Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Abdullah-Obama Meeting - As Foretold

Arutz Sheva:
United States President Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah met on Tuesday and both voiced "strong support" for international efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program, which Israel and the West claims actually masks a secret drive to develop the capability for an atomic bomb.

Obama and the King also expressed strong hopes for progress in pressuring the government of Israel to surrender Judea, Samaria and most of Jerusalem to the American-backed Palestinian Authority.


Pesikta Rabbati:

אמר רבי יצחק שנה שמלך המשיח נגלה בו כל מלכי האומות מתגרים זה בזה. מלך פרס מתגרה במלך ערבי'. והולך מלך ערבי' לאדום לטול עצה מהם והחזיר מלך פרס והחריב את כל העולם...

Ribbi Yitzhak said: The year that the King Mashiah will be revealed, all the kings of the nations will be stirring up conflicts with each other. The king of Persia will stir up conflicts with the king of Arabia. And the king of Arabia will go to Edom to get advice from them. And the king of Persia will, in turn, destroy the entire world...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shomrei Emunim Rebbe on the Matzav

YWN:
“The entire world today is compared to a boiling bubbling vat that only requires the slightest spark to ignite. At any moment, a world war may erupt chas v’sholom and only those who cling to Hashem and his Torah will merit surviving”, Kikar Shabbat quotes the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe Shlita as telling a number of businessmen who came to consult with him.

The Rebbe spoke with them for over an hour, referring to Torah education in Israel and its successes opposed to the general education, telling his visitors that educators explain to him that the nation’s education continues to decline. “Once upon a time, students feared and respected teachers and principals but today, the opposite is true R”L, the teachers and principals fear the students” the Rebbe added.

“We must make use of the time remaining and achieve as much torah learning and kiyum mitzvos possible until Moshiach’s arrival”.

The Rebbe also addressed the fact that the international community is turning against Israel. The Rebbe quoted the Abarbanel regarding the last days before the arrival of Moshiach, and that life in Eretz Yisrael is above the natural, the norm as perceived, which is proven by the number injured by Kassam rockets and the Gulf War.

The Rebbe was asked regarding the change in attitude of President of the United States Barak Obama towards Israel, responding “His downfall has already begun as we see with the oil crisis”.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Iranian Flotilla From Caspian Sea

Click to Enlarge


Arutz Sheva:
One of the organizers of an Iranian flotilla to Gaza announced on Thursday that it had been cancelled after what he described as "Israeli threats" that the Jewish state would act against the flotilla's from the Islamic Republic and from Lebanon, according to Israel Defense Forces Radio.

At the same time, Iranian parliament member Mahmoud Ahmadi announced that another ship with 60 Iranians on board will set sail for Gaza with aid via the Caspian Sea because it was published in Lebanon that Egypt rejected an Israeli request to prevent Iranian ships from going toward Gaza via the Suez Canal.


This presents a problem. How does a ship get from the Caspian Sea (which is landlocked) to the Mediterranean Sea?

Wikipedia solves the mystery:
Although the Caspian Sea is endorheic, its main tributary, Volga, is connected by important shipping canals with the Don River (and thus the Black Sea) and with the Baltic Sea, with branch canals to Northern Dvina and to the White Sea.


The logical choice would be to take the Volga River to the Volga-Don Canal, then take a left at the Don River. This means that the flotilla must go through Russia. The Don River gets it to the Black Sea, which gets it to the Mediterranean through the Bosporus Strait and the Dardanelles.

This reminds me of this post, where I wrote, translating from חבלי משיח בזמנינו:

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.


These are not from the Russian government, but they certainly could stop the flotilla if they wanted to as it is passing through its territory. Egypt is using its authority to stop Iran's flotilla, but the Russian government apparently is not. "Ships of the Russian government" indeed.

Update on Rivka Bat Yael

Arutz Sheva:
Noticeable improvement has been recorded over the last few days in the condition of four-year-old Rivka Razel, the daughter of singer Yonatan Razel, who suffered serious injuries when she fell from the roof of the family's Jerusalem home on the eve of Independence Day. She has been taken off life support and moved to the rehabilitation department.

