(Worthy News) – Religious Jewish factions say they are moving ever closer to the realization of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.
The latest evidence of this is police authorization, granted on Sunday, for a Passover sacrificial ceremony to be held just tens of meters from where the Second Temple once stood.
Religious groups have been holding public Passover sacrifices, in accordance with the biblical outline, for years. But never before have they been permitted to conduct the ceremony so close to the Temple Mount, which the Muslims claim as their own, even as they deny the holy site holds any religious or historical significance for the Jewish people. [ Source: Israel Today (Read More…) ]
The nascent Sanhedrin, a Biblically mandated court of 71 elders, released a letter in Hebrew, English and Arabic inviting the Arabs as the sons of Ishmael to take their role in supporting the Third Temple as prophesied by Isaiah. This move is far more than symbolic. It is intended to bring the entire world one step closer to the global peace that will characterize the Messianic era.
“With the gracious help of the protector and Savior of Israel, Creator of the world by covenant, we declare that the footsteps of Messiah are evidently heard and that the time has come to rebuild the Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem in its ancient place.”
“We, the Jews who advocate building of the Temple, are applying to your Honorable ones, who were nominated by their peoples to give oath, raise vows and gifts to the Temple as prophesied by prophet Isaiah concerning your essential role and honorable position in keeping the Temple and supporting it with lamb sacrifices and incense in order to receive God’s Blessings.”
Raise your eyes and look about: They have all gathered and come to you. Your sons shall be brought from afar, Your daughters like babes on shoulders. As you behold, you will glow; Your heart will throb and thrill— For the wealth of the sea shall pass on to you, The riches of nations shall flow to you. Dust clouds of camels shall cover you, Dromedaries of Midian and Ephah. They all shall come from Sheba; They shall bear gold and frankincense, And shall herald the glories of Hashem. Isaiah 60:4-6
“By virtue of this, we are certain that you will choose peaceful means and avoid all paths to hostility and violence. And we are sure that together we shall open doors to love and respect.”
The letter was signed by 23 respected Rabbis who have received smicha (Rabbinic ordination) for the purpose of re-establishing the Sanhedrin. The rabbis are in the process of acquiring signatures of the full quorum of 71, after which they will send the letter to major Arab institutions and leaders. They hope to hold a conference with Arabs.
Rabbi Yehoshua Hollander, a member of the Sanhedrin who signed the letter, felt it will serve to be an important bridge to the other nations.
“The Jews are commanded to be a nation of priests,” Rabbi Hollander told Breaking Israel News, citing a verse in Exodus.
But you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Yisrael.” Exodus 19:6
“We are to be of service to the whole world in connecting to Hashem,” Rabbi Hollander continued.
“This is our purpose in life as Jews. The Sanhedrin is inviting them to benefit from this since the Temple is good for the whole world. This universal aspect is essential to what the Temple is; a house for all nations.”
I will bring them to My sacred mount And let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices Shall be welcome on My mizbayach; For My House shall be called A house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7
“Of course, for us to serve, the other people need to cooperate,” Rabbi Hollander added.
Rabbi Aharon Yitzchak Shtern, a member of the Sanhedrin who is prominent in the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) community, believes the time for such a declaration including the Arabs in the Third Temple is at hand.
“This is precisely what it seems to be: a simple move towards true peace, ” Rabbi Shtern told Breaking Israel News. “Geula (redemption) is very near. It can either come in war and hardship, or it can come in peace and mercy. We are inviting the B’nei Yishmael to choose peace and godliness.”
The rabbi explained that should the quoted Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, a foremost Jewish authority from the 18th century known as the “Vilna Gaon.”
“If a single sacrifice is brought in the Third Temple,” Rabbi Shtern said, quoting the Vilna Gaon. “The shofar announcing the Messiah will already start to blow.”
“Until now, there has not been a place for Jews to have peace, for non-Jews among themselves to have peace,” Rabbi Shtern said. “Every religion has a belief in moshiach (Messiah), in an end to one reality and the beginning of a new reality. In this new reality, every person, every religion, has their place and their purpose.”
Hezbollah in Lebanon has declared a state of emergency for fear of an Israeli attack approved by the United States.
