Given: February 28, 2022
We are now in a very interesting period so I want to tell you what I think is going on and what I think it means based on the Divine Plan.
Russia has invaded Ukraine and world is going topsy-turvy for obvious reasons, Russia having broken international law. We know that Putin wants to restore the Russian Soviet empire. The world is in turmoil but not just because of that. There’s the feeling he might invade the Baltic States as well.
What’s going on? As usual, most of peoples’ opinions are askew or totally wrong. I mentioned something a long time ago which I think illustrates well what is happening,
Chess, History, and Edom
Chess is an interesting game. You don’t win in one move. Finally, you hope to corner the king and achieve “checkmate.” Any one move does not necessarily reveal the entire strategy. You can move one pawn, but no one discerns the ultimate objective of that move except the player who moved it. G-D is the Grand Chess Master. G-D can make a move 500 years in the past, designed with a series of steps through the years, to accomplish something hundreds of years later. He has the scope of history and sees everything. So, it’s not easy to understand what any event portends. It is a preparatory event of something that culminates far in the future. The average lifespan of a person is what--80 years? What if the move will bring the outcome in hundreds of years? It requires an eternal being to know the objective.
However, sometimes it is possible to understand a little of the objective and that is what I will try to do in this shiur, to propose the underlying reason why Putin has invaded the Ukraine and has put the world in turmoil.
Various Manifestations of Edom: Rome, Christianity, Western Civilization
What, or who, Russia is in terms of ruchnius--spirituality? We know that Esav, the brother of Ya’akov and son of Yitzchak, became a rasha--evildoer, rogue. We know this from chumash--5 Books of Moses. The Torah says that “Esav zu Edom”--Esav is Edom. His descendants became the Edomite nation, a Middle Eastern kingdom.
The Gemara says, “Edom zu Romi”--Edom became Rome which is, of course, the Italians. Who is Rome today? It’s Christianity, a nation having become a religion and which I’ve spoken about. Christianity became Western Civilization.
Three Characteristics of Esav/Edom
Esav has three characteristics.
One characteristic of Esav is that he is a bal gaiva--master of arrogance. As such, he is represented in the “west” by Russia, particularly under Soviet-communism which was atheistic. Their atheism was expressed by their efforts to stamp out religion; they were highly successful. Their atheism expresses the supreme arrogance of man, believing that he is, mankind is, “it.” Russia under communism was Esav in its worst form. Even though there is no more communism because Putin is not a communist, he is, however, an autocrat and dictator. What we begin to realize is that even though Putin is not communist, he is still what we call the “evil of Esav.”
Europe is the second aspect of Esav, the fraud, the imposter, the deceiver, the mirma. Christianity is, in many ways, a religion that presents itself as ethical, moral but, meanwhile, more people have been killed by Christians throughout thousands of years of history than in all other wars combined. Many of the wars were Christian in nature, battles of Protestants versus Catholics, or Catholics trying to missionize the world. Therefore, Christianity, unfortunately and tragically, and not withstanding what they think, is an extremely hostile and dangerous religion the way it is practiced. They tell you to turn the other cheek if someone strikes you, but they forget to tell you that it is your cheek they will turn. So, Europe is also the evil of Esav.
There is a good part of Esav, however, because he was very great in the mitzva of kibud av v’em--honor of father and mother. That good aspect is America but there is the bad aspect of Esav there too. This third negative part of Esav is called the “taiva”-- pleasure-seeking, hedonistic aspect. It’s not evil--not good either--as we see today, but it doesn’t compare to the evil of Russia or Europe. America, historically, honors liberty, freedom. It has probably been the greatest country the world has ever known. It is the pleasure-loving aspect of Esav which is more benign than the other negative characteristics of Esav and, therefore, of Western Civilization.
We know that, as of late, America is divided. The division is that it has a “ra She’b’Esav,”--a bad aspect too. Today, it is manifest--and I’m not going to dwell on this as I’ve spoken about it extensively--in the Democratic Party which is responsible for an enormous amount of evil, immorality, injustice. The way they run the states that they do, permitting terrible crimes, murder, thievery….so America does have an evil of Esav which, overall, is nowhere near as bad as Europe or Russia.
America also has the really good part, the “tov she’b’Esav.” I’ve mentioned many times that Esav repents at the End of Time and becomes a true brother to Ya’akov, assisting Ya’akov to do the tikkun--rectification to bring in the mashiach. I’ve mentioned many times too that Israel is that “brother,” is Ya’akov Avinu, and Trump represents that tov she’b’Esav that will assist Israel to do its job.
