US President Donald Trump prays at the Western Wall. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90) (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)
Trump Western Wall

It might just be that Trump’s December 6, 2017 Jerusalem declaration was foreseen by a Torah scholar in the 13th century!

All those who love Jerusalem are no doubt celebrating President Donald Trump’s historic declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. It might just be, however, that the December 6 Jerusalem declaration was foreseen in the 13th century. But first some introduction.

This week’s Torah portion is “Vayeishev” (Genesis 37:1-40:23). Every Torah portion is divided into seven sections, corresponding to the seven days of the week. If fact, many people study one section of the weekly Torah portion every day. On Sunday, the first portion is studied, on Monday, the second portion, and so on.

In this week’s Torah portion, in the fourth section (corresponding to WEDNESDAY!) we read the story of Judah and Tamar. Tamar had been married to two of Judah’s sons, but both of them died before having children. After losing two sons, Judah decided not to allow Tamar to marry his third son. Tamar, knowing through prophecy that she was intended to have offspring in the family of Judah, dressed herself up as a prostitute and seduced Judah. Tamar conceived from this union, and Peretz and Zerach were born.

One of the fundamental commentaries on the Torah is written by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher, born in 1269 in Germany, known as the “Ba’al Haturim.” Commenting on the verse discussing Tamar disguising herself as a prostitute (Genesis 38:15) and comparing it with the verse in the book of Isaiah (1:27) that calls Jerusalem a prostitute, Rabbi Jacob says, “Just as Tamar was degraded but at the end honored, so too Jerusalem [that is degraded and rejected in the eyes of world] will also be honored at the end.”

There is a double “wow” here. Not only do we find a mention about the return of the glory of Jerusalem in this week’s Torah portion. We also find the reference in the section that corresponds to the day of the week on which President Trump made his declaration! Others point even further back to the prophecies of Zechariah as a source for Wednesday’s declaration on Jerusalem. Furthermore, President Trump’s declaration is also a fulfillment of the words of Isaiah “‘For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, until her vindication shines like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your vindication” (Isaiah 62:1).

We are clearly living in prophetic times!

By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel

For more insights by Rabbi Enkin on this week’s Torah portion, click on the links below.

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