“Hezbollah declared its ranks in readiness for the past two days, for fear of Israeli aggression on Lebanon,” the Rai Al-Youm newspaper published in London reported Thursday.
“High alert was declared in light of information received that the Israeli army is conducting secret military maneuvers jointly with the United States, which are currently taking place in the country and in the Mediterranean,” journalist Kamal Halaf, who is close with Hezbollah, said.
Citing sources in Hezbollah, Halaf added that US military leaders gave the IDF a green light to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon. The only thing preventing Israel from launching a surprise attack is fear of retalition from the Iranian-backed group, the sources said.
Also according to the Hezbollah sources, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu persuaded the Americans to make a “quick surprise attack” on Lebanese soil, but there is concern that such an attack could lead to all-out war in the region, since Hezbollah’s response would be “tough and very strong,” Halaf wrote.
Steven Collins, a professor of biblical studies and apologetics at Trinity Southwest University, says a “monstrous” site in Tall el-Hammam in the southern Jordan Valley, which lies eight miles northeast of the Dead Sea, perfectly matches the biblical descriptions of the “city of sin,” destroyed in a day by fire and brimstone.
Collins began exploring the rubble in 2005 and eventually concluded that it is indeed the site inhabited by Lot who was saved by Abraham from judgment of the dominant city-state of the era.
“When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el-Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to 10 times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region.”
The site is a large mound, or tel, that he believes represents the ruins of the two cities. The team of researchers has since found high and thick defensive walls, gates, towers, plazas and ramparts as well as a palace in the upper city.
As one would expect, life in the city appears to have come to a sudden halt near the end of the Middle Bronze Age period before being abandoned for 700 years.
“Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the text,” said Collins.
Based on the excavated site, despite the heavily fortified defensive capabilities, the city seems to have come to a sudden, inexplicable end – just as the Genesis account in the Bible says.
For millennia, the ancient cities have been used as metaphors for vice and homosexuality.
Collins said the city was likely abandoned after an earthquake, while other experts suggested an asteroid may have been to blame.
In 2008, mysterious circular clay tablets were identified as a witness’ account of an asteroid that destroyed the cities. Two rocket scientists – Alan Bond and Mark Hempsell, who spent eight years trying to solve the mystery – believe that the tablet’s symbols give a detailed account of how a mile-long asteroid hit the region, causing thousands of deaths and devastating an area of more than 386,000 square miles. The impact, equivalent to more than 1,000 tons of TNT exploding, would have created one of the world’s biggest-ever landslides.
The clay tablet, called the Planisphere, was discovered by the Victorian archaeologist Henry Layard in the remains of the library of the Royal Palace at Nineveh.
The duo used computers to recreate the night sky thousands of years ago and pinpointed the sighting described on the tablet by a Sumerian astrologer, pinpointing the likely date to before dawn June 29 in the year 3,123 B.C.
What does the Bible say about Sodom and Gomorrah? There are references in Genesis and the New Testament as well.
Genesis 19 is a detailed account of two angels who visited the city in an effort to save Lot and his family and were confronted by a gang threatening to sexually assault them. The angels had been dispatched by God at the urging of Abraham, Lot’s uncle.
The angels gathered Lot’s family and took them out of the city, saying: “For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.”
The angels cautioned Lot’s family not to look back once they had been safely removed from the cities.
“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven,” it says in Genesis 19:24-26. “25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Genesis 13:13 explains that the people of Sodom “were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.”
The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos and Zephaniah all refer to the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Jesus referred to Sodom and Gomorrah in Matthew 10, explaining to His disciples that when they visited towns to share the good news and met resistance to shake the dust off their feet before leaving:
“Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city,” it says in verse 15.
Jesus is also quoted in Matthew 11:23 as pronouncing judgment on the Galilee town of Capernaum with a reference to Sodom. The ruins of Capernaum have since been excavated and it remains a popular tourist site today.
2 Peter 2:6 quotes the apostle as saying the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes remained as an example to “those that should live ungodly” in his day.
Likewise, Jude 7:7 says: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
A key Palestinian religious leader is warning that there will be war if the United States follows through on its announced plan to open an embassy in Jerusalem, which Washington now formally recognizes as Israel’s capital.
The official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported Hussein, described as “preacher at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” “warned against the severity of the American administration’s decision on transferring its embassy to occupied Jerusalem.”