We now have an understanding of the “division of Esav” between Russia, Europe and America, divisions between Esav’s good and evil.
We are living in a time which is very close to the messianic era and, without repeating much of what I’ve already spoken of extensively, the Ribono Shel Olam brought out the good part of Esav which is Donald Trump. Barring his personal character flaws, during those four years, he did tremendous good for America and Israel. His policies were enormously beneficial to America and helped Israel in so many ways. He initiated peace between Arabs, and so on.
In a certain sense, the messianic era has begun, which I’ve talked about and don’t want to repeat, however, what the Ribono Shel Olam--Master of the Universe has done is to put this “stage one” of the messianic era “on hold” by removing Trump, removing the process of Esav doing teshuva as expressed in the turn-around of America and its efforts to assist the Jews.
The world is now, especially since the US Supreme Court sanctioned same-sex marriage, evil. The court rendered its verdict that you cannot discriminate against same-gender marriages. The LGBTQ movement is a terrible development equalizing this generation to that of the mabul--Flood. G-D wants to end it because America is not going to regret what it’s done, not reverse it, so the world is headed for a horrific spiritual decline. America, as a “beacon” to the world, means this is happening globally.
G-D seems to have decided to end it, press the “re-tart button” to start the messianic process but had put it “on hold” because justice says: wait a minute! You can’t bring mashiach because the Jews, the world don’tt deserve it.
G-D says: you’re right, so I’m going to satisfy justice by bringing pain and suffering to the world. The beginning of that was Covid--and this is the important idea to focus on and which I’ve mentioned--the Democratic Party represented by Biden, the Progressives and Liberals, all of these evil entities are the evil of Esav; that’s their status in Heaven. G-D is now beginning to overturn them. We see that Biden is down in the dumps in terms of public sentiment. The polls show he’s down to 32% which is graveyard! Biden is down, Harris is in the 20’s, and the Democratic Party knows they will be slaughtered in the next election. I believe they will be destroyed because they are responsible for the deterioration of America. This is the great tragedy. Historically, America has done great chesed in terms of foreign aid and, in many ways, has been righteous, but has deteriorated. G-D might say to Himself: I think the time has come to destroy them. We see this in the poll numbers. Many Americans now see what Biden is--an empty suit, and that, fundamentally, it was a colossal mistake to have made him president. Everything he’s done has been destructive. In one year, we see the descent. The southern border is completely open, efforts toward energy independence have been abandoned, crime is rampant, inflation….and all of this is the fault of the Democratic Party and Biden.
What G-D is doing is destroying Biden et al. Biden wants a legacy as the greatest progressive president but, instead, he will be the laughing stock of American history. He will be among the worst three presidents in history. If you’re wondering who they are: James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover, and Joe Biden.
We see that the g’zera--decree that evil may dominate is exactly what justice has demanded because the Jews don’t deserve Redemption and so G-D has brought suffering to the entire world, but we see that it is ending! If that’s the case (in America), then G-D is reversing things, and the messianic process will restart: the Democratic Party will lose, Trump will run and win in 2024 but, this time, he will have learned his lesson. I don’t want to get into the mistakes he made, but he will pick up from where he left off to not only repeat his motto: “Make America Great Again,” but to have to make it great again, obviously, because they’ve done so much damage.
Since the g’zera against the good of Esav seems to be ending and G-D is taking out the evil part, that’s what we’re watching, given that G-D will “take out,” the evil part of Esav. With this background understanding, we can begin to understand what G-D is doing. Remember one thing: whatever G-D does is multi-deterministic, having many objectives. I will tell you a number of objectives that can result from what Putin is doing.
First, what Putin is doing is absurd. He has no claim against Ukraine. It has its own sovereignty. He’s acting like Genghis Khan. He wants to restore the Soviet empire, having delusions of grandeur perhaps. What’s interesting is that he’s taking such tremendous risk. We are living in a world that is more united and able and willing to take a stand together to maintain world order. It’s gone through two world wars that destroyed so many lives, so many societies. The world is more united to prevent that. That’s one of the reasons you have the U.N., to prevent the former behavior of mankind when one nation would pick itself up to attack others for conquest, to extract tribute, for power or honor and glory--whatever the excuse was. Therefore, Putin is taking a dangerous chance. He’s harmed his international reputation. He’s being looked upon as a monster, creating turmoil and destruction. There are many dictators but he's created for himself a rep for being ruthless and cruel, particularly because the world is interconnected and perceives itself as such. A nation cannot remain a nation on its own. In terms of trade, alliances, a country cannot just do what it wants if it wants to survive.