Arutz Sheva has learned that Rivka received a blessing from Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu of blessed memory. One of his associates said the rabbi loved Razel's song "Vehi Sheamda" and his followers would sing it to him at his home. When the tragedy occured, the rabbi said to take Rivka's clothes and perform the caparot ritual that usually precedes Yom Kippur. Her situation has improved since them.

People are still asked to pray for Rivka bat Yael.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Slonimer Rebbe: Ultimate Struggle Between Good and Evil Has Begun

The Slonimer Rebbe has declared the Israeli Supreme Court's decision against the parents of Emanuel and the parents' refusal to budge as the ultimate struggle between good and evil.

He said, in part:
...אך מאחר שאין לי כל שמץ של ספק שהם יודעים את האמת, שכל דבריהם בשקר יסודם. אם כן, אין זה אלא מאבק בין אמונה לכפירה, בין כח הקדושה לכח הטומאה של הסטרא אחרא, - מאבק שתמיד ידענו שיפרוץ באחרית הימים.

...


ולכל אמוני ישראל אני קורא:

אנא הצטרפו אלינו במאבק הנשגב הזה, המאבק שדורות חיכו וייחלו אליו "מתי יבוא לידי ואקיימנה".

...However, since I don't have a tinge of doubt that they [don't] know the truth since all their words are founded in falsehood. Therefore, this is only a struggle between Emuna [belief] and Kefira [disbelief], between the power of holiness and the power of impurity of the Sitra Ahora [the Other Side], - a struggle that we always knew would break out in the End of Days.

...

To all believers of Israel, I call out:

Please join us in this holy struggle, the struggle that the generations waited and hoped for [saying], "When will [the opportunity] come to me so I can fulfil it?"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's With All the Prison Talk Today?

An extraordinary amount of news today had to do with incarceration and imprisonment of Jewish people:


I noticed that the 10th of Tamuz was when Tzidkiyahu Hamelech, the last Jewish ruling king we had from Malchut Beit David, was captured by the Babylonians.

May Hashem quickly fulfil הוציאה ממסגר נפשי להודות את שמך and release those imprisoned.
And may Hashem quickly renew the Malchut Beit David, bimheira veyameinu, Amen.

More on Emanuel

After posting my views on the matter (which you get a better idea of by reading the comments), I wanted to link to the best posts I've seen on the subject:




And, speaking of unity, I'm happy to see Army of Achdus has started blogging again.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nevu'at Hayeled and Our Times

The Nevu'at Hayeled is a cryptic prophetic poem written by a child born in the 5th century C.E., during the time of the Savora'im. I'm not going to go into the whole story, but you can see the entire poem, along with the story behind it and other interesting information in Hebrew here by Hashem1.net.

A few years back, some were saying that part of the poem had to do with the Statue of Liberty, which resembles the fallen Colossus of Rhodes. You can see the video about this here (the third video on the page).

Recently, a statue depicting the deity of another religion was struck by lightning and destroyed. Some want to say that this is what was meant by the Nevu'at Hayeled. Let's look at what it says:

צולמא דרודוס (נ"א דרודם),
כד אתיהב לגרוס,
קריב אגרוס,
רומי למהרוס.


The thing going for it is that it's called צולמא, which means a tzelem - Avoda Zara - which the Statue of Liberty isn't necessarily, whereas this statue is.

The author in the forum wants to say that רודוס is really the English "Roads", and since Dayton, Ohio is the place where two major highway cross - I70 and I75 - it fits. דרודם, which is the variant text, can mean "of their road".

However, I'm not a big fan of using non-proper-noun English words as explanations of Hebrew words.

Nevertheless, perhaps רודוס means 2 רודים (i.e. 2 rulers) and the real name of this statue might resemble this idea. This works well with the variant text being רודם, which possibly should be רודים.

Anyways, here's another part of the Nevu'at Hayeled that I found very interesting:

סליקין מלכייא,
בחוקין פרסייא ותורכייא,
אתיין בחזקה ושבין טורכייא.


I'm not sure how to translate this. The best I could come up with is this:

Kings would go up
With the laws of the Persians and the Turks.
They will come by force
And the Turks will be captured.


If someone has a better translation, please let me know.