“He explained that the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem, if it is carried out, will not be an attack on the Palestinians alone, but rather a blatant attack on the Arabs and Muslims throughout the world … .and that it will not serve peace and security in the region, but rather bring upon it disasters of wars, anarchy, and instability,” the report said.
President Trump, last Dec. 6, formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital after three previous administrations had signed waivers every six months delaying enactment of a law passed by Congress.
Last week, the State Department announced the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will open May 14, 2018, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948.
That day is known to Palestinians as the”Nakba,” Arabic for “the catastrophe.”
At the declaration in 1948, the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq joined in an attempt to eradicate the state of Israel.
The report said the mufti “further implicitly encouraged Palestinians and Muslims to use violence and seek martyrdom.”
“[The mufti] added that the residents of Jerusalem and all of the Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims will not submit to this blatant attack, and will sacrifice all that is dear to them in order to confront the American stubbornness.”
The PA Foreign Affairs Ministry described the announcement as “direct aggression.” And the Palestinian National Council calls the U.S. plan a “blatant defiance toward the international, Arab, and Islamic will.”
The Islamic leader also explained the decision “testifies to the insolence that those who are biased in favor of the occupation have reached, while they continue to do an injustice to our people and its holy sites and to blatantly harm the Palestinian cause in an attempt to eliminate it.”
The report said the Muslim leader said the “arbitrary” behavior by the U.S. “will have severe consequences.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot tour Jewish area of Hebron, inspect defenses • Lieberman praises quality intelligence and tactics, as well as performance of outgoing GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa.
The IDF’s Central Command has been carrying out massive operations to thwart planned terrorist attacks, particularly in and around Hebron, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced Tuesday.
“We are thwarting 20 to 30 terrorist attacks each week, facing ever-increasing terrorist efforts,” Lieberman said.
He attributed the successful anti-terror operations to “quality intelligence and a combination of smart deployment of forces and advanced technology,” and emphasized that the IDF had prevented “the vast majority of terrorist activity.”
Lieberman spoke during a tour of the Jewish quarter of Hebron, where he was accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa, and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
The delegation toured defense installations around the Jewish section of Hebron and at the Tomb of the Patriarchs and met with defense officials for a security assessment.
Lieberman also extended his gratitude to Numa, who will be stepping down from his position as head of the Central Command next week, and wished success to Numa’s appointed successor, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan.
“Roni, with determination, methodology, and a lot of creativity and cleverness, the Central Command under your leadership successfully contained, almost completely, the wave of terrorism and knife attacks and maintained stability in a difficult situation,” Lieberman told Numa.
“Let’s not delude ourselves. The war on terrorism has ups and downs, successes and failures. For what you have done and for what you will do for Israel’s security, we all owe you our thanks and appreciation,” Lieberman said.
U.S. Reps. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) no doubt anticipated an eye-opening experience when they visited the Temple Mount on Thursday as part of their current trip to Israel. So imagine their surprise when they were detained by Israel police after an Islamic Waqf official, which administers the Temple Mount, lodged a complaint against them.
It appears that they violated some unknown rule when Tipton bent down to pick up a broken olive branch off the ground. His movement seems to have agitated the Waqf official who, apparently believing that the congressman was bowing as if in prayer, set off the events that followed.
The congressmen, both in their 70s, were physically removed from the Temple Mount by police officers, and frisked and detained for more than a half-hour. They were released without incident.
Hosted by the American evangelical organization Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, as well as by Jaffe Strategies and its Yes! Israel Project, the politicians are on a fact-finding mission to explore their Judeo-Christian roots.
Speaking of the experience with JNS, Tipton said: “You know it was a little surprising. … We were going around and trying to take it all in and being rushed through, and I happened to pick up an olive branch, ironically a symbol of peace. Apparently, that broke a rule—not one that was defined. We had no forewarning going in of what to do and not to do, no instructions. … We were trying to take in what is obviously a religious site not only for Jews and Muslims, but for Christians as well. … Interestingly, apparently they viewed something as an infraction and then chose to detain us.”
McKinley said: “We should be able to pray and reflect on the history and culture, but you’re not allowed to do that as Jews and non-Muslims. You’re pushed, literally, and they have a time frame to get you through. That’s not right. That’s why the status quo has to change, to reflect the change in culture over the past 50 years.”
