A Chasidic Prediction of the
Tsunami Sixty Years Ago
[Slightly adapted from www.shmais.com]
In the Chabad magazine, "HaKri'a V'hakedusha," of Tammuz
5704 (1944), which was edited under the supervision of the sixth Luibavitcher
Rebbe, an article is written under the name G. Zarchi about chapter 93
in Psalms, based on Medrash and other teachings of our sages. The article
is so relevant to recent events that there's no need for adaptations and
comparisons. We'll just quote selected paragraphs verbatim (free translation).
This chapter of Tehillim was composed by the G-dly poet regarding the
Days of Moshiach. He hints briefly at the events which will take place
before the redemption. The central theme of the chapter is that the Jews
living at that time will understand by means of these events, that the
exile is over and redemption has begun.
"Hashem moloch gai'us lovaish, lovaish Hashem oz his'azar af
tikkon taivail bal timot" - "G-d will be king by wearing greatness"!
We generally think the world is run by nature and we forget entirely
that there is a G-d who rules over nature. It's only when an unnatural
occurrence takes place such as a flood, earthquake, and other terrible
upheavals - that we remember that there's a ruler of the world who rules
over nature. Then all will say that G-d is king! He put nature aside and
showed his absolute sovereignty over nature.
The poet goes on to speak about the time when Hashem will be revealed
in clothes of gevura ["might"] and the world will recognize
and acknowledge that He is king. He explains that this will happen during
the Days of Moshiach before the redemption because "Hashem wore the
gevura" which he girded Himself with in the past. Gevura refers to
Torah, and Hashem girded Himself with its strength at the time of the
giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Sinai. At that time there
were such strong thunder and lightning that the nations of the world thought
the world was coming to an end. Bilaam explained to them that "Hashem
oz l'amo yeetain" - that Hashem was giving his strong Torah to His
people, and it has the power to build worlds or destroy them.
Regarding this the poet says that in the Days of Moshiach, when Hashem
will be king by wearing gevura, he won't do this by wearing a new garment
of gevura which is designated for a new purpose. It will be the old garment
of Mattan Torah, of "Hashem oz l'amo yeetain". Hashem will rise
to fortify the Torah in the world, and just as when it was given the first
time it was accompanied with proof that He is the ruler over nature, so
too the second time. The process of receiving the Torah will include displays
of might whose purpose is that the entire world accepts the Torah. But,
continues the poet, "af tikkon taivail bal timot": many will
err and think that Hashem is destroying the world. That's why the poet
writes that the world will remain fortified and "lo yeemot"
- it will not falter. It will only be the Jewish people and the Torah
which will be elevated once again: "Hashem oz l'amo teetain"!
"Nachon kisacha may'az, may'olam ata"- already before the
creation of the world You prepared Your throne of Your kingdom.
The purpose of the creation is in order to strengthen Torah and the
Jewish people; the Torah - as our sages say "for the sake of Torah
which is called "first," the world was created. Already back
then it was established that Hashem would come enclothed in gevura in
order to fortify a place for Torah. This time it won't be in order to
destroy the world, but in order to fortify the Torah, and to bring about
the realization of the promise "and Hashem will be king over all
the world" through this - that the world will gain knowledge of Torah
(and accept it) through the Jewish people.
"Nos'u neharos Hashem, nos'u neharos kolam, yis'u neharos dochyom"-
the rivers will lift up G-d; the rivers will raise their voice, the rivers
will make a lot of noise!
This means that the roaring and raging of the rivers will elevate Hashem.
The only meaning in this is that Hashem will be uplifted by His making
the oceans roar before the redemption. Through this noise everybody will
understand that Hashem is elevated.
The practical conclusion is that the roaring
rivers will bring great changes to the world; for example: they will drown
an entire nation or at least a great portion, and this natural disaster
will cause a revolution in man's perspective. They will see
this as a G-dly punishment. It's also possible that this natural disaster
will change the world political map by a chain of events which will begin
with that nation that drowns.
In other words: before the redemption there will be a great roaring
of water which will shake the world with its intensity, to the point that
the world will return to elevate Hashem. That's how we can understand
the verse - that the water will elevate Hashem by means of their noise
"M'kolos mayim rabim adirim mishberai yam adir ba'marom Hashem"
- "the sound of the many waters will cause the powerful ones to break,
and then G-d will be the powerful One."
This means that as a result of the crashing waters, the mighty ones
of the earth will be wiped out. World empires will collapse in the face
of the water's strength and then people will acknowledge and agree that
Hashem is the only mighty One in heaven.
"Edosecha ne'emnu m'od l'vaischa na'ava kodesh Hashem l'orech
yomim" - "The ones who relate your testimony are very loyal;
holiness suits Your house; G-d - will be forever!"
The G-dly poet concludes the chapter with a description of the world
after all of humanity will acknowledge Hashem's kingdom. The world will
say that the prophecies about Hashem and the redemption of the Jewish
people were absolutely true. This means that at the time of the complete
redemption it will be obvious: Jews will return to Eretz Yisrael and the
Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt, and all the nations of the world will
be drawn there in order to learn G-d's ways from up close.
The nations will also say - "l'vaischa na'ava kodesh" -holiness
suits the Beis Hamikdash; i.e. holiness will return and rest in the Holy
Temple as in the past, and the nations will acknowledge this. You have
to say that this is the intention of the poet because these promises were
not fulfilled yet. Nobody can say "edosecha ne'emnu m'od", that
all the prophecies have come true. And nobody can say "l'vaisch na'ava
kodesh" without it being actually so.
The nations will ask Hashem to continue to have His Presence rest in
the Beis Hamikdash forever. This indicates the perfection of the redemption
of the Jewish people--that the nations won't bother them at all, to the
point that the nations themselves will ask Hashem to continue to have
His Presence rest in the Beis Hamikdash.
In summary: the poet, as is his way, is brief but that leaves us with
little in quantity but a lot in quality. This "mizmor" contains
everything about redemption, including the eve of redemption and the "end
of days." The central motif of the chapter are the roaring waters
which will demonstrate Hashem's might and transform humanity entirely
in a spiritual way. These roaring waters will be the sign of the beginning
of the complete redemption.
Following it, the glory of Hashem, the Torah and the Jewish people will
be elevated in the world until true peace will reign and all the prophecies
will be realized in their entirety.
We can only wait for those great stormy waters which will force the nations
to admit that Hashem is king - all will have to concede that this is not
a natural disaster but an act of G-d.