But however you translate it, we see a connection between the Turks and the Persians. We now see that these two nations are closer than ever.

(By the way, perhaps Israel should complain to the UN that Turkey killed a civilian when fighting the Kurds just as Turkey complained about Cast Lead).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Single 'אליך מרן' Released in Honor of Rav Ovadia Shlit"a

You can see the lyrics and info about it here.

You can listen to it by clicking here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mother of All Protests

My views about the court case are similar to Rav Ovadia's.

My views in general about the topics involved can be found in the comments here and at this post.

I don't have much more to add, except that it's a very sad day all around.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jerusalem, No Man's Land?

HR's job is not quite done yet.

Googling "distance calculator between cities" finds a number of results.

The first non-sponsored one brings me to Mapcrow.info.

OK, let's see how far it is from Jerusalem to New York. I enter "Jerusalem" for the first city and select "ISRAEL" for the optional country. I enter "New York" for the second city and "UNITED STATES" for the optional country. I click "Get the Distance".

I get to this page where New York, US was found OK, but it doesn't seem to find Jerusalem, Israel. Instead, I get the following choices:

Jerusalem, BELGIUM
Jerusalem, BOLIVIA
Jerusalem, BRAZIL
Jerusalem, BRAZIL #2
Jerusalem, BRAZIL #3
Jerusalem, COLOMBIA
Jerusalem, EQUADOR
Jerusalem, CZECH REPUBLIC
Jerusalem, GHANA
Jerusalem, GERMANY
Jerusalem, GERMANY #2
Jerusalem, HAITI
Jerusalem, JAMAICA
Jerusalem, LIBERIA
Jerusalem, MEXICO
Jerusalem, MEXICO #2
Jerusalem, MEXICO #3
Jerusalem, MEXICO #4
Jerusalem, MEXICO $5
Jerusalem, NO MAN'S LAND
Jerusalem, NEW ZEALAND
Jerusalem, PERU
Jerusalem, OHIO, US
Jerusalem, VENEZUELA

When I select "Jerusalem, NO MAN'S LAND", it shows the real Yerushalayim on the map.

When I think of No Man's Land, I think of the Lebanon-Israel border or the Syria-Israel border - not Yerushalayim, Ir Hakodesh. No amount of political correctness can make up for such absurdity.

Iran in Yoma 10a Video



Hat tip: Rafi

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rav Berland Shlit"a: War on 22 Av

According to YNet, Rav Eliezer Berland Shlit"a, one of the elder Breslov rabbis, told his students to travel to Uman and pray for Am Yisrael until the 22nd of Av (the night of August 1st, 2010), which is when war with Iran is supposed to break out.

One of his students said that the rav only meant this to be Mehazeik his students (i.e. to strengthen them in Avodat Hashem) - not that he believes it to be true.

Meanwhile, the "Milkman" said that all signs are pointing toward war, and we must pray for Am Yisrael to avoid it.

(hat tip VGG via email)

Rav E.S. Shick Shlit"a on the Matzav

Ladaat has an article that shows a letter that Rav Eliezer Shlomo Shick sent to his Hasidim. Summarized, it says that we need to preempt the upcoming war with Tefillot - in particular Tehillim 83. Also, we need to create unity, which cancels evil decrees and allows us to merit Geula. We need to stay away from arguments, and anyone who feels the need to continue arguments should get out of his community and find a community that befits him.
By having unity among ourselves and shunning arguments, this will cause the other nations to fear us and be busy fighting against each other, and leave us alone.
Fortunate is one who brings these words into his heart, to whom all his days will be good, and he will have a portion in the redemption of Israel.

Check it out

Monday, June 14, 2010

הירדן יסוב לשחור - Massive Oil Spill Hits Jordan River

OK - maybe not the Jordan River you were thinking of, but the one in Utah.

Residents are advised to stay away from Red Butte Canyon and Liberty Park so crews can adequately manage the spill. All water access points along Red Butte Creek, Liberty Park and the Jordan River should be avoided by humans and animals at this time.

The Salt Lake Valley Health Department said the oil has leaked into the Jordan River in two areas on the Salt Lake City's west side.Officials say drinking water for residents has not been affected and will have no threat for residents surrounding the area.