According to the congressmen, when they met afterwards with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and related the story, he apologized, saying “it shouldn’t have happened.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) with a delegation of U.S. lawmakers, including Rep. David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.), to his left, and Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
Speaking of the meeting, Tipton said: “We continue to see Iran, [the] No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism, trying to expand their influence over into Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. We discussed serious issues, which we all need to make sure we understand, and the challenges we face. We want to be able to see peace in this area. … The prime minister, admirably, has a very specific understanding of the threats that are out there and ideas on how to best deal with them. … It was, overall, a very thoughtful and comprehensive discussion. He [Netanyahu] was very on-game.”
Asked about the U.S.-Israel relationship, Tipton said that “from a congressional point of view, particularly our caucus, it’s strong. I think it is bipartisan.”
Pointing to Netanyahu’s 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress, in which he urged the United States to seek a better deal with Iran, Tipton highlighted the reception he received and the “enthusiasm that was there for his clear vision.”
He said the Israeli prime minister, “probably better than anyone in the world, is able to lay it out in terms of the challenges that, collaboratively, we face, and that are going to be impacting our European allies as well. It is well-appreciated, and I think the support is there in Congress.”
McKinley added: “This is the foothold of democracy in the Middle East. And in some form, it protects Europe. So the whole issue of dealing with ballistic missiles, I think there are going to be some answers that come from Israel. It is bipartisan. [Netanyahu] is enormously well-respected.”
Referring to the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, McKinley felt that “more countries will follow. Part of it will be the optics of how quickly the U.S. fulfills its objective. I hope it can be done—even if it’s a temporary situation—make that position. Put your flag in the ground.”
Regarding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, Tipton said that “there is a very simple solution for Mr. Abbas. Recognize the right of Israel to be able to exist. If you’re going to be able to have a peaceful solution, it takes two willing parties to be able to work together. I think Israel has extended the hand for the opportunity to make sure that peace does exist.
“We’ve had the opportunity to visit with some of the local people,” he continued. “I think the sense is there. The leadership needs to get in tune. Ultimately, this has always been a sticking point. You have to be able to recognize the right of Israel to exist. If you refuse to do that, you’re making it very difficult to secure peace in the region.”
In addition to Netanyahu, the congressmen met with other Israeli officials. They also visited the Port of Ashdod on the Mediterranean, and further south, Sderot, a town that has been pummeled by rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza since 2001. They will also be touring Judea and Samaria to learn more about the importance of these areas in Jewish history, and more pressing, their significance in present-day reality.
Photo Credit: the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Monday told reporters that the “de-escalation zones” his country set up in Syria with in collaboration with Iran and Turkey should not be turned into “zones of other countries’ influence,” TASS reported.
Back in September, Russia, Turkey and Iran convened in the Kazakh capital, Astana, and agreed to set up de-escalation zones in Syria for six months, where the rebel forces, in whose territory said zones are located, would rely on guarantees by the three invading countries that no harm would come to them. Israel, which, obviously, was not included in the agreement, warned against the creation of one of those “peaceful” zones at its door, in the Quneitra area, in southern Syria.
Naturally, the first thing the Iranians have done following the agreement, was to try to dominate the de-escalation zones, free from Russian interference, and last Feb. 10 used one of its military bases, acquired from the Syrian regime, to send a drone into Israeli airspace, starting a local war.
That day, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement saying, “Our special concern is the threat of escalation of tension inside and around the zones of de-escalation in Syria, the creation of which became an important factor for reduction of violence on the Syrian soil.”
No such reduction of violence has been recorded, in fact, those de-escalation zones have become battlefields between rebel forces and the invaders, with high civilian casualties just a day ago in Eastern Ghouta.
Which is why Deputy FM Bogdanov said that “the zones are necessary from the point of view of ending warfare, but at the same time it is impermissible to see the de-escalation zones turning into zones of influence of foreign states.”
Seeing as only three foreign states are involved, and one of them Bogdanov probably wasn’t criticizing, it stands to reason his warning was directed at Iran, with whose support the Syrian regime just massacred 71, including civilians and children in Eastern Ghouta.
