The words of the Ramban (end of Parshas Bo, Shemos
13:16) about Divine Providence are a critical component of
our understanding of emunoh. The Ramban writes: "A
person has no part in the Torah of Moshe Rabbenu unless he
believes that everything that transpires in the world is a
miracle, and that there is no random universal order
determining what occurs in the world at large or to the
The Ramban also spells out here how we are to view everything
that occurs in our lives: "From the great and conspicuous
miracles [of nature], a person can recognize the hidden
miracles [in his life]. This concept is a foundation of the
This world view affects every area of Jewish life. Not only
is an individual expected to understand that everything that
happens to him was intended by Divine Providence, but all
events that occur to the Jewish people are also under G-d's
We will offer a general outline of the past 250 years, as was
originally propounded by the Vilna Gaon, and as his ideas are
brought several places in the works of HaRav Eliyohu
Weintraub. We will cite the sources. Our goal will be to
reassess the historical events which occurred during this
period to Jewry, and to attempt to see the wondrous hand of G-
d's Providence dispensing both benevolence and punishment.
Six Days Correspond to Six Millennia
The world was created in Six Days, with each day possessing
its own unique characteristics. The world's history will
encompass six millennia, parallel to these Six Days. (Ramban
on the verse "that Elokim created to do"
(Bereishis 2:3), cited in Besod Yeshorim of Rav
E. Weintraub, 5749, p. 96). Each day therefore parallels and
represents a thousand years.
The last seven-and-a-half centuries thus correspond to the
Sixth Day of creation. We will begin with the beginning of
the Sixth Millennium, and then proceed to our period. Going
759 years backward to the beginning of the Sixth Millennium
brings us to the year 1240 CE.
Each of the Six Days of Creation was divided into evening and
morning (night and day). The night precedes the morning, as
it says (Bereishis 1:31), "And it was evening and it
was morning, the Sixth Day." Therefore, the year 1740 (500
years into the Sixth Millennium) represents the break of dawn
on the Sixth Day.
An exact description of everything that happened on the sixth
day of creation is mentioned in the Talmud (Sanhedrin
38b): Rabbi Yochonon bar Chanina said, "The day lasted
twelve hours. In the first hour, his (Odom Horishon's) dust
was collected. In the second, he became a shapeless form. In
the third his limbs were shaped. In the fourth he received a
soul. In the fifth he stood on his legs. In the sixth he gave
names to the animals. In the seventh he mated with Chava. In
the eighth, two went up and four came down. In the ninth, he
was commanded not to eat from the tree. In the tenth, he
sinned. In the eleventh, he was judged. And in the twelfth,
he was punished and driven out."
Just as Hashem created man, who was the purpose of creation,
on the sixth day, likewise at the beginning of the second
half of the sixth millennium, Israel's redemption process
will begin. The gemora says that Israel is considered the
"Odom" of creation (Yevomos 61a) "You are called
Attempting to follow the parallels between the hours of the
Sixth Day of Creation and the latter half of the Sixth
Millennium as precisely as possible, let us take the 500
years that began in 1740 and divide them into 12 sections.
Each creation day hour corresponds to 41 years and 8 months.
Here are the years as they correspond to each day hour of the
First hour: 1740 (5500)
Second hour: 1781 (5541 + 8 months)
Third hour: 1823 (5583 + 4 months)
Fourth hour: 1864 (5625)
Fifth hour: 1906 (5666 + 8 months)
Sixth hour: 1948 (5708 + 4 months)
Seventh hour: 1989 (5750)
Eighth hour: 2031 (5791 + 8 months)
The Creation of "Odom" is Connected to Eretz
The place where the new "Odom" (the Jewish people) will be
recreated is pivotal. This second creation of "Odom" has to
take place in Eretz Yisroel, just as Odom's original
creation during the Six Days of Creation took place there.
The Fifth Hour
The beginning of the fifth hour, according to the calculation
we brought above, is 1907 (5667). This period contained a
glimmer of what the verse writes about Creation in general:
"And Elokim saw everything He had made and it was very
good" (Bereishis 1:31). As explained above, Odom
possessed a soul in the fifth hour, so this hour was
propitious for redemption.
The fifth hour continued until four months into 5708, about
the beginning of 1948. During this fifth hour, a number of
momentous events occurred, as we will soon explain.
