I want to continue with the story of Ya’akov and Esav, a story that has tremendous repercussions for today’s world. Last week’s lecture covered what would have happened had Esav done teshuva, which, of course, he didn’t because Ya’akov didn’t realize that it was a momentous opportunity.
There are a couple things I want to mention first which, I believe, are very noteworthy. We see that there are many leaders and righteous people, tzaddikim, g’dolim—great scholars, who are dying. It is true that many are old, in their 90’s, but there are young people as well who would have many more years to influence people. Also, I once mentioned a statistic from a study done in London in which they estimate that there are 15.1 million Jews in the world—not many—and that 2.1 million of that community is estimated to be the number that observe the Torah at whatever level. This means that thirteen million Jews, according to this statistic, are gone, either assimilated or intermarried, integrating them into the non-Jewish world, or they are completely unaffiliated. Who would ever imagine that this, ultimately, would happen in the Torah world, that Judaism would dwindle toward disappearance.
The question is: what does this mean, really, based on the Divine Plan of Creation? What is G-D doing? He never did this before, where so many are disappearing. We don’t understand what G-D is doing in an absolute sense, but there is something that is very interesting; I mentioned it a long time ago. There’s a pasuk—verse that says, “v’lo sishochach Torah m’zaroh”—the Torah will never be forgotten from His seed, meaning from the among the Jewish people. It won’t be forgotten. What’s interesting about that verse is that all it takes is ten Jews, even one Jew, to know the Torah and, therefore, it won’t be forgotten. In the meanwhile, 99.99% can forget it. The pasuk doesn’t seem to be saying so much that G-D will protect the Torah that it won’t be forgotten. It’s almost as if it is saying that this diminishment is what will happen, that we’ll reach a point at the End of Time when things are so bad, that there’s such great Darkness, that only a handful of Jews will remain religious. We see this.
This doesn’t pertain to just one country. We see this all over the world. There will always be Jews and Judaism because there is a vibrant Torah community so there are good things happening but, when you consider the stats, it’s about 88%, an enormous amount, that are totally gone. What seems to be the design of G-D? Why is He allowing this to happen, especially when we witnessed what happened with Covid; it took a lot of Jewish people, many righteous people, talmidei chachamim—scholars, rosh yeshivas—leaders of the educational communities, etc.
What is G-D’s agenda that He’s doing this? Clearly, that’s what He’s doing. You can consider it from various perspectives but my thesis is the following: G-D wants to know, ultimately speaking, is the extent to which the Jews will stick with Judaism, with the Torah. The Plan seems to establish that, no matter how many G-D takes away, how many persecutions there are like the Holocaust, how many tragedies and destructions—especially now with the rise in anti-Semitism—to what extent will their loyalty remain intact? He’s simply creating a situation that will reveal how many Jews will believe in G-D, stick with Judaism, stick with the Torah. In a sense, it’s the ultimate test of the Jewish faith. To what extent will the Jews stay with G-D? So, He’s removing those elements of Jewish life that promote Judaism, that reinforce Jewish values and Torah observance. This is the Darkness He’s surrounded us with.
If you recall a lecture I gave about the akeida—binding of Yitzchak, I said that G-D used that as an argument against the Satan’s argument of “Why do you love them so much?” to which G-D, seemingly, responded with: look, even when I tell Avraham to kill Yitzchak, he’ll do it! He will not abandon Me. G-D can then say to the Satan: measure-for-measure, if they won’t abandon Me, notwithstanding the incredibly difficult circumstances I put them in, how can I abandon them? Measure-for-measure.
Egypt had a very similar circumstance. The Jews were redeemed from Egypt, basically, because they didn’t change their names, their language, or their dress. In every other way, they probably looked like Egyptians. They behaved like Egyptians, worshipped idols, but they did maintain their identity of the Jew. They kept their names despite their terrible situation enduring slavery and other punishment. Despite all this, they refused to give up their essential Jewish identity.
G-D wants to introduce difficulty, Darkness, an anti-Jewish climate. He wants to see: how Dark do I have to make it and what will be their response. G-D “needs”—obviously He doesn’t need anything—in a manner of speaking, wants to present this justification against the satanic arguments; look how Dark it is, how many g’dolim, leaders, great tzaddikim I’ve taken away and they still stick with Me so I cannot abandon them at all. Their loyalty is the merit for their Redemption. This is what the chazal tell us in the Talmud about Egypt.
