begun. We must watch very carefully as events unfold. We must attempt to be in the proper spiritual condition to ensure that God will protect us as he protected those who left Egypt.
Rabbi Dovid Weinberger recently noted of a beloved Jew, Levi Zahn, z”l, “He just could not understand how people could pass one another on a street on Shabbos and not greet one another.”
There are Jews who do not speak to one another. There are Jews who do not respond when someone says “hello” or “good morning.” There are Jews who do not respond when someone bumps into them and says, “I’m sorry.”
What does this mean? It means this Jew doesn’t think he’s your brother or she’s your sister. It means: “We’re not connected! I have nothing to do with you! You don’t matter to me.”