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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yishmael in Torah sources

For the last 50 years wee have seen the rise of Yishmael and their war with the Jewish people. This rise and war have been predicted in the Medrash and the Zohar. Below are some (a little disjointed) sources and thoughts on Yishmael.

Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (Tehillim 55:20) writes
Why is his name called Yishmael? Because G-d will hear the sound of the [Israel’s] groan from what Bnei Yishmael are destined to do in the Land in the end of days. Therefore, his name is called Yishmael, as it says, “Yishma E-l ve’yaanem” – “G-d will hear and answer them.

Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 29):

Bilaam said: Of the seventy nations that G-d created in His world, he did not place His Name in any one of them, other than Yisrael. Since G-d equated Yishmael’s name with that of Yisrael: “Oh! Who will survive in his days,” as it says, “Oh! Who will survive when He imposes these!” (Bamidbar 24:23)

The Zohar states (Zohar 1:119a)
... The Children of Yishmael will go up at that time with the nations of the world against Jerusalem ...

The last Baal Haturim in Chayei Sarah

when Yishmael falls at the end of days moshiach will come

The Ramban in Chumash (Bereishis 16:6) explains the reason for the hatred

'And Sarah caused her [Hagar] to suffer'. Our mother [Sarah] sinned by doing this, and so did Avrohom for letting her do it. Hashem heard her cries and gave her a son who will be a wild man that will make Avrohom's children suffer through all manner of suffering.

If we look at Yishmael and his descendents we see that they inherited a number of characteristics from Avraham Avinu. Let us examine some of these characteristics.

An angel informed Hagar that she should give the name "Yishmael" to the son she would bear to Avraham, since "Hashem has *heard* ('Shama') your plight." That is, Hagar prayed to Hashem to save her from her oppression, and Hashem answered her prayers. It was through the power of prayer that she was blessed with a son, and it was this power that she imbued in her son. The literal meaning of Yishmael's name is "Hashem will hear [his prayers]." Indeed, when Yishmael was near death and prayed to Hashem for salvation Hashem "heard the voice of the lad" and saved his life in a miraculous fashion (Bereishit 21:17). Until today, his descendants are outstanding in their devotion to a rigorous prayer schedule of five daily prayers.

The Gra notes that "naase" corresponds to Eisav and "nishma" to Yishmael (the respective roots of their names). Esav, the Western world are big doers. Yishmael, the Arabs, on the other hand, are big talkers but not doers.

The Torah writes about Yishmael, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him (Bereishis 16:12). The targum translates the Torah’s description as, "he will need everyone, and everyone will need him" a pretty fair description of Arab dependence on Western technology, and the world’s dependence on Arab oil.

In short, we see that Chazal have predicted the rise of Yishmale before Moshiach and we need to realize that the current war is part of the ikv'sa d'mshichah.

1 Comments:

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Doesh said...

'And Sarah caused her [Hagar] to suffer'. Our mother [Sarah] sinned by doing this, and so did Avrohom for letting her do it. Hashem heard her cries and gave her a son who will be a wild man that will make Avrohom's children suffer through all manner of suffering.'

I have always been very disturbed by this Rambam. Why should we suffer because the aveiroh of Avraham? (I dont see how this is maasei avos simon lbanim)

Also how did the Rambam know this to be the case???

 

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