The Balfour Declaration took place in 1917. After the British
took control of the Land of Israel at the end of World War I
in 1917, Balfour, Britain's foreign minister, proclaimed that
the Jewish people had a right to return to their land. This
was a public proclamation that the Land of Israel belongs to
the Jews. Although today this seems like a trivial event,
HaRav Meir Simcha Cohen of Dvinsk (author of the Or
Somayach) saw it as an earthshaking historical
This declaration was implemented from 1920 until 1925. The
Chofetz Chaim defined these years, particularly 1922, as a
"heavenly remembering." The fourth animal in Daniel's
prophecy, which was called "chazir," initiated the
return of the crown to its owners, i.e. the Land of Israel to
the Jews (Besod Yeshorim, p. 97).
In 1942, the German armies attempted to conquer the Land and
destroy the entire Jewish population, based on a plan they
had mapped out together with the Arab Mufti. By that time,
the Germans had conquered almost all of Europe and had
advanced deep into Russia. In Africa they had already reached
El Alamein bordering Egypt, and from the north they were
advancing towards Syria. Recognizing the terrible danger they
were in, the Jews in Israel pleaded to the Creator of the
world to save their lives. Prayers were recited around the
clock over three days, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of Tammuz.
The Jews' passionate and heartbroken entreaties were so well
known that word of them even reached the Germans, who boasted
openly that their goal was to silence the prayers of the Jews
The Germans lost the battle in El Alamein in a miraculous
way. Even the English, who defeated the Germans in this
battle, called it "the El Alamein miracle." Hakodosh
Boruch Hu didn't permit the adversary to enter the Land
of Israel, the place about which the Chofetz Chaim had
declared, "And Mount Zion shall be a refuge."
The fifth hour ended in 5708, which is when the State of
Israel was founded. Even though the founding of the State
caused much sorrow and anguish, we must differentiate between
the fact that it was a time of favor bestowed on us by G-d,
and the fact that this time of favor was misused. It is cited
in the Olom Hayedidos (Bein Sheshes Le'Osor, p. 145)
in the name of the Brisker Rov (and the author also mentions
he had heard it from Rav Elya Lopian), that at this time the
Jews received a "smile from the Shechinah," a
temporary he'oras ponim. According to our calculation,
this year corresponded to the end of the fifth hour when Odom
"stood on his feet." This year could have been a spectacular
time in which the Jewish people truly stood on its feet and
praised the Creator of the world for all the miracles that
had happened to it, including how the gates of Eretz
Yisroel had opened to take in the tens of thousands of
Holocaust refugees and bring them to safety. However, the
anti- religious Zionists who controlled the land, insolently
denied Hashem's Providence in the entire historical
"G-d Created Corresponding-Opposing Forces"
Now we must complete the picture. Just as Odom was being
reconstructed starting with the beginning of the Sixth
Millennium in parallel to his original creation, in the same
way opposing forces rose to resist this creation. These
opposing forces were both external and internal. Our two
enemies are called "Amolek" and "Erev Rav."
What was the power of Amolek? The Jewish people, as the
perfect Odom, is represented by Yaakov Ovinu, the choicest of
the Patriarchs. Yaakov was the exact balance between Avrohom
and Yitzchok, and he constituted the center pillar of
holiness. The powers that oppose the formation of Odom are
Yishmoel (pere odom) and Eisov (ho'orel
be'etzem), and the force that balances between them is
the central pillar of impurity: Amolek (Besod
Yeshorim, p. 95, in the name of the Zohar Hakodosh,
end of parshas Vayishlach). This pillar of Amolek
embraces both Eisov and Yishmoel's evil sources, and is the
main force which attempts to interfere with the recreation of
the Jewish people from the outside.
Who are the Erev Rav? Rav Weintraub explains (in sefer
Nefesh Eliahu, p. 30) that the Jewish people first began
to suffer from an admixture of good and evil when they
accepted the Erev Rav in their midst at the Exodus from
Egypt. This Erev Rav possesses its own form of Odom a hint of
which can be seen from the fact that Erev Rav in gematria
equals da'as (the Vilna Gaon). "Israel dwelled
securely, when the fountain of Yaakov is alone"
(Devorim 33:28). The Jews will only attain security
when this admixture is removed.
In the fifth hour, two world wars took place, both of them
spearheaded by the Germans, who are the antithesis of Odom.
We have a tradition from the Vilna Gaon that the German
nation is the continuation of Amolek. (The Hagahos of Rav
Yaakov Emden on Megilla 6a explains that "Germamia"
mentioned there is "Germany.") Also, as explained above, a
group of Erev Rav took power in 1922 in Russia and did
terrible evil to Israel. This was the internal and external
opposition to the restoration of the Jewish people to its
former glory. All of this was a manifestation of opposition
to "Odom standing on its feet" as described in Sanhedrin
The Difference Between the Erev Rav and Amolek
Despite both Amolek and the Erev Rav opposing Odom, and both
of them attempting to perpetrate the same evil goal, there is
nevertheless a large difference between them.
