Rabbi Yitzchak Batzri, a noted kabbalist from Jerusalem, reacted to the recent revelation of the first three letters of the four-letter ineffable name of God appearing on the eastern retaining wall of the Temple Mount by affirming that according to Jewish tradition, this is indeed a sign that the final redemption is imminent.
In the photo, the plants have grown to form the shapes of letters. The letters seemed to be ‘written’ in ktav ashuri, the calligraphy style used in writing sacred texts. Three letters are clearly seen: י (yud), ה (heh), ו (vav). These are, of course, the first three letters in God’s ineffable four-letter name (minus the final ה (heh). The section of the wall is directly adjacent to the Shaar HaRachamim, the gate of mercy also known as the Golden Gate. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence) used to appear through the Eastern Gate and will appear again when the Messiah arrives. The Messiah will arrive via Sha’ar HaRachamim. Out of a mistaken belief that Jewish tradition speaks of the Messiah being from the priestly caste, the Ottomans built a cemetery in front of the gate in order to prevent the Jewish Messiah from arriving.
Rabbi Batzri emphasized that Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, will be on Saturday night at the end of Shabbat. Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.
“We all have a part in the destruction of the Temples,” he said. “Any person who does not long for the Third Temple would have been one of those who burned God’s house in the days past. People read the Bible and imagine they would have been one of the holy Jews who served God in Jerusalem. The only way to know that is by your actions right now, on Tisha B’Av. If you long for the tome, pray for the Temple, long for God’s house, then you will merit to be in God’s presence when the final letter finally appears, which could be any moment, perhaps even this Tisha B’Av.”
The story of the letters first appeared in ‘Kehila’, an Orthodox Jewish Hebrew news site. According to the story, the letters on the wall were first recorded by Rabbi Yair Weinstock who wrote about it to commemorate the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Ḥayyim ben Moshe ibn Attar also known as the Or ha-Ḥayyim, who passed away in 1743 and is buried on the Mount of Olives. About one month ago., Rabbi Weinstock was approached by Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Beckerman, who frequently prayed at the graveside of the Ohr ha-Hayyim. Rabbi Beckerman told Rabbi Weinstock about the appearance of the letters in an area of the walls of the Temple Mount overlooking the gravesite of the Ohr HaHayyim.
Rabbi Weinstock associated the appearance of the letters to a story that took place in that area. During World War Two, the Nazis had taken control of Libya and Rommel in Egypt seemed set to conquer the Holy Land in a move that would have led to the British fleeing. This would have left all the Jews in Palestine under Nazi rule. As the fearful possibility seemed imminent, Rabbi Yaakov Landau, the Chief Rabbi of Bnei Brak, approached Rabbi Yisrael Friedman, the spiritual leader of the Husiatyn Hassidic sect, who lived in Tel Aviv, who was known to be an exceptionally pious individual.
Rabbi Lau requested that Rabbi Friedman pray to remove the danger to the Jews. Rabbi Friedman replied that faith in God was necessary.
“And the Jews of Europe who were sent to their death did not have faith?” Rabbi Lau replied.
“The land of Israel is different,” Rabbi Friedman replied.
On the 16th of Tammuz, the anniversary of the Ohr HaHayyim’s death, Rabbi Friedman traveled to his graveside on the Mount of Olives as was his custom. He was joined by several of his students and other prominent rabbis. Due to the dire situation, the prayers become cries for heavenly mercy. The tension increased and the prayers grew more intense.
Finally, Rabbi Freidman, who had been staring at the Temple Mount, turned and said, “He [Hitler] won’t come here.”
He added in a whisper heard only by those nearby, “I saw the letters of God’s ineffable name written in glowing gold over the grave and therefore I know with certainty that [the Nazis] will not come here.”
Rabbi Weinstock wrote, “The wonderous letters that the holy Rabbi Friedman saw, no one else merited to see. But the letters that are growing on the wall precisely in front of his grave, many people are seeing and repenting, crying out to come close to Hashem in these powerful days.”