Monday, October 13, 2008

During the month of Elul, when Jews begin preparing for Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur, doing teshuva; focusing on G-d; and, in general, trying to achieve a higher level of repentance, the financial markets of the world began to go seriously crazy.

This happened at the end of the 7-year Shemittah cycle, the Jewish "Sabbatical" Year, when, amongst many other things, all debts are forgiven.

The last end of the Shemittah year was 7 years ago. The end of that last cycle - on the Third day that we say Selichos, special prayers entreating G-d for His Mercy and Redemption, the 23rd of Elul, 5761, a week before Rosh Hoshana, was September 11th, 2001.
On September 17th, 2001, the 29th of Tishrei, the day before Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year, the Dow Jones went down 684.8 points, the largest single day decline (until Now) in the history of the stock market.

The day before Rosh Hoshana, Erev Rosh Hoshana, this year- the Dow Jones plummeted 777.7 points, the largest point drop in history, because, ostensibly, Congress refused to "forgive" the debts of those who created this mess.
The market then declined 678.9, the third largest drop in history, on Yom Kippur.
The last single largest drop, erev Rosh Hoshana, 2001, is now the 2nd largest drop in history.
During the Ten Days of Repentance, the Aseres Yemei Teshuva, between Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur, the financial markets of the entire world plummeted more so than any time in history.


One possibility -
The number 777.7 is indicative of the normal flow of events in This World. Seven is the number of Creation. Adom HaRishon was Created by Hashem on the 6th Day of Creation - Rosh Hoshana.
This number indicates the complete cycle of This World; the world of gashmius, the material world; the world of the senses.
Beyond this world of teva, the natural world, lies the Real World; a level above This World. This is represented by the number Eight.
Eight is the beginning of a new cycle; a new octave, on a higher plane; a higher madreiga. It is the madreiga beyond teva.
It is this higher spiritual plane which all Jews are striving to achieve through Repentance during the Days of Awe - the holidays of Rosh Hoshana, Yom Kippur and beyond.
The financial crisis' culminating with the market crash of 777.7 erev Rosh Hoshan could be a signpost for Jews (and therefore Mankind) that it is imperative that we pull ourselves out of This World of Greed and Corruption, which are the sole factors for this whole financial mess, and achieve a Higher Level of Being.
We need to achieve a New Octave above This World.

Then, the continued unprecendented turmoil during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva, culminating again on Yom Kippur, could be a further sign that, not only is Hashem arranging the Entire World as a Signpost for the Jews, but that He is doing so in a manner to show all of Mankind that we live in a Age of Miracles and Wonders by doing so.
After all - if this were not the Hand of G-d, the markets and whole meltdown could have easily occurred on some other insignificant date.
The stock market crash of October 19th, 1987, the largest percentage drop of the Dow Jones in a single day in its entire history, including today's turmoils, occurred on the 26th of Tishrei, a fine date, but not one of particular significance and occurring after all of the major Jewish holidays of this season.

Another speculation as to the whole Purpose of This Time of Wonders and Miracles could be posited based on an historical perspective.
At the time of the last great turmoil and crisis at the end of Shemittah - September 11th, 2001, where Wall Street was literally blown up and where the stock market then dropped more than ever before on erev Rosh Hoshana, Israel was being attacked in a new, particularly vicious war fomented by Arafat the Rotting. That "Second Intifada" had begun a year before - on Rosh Hoshana.
Due directly to the 9-11 atrocities, the United States and much of the rest of the world, stopped criticizing Israel for defending itself against the Arab death cultists. Israel approved the security fence in 2001 and launched Operation Defensive Shield against the various territories in 2002.
It is conceivable that without 9-11, Israel would have not been able to defend itself from the incessant terror that began again in 2000.

Today, it would appear that the greatest existential threat in this material world to Israel comes from Iran.
The Credit Market Collapse and attendant Oil Price Collapse may well bankrupt Iran, or at least make it unable to continue its aggressive military plans to obliterate Israel.
Iran has a history of revolutions when its people are not supported and satisfied. It is a fact that the Iranian government has dissatisfied the majority of its citizens and has totally mismanaged the Iranian economy.
It would appear, on the face of it, that this sort of financial turmoil along with the collapse of oil prices would offer a large incentive for the people of Iran to change their government.

On Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur, we humbly and fearfully recite the Unesaneh Tokef, a prayer recited 1,000 years ago by Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, after he was tortured by the Bishop of Mainz to convert. He refused and died on Rosh Hashanah after reciting this prayer.

Part of this prayer declares:
"On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, who by stoning. Who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted."

As Torah observant Jews, we fervently claim, in this prayer, that G-d Controls Everything. He alone is King and Creator. And that there is Nothing, absolutely Nothing, that does not occur, except by His Will.

Why Hashem would show His Hand in the World in the turmoil of the financial affairs of the world is open to speculation.
The Historical Facts of when these world shattering events occur and occurred is not open to speculation.
On Rosh Hashana and on Yom Kippur...
At the end of the Shemittah Cycle.
On the Jewish High Holy Days.