Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Our daily Morning Prayer service (Shacharis) includes a particular Psalm designated for that day of the week. I have mentioned how Psalms give us guidance in solving many of life's problems and also are very prophetic. The Psalm we say on Yom Revi’i, Wednesday, Psalm 94:1 to 95:3 provide insight into the situation that plagues this world these days. Read the Psalm carefully (copied from the Artscroll daily Siddur) and understand the connection it has with our present situation. Hashem is talking to us and giving us guidance:
Today is the fourth day of the Sabbath, on which the Levites would recite in the Holy Temple:
O G-d of vengeance, Hashem; O G-d of vengeance, appear! Arise, O Judge of the earth, render recompense to the haughty. How long shall the wicked - O Hashem - how long shall the wicked exult? They speak freely, they utter malicious falsehood, they glorify themselves, all workers of iniquity. Your nation, Hashem, they crush, and they afflict Your heritage. The widow and the stranger they slay, and the orphans they murder. And they say, 'G-d will not see, nor will the G-d of Jacob understand.' Understand, you boors among the people; and you fools, when will you gain wisdom? He Who implants the ear, shall He not hear? He Who fashions the eye, shall He not see? He Who chastises nations, shall He not rebuke? - He Who teaches man knowledge. Hashem knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile. Praiseworthy is the man whom G-d disciplines, and whom You teach from Your Torah. To give him rest from the days of evil, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For Hashem will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His heritage. For justice shall revert to righteousness, and following it will be all of upright heart. Who will rise up for me against evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Had Hashem not been a help to me, my soul would soon have dwelt in silence. If I said, 'My foot falters,' Your kindness, Hashem, supported me. When my forebodings were abundant within me, Your comforts cheered my soul. Can the throne of destruction be associated with You? - those who fashion evil into a way of life. They join together against the soul of the righteous, and the blood of the innocent they condemn. Then Hashem became a stronghold for me, and my G-d, the Rock of my refuge. He turned upon them their own violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off, Hashem, our G-d, will cut them off. Come - let us sing to Hashem, let us call out to the Rock of our salvation. Let us greet Him with thanksgiving, with praiseful songs let us call out to Him. For a great G-d is Hashem, and a great King above all heavenly powers.
This reading of the day can basically be broken down into three parts. One is to establish that Hashem is everything. There is nothing in this world that isn’t without Hashem’s involvement. Everything that is heard, seen, every rebuke, every thought is all Hashem in partnership with us. When people ask “where is Hashem?” they are oblivious to Hashem’s plan, how He lets us do things according to our own free will and how in the end Hashem’s will is the final answer. And, it is all good news for us.
Second, is knowing that all is for the purpose of Tikun HaOlam. We may question why are all these evil events happening in the world, and even the hint that the righteous are suffering and the wicked seem to be thriving. It is all for the purpose of helping us and guiding us towards Hashem. When things go well we tend to say arrogantly: “Me, me, me! I did it all,” and tend to take Hashem out of the picture. When problem arise, we seem to turn to Hashem and ask for help. Now in the end of days, it is the “ask for help phase of history.” A quote in the Siddur gives an interesting commentary on the words “Praiseworthy is the man”. The wicked ask why the righteous suffer, if G-d truly controls everything. The psalmist answers that G-d afflicts the righteous only when it is to their benefit, to correct them, to make them realize the futility of physical pleasures, or to atone for their sins (Radak;Meiri).
Third, is the reassurance that in the end ‘Hashem will turn upon the evil ones their own violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off.’ All that is going on today with Syria, Iran, North Korea, terrorist groups, evil governments with evil leaders, etc all seem to be leading up to the final Tikun. A reminder of what Rav Nir Ben Artzi, Shlita, said that possibly by the end of this week we may see greatly increased chaos in the world. Day by day we are seeing the world situation bringing us closer to that prediction (possibly only two days away). There was an announcement yesterday: that 41 nations launch a U.S. led exercises in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy says envoys from 41 nations have gathered in Bahrain to begin drills in the Persian Gulf. The exercises will go on until 31 May. Is this an exercise or a staging for the big one since Iran talked of war if Syria is invaded? Only Hashem knows what is in store, but if this is the start of the final battle of Gog U Magog, we can expect Moshiach ben Yosef to come forth soon since one of his tasks will be to take us through the final battle.
Finally, Come - let us sing to Hashem, let us call out to the Rock of our salvation. Let us greet Him with thanksgiving, with praiseful songs let us call out to Him. For a great G-d is Hashem, and a great King above all heavenly powers. That is the happy ending to history that I have talked about that will be shared by all the righteous of the world. How close are we to that happy ending? There are many indications from Tenach and Gedolim that this final war will be a very short one since Hashem will take over with so called “Acts of G-d.” Even Rav Ben talked of Iran seeing a great earthquake that will solve the nuclear problem and end the conflict. As the Psalm says “He turned upon them their own violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off, Hashem, our G-d, will cut them off. Natural disasters are very effective in cutting of an evil force and even ending a war. Are we that close? Hopefully, this is the happy ending looming and the benefits that go along with it. I mentioned Moshiach ben Yosef coming into the picture. Let us not forget that he is also the one to bring in the exile from the four corners of the world. Are we that close? Have you packed yet?
I have to admit a personal agenda that I have in writing this blog post. I have mentioned how reciting Psalms is so advantageous to the individual reciting them and for all the people of the world. Psalms can solve many of life’s problem – they can heal the sick, help you with finding a marriage partner, help with financial problems, protect you in a dangerous situation, etc, etc, etc. Even reciting the Psalm above is not just for information but can help lessen the burden that the evil put on this world and can bring our salvation faster. Many books of Psalms give a reference at the front telling us which Psalms to say for each situation. But, also, like prayer, study of scriptures, meditation, etc, it is not just the individual that is helped but everyone in the world. My agenda? By discussing this very pertinent group of Psalm verses, I sneakily got perhaps 100’s of my readers to recite Psalms that they may not have done otherwise. If I did get you to say verses that you would not have said, then the only thing I can answer with is “You’re welcome.” One additional suggestion is not to just read the Psalm, but to internalize its message. Your soul needs it. It’s good for you and it is good for everyone around you and I was glad to help. If you can get into a regular habit of saying Psalms and even praying every day, then I know you will someday say to me, maybe even in person when you come home, “Thank you.” If I introduced several of you to some of the most powerful tools you have in life to succeed, I am happy, you will be happy and above all, Hashem will love it.
A final message: I was notified this morning of the passing of the mother of Orna, a very devoted reader of my blog and very special person. I wish the Neshama of her mother an Aliyah in Shamayim and devote this Torah lesson to her.
Posted by The Absolute Truth at 8:03 AM