Besides all this, it’s possible that the sanctions placed on Russia, being thrown out of the SWIFT banking system, having the wealth of its richest citizens confiscated, could result in profound economic depression. Russia is, actually, a third-world nation in some ways, poor economically. The ruble is, basically, worthless. No one wants rubles, wants to sell them anything for rubles. They are dependent on world currency and if they are ostracized from the dollar, they’re finished. It’s possible that the country will revolt against Putin. He’s threatening his stability in his own country. This may be the way to get rid of Putin, to get rid of the evil of Russia that may start a movement to make Russia more democratic. Putin’s actions could result in his overthrow indicating that the overthrow of the evil of Esav is underway.
Europe and Ukraine
Europe too is in turmoil. Ukraine is a very strange nation, very anti-Semitic. In 1648-1657 the pogroms of the Khmelnytsky Uprising murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews. He and his Cossacks went through Eastern Europe and killed Jews. They have a statue of this guy in Kyiv, I think. Ukraine has long been anti-Semitic. In WW2, there were anti-Semitic atrocities that were, some say, worse than those of the Nazis. I don’t mean to suggest that all Ukrainians are anti-Semites, but such sentiment has been part of Ukrainian history to a very severe degree. G-D is enacting “payback,” subjecting them to what they deserve. I’m not saying all deserve this--of course not--but, on G-D’s scales, Ukraine has a terrible anti-Semitic history. This current situation is part of G-D’s multi-deterministic tactics, payback for what it has been doing.
What’s going to increase as a result of all this is inflation which is already going through the roof. The price of oil will continue to go up and you’ll be paying $5-6 per gallon which will bankrupt many making it even worse for Biden et al. So, the third idea is that America’s intolerance for the inflation--which could go to 10%--will destroy the Democratic Party’s agenda and itself.
Something that is very dangerous as a result of what Putin has been doing is to justify many nations entering a nuclear arms race because he’s activated a nuclear energy contest by threatening the use of a hydrogen bomb. The world can now justify such investment in nuclear weapons. It’s a nuclear arms race. Many countries are totally irresponsible and could, G-D-forbid, use such weapons. As such, the world is at the brink of destruction. If many nations develop such weapons, the world could be destroyed. Somebody could make a mistake and launch such a war.
Global Annihilation: the 49th Gate
Why is G-D allowing the world to reach such a dangerous point? The world could never utterly destroy itself for thousands of years. There have been conquerors such as Genghis Khan, the Barbarians, who were, at their time, the greatest of nations conquering the greatest amount of real estate in the world, but they couldn’t destroy the world. Even the conquest of a nation, even several conquests resulting in the killing of millions, doesn’t constitute the obliteration of the entire world. Now, that capability exists for the world to destroy itself completely.
One of the reasons that G-D has allowed this to proceed is because the world has reached the “mem-tes-sha’arei-tuma”--the 49th Level of Defilement, of contamination. Therefore, the enormous degradation, degeneration, and depravity makes the world subject to the mabul--Flood. I’ve mention this before, that the reason for the Flood was, for the most part, the result of the sexual perversions pervasive at that time. It’s exactly like today. The world is, judicially, guilty and deserving of death. G-D then renders a verdict that says that the world should be capable of its own destruction although He will not let this happen. G-D would say: I won’t let you do it but this is what you’re worthy of.
The war that is going on now with the Ukraine is part and parcel of the g’zera--decree to increase evil but which is also a sign of reversal. Such vents have to occur to begin to remove the world’s evil, to restore the messianic process, to allow Trump to become President again to help the Jewish people to usher in the messianic era.
Distraction From the Real Danger, Iran
There’s one more thing going on which could be the main reason why this has been happening. This is a classic example of G-D making a move that has its culminating result years later. In 1990, Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded Kuwait. Why did he do that? Did he really think the world would sit by and take all the oil when so many nations need that oil?--of course not. He was a moron. All these guys are! Putin is supposed to be worth, according to estimates, 40 billion dollars! What he could have done is raise and elevate the economy of Russia so it could become a great nation. Russia, historically, has given the world much in the way of science, engineering, literature. Instead of Putin running around trying to flex his muscle for the betterment of Russia, what he should have done….what does he need 40 billon for? He could have taken Russia’s resources and benefitted Russia. Instead, he’s interested in extending Russia’s influence for the purpose of garnering power.