This is G-D’s justification when the Satan claims: why rescue them, redeem them? They sin.
G-D answers: that’s true, but they refuse to give up Judaism. Therefore, when they sin, they still retain the major elements of their identity as Jews. Like in Egypt, even though the Jews were at the mem-tet-sha’arei tumah—49th Gate of Defilement—sinning for sure or else how do you descend to that level?—yet they would not shed the major elements that spoke to their Jewishness. This was demonstrable loyalty. No matter what I do, take so many great Jewish neshamos—souls, yet they are loyal to me, even in a small sense.
Today, the Jews are spread throughout the world. In Egypt they were of one common language and had a common dress and names but now that the Jews are spread out all over with different names, manner of dress and so on... A Jew in Persia has a different name than a Jew in Israel or America. Of course, the language is different. Where is the loyalty? What is the common denominator? Jews will stick with some type of identifying element. There are many Jews who can demonstrate their loyalty to Judaism through their support of the State of Israel. They see the state as “Jewish” so that’s an identifying element. There are people who are definitely not religious and yet they give money to yeshivas in order to support the continuity of Jewish tradition. So, Jews can demonstrate their steadfastness in many, many ways. G-D gives the opportunity to say “I’m proud to be a Jew” even though they don’t do a thing in terms of observance.
From our perspective, it’s very bad because every time He takes a righteous person and a certain ”Light” goes out, but that’s the test, to see how low we can go. Hence, all the current difficulties. There are those who say that the current climate of anti-Semitism is like Germany was in 1935 or 1937. That’s how bad it is. There has to be a rationale as to why G-D seems to be taking so many lofty Jewish souls in the midst of this, especially since the advent of Covid, This is why we see so many luminaries dying. Our job is to take whatever G-D throws at us and remain loyal and show that we still want to be close to Him, that we want Him to take over, want Him to end the exile and build the Beis Ha’Mikdash and bring mashiach.
A Very Bad Time
I want to mention something auspicious, that America has now entered a very bad time. How? We know that on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution so that you cannot discriminate against anybody in terms of who a person can marry. A person can marry whoever they want. They redefined “marriage,” not as being a union between a man and a woman. I’ve commented on this saying it is an interpretation of the Constitution. Until now, it was not federal law. On December 13th of this year, 2022, the Congress passed a law signed by President Joe Biden creating a federal law, the ”Marriage Act,” making it unlawful to discriminate against such unions. It’s the law of the land. It bolsters the Supreme Courts interpretation. America has now entered a very bad time—very.
As I’ve mentioned, the “Midrash Rabbah,” in parashas—Torah portion “Noach,” says that what sealed the decree of the mabul—Flood, that cataclysmic event which destroyed all living things except Noach and his family, destroyed the entire planet, was the requirement to obtain a marriage contract if a man wanted to marry another man or an animal. Could you imagine that! You would have a ketuba—marriage contract written which spelled out your responsibilities to your spouse, whoever, whatever that was. G-D will not tolerate that because that’s, fundamentally, the end of reproduction and a threat to His Creation. So, G-D manifested His lack of sufferance with: enough is enough; I’m going to wipe out mankind, which He did.
America has now entered into that class of nations which are incredibly corrupt, especially in the matter of marriage. We could say that America is no longer the “United States of America” but the “United Sodomites of America,” Sdom, the equivalent of the Generation of the Flood—very dangerous, very dangerous.
I believe that now that America has disgraced itself with that law, Israel will rise. As I have mentioned, the principle is that, when Esav goes down, the Jews go up. We know that from when Rivka went to get a prophecy about what was happening when the twins within her were contending and agitating and she was told that she would bear two great nations that would never be equal. When one is down, downtrodden, the other’s mazal—fortune will rise, and vice-versa.
