Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hevlei Mashiah Bizmaneinu & the Russian-Turkish Connection

The book חבלי משיח בזמננו was written by רפאל הלוי איזנברג in the 1970s and its revised edition was in 5741 (1980-81), so it was written in the midst of the Cold War. The book promotes the idea that Russia is Gog.

Some interesting things found in the book (p. 134 - translation is mine):

קבלה בידינו מתלמידי הגר"א בשם הגאון: "אם הספינות של מלכות רוסיא יחצו את מיצר "בוספורוס" (ה"דרדנלים") צריכים ללבוש בגדי שבת" לומר לך, שהשעה קרובה אז לביאת המשיח. ודע כי רוב הספינות מרוסיא לארץ ישראל באות בזמננו דרך טורקיה בים השחור מבעד למיצר ה"בוספורוס". כמ"כ בידוע שלאחר חורבן מערב רומי עם בירתה בידי הגרמנים ימ"ש נותרה קוסטנטינא לבדה בשם "מזרח רומי" ומיום שמלך מרוסיא נשא בת המלך האחרון מקוסטנטינא הריהם מחשיבים את עצמם כיורשים של מלכות מזרח רומי ונושאים בדגליהם את סמל הנשר הכפול של קוסטנטינא



We have a tradition from the students of the Gr"a in the (Vilna) Gaon's name: "If the ships of the Russian government will cross over the Bosporus Strait ([and] the "Dardanelles"), we need to wear clothes of Shabbat" to tell you that at that time, it will soon be the coming of Mashiah. And know that most of the ships from Russia to Israel come nowadays by way of Turkey in the Black Sea using the Bosporus Strait.

Similarly, it's known that after the destruction of Western Rome with its capital by way of the Germans - Yimah Shemam - Constantinople was left by itself with the name of "Eastern Rome". And from the day that the king of Russia married the daughter of the last king of Constantinople, they considered themselves as inheriters of the Eastern Roman Kingdom, and they carry on their flags the symbol of the doubled eagle of Constantinople.


Also, this (p. 142):

באחרית הימים יתמנה "גוג" נשיא לשאר בני יפת בגבולות ממשלת רוסיא
יחזקאל לח,ב: "גוג ארץ המגוג נשיא ראש משך ותובל". ובספר בראשית (י,ב) משמע שהם שלושת בניו האחרונים של יפת - תובל,משך ותירס

יומא דף י': "תובל" - זו בית אונייקי "משך" - זו מוסיא "תירס" - פליגי בה ר' סימאי ורבנן, חד אמר זו בית תירייקי, וחד אמר זו פרס

פירוש "תורה תמימה" לבראשית, שם: "תובל" - זו בית אונייקי. בירושלמי מגילה (פ"א ה"ט) ובמדרשים גירסאות שונות בזה, ובמקום "בית אונייקי"הגירסא "ביתוניא". ואמנם נמצא היום חלק ארץ באזיא הקטנה, אצל הים השחור (כלומר ברוסיא), בשם ביתיניא. "משך" - זו מוסיא, היא ארץ מוסיא שבאזיא הקטנה סמוכה לארץ ביתיניא (ברוסיא). א

יוסיפון, קורות ישראל, ספר א' פ"א: "תירס" הם רוסיש (רוסלאנד) רוסי, חונים על נהר בירא השופך בים גורן, עכ"ל

רב חסדאי אבן-שפרוט כתב למלך הכוזרים - אשר מלכותו היתה במדינת רוסיא - "נשיא ראש משך ותובל" - מפני שהיה בזמן הגאונים וקבלה בידיהם שמדינות האלה הם הם אשר יחזקאל אמר עליהם

שהם נממשלת "גוג". א

In the End of Days, "Gog" will be appointed leader to the other sons of Yefet in the borders and surroundings of the government of Russia.

Yehezkel 38:2 - Gog, the land of Magog, the leader of Rosh, Meshech and Tuval. In Sefer Bereishit (10,2), it's implied that they are the 3 last sons of Yefet - Tuval, Meshech, and Tiras.

Yoma 10 - Tuval - this refers to Beit Onayki. Meshech - this refers to Musia. Tiras - R' Simai and the rabbis disagree about it. One opinion says that this refers to Beit Tirayki, and the other says that this refers to "Paras".