That’s the problem with all these dictators. It’s all about them. It’s never about the people. To the extent it betters anything for the general population, it’s still about their own prestige. Of course Putin didn’t do the right thing because he’s a fool. He was given a stunning opportunity but he blew the whole thing.
This is like Saddam Hussein who wants to take over Kuwait. The nations fought against him because they thought he had weapons of mass destruction which, in the end, he didn’t and got killed. He was a terrible, terrible human being, torturing people, he and his sons but, without getting into that…. he had his motives, whatever they were.
What that war did do was make America think that Iraq is the enemy, not Iran. Meanwhile, the real enemy of mankind is Iran but, because they went to war with Iraq, with Hussein, Iran was quietly becoming nuclear. That war against Hussein distracted America and the world from the real danger.
Long ago, I mentioned a midrash in “Yalkut Shimoni,” in “Yeshayahu,” section 299, which says, “b’shavua” (in the seven year cycle) that the Mashiach ben David comes, “Poras,”--Iran, will instigate a war with “Arav”--Arabia who will consult with “Edom” and the outcome will be that Poras will begin to destroy the world. This was written 2,000 years ago. As a result, the midrash notes that the Jews will go back and forth in confusion and fear until, suddenly, a “bas kol”--Divine voice will declare, “Don’t worry! Everything I have done is only for the sake of the Jews and the Redemption.” G-D utters the words, “higia zman geulaschem”---the time of your Redemption has arrived. The war between Iran and the Jewish people and, secondarily, with the world, is the LAST WAR before the preliminary stage of the messianic era truly begins. This is what the midrash says. This is a very important idea.
This is why I’ve always maintained that Iran will become nuclear and that G-D has sent these Dark events to distract America and the world from the real enemy--Iran. They have been building nuclear weapons. We know what Obama did--which is insane--giving Iran, unbeknownst to even them, the ability to establish a termination time for this world’s existence, after which the messianic era is truly underway. This aspect of it was inadvertent. How could a person do what Obama did, give Iran full allowance to develop nuclear weapons? Biden is doing the same thing. Biden and his backers know what Iran is and that they are responsible for all the terror that goes on in the entire Middle East and elsewhere yet they don’t care.
All of this is Divine planning. That’s the midrash. The last war that Israel will have will be with Iran and they are building nuclear weapons and can, therefore, threaten the world and they are. We know what they’re going to do. They, as Shi’ites, want to become the conquerors of the entire Middle East and restore the Islamic Empire. The majority of Arabs are Sunnis and are, therefore, frightened of Iran. The Shi’ite sect of Islam is a “butchering” religion, yet America completely capitulates to this. America is now negotiating with Iran and giving in. They’re allowing Iran to have whatever they need. It’s beyond belief!
With Putin/Russia invading Ukraine, who is thinking about Iran?--nobody! What’s happening has become a major distraction from Iran. It’s another Saddam Hussein distraction. This will result in a crisis for Israel and it also justifies every country’s thrust, including Iran, to become nuclear. They say they have to do this to protect themselves from Russia or China. All this has certainly worked to Iran’s advantage. This is what sets the stage, in a very short time, for the final confrontation between Iran/Islam and Israel. Like the midrash says, “The time for your Redemption has arrived.”
We are now in a shmittah year and the Gemara says, in Sanhedrin, that the shmitta begins the messianic era. The year itself is predictive of a messianic time.
Another interesting thing is that G-D is accelerating the emigration of Ukrainian Jews to Israel.
To review the main ideas: G-D is terminating the power and dominion of the evil of Esav; we see it all around us. G-D is allowing a nuclear arms race to proliferate in keeping with the world’s descent to the 49th Gate. G-D is creating a distraction from the war that will likely ensue, the last war.
We have to hope that this is true, that all of this is a preparation for the imminent messianic era which we cannot even begin to comprehend.
Q & A
Participant: Do you think Russia is doing this to keep the world distracted from Iran?
R’Kessin: No! It has nothing to do with that. Russia is doing it for its own reasons. I’m saying that G-D is using this to distract the world away from Iran. It’s not Russia’s intent; it’s part of His plan. Just like Hussein with Iraq was part of the plan to allow America to think Iraq was the enemy when it was Iran that is the enemy. It was to allow, subtly, to allow Iran to fulfill this last prophecy.
Participant: How long do we need to be distracted?
R’Kessin: They’re pretty close to having a bomb. Remember, it’s not just Iran. It’s also the evil of Esav that is slowly being destroyed. It’s both. There are two objectives here.
