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A Chasidic prediction of the Tsunami, 60 years ago

Raging Waters

Raging Waters

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Raging Waters
A Chasidic prediction of the Tsunami, 60 years ago

In the Chabad magazine, "HaKri'a V'hakedusha," of Tammuz 5704 (1944), which was edited under the supervision of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, an article is written under the name G. Zarchi about chapter 93 in Psalms, based on Midrash and other teachings of our sages. The article is so relevant to recent events that there's no need for adaptations and comparisons. We'll just quote selected paragraphs verbatim (free translation)

It's only when an unnatural occurrence takes place such as a flood…that we remember that there's a ruler of the world….

This chapter of Psalms was composed by the G‑dly poet [King David] regarding the Days of Mashiach. He hints briefly at the events which will take place before the redemption. The central theme of the chapter is that the Jews living at that time will understand by means of these events, that the exile is over and redemption has begun.

G‑d will be king by wearing greatness! (Psalms 93:1)

We generally think the world is run by nature and we forget entirely that there is a G‑d who rules over nature. It's only when an unnatural occurrence takes place such as a flood, earthquake, and other terrible upheavals - that we remember that there's a ruler of the world who rules over nature. Then all will say that G‑d is king!" (Ibid.) He put nature aside and showed his absolute sovereignty over nature.

Gevura refers to Torah….

The poet goes on to speak about the time when G‑d will be revealed in clothes of gevura and the world will recognize and acknowledge that He is king. He explains that this will happen during the Days of Mashiach before the Redemption, because "G‑d wore the gevura" which he girded Himself with in the past. Gevura refers to Torah, and G‑d girded Himself with its strength at the time of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Sinai. At that time there were such strong thunder and lightning that the nations of the world thought the world was coming to an end. Balaam explained to them that G‑d was giving his strong Torah to His people, and it has the power to build worlds or destroy them.

Regarding this, the poet says that in the Days of Mashiach, when G‑d will be king by wearing gevura, he won't do this by wearing a new garment of gevura which is designated for a new purpose. It will be the old garment of the time of the giving of the Torah, of "G‑d will give strength to His nation". G‑d will rise to fortify the Torah in the world, and just as when it was given the first time it was accompanied with proof that He is the ruler over nature, so too the second time. The process of receiving the Torah will include displays of might whose purpose is that the entire world accepts the Torah. But, continues the poet, "He has girded Himself with strength": many will err and think that G‑d is destroying the world. That's why the poet writes that the world will remain fortified and "it will not falter". It will only be the Jewish people and the Torah which will be elevated once again: "G‑d will give strength to His nation"!

…Already before [the creation of] the world You prepared Your throne of Your kingdom. (Ibid. 93:2)

The rivers will raise their voice….

The purpose of the Creation is in order to strengthen Torah and the Jewish people; the Torah - as our sages say "for the sake of Torah which is called "first", the world was created. Already back then it was established that G‑d would come enclothed in gevura in order to fortify a place for Torah. This time it won't be in order to destroy the world, but in order to fortify the Torah, and to bring about the realization of the promise - "and G‑d will be king over all the world" - through this - that the world will gain knowledge of Torah (and accept it) through the Jewish people.

The rivers will lift up G‑d; the rivers will raise their voice, the rivers will make a lot of noise! (Ibid. 93:3) G‑d will be uplifted by His making the oceans roar before the Redemption….

This means that the roaring and raging of the rivers will elevate G‑d. The only meaning in this is that G‑d will be uplifted by His making the oceans roar before the Redemption. Through this noise everybody will understand that G‑d is elevated.

The practical conclusion is that the roaring rivers will bring great changes to the world; for example: they will drown an entire nation or at least a great portion, and this natural disaster will cause a revolution in man's perspective. They will see this as a G‑dly punishment. It's also possible that this natural disaster will change the world political map by a chain of events which will begin with that nation that drowns.

In other words: before the Redemption, there will be a great roaring of water which will shake the world with its intensity, to the point that the world will return to elevate G‑d. That's how we can understand the verse - that the water will elevate G‑d by means of their noise and rage.

The sound of the many waters will cause the powerful ones to break, and then G‑d will be the powerful One. (Ibid. 93:4)

This means that as a result of the crashing waters, the mighty ones of the earth will be wiped out. World empires will collapse in the face of the water's strength and then people will acknowledge and agree that G‑d is the only mighty One in heaven.

The ones who relate your testimony are very loyal; holiness suits Your house; G‑d - will be forever! (Ibid. 93:5)

The G‑dly poet concludes the chapter with a description of the world after all of humanity will acknowledge G‑d's kingdom. The world will say that the prophecies about G‑d and the redemption of the Jewish people were absolutely true. This means that at the time of the complete redemption it will be obvious: Jews will return to the Land of Israel, and the Holy Temple will be rebuilt, and all the nations of the world will be drawn there in order to learn G‑d's ways from up close.

All will have to concede that this is not a natural disaster but an act of G‑d….

The nations will also say, "Holiness suits the Holy Temple"; i.e. holiness will return and rest in the Holy Temple as in the past, and the nations will acknowledge this. You have to say that this is the intention of the poet because these promises were not fulfilled yet. Nobody can say, "The ones who relate your testimony are very loyal," that all the prophecies have come true, and nobody can say, "Holiness suits Your house," without it being actually so.

The nations will ask G‑d to continue to have His Presence rest in the Holy Temple forever. This indicates the perfection of the redemption of the Jewish people - that the nations won't bother them at all, to the point that the nations themselves will ask G‑d to continue to have His Presence rest in the Holy Temple.

In summary: the poet, as is his way, is brief but that leaves us with little in quantity but a lot in quality. This poem contains everything about redemption, including the eve of redemption and the "End of Days". The central motif of the chapter are the roaring waters which will demonstrate G‑d's might and transform humanity entirely in a spiritual way. These roaring waters will be the sign of the beginning of the complete redemption. Following it, the glory of G‑d, the Torah and the Jewish people will be elevated in the world until true peace will reign and all the prophecies will be realized in their entirety.

We can only wait for those great stormy waters which will force the nations to admit that G‑d is king - all will have to concede that this is not a natural disaster but an act of G‑d.

G. Zarchi is a pseudonym.
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