Eli Cohenאלי כהן הי"ד

Eli Cohen, [his full hebrew name was Eliahu ben Shaoul] worked as a Mossad agent in Damascus, Syria under the alias of Kamal Amin Ta’abet.Eli, who even gained the deep trust of Syria’s Dictator (before the Six Day War) Amin al-Hafez obtained vital secrets of the Syrian regime. Due to his friendship with the ruling elite, he was the only civilian to receive private tours of military installations, in the then Syrian controlled Golan Heights.As Eli was being briefed as to the Syrian fortifications of the Golan, he suggested that they plant eucalyptus trees to give the Israelis the impression that the locations were not fortified, and also to offer shade for the Syrian soldiers. His ideas were accepted, and as a result, Israel could identify every Syrian fortification based on the position of the eucalyptus trees.

He enhanced Israel’s security in many different ways. He alerted Israel concerning Syrian terrorists and a Syrian plot to divert much needed water from flowing into Israel.

Eventually, he was caught, tortured, and executed on the secular date, May 18, 1965 (a little more than three weeks after Israel’s Independence day of Jewish year, 5725). May Hashem avenge his murder!

The Task of the Spy, Eli Cohen, H”YD.
A Torah Hint About This

In Kol Hator, (a book by a disciple of the Vilna Gaon, – chapter 2 , part 2) we discover that:

The two Messiahs of the generations are miraculous forces that sustain the existence of Israel and strengthen them in all the days of the exile and they are the miraculous assistants in the footsteps of the Messiah. Messiah son of Yosef is the miraculous force used for sustaining and strengthening the materialistic and Messiah son of Dovid is the miraculous force used for sustaining and strengthening the spiritual in Israel in both a general and detailed way. The tasks of the two Messiahs are in many aspects as explained in the writings of our Rabbi, of blessed memory.

In the commentary there, it is explained:

The two Messiahs of the generations are Messiah son of Yosef and Messiah son of Dovid and they are “Sheivet and Mechokek” (listed in the blessing of Yehuda, Genesis 49:10) [see the commentary of the Vilna Gaon to Tikunei Zohar, 36b “Sheivet and Mechokek” are the two Messiahs.] A “Sheivet” shall not depart from Yehuda – this is Messiah son of Dovid and a “Mechokek” from his descendants [A euphemism, literally “from between his legs.”] – this is Messiah son of Yosef. [from the Zohar section 1, page 25b] And they strengthen the existence and the salvation of Israel in all the generations by the means of the sparks of their souls that dresses upon the righteous men of action, that engage in an actual way with the salvation of Israel and the preparation of the redemption until the final redemption, for then the two Messiahs, “the stick of Yosef” and the “stick of Yehuda” will be unified and the eternal Messiah will be revealed.

And in chapter 2 section 39 we learn:

“And Yosef (Joseph) recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him (Genesis chapter 42). – This is one of the charachteristics of Yosef not just in his generation but in every generation, since Messiah son of Yosef recognizes his brothers, but they do not recognize him. And it is an action of Satan that hides the charachteristics of Messiah son of Yosef, that they do not recognize the footsteps of the Messiah and also ridicule them, in our great iniquities…For if not for this, there would have already have been an end to our troubles. Now if Israel were to recognize Yosef, that is to say the footsteps of Yosef the Messiah, which are the ingathering of the exiles, etc., we would be redeemed already with a full redemption.

The author of Kol Hator cites the tenth midrash in Parshat Tanchuma as the source for his outlook on history.

There 26 comparisons are brought between Yosef and Zion. For example, concerning Yosef it was written “And Israel loved Yosef”. Concerning Zion it was written – “Hashem (G-d) loves the gates of Zion” (Psalms 87:2). Concerning Yosef it was written “And Yosef became beautiful in form and beautiful in appearance”. While concerning Zion – “Beautiful in landscape, the joy of the whole earth” (Psalms 48:3).

The conclusion of the Midrash is – “All the troubles that occurred to Yosef, occurred to Zion and the good things that occurred to Yosef, occur to Zion”.

israeli flagIf we define the fifth day of Iyar, Jewish year 5708 (the day Israel gained Independence in the secular year of 1948) as the birth date of a new stage in the ingathering of the exiles, or perhaps we should say about a month earlier on the first day of Nissan, if we give the State of Israel the status of a king of Israel (see commentary of Rabbi Steinzaltz to the first Mishnah of Rosh Hashana) , then it turns out that when the process of the ingathering of the exiles, which is to say using Kol Hator’s terminology the footsteps of Messiah son of Yosef, reached the age of 17, the Syrians killed, Israel’s spy, Eli Cohen.

In a parallel way it is written by Yosef, “Yosef was seventeen years old…and Yosef brang an evil report about them to their father.

In that same year when Yosef arrives at Dotan (Genesis 37:17) “And they saw him from far away, and they conspired against him, to make him die” ( verse 18).

In other words, one of the reasons that they wished to kill Yosef was because they felt he was similar to a spy.

So too, the place where they threatened to kill Yosef, namely, Dotan, is connected to the concept of espionage.

Dotan is recalled only one other time in the Bible in II Kings chapter 6:

Now the heart of the king of Aram (Syria) was in great stress over this matter and he called to his servants and said to them, ‘will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel’? And one of his servants said, ‘no my master, the king, for Elisha the prophet that is in Israel tells the King of Israel all the matters that you speak of in your bedroom’. Then he said, go and see, concerning him and his whereabouts that I may send and take him. And it was told him saying, Behold, he is in Dotan.