But seriously, being that this is a river, this can further be Mekayeim the verse in Yehezkel and the gemara in Sanhedrin despite Josh's critique.

Bechor's Bar Mitzvah

With gratitude to Hashem, my Bechor celebrated his Bar Mitzvah this past Shabbat, which made my wife and me very proud of him. May he grow in Torah, Mitzvot, and Yirat Shamayim.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Interesting Geula Quotes

Ladaat and YWN talk about R' Shmuel Eliyahu talking about his father:
The rav adds that many asked if R’ Mordechai could possibly have led us into the Geula, Moshiach Ben David, to which Rav Shmuel responded that many prominent Rabbonim Shlita and Mekubalim Shlita told him that yes, this was the case, but he stressed “this is not what is important”. This isn’t the point. The point is Am Yisrael lost Abba”. Rav Shmuel made his remarks in an interview on Kol Chai Radio with Rabbi Shmuel Ben-Atar.

Jonathan Pollard also talks about R' Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l's words:
Over time, the Rav shared with us and with a few others who were very close to him that Jonathan’s release is the key to the redemption of all of Am Yisrael.

He taught us how Jonathan’s release is also the key to the release of all of Israel’s captives and MIAs. Once Jonathan is out, all the captives are all out! Once they are all out, we are all in Geula!

Perhaps most significant of all, the Rav always referred to Jonathan as the “Yosef HaTzadik shel doreinu” (The Yosef Hatzadik of our generation.)

While the Rav never forbid me from speaking of these things publicly, he himself was reluctant to do so. I remember asking him, many years ago: “Kavod HaRav, if you know all these things about Jonathan, why don’t you say so openly? Why don’t you speak about this in public?”

The Rav responded with a sigh, “Esther,” he said, “it would not help anyone if I were to do so. Every Jew has to wake up; to open his/her own eyes; to realize for themselves that we have the Yosef HaTzadik of our generation languishing in a pit in America. Every Jew has to feel the pain of his suffering and to decide on his/her own to participate in this mitzvah — to do whatever he or she can to redeem Jonathan, and in so doing, effectively redeem themselves. We have to wake up Am Yisrael to this mitzvah!”

The Rav spent the rest of his life doing just that, trying to wake up Am Yisrael! He spoke about Jonathan everywhere he went. He wrote prayers for Jonathan, and headed prayer rallies on his behalf. He lectured and taught and wrote and constantly reminded the Nation that we have a captive in America and that the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim devolves upon each and every one of us. He also taught that in Jonathan’s case, this was the highest form of the mitzvah – that it is the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim for one who was “moser nefesh for Am Yisrael” ( That is, for one who sacrificed himself for the sake of the Nation of Israel).

The wisdom of his words, now strikes home more clearly than ever.

Rav Shmuel Brazil on the Gulf Oil Spill:
If there is a sign close to home that heralds in the coming of Mashiach well this is it. Those who just finished Sanhedrin in the daf Yomi will remember on daf 88 that right before Mashiach Hashem will fill the rivers and seas with oil and the fish will die. Incredible! To make such a definite statement over 15 centuries back would not have been fathomed in one’s wildest dream and yet here it is being fulfilled day by day moment to moment. Another oil phenomenon that was hinted about over hundreds of years ago was what Rav Chaim Vital wrote in Tehillim on the passuk לולי ה' שהיה עלינו בקום עלינו אדם Tehillim 124,2. He writes that Yishmael is the fifth galus subjugating Yisrael and they are called adam because they have bris milah. Even though they are Bedouins and have no power or wold influence one day they will rule over the world. Rav Chaim wrote such prophetic words hundreds of years ago. Even 60 years ago such a statement would have seen utterly ridiculous. Yet today the Arab world through the control of their oil possessions, rule the world.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Chicago Blackhawks End 49-Year Drought

Here come the Hawks...the mighty Blackhawks...

The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1961. Congrats to them.

The Chicago White Sox ended their 88-year drought 5 years ago.

The Chicago Cubs have a 102-year drought going. Going on 103.

