Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Zohar, France, and The 5 Tzaddikim

As we all know by now, 4 people were murdered in France a few days ago, while a fifth is in serious condition.

There is a famous Zohar which can be seen here on "Dreaming of Moshiach" that describes the deaths of 5 Righteous Souls. This Zohar was thought to be a description of the Mumbai Murders, and then I realized that it could have fit the Itamar killings as well. It seems that when major murder/killings go down, they come in five's?! Thus it would be interesting to see if this is yet another attempt to fulfill the Zohar.

32 days after the Killings in France brings us to April 20th - 28th Nissan - 13th day of the Omer.

I expect nothing with the anticipation however that one day this Zohar will become fulfilled:

JERUSALEM — Relatives sobbed inconsolably by the gravesides of a rabbi and three children gunned down at a Jewish school in France and brought to Jerusalem for burial on Wednesday. The four where killed Monday in the French city of Toulouse when a man on a motorcycle opened fire with two handguns outside the school. Hundreds of French police descended on the suspect's hideout in Toulouse on Wednesday, but by midday still hadn't drawn him out after hours of gunbattles and negotiations.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, center, waits for President Nicolas Sarkozy at the reception hall at Roissy Airport in France, with the French and Israeli flags flown at half mast, prior to the transfer to an aircraft of the bodies of three French Jews who are to be flown to Israel on Tuesday , March 20, 2012. A gunman on a motorbike opened fire Monday at a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse, southwestern France, killing a rabbi and his two young sons as they waited for a bus, then chased down a 7 -year-old girl, shooting her dead at point-blank range. It was the latest in a series of attacks on minorities that have raised fears of a racist killer on the loose.

Israeli burial officials prepare the bodies of Toulouse shooting victims for their funeral after they arrived to Israel, at a morgue in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March. 21, 2012. The three children and a rabbi were gunned down on Monday in the deadliest school shooting France has ever known and the bloodiest attack on Jewish targets in decades.

Members of ZAKA rescue and recovery open the coffins of Toulouse shooting victims as they prepare the bodies for burial after they arrived to Israel at a morgue in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March. 21, 2012. The three children and a rabbi were gunned down on Monday in the deadliest school shooting France has ever known and the bloodiest attack on Jewish targets in decades. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israeli burial officials prepare the bodies of Toulouse shooting victims for their funeral after they arrived to Israel, at a morgue in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. The three children and a rabbi were gunned down on Monday in the deadliest school shooting France has ever known and the bloodiest attack on Jewish targets in decades.
At the funeral ceremony in Jerusalem, Eva Sandler, the rabbi's widow and mother of two of the slain children, and Yaffa Monsenego, the mother of the third, burst repeatedly into tears as speaker after speaker eulogized the dead.

The women had flown to Israel to bury their loved ones.

The slain members of the Sandler family were wrapped in white prayer shawls while the body of Monsenego's daughter was draped in black velvet. Israeli media reported that Eva Sandler is pregnant and arrived in Israel with her remaining child, a toddler.

About 400 people gathered at the cemetery, including grieving relatives who arrived from France, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and leaders of the French Jewish community.

In his eulogy, Israeli parliament speaker Reuven Rivlin said the Jewish people "once again find themselves facing beasts ... driven out their minds by hatred."

Juppe said "an attack on a Jew in France is not only an issue for French Jews. ... Anti-semitism is against all French values."

The school attack was the bloodiest France has ever known and the bloodiest assault on Jewish targets there in decades.

Earlier Wednesday, an El Al Israel Airlines flight from Paris brought the bodies of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 3, and 8-year-old Myriam Monsenego to Israel. The children held dual Israeli-French citizenship; the rabbi had lived in Israel for years and the families had asked to bury them in Israel.

After the plane landed at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport before dawn, memorial prayers were read over the plain pine coffins bearing Stars of David before they were placed in four ambulances for transport to the Har Menuchot cemetery.

In Toulouse, hundreds of French police on Wednesday surrounded the hideout of a man suspected in the school shooting and two other attacks that killed three French paratroops. A gunbattle erupted and police were trying to negotiate the man's surrender.

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant described the suspect as a 24-year-old French national who claims connections to al-Qaida and "wants to take revenge for Palestinian children" killed in the Middle East.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad denounced the deadly shooting attack and condemned the link to Palestinian children.

