Superficially, Jewish history is a maze of uncorrelated events, as the Jewish people zigzag throughout the globe and interact with different nations and cultures, in widely diverse conditions.

But just as Kabbalah reveals the inherent unity within creation, it also reveals the underlying unifying thread connecting all our diverse forms of interaction with the non-Jewish world, from the birth of our nation until the end of time.

The quest to develop a relationship with G‑d is part of the essence of Judaism. A relationship becomes truly meaningful, however, when it successfully withstands challenges and counter-forces. Many couples attest that their relationships became stronger and solidified after going through difficult challenges. The same applies to our relationship with G‑d. He, too, created forces of negativity in our world to challenge, confuse, and put obstacles in the path of this relationship.

Kabbalah reveals the underlying unifying thread connecting all our interactions with the non-Jewish worldAll the various nations and cultures which have oppressed us throughout the generations were manifestations of these negative forces. Kabbalah calls these forces kelipot, shells. Just as a shell hides what's inside it, these negative forces were created to hide the truth — but also serve to bring out the best in our relationship, when we overcome them.

Abraham was the first Jew. With his enormous powers of intellect and emotion he perceived the Oneness of G‑d and spread this knowledge to a world steeped in paganism, immorality and decadence. The spiritual counter-force in his time was King Nimrod, whose very name comes from the root of mered, rebellion. Nimrod rebelled against truth, spirituality, morality and G‑d.

Nimrod was the first mighty ruler in human history. Human civilization centered around ancient Babylon in that time period, and Nimrod, king of Babylon, ruled with a mighty hand. Nimrod's arrogance knew no bounds. Convinced that he was a god, he commanded his subjects to worship him.

Abraham's philosophy of submission to G‑d and humility in the face of the infinite Oneness of G‑d were anathema to Nimrod's arrogance. But all of Nimrod's might and cruelty was no match for Abraham. Not only did Nimrod fail to crush Abraham and his ideals, when Abraham left the area and moved to the Land of Israel, he brought with him tens of thousands of followers who had converted to the true faith.1

According to Kabbalah,2 Nimrod emerges again, reincarnated in the form of the mighty King Nebuchadnezzar, the fierce ruler of Babylon during the later time period of the first Temple. Babylon was again the center of civilization and its architectural masterpieces were the wonder of the ancient world.

Nimrod emerges again, reincarnated in the form of the mighty King NebuchadnezzarThe book of Daniel describes Nebuchadnezzar's insatiable appetite for respect and honor. He declared himself god, erected a huge statue of himself and demanded all his subjects to prostrate themselves as a sign of submission to his unlimited powers. His arrogance was so outrageous that G‑d decided to teach him a lesson and he was turned into a beast, thrust into the wilderness and forced to roam unclothed among the beasts of the field for seven years.3

Nebuchadnezzar eventually resumed his throne, however, and died a peaceful death. He was never punished in this world for destroying G‑d's Holy Temple, for killing hundreds of thousands of Jews and forcing them into a decades long exile.

The Zohar predicts that Nimrod/Nebuchadnezzar will return one last time at the end of days so that he can finally receive his earthly punishment for his cruelty and arrogance.4

Among the evil dictators in recent history, Saddam stands unique in his insatiable lust and selfish preoccupation with his own power and glory. Saddam Hussein was infatuated with Nebuchadnezzar and considered himself his modern day heir.

When his country was in ruins and his citizens were dying due to the sanctions imposed upon his country after the first Gulf War, this megalomaniac was spending billions of dollars on building for himself one luxurious palace after another. As people were dying on the streets of Iraq, Saddam embarked on a project of rebuilding the ancient city of Babylon so that he could proclaim himself, in his words, "the Nebuchadnezzar of modern times."

Is it far fetched to assume that he actually was the last manifestation of Nimrod/Nebuchadnezzar?

The parallels are astounding. Nebuchadnezzar's greatest pride was the destruction of the Temple and Judea. Saddam continued on the same path. During Operation Desert Storm, Saddam desperately tried to inflict heavy casualties on the Jews of Israel. In later years, he encouraged suicide bombings by awarding substantial monetary rewards to the families of suicide bomber.

Saddam could not be punished with mere death. His pride needed to be crushed, never to rise again. His shame made absolute.

Captured three years ago, like a beast in a dirty pit, Saddam was put to death unceremoniously. Like a common criminal, Saddam was hanged—just as Jews were to begin the fast of the Tenth of Tevet, commemorating Nebuchadnezzar's siege around Jerusalem, which ultimately lead to his destruction of the Temple.

Saddam Hussein understood what this war was all about — and it wasn't about territoryWe daresay that Saddam Hussein understood what this war was all about — and it wasn't about territory. It wasn't about oil. It wasn't even about power.

It was a war against G‑d. A desperate attempt to foil His plan for the Jewish people to dwell securely in Israel, to rebuild the holy Temple and to solidify their relationship with Him.

Despite Saddam's attempts, the Jewish land is inseparable from the Jewish people who will very soon merit the coming of the Messiah, the rebuilding of the Temple and the demise of all tyrants.

It is then that all mankind will serve G‑d in unison and humility.