The Jewish people have a 1942-year drought going. We pray that ends real soon.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Juice-Hater - Nabbed

Elder of Ziyon is reporting based on another website that the guy who held up the sign "Death to all Juice" is one of the people arrested as a jihadist trying to get to Somalia.

The Elder's Peirush is equally brilliant.

A New Kal Vahomer Example and More

When teaching the concept of Kal Vahomer to a new learner, it's useful to use an example the student can relate to. The one I use often is:

If a basketball hoop is low enough that I could dunk on it, Kal Vahomer it's low enough for Michael Jordan to dunk on it. (You could replace MJ with your current NBA star.)

The jpost, however, gives us one that might be better suited for the next few weeks:

Israel said on Monday it would not let Iranian ships sail to Gaza after the Iranian Red Crescent announced it would send two vessels to the region in the coming week.

“If we didn’t let an Irish ship reach Gaza, we are certainly not going to let Iranian ships pass,” one diplomatic official said.


Meanwhile, the Gog Umagog coalition continues to form:

Ahmadinejad thanked the government in Ankara and the Turkish people, and described Turkey and Iran as "brother nations" and said the two countries are the “standard bearers of humanity and moralities.”

I think I'm going to throw up.
He stressed that “everyone should know that the relations between the two countries are friendly brotherly and deep rooted today and that the two countries will stand side by side till the end of the line.”

Monday, June 07, 2010

Was the Flotilla Incident Predicted?

Devorah sent me a forwarded email that wants to prove that the flotilla incident was predicted.

The verse in Balak (Bemidbar 24:24) says:
וְצִים מִיַּד כִּתִּים, וְעִנּוּ אַשּׁוּר וְעִנּוּ-עֵבֶר; וְגַם-הוּא, עֲדֵי אֹבֵד.

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.

Now, this verse is the very last verse of prophecy said by Bil'am Harasha in a prophecy laden with End of Days topics. Verse 14 says explicitly that we're dealing with the End of Days.

Targum Yonatan on this verse is extremely interesting:

וציצין יצטרחן במני זיינא ויפקון באכלוסין סגיאין מן למברניא ומארע אטליא ויצטרפון בלגיונין דיפקון מן קוסטנטיני ויצערון לאתוראי וישעבדון כל בנוי דעבר ברם סופהון דאיליין ואליין למיפל ביד מלכא משיחא ויהוון עד עלמא לאובדנא

Translation #1 - following the פירוש יונתן:
And wings of a navy will be called together with weapons, and they will go out with a great population with big ships from the land of Italy of Greece [from Edom], and they will join in with the army legions that will come from Constantinople [Istanbul - from Yishmael] and they will give pain to many places Assyrians and will subjugate all the children of Ever [the Jewish people]. However, the eventual ending of these [those who come from Edom] and those [those who come from Yishmael] will be to fall in the hand of the King Mashiah, and they will be destroyed forever.

Peirush Yonatan explains למברניא to mean big ships, like the Targum Yonatan on וצי אדיר being ובורני רבתא.

Translation #2 - following Jastrow's entry on לברניא
And wings of an army will be called together with weapons, and they will go out with a great population from Liburnia [in modern-day Croatia] and from the land of Italy and they will join in with the army legions that will come from Constantinople [Istanbul - from Yishmael] and they will give pain to many places Assyrians and will subjugate all the children of Ever [the Jewish people]. However, the eventual ending of these [those who come from Edom] and those [those who come from Yishmael] will be to fall in the hand of the King Mashiah, and they will be destroyed forever.


Note that the Targum Yonatan on verse 19 also talks about a war against the remnants of Constantinople and that the Jewish people will destroy it.

I believe that the Targums on verse 19 and verse 24 prompt Peirush Yonatan on verse 24 to quote the Zohar that says that there will be 3 wars with Yishmael - 1 on sea, 1 on land, and 1 near Yerushalayim.

Getting back to the 2 translations, the ערך חיים on entry כתים is more in favor of translation #2. As proof, he says that Rav Saadia Gaon explains ציים כתים from Daniel 11:30 by saying that "tziyim" refers to the לונגברדיים and "Kittim" refers to the Romans.
The ערך חיים continues and says that he believes that the Targum Yonatan wants Kittim to refer to the Greek empire - like the Ibn Ezra says - and not Rome. (The Targum Yerushalmi, on the other hand, says that it refers to Rome.) Rashi on Yeshaya 11:11 seems to say that Kittim are Greek islands.