Participant: Do you think this could become WW3?
R’Kessin: No. Nothing is to be gained by WW3--nothing. There will be confrontations but it won’t be a world war. Like I’ve said, a WW3 is a war that destroys all mankind. WW2 couldn’t do that. They could take out a nation, harm parts of the world, but not the entire world. But today, with hypersonic missiles, hydrogen bombs, the entire planet could be wiped out. The amount of destruction….one bomb in the middle of New York would kill perhaps five million people and wipe out most of the real estate. It would be incalculable. It would make the area radioactive for a thousand years. That is NOT part of the Divine Plan. The world is threatened by evil people, that’s it.
Participants: Where does Mashiach ben Yosef fall into place here?
R’Kessin: Well, like I say, what we’re looking for is the g’zera of the galus--exile, of the klipa--contamination to end. That is the pekida--G-D’s “remembrance” to activate the Redemption. At a certain point in time, it will end, just like Egypt. There’s a time when the decree of punishment, of suffering is over. Instantly---G-D does not delay--it goes from Darkness to Light. That is what we’re waiting for. We don’t know how long the exile will continue, how long evil with dominate, but there has to come a time, just like Egypt, when the decree ends. As soon as the judgment against the Satan is initiated, he’s destroyed. G-D does not wait. What protects all these rasha’im--evil ones is the Satan and his prosecutions. As such, he’s a great defense attorney for the evil of the world. Eventually, he runs out of valid arguments to defend them. Immediately, the judgment is pronounced, the sentence is enacted and they’re destroyed, like Egypt. It will come soon. Soon. You see it will come soon because the evil is already being reversed. We see it in America already.
Take a city like Chicago. In the last ten years--I’m trying to recall the statistic--could be 6 or could be 9--nine thousand blacks have been murdered in a ten-year period. Any idea what the heavenly indictment must be against the civic government of Chicago whose responsibility it is to prevent it? Every black person murdered will, ultimately, be revenged. Those people who could have prevented it will be incredibly punished, especially the judges and government officials. This is true of many cities in America. I’m using example of just one city. Every window in New York that was broken on 5th Avenue last year because the BLM (Black Lives Matter) were destroying businesses all over the place….that “human” who really is not a human, DeBlasio, who allowed this to happen… every penny that a person had to spend to fix the broken window--forget about the aggravation--this man has no idea what his punishment will look like when the wheels of justice finally put him in the defense seat. In fact, none of them do. They think they can get away with this. DeBlasio, because he happened to be the mayor, thinks he’s impervious to payback.
When a person takes upon himself the responsibility of public office, he accepts an awesome responsibility and, if he falters because of negligence or stupidity or just bad character, he has no idea what will occur when the wheels of justice stop at him; he’s finished. We’re looking at all these people who make tremendous mistakes thinking they get away with it.
Just as an aside, what appalls me are the actions of government organizations and their representatives such as the CDC, the FDA, and NIH. Instead of protecting lives, they contributed to the deaths of American citizens. Many have become murderers because they have forbidden Hydroxychloriquine, Ivermectin, or monochromal antibodies, or whatever was proven safe! The protocol was made unavailable. You couldn’t even get it in a pharmacy. Why? We’re talking about human lives! They didn’t care because they wanted money, had invested in the pharmaceutical “alternative.” Do they have any idea how justice will look upon them for this? When that time comes, you don’t want to be even a million miles from these people when the judgement of G-D comes at them. They are murderers. They have contributed to the agony of people who had to die alone, hardly breathing, hospital isolation wards. Can you imagine the agony of dying alone without comfort of wife, children, because a murderer sitting in some government position won’t allow him to try to save his life! We cannot comprehend that but they will understand it at a future time. People forget that there’s a G-D and accountability by Him for their actions. G-D does not forget. G-D cannot be bribed and He knows exactly the weight of the guilt, the culpability, that people have. It’s astounding to watch how many people will be judged as unbelievably evil people.
When such evil stops, that’s the messianic era. That’s what we want. We want the g’zera to end. Even if it doesn’t begin quickly, it has to end. The evil has to stop. The domination of evil must stop. That is what we pray for. Therefore, the good can begin to develop, grow, prosper. That is in very short order.
Participant: My question is not from this class but from a previous class. Remember when you told us that Mashiach ben Yosef is two people, like Moshe and Aharon were?
R’Kessin: I offered that, yes.