The Analogue of Chanukah
We just passed Chanukah. What, essentially, is Chanukah about? As I’ve said, it is miraculous but what is the accomplishment of Chanukah? The Jews reasserted their belief in G-D and that G-D is the ultimate source of existence, of everything. Therefore, they rededicated the Temple, the Beis Ha’Mikdash. They fought not only against the Greeks. Many people aren’t aware that there were many Jews that adapted Hellenism as a way of life. They are called the “messiavnim”—the Greek bearers, those who bear the Greek philosophy of Hellenism. There were many. When the Jews fought the Greeks and won, they also overcame the forces of the messiavnim, those Jews that observed the Hellenistic way of life.
What really happened during Chanukah was a conflict of ideologies, of perception of reality. Therefore, it’s interesting to consider what is happening now in Israel. It has achieved a very interesting status. There are no longer “progressive” or “leftist” elements to be sworn into the Israeli government. They are forming a coalition which is predominantly “right-wing,” conservative. They are, basically, strongly favorable for the state’s security and benefits and advantages which will now accrue to the religious—yes! They will pass a law in which learning Torah is considered a basic value of Judaism, equal to that accorded a secular education. That’s a major step and it was during this Chanukah when the coalition was being formed. That’s when Netanyahu announced that coalition formation was successful.
This development mirrors what happened during the inception of Chanukah, a time when the religious Jews defeated not only the Greeks but the messiavnim, those Jews who adhered to Greek culture. Those “leftists” and “progressives” of Israel, like Lapid, like Meretz, like Leiberman, like Labor, are all out! The others have a tiny number of seats in the opposition. They are the equivalent of messiavnim, the Eirev Rav who fought, especially last year, against Torah, fought it adamantly. They are out! Hopefully, what will happen will be many beneficial laws passed in the service of Torah and mitzvos, in the service of authentic Judaism. What just happened is the same that happened thousands of years ago.
America has now descended into the pit of incredible depravity and immorality. I’m not even going into the insanity of the constant breaching of the southern border, the crime in the cities, the lawlessness, the economy. The moral decay and depravity is more evident in what they’re doing to young kids in the school system; it is beyond belief.
On the other side, in Israel, is the rejection of the messiavnim, the Eirev Rav, the secularists. I’m sure these opponents of the new government’s stance are steaming and fuming and there’s nothing they can do about it. It’s very good news. This is what’s happening in current events and it happened on Chanukah.
The Continuing Saga of Esav’s Teshuva
Let’s return now to the relationship between Ya’akov and Esav which influences today’s events. Let’s review some very important ideas I spoke about last week, what would have happened had Esav done teshuva. I pointed out that this lack of repentance is alluded to in one word, “l’darko”—his path. The verse says that Esav returned “l’darko”—his path, his derech. This doesn’t pertain to his geographical journey but to his temperament for sinning because Ya’akov failed to know, to recognize, the extent of Esav’s inclination to do teshuva. I spoke about the many amazing things that would have happened had he recognized and acknowledged it.
What follows from this is yet something else. What the Ribono Shel Olam—Master of the Universe did is interesting. Esav wanted to do teshuva, could have done it, began to do it but was denied that opportunity to fulfill it; that’s what we know. Therefore, G-D said that, at the End of Time, or even during history, there would be times that Esav would restore himself doing teshuva, at least in the sense of the prophecy given by Shem v’Ever which says, “Rav ya’avod tza’ir”—the elder will serve the younger, the decisive prophecy of the relationship between Esav and Ya’akov Avinu.
The Ribono Shel Olam disclosed that: since Esav demonstrated teshuva in his saying to Ya’akov “Let that which is yours be yours,” meaning Esav had charata—regret or, at least, to some extent, a change of mind about the stolen blessings though Ya’akov failed to recognize it, therefore over the course of history, I will give your descendants the ability to assist the Jews to actualize “rav ya’avod tza’ir.” The elder will assist the Jews. We’ve seen it several times in history. I will point out a few.
Examples of Prophecy Borne Out in History
The chazal—sages bring down the story of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, a Roman Emperor, and his relationship with Rabbi Yehuda Ha’Nasi, the author of the Mishna and one of the greatest of the rabbis who lived two thousand years ago. There are interesting stories that illustrate the togetherness of these two people and illustrates that G-D didn’t abandon Esav but, rather, wants Esav to help the Jews do the tikkun—rectification.
