Illustration: George Washington at Valley Forge by John Ward Dunsmore [Public Domain] via Wikimedia
“...Could you imagine the impression that he made on George Washington? At the darkest moment in Washington's life — when he's about to face the British, certain that they'll probably lose unless there was a nes (miracle) — and here is this Jew in the middle of nowhere with this Hanukkah light. He's saying — a Jew from the nation of the neviim (prophets) — “Don't worry you will win! Not just for us but for everybody because that's what G-d wants…”
Rabbi Mendel Kessin
In his most recent lecture, America’s Role in the Messianic Process, Rabbi Mendel Kessin departs from the approach he customarily takes, explaining that he usually doesn’t tell stories: “I’m an idea man — a concept man.” This lecture begins with an impactful, purportedly true tale entitled, "The Hanukkah Candle that Inspired George Washington."
The rabbi has previously explained current events in the context of the messianic process as part of the Divine Agenda, using excerpts from sacred texts and exegeses of our sages. But he uses this story to express the reciprocal and miraculous relationship the Jews have had with America as seen in the trajectory of history. The rabbi explores the story’s dramatization of a truth according to hashkafa (the Judaic world view), examining the messianic process and America’s role — particularly shown by President Trump — at this particular moment in history.
The rabbi examines the significance of the fact that July 4, 1776 coincided with the 17th of Tammuz that year, a day commemorating the fall of Jerusalem prior to the destruction of the Holy Temple. The contemporaneous dates indicate that the tragic fall of Jerusalem will be reversed when the glory of Esau, symbolized by America, is returned to Jacob, the Jewish people. Rabbi Kessin explains that the current downfall of New York demonstrates that ‘Esau’s’ glory is compromised and that the tiferet (splendor) that was his is being rerouted to Israel.
Turning to the upcoming U.S. elections and the anarchy that has gripped that country, with the complicity of the media, the rabbi clarifies that the real issue from the perspective of hashkafa is: Does G-d wish to retain and preserve the repentant good part of Esau — which is America, on whose behalf Trump governs and struggles — or not? Rabbi Kessin believes the answer is, “Of course, yes.” And so, the rabbi makes a persuasive case for a Trump victory... and what that victory will mean for the imminent Redemption.
Please click here to read the full summary of this fascinating shiur.
Rav Kessin's complete shiur can be viewed here:
Anyone seeking further clarification and explanation of current events and the messianic process is invited to visit Rabbi Kessin’s website, torahthinking.com, for the complete “21st Century” series of video lectures along with 300 shiurim which deal extensively with the hashkafa of the Ramchal. His videos can also be found at https://www.torahanytime.com and on Torah Thinking on YouTube. He can be followed on Facebook at Rabbi Mendel Kessin.
The author has written extensively on Rabbi Kessin’s work; click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.