Rabbi Nachman Kahana
Rabbi Nachman KahanaCourtesy

Tehilim (Psalms) 22;28-29:

28 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations shall worship before Him.

29 For dominion belongs to Hashem, and He rules over the nations.

Pharaoh’s Dreams

There are two biblical episodes of formidable gentile rulers whose dreams were interpreted by a Jew.

The first one is in last week’s parasha, Miketz, when the Egyptian Pharaoh experienced two consecutive dreams.

In the first dream, he was standing on/by the Nile, when out of the river emerged seven healthy, fat cows, followed by seven sickly and gaunt ones which devoured the seven healthy cows. Another dream followed. Seven ears of healthy wheat were growing on a single stalk, followed by seven other ears of thin and scorched wheat which devoured the seven full ears.

After 12 years of imprisonment, Yosef is brought before Pharaoh to interpret the dreams. He informs Pharaoh that despite the differences, both dreams share the same interpretation. Hashem has begun seven years of agricultural prosperity that will be followed by seven years of devastating famine.

The apparent object of the dreams in Egyptian history was to inform Pharaoh that he would be the savior of the nation through his wisdom in choosing a talented assistant. Together with their agricultural knowledge and managerial skills, Pharaoh and Yosef would save the nation and millions of people even from foreign lands.

Right or wrong? Wrong!

The actual purpose of the dreams was to serve as a message from Hashem to Yosef that now had begun the first of three exiles that the Jewish nation would have to undergo: descending to Egypt, experiencing hundreds of years of servitude that would eventually result in the miraculous Exodus, receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai, and returning home as the masters of the Holy Land.

Nevuchadnezzer’s Dream

Chapter two of the Book of Daniel relates that Nevuchadnezzer, King of Babylon and the destroyer of the first Holy Temple, had a dream, the details of which he could not recall on awakening.

He summoned his advisors and ordered them to remind him of the details of the dream and its interpretation. They responded that their expertise was limited to the interpretation of dreams but not to knowing their details. The king was unimpressed and repeated his threat to “reveal, interpret or die”.

Daniel prayed to Hashem for salvation and, that night, the dream and its meaning were revealed to him. In the morning, he came before the King and said as follows:

In your Majesty’s dream, you saw an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. Its head was of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs bronze, its legs of iron, and its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. Then, suddenly, a rock struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay. The iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken “like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer”. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace, but the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:31-35).

The King was spellbound by the words of Daniel, the Jew, who continued:

The statue represents a series of kingdoms, each less glorious than its predecessor, as indicated by the decreasing value of the metals. Daniel identified Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold, stating that Hashem had given him much power (Daniel 2:37-38).

The subsequent kingdoms to arise would be incrementally inferior to Babylon. However, Daniel did not detail who the following kingdoms would be.

Over time, our biblical commentators filled in the omitted details. After Nevuchadnezzer, King of Babylon, would come Persia and Medes, followed by the bronze stomach of Greece, then Rome (the iron thigh), with the fifth mixture of iron and clay representing the Christian and Islamic nations. At that time, the Jewish nation - the rock - will smash them all to bits, paving the way for the final earthly international kingdom of the Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

Conclusion:

The major thrust of Pharaoh’s dreams dealt with the initial formulation of individual Jews into nationhood. The major thrust of Nevuchadnezzer’s dream dealt with the climax of world history when the Jewish nation will outlive all of its arrogant, evil, atheistic enemies, who in the words of Daniel “will be reduced like chaff on a threshing floor”.

Now when the major emperors of history focus on the extraordinary Jewish nation, the compelling conclusion is that the world’s raison d'être - the reason for which the Creator brought this world into being - is because of the holy Jewish nation.

And indeed, 28 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations shall worship before Him.

29 For dominion belongs to Hashem, and He rules over the nations.

The Cyclone Bomb

Last week I wrote,

What was I thinking of at that moment (when Argentina won the Mondial?). I was pondering the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis and other preternatural calamities that, in the words of the Gemara, would be occurring in every country that has stadiums and arenas while our Holy Temple remains destroyed.

In the U’ne’tana Tokef liturgy of Yom Kippur, we are faced with the frightening question about who will die and who will live, who by fire and who by water. I wonder who will suffer the agony of earthquakes, the displacement of millions of people from their homes and the unleased energies inherent in our planet?

The reasons for unnatural meteorological and geological occurrences in our time are: 1- Public display of homosexuality, 2- The destroyed and desolate Temple Mount at a time when there is an abundance of theaters and arenas around the world (e.g., Qatar spent 250 billion dollars on hosting the Mondial).”

However, I never expected it to happen so fast.

Across the United States, a “cyclone bomb” storm has downed power lines, littered highways with piles of cars in deadly accidents and led to mass flight cancelations. The storm was nearly unprecedented in its scope, stretching from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico. About 60% of the U.S. population faced some sort of winter weather advisory or warning. Temperatures plummeted below normal from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, the National Weather Service said. The storm pummeling large swaths of the United States and Canada is what forecasters call a "Cyclone Bomb".

A front of cold air moved down from the Arctic, sending temperatures plunging. Temperatures dropped by more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) in just a few hours. Wind chill temperatures reached dangerous lows far below zero, enough to cause frostbite within minutes. In parts of the Plains, the wind chill could dip to minus 70 degrees.

Why only the U.S., when so many other nations have their stadiums and arenas?

The U.S. government is the major obstacle preventing Israel’s return to our long-lost biblical lands. The U.S. policy of “evenhandedness” between the Arab murderers and the Jewish State prohibits us from building and expanding in our Biblical lands of Judea and Samaria, including limiting building even in our new-ancient capitol of Yerushalayim.

Summary:

1) It is a fundamental postulate brought in many Jewish sources that the world was created and is maintained for the Hashem-Jewish nation relationship.

2) The future of humanity is dependent on the qualitative and quantitative aspects of this relationship.

3) The great moments in human history have all been concerned in one way or another with the Jewish nation or with individual Jews.

4) The overriding responsibility of the Jews in this generation - for our welfare and for the welfare of humanity - is NATION BUILDING and the restoration of a holy Jewish nation in Eretz Yisrael based on the Torah.

Rabbi Nachman Kahanais a Torah scholar, author, teacher and lecturer, Founder and Director of the Center for Kohanim, Co-founder of the Temple Institute, Co-founder of Atara Leyoshna – Ateret Kohanim, was rabbi of Chazon Yechezkel Synagogue – Young Israel of the Old City of Jerusalem for 32 years, and is the author of the 15-volume “Mei Menuchot” series on Tosefot, and 3-volume “With All Your Might: The Torah of Eretz Yisrael in the Weekly Parashah” (2009-2011), and “Reflections from Yerushalayim: Thoughts on the Torah, the Land and the Nation of Israel” (2019) as well as weekly parasha commentary available where he blogs at http://NachmanKahana.com