Friday, February 17, 2012

Please Say Psalm 46 Every Day

Abridgment of recent article in Hamodiah

Harav Moshe Wolfson, shlita, spoke Tuesday night in a rare mid-week assembly for his kehillah, Emunas Yisroel in Boro Park, asking bluntly why there is no greater uproar within the community over the potential for war over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"Why are we quiet? Where is the awakening? Why is everyone so apathetic?" asked Rav Wolfson, who is also Mashgiach of Yeshivah Torah Vodaath. "Don't we know that we have to pierce the heavens for rachamim from the Ribbono Shel Olam?"

Rav Wolfson told the packed beis medrash of nearly 1,000 people that the potential for a war encompassing Iran, Israel, Europe and the United States over the next few weeks is a real one, and Klal Yisrael must prepare itself spiritually.

Rav Wolfson started his address with the famous ruling of the Rambam that it is a mitzvah to daven during troubled times. "If you don't daven," the Rambam says, "then it is a cruelty, since it will get worse."

"The leader in Iran says clearly - he repeated it this week - that he wants to kill, heaven forbid, every Jew in the world, just like Haman," Rav Wolfson said. "If he will be successful, chas v'shalom, in getting the nuclear bomb - and experts says he will have it by the summer - it will be a great danger for Klal Yisrael."

"A good part of the world's Jews live in Israel, and the government there says that they will attack Iran first, before they could get the nuclear bomb. If that happens, everyone knows that that will cause a world war."

Rav Wolfson quoted the Pesikta, which says that the year when Moshiach will come all nations will battle each other. The spark that will set it off, according to the Midrash, will be when the king of Paras - which is modern-day Iran - will threaten "Arabia," presumably Saudi Arabia, such as is happening today.

Arabia will go for an alliance with Edom - the culture of Edom is today's Western world, Europe and United States. Paras will then destroy the world and the Jewish people will be thrown into turmoil. Hashem will then say: "Do not fear, the time for your Geulah has come."

Rav Wolfson noted how eerily similar this Midrash is to what is occurring today.

"However, we should not panic," Rav Wolfson said, "Hashem will perform miracles for us. But maybe the time for the Geulah has arrived. We must prepare for the Geulah."

Rav Wolfson said that since the Holocaust, Hashem has performed great miracles for the Jewish people. Eretz Yisrael, which today hosts the world's largest Jewish population and most of the Torah world, merited supernatural Divine intervention during its wars. When Palestinians shoot missiles from Gaza, they usually land in empty areas and cause relatively little damage.

When then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein shot 39 Scud missiles during the Gulf War, only one Jew was killed - that man had previously received a klalah from the Chazon Ish. "This a hashgachah niflaah that is reserved only for those who learn Torah, who keep the mitzvos and who will ultimately do teshuvah," Rav Wolfson said. "Hashem wants to perform miracles for us."

But just like Eliyahu had to daven on Mount Carmel even though Hashem had already rain, Hashem still wants our prayers today.

In order to deserve these miracles, Rav Wolfson said, we must strengthen in Torah, tefillah and chessed.

He specifically suggested saying Tehillim 46 every day. During the Suez campaign in 1956, the Belzer Rebbe asked that people say that particular psalm, since it is a segulah to prevent warfare.

Above all, Rav Wolfson said, we should keep in mind that we live in momentous times, and prepare for the upcoming era with emunah and bitachon. "In the next couple of weeks there will be news," Rav Wolfson said, "and with the help of Hashem, it will be good news for all Israel."

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