Weekly Hashkafa #64—The First Stage of Redemption

Given: 09/09/2021

Dedication: This shiur is in memory of Mazal bas Shasika. May her neshama have an aliyah.

I will start with what I think are good tidings, that we have a good chance of being right up against the geula—Redemption.


A couple lectures ago, I told you that the Gemara says, in Sanhedrin, that mashiach comes at the end of shmita—the sabbatical year. That means the era will begin at the end of this year, although the geula comes in stages. The first stage is when the mashiach is released from his klippa and begins to pursue his mission. This is equivalent to Moshe at the Burning Bush when he was informed that he was the mashiach. That is known as “pekida,” which is to start at motzei shmita—at the end of the sabbatical year. This year, תשפב can be read, alluding to Redemption, according to the abbreviation: tihyeh, shnas, psichas b’ita. He could come this motzei shmita which could be a Yovel--the 50th year following 7 shmita cycles. We don’t know exactly when Yovel is but since Yovel is when all reverts to its original owner, we can say that Redemption is when the world returns to its “owner,”—G-d.

With this being the case, this shmita year would be a time of tremendous preparations. The messianic era doesn’t start without preparation. If it does, then even the preparation has a preparation and that was the previous month—Elul. Have we seen it?—Yes! And we saw spectacular events in Elul as I mentioned in previous lecture. When I refer to them as spectacular, I mean those two concepts when considering Redemption. First there must be the eradication, overthrow of evil; that must come first. The second concept is that evil must admit it was evil. Then there can be the introduction of tov, of holiness.

Powerful Indicators in Elul

1- Andrew Cuomo quit. He is a very evil person. You have only to look at his face; it exudes evil. He’s a megalomaniac responsible for the deaths of about 15,000. He also condemned the orthodox community during the lockdowns…..I’m not going recite a list of what he’s done. He was thrown out. He resigned only so as not to be impeached. He left in disgrace, an incredible punishment for him because he lives to rule over others. That is always what a megalomaniac does. New York State is the most prominent state for the Democratic Party. For them, his ouster was a shock. G-d threw him out in disgrace. This is a great event for the side of good.

2- The “Biden Fiasco” is the second event. How do you remove the army before rescuing all the American citizens and the Afghanis who worked on behalf of America and to whom it was promised they would be taken out? All of them are now living in dread. They know they will be killed. How do you leave $85,000,000,000-worth of weaponry? The Taliban cannot believe their luck. By doing this, allowing the Taliban to rule, it becomes the residence of terrorism, i.e. Al Qaeda and ISIS. In fact, Lindsey Graham said that they expect another 9/11. They’ve given a place to evil. There are those who claim this is the greatest faux pas made since WW2. So, Biden (his administration) has been disgraced. Besides, Biden himself is a very bad person. He wants a 2-state solution and restore the “legitimacy” of the Palestinians. It’s not just him; it’s also the Democratic Party, the party of hashchasa—corruption, that has been exposed and disgraced.

3- This third event is a chazaka—legal assumption: Hurricane Ida. Beyond being just bad news, how is it an indicator that evil is being overthrown? In 2005, on Sunday, Aug 29, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and wiped it out. I gave a shiur in 2005 about this. On Wednesday of that week there was to have been an annual event called “Southern Decadence Day.” The name itself tells you a lot. It is a day when a gender-related celebration calls for, encourages, the committing of acts, publicly, without any repercussions. The government itself sanctions it by not calling for any actions to repress or disallow LGBTQ expression in public. So, G-d sent a mini-mabul—mini-Flood. We understand the basis for the original Flood. The line was drawn when that society permitted a ketuba—marriage contract to be drawn up between two men or between a human being and an animal, complete with a list of the contractor’s responsibilities. Incredible! This is a midrash—exigetical commentary. This depravity sealed the decree for the Flood. G-d sent a mini-Flood here too, a few days prior to the date for this event, just as He did in 2005. Katrina was a Category 3. Ida was a Category 4. It has been evaluated to be the fifth most powerful storm ever to hit the United States. Back then, gay marriage was not yet legal. Now it is, in New York. So, G-d not only sent Ida through Louisiana to prevent the event, He swept it all the way up to New York State and parts of New Jersey. The amount of damage is estimated at $95,000,000,000.

