In the Passover Haggadah there is a section where one dips their finger into their cup of wine and dabs a bit of wine onto their plate. They do this 16 times. The process begins after the words "I will do miracles in heaven and on earth." We then say the words דם ואשׁ ותימרות עשׁן, "Blood and Fire and Pillars of Smoke." Everything we recite from the Haggadah until we wash and eat deals with our exodus from Egypt (our first redemption). Everything that is, except for this one verse. "Blood and Fire and Pillars of Smoke" do not deal with the happenings in Egypt. It is a verse from the prophet Joel 3(3)and deals with events that will occur (or have occurred already) at the end of days. Sure it can be argued that Blood was prevalent in Egypt. Blood was indeed the first plague. And fire was part of the hail that contained both water and fire in a miraculous fashion. But most commentators agree that this verse, strangely included here, deals with our final redemption. But why here? Perhaps its inclusion hints that just as our first redemption was filled with plagues upon our enemies in a miraculous manner, Hashem will do the same at the time of our final redemption.
Or it can be argued that these events might have already happened and simply signal a timeline. For instance, the Holocaust surely had Blood, and Fire with Pillars of Smoke in their destructive ovens of death. When the darkness cleared, the world learned what really happened in the camps and across the villages in Europe. For just a brief moment of time the nations felt sorry for the Jews, allowing The State of Israel to be reborn. This was the start of the redemption process, for how can you have a redemption without an Israel? And then on 9/11 there was plenty of Blood, Fire and Pillars of Smoke that rose for weeks after. This signaled the beginning of the end of days. The 9/11 events resulted in the unexplained, strange response by President Bush. Despite the fact that 15 of the 19 terrorists responsible for the attack came from Saudi Arabia, no action against that nation was even thought of. After all the Bush family had a close relationship with the Saudi ruling family. So Bush went after an easy target. He decided to invade Iraq declaring that Saddam Hussein was evil and that he had weapons of mass destruction. Saddam's family had no involvement with the 9/11 attacks and either never possessed or hid the suspected weapons. Meanwhile the mastermind of the attacks Osama bin Laden was never close to being killed or captured. The world grew tired of the war in Iraq and when Bush's term was over the international approval rating for his foreign policies was less than 20%. This massive disappoval and distrust of Bush resulted in the unlikely election of an anti-Semitic Demi God named Barack Hussein Obama as America's 44th President. Bush indirectly opened the White House doors for Obama.
So many Jews have wondered and cried about the lateness of the coming of Mashiach. But not until an enemy of the Jewish People, the most powerful man in the world, an Obama, would arise and oppose the Jews, could our Mashiach reveal himself and oppose this force of evil. That time is now. It's no surprise that 80% of the Jews remained in Egypt and did not believe in redemption, and 80% of the current American Jews think Obama is doing a wonderful job as President and truly support him. The verse from Joel 3(3) referred to above is indeed a timeline. But it's more than that. It's a statement from G-d through His prophet as to who will be the focus of his wrath and the subject of His punishing miracles. Let's take a closer look at this entire section of the Haggadah. If you take the values of the first letters of each of the 4 words in דם ואשׁ ותימרות עשׁן, you get 86 which is the value of Hashem's Elokim name. This indicates that just like in Egypt, Hashem will Himself inflict the punishing blows. Then the Haggadah continues with several lines stating that "Another explanation is thus: with a mighty hand, denotes 2 plagues, and with an outstretched arm, 2 more, and with great terror, 2 more, and with instructive signs, 2 more, and with punishing miracles 2 more. These are the 10 plagues which the Holy One Blessed Be He, brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt, and they are as follows." These very words in Hebrew contain 112 letters. This indicates when this will occur, and what will occur, for the atbash of משׁיח, our redeemer, שׁלום, the peace that will follow, and כּושׁ, Cush, the land holding and protecting the Ark of the Covenant, all have an atbash of 112. In addition, as stated in a previous blog, 112 represents the time value of Daniel's famous Time, Times and a half of Time, the angel's response to his inquiry as to when all this will happen. Then the Haggadah lists the 10 plagues that were inflicted on the Egyptians. The value of the first letters of the 11 words making up the 10 plagues add up to 541 and tells us where Hashem's future actions will take place. For 541 is the value of ישׂראל, Israel. Next the Haggadah states that Rabbi Yehuda formed a mnemonic of the Hebrew initials of the 10 plagues. The first letters of the 6 Hebrew words making up this verse equals the value of 327. This tells us who will witness and understand the actions of Hashem. For 327 is the value of העברים, the Hebrews. The Jewish People will see the Hand of G-d close up. Finally, the actual mnemonic of the 10 plagues reveals who will be responsible for these plagues. This will be a person similiar to Pharaoh who witnessed the power of G-d but failed to recognize the severity of these actions. By the time he understood the truth his entire army was destroyed. The gematria of the mnemonic דצך עדשׁ בּאחב is 501, the same value as Barack Hussein Obama in Hebrew. Will he also fail to recognize and acknowlege the power of G-d and risk the safety of his armies and his people? Shemos Rabbah 8(3) states that this mnemonic was inscribed on the staff of Moses. In fact if we take the atbash of the first letters: daled from דם, and the aleph from אשׁ, and the taf from תימרות, we arrive at the same 501 value.
Several verses after the one that states, "blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke," the prophet Joel relays a message from Hashem. "It will be that anyone who calls in the Name of Hashem will escape (these plagues and dangers), for on the mountain of Zion and in Jerusalem there will be refuge." In the next chapter, Joel repeats that, "Hashem will be a shelter for His people." And right near the end of his prophecy, Joel states that "Edom will become a desolate wilderness." American Jews may not like to hear it, but WE live in Edom. America is Edom. When most people read that in the future there will be "blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke," most people imagine a nuclear explosion. That scary thought combined with the prophet's statement that Edom or America will become a desolate wilderness should be enough to give everyone, Jew or non-Jew, religous or non-religous, black or white, republican or democrat, liberal or conservative, a reason to stop and pause and reflect and think about the direction of this once great and blessed nation. It might not be obvious yet, but people are naive not to project our President's attention towards the State of Israel. The innocent lambs appear to be an easy target for the wolf. When Obama takes that first step attacking Israel with his mouth and troops, and attacks G-d in his heart, there will be blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. Indeed, there will be wonders in the heavens and on earth. And then, each Jew remaining in Edom will have the most important decision to make in their lives. Do they side with Obama and America or with Hashem and Israel? There will be no room for hesitation or a middle ground.