Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why the Earthquake and How it's Connected to Galut and Geulah

Some informative info from Hakhel today:

Special Note Two: Many along the eastern coast of the United States experienced the awe of a relatively gentle earthquake yesterday. What was all the quaking about? We remind ourselves of Chazal (Brachos 59A), who teach that an earthquake is Hashem’s expression of Tza’ar over our continued Galus, and the troubles and distresses we must endure in exile. The Gemara there explains that the earthquake occurs as a result of one of several possibilities: either Hashem’s ‘two tears’ that He sheds (over our physical and spiritual suffering), or His ‘hands clapping’ over our frustration, or His ‘sighing’, or His ‘kicking’ the rokia, or ‘His forcing his feet’ under the Kisei HaKavod--each being different expressions of love and concern that Hashem has for us in this Galus--and intended to remind us that there is an END to this GALUS--as although Hashem finds this journey absolutely necessary for us--it is nevertheless both disappointing and reprehensible to Him--so much so as to warrant an earthquake to the world at large. With this in mind, we now continue with our focus on the Fourteenth Bracha of Shemone Esrei--Binyan Yerushalayim. In the Bracha, we first ask that Hashem bring his Shechinah back to Yerushalayim. Only then, do we continue with the next step of our plea--U’Vnei Osah BiKarov BiYameinu Binyan Olam. With these words, we ask that it be Hashem Himself who rebuilds Yerushalayim--so that it stand permanently (unlike the first and second Bais Hamikdash eras, when human were involved in the building and which were only temporary). Fascinatingly, HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, points to the words in Nacheim --Ki Atta Hashem BaAish Hitzata U’VaAish Atta Asid Levnosa…Hashem You destroyed it in fire and with fire You will build it, as well. We don’t know very well how to build a city with fire--Hashem does. The Ramchal actually explains that there is a deeper concept that lies here as well: It is not only that there will be a Yerushalayim above and a Yerushalayim below, but that the new ‘rebuilding’ will include Ruchniyus from above coming down to connect to the Ruchniyus below. Thus, although there will be a semblance of physical walls around, the Ruchniyus of the heavens above will actually have a place in this world. We then specifically ask that this incomparable and eternal rebuilding occur B’Karov B’Yameinu. HaRav Friedlander notes that there are two concepts here. First, we would like it to happen B’Karov--in the immediate future. Even, however, if it does not occur this hour or this day, we still plea that it happen B’Yameinu--in our days while in Olam Hazeh!

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