All this happened in Elul. This tells us something very important. All these entities: Cuomo, the Democratic Party and its minions, a climate of hashchasa--immorality, are the Satan’s frontline generals, so to speak. Such creates a climate that corrupts and will, he hopes, encourage Jews to sin. When Jews sin, the Satan nourishes and empowers himself. The take-down of these influences indicates that the Satan couldn’t protect his front-line soldiers. This shows that he is losing. The fact that it all happened right before 5782 shows that we are at the doorstep of the preparation for mashiach himself. That is very good and what I anticipated. We are very, very close. We are on track.

The Haftorah Reading for Rosh ha’Shana—Book of Yirmiyahu

Unbridled Joy

I want to speak about the haftarah reading of Rosh ha’Shana, of “Yirmiyahu” (Jeremiah), perek--chapter 31. It talks about two very specific topics that are very important. G-d explains that even though we seem to be in the midst of a severe korbon—sacrifice, a time of wrenching difficulty, that we are not to worry, that the exile will end, and mashiach will come. Beyond this, G-d tells us he loves us and will love us eternally. These are incredible statements of consolation. This is the first part of it.

This part indicates something very interesting which we don’t realize. When the mashiach comes, particularly Mashiach ben David, the unbridled joy will be be perceived as the result of the Jews having succeeded to rectify Creation, as was their task, doing the unimaginable via their observance of commandments and bitter suffering over a long and difficult exile. That will produce a sense of exhilaration that has never been seen before. The Creation will have fulfilled its purpose. The joy of the Jewish people will be beyond belief, but even the goyim—non-Jews will have that because many goyim realize there is so much anguish in the world. Besides even that, the entire Creation itself—the malachim—angels will stare in disbelief at the joy that G-d will have together with the Jewish people, together with the Torah. Together, they will dance with a joy that is incomprehensible.

Yirmiyahu: Rachel’s Contribution

The second part of the haftorah speaks of Rachel, a voice coming from Ramot—a locale affiliated with Beit Lechem (Bethlehem) crying for her children. It doesn’t say she cries for Yosef or Binyamin—who were her actual children---but the entire Jewish people. Why? Because what she did was extraordinary. What did she do?

There is a midrash which says that, when the Beis ha’Mikdash—Holy Temple was being destroyed, there was a din Torah, a tremendous judgement in Heaven, as to how long the exile would last. It was decreed that it would last until mashiach came. All the avot—patriarchs and the who’s who in Judaism, pleaded with G-d that the Jews should not be exiled that long, that they should be able to resurge again. G-d said, no. Rachel then offered her plea. She acknowledged G-d’s anger about the Jews’ worship of idols—very bad, dethroning G-d from his place—but look what she did!

Ya’akov worked for seven years to marry her and then Lavan replaced Leah so he could get another seven years of labor out of Ya’akov. Rachel and Ya’akov had devised a password to ensure that the veiled bride was, in fact, Rachel. When the time came, Ya’akov would ask Leah for the password but she wouldn’t know it and be humiliated. So, Rachel colluded with Leah, that Leah would have the password and become the wife of Ya’akov.

Rachel testified to G-d: I gave the password, made that sacrifice, was defrauded by my father, and I suffered the abuse that my intended mate, Ya’akov, was now going to marry a woman who ultimately became my rival. So, I beg you, G-d, even though it is humiliating to have the Jews worshipping idols, please m’vater—overlook, just as I did.

What Rachel did was astounding also because she potentially jeopardized her standing as “mother of Israel.” Imagine the reaction of a bridegroom who discovers that his bride colluded with another woman to deceive him into a marriage he didn’t intend. He could get so angry, so resentful, that he could have rejected her thereby denying her a lofty place within Jewish history as a mother of the resultant tribes. What incredible self-sacrifice!

So G-d told her that the exile would be only 70 years. Also, since you made this sacrifice, when I need someone to work within the klippa, to give justice its due, to go into the evil and remain righteous, to expose oneself to suffering and danger, it would be she and her descendants who would do that. Rachel is a savior of the Jewish people and why she died when and how she did. In many ways, G-d set her up for that. Even though she had free will, she was given the task to suffer for the Jews to complete the rectification of Creation. It was given to her and her children, especially Yosef. Now we understand why this content is included in the haftarah of “Yirmiyahu,” one that offers consolation and promises the Redemption. “Remove the tears from your eyes” G-d says, because they will return to the Land. I will redeem them. It is through her and her children’s efforts that the Satan’s dominion will ultimately be vanquished and the mashiach will come. It involved going into the corrupted world, remaining righteous. This removes the “nutrients,” the sparks holiness, from the Satan. Someone has to go into the filth to rescue the Jews.

