Rabbi Hizkiyah opened [his discourse to explain the apparent contradiction between the verse: "in the greatness of Your Majesty You destroyed Your enemies" (Ex: 15.7) and the verse:] "Why do stand You off far away, G‑d? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?" (Psalms 10:1) At the time that the inequities of the world cause [a weakening of the manifestation of the powers of holiness], G‑d [the partzuf of Zeir Anpin] ascends higher and higher [above Abba and Imma to Arich Anpin] and people shed tears and cry [out in their distress], yet there is no one to pay attention to them. What is the reason? Because He has ascended higher and higher (than Imma where repentance is received) and repentance is withheld from them, as it is written: "And in the abundance of Your Majesty, You have overthrown those that rose up against You." [The place of His Majesty is Arich Anpin and this “far away” from you, not responding when you call, and this causes “those that rose up against you” to be “overthrown” by the forces of judgment because of the lack of sympathetic supervision].

Rabbi Yitzhak [who disagrees, holding that “those that rose up against you” are the nations of the world] said: This verse refers to the time when G‑d will dress Himself with Majestic pride[at the end of days, please G‑d NOW!]over the nations that shall gather against Him, as it is written: "[Why do the nations rage...]...And the princes take counsel together, against G‑d and against His anointed." (Psalms 2:1,2) As we have learned, in the future seventy generals of armies of all the nations shall gather from every side at that time with the hosts of the entire world to wage war against Jerusalem, the Holy City, and to plot against G‑d. [They will complain against “unjust favoritism” because G‑d will raise up Israel above the nations who will see them as unworthy of this] What do they say? 'Let us take vengeance against the Patron first, and then against His people and His sanctuary'. [Interestingly, this implies that the Jews will reclaim the Temple Mount and this may be the catalyst to make the nations rage.]

Then G‑d will laugh at them, as is written: "He who sits in the heavens laughs: G‑d mocks them." (Psalms 2:4) At that time, G‑d will don Majestic pride against them and will destroy them from the world, as is written: "And this shall be the plague with which G‑d will smite all the peoples that have gathered in armies against Jerusalem; their flesh shall be consumed while they stand upon their feet." (Zachariah 14:12)

Rabbi Aba quoted Rabbi Yesa Saba the elder and also Rabbi Shimon, said: G‑d shall resurrect all those kings that distressed Israel and Jerusalem: Adrianus and Lupinus1 [Rome, i.e. the West], Nebuchadnezzar (from Babylon - nowadays Iraq - who destroyed the First Temple) and Sannecherib (from Assur - nowadays Iraq, Syria, and Northwest Iran - who exiled the 10 tribes), and all the other kings of the world that took part in the destruction of His House. Then He will provide them with a governing dominion as before, and the rest of the nations will gather with them. G‑d will take revenge on them openly around Jerusalem. This is the meaning of: "And this shall be the plague with which G‑d will smite all the peoples that have fought against Jerusalem." It is not written, 'that will fight' but rather, "that have fought". Then it is written: "And in the abundance of Your pride You have overthrown them that rose up against You." This is written about the time when Mashiach will come, and this song is a never-ending song.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does this mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

In this time of exile, the pain of which is felt most acutely during these three Weeks of Mourning, we are in a back-to-back relationship with G‑d. This is a GOOD thing, for it means that our delinquencies are judged less harshly. As any child knows, when Mom and Dad are not looking, we can "get away" with more stuff.

But that is the sign of immaturity. We need to grow during these 22 days, to mature, to raise our consciousness to expanded mentality, even if our physical world is constricted [no dancing or live music, no new clothing]. For the Mashiach's coming is inevitable, and we are promised that all will have expanded consciousness, the Da'at/knowledge of G‑d, as water covers the earth. It only appears on our earth plane during these times of diaspora that G‑d is not here with us. IT ONLY APPEARS! The Divine Presence, She is right here beside us, with every move we make, every word we speak...

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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