The Mideast Crisis: The Affliction of Israel
Our point of view is based on what Torah says is a fundamental element of what drives the events in the world: the behavior of Israel with respect to God. If Israel does not behave properly in accordance with its heritage, then Israel will be afflicted. The Mideast Crisis is in effect an affliction of the children of Israel for the purpose of causing the children of Israel to return wholeheartedly to God. The Torah says to the children of Israel:
If you will not be careful to perform all the words of this Torah that are written in the Book, to have awe for this honored and awesome Name: Hashem your God, then Hashem will make extraordinary your affliction and the affliction of your offspring -- great and faithful afflictions, and evil and faithful illnesses. (Deuteronomy 28:58,59)
Rabbi Glazerson writes that God's purpose behind the seeming maltreatment of Israel
by the nations is to arouse us to Teshuvah [return], repentance: to break [us] out of our rut and improve our lives. When suffering and oppression come upon a person, he is liable to shake off his ingrained routine, take a step back, and ask himself whether he hasn't perhaps been doing something wrong. After all, he knows that God does everything justly; so if something bad happens to us, that is a sign from Heaven that we need to put right what we have marred through our misbehavior. God does not punish His creatures. Revenge is beneath Him; if we see what He sends as punishment it is not that, in fact, but a necessary reaction to our straying, intended to bring us back to the right path.
All the nations of the world have the Divine task of awakening Israel to return through the torments they inflict on Israel. Of them all, the ones who play the chief role [in our time] in this are Ishmael and his descendants, the Islamic nations. (Matityahu Glazerson, Philistine and Palestinian, Lev Eliyahu, Jerusalem, 1994, p. 82.
Based on the behavior of the children of Israel with respect to observing the mitzvot of the Torah, God may bring troubles on the children of Israel to motivate them them to freely choose to return and do repentance. The affliction is carried out by God's messengers who are one or more peoples or nations of the world who are known as Amalek when they attempt to oppress Israel. Each of these peoples or nations has an angel. The angel over all these angels is Samael, one of whose functions is to work with and coordinate these nations against Israel. Rabbi Horowitz comments that the
Zohar asks if the 600 choice chariots were not also part of Egypt's cavalry who pursued the Israelites to the Reed Sea. ... The Zohar answers that the subject in the verse is Samael who took the chariots of the other nations with him in the pursuit of the Israelites. I. Horowitz, Shney Luchot Habrit, E. Munk, trans., Lambda Publishers, Jerusalem, 1999, p. 482)
Here the Zohar is telling us that the word chariots has a metaphorical meaning as the angel of Egypt. Rabbi Horowitz further comments,
We learn from this that whenever Israel finds itself in trouble, parties that have no quarrel with Israel also gang up on it. We must therefore realize how important it is at such times to do repentance, since during such critical times all our past deeds and actions are examined in minute detail to see if our enemies are justified in their attack upon us. (ibid. p. 482-483)
Therefore, we pair Samael, סמאל, with Israel and Conflict.
Rabbi Glazerson discovered that the location of this table also contains ELSs for Amalek and Jacob. In addition the word for conflict has an extension that almost makes a sentence out of all the terms in the table. The extension literally means to whom. But its sense in Hebrew with the noun makes a question: who is involved in the conflict or struggle with Israel, with Jacob? The answer is Amalek (and) Samael. The developed table is shown below.
The verse running through the middle of the table is Numbers 23:24. This verse is one of the central prophecies of Balak. It is a prophecy of the future for Israel.
Behold! the people will arise like an awesome lion and like a lion he will lift himself above and shall not lie down until he eats of the prey and drinks the blood of the slain. (Numbers 23:24)The Zohar comments on this verse. It says that this verse
means this nation [Israel] is destined to rise in the future over all heathen nations like a powerful mighty lion, and will hurtle himself over them. It is the manner of all lions to lie down over their prey; however, this nation shall not lie down until he eats of the prey. (The Zohar, Vol 19, Balak, Michael Berg, editor and compiler, Yeshivat Kol Yehudah, Israel, p. 296)Ibn Ezra comments that arise like a lion
hints that Israel will conquer the kings of Canaan. (Ibn Ezra,Ibn Ezra's Commentary On the Pentateuch, N. Strickman and A. Silver trans., Menorah Publishing, New York, 1999,p. 201)
It is interesting that the Philistines, who are the spiritual ancestors of the Palestinians, lived in the land of Canaan and the land of Canaan is now called the land of Israel and it is the land in which the Palestinians live.
Further the Zohar explains that the last part of the verse, drinks the blood of the slain, means
that the Holy One, blessed be He, will carry on battles with their enemies for them. (ibid. p. 297)