The Vatican needs to return our Temple Treasures
Another excerpt of Rav Berland’s words during the recent gathering in Bat Yam
The Vatican is going to get a letter this week
As we said previously, someone will be sent to give the Vatican a letter this week. We need the mizbeach (altar) and the kinnorot (violins) that they took from us. They took around 1000 violins that were studded with diamonds. They took the harps from us, they took 100 gold tables from us.
We are going to send a letter with a lawyer – and if not [i.e. they won’t give us the things they took] we’ll go to war against them, there won’t be any other choice. We want everything to be returned, it’s enough already. The letter is on the way now.
We were just reading ‘Emek HaMelech’ now, on page 71, it says how many gold tables there were [in the Temple], how many harps, how many fiddles and how many altars there were – because there were a lot of altars there, not only the one in the heichal (Temple courtyard).
They need to return the things they depicted on the Triumphal Arch
They need to return all these things to us. They depicted all these things on their ‘Triumphal Arch’. They made a Triumphal Arch when they conquered the Jews. They conquered Spain, they conquered Carthage, they conquered Africa – and they didn’t do a Triumphal Arch [for any of these places].
Only when they conquered the Jews. They really didn’t believe that they’d managed to conquer Jerusalem, they really didn’t believe it….That they even managed to come close to Jerusalem, that it was even possible to approach Jerusalem. This was the biggest disaster.
The Chatam Sofer wrote that the hardest day is the 10th of Tevet, because the enemy had always been stopped in the Golan. The enemy had never crossed over the Jordan, apart from in the time of Sennacheriv.
They thought it was impossible to even approach Jerusalem
[Then], the angel of Hashem came and hit them. They heard a song from under the wings of the chayot. Hashem took their souls away, by way of the song that they heard…It was an army of hired mercenaries. They exiled all the countries in the world.
They said it was impossible to even set foot in Jerusalem, it just couldn’t happen. Not in Jerusalem, and not in Gan Yavne. It’s impossible to conquer a place where they’re learning Torah, it just can’t happen.
He (Sennacheriv) couldn’t understand why he’d hired an army from across the world. 260,000 ribua (multitudes), how many thousands is this? How many zeros? ….Seven zeros, this is 10,000,000. 260,000 multitudes is 2,600,000,000 (two billion, six hundred million.)
Tomorrow morning will be too late
He got to Jerusalem five minutes before shkia (sunset). The astrologers told him ‘jump now! This second!’[He said to them] Now it’s sunset. What if it would be tomorrow, in the morning? What’s the worst that can happen. Tell me, what’s the difference between [acting] now and tomorrow morning?
They said to him, by tomorrow morning, you won’t be able to conquer them, already. We don’t know why you aren’t conquering them, you have the last five minutes.
[He said to them] OK, bring me pillows, bedding, a mattress. [They built a platform] up to the height of the wall and he took a look. He saw people learning Gemara, they were already sitting there with their candles. It was sunset, and they were already with candles, learning Gemara, Masechet Sotah, Masechet Succah, and he said what?! I needed to bring an army for these guys?!
I’m going to take a few stones, and I’ll break their windows and that’s it. Tomorrow morning, everyone will take a stone…but tomorrow morning never ever came! There was no ‘tomorrow morning’. He’s still waiting for it until this day.
The Assyrian camp is struck down
That same night, came an angel of Hashem and at the point of Chatzot (halachic midnight), at 11 at night, it was chatzot, “And it was that night: An angel of Hashem went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand of the Assyrian camp. The rest arose in the morning and behold – they were all dead corpses!” (Kings II 19:35)
And this was just the generals and the chiefs of staff (Rashi’s comment on this verse). The army was 260,000 multitudes, 2.6 billion. Two billion is a third of the world’s population. 2.6 billion came to [fight against] Avraham, and also against Hezekiah with Sennacheriv, and also in the time to come, there will be 2.6 billion, and 2.6 billion, and another 2.6 billion. Together that’s 7.8 billion.
The world’s population is 7 billion. The world’s population used to be 7.8 billion. [Sennecheriv] brought a third of the world,
because no-one believed that anyone would ever conquer Jerusalem.