Happy Chol HaMoed Succoth!
Rebbe Nachman's 207th Yahrtzeit

"Calm Before the Storm"

Calm Before Storm
President Trump said before Shabbat that we are now in "the calm before the storm." Reporters begged him to be more explicit; was he referring to Iran or perhaps North Korea? He responded, "You'll find out."

Both Isaiah the Prophet (see Ch.10) and King Solomon in Proverbs (Ch.25) teach us that world leaders do not have free choice; they are puppets in Hashem's hands. Our sages say, "The hearts of kings and ministers are in Hashem's hand" (see Meshech Chochma on Exodus 6:29).

Trump himself doesn't know what he's talking about. Hashem put those words in his mouth.

Our sages teach that the calm before the storm alludes to a window of opportunity to come back to Hashem in full emuna, and thus render any stern-judgment wake-up calls as needless, null and void. But, if the opportunity is wasted, the new wake-up calls come fast, frequent and furious as we've seen in recent weeks.

The Las Vegas massacre has obscured the dark clouds gathering on the international horizon. No, things have not yet calmed down with North Korea and Iran, as those of us outside of the USA are all too well-aware of. What's more, Hurricane Nate is now taking aim at New Orleans.

For the umpteenth time, only teshuva and emuna will help us. There is no other answer.


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