That task is so difficult that, in her merit for having done it, the Jewish people were deemed her children. That is why she died, to be buried in Beit Lechem, Bethlehem, enroute to Babylon where Nebuchadnezer banished them after the temple’s destruction. The Jews passed by her kever--tomb and their prayer would rouse her neshama to speak in their defense. Because of what Rachel did, that haftorah is true. She is included in the prophetic portion that promises Redemption because she is an instrumental part of it.

Rachel’s Descendant: Yosef’s Paves the Way

This explains too why Yosef had to go into the klippa of Egypt. We talk about Egypt and thank G-d for taking us out. But why were we there in the first place? When Avraham entered into a covenant with G-d, accepted that position, he didn’t understand the magnitude of the task. For two thousand years, mankind had the ability to do the tikkun but, when they failed, it was given to Avraham and, subsequently, to the Jews. But they too sinned and, consequently, gave a great deal of the holiness that should have gone to support rectification, to the Satan. This empowered him tremendously. The tikkun endeavor required them to take back all the kedusha given to the Satan by going into Egypt and remaining righteous. That would deplete his energy store. That is what I call “klippa work.”

But before they went down to retrieve the unika—nutrients, a major neshama had to go first to pave the way, to do it first. That was Yosef ha’Tzaddik—the righteous Joseph, chosen to do the work the Jews would have to do later on. He was kidnapped, went into the klippa, remained incredibly righteous, in order to take the power back from the Satan. The main test was not only to be faithful to G-d, to trust G-d—which he did because we see that he always referenced all that happened to him to G-d’s oversight—he had to withstand the zima-- immorality that challenged him when tempted by Potiphar’s wife and he withstood that. Because of the thirteen years he suffered there in prison, the Satan’s energy was depleted, enabling Yosef to be freed from prison; the Satan no longer had the power to hold him. When Pharoah dreamt of famine, that famine represented the sparks of holiness Yosef removed. The Satan starved. If he is starving, so is Egypt. Why? Egypt is the bechor-firstborn, the major representative, of the Satan. It was Yosef’s success in his task that generated the dream. Yosef got himself released from prison--not with a lawyer, a defense attorney, but in a spiritual way. Since he got out, automatically he had to assume his correct position between the balance of evil and holiness. Since the sparks were restored to holiness, and Egypt was depleted, he became the Grand Vizir. Just because he interpreted Pharoah’s dream correctly is hardly justification for making him the second most powerful person in Egypt. Remunerate him as a consultant. Why then did Pharoah do it? Yosef assumed the position that holiness assumed in relation to evil. Yosef had to rise. Pharoah had no choice. At that point, his regal status represented the relationship between evil and holiness.

What enabled Yosef to achieve this?—his mother Rachel Imeinu, Rachel our mother. She bequeathed to him the ability to do “klippa work.” When the Satan had dominion, it is from her he drew his strength to resist the corrupting influence of Egypt. Then when the Jews went down, an enormous amount of the work had already been done. And they followed Yosef to the land of Goshen where he guided them to do mitzvot, learn Torah, preparing the people for the major work of the nation culminating in Moshe’s ability to take them out because there were no sparks of holiness left. In fact, G-d told Avraham that his descendants were to be strangers in the land of Egypt for 400 years and afterward will leave with great possessions. The gematria—numerical value of “v’achar kach yetzu im b’rechush gadol”—afterward they went out with great wealth is numerically identical to “nitzutzei kedusha”—sparks of holiness. That was really the work of the Jews in Egypt.

Even when they went out, it says v’yotzu kol tzivos ha’Shem mimitzraim that all the hosts of G-d left Egypt. It emphasizes that all the hosts of G-d left. All the holiness was taken out. The gematria of that Hebrew sentence is also equivalent to “sparks of holiness.” This is the incredibly remez—clue of what the real work of the Jew was in Egypt and it was all started by the work of Rachel. That is why she is included in the haftorah portion which reminds the Jews that G-d loves them, will redeem them. How? Because Rachel’s “klippa work,” the taking out of the sparks from the side of the Satan, is stage one of the Redemption process.

So let us hope that, he who is involved in “klippa work” now—Mashiach ben Yosef from the soul of Yosef ha’Tzaddik--will show us more events like the three I spoke of before, events that are emblematic of the Satan losing. These are global, cataclysmic events, not minor events. They indicate that this year is the beginning of b’itain its appointed time and, therefore, irreversible. With major preparations for mashiach soon to come, the pekida will happen this year or, certainly, by motzei shmita.