To strenghten your willingness to accept the principle that “all that occurred to Yosef, occurred to Zion”, I will “by the way” point out that the Peace Treaty with Egypt was signed in the thirtieth year of the state of Israel on the 27th day of the month of Adar, Jewish Year 5739 (Adar being the month before the month of Nissan and two months before the month of Iyar, the month of Israel’s Independence). In a parallel way by Yosef it was written, “And Yosef was thirty years old when he stood before Pharoah, King of Egypt and Yosef departed from the presence of Pharoah and he passed through all the land of Egypt (Genesis 41:46)”.

This hint is not to be construed as an endorsement of “Land for Peace”. As a proof that G-d does not endorse “Land for Peace”, I will quote a translation of the words of the Rashbam on the verses in the book of Genesis. There Rashbam explains what brought G-d to command Avraham (Abraham) to bind Yitzchak (Isaac) for a burnt offering. [ Just before Avraham was about to slaughter his son Yitzchak, he received a command to offer a ram as a burnt offering on the Temple Mount, in place of his son. ]

Now here are the words of the Rashbam (to Genesis 22:1):

(1) Vayhi ahar ha-d’varim ha’elle – And it came to pass after these events:

Wherever the phrase ahar ha-d’varim ha’elle is found, the context is linked to whatever comes before it. “After these events” where Avram killed the kings, The Holy One Blessed be He, said to him: “Do not fear, Avram”.
“And it came to pass after these events” when Yitzhak was born, Avraham was told etc. that Betu’el fathered Rivka.
Similarly, “after these events” where Mordechai informed on Bigtan and Teresh, King Ahashverosh raised up Haman who wanted to have Mordechai put to death, but the fact that Mordechai had saved the king’s life helped him here, and it was Haman who was hanged. Here, too, after the events when Avraham concluded a pact with Avimelech, obligating the descendants of both men, and gave him seven lambs [as a token of the pact], the Almighty was angry with Avraham for doing so, for behold, the land of the P’lishtim (Philistines) had already been given to Avraham; and also in (the book of) Yehoshua (Joshua), lots were used to divide the cities of the five P’lishtim leaders, being included within the boundaries of the land of Israel and the Holy One Blessed be He commanded, regarding them, do not not let even a single soul survive. Then the L-rd put Avraham to the test, harassed him and caused him sorrow, as is written: “has He tested you with suffering you are unable to remain silent” (Job 4:3, Rashbam to Gen. 19:11 ); ” and for their having tested G-d[Hashem]” (Exod. 17:7); Massa – trial – um’riva -and argument (also Exodus 17:7); “examine me, O G-d[Hashem], and test me” (Ps. 26:2).

In other words: “You became haughty because of the son I have given you – to conclude a pact between you and between their children.
Now go and offer him up as a burnt-offering, and see what will come of your pact!”

And afterwards I have found something similar in the midrash of Sh’muel:

“And the ark of Hashem remained in the land of the P’lishtim for seven months”. It was written [concerning Avraham’s oath]: “Take from my hand the seven lambs”.

The Holy One Blessed be He said to him: “You gave him seven lambs?

[I swear] by your life, his descendants will wage seven wars against your descendants and defeat them”.
Another interpretation: “By your life, his descendants will put to death seven righteous men of your descendants, viz., Shimshon (Samson), Hofni, Pinchas, Shaul (Saul), and his three sons”.
An alternative interpretation: “By your life, his descendants will destroy seven Temple Sanctuaries, namely: the tent of Meeting, Gilgal, Nov, and Shilo; Giv’on and the two permanent Temples [of Jerusalem].”
Yet another interpretation: “[By your life], the Ark will be passed back and forth amongst the P’lishtim for seven months.”

Rashbam concludes what does the Hebrew word “Nissa” in Genesis 22:1 connotate. He answers, harassed (namely, that G-d harassed Avraham after the Peace Treaty with Avimelech).

See also the words of the Chazoan Ish on Shviit, siman 24.

The Actions of the Fathers [Patriarchs] Are a Sign For The Sons – Ramban’s Viewpoint (Genesis 12:6)


“All that occurred to the Fathers [Patriarchs]are a sign for the sons. Therefore , scripture will deal at great length with the tale of their travels and the diggings of the wells and all the other incidents, and one might entertain the thought about these things as if they are unnecessary and without value. Yet all of them come to teach us about the future; for when an event occurs to the prophet from the 3 Patriarchs, we can discern from this, the thing that has been decreed to come upon his seed in the future. And know that all the heavenly decrees when they materialize to reality, there will be in any situation, a similarity sustained between the decree and the reality; and therefore the prophets will do an action in some of their prophecies as it was said about Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) that commanded Barukh “that when you finish to read this scroll, tie it to a stone and toss it in to the Euphrates River and say, “Thus shall Babylon sink, etc.” And so too the matter of Elisha, when he put his arm on the bow, and Elisha said, “Shoot” and he shot and he said, “an arrow of deliverance to Hashem (G-d) an arrow of deliverance against Aram”. And it was said there, “And the man of the L-rd was enraged against him, and he said, if you had hit them 5 or 6 times then you would have hit Aram in a complete way, but now, three times you will hit Aram. And therefore the Holy One Blessed be He, took hold of Avraham in the land and did to him things that would be similar to what would be done to his seed.”


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