The emperor of Rome made a decree that the Jews cannot do circumcision. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, the nasi—president of the Sanhedrin at that time, obviously one of the greatest of the generation, didn’t obey and he circumcised his son. Who was his son?—Rebbe Yehuda Ha’Nasi, the “prince.” The Romans found out and condemned him to death. In some way, he was able to deny the charges so they told Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel that, if he hadn’t circumcised his son, he should send his son, along with his wife, to either Rome or Judea—I’m not sure which—and convince, prove, that he didn’t do it. His wife went with the infant to argue in favor of circumcision. It could have killed them.
She went to an inn overnight and met a woman, the mother of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Apparently, they became very good friends and the mother of Rav Yehuda H’aNasi told her of the decree and that she was unsure if she’d survive and could the emperor be coaxed into sparing their lives.
The woman agreed to help her. She too had recently given birth and, obviously, her baby had not been circumcised because, “we don’t do that,” and proposed that they switch babies. She would give the wife of Rabban Gamliel her son, who was Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, telling her to take him instead to the emperor to show him that you never did circumcise him. She would take the son of Rav Gamliel for safekeeping.
She did as they planned. How would the authorities know this was not her child? They said: okay. If that’s the case then you’re free. She returned to the inn, gave Marcus Aurelius Antoninus back to his mother, this child who had just, inadvertently, as an infant, saved the life of Rav Yehuda Ha’Nasi. He was instrumental in saving Rav Yehuda’s life. The wife of Rav Shimon Gamliel was profoundly grateful, certainly. The woman told her that, since her child and Rav Shimon Gamliel’s child’s fates were now intertwined, she would like for them to remain friends and that’s exactly what happened.
Antoninus grew up to become an Emperor of Rome—G-D arranging all this; it’s nothing to do with human endeavor—and during a portion of his rule, he lived in Tiveria/Tiberias and so did Rebbe. Apparently, they reacquainted themselves and Antoninus realized the greatness of Rebbe Yehuda Ha’Nasi and became close to him. Antoninus would visit Rebbe through some type of secret passageway, or something like that.
What’s interesting about this is, since Antoninus liked Rebbe so much, he did certain things which the chazal discuss in the Gemara.
Once Rebbe was not feeling well and took to his bed. Apparently, the bed was high off the floor and there was no stool to aid him in climbing onto his bed. Antoninus, in response, bent down on all fours and told Rebbe: step on me, to use him as a stepstool—and this from the Emperor of Rome! Could you believe this!
Rebbe responded telling him: I can’t do that! You’re the Emperor of Rome! A person has to respect such a head-of-state, especially of Rome.
Antoninus told him, “I only wish that your using me as a footstool in this world will be the same as that in a future world.”
This shows you the incredible relationship that Antoninus had with Rebbe. The interesting things about their relationship is that—remember—Rebbe was a descendant of the House of David and Antoninus is Esav, the Emperor of Rome. He was probably a gilgul--reincarnation of Esav. Their relationship demonstrates the ultimate relationship between Esav/Edom and Ya’akov, that Edom will assist Ya’akov in the tikkun process.
Did that happen?—yes. Most people are unaware that the ability of Rebbe to write the Mishnayos, the ultimate expression of the Oral Law, the Torah she’b’al peh, was due to this relationship. The problem at that time was that there were many different versions of the laws. In about 180, 190, or 200 CE, everybody had his own version, his own private text of the Oral Law. Each rebbe would instruct his students, talmidim, give him notes, but each person’s version of the notes was different. Rebbe realized that the Jews are soon to embark into galus—exile, would be spread all over and what they needed was a common standard text of the Oral Law, one version.
But he couldn’t do it because, in order for that to happen, he would have to call upon all the sages of Israel, all the great rabbis, the Tanna’im, and make a convention so each would present his version of the Oral Law and then the Rebbe would decide which version of the halacha—law would be the one to be included in the mishnayos. How to converge all these rabbis together? It could not be done during those Roman-dominated times because of the many decrees against learning Torah.
Rebbe realized it had to be done and who was the emperor?—Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. So, Rebbe told this problem to Marcus Aurelius and what he wanted to do. His friend and emperor ensured there would be peace in the land of Israel that Rebbe could take advantage of.
