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A ‘Blueprint to Greatness’: How Modern Events Echo the Nevi’im

Rabbi Elie Mischel

The books of the Nevi’im are not just about what happened to Bnei Yisrael in the past, they are “blueprints” of what is happening today.

That was the theme of a talk given by Rabbi Elie Mischel of Israel on Feb. 18 at the Synagogue of the Suburban Torah Center in Livingston. The talk was the finale of the Israel Activism Shabbat weekend that had Rabbi Mischel speaking throughout Shabbat in West Orange, including a Shabbat morning speech at Congregation Ohr Torah and an afternoon address at Ahavas Achim Bnei Jacob & David.

In addition to providing the community with a sense of what is really happening on the ground in Israel, the programming was also a fundraiser for the MetroWest Israel Action Committee. Prior to making aliyah with his family, every mention of Mischel should be preceeded by Rabbi  was the rabbi at Suburban Torah and his Sunday morning talk was a brief homecoming of sorts. As he joked with the more than 100 people who attended, he said he misses all the people but has a much better view from his home in Israel, as he can see Jerusalem in the distance.

Saying that the things we are seeing now are “unbelievable,” Mischel said the only way to understand it is “through Tanach.”

The Gemara says that the Jews had many prophets, double the number of Jews who left Egypt, yet Mischel said only a few were recorded in Tanach. Why? Because, he said, “even the ones that look like history are really prophecy.”

Quoting Rabbi Reuven Sasson, a popular Torah lecturer and educator, Mischel relayed a teaching from Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, zt”l, who said “Nevi’im is a blueprint for our time.” He explained that the 1920s-1940s could best be compared to the story of Yehoshua and the Jews entering Israel and setting up their cities and building the land. The era from the 1960s-2000s echoes events in the Book of Shoftim, Judges, where Bnei Yisrael tries to hold onto the land even as the tribes fight among each other, much as the Jewish people have been doing in recent years.

“I believe we are now reliving the Book of Shmuel,” said Mischel, noting that Shmuel is 50 chapters long. “It’s a long and difficult ride,” he continued, but it is all about the “way to Moshiach.”

At the end of the Book of Judges, the Jews were fighting each other and all jockeying for control, while Shmuel starts with the story of Chana and Elchanan and her desire to have a child, which sets Bnei Yisrael up for the building of the Beit Hamikdash.

“We are living in the time of Chana and Elchanan,” said Mischel, calling Chana an “activist who changes everything.”

He continued, “After Oct. 7, Am Yisrael took a new step forward. Before our nation was getting old. We were complacent and fighting each other. Since Oct. 7, it’s been like a fountain of youth. We are seeing our greatest generation, our young people in Eretz Yisrael” responding to help and finding strength in Hashem.

“We are in the greatest baal teshuva movement in history, dwarfing the one that happened after the Yom Kippur War,” he said. “It’s incredible. We went to a very low place as a people and now we have started the journey to a higher place.

“Am Yisrael is going from Shoftim to Kings. This is unbelievable. The next chapters of the Tanach are being written in our generation,” he said, reminding his audience that all Jews owe a debt to those secular Israelis, the socialist believers who settled the land in the 1920s and 1930s.

“Now, we are near the time of David and a time when there will be peace and a third Beit Hamikdash will be built. We are David,” said Mischel, “but David has a lot of rough moments before he was crowned king.

“We are on the path of redemption. We have to be worthy of that redemption. There is no more normal. No more average. Those days are over. We are being called upon for greatness,” Mischel told his audience. “Hashem has chosen us.”


Faygie Holt is an award-winning journalist whose articles have been published worldwide and translated into several different languages. She is also the author of two middle-grade book series for Jewish children, “The Achdus Club” and “Layla’s Diaries,” both available from Menucha Publishers. A third series is set to be released in 2024. Learn more at faygieholt.com.

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