Q & A

Participant: Does Rachel still have the merit to lead us out of exile? It’s not a one-time thing?

R’Kessin: Yes. That merit does not end. The Akeida---binding of Isaac….was that a one-time deal?—no. The merit of that event has given us merit for 4,000 years! The inherent merit of the avoda—Divine service they did is part of it. But it is the tikkun that was accomplished as a result of their service that remains, that is permanent. That is the reason why Jews go to Rachel’s kever--tomb every year at her yahrzeit on yud-alef Cheshvan—11th of Cheshvan. This tells us that her accomplishment still has merit and that the Jewish people know it.

Participant: Do you think we entered the stage of rehabilitation?

R’Kessin: That will come up. No. We have not entered that stage but that will be part of the preparation of this year. That has to happen. In Torah portion “Netzavim,” G-d says that even if your exiles are at the ends of Heaven, from there I will gather them, take them, and will bring you to the Land flowing with milk and honey. The rehabilitations have to take place within the klippa itself. What are the klippot that surround the Jewish people?—America, Israel, Europe. The rehabilitaton has to start outside of Israel and raise the Jews to the level, a status, where they can accept the mashiach.

The term “yekabetzcha”—I will gather you means He will gather you away from the goyim, separating you from the nations of the world, many of whom are immoral, corrupt, depraved. That is the first stage of rehabilitation. The second stage is marked with G-d saying “yekachecha”-- I will take you to Me. The Jews will have been raised to the Torah. After that they will return to Eretz Yisrael, the Third Temple will come down—as I described in last week’s lecture—and the mashiach will become known. All this is stated with the same verbs or alluded to in that prophetic portion we read on the second day of Rosh ha’Shana. Hopefully the rehabilitation will take place this year.

Participant: The main part of rehabilitation… is that we find a new-found love and interest in the Torah and the mitzvot--commandments? Is that part of ha’Shem opening up the neshamot, consciousness, because how else can He get those (Jews) who have nothing to do with Judaism?

R’Kessin: That is probably part of it at a lower level. In order to get Jews to separate themselves from the nations, there has to be some raising of consciousness. There is no other way except for one way that happened but didn’t last. It was when the Israeli army fought the Jordanians in 1967 and took back the Kotel during the 6-day War, 54 years ago. There was an awakening. People were stunned because, for the first time in thousands of years, the Jews had all of Jerusalem and the Kotel. They wondered if this wasn’t a messianic event. The problem was that it didn’t continue. Had it, perhaps mashiach could have come then. But the Jewish world went back to sleep, unfortunately.

G-d can bring about a tremendous consciousness by a spectacular world event. I can tell you what event that might be. Do you want to hear it?

The Israeli military said that Iran is only seven weeks away from the bomb which means Israel must go to war with Iran. Hopefully, the Biden administration will agree with Israel, but I don’t think they will do anything. Israel will l have to go it alone to destroy their nuclear capability. It will also involve Hezbollah and Hamas. That will be the war that the midrash talks about which says that, at the End of Time, Iran/”Poras” will try to dominate the world, threaten to destroy it. This midrash in the “Yalkut Shimoni” tells us that, at that pivotal moment, a bas kol—Heavenly Voice will pronounce, “Higia zman geulatchem—the time of your Redemption has arisen.

This stunning statement indicates that Iran’s capability to threaten the world will have been destroyed, which is the mullahs who are destroying Iran. If Israel does take them out—which they will---that is the end of the Iranian evil. Maybe Iran can then become democratic. The Iranian people are western in many ways, advanced. When Israel takes them out, it will remove not only Iran itself, but Iran’s support for terrorist entities which are a plague on the entire world. If that happens, what do you think will be the reaction of the Jewish people? In one fell swoop, terror is eliminated because Iran is the mother of all terrorism—Al Qaeda, Isis, etc. That type of event will create a tremendous rise in consciousness in the Jews, enough that they might think that maybe the messiah is right around the corner. G-d can do that with one spectacular historical event. Jews will become conscious that something is happening, a decisive end of evil. Israel must act now to save itself. And this is in perfect alignment with that midrash in the “Yalkut Shomoni” that prophesies exactly this event. It is a messianic prophecy. So, if this happens in seven weeks, what does that say to us? We’re on our way.

