It's A Shofar!
The Florida Exile

Birthpangs of Moshiach and Spiritual Epidural

Things are happening with lightning speed. We have now entered the era of what our sages called, "The birthpangs of Moshiach".

An entire month ago, in A Shout from Above, a whole two weeks before the solar eclipse, we wrote here that America was about to see big calamities if it doesn't get its act together. Need more proof that Hashem is calling to us all louder and louder? Do the swivel-hipped ladies in the tight skirts, the Cleopatra makeup and the hip-length Irma La Douce wigs from Miami and Boro Park think that they are exempt from teshuva? The "Irma La Douce" look? No wonder Hurricane Irma has that name! Rampant, politically-correct public-sanctioned licentiousness that scoffs at Hashem and His Torah brought her on. Don't you realize, world, that Irma is Hashem's response to all filth and immorality that has become the norm, even penetrated Orthodox communities? You still don't believe me?

Maybe you'll believe Isaiah the Prophet. He reprimands those who reject the word of G-d and says, " will happen with quick suddenness; Hashem, the Master of Legions, will frequent you with thunder, and with earthquake, and loud sound, storm and tempest, and consuming flame of fire" (Isaiah 29:5-6). In one passage, Isaiah summarizes today's news, including the fires all over West-coast USA, the aftermath of Harvey, Irma, and this morning's colossal 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico, with two more hurricanes brewing out at sea. "Quick suddenness" like the prophet says, events are happening faster than we can write about them.

If that's not enough, maybe you'll believe the holy Ariza'l, the father of Kabbalah. The Ariza'l lists the four elements of creation as: 











The kabbalists explain that when man becomes corrupt, the elements of the earth follow suit. This is Hashem's way of showing man that he must change his ways. The first Hebrew initials of the four elements are aleph, resh, mem and aleph - guess what they spell - "Irma". Who else is speaking if not Hashem? Will the so-called intellectuals still say "random" and "nature"? The Gemara says there is no pity for the spiritually ignorant.

Don't forget that all this is happening in Elul, the month of teshuva.

The holy Ohr Hachaim and the Chatam Sofer, osb"m, say that when Moshiach is about to come, calamities will happen one after the other in rapid succession, in order to stimulate people to repent and come back to G-d. The Gemara calls this period the "birthpangs of Moshiach"; why? The closer we get to Moshiach, the more the messianic labor pains became frequent, stronger and painful. They don't have to be that way, though. Teshuva - penitence -  is spiritual Epidural. Have a lovely Shabbat and may we hear good tidings.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Not knowing what "Irma La Douce" was, I looked it up. Rotten Tomatoes begins its description thus, "This romantic comedy opens with a resounding warning: its chief concerns are passion, bloodshed, desire, and death. "Everything," exclaims the narrator, "that makes life worth living." Enough said!


And before were we not already in the period of the birthpangs of moshiach ??


Is the punishment due to long wigs and tight skirts only? What about sexual predatory behavior among "Rabbis", fraud among religious schools, hate for converts, hate for goyim, questionable business deals, seeding division and hating people for political views? America is not the only country suffering big calamities. Cuba, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean have been affected by recent events. There is an estimated 40 million across India, Bangladesh, Nepal affected by floods last month! 40 million people in South Asia are struggling to rebuild their lives, nobody talks about them, nobody is praying for them! May HaShem have compassion for all His creation!


Hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Jose coming and Gulf has Katia), earthquakes (Mexico today, Japan, and 141 shakers up in Idaho lately), fires in CA, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. We have with those all the elements. It reminds me of a girl who is upstairs in her bedroom and her boyfriend wants to talk to her...he throws pebbles at her window to get her ATTENTION! Stay safe everyone! Connect with HaShem! Gentiles, get out of the idol worship religions! (Noahide, Ger, or Jewish). Shabbat Shalom!


The Rebbe of Lubavitcher said that if teshuvah is yet needed, the teshuvah of one person may be sufficient. And this teshuvah can be done instantaneously
We need to see the good in each other. The women in Miami and Boro Park you mention do wonderful mitzvos - look at the good they do instead of criticizing them. Would you speak in public like that about your own sister?
Some groups are critical of people who wear sheitels or vice versa. We need ahavas Yisrael and respect for one another's derech. Let's close to bless one another instead of the opposite. כתיבה וחתימה טובה

Moshe chaim

You've been saying these things the last 15 years!.......

