End of Days - Where are we? (part 1 of 3)
Translated from Hashem1.net
(I translated this to the best of my ability. If you find an error in translation, please let me know and I'll correct it as soon as I can. -YY)
According to everyone, we are currently in a period called "The End of Days". Or, practically speaking, at the end of this period, when we are standing before the final and deciding stage of the war of Children of Light and Children of Darkness, which will bring the revelation of the Mashiah and the revelation of the G-dly light to the world without it being hidden, where after that point, all inhabitants of the world that will remain will live with full peace and unity, with a full recognition of the Master of all the worlds, the King - King of kings - Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
The purpose of this essay is to have a little order in the mess, and to be as brief as possible, in order to give everyone the opportunity to be familiar with the End of Days current events quickly. Whoever wants to expand [on each subject] can use the links that are embedded in the essay.
One important introduction before the intermediate[?] conclusion: The prophet Yeshaya brings in a prophecy that he received from Hakadosh Baruch Hu the following words: כי יום נקם בליבי, ושנת גאוליי באה (For the day of vengeance that was in My heart, and My year of redemption are come. - Yeshaya 63), and Haza"l explain the verse this way - that the day of Redemption is covered from everyone because it is hidden כביכול in the heart of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and to translate the words of Haza"l: "If the heart won't reveal it to the mouth, to whom could the mouth reveal?" With this they mean to say that the exact time for the Geula is hidden from everyone. Additionally, this didn't prevent Haza"l from transmitting to us exact signs that are relative to the time the Redemption will take place, but they did not give boundaries to say that it must take place at this time period or another. The main thing coming out of this that should guide us is that it is incumbant upon us to fulfil the great Mitzvah of expecting the arrival of Mashiah at each and every moment, as it is something that is obligatory from the 13 Principles of Faith [of the Rambam], and we should not think that Mashiah will arrive on a certain day, a certain month, or a certain year because the matter ruins the simple faith in the arrival of the Redeemer.
According to what appears from the scattered sources on the site - which includes important sayings from all streams [of religious Judaism] (Hasidim, Sepharadim, and Litvaks) - it comes out that the year 5766 is a decisive year, and is extremely auspicious for the coming of the Redemption (there is even a famous dream of a rabbi on Yom Kippur to this effect). Since we're talking about statements that were not heard in our generation so explicit, the matter arouses great emotion and strengthens the faithful expectation of Redemption. Together with this, the Tsunami-foreseeing rabbi explained the current situation that we are in:
Literally, in every moment, we are able to hear the "hissing of the end", but as long as that doesn't occur, other things continue to roll along...The rabbi said that although on the one hand, literally at any moment, the Mashiah Tzidkenu can be revealed, on the other hand, he explained that we will enter a difficult period until Mashiah's arrival, and we must fasten our seatbelts well because we are going to travel fast, and according to what he feels, many things are going to happen soon.
This essay is an attempt to summarize the situation as to what has occurred until now, and according to what is apparent (according to what is revealed at the time of the writing of these lines), those things will continue to occur. Together with this, we must remember that at any moment, the whole situation could change, as was stated earlier, as the Rabbi and Tzaddik B.T. said after the incident that happened to Sharon:
The world, both from a spiritual and a physical aspect, can be so wishy-washy, and anything could happen within the span of a day...The things that the Kabbalists saw or understood, could simply change.
The book of Tehillim (Psalms), which was written with Ru'ah Hakodesh, says the following about our era:
אותותינו לא ראינו, אין עוד נביא, ולא איתנו יודע עד-מה. (We see not our signs; there is no more any prophet; neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.)
After we introduced these concepts, let's take a look at the main prophecies.
The Terror Attacks at the U.S.A. (9/11)
According to common knowledge, the Islamic terror attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in the U.S. in the end of Ellul, 5761 was the first shot in the War of Gog Umagog, whose length according to a number of commentaries (brought down in Rav Saadiah Gaon in "אמונות ודעות", and its source is from an explanation of Yehezkel) is 7 years, which is more or less corresponding to the tradition that the Gemara describes regarding "the 7-year period that [Mashiah] Ben-David is to arrive". Incidentally, the beginning of the war was predicted in an incredible way by Rav Amnon Yitzhak, Shlit"a, the head of the Shofar Organization, who stubbornly claimed throughout all of 5761 that the war would start that year, and when he was confronted 2 days before the terror attack, he stubbornly said that the year was still not over, and the rest is history. The matter was publicized in one of the newspapers at the inititive of deceased Arutz Sheva reporter Adir Zik z"l, who was one of the witnesses to the matter. Similarly, the Admor of the Shomerei Emunim Hasidic sect said about 2 weeks before the terror attacks that the U.S. will pay dearly for its denying Israel the right to respond to terror attacks against it, and the rest is history.