The convention was convened and the eventual version of the halacha was be incorporated. The version that ended up being incorporated was the one of Rav Meir who had the version of Rebbe Akiva. That was the clearest one, so Rebbe decided to use that. It’s an amazing accomplishment, compiling the entirety of the Oral Law that is 4,192 mishnayos. It contains over 35,000 halochos. He was only able to do it because Marcus Aurelius Antoninus created the peaceful environment that enabled the bringing together of all the sages to agree upon what the standard version should be.
It’s similar to the Continental Congress’s process bringing together George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison to make the Constitution, a standard version of law for a country to be based upon.
Because of what Marcus Aurelius did, the Mishna became a standardized text of the Oral Law which is sacred. He enabled it to be written, produced, created. Imagine what that is! What does it remind you of? Isn’t that the actualization of that pasuk, “rav ya’avod tza’ir,” that the elder will serve the younger? Antoninus helped Rebbe create the text upon which the entire Gemara is based. This goes well beyond what can be described as a nice, “good-talking” relationship.
We begin to realize that this person, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was not just an emperor. He was the one responsible for the mishnayos being written. Could you imagine his reward? Every Jew who learns Gemara learns Mishna because Gemara is, basically, a commentary on the Mishna. So, this goy—gentile, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, is responsible for the far-reaching promotion of the Torah itself and—not only that—the fact that the mishnayos was written, guarantees, basically, that Torah would not be forgotten because, without a standard version, nobody would know what the psak—decision is. Rebbe’s ability to standardize it with the accepted psak—rule in the Mishna, makes Marcus Aurelius Antoninus one of the greatest human beings ever known to further the observance of Torah. It's absolutely astounding what this man did.
We see, therefore, that the relationship between Rebbe—Yehuda Ha’Nasi—and Marcus Aurelius was Divinely ordained and, in fact, both of them represent the real relationship between Esav and Ya’akov in terms of “the elder will serve the younger,” with “served” meaning “in an incredible way,” to assist in the tikkun process.
What I see is that Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was further reincarnated to come out in an individual, Donald Trump. I have a series of shiurim—lectures explaining what this means. Since we are in an era right before mashiach, the Jews need assistance from Edom, from Esav, and Donald Trump is that messianic figure—of course he’s not the mashiach—but he’s a Messiah of Edom because a messianic figure is somebody who is anointed to do a significant task. The task of Donald Trump is to do what?—assist the Jewish people, which he did in the four years of his presidency. He moved the embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, recognized Israel, recognized the Golan, was a founder of the Abraham Accords, stood up to the U.N. against their anti-Semitism, threw the PLO out of Washington and stopped them in Jerusalem from being a separate, autonomous embassy, joining them together with the embassy of the United States. He also stopped money from flowing to UNRWA; it was inconceivable and amazing.
It's interesting to watch what the Ribono Shel Olam does with Esav, that He continues the reincarnation of Esav in his essential relationship with Ya’akov, first as Esav, them with Marcus Aurelius, and now as Donald Trump. We can actually see the evolution of the relationship. It’s an important concept who Trump really has been and what he continues to be. He is that type of person, as a gilgul—reincarnation of Marcus Aurelius, and—by the way, a US president is the equivalent of a Roman Emperor—as someone who was “set up” to like Jews. His daughter converted and became religious. His son-in-law is religious and Trump, himself, made most of his money in real estate in New York so most of his business interactions have been with Jews. He’s very familiar with Jews, his close associates, his lawyer. It’s startling when you consider how many Jews he’s connected to. He has a tremendous affinity with Jews. I hold that he really loves Jews. How to explain it? Where does it come from? It is known that his father was good to Jews and his own predilection for Jews is extraordinary. The idea is that he is Esav, what is called “Esav b’tikkuno”—Esav in his corrected, rectified form. That’s Marcus Aurelius Antoninus as well.
We’re not looking here at accidental, coincidental, incidental relationships—no. We’re looking at history repeating itself, over and over again, to become, after all, the ideal relationship between Ya’akov and Esav in the form of the good aspect of Edom, the good part of Esav.
Like I’ve said many times, we’re watching an obsession of the evil of Esav, the Democratic Party, Biden, the establishment, the “Deep State,” all who seek America’s destruction. We’re witnessing too the good part of Esav fighting the bad part of Esav. Behind all of this is the Satan, the satanic forces. The Satan realizes that, should Trump succeed in becoming president again, he will destroy the evil of America. The Satan tries to influence everybody, obsessively, to destroy Trump. We’ll see what happens in 2024.
