Tensions between Russia and the USA are at a crescendo. This morning, Russia's largest aircraft carrier has been deployed to the Mediterranean off the Syrian coast. Russia's most up-to-date missile systems are now protecting Syria and menacing US aircraft. Russia announced this week it was moving nuclear-capable ballistic missiles into its Northern European enclave, Kaliningrad, putting them within striking distance of Western capitals. In the same week, Russia test-fired 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles. America is still irked by Russia's takeover of the Crimean Peninsula from the Ukraine. And, Russia has warned that if the Ukraine joins NATO or allows US troops on its soil, they'll go to war. Since September, Russia has conducted a nationwide civil defense drill, purportedly involving 40 million people, preparing them for catastrophes -- among them nuclear fallout. Russia’s military announced who would run the country in the event of war and ran an exercise simulating that in the south.
Despite all of the above, the White House and State Department are spending so much time and energy bashing Israel, as if the crisis with Russia were nonexistent. Isn't that absurd? What's going on? It sounds like Moshiach is fast on the way. At any rate, to see the spiritual angle on what's happening in the world as we usher in Succoth 5777, see The Key to National Security, my op-ed on our Succoth edition of Breslev Israel web magazine that's hot out of the oven this morning.
The Gemara in tractate Menachot tells us that Hashem performs all the mitzvoth. We also know that there is nothing of material content in the Upper Worlds. We must therefore ask, what is Hashem's lulav on Succoth? What are the four species that He takes in hand when the angels sing Hallel? You'll get your answer in Willow in the Wind, a traditional Ukrainian Jewish folk tale that as far as I know has never been written down. My keyboard was wet with tears when I wrote it, and I'll be telling this story to the family at our Succoth table tonight, G-d willing.
Breslev Israel's brand-new Succoth 5777 edition also features:
Rabbi Shalom Arush: A House of Prayer
Rabbi Nissan Dovid Kivak: Right Here With Us
Racheli Reckles: The Magical Disappearing Ants
Elisheva Michman: Waiting for the Bus
David Perlow: Tale of Two Soldiers
Lori Steiner: Mirage of Reality?
Shai Mor: All for the Best
Enjoy, and may you have the very best Succoth holiday ever! Chag Sameach!