This is going to happen. Israel has no choice. Iran cannot finish building the bomb. They’re insane. They, the Shiites hold that the 12th Imam cannot appear until the world is destroyed. It isn’t simply that they look at Israel as an acquisition. It is a theological demand. When the Jews will be victorious, the world will be stunned. That is how it could begin.

Participant: Now we are in the aseret y’mei teshuva—the 10 Days of Repentance. What should we know, do, focus on?

R’Kessin: The main consideration in judgement is like what Moshe asked regarding the situation with the Golden Calf: “Who is with G-d?” In other words, a person should ask themselves, “How can I get involved with spirituality. How can I get involved in Torah, mitzvot, chesed—acts of kindness?” When you do, you are involved within the army of G-d. That’s what G-d wants. It’s not His preoccupation with your individual sins he most cares about but the direction the Jew takes. Though of course he is concerned about your individual teshuva. Many Jews have little or nothing to do with Torah. What disturbs G-d greatly is that the Jew is oblivious. The saving concept of the judgement is that a Jew does teshuva not only on an individual sin, but returning to G-d based on the awareness that one has joined with G-d, to be “with G-d” as Moshe’s question prompts.

Participant: If Israel attacks Iran, what will happen to the Jews there? I’m afraid Iran will take the Jews as hostages. I’m from Iran and many Jews live there.

R’Kessin: Israel is not going to destroy Iran, just the mullahs, their government. First, you take out the weapons. Second, you destroy the government, their infrastructure, their hide-outs, their governmental resources. Israel has the intelligence information that G-d gave them the providence to know. I will come out and say it without reservation: you have to kill these people, not negotiate with them, with evil. You have to destroy evil. This is something the west doesn’t understand. You don’t allow evil to dictate terms to the entire world. The world knows what Iran is. Where is the world, the U.N.? How does it allow them to create such chaos, such turmoil? Besides that, the Iranian people are suffering from shortage of water, inflation, etc. I think the people will support such an overthrow. I don’t see a danger to the Jews. It will happen quickly. Israel can’t sustain a war of months; they must accomplish it in days. That will be so spectacular that all the Jews in the world will wake up and ask, “What happened? This is beyond belief! No more terrorism?” That can do it.

Participant: You spoke at the beginning about those three things which were brought down in Elul like Cuomo etc. Another thing that just came out during the chag--holiday was that Fauci had emails that were leaked which show that he lied to Congress about his having funded the Wuhan Lab to start growing the virus.

R’Kessin: That came out now, that Fauci lied? Well, Fauci is a very evil person. (Vocal agreement being heard in the background among participants.)

Participant: If he ends up getting prosecuted, that would be major.

R’Kessin: That would be the end of the mageifa—plague itself. Fauci is responsible for many deaths. If you think about it, how can you take a virus and increase its capacity to kill? (There was) tremendous negligence in Wuhan, letting a bunch of buffoons take responsibility for a virus that can kill. How can you upgrade a virus that can destroy economies and lives? He should be taken out and shot due to this lab and what he did. Additionally, what about the therapies that he came out against that could have saved lives such as Hydroxychoroquine or Ivermectin or whatever? One of the major opponents of these therapies is Fauci. He is responsible for who knows how many deaths. He should be not only be taken out; he has to be disgraced. That’s good news (that this was uncovered).

Participant: If the (spiritual) energy changed in this new year, 5782, did you feel anything, sense anything?

R’Kessin: Yes. I did sense something and based on what I’ve been saying, I think this year will be a tremendous year for the Jews, just a feeling that I have. The Satan is falling.

Participant: I have another question based on last week’s class. You were talking about the parts of the neshama and how the zoamahspiritual defilement will eventually be eradicated from the neshama itself. Does the zoamah go into all parts of the neshama or only some?

R’Kessin: It doesn’t go into it; it surrounds it. It cannot go into it because the neshama is a part of G-d. It is a klippa, that which surrounds and acts like a shell, just like a shell surrounds the fruit, the kernel of a fruit. It’s a blockage. The Satan takes the nutrients that you should have and blocks it from you. That’s the mechanism, how he operates. The zoamah surrounds it and denies it to you. It doesn’t pervade. The neshama is too holy for anything to penetrate.

Participant: That shell will only be removed when we have t’chiat ha’meitim—resurrection of the dead?