We should look at the chumash—5 Books of Moses and realize that the chumash is not something that “was,” but as something that “is” and “always will be” and there is so much to be understood from it.
Q & A
Participant: Trump is the tikkun of Esav....then he’s just here to show the good side of him? What’s his job if he already has done the tikkun?
R’Kessin: No, he’s involved in bringing the tikkun. It’s an ongoing process.
Participant: He didn’t fulfill it?
R’Kessin: He’s in the midst of that mission so I believe he will be president in 2024, primarily because that’s his mission, that he is Esav in the form of Marcus Aurelius in the form of Donald Trump. If that’s his mission, he has to continue what he’s doing. So, I believe he will win and it’s not a big deal for the RIbono Shel Olam to make sure he wins.
It makes sense especially with the revelations coming out that the elections were rigged, that the FBI and other government agencies were in cahoots with Twitter; it’s astounding! It never happened in American history that the government withheld information that would have meant that Biden would never have been president. How in the world can you elect him as president when the laptop of his son, Hunter Biden, shows definitively that he colluded, bribed, and received bribes from an enemy of America, Communist China? He’d never have won so Trump was right; the election was rigged. All of this is coming out, I believe, to make sure that Trump will be president. Once he is president for another term, I believe he will be of enormous help to the Jewish people: to complete the Abraham Accords, to work together with the Likud and the religious parties to bring an abundant amount of Torah to the people. That’s why Israel is suddenly changing.
It will be interesting to see what the House, which is just about to become Republican, will do because it’s very possible that this year’s momentum has to accelerate the messianic process.
Participant: The way you’re speaking, you’re already six years out, but don’t we really have eight years left?
R’Kessin: Right. That’s not much time, believe me. You can see the pace accelerating. You can see it. What happened in Israel is unheard of. There is no one on the Left in the coalition. The religious parties can request, and are being given, ministries, which will spread Torah in Israel and, I believe, throughout the entire Diaspora. We’re seeing it in front of our eyes and it happened during Chanukah which is how I started off this shiur.
Once Trump takes over, we’ll see the same thing. I believe he will destroy the Left, the Democratic Party, which is destroying America and, more, destroying the morals of the world. I believe the Ribono Shel Olam will take them out.
It’s got to happen by 2030. I brought down the Zohar that says 210 years before the End—which is, according to the Gregorian calendar, 2240, which is the Hebrew year 6000—begins tchias ha’meisim—resurrection of the dead which means Mashiach ben Yosef, the Beis Ha’Mikdash, the end of the exile, and then Mashiach ben David, all this in less than about seven years. It’s getting exciting. We see the historical changes taking place.
Participant: If Trump is Esav, all the Jews are Ya’akov?
R’Kessin: Yes, definitely. All the Jews are descendants of Ya’akov.
Participant: We’re doing the tikkun for Ya’akov?
R’Kessin: Yes, we do the tikkun by their observance of the halachos.
Participant: In the next two years, we’re still gonna be in the slumps? We still have two more years of Biden so how do we....?
R’Kessin: Biden will be, in many ways, blocked. The House will become Republican so his administration will not be able to pass legislation. He’ll be blocked for two years. It’s called a “lame duck” administration. Who knows if he’ll survive. He’s got dementia. The Ribono Shel Olam could take him out in a second. The question then becomes: what happens? Who then becomes president? We certainly don’t want Harris. Things will move quickly, are already moving, historically. Next year will be an amazing year for this country, for America.
Participant: By “next year,“ do you mean 2023, in a week?
R’Kessin: Right, in only a week. I feel that the critical thing is when Biden signed the bill, the “Marriage Act” bill on December 13th. He made this American generation the equivalent to that of the dor ha’mabul—Generation of the Flood—bad news for America. I believe it will get much worse with the LGBTQ and all that, worse in terms of the level of depravity America will reach. Therefore, the Ribono Shel Olam will be true to what he did to the Generation of the Flood and bring the mashiach to end it. You are looking at a slow process as the sun rises, slowly, and all these things coming.