Thursday, November 6, 2008



Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

10 Marcheshvan 5769/7-8 November 2008

Our parsha teaches us about the birth of Abraham's first son Ishmael: "And an angel of Hashem said to her, behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, you shall name him Ishmael, for Hashem has heard your prayers, and he shall be a wild-ass of a man."

Our Rabbis teach us why he was called that: In the future, G-d will hear the cries of His people Israel regarding what the Ishmaelites are going to do in the Land in the end of days. Therefore he was called Ishmael, as it says: "G-d will hear and will answer them". This means that things will be so bad for the Jewish people from the hand of Ishmael at the end of days, that they, the Jewish people, will cry out to Hashem because of them, and G-d will hear and save His people Israel.

The holy Zohar also teaches us that the exile of Ishmael will be the hardest exile of them all, and that Ishmael will rule over the entire world, including Israel, at the end of days. In the covenant that Hashem made with Abraham in our parsha, G-d showed Abraham all of the history that will befall the Jewish people until the end of days. It says: "A great dark dread fell upon Abraham". Our sages learn out that "dread" refers to the fourth kingdom Edom, as the Book of Daniel tells us: "Dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong". Dark refers to Greece, which covered the Jewish people in darkness regarding keeping G-d's commandments. Great refers to the kingdoms of Persia and Media, which rose to sell Israel for free. Upon refers to Ishmael, for it will be that Mashiach the son of David will flourish upon them.

Rabbi Chaim Vital, the arch-student of the holy Ari, taught us about the sentence in Zechariah: "I will gather the nations against Jerusalem"; at the end of days both Edom and Ishmael will join forces together and come against the Jewish people in Israel. For we find that Esau, the son of Isaac, went to Ishmael and took Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, for a wife. From here is a sign for future generations that Esau and Ishmael will join forces; as the prophet tells us, they will come together to fight against Jerusalem and G-d will go out and battle for His people and judge the nations through fire.

Interestingly enough, the world's new "commander in chief" is considered by Moslems throughout the world as a Moslem, as Moslem law states that the a person's religion is brought down by his father - and Obama's father was a Moslem. Still, his mother was white - i.e., Edom - making him a combination of both Ishmael and Edom. Could this be what the holy text was alluding to when it said that at the end of days both Ishmael and Edom will join together against the Jewish people? Was this what the Zohar meant when it said that at the end of days Ishmael would rule over the world and Israel? Only time will tell! One thing is for sure: The Redemption process has taken one giant step forward.

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen
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