The de-escalation zones are obviously not working as intended, and their title should be replaced with the more apt “killing fields.”
At the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif poked fun in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s presentation of a piece of the Iranian drone, with a threat to “act if necessary not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us but also against Iran itself.” The Iranian FM told the conference, “You were the audience for a cartoonish circus just this morning, which does not even deserve the dignity of a response.”
Clearly, what gave the security conference a “cartoonish” flavor was the fact that a senior official of the world’s largest exporter of terrorism had been invited to speak there, as was articulated by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who told the conference that Iran is busy training a number of terrorist armies and conducts terrorist operations against the entire civilized world.
Iran’s Expediency Council head Mohsen Rezaie says Iran will “not give any opportunity for Netanyahu to flee” with his life if Israel strikes Islamic republic • Rezaie: U.S, Israel “don’t understand” Iran’s power and will “continuously face defeat.”
Iran issued a harsh warning to Israel on Monday, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fiery speech at last weekend’s Munich Security Conference, in which he made it clear Israel will not tolerate Iranian aggression.
“Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck,” Netanyahu said. “We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves, and we will act, if necessary, not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself.”
As part of the speech, the prime minister presented conference goers with a piece of an Iranian drone that breached Israeli airspace on Feb. 10.
“About Netanyahu’s unwise words, I should say that if they carry out the slightest unwise move against Iran, we will level Tel Aviv to the ground,” said Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council and former chief of the country’s Revolutionary Guards, according to a CNN report.
Rezaie also said he will “not give any opportunity for Netanyahu to flee” with his life if Israel strikes Iran, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.
Dismissing Netanyahu’s address as a “theatrical move and a childish game,” Rezaei said that “U.S. and Israeli leaders don’t know Iran and don’t understand the power of resistance, and therefore they continuously face defeat.
“Today, the situation of the U.S. and Israel indicates their fear of the Zionist regime’s collapse and of the U.S.’s decline,” he stated.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to Netanyahu’s speech, saying that “you were the audience for a cartoonish circus just this morning, which does not even deserve a dignity of a response.”
Tensions between Iran and Israel have escalated in the past few months.
Last week’s Iranian drone incursion met a harsh Israeli response, which saw Israeli fighter jets attack 12 targets in Syria, including four Iranian assets, among them the drone’s command post near Palmyra. Massive Syrian anti-aircraft fire was, however, able to down an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, which crashed on the Israeli side of the border.
“Therefore prophesy, O mortal, and say to Gog: Thus said Hashem: Surely, on that day, when My people Yisrael are living secure, you will take note, and you will come from your home in the farthest north, you and many peoples with you—all of them mounted on horses, a vast horde, a mighty arm.” Ezekiel 38:14 (The Israel Bible™)
Israel and Iran made direct military contact on Saturday for the first time, signaling a significant escalation in the multinational entanglement in Syria. This development contains unique elements that several end-of-days experts say presages the Messianic war of Gog and Magog.
On Shabbat at around 4 AM, Iran sent a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) into Israeli airspace from a base in Syria. An Israeli Air Force (IAF) Apache helicopter shot down the UAV, and Israel subsequently launched multiple airstrikes inside Syria. Syria launched a barrage of surface-to-air-missiles (SAM) at the Israeli warplanes, damaging one F-16 and forcing the two-man crew to eject with one pilot suffering serious injuries. This was the first time since 2006 that an Israeli warplane had been shot down by an enemy and the first time that an Iranian drone entered Israel.
The confrontation on Saturday marks a serious escalation in an already volatile region that brings the armies of many nations in closer proximity with one another. This explosive mix is coming to a boil and last week, two other aircrafts were shot down. One of the aircrafts, a Turkish plane, was shot down on Saturday and a Russian close-support SU-25 one week earlier.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author and educator, believes that the confrontation on Saturday may very well have been a major step in the Geula (redemption) process.
“In many aspects, the situation in Syria conforms to the descriptions in the prophecies of the War of Gog and Magog,” Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. “What happened on Shabbat could easily be the trigger to set off. Shooting down an airplane, especially inside Israeli airspace as was the case with the F-16, is an act of war.”
The rabbi noted that the War of Gog and Magog is supposed to begin in the North but that one essential factor mentioned in Ezekiel and hinting to Iran’s role had been missing up until now.
