im esh-ka-KHAYKH y’-ru-sha-LA-im tish-KAKH y’-mee-NEE
Psalm 137 was written by the rivers of Babylon, where the exiled Jews wailed and lamented the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. They wondered how they would continue to endure on foreign soil. How could they continue to sing the songs of Hashem, which were supposed to be sung in the Temple, in the exile? Their answer was an oath to never forget Yerushalayim.
This psalm makes an oblique reference to Sefer Devarim 8:19, “If you do forget Hashem your God and follow other gods to serve them or bow down to them, I warn you this day that you shall certainly perish.” Israel’s exile came when they forgot God in their land.
In Babylon, they promised themselves never to repeat that mistake, and never to forget Yerushalayim. Yom Yerushalayim is approaching, the day we commemorate the Jewish Nations return to Jerusalem after 2,000 years. Not for one moment was she forgotten, and today she is under the full sovereignty of Israel!
Today, we pray to return to the Temple Mount for the final stage of redemption, rebuilding the temple.
A snake wriggling out from between the stones of the Western Wall in search of a meal brought with it a message straight from Jewish mystical teachings, connecting the archetypal enemy of man with the high priest in the temple, and also, perhaps, serving as a harbinger of the Messiah.
Women who went to the Kotel (Western Wall) on Wednesday were shocked to see a snake crawling out from between the ancient stones. The coin snake, common to the region, is not venomous but it is similar in appearance to the deadly viper, also found in Israel. The snake was probably seeking a meal of pigeons or eggs, but it brought with it a powerful message.
A Hebrew-language blogger quoted by Ynet News noted the serpent made its Jerusalem appearance during a hotly contested mayoral election, connecting it to the destruction of the second temple.
"The snake appeared during this time of dispute and divisiveness at the site of the temple which was destroyed because of widespread hatred and divisiveness."
Another commentator saw a connection between the reptilian appearance and current events, referring to a recent head-on automobile accident near the Dead Sea that killed a family of eight and the horrific murder of 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
"How symbolic that this snake should appear at the place that is the heart of the Jewish people, where so many Jews were killed, at a time when Jews are still being killed. We have received a symbolic warning from these holy stones."
Pointing to the pigeon that fled the snake in the video, Sod1820, a Hebrew language kabbalah site, cited Midrash (homiletic teachings), Israel is compared to a pigeon or dove, noted for the faithfulness in having a single partner in its lifetime. Such is Israel, faithful to Hashem (God, literally, "the name") even in times of danger.
"We are truly in the dangerous times that directly precede Mashiach (Messiah)," the article in Sod1820 read. "Just as the pigeon is safe so long as it seeks shelter among the stones of the Temple Mount, the Jews are protected by the Torah commandments. When the pigeon comes out from the stones or the Jews move away from the Torah, they are in danger."
The site also claimed the appearance of a snake coming out of the stones of the Temple Mount could be seen as an auspicious sign. In gematria (Hebrew numerology) nachash (snake) נחש equals 358, the same as Moshiach (Messiah) משיח. The Zohar (the basis of Jewish mysticism) explained that the evil inclination, personified by the snake in Eden, will make a resurgence in the days before Messiah, tempted to come and drink sustenance from the enormous levels of holiness that will appear in the world in the end-of-days.
It was noted in Sod1820 that the snake appeared in the women's prayer section, emphasizing its relevance to women. In Genesis, it is described how Eve was tempted into sin by the snake.
Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts that Hashem had made. He said to the woman, "Did Hashem really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?" (Gen. 3:1, The Israel Bible).
According to Jewish tradition, the curse of Eve, represented by menstrual blood and labor pains, will be canceled in the Messianic era. Before the Messiah, God will kill the archetypal snake, removing the curse of Eve.
Another connection between the lowly snake and holiness is implicit in the Hebrew words. The letters of the word nachash can be rearranged to spell choshen(breastplate), worn by the Kohen Gadol (high priest) in the temple. The Zohar states that the tikkun (fixing) of the snake would be accomplished in the third temple by way of the breastplate.
Embedded in the breastplate were 12 precious stones, each representing a tribe of Israel. When faced with a difficult situation, the kings of Israel could inquire, and the stones of the breastplate would shine in sequence, providing them with a divine response to their question. This was a Tikkun for the snake that gave a deceitful response to Eve.
It does indeed seem like the Temple Mount is trying to speak to the Jewish people. About four months ago, a large piece of one of the stones, weighing several hundred pounds, suddenly fell, barely missing one of the women who came to pray at dawn. Another sign appeared on Hoshana Rabba, the last day of Sukkot, when a large cloud of mist began billowing up from the ground inside the Temple Mount compound, surrounding the Dome of the Rock for several minutes.
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