A Sefer called מקור ברוך by ברוך פרידנברג says that both למברניא and לונגברדיים refer to the Italian region of Lombardy (which is land-locked). He seems to also agree with Translation #2, while replacing Liburnia with Lombardy.

So, after all this, if we use Translation #2, the flotilla has very little to do with this verse.
However, using Translation #1, which seems to focus on ships, we can possibly understand it as follows:

2 ships will go out from (Italy or) Greece and will be met with ships from Turkey. They will cause anguish to places and subjugate all the people of Israel. However, all ships will fall to Mashiah in the end.

As much as I want it to fit, it's still extremely Doheik.

Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l Zy"a

Our nation has lost one of its best today. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Zt”l went to the next world today after long suffering for Kelal Yisrael to bring Mashiah.

Here is a video of Rav Eliyahu talking about Mashiah.

Here is another video where Rav Eliyahu Zt”l explains that the Baba Sali was one of those who was supposed to see the Mashiah, but Rav Eliyahu was told by the Baba Sali that it wouldn’t happen because there is a great Kitrug (claim of prosecution) against the Jewish people, and he needed to go up to Shamayim to pray for Am Yisrael.

I don’t know, but maybe (based on recent reports) the same happened again with Rav Eliyahu himself.

Rav Eliyahu Zt”l also had famous watches given to him by the Baba Sali, one of which now says 12:02. He even talked about them at one point.

I personally only met the Rav Zt”l during one Shabbat in the early ‘90s. I went to his synagogue and prayed there. After Tefilla, everyone went over to say Shabbat Shalom to Rav Eliyahu. Despite being Sephardic myselt, it was the first time I ever saw people kissing the hand of the Rav. It seemed strange to me, but I saw everyone doing it and considered it the Minhag Hamakom. When it was my turn, I kissed his hand as well, but Rav Eliyahu seemed to look at me strange for doing so. Maybe I didn’t look the part – I don’t know. Anyways, later that Friday night, I went to a shiur that Rav Eliyahu gave in his home, as I happened to be staying in the same apartment building as his. It was excellent.

Here’s a nice article by R’ Yair Hoffman about him.

Zechuto Yagein Aleinu.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Turkey's Coalition Forming

After establishing that Turkey is a major player in Gog Umagog, let's see who one of its friends are from the Pesukim:
פָּרַס כּוּשׁ וּפוּט, אִתָּם; כֻּלָּם, מָגֵן וְכוֹבָע.

Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet.

which is supported by the news:
Ahmadinejad Cozies Up to Turkey

by Hana Levi Julian

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to attend a three-day regional summit starting Monday in Istanbul, to be chaired by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, according to the Fars news agency.

...

Turkey has been offered the organization's next presidential term by Kazakhstan, the permanent CICA head.


Thinking about Turkey's betrayal reminds me of another verse:
גַּם-אִישׁ שְׁלוֹמִי, אֲשֶׁר-בָּטַחְתִּי בוֹ-- אוֹכֵל לַחְמִי; הִגְדִּיל עָלַי עָקֵב.

Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, {N} hath lifted up his heel against me.

which is the Jewish equivalent of "et tu Brute?".

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Turkey's Role in Gog Umagog

In passing, I mentioned that virtually everyone holds that Turkey has a role in Gog Umagog. Which country represents it is subject to various interpretations. It is really irrelevant since Gog Umagog will include all 70 nations (as with its gematria), and would by default be included in "עמים רבים", but it would be interesting to see if it's one of the nations listed.
Let's take a look at the various interpretations mentioned here:

  • Bereishit Rabba 37:1
    תירס - רבי סימון אמר זו פרס. רבנן אמרי תורקי.
    Tiras - Ribbi Simon says "This is Paras." The rabbis say "[This is] Turkey."