"It's time for criminals to stop using the Palestinian cause to justify their terrorist actions," Fayyad said in a statement. "The children of palestine want nothing but dignified lives for themselves and for all the children in the world."

The outcome of the 32 days after the killings, for the Zohar to be fulfilled, would be a sort of revelation of Moshiach ben Efraim...may it be so in this 5772 of high anticipation and much speculation.


yaak said...

I was thinking of posting this myself a couple days ago, but I did't want to be Pote'ah Peh LeSatan about the 5th victim.

B. said...

Maybe Reb Sheinberg zt"l could be counted as the 5th. Please continue to daven for Aharon ben Leah and Chaim Yosef Meir ben Miriam Henya b'soch sheor cholei Yisroel.

joshwaxman said...

Except of course that knishta (group, cohort) in that Zohar is not the same as Bei Kenishta (shul), such that synagogue is a mistranslation. And the five are true tzadikim *among* the dead, implying quite a larger number. Besides that there are five, not four, as you mentioned. Yes, the saying goes that אחרי מות קדשים אמור. And for B., sure, you could count anyone you want once you start kvetching.

kol tuv,

Anonymous said...

"Thus it would be interesting to see if this is yet another attempt to fulfill the Zohar."

You coldly talk about this terrible tragedy as if it were a maths problem you're trying to solve. All this calculated speculation over dead bodies is unbecoming. You don't even say that you hope that the fifth victim has a refua shleima or give her name for tefilla, or offer condolences.

The readers of your post can only read your post, not your mind, so please don't try to justify your intentions. Before all of this speculation, be a ben adam.

David said...

as much as you are right, yes i could have offered what you mentioned, yet this was not the scope of this post. when leiby kletzky died, people were offering logic to his story as well. with much of the zohar predictions of doom and gloom, perhaps rachmanus is overlooked. the intention i had in writing this, is that one day, this zohar will be fulfilled, unfortunately. this is not something that i wait for with joy, but if acts of this nature are going to go down, then yes, i will look to the zohar to see how the will of God is present within the evil of the world. nobody wants din, but the birthpangs of the moshiach are real, and i was simply expressing from that angle. my apologies if you or anyone else are offended.

B. said...

Aharon ben Leah is the fifth victim. Please daven for him. By the way, Gavriel Sandler, 3, who was gunned down at point blank range in Toulouse on Monday, was named after Rav Gavriel Holtzberg, the Chabad emissary who was murdered in Mumbai just before he was born. Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg told Arutz Sheva that he was informed of this by a member of the Sandler family.

He said that the murder in Toulouse brings back the memory of the terrible day, 39 months ago, when he lost his daughter Rivki Holtzberg and her husband Rav Gavriel Holtzberg. The fact that one of the victims was named for Gavriel makes the event even more chilling for him, he said.

With a shaking voice, Rav Rosenberg quoted Tehillim 30:10, which asks G-d: “What use is my blood, when I descend to the abyss?”

He then asked: “G-d, what do you want from our blood, which is being spilled all over the world?”

Rabbi Rosenberg thanked the Israeli government for bringing the bodies to kevurah in Israel. He called on people all over the world to join forces in fighting terror, and never to say “It won’t happen to me.”

David said... intention for the matter was that 5 people would be forever involved with the terrorism. death or not, the theme would be death, whether physical, spiritual, emotional,or any other way, this was a murderous act with at least a lasting impression as such. and just a thought, perhaps dan b'chaf zchus to the aim of the post, and one could easily have kindly added the name(s) to daven for and take the rashus for others to join in. [Aaron Bryan Bijaoui ben Esther ] opposed to an attack that was not in proportion with the post and its intent; oversight or not;granted as such, ty for the heads up, next time i will be more prepared to include all angles.

David said...

another thought that comes to mind, is that a major angle that torah-moshiach blogs take in mind, is from the focus of chevlei moshiach, which is a din-slant on world perspective. fair or not, good or bad, this is what chevlei moshiach brings, and this is how many blogs report it. i dont know if i would call it cold, rather strictly objective.

in the vanguard said...

You say, "... it would be interesting to see if this is yet another attempt to fulfill the Zohar."

With all due respect, learning Zohar to look at events in hindsight is not, I think, learning it לשמה.

My gut tells me that all this sort of scanning Torah, gematriot and Zohar is nice because it's clever but its palatability is quite unfulfilling. In fact, as in this painful case, it robs from the full impact such a disaster must impact upon us. He who finds a great "secret" in these books, or the readers thereof, ends up feeling good about it when good feelings at this time are quite inappropriate.