R’Kessin: Yes. The power to envelop a person is removed when the Satan dies. As I said last week, the reason that the zoamah cannot exist in olam Asiya—this World of Action during the messianic era is because the shechina will exist at the level of olam YetziraWorld of Formation. Without zoamah, there is no more klippa or blockage. There may be variations as to the intensity of the Light, but there are no more blockages. The problem by Adam was that, due to the sin, he introduced the concept of blockage. Until then, the variant was how much holiness, Light, there was. Had he not eaten of the fruit, there would have been more Light. But there was no blockage. It stops Light, not just diminishes its intensity.

Participant: Thank you for putting this all together for us.

R’Kessin: Reminds me of a garment, like at a store. I like to use this example. You walk into a store and you see a tapestry and it’s large, like 5x5 feet. You walk to the side and all you see are various threads sticking out. And you say to yourself, this doesn’t make any sense; it looks like chaos. The store owner says, “Excuse me but you’re looking at it from the wrong side. Go around.” You go around and suddenly it looks magnificent. That is like our world. You can only see from one side, the tapestry which is incredible fragmentation—bits, pieces. We can’t figure out what’s going on. The job is to go around and see the magnificent structure the integration. That is what the mashiach does. He takes the information we have that is spread out, fragmented, piecemeal. He gives us the big picture.

Participant: This helps me frame my question. Are there fewer tribes in Afghanistan, now there’s the Taliban, fewer Jews. How are those Jews part of geula?

R’Kessin: There is only one Jew left in Afghanistan; I don’t know if you know that.

Participants: (in unison) They got him out!

R’Kessin: How? He didn’t want to go. Are you serious? He lived on top of the shul.

Participant: A big chassid took him out; Moshe Margaretten is his name. They saved Zevulon Simantov with 30 others. His neighbors came to tell him to leave and take their children and wives with him. It was a five-day procedure and he’s out.

R’Kessin: How did they get him out? There are no flights.

Participant: A Jewish guy, a private thing,…this guy Margeretten handled everything.

R’Kessin: He’s the one who handled Pollard, I think. That’s great.

Participant: Since the Jews all left, doesn’t that mean it could be destroyed because Jews sustain the place where they live?

R’Kessin: The Taliban want to rule. There are about 80,000 Taliban and about 33 million Afghanis. Despite the fact they’re primitive, they’re smart enough to know that they have to become a normalized state. They depend on the world for money, all kinds of goods. They have to make a decision. Will they join mankind or do they not care? We don’t know what they’ll do. There’s no question that they are evil. They’ll chop you up and spit you out. Do they want to become part of the modern world or remain Afghanistan of the 7th century? Once Iran is taken out, that is the end of Hamas and Hezbollah and Al Qaeda and ISIS. They also need money. It would be the beginning of the end of terrorism and a spectacular miracle.

Participant: Afghanistan is spending the weapons left by America for Iran.

R’Kessin: This is the build-up of Iran. The Satan isn’t going to give up Iran. It depends on the (Heavenly) decree. If the time of evil is waning—it must eventually be obliterated—then Iran is finished and the Israelis will be successful. There are 83 million people in Iran, an enormous number. G-d isn’t going to destroy them nor will the Israelis destroy them even though many side with the government. They deserve what they’ve gotten: drought, inflation, Covid; they deserve it; they hate the Jews. But that’s anti-Semitism of the entire world. It will end someday. The first thing to go is evil, especially, the mother of all evil—Iran. You know what is comparable?---when Soviet Communism collapsed, like when the Berlin Wall collapsed. These sent shockwaves in 1989. The Berlin wall collapsed on the 11th Cheshvan! No one could have conceived of that. All these things have a time-line. When the time-line is over, they’re kicked out or obliterated. See? So, it’s not up to the army.

Participant: Seven weeks from now is 11th of Cheshvan.

R’Kessin: Maybe. That’s right. Who knows. But it’s coming up.

Participant: It is also around the time of the Flood.

R’Kessin: Correct.

(Participant points out that the Flood’s anniversary is yud ches Cheshvan—18th of Cheshvan.)

Participant: What do you think about the flooding in NY last week and people drowning?

R’Kessin: Do you read “Netana Tokef” in your Rosh ha’Shana davening--praying where it says about who will live, who will die….? It asks: who will die by drowning, will die by fire? Yes, it’s read during musafthe additional sacrifice or prayer instituted on the Sabbath and the festivals. I thought I was reading from current events! Water all over and, in California, fire. And there’s magefa—plague.

Participants: There’s the building that collapsed. And in China…. last night there was request for prayers for China with flooding like we had here in NY last week.

R’Kessin: Very interesting.