The Torah Temima commentary to Bereishit (10,2) says: Tuval - this refers to Beit Onayki. In the Yerushalmi Megilla (1:9) and in Midrashim, there are various versions of the text, and instead of "Beit Onayki", the textual version is "Bitunya". In fact, there is today a portion of Asia Minor by the Black Sea (i.e. in Russia) by the name "Bitunya". Meshech - this refers to Musia, that is the land of Musia that's in Asia Minor, close to the land of Bitunia (in Russia).

Yosifon, in Korot Yisrael, book 1, chapter 1: "Tiras" is Rusish (Rusland) Russia, encamped on the Bira River that pours into the Goren Sea.

Rav Hasdai Ibn Shaprut wrote to the King of the Kazars - whose kingdom was in Russian territory - "Leader of Rosh, Meshech and Tuval" because he lived in the time of the Geonim, and there was a tradition that these countries are the ones that Yehezkel referred to as the kingdom of "Gog".


I originally wanted to say Bitunia may refer to the city of Batumi, a city in Georgia by the Black Sea. This would be somewhat consistent with the חבלי משיח בזמננו's adding the word "BeRussia" in parenthesis - not found in the Torah Temima itself. However, I couldn't find anything resembling Musia near it.
Lefi Aniyut Da'ati, Musia (Meshech) and Bitunia (Tuval) are not in Russia, but in Turkey. I found this map:

where Bythinia and Mysia are clearly what the Torah Temima refers to. These regions are next to the Bosporus Strait. So, perhaps what the Gr"a means is that if Russia (Rosh a.k.a. Tiras) and Turkey (Meshech and Tuval) come together under Gog, expect Mashiah soon.

Of note is Caroline Glick's latest article on Turkey, where she compares it to Russia:
Like Russia under Putin, Turkey under Erdogan's leadership has masked its rapid transformation from a flawed but pro-Western democracy under its previous governments into an anti-Western - and in Turkey's case Islamist - regime by paying lip service to the West even as it has taken steps to purge its power structure of pro-Western voices. Just as Putin's popular government has taken brutal action against his political, intellectual and financial foes, so too, Erdogan's popularly elected Islamic fundamentalist regime has worked steadily to discredit, criminalize and intimidate its pro-Western rivals.

...

Like Russia, Turkey's anti-Western regime is promoting itself to the West by pretending not to be anti-Western. And as was the case with Russia up until it decided to invade defenseless Georgia over the weekend, the US and its allies have been willing to endanger their strategic interests to believe this lie.


Note 1: I'm not claiming this to be the only scenario. Others may exist.
Note 2: I'm not overlooking the fact that Russia may be Edom and Turkey may be Yishma'el, about whom the Mefarashim on Tana"ch say will fight each other. Possibly, they fight first and then, Gog leads all of them. Alternately, Iraq and Afghanistan fulfilled that already.
Note 3: When Yosifon says Russia is on the sea, it possibly means the Black Sea, which could refer to Russia proper or to Georgia. (Incidentally, some of the
Georgian kings have interesting names like "David", "Solomon", "Jesse", "Queen Tamar", and of course "George".)

6 Comments:

At Tue Aug 12, 05:45:00 PM 2008, Blogger joshwaxman said...

very interesting. and some nice research. i have some thoughts, but I want to let them percolate first.

Kol Tuv,
Josh

 
At Wed Aug 13, 03:55:00 AM 2008, Blogger Akiva said...

Nice.

 
At Wed Aug 13, 04:23:00 AM 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work!!!

 
At Wed Aug 13, 07:07:00 AM 2008, Blogger joshwaxman said...

OK, after percolation, I posted my thoughts here:

http://parsha.blogspot.com/2008/08/should-we-care-about-ancient.html

Kol Tuv,
Josh

 
At Tue Sep 02, 08:57:00 AM 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hogwash!

 
At Fri Dec 02, 03:48:00 AM 2011, Anonymous jonat said...

BREAKING: Military Confrontation between Washington and Moscow? Russian Warships head for Syria
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27925

"...The mission is set to start in early December, when the Admiral Kuznetsov begins its journey in the Barents Sea, accompanied by another vessel of Russia’s Northern Fleet, the heavy ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko. The group will then skirt the European continent from the west and enter the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar.

Later, they will be joined by frigate Ladny of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. IT WILL TRAVEL THROUGH THE BOSPHORUS, with a stop-over in Malta’s Valletta..."

 

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