    The problem is that Tiras is mentioned in Parshat Noah, but not in Yehezkel. However, Yehezkel 38:13 mentions Sheva, Dedan, and Tarshish. The Midrash Rabba says the following:
    ובני יון אלישה ותרשיש [כתים ודודנים] אלסוטרוס איטלייה דרדנייא. כתוב אחד אמר ודודנים וכתוב אחד אומר ורודנים. ר' סימון ור' חנין. ר' סימון אמר דודנים שהם בני דודיהן של ישראל. רודנים שהם באים ורודין אותם. א"ר חנניא בשעה שישראל נתונים בעליה. אינון אמרין להון בני דודכם אנן. ובשעה שהם נתונים בירידה הם באים ורודין אותם.

    And the sons of Yavan: Elisha and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. [Elisha and Tarshish are] Alsotros, [Kittim is] Italia, [and Dodanim is] Dardenaya.

    Dardenaya is likely the Dardanelles in Turkey.

    As an aside, we'll translate the rest of the Midrash:
    One verse says "And Dodanim" while one verse says "And Rodanim". Ribbi Simon and Ribbi Hanin [argue on this point]. Ribbi Simon says, "[They're called] Dodanim because they're the cousins ["bnei dodeihen"] of the Jews. They're called Rodanim because they [the Dodanim] come and subjugate them [the Jews]." Ribbi Hanania says, "When Israel is doing well, they [the Dodanim] tell them [Israel] that we're your cousins. When Israel is not doing well, they come and subjugate them."

    Turkey is a fair-weather fan of Israel. When Israel shows strength, it sides with Israel. In recent years, however, when Israel has shown weakness, it sides against Israel.
    Anyways, we see Dedan from Yehezkel is the Dodanim from Noah (as it goes together with "Tarshish"). It cannot be the Dedan who is the son of Yishmael (even though it goes with "Sheva") as Yishmael per se is not part of the 70 nations, whereas Gog Umagog is (the Malbim's pshat that Gog Umagog is Yishmael vs. Edom notwithstanding).

  • Next is the Targum on Divrei Hayamim I 1:5 and 1:7. 1:5 says that Meshech is Mosya and Tuval is Tarkey (or Mosaya and Tarkei according to the second girsa). Mosya is very likely Mysia, like mentioned here. 1:7 also identifies Rodanim as Dardenaya, while Tarshish is either Tarsus (first girsa) or Tarsas (second girsa), but which are likely the city of Tarsus, Turkey.

  • Then comes the Bavli in Yoma 10a, which also has Mosya for Meshech.

  • Next, the Yerushalmi Megilla 1:9 has Mysia for Meshech and Dardenaya for Dodanim.

  • The Vilna Gaon on Divrei Hayamim isn't as specific as far as countries go, so I'll skip that explanation.

  • R' Saadia Gaon says that Gomer is "Al Turk", which is explained by gog1.com as "the Turks, mainly, the area of Asia Minor and Iran". He also says Tarshish is Tarsus "The city Tarsus in Cilicia [Southern Turkey]...".

  • The Sefer Hayashar gives 10 names to the children of Togarmah: כוזר פרצינך בולגר אליקנוס רגבינא טורקי בוז זבוך אונגר טילמץ. Turkey is one of them.


Take a look at the chart made at Hashem1.net for a more graphical display.




Update: R' Saadia Gaon also says that Magog is Asia Minor (Turkey), Iraq, and Iran. You may think from here that Erdogan may be Gog, but that may not necessarily be R' Saadia Gaon's viewpoint - see the last 3 paragraphs here.

Update 2: The Artscroll Gemara on Yoma 10a does a pretty good job with these names. It considers "Turki" as "Thrace" (Western Turkey). More importantly, I neglected the interpretations of Tuval, which Targum Yonatan, the Bavli in Yoma and the Yerushalmi in Megilla all identify with Bythinia - also in Turkey. Also, Gomer, which is often referred to as "Afriki", is not referring to Africa, but Phrygia, also part of Turkey.

Update 3: Thanks to Neshama, who emailed me this article, which concurs with my conclusions, and adds (written while Turkey was still friendly):
1) What he prophesied, then, is an end-time battle involving the following nations coming against Israel: Turkey (Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Togarmah); Iran (Persia), Sudan (Kush), and Libya (Put).
At present, only the last three states are openly against Israel, while Turkey is the main military settlement of the Western Alliance in the Middle East.

