Quarrel Over Jerusalem
What is it that God asks of his people Israel? That with all their being they revere God and love God and that together they stand in unity. And when some of His people Israel struggle and make a mistake, losing God consciousness, by ignoring God, by explicitly denying God's existence, by worshipping materiality in place of God, or by making divisions among Israel, then God asks for Teshuvah, for return. God asks for the heart of His people to turn toward Him and return to the closeness with Him.
Teshuvah is the way the quarrel over Jerusalem will resolve. The situation must get worse and worse until all of Israel realizes that there is no human hope to solve the problem by human means. The problem cannot be solved by the might of the IDF, however strong the IDF is, or by the concessions of diplomacy, however sophisticated the language of agreements. It can only be solved by a return to God. A return to God means a return to Torah, a return to respecting the Torah, respecting the way of the Torah, respecting Torah scholars, supporting Torah teachers, learning Torah, and living Torah. What we find in the quarrel over Jerusalem table is exactly this: an ELS of the key word phrase Return to God.
How this return to God is going to happen is clear. In effect, God says to Israel, You want to live and perceive an impure reality, a reality without God and Torah. So you will experience a reality without God and Torah. And those who will cause you this experience will, measure for measure, do their terror falsely proclaiming My name. As you do not in the way Torah says, call My name, you will experience terror by those who are falsely calling My name. Jerusalem is your holy place. Its name means complete awe. But in Jerusalem, your government, the government of Israel, has no awe. It has no respect for Torah and no respect for Torah scholars. Therefore, Ishmael will scheme against you and call Jerusalem its holy place. You do not pray the way the Torah says to pray in Jerusalem, so in Jerusalem will Ishmael establish and pray in their temple. Ishmael will attack and terrorize you. Like bees they will come to sting you and sting you again and again. Ishmael will attempt to destroy you and push you into the sea. They will attempt to obliterate Israel from existence.
About these times we read in Psalms of a prayer of a time past. But it is not just of a time past. It is of a time future. Read its lines and see how much you can recognize what is happening today. Express these lines from your heart, from all of your being, and pray.
O God, do not hold Yourself silent:
Be not deaf and be not still, O God.
For, behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And they that hate You have lifted up their head.
Against Your people, do they plot deviously
And they consult together against those sheltered by You.
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation;
That the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
For they have taken counsel together;(Psalm 83:1-9)
Unanimously against You do they strike a covenant:
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites: --
Moab, and Hagrites;
Gebal and Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre:
Even, Assyria is joined with them;
They became the strong arm of the children of Lot.
After summarizing the situation, and after having suffered with the situation, the psalm speaks of how Israel in time past prayed to God and how in time future Israel will pray to God. Listen to these words as a prayer of time future. From your heart, pray these words in time present.
Do to them as Midian, as to Sisera, and as to Jabin at Kishon Brook,
Who were destroyed at Eindor;
They became the dung for the earth.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb;
And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
Who said,We will conquer for ourselves the pleasant habitations of God.
O my God, make them like the whirling chaff,
Like the stubble before the wind,
Like a fire burning the forest,
And like a flame that set mountains ablaze.
Pursue them with Your tempest,
And terrify them with Your storm.
Fill their faces with shame,
Then they will seek Your Name Hashem.
Let them be shamed and terrified forever,
Then they will be disgraced and they will perish.
Then they will know that You,
Whose Name is Hashem,
Are alone, Most High over all the earth.
When all aspects of the stiff-neckedness of Israel has softened, when all Israel realizes that there is no hope except in God, when Israel is attacked from every border simultaneously by the Philistines, who are today's Palestinians, by Edom who are the Europeans, and by Moab, who are the Arabs, then all Israel will say this prayer, the prayer you just prayed.
About these times the Zohar explains,
At that time, a [Arab] nation from the end of the earth will be roused against evil Rome and wage war against it for three months. Nations will gather there, and will fall into their hands until all the children of Edom will gather against it from all the corners of the world. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, will be roused against them. This is the meaning of: For Hashem has a sacrifice in Botzrah (Isaiah 34:6). And afterwards, it is written: That it might take hold of the ends of the earth... (Job 38:13). He will destroy the descendants of Ishmael from the land, and break all the powers of above. There will not remain any power above over the eternal people, [meaning Israel], except the power of Israel alone. This is the meaning of: Hashem is your shade upon your right hand (Psalms 121:5).
The Torah as well tells us that at that time Hashem will answer this prayer. The answer is described by the Song of the Israelites. This is a song sung in time past. But it is also a song to be sung in time future. Listen to how this quarrel over Jerusalem will end, when you will join all Israel to sing this song in time future.
Who is like You with powers, Hashem?
Who is like You, majestic in Holiness?
Awesome in praises, doing wonders!
You put forth Your right hand;
The earth swallowed them!
With love you led the people You redeemed,
With might, You led them to Your holy shrine.
Nations heard and shuddered;
Terror gripped those who dwell in Philistia.
Edom's chiefs then panicked.
Moab's heroes were seized with trembling;
Canaan's residents melted away.
Fear and dread fell upon them.
At the greatness of Your Arm,
They are still as stone. (Exodus 15: 11-16.)
We conclude with a song of the prophet Zachariah.
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion;
For I am coming and I will dwell in your midst, says Hashem.
Many nations will join themselves to Hashem on that day,
And will be My people.
And I will dwell in your midst;
And you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.
And Hashem will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land,
And will once again choose Jerusalem. (Zachariah 2: 14-16)