Mershed Perterders

Does this mean we can agree that Trump in power is also a sign of the world gone to sh*t?


I agree with Anonymous above : "The women in Miami and Boro Park you mention do wonderful mitzvos - look at the good they do instead of criticizing them. Would you speak in public like that about your own sister?"


"(Noahide, Ger, or Jewish)"
To Devorah: what is Ger?


How can someone describe swivel hipped ladies when men are supposed to have shmirat einayim. . There is so much that needs to be fixed and this is what you focus on? Maybe what Hashem wants from us is pure love instead of this constant bashing of other ... as if anyone knows what is the reason for all these calamities. Am yisroel is a great nation and given the terrible personal and collective suffering our people have been through , it is just time to look up and say Hashem you are everything and we are just basar vedam , please bring us the geula bimatnam chinam.
Let's see the good in each other .....that way we will create zechusim for all those we condemn and all of US will than be zoche to become the beautiful pure Neshamas we all are
So wishing everyone a year in which you know how good you are!!!!!!!


I live in Yerushalaim, but I consider myself a woman of Miami Beach, Boro Park, London, Sydney, Singapore, and . Ladies, there is no doubt that we have chessed down pat. I've read about the tremendous chessed organizations that you run. We can be proud of that, as I'm sure HaShem is proud.

The current global crises are symptoms indicating that we need to shore up (pun intended) the area of modesty. I take that advice personally - it's not just for Jewish women in America. When I strengthen myself in that area, it strengthens you, just like your chessed strengthens me. I don't consider this advice as criticism any more than I would consider advice from my Investment Adviser to move more money into a particular account as criticism. It's just the need of the hour.

I've never been pregnant, so I can't speak from personal birth experience. Nevertheless, I understand that women get to a point in labor when they yell “ENOUGH!!! I'VE HAD IT!!! I'M GETTING OUT OF HERE!! WHERE'S MY COAT?” You get the idea...

That's exactly how I feel about this millennia-long golus.

I wake up in the dark Yerushalaim mornings and think “maybe today?” “Maybe, maybe, maybe....? “

“Maybe today … I'll be able to take Egged bus #1 to the Beit HaMikdash? “

“Maybe today … instead of praying down in the dark, damp tunnels across from the Kadosh Kadoshim, I'll be able to pray in the Women's Courtyard?”

“Maybe today … there will be no more Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) having fun times in my life?”

If modesty will end this horrific golus, then hey! let's go for it!


Anon and her friends just don't get it. I know Rabbi Lazer personally - he's the type of rabbi that risks his own life to run out in the street and push somebody out of the way of a Mack track, and then the person he saves - like the so many of the commenters here - accuses him of brutality. No wonder Moshiach isn't here yet.


Shotgun put it well.

I've said it here in other posts - Call it Tough Love, but these articles are not scare tactics – they're survival tactics.


Here they go again blaming the women. Like they have a direct line to hashem. What about the corruption and indecent behavior of the men. Men who cheat steal take bribes have affairs don't give their wives gets men who sit in shul and talk and laugh as if they are in a circus. Men who go to learn but then come home and abuse their wives or better yet go on the internet to watch and look at much more than long wigs. And guess what it's the men who beg their wives to dress like that ask them. Enough blaming. Enough blaming us women. Enough!!!! Lazer Brody you should be ashamed of yourself !!!


Rabbi Avigdor Miller once said that when people forget to fear Hashem, and they forget that there's Gehennom, Hashem has to remind them by turning this world into a Gehennom, and those are the two reasons He makes hurricanes - to fear Hashem and to taste a bit of Gehennom. Unfortunately, they way many women dress and look, shows that they don't fear Hashem at all. Now they're angry when somebody reminds them that there's Hashem in the world. Please, Rabbi Brody - continue with what you're doing and fear Hashem only. I'm sure that the vast majority of your readers feel like I do - we come here for chizuk in emuna. Also, I love Racheli's posts. She's so normal - athletic and everything - yet she's so solid in emuna. Thank you, too, Racheli!