Amolek fought against Jews in the fifth hour, which was the
hour that Odom received his soul and the time when the Jewish
people tried to return to Eretz Yisroel. Amolek
achieved partial success. He defeated the Jewish people in
the Diaspora, but not the Jews living in the Land of Israel.
Amolek cannot set foot in the Holy Land, and he fell in
battle in El Alamein, as mentioned above.
However, the Erev Rav, which is also called "the peel of the
fruit," succeeded in stealing into the Land of Israel, as our
Sages explain (Zohar I, p. 25) "The heads of the
people are from them." This means that the people who will
have significant sway over the Jewish public in the country
(the leaders, the thinkers, the media personalities, and the
like) are the Erev Rav, as explained in the Kovetz
Maamorim by HaRav Elchonon Wasserman, Hy"d.
We see that despite the Jews in the Land of Israel being
rescued from the Germans, the seed of Amolek, they still
suffer immeasurably from the Erev Rav. These sufferings will
be even worse than the sufferings from Amolek, as our Sages
explain on the verse (Shir Hashirim 2:11), "For
behold, the autumn has passed and rain is over and gone." The
"autumn" refers to the enslavement to the nations of the
world which is bothersome but bearable. This is not the case
with the rain and bitter cold of the winter, which people
finds distressing. Our Sages say (Tikkunei Zohar, 406,
beginning from "Some of the Acharonim say") that "autumn"
refers to the exile under the nations of the world, while the
"rain" refers to the exile under the rule of the Erev Rav.
They will both exist as long as Moshiach is not governing the
We see from here that one can be saved from Amolek by living
in Eretz Yisroel, in accordance with the Torah
principle "and the remaining camp will escape"
(Bereishis 32:9). However, the Jewish people can still
suffer in the Land of Israel from the Erev Rav, and even
worse, the Erev Rav will be the leaders of the people and
they will draw most of the people after them. (Besod
Yeshorim, p. 98).
Yishmoel will also oppose the Jewish people in the Land of
Israel, because he is circumcised, as explained by our Sages
(Zohar, Parshas Lech Lecha). Yishmoel's opposition
will be throughout the hours of the Sixth Day, but will
particularly intensify during the fifth hour (1922), and
especially in Chevron in 1929. Yishmoel tried to prevent the
Jews from returning to their land, and even launched
bloodthirsty wars during the sixth hour.
We cited the words in Sanhedrin that in the sixth hour, Odom
gave names to the animals. The purpose of giving them names
was to clarify their substance and function.
Parallel to that, the recreation of Odom in the Sixth
Millennium is a period of clarification. It is particularly
in this period that the Erev Rav will rule over the Jewish
people. This is the transition from the period of "autumn" to
the period of "rain."
This period will be remembered as a period of sifting and
clarification. Every person will have to take a stand in his
life, and evaluate and decide to which camp he belongs. In
the Diaspora, the boundaries are still blurred and many try
to keep one foot in each camp. For instance, you'll find
people who eat glatt kosher and have a television in their
home, without even feeling the glaring contradiction between
However, here in Israel, the social situation forces one to
arrive at a clear categorical position.
This clarification continued until the beginning of the
seventh hour, which occurred in 5750 (1990), the date of the
Gulf War. All the myths about "Israel's rock" being the army,
exploded when 39 missiles fell over Israel without the army
lifting a finger to protect its citizens. It clearly showed
that they weren't able to "take their fate in their hands",
as people with a "kochi ve'otzem yodi" outlook
Not only was the army helpless, but miracles happened before
the eyes of all. Hundreds of homes were destroyed; yet their
residents were saved. This proved more than ever that Hashem
was leading His people and His world towards its
rectification, and it is not humans who will determine the
The Seventh Hour
Now it is 1999, and we are in the midst of the seventh hour.
According to our Sages (Sanhedrin ibid.), this is the
hour when Odom mated with Chava — when man's formation
reached its perfection. As explained above, Odom's recreation
had to be completed in Eretz Yisroel, just as was the
first man's creation.
We mention our existence in the Land of Israel in the second
blessing in Bircas Hamozone. One who doesn't mention
bris and Torah in this paragraph of Bircas
Hamozone, has not fulfilled his obligation. The
completion of the Land of Israel, and parallel to it the
completion of Odom being recreated in Eretz Yisroel, can only
be done through the joining of bris and Torah.
The Central Axis Around Which the Erev Rav is Based
If we look at the battles in Eretz Yisroel between the
Erev Rav and the Torah world, we will see that there is a
central axis, a common factor, in all the battles.
