Sheloshah Pish’ai Azah

(This pasuq is making the rounds on the web. I believe original credit for pointing it out goes to R’ Shmuel Rosenberg, a sofer in Tzefat.)

כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְ-הוָ֔ה עַל־שְׁלֹשָׁה֙ פִּשְׁעֵ֣י עַזָּ֔ה וְעַל־אַרְבָּעָ֖ה לֹ֣א אֲשִׁיבֶ֑נּוּ עַל־הַגְלוֹתָ֛ם גָּל֥וּת שְׁלֵמָ֖ה לְהַסְגִּ֥יר לֶאֱדֽוֹם׃

וְשִׁלַּ֥חְתִּי אֵ֖שׁ בְּחוֹמַ֣ת עַזָּ֑ה וְאָכְלָ֖ה אַרְמְנֹתֶֽיהָ׃

וְהִכְרַתִּ֤י יוֹשֵׁב֙ מֵֽאַשְׁדּ֔וֹד וְתוֹמֵ֥ךְ שֵׁ֖בֶט מֵֽאַשְׁקְל֑וֹן וַהֲשִׁיב֨וֹתִי יָדִ֜י עַל־עֶקְר֗וֹן וְאָֽבְדוּ֙ שְׁאֵרִ֣ית פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים אָמַ֖ר אֲ-דֹנָ֥י יְ-הוִֽה׃

So says Hashem: “For three transgressions of Azza, even for four, I will not reverse it: because they exiled an entire exile, to turn them over to Edom.

So will I send a fire into the wall of Gaza, and it will devour its palaces.

And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; and I will turn My hand against Eqron, and the remnant of the Philistines shall be gone”, says Hashem, G-d.

- Amos 1:6-8

A reference to Hashem losing patience with Gaza after multiple offenses, sending fire into it, destroying its “palaces” and eliminating the Philistines has eerie and obvious parallels.

According to the Mezudas David, Amos is referring to the then-future exile by Titus. Many from Yerushalayim fled south, and the residents of Azza captured them and handed the refugees over  to the enemy. Thus “to turn them over to Edom”.

As for today’s galus sheleimah, the speed at which antisemitism has accelerated the world over is frightening. Deaths in France, beatings and shul burnings in London, a Molotov cocktail thrown at a Temple outside Chicago, a Chabad menorah and Jewish-owned shops sprayed with swastikas in Belgium, a banner at an Australian rally demanding “clean the earth from dirty Zionists!”, people in Fort Lauderdale shouting that we need ovens, echoed in the Netherlands where protesters chanted “Hamas, Hamas, Joden aan het gas — Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”…

המתרצה ברחמים ומתפיס בתחנונים, התרצה והתפיס לדור עני כי אין עוזר!

He Who desires mercy and is appeased with pleas,

please find desire and appeasement for this impoverished generation

for we have no other helper!

יְ-הוָ֣ה לָ֭נוּ לֹ֣א נֵירָ֑א מַה־יַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה לָ֭נוּ ֣אָדָֽם!

Hasיem is with us, we shall not be afraid! What can a person to do us?

- c.f. Tehillim 118:6

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