The beginning of the War of Gog Umagog
It's brought down in a number of commentaries, and expanded upon in the Malbim that the War of Gog Umagog (see the synopsis of the sources for the details of the war here) will be between Christianity and Islam (see here an attempt to locate the countries described in the Book of Yehezkel), and only in its final stage will it reach Eretz Yisrael, via joining forces against the people of Israel. The Zohar writes similar statements that before the arrival of Mashiah, the Ishmaelites (Muslims) will start 3 wars against the Edomites (Christians), and their final stage will be close to Jerusalem.
The subject of the War of Gog Umagog is not only physical, as it so appears from a shallow outlook, but rather, it has deep spiritual roots. One who wants to understand its spiritual meaning, like the subject of Mashiah Ben Yosef and the difference between him and Mashiah Ben David - and their connection to this war - is invited to read the words of the Maharal of Prague on this subject. Incidentally, there are 3 wars of Gog Umagog. We are currently dealing with the third and final one (the other 2, according to popular logic, were WW1 and WW2).
The date of the beginning of the war is also mentioned in our sources. As is known, on Shabbat Hol Hamo'ed Sukkot, the Haftarah in Yehezkel that deals with Gog Umagog is read. The reason for this is that we have a tradition that the War of Gog Umagog will break out on Hoshana Rabba (brought down in the Mishna Berura - and earlier, by the Ziditchover Rebbe, זיע"א, and its source is from the words of Rav Hai Gaon from about 1000 years ago, and according to his words, the Resurrection of the Dead will occur on the holiday of Pesah, after the conclusion of Gog Umagog, and therefore, the Haftarah of the Resurrection of the Dead is read then). The fact that the "War on Terror" started with the war of [George W.] Bush (Many respected people claim that Bush is Gog, which explains his thoughts that he speaks with Hakadosh Baruch Hu) against Afghanistan exactly on the night of Hoshana Rabba proves, according to many, that this is really the War of Gog Umagog, even though there are those that say that Hoshana Rabba is supposed to be date of breaking out of the final stage of the war (the stage against Israel), and it's possible that this will also be fulfilled (and if this will occur, it comes out that according to Rav Hai Gaon, we're talking about a stage that will last about a half year - until Pesah).
The Continuation of the War - Against Bavel/Iraq
After Afghanistan, the Christian nations did not quiet down, and they continued their war campaign towards Iraq (today, it's already known that they didn't have a true reason for this war, except for "voices" that Bush heard...), and it's logical to say that even this stage in the war is written about in our sources. About it [the war] and about the time period that will take place - the prophet Yirmiyahu prophecied - in his prophecy that after 70 years will be completed for Bavel, it will be captured by an enemy, and not much longer afterwards, it will be destroyed. The war against Iraq occurred exactly 70 years after its independence (the original Bavel did not reach 70 years, so it's impossible for Yirmiyahu's prophecy to be referring to the original kingdom). And so, we see again right before our eyes the fulfilment of the words of our prophets completely. (There is even an interesting fulfilment of a prophecy on the capture of Sadaam Hussein). The final destruction of Iraq and Baghdad, that the prophet describes after the fall of Bavel by the hands of its enemies (the Christians) will occur during the duration of the war, probably soon, and it appears that it's referring there to a war with unconventional means, that what appears now what will occur between the U.S. and Iran [will occur] on Iraqi soil (see here to expand on the war against Iraq).
The Next Stage of the War - Against Paras/Iran And/Or Against Assyria/Syria
The wicked Bil'am, who according to our sages, despite his great wickedness, knew the endtime (this is why Haza"l said about them what they said - see here, Siman 11), informed us in a prophecy that is written in our holy Torah, the Torah of truth, what will occur immediately before the arrival of Mashiah, and he said this:
אוֹי מִי יִחְיֶה מִשֻׂמוֹ אֵל! וְצִים מִיַּד כִּתִּים וְעִנּוּ אַשּׁוּר וְעִנּוּ-עֵבֶר וְגַם-הוּא עֲדֵי אבֵד
Alas, who shall live after God hath appointed him?
But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, and they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall come to destruction.
According to the explanation given to these words from sources that are more than 2000 years old, the meaning of the words is like this: "Woe is to the nation that will be found in the world at the time that Hakadosh Baruch Hu redeems Israel, at the time that giant ships of the Romans (Christians) will come and fight in the vicinity of Assyria and in the vicinity of Ever, and they will be victorious there, and they will cause affliction to the inhabitants of the place. However, even their lot will come to destruction, and then, the kingdom will be given to Mashiah and to Israel."