Awww, Hadassah, you're so sweet! And so on the money! Except for that part where you think I'm normal. Athletic, very. Normal? HA! If only more people were as high functioning as you. Keep in touch!


Um... There's no definitive way of spelling Irma in Hebrew. Its not a Hebrew word.

Your assuming that it should be spelled ארמא. It can spelled אירמה, ארמה or אירמא just as well...

Matter of fact, the most common spelling is אירמה which doesn't stand for anything. ..


Arizal is not the first to posit the four elements of creation; that predates him by almost 2,000 years. Unfortunately, the elements of creation number some 118, I believe, and can be found on the periodic table. I don't know think Irma's name can be drawn from that number.
Second, and more to the point, who are these 'kabbalists' that claim the power of prophecy? Have we not learned from Iyov that it is fruitless and improper to assign reasons for suffering? Is that not the textual conclusion to that sefer?
We need to stop nihush, or divination, and use our God given physical, emotional and intellectual talents to work on perfecting us and the world around us intellectually, emotionally, and ethically. To quote the Talmudic adage, 'olam k'minhago noheg', or the (natural) world continues on its path. Hurricanes come and go. Earthquakes come and go. Landslides and avalanches come and go, such is the way of the world, following the path of nature that God has set it on.
For a more practical, everyday meaningful understanding of our place and purpose I'd suggest starting by trusting our Sages o'bm when they state that the way of the world is the way of the world. I'd then take solace in what the Rambam has to say in his Moreh Nevuchim Book 3 chapter 12 about man's place in the world. I'd then read critically through sefer Iyov in order to start to develop a worldview regarding natural disasters and tragedy that is more in keeping with our God given faculties of reason, logic, sechel, then trusting in the word of 'kabbalists' that withers in the face of reason and practical experience.


AY, your comment reeks of a total lack of emuna. In your intellectual approach that maybe you can impress a blogger with, you fall short when it comes to someone who has learned some Torah. You quote the "Moreh Nevuchim" and it has obviously made you perplexed because you divorced Hashem from the 13 proinciples that the same Rambam codified, mainly the first that Rabbi Arush and Rabbi Brody always stress, Hashem alone "did does and will do every deed." Sorry, but you miss the meaning of "olam kiminhago noheg" and you certainly miss the boat of the emuna that is the basis of Judaism. I'm usually not a commenter, but I read "Lazer Beams" to get the emuna chizuk from Rabbi Brody (and laughter and recipes from Racheli) like I'm sure most other people come here to do, and not to debate. But your epikorsis ideas don't belong here. None of the Baal Shem Tov's students ever learn Moreh Nevuchim or other chakira books, because it does to people what it did to you, AY - destroys simple emuna.


I was quite taken aback by your sharp reactions against the article. I asked myself why I as a woman wasn't also incensed.

Here's my "take" on the article...

1) If we could search through all the Breslev Israel's archives of blogs, articles, videos, books, and shiurim in English, we'd find that the proportion of “blame” (as you call it) is far greater for men's misbehavior than for women's. FAR greater. So, the implication that women are being singled out has no basis in fact.

2) When we were in Mitzrayim, the merit of the women got us out. When we were in the desert, only the women passed every test, while the men failed miserably (sorry, guys). We are now at the end of golus and our sages tell us that righteous women-not righteous men-will bring us into the Messianic era.

Women are like the last remaining dike that holds back the flood waters (pun intended). Our responsibilities to the AM are “mission critical”. We cannot weaken or buckle because the stakes are as high as they can get. If the rabbanim see that we are weakening in some area, then we absolutely must shore up (another pun) that area.

Rochel, taking umbrage at the article is to miss the point entirely. This article is not a “blame game” or an indication that men have nothing to do tseuvah for. It is an indication of the tremendous role and responsibility that women have in moving the AM into the Messianic era peacefully.


Ofcourse it's important to dress modestly, but i don't think a bit too long wig of some observant women is the main reason for Irma.
Why put the focus on them? There are many more other things to worry about than observant women that do a lot of mitzvot but have a bit of make-up on and wear a longer wig than you prefer...
Well, fortunately the eye didn't pass Miami B''H, so probably Hashem himself is not accusing these Miami women. :)


or at least it's not his main focus :)

The comments to this entry are closed.