...

Turkey is the main ally of these countries in the Middle East. Their apparent "friendship" with Israel should not be misleading, as the "evil one" is also the betrayer that seals an agreement to break it later.

Pretty spot-on.

Did Gog Umagog Just Begin?

Arutz Sheva:
Yesha Rabbis: Flotilla Incident Start of Gog and Magog

Reported: 16:14 PM - Jun/03/10

The Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement Thursday in which it said that the results of Israel's interception of a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza "place us at the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but whose end orders the third and final redemption," according to the Kol Rinah news service. The reference is to the book of Ezekiel 38:18-39:16, read on the intermediate Sabbath of Sukkot (Tabernacles), which describes a war that will precede the final redemption.

The statement continued, "Secular Zionism always aspired that we not be 'a people alone among the peoples', but the legitimacy of our people is not derived from the nations of the world and their hateful traditions, rather from the Torah of Israel which teaches us, "The people will live alone and will not take other peoples into consideration." The council blessed the soldiers and called for the unity of an emergency government that will bring about promises of salvation for the people.

A commenter pointed out on the previous post that this was also on the Walla site in Hebrew.

Turkey becoming the Anakin Skywalker of the modern era helps make this possible.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Flotilla Guerilla For Sale

Guerrilla Warfare
Guerrilla warfare is irregular warfare, conflicts in which a small group of combatants uses military tactics, like ambushes and raids, to harass a larger and less-mobile traditional army.


Israel's attorney general released all the flotilla members. Unfortunately, justice was not served.
So, I slightly modified the original lyrics of an old TV show theme song and suggest Israel get this published in Turkish and Arabic newspapers for the next round of flotillas that are scheduled to come.
The sale price is Gilad Shalit. Perhaps, these governments will in turn pressure Hamas to release him.

We've got guerillas for sale
Flotilla guerrillas for sale.
Won't you buy 'em,
Take 'em home and try 'em,
Guerrillas for sale.

Don't you want a little guerrilla you can call your own,
A guerrilla who'll be with ya when you're all alone?

Spoken: How much is that guerrilla in the window?

Take our advice,
At any price,
A guerrilla from flotilla is mighty nice.
Guerrillas, flotilla guerrillas for sale.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Turkey vs. Israel?

Akiva has an interesting post up called The Flotilla and Biblical Prophecy that tells us of a possible confrontation with the Turkish navy and also tells about how this could be fulfilling Yehezkel 38-39.

I had an English teacher in 8th grade (in the mid-80s) who listed the 4 most-powerful militaries in the world at the time:

U.S.
U.S.S.R.
Israel
Turkey

and the reason given for Turkey is "because they fight like sons of @#!$%es".

I happen to be a Jew of Turkish ancestry. 2 of my 4 grandparents were born in Turkey. I have much Hakarat Hatov to Turkey for the way they took in the Jews from Ferdinand and Isabella's (ימ"ש) Spain and how they've treated Jews relatively well throughout the centuries.

All that goodwill is now going down the drain. And it was hardly sudden - it's been a steady process. The Erdogan-Peres spat, the Ayalon thing which was prompted by an anti-Semitic Turkish TV show - they've all been leading up to this. Relations with Israel is now in the garbage after they recalled their ambassador, and now, they want to have their navy escort another flotilla.

I'm embarrassed and abhorred at the behavior of my grandparents' country toward the country of my ancestral homeland.

And then again, I'm hopeful for the future. No, I don't expect relations to improve, but I'm hopeful for the Geula.

In a previous post, I mentioned how the Talmidei Hagr"a have reportedly said in the Gr"a's name that when Russian ships cross Turkey's Bosporus Strait, we need to start wearing Shabbat clothes (to prepare for Mashiah). However, I also showed there that what may have been assumed to be part of Russia is in fact part of Turkey.

Looking at the various interpretations for who the countries mentioned in Yehezkel 38 are, one can see that pretty much all of them include Turkey or part of Turkey as at least one of the countries that goes against Israel.

I say I'm hopeful because I know the eventual outcome, but I hope and pray that it will be as painless as possible with as much Rahamim as possible.