The War with Paras Close to the Arrival of Mashiah
The subject of the war of Christianity against Paras close to the arrival of Mashiah is written about explicitly in a Midrash that Haza"l brought down about 2000 years ago:
Rabbi Yitzhak said: The year that King Mashiah will be revealed, all the kings of the nations will provoke each other (wars, armed and verbal confrontations in the entire expanse of the world). The king of Paras (Iran) will provoke an Arab king (Iraq? Saudi Arabia? Jordan?) and the Arab king will go to Edom (who is understood to be by Haza"l as the Christian empire, who is in our days probably the U.S.), to take advice from them (requesting help and assistance from the U.S.).
Then, the King of Paras will go ahead and destroy the whole world (Iran starting terrorist acts or a war throughout the world, according to its threats). And all the nations of the world will tremble and be panicky and will fall on their faces. And pains like birth pangs will take hold of them (great fear from the Iranian terror in the world).
And Israel will tremble and be panicky (due to the Iranian threats of wiping Israel off the map) and will say "Where will we come and go? Where will we come and go?"
And He will say to them (כביכול, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will answer Israel the following): "My children, do not be afraid! Whatever I made, I only made for your benefit! Why are you afraid?
Do not be afraid! The days of your redemption has arrived!"
(The Midrash explains: when this occurs, despite the fact that Israel will be afraid, there will be nothing to be afraid of; the troubles that the Iranians will do will foretell the arrival of the Redemption!)
And the first redemption (the Exodus from Egypt) is not like the final redemption (the arrival of Mashiah), since in the first redemption, you had pain and servitude to foreign kingdoms after it (the exiles), but in the final redemption, you don't have pain or servitude to foreign kingdoms after it!...
Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi said: At that time, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will lift up the Mashiah to the heavens, and will spread over him from the splendor of His glory [to protect him] because of the nations of the world because of the wicked Persians.
He [Hakadosh Baruch Hu] will say to him: Ephraim (one of the names given to Mashiah), my rightous Mashiah, judge these [nations] and do to them what your soul desires, since if it were not for My mercy that overcame you, they would have destroyed you already in one moment, as it says: "הבן יקיר לי אפרים וגו"
Why does that verse say רַחֵם אֲרַחֲמֶנּוּ - a double expression [of mercy]? Rather:
"רחם" refers to when he was trapped in jail, where every day they used to gnash their teeth and hint with their eyes and make gestures with their heads and shoot out with their lips, as it says "כל רואי ילעיגו לי, יפטירו בשפה, יניעו ראש וגו" (Tehillim 22, the entire chapter).
"ארחמנו" refers to when he comes out of jail, where not 1 kingdom or 2 kingdoms come against him, but 41 kingdoms surround him. And Hakadosh Baruch Hu says to him "Ephraim (another name for Mashiah), my righteous Mashiah, do not fear them, for all these will die with the wind of your lips, as it says: "וברוח שפתיו ימית רשע" (and Maran Hagaon R' Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a described this using imagery through his dream - that the Mashiah will do to the wicked "Pooooooof", and it's over).
The righteous Rav Yonatan Eybeshitz זצוק"ל זיע"א, who lived about 300 years ago in Prague, strengthens these words even further, and says that practically speaking, even if the time that our righteous Mashiah is supposed to reveal himself has come, he will still not come as long as Paras did not fall in the hands of the Christians, and כביכול, even Mashiah will complain about this. This is what he writes in his book:
[In Yishayah 45, it says:]‘כה אמר ה’ למשיחו לכורש, אשר החזקתי בימינו’ - Thus saith the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden - [and Haza"l explained in Megillah 12 the following:] I have a complaint against Cyrus! I said he will build my Temple, and he commanded 'Whoever is among his people, let him go up'.
[Now, R' Yonatan Eybeshitz is explaining the matter:] The commentaries already were bothered by the question: What complaint is there to Mashiah?! But, rather, the matter is the following: They said in the Gemara (Yoma 10): Ben David will not come until the Persians will fall in the hands of the Romans (=Christians) (The actual version of the text of Gemara that we have is like this: "Rav said: Paras is destined to fall in the hands of Rome... because Rabbi Yehuda said: Ben David will not come until the wicked Roman kingdom will spread throughout the world for 9 months." It appears that R' Yonatan Eybeshitz had a different version and commentaries on that version - Hashem1.net).
And the commentaries analyzed this and said that since it did not say "Before Ben David will come, the Persians will fall in the hands of the Romans", (but rather, "Ben David will not come until [that time]"), this must be teaching us that even if the endtime has arrived, nevertheless, he will delay until the Persians fall by the hands of the Romans!"