Participant: When I was reading the parasha when we did the chet ha’egel--sin of the golden calf and Moshe didn’t come down, why didn’t B’nei Yisrael turn to Aharon? Why did they feel the need to turn to the making of an egel when they had Aharon there as the other half of Moshe, as the deliverer. Why wouldn’t they turn to him versus making the egel?
R’Kessin: Good question. The idea is this. Does anyone really know who Aharon really was? He was a tremendous tzadik--righteous individual, obviously. Do we recognize who he is spiritually? Aharon is not the source. What the Jews wanted was a leader who was a source, who’s not telling you what someone else said (hearsay). With Moshe gone, the source, the connection to G-D is gone so, from their point of view: what is Aharon going to do for us? Even he needed Moshe. They wanted to build a god to be a source that, somehow, would be able to lead them to Eretz Yisrael. The problem was that the Jews were slaves for centuries. A slave doesn’t do anything on his own. He only does something when his master directs him; that’s slave mentality. He’s a follower, not a leader. With Moshe gone, they are slaves, back in Egypt and in desperate need of a leader. Aharon is an incredible person, brilliant, but he’s not the Divine source they had known in Moshe. Moshe was the source of prophecy and the guidance he got from it so, if Moshe is not around, they have to build a god which, kabbalistically, is what the egel was. Aharon could not replace Moshe.
Participant: Even if they knew that G-D spoke to Aharon. Isn’t that enough of a connection?
R’Kessin: Moshe is different. It’s hard to imagine a man speaking to a being that is not only infinite, but is completely different than we. That Moshe was zoche--worthy to speak with G-D is… Aharon was not assigned to be a leader like Moshe. Since Moshe’s not there, that’s it.
Participant: When does Moshe Rabbeinu come back into the picture?
R’Kessin: …when we have Mashiach ben David. The three leaders of the Jewish people into the messianic era are: Mashiach ben Yosef, Mashiach ben David, and Moshe Rabbeinu.
Participant: When does Eliyahu Ha’Navi come in?
R’Kessin: He announces the entry right before, announces what’s about to happen.
Participant: He announces Mashiach ben David or ben Yosef?
R’Kessin: It would seem he announces Mashiach ben David. The world by Mashiach ben Yosef remains natural--teva--while the world by Mashiach ben David is supernatural, no more death--forget about it! Mashiach ben Yosef has to contend with a world that is natural and, within that, destroys evil, the nations of the world. Eliyahu will be the forerunner of the Mashiach ben David.
Participant: Going back to what you were saying about Ukraine being punished for being an anti-Semitic target….
R’Kessin: I don’t want to be misunderstood. I’m not saying that everyone in Ukraine deserves punishment, not saying that at all. Ukraine as a nation allowed who-knows-how-many Jews to be slaughtered by Ukrainians. It has a long history of that. I find it interesting--if I remember it correctly--that Putin actually said that one of the reasons why he wants to go into Ukraine is to “de-nazify” it. I think he actually said that. That is an almost a prophetic insight into the national Ukrainian character, from a national standpoint. Many say that the Ukrainians and Lithuanians--I don’t want to leave them out--were worse than the Nazis. They would gather together and kill Jews. What kind of a country is that? They’ve been punished but it seems that, for some reason, G-D is revisiting punishment on Ukraine by taking away its sovereignty, We don’t know really what’s going to happen. This whole thing is in a stage of flux, changing day by day. It could drag on for quite a while until we see the results of this war.
Participant: So, for the next months, this is what we’ll be dealing with?
R’Kessin: Yes. This is not a crisis that will easily go away in a week. Putin is not going to give up. He’s got to save face. He’s heavily invested in taking over. He’s put down his last card, as they say, and can’t afford to reverse the situation.
Participant: I don’t understand what he’s doing. He’s losing more than he’s gaining.
R’Kessin: I don’t think Putin has free will. G-D took away his free will so that he’d do this. What Putin is doing makes absolutely no sense. It’s a clear act of aggression. He wants the Soviet to be restored, but who is he?
Participant: You said that what’s happening now with Ukraine is a big distraction so now people are forgetting about Iran and that, if we could just stop speaking loshon ha’ra--evil, derogatory speech, the prosecutions would stop. So, the world is consumed with terror of this invasion now and seem to have more unity against the aggression and may not be using so much loshon ha’ra. Maybe it’s a way to distract us from saying mean things to each other.
R'Kessin: Maybe G-D has introduced a different topic to talk about other than ourselves. Maybe. That could be part of the ideas, sure.