David said...

such is the nature of any prophecy or prediction...would ships of kittim be any different?
besides the fact that my learning of zohar did not produce the knowledge of this zohar - rather this is what was being passed around after mumbai of which only then did it come to my attention, it seemed to fit at the time, yet nothiong came of it. ever since, it was clear, based on mumbai that one dreadful day would come and fulfill this zohar. i still feel the same, however this episode does not appear to be it. but if any other time when "5" jews die, yes, i will continue to see if this zohar has reached its destination, that it seems destined to do so.this is not about good feelings, rather seeing if there is a revelation in darkness, as the ramchal has described in maamer geulah while describing coming out of galus - which we clearly are doing in our days, may it be soon and in the pan of merit.

Devorah said...

Vanguard: The comparison between Mumbai and Toulouse is being made by many people, due to the naming of the child Gavriel after Rabbi Holtzberg.

I sincerely doubt that anyone is feeling good about any aspect of this, and it is rather patronizing of you to suggest such a thing. It is only natural that rabbis look into Torah and/or the Zohar for a hint as to why.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Katz... does even the "negative" prophecy have to come to pass? Is it possible to pray to make the change that the negative would be turned to positive by praying, fasting, doing kind deeds, showing HaShem that our hearts have changed and we WANT to change... for the good?

joshwaxman said...

not "five jews die". a kenishta of Jews die. and among those jews, five true complete tzaddikim. The Zohar says וחמשה זכאי קשוט יתקטלון בינייהו, among *them*. Who are "them", if only a total of five were killed? Please explain.

Also, if we interpret it as shul, was the shul or school destroyed in this?

By Mumbai it was also quite a stretch. There, it also was not five. It was six. (So let us call one of the deceased not a tzaddik in order to make it work!)

i don't know if this can really be called "strictly objective" either. given the extent to which this is a kvetch (and it is -- look at the Zohar inside, in context, rather than relying on Dreaming Of Moshiach's mistranslation), and given how many OTHER midrashic and kabbalistic texts are consistently misinterpreted (e.g. this one), i don't know that it is either cold or strictly objective. rather, it is misdirected energy to kvetch events and texts into agreement. and that implies emotion and hidden motivation, rather than objectivity.

kol tuv,

rabbi david katz said...

i relied on the sulam, whose translation is authoritative. thus this fact negates largely your kvetch josh. until moshiach comes, all events are kvetched, such is the nature of reality, unfortunately when moshiach does come josh, you still will call it a kvetch.

joshwaxman said...

You likely relied on the popular selective translation, and arrived at the Sulam in defense. And that is only in defense of knishta as "shul" (which you should know is quite iffy, given the global use of the terms in the Zohar and other keys in the context).

But the Sulam translates בינייהו as ביניהם, amongst **them**. Who is the "them" in this? Given that you maintain the Sulam is authoritative, and he maintains that the five are killed among others, who are the others?

Please explain.

(I never got the sense that great kabbalists and talmidei chachamim, such as the Vilna Gaon or the Ramban, ever kvetched the Zohar to make it fit with their contemporary events. It is some nobody ignoramus who first kvetched this Zohar, and that nobody does not need defense. The same with the misinterpretation of countless other Jewish sources. Anticipating the geulah is no excuse for ziyuf hatorah. Neither is the claim that everything is a kvetch, since we live in an olam hasheker.)

I await the explanation of ביניהם from the authoritative Sulam.

kol tuv,

rabbi david katz said...

other kabbalists did not live in our times that events were easily depicted within their element, such as pras = iran = talmud yoma. unless you want to say that rebbe did this very act too, but we wont mention that. to theorize is not ziyuf and if anyone is ziyuf, it is you, and i can email your quotes that you boast of being superior to rashi as you have posted on the internet. as for kvetch, i must say, josh, you have exceeded your daily quota of usage of the word kvetch, please learn how to express yourself in new and creative ways so you can further prowl the blogs looking for action. if you dont like what i write, why else would you read me if not for the sole intention of attack?
ביניהם= between them is the translation, and its accurate context is base d on reality, not a kvetch. until reality is determined, everyone is in the dark, but as i said here and in my rashi shiur - one day it will work out and not be a kvetch and will be a chiddush in the loshon.

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