For the past 50 years, there have been battles over various
religious concerns, such as autopsies, grave desecration,
abortions, religious burial, euthanasia, education for
values, phony conversions, civil marriage, indecent
My teacher, HaRav Shlomo Wolbe [zt"l], explains that
the common factor in all these issues is the question of what
is a man. The Erev Rav represents the "anti-mentsch" —
they seek to eradicate what the Torah demands that a person
be, with all its ramifications. The wicked man says
(Koheles 3:19), "A human is not superior to an animal,
for all is futility." The Erev Rav want the public to act
without restraint in every area and do whatever their
hedonistic nature wants. To them, man is neither unique nor
eternal and they deny the revival of the dead. A life of
hedonism — "Eat and drink for tomorrow we die"
(Yeshayohu 23:13) — is the motto of the Erev
Rav. It is a world where man has lost his human nobility,
where Odom does not exist. Therefore, during the seventh
hour, hedonism and anarchy will spread among the youth.
Army Draft of Yeshiva Students
Odom is being formed in Eretz Yisroel in the zchus
of bris milah and Torah (i.e. the two brisim
which Hashem made with us — in the words of our
Sages, the bris of the tongue and the bris of
the skin). This is why the Erev Rav particularly opposes and
attempts to harm Torah study ("the bris of the
tongue"). This is how to understand the meaning of the battle
waged against the yeshiva students by threatening to draft
them into the army.
What are we to do when such a decree falls upon us? The
Ramchal (Likutim, Yalkut Yedios Ho'emmes, 5725, p.
324, cited in the Ramchal's Takanos Hayeshiva, p. 9),
writes concerning the decree in Italy to burn holy books,
that the decree was hinted to in the Targum on the
verse, "This is the law of the Torah" (Bamidbar 19:2):
"Doh gezeiras Oraysoh." The Ramchal explains:
"The Shechina chose the fearful judgment of burning
Torah scrolls for the sake of saving Israel. This caused the
purification of the impure, who would otherwise have no
recourse for purification . . . the Torah itself, because of
our many sins, is given over to be devoured for the sake of
Israel. This also rectifies the Torah's exile . . . and the
protection for this is that Israel should `kill themselves'
over Torah study. This is why it says (Bamidbar
19:14), `This is the Torah: a man who dies in a tent.'
(Shabbos 83b: Resh Lokish says, One will not maintain
his Torah study unless he kills himself over it, as it says,
`This is the Torah: a man who dies in a tent.')"
The Ramchal also gives advice for such a difficult hour. He
" . . . and the truth is that in these places (i.e. Italy),
the Torah had grievous accusations against the Jews for they
no longer killed themselves over it, and instead pursued the
pleasures of the world, for such is occurring throughout
Italy . . . And this is the advice that should be given to
all holy congregations . . . this is the order that we
arranged in our study hall, for we already knew what Rabbi
Shimon bar Yochai had written (Zohar, Parshas
VaYeitze, 151a): "If the voice does not stop [in Torah
study] . . . then nothing can overcome the Torah," and just
above that it says, "As long as the wise men rejoice in Torah
study, evil forces cannot overcome it. Therefore, we
undertook to establish Torah study around the clock, and this
is what we planned . . . "
In our period too, the Erev Rav declared a war against Hashem
and against His Torah. We have to awaken ourselves and
strengthen ourselves in this area of "a man who dies in a
tent", i.e. to be willing to push ourselves to the utmost in
Torah study, and not lessen our resolve the slightest.
We have thus far described and explained the general outlook
on our period. We spoke about the necessity to recreate Odom
that is occurring particularly in the Land of Israel. We
mentioned that, together with all the wondrous revelations,
some of which we have seen with our own eyes, there is great
hester ponim. The darkness right before dawn causes
assimilation and tremendous deterioration on one hand, but on
the other, it is bringing closer the elevation of the Jewish
people. It is an astonishing epoch.
When a person takes a look at the entire period, he can
better free himself of mankind's myopic and limited
perception and see matters straight "as Elokim made
him" (the Rambam's words at the end of Hilchos Shmittah
VeYovel). He will realize the truth of Odom's complete
recreation, and understand that humanity is inexorably
advancing towards the finish line with the help of Hashem.
HaRav Moshe Samsonowitz is the Mashgiach Ruchani of Kolel
Beth Sholom in the Beth Abba Institutions, Kiryat Sefer. What
appears here is an edited and shortened translation that is
based on a shmuess that was originally delivered 6 Tammuz
5759 in Kiryat Sefer.