Rome, Unexplained Things and a Path to Messianic Times - Psalm 119:18
(יח) גַּל־עֵינַ֥י וְאַבִּ֑יטָה נִ֝פְלָא֗וֹת מִתּוֹרָתֶֽךָ׃
(18) Open my eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Your teaching.

What does the Book of Psalms say about unexplained things?

Psalm 119:18


"Unveil my eyes that I may behold

the wonders from Your Torah.”

"Gal eyneni v’abiyta niflaos mi toraseycha."

We know that the Torah was entrusted to us by God, and yet so much of the Torah is beyond our understanding. In the 18th passage of Psalm 119 - (18 meaning "chai" life), the psalmist pleas: "Uncover my eyes so that I may see the wonders of Your Torah..." The word "unveil" is "Gal" in Hebrew - the same letters as the word "Lag" – perhaps a reference to Lag BaOmer, she said.

During the days between Passover and Shavuos, between the miracles of our release from the bondage of slavery and the receiving of the Torah (the waters of the infinite and our true birth as a free people in service of God) we celebrate the passing of a very special rabbi. Why do we celebrate this and why is there such a reference to plea for God to "unveil my eyes that I may behold the unexplained things of Your Torah."?

It was 2,000 years ago, at the time of the first Lag BaOmer, and Israel had been conquered by the Roman Empire. It was a period of history in which the messianic era could have possibly begun. Two thousand years ago the factors were in place: Within Israel, there was a great military leader named Bar Kochba and great spiritual leaders like Rabbi Akiva who brought great holiness into the world. Throughout the empire there was widespread dissatisfaction with pagan rites and beliefs, and there were many people who were responsive to the Torah's message of love, hope and redemption.

Tragically, it was not to be. The forces against the messianic era beginning before the suffering of the past twenty centuries were too great and the forces that would have helped bring it about fell short. Rome's military power and ability to bring its tremendous force down overwhelmed the small nation of Israel. All life was decimated, from the Temple which lay burned and leveled, to the population killed or enslaved. Even the trees were destroyed and the very name of the country was wiped away.

However, it was not military might but spiritual failure which ensured that the messianic age was not to begin for at least another two thousand years. Spiritually, the Jews themselves fell short of the great spiritual and moral heights that were required. A plague ensued and all hopes for a messianic age were dashed.

Then, in the midst of darkness, a new light emerged. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai revealed to a small group of students the mystical Zohar which uncovers the secrets which will eventually bring the coming of the messianic age. Thus, we commemorate Lag BaOmer as a day of revealed truths; in the hope, that each of us may help bring God's holiness into our corner of the world. For as the psalmist sings:

"Unveil my eyes that I may behold

the wonders from Your Torah.”

(from the book "Software for the Soul: Psalms for Everyone - discovering the inner meanings"

Click Here for the link.)