Aug 16, 2022
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On Monday, an improbable sight appeared as delegations from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, wearing traditional Arab garb, took part in the public lighting of the Hanukkah menorah at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem. 

“Hanukkah Miracle”

“Who would have believed that peace would come to our home in such a glorious way? It is a Hanukkah miracle to see a delegation from the Emirates and Bahrain that is taking part in the candle-lighting,” Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch said at the ceremony.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein agreed that the event was a miracle but, just like the original Hanukkah miracle of the victory over the Seleucids, that it came about through hard work.

“Now too, we haven’t relied on a miracle, Edelstein said to the people gathered at the event. “Many have worked day and night, in the full sense of the word, in order to bring this miracle closer.”

True Sons of Ishmael Repenting to Reconnect With the Sons of Isaac

When first asked about the Abraham Accords, Rabbi Nachman Kahana noted that this agreement would bring the Bnei Yishmael (the sons of Ishmael) to Israel, perhaps for the first time.

“The Palestinians are not the real Bnei Yishmael, Rabbi Kahana said. “The Palestinians are the result of all the nations that passed through the Fertile Crescent. With the Bedouins of this region and the true Arabs of the Persian Gulf, there is no mixing of blood. They were separate from the Persian and the Greeks.”

Rabbi Kahana noted that the arrival of the true Bnei Yishmael to the Temple Mount may be a part of the tshuva (repentance process) of Yishmael, citing a verse in Genesis.

His sons Yitzchak and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre Genesis 25:9

“In this verse, Ishmael should have come first since he is older,” Rabbi Kahana noted, citing the medieval commentator Rashi who interpreted the incongruity in the verse to mean that Ishmael repented in his later years.

“Ishmael realized the spiritual superiority of Isaac and displayed this by allowing him to go first when burying their father,” Rabbi Kahana explained. He noted that this is being played out by the true Bnei Yishmael showing respect for the offspring of Jacob.”

When faced with the Arabs lighting candles, seemingly actively celebrating the Jews’ victory in Israel, Rabbi Kahana was cautiously optimistic.

“Judaism has a very strong value of darkei shalom (the ways of peace) that is even taken into account in some cases when making Halachic (Torah law) decisions,” Rabbi Kahana said to Israel365 News. “But peace is very easy to fake, to use for improper ends. It is still very early to know how this will play out.”

“We need to know if they are sincere and if they are truly the sons of Ishmael, in personal identity as well as in their actions. And even this has its points that need caution.”

Rabbi Kahana noted that directly after honoring Isaac at Abraham’s funeral, Ishmael married his daughter, Mahalath, off to Esau.According to Midrash Rabbah, Ishmael did so in order to plot with Esau to kill Isaac and Jacob in order to jointly take their inheritance. Mahalath is described in Midrash Aggadah as being evil.

“This teaches us that caution is absolutely necessary when dealing with Ishmael,” Rabbi Kahana said, using a Hebrew expression.

( Kapdehu v’chashdehu; respect him but suspect him)”קפדיהו וחשדיהו”

Abraham Accords: Israel and Arabs United in the Battle Against Idolatry

Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end of days writer, was perplexed by the event.

“Though it is true that Ishmael repents at the end-of-days,but this event raises so many questions,” Rabbi Winston said. “I very much wonder what the Arabs were thinking when they lit the candles. On one hand, as Muslims, they are probably very happy to celebrate a victory of idolatry. In the battle against idolatry and even secularism, we are their allies. What is clear is that there are certainly a lot of Palestinians, who are also Muslims, who are boiling mad at this.”

Rabbi Winston noted that it is much easier for the Muslim Arabs from Bahrain and the UAE to tale part in a Hanukkah event in Jereusalem than a secular event, even a business gathering, in Tel Aviv.

“The food is kosher, which means it is halal, and the women are modestly dressed,” Rabbi Winston noted. 

 

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