And that which we mentioned earlier, that the Mashiah, when he sees that the time (endtime of Redemption) has come, and he's (still) suffering from bad things (sicknesses and hardships), he just needs to wait until the Romans (Christians) will rule over the Persians. And that is what is bothersome to Mashiah: "Builders [- Persians will fall] by the hands of the destroyers [- Romans]?! And Hakadosh Baruch Hu said: "I have a complaint against Cyrus, who transgress My commandment, and that's why they will be punished." Hashem should hasten the Redemption and Salvation and the Redeemer is coming to Zion, Amen.
(Ya'arot Devash, vol.2, the end of Derush 13)
(Incidentally, perhaps, it's possible to find an additional source for this in Rashi on the Gemara in Sanhedrin 98, who explains that before Mashiah comes, the Persian magicians who bother Israel will be destroyed.)
And in recent years, the Kabbalist Rabbi Daniel Zer expressed a few times on this topic that there is a sign that was transmitted to him, that the War of Gog Umagog (apparently, the final stage) is approaching, and that will be [the outcome of] the tensions heating up with Iran. The rabbi said many times that it's mentioned in the words of our sages that the destruction of the world will begin with Paras:
You should know one thing: I have a sign [transmitted] to me that Gog Umagog is close. I spoke in the past about Gog Umagog. When the Gulf War broke out, they said that this was Gog Umagog. I told them all: Understand, the Gemara says and the Midrash says and the Zohar says that there is one sign when Gog Umagog is close. Do you know what the sign is?
The Gemara says that the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash started with Paras, the destruction of the world will begin with Paras. The Zohar and Midrash say that Gog Umagog will begin with Paras.
When it was the Gulf War, I told you: as long as Paras is not in the middle of it, this is not Gog Umagog. Now, pay attention, Paras is starting... The whold world is afraid of Paras. Now it is starting to speak of "wiping Israel off the map"...
from gog1.com, the End of Days site
The head of the Yeshiva of Kabbalists, Harav Hagaon Binayahu Shmueli, Shlit"a, also mentioned the Iranian/Persian cause [of war] a number of times, and said that the Persian threat in its source is supposed to be extremely harsh. However, he hinted in his words that with Hashem's help, with the merit of learning Torah, the evil decrees during the war with Iran will not take place:
You should know that now there are those that are starting to arouse decrees against the nation of Israel, like these Persians. They are waiting when...
"Esav hates Yaakov" - You should know that this is a rule. This is a halacha - Esav hates Yaakov. The nations of the world from time immemmorial and constantly were never able to stand the nation of Israel. The are constantly searching for any way how to destroy us from the world, Has Veshalom. But, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will not let them do so.
However, as they decreed last week, Has Veshalom, to wipe Israel off the map, ... the Zohar says: you should know that Paras is destined to go to Israel, approximately 45 kilometers from Jerusalem (according to the calculation of Parsa'ot of the Zohar). Do you know where that is? That's the area of Dimona - in the area of the atomic furnace[?], and it [Paras] will make - Bar Minan what the Zohar says - a 12-month great war, so much so, that even Mashiah Ben Yosef will be killed [in that war] - so says R' Shimon Bar Yohai. That's how [terrible it will be]. Don't think that these matters are frivolous...
You should know that if one (of the nations) should arise and will want to do this and will start to do this, many of its allied nations will join it. Many allies will join it. (May it be Hashem's will) that there will not be troubles for the nation of Israel, Has Veshalom, [and may it be Hashem's will] that no one should be injured. Any Jewish soul that is injured is a great tragedy for the nation of Israel. It is forbidden to allow one Jew to be injured.
(In the duration of the speech, the rabbi spoke of the advice that is given in this occurrance. To watch the full video from the gog1.com site, click here.)
Anyways, what's apparent now is that we're talking about a war of Iran (who's led by a crazy man, who apparently thinks that he's the messiah of the Muslims) against the U.S. (who's led by another crazy man, that he will capture Iran), and not an Israeli war. (According to the Targum Yonatan Ben Uziel, Israel will stay on the sidelines during the period of the war.) In brief, we're talking about something along the lines of a Gulf War, or as Rabbi Lazer Brody Shlit"a described it: "ה’ יילחם לכן ואתם תחרישון". [Hashem will fight for you and you will remain silent]. The chances are high that the closer the time comes, we'll hear more and more statements about the news of this war and its impact on Israel.
From the interesting statements on the subject of Iran from the end of the month of Kislev, 5766, whether they came from R' Brody Shlit"a or whether the came from the Kabbalist Rav Daniel Zer Shlit"a, it's possible to conclude that it's expected an explosion of nuclear equipment in Iran without any war mixed in.
My friend, R' Yaakov Nathan, brought some of the aforementioned sources and added some sources from Chabad, and added an even deeper explanation regarding why we are waiting for the downfall of Paras/Iran. To read the interesting words (in English,) click here.
To be continued...