I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws, and lead you out with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed in splendor, a vast assembly, all of them with bucklers and shields, wielding swords. Among them shall be Persia, Nubia, and Put, everyone with shield and helmet; Ezekiel 38:4-5
“Iran is the modern incarnation of Persia and though they have been openly antagonistic towards Israel,” Rabbi Winston noted. “Saturday marked the first time they have come into direct contact with Israel.”
Rabbi Winston emphasized that the escalation on Israel’s Syrian border over the weekend may have helped actualize a step in the process of Geula. He explained that the War of Gog and Magog is the second part of a two stage process for the Messiah’s arrival.
“There are two stages to redemption,” he elaborated. “P’keda (preparation) and zechira the (actualization).”
“P’keda clearly culminated in the formation of the State of Israel and included the building up of the land,” he continued. “The only thing missing right now is the stage of zechira which includes the War of Gog and Magog. This is a much more active process that culminates in the return of the shechina (divine presence) to Israel.”
“The Arabs will play a major role in zechira because they are from Ishmael, which means ‘hear God,’” Rabbi Winston added. “Their function is to make the Jews listen to God and to wake us up to action.”
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the Rabbi in charge of the site of King David’s Tomb, is also convinced that the events on Saturday helped hasten the Messianic process.
“I recently heard from several hidden tzaddikim (righteous individuals) that the war of Gog and Magog had finally begun,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News.
Rabbi Berger also noted that in many significant ways, the situation is different from confrontations that Israel has faced in the past.
“Since Israel became a state, we have faced coalitions of Arab states that joined together against us,” he said. “This is the first time that a coalition of foreign nations faces another coalition of foreign nations, precisely as the War of Gog and Magog is described.”
“Therefore prophesy, O mortal, and say to Gog: Thus said Hashem: Surely, on that day, when My people Yisrael are living secure, you will take note, and you will come from your home in the farthest north, you and many peoples with you—all of them mounted on horses, a vast horde, a mighty arm. Ezekiel 38:14-15
Rabbi Berger cited an esoteric source for there being a coalition of foreign nations in the War of Gog and Magog. Rabbi Haim Shvili, a 20th-century Jewish mystic wrote a book of predictions concerning the Messiah in 1935. Remarkably, Rabbi Shvili understands the prophet Ezekiel to foresee the War of Gog and Magog as being launched by a Russian-led coalition.
O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2
Rabbi Shvili understood the Hebrew word in the verse, rosh (chief) as identifying Russia to be the leader of the Gog and Magog coalition. Rabbi Shvili predicted that the Russian-led coalition will be opposed by a coalition of comparable size, comprising soldiers from all 70 nations.
Rabbi Berger emphasized that the participation of foreign armies in the War of Gog and Magog is a necessary condition for revealing God’s greatness to all the nations involved in the war.
Thus will I manifest My greatness and My holiness, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations. And they shall know that I am Hashem. Ezekiel 38:23
Rabbi Berger noted, however, that the developing situation in Syria differs from the War of Gog and Magog as described by the prophets in at least one significant aspect.
“The prophets say that the war will be fought inside Israel and will reach Jerusalem,” Rabbi Berger said.
Citing his father, Rabbi Sholom Berger, a prominent Hasidic rabbi with thousands of followers in Israel, Rabbi Yosef Burger said that “as an act of mercy to the Jews, the war will not be fought in Israel.”
“My heart tells me that God has mercy on Israel. Despite what the prophets prophesized that the War of Gog and Magog needs to be inside Jerusalem, God is sweetening the judgment and is making this war happen in Syria,” he stated.
“In the future, the gates of Jerusalem will reach Damascus,’” he continued, quoting Sifre, a medieval collection of homiletic Biblical stories. “In that case, instead of the war being inside Jerusalem, and the people of Israel suffering as a result, God has extended Jerusalem to include Damascus in order that the enormous war will be there like we are seeing now,” he explained.
Rabbi Winston said that events on Saturday should be clear even to those who do not accept Biblical and mystic sources.
“The main thing is what is happening over here. Iran is moving in and Russia is not reliable,’ Rabbi Winston said. “It is not a matter of whether or not the War of Gog and Magog is coming. It is a matter of time and at this point, we are counting the days.”