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Current Events in Ukraine – The Vilna Gaon On Moshiach

During the last Shemita cycle (5775/2014) Russia invaded the Crimea (Ukraine). Now in 5782 Russia has recently made a push to conquer more Ukrainian territory. How can this affect us as Jews?

It is a well-known Jewish concept that the maximum time the world, as we know it, will exist will be for a 6,000 year period.  Currently we are in year 5,782 from the creation of Adam Harishon.

תלמוד סנהדרין צז.

תנא דבי אליהו: ששת אלפים שנה הוי עלמא.

The academy of Eliyahu taught the following Baraisa: The world is destined to exist for six thousand years. (Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 97a)

Rabeinu Ephraim and the Baalei Tosafot (1100-1328) in 14th century predicted that Moshiach must come by the year 5,700.  They taught us that if he does not appear by the year 5,700 then there will be an international outpouring of Divine wrath.  The year 5,700 fell out on the Christian calendar in the year 1939\1940 – World War II.  That year the Holocaust began and millions of people were killed, including, at least, six million Jews who were brutally murdered by the Nazis and Ukrainians. The Russians also murdered millions of Jews in Siberia and forced labor camps during World War II, including my family members.

The Rabbis have taught that when we see the nations of the world provoking one another (terrorist actions, wars) then we can look forward to Moshiach’s imminent arrival (Bereishis Rabbah 42:4).

 

Russia The Superpower

The Vilna Gaon (Rabbi Kremer, Rabbi Eilyahu ben Shlomo Zalman, Gaon Rabeinu Eliyahu, GR”A, 1720-1797) in the 1700s, predicted that before the arrival of Moshiach, Russia will become a superpower. Why is this?

There is a Kabalistic explanation.  Russia is from the klipa of tumah (shell of impurity) called Dubiel;  which in turn originated from Paras (Persia/Iran) and Edom.  The Vilna Gaon concluded that when Russia enters the Crimea (Ukraine) this is a sign that Russia has reached its peak and one should start to soon hear the “bells” [or the shofar sound] of Moshiach.  He went further to mention that when Russia enters Constantinople (Istanbul) Turkey, that will be the time to put on Shabbos clothes and to go out and greet Moshiach.

The current year 5,782/2022 is a Shemita year in Eretz Yisrael.  The Talmud teaches that the year after Shemita, Moshiach ben Dovid will arrive.

 

תלמוד סנהדרין צז.

שבוע שבין דוד בא בו…בשישית קולות בשביעית מלחמות במוצאי שבת שביעית בן דוד בא.

 

The seven-year cycle when the son of Dovid will come:…in the sixth year there will be sounds (Maharsha – the judgment of the nations).  In the seventh year there will be wars (Rashi- between the idolatrous nations and the Jews).  In the eighth year, the son of Dovid [Moshiach] will come   (Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 97a).

Eliyahu Hanavi is supposed to bring Moshiach.  After the initial wars there will be an era of unprecedented peace.

תלמוד עדיות ט:

הלכה למשה מסיני שאין אליהו בא לטמא ולטהר לרחק ולקרב…וחכמים אומרים לא לרחק ולא לקרב אלא לעשות שלום ביניהם שנאמר: “הנה אנכי שלח לכם את אליה הנביא וגו’ והשיב לב אבות על בנים ולב בנים על אבותם.

 

A law taught orally to Moshe at Sinai that Eliyahu will not come to declare families impure or pure…He will come neither to distance families nor to draw near families, but only to make peace between them.  As it states: Behold, I send you Eliyah the Prophet etc.  And he will reconcile the hearts of the fathers to the sons and the hearts of the son to the fathers. (Malachi 3:23-24) (Talmud Eduyos 9b)

Eliyahu will make peace in the world.  The strife that exists between the Jews (Israel) and the world will cease, as all the nations recognize the kingdom of G-d.  The return of the father and son refers to their return from the places to which they scattered, having fled in fear of the enemy.

 

We Cannot Predict When Moshiach Will Arrive

The Talmud discusses when Moshiach will arrive. There are two possibilities discussed.

            תלמוד סנהדרין צח.

רבי יהושע בן לוי רמי כתיב “בעתה” וכתיב “אחישנה” זכו “אחישנה” לא זכו “בעתה”.

Rav Yehoshua ben Levi noted a contradiction: (On the one hand) it is written: “in its time (Yishaya 60:22), (which implies that the redemption will occur in its preordained time).  But on the other hand it is written: “I will hasten it”, (which implies that G-d will bring the redemption before its preordained time! Rav Yehoshua ben Levi resolved this contraction as follows): If [the Jews] are deserving, “I will hasten It”.  If they are not deserving, the redemption will come “in its time” (Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 98a).

The Navi Yishaya tells us that one day Moshiach will arrive:

ישעיה ס:כב

הקטן יהיה לאלף והצעיר לגוי עצום אני ה’ בעתה אחישנה.

 

The smallest [tribe] will increase a thousand fold, and the youngest into a mighty nation. I am Hashem, in its time I will hasten it. (Yeshayahu 60:22)           

The Talmud in Sanhedrin (98a) stated that if we are not deserving based upon our deeds, than we will need to wait “b’itah” בעתה  for its  “predestined time”. We are now waiting for the predestined time. We must be closer to that end point. The seeds for Moshiach have been planted for many years now, as we say three times daily in the 15th blessing of the Shmoneh Esreh, “מצמיח קרן ישועה”, “Who causes  the glory of salvation to sprout“.

 

Why Have All Previous Failed Predictions Never materialized?

The previously predicted times are not in error, they could have brought Moshiach; they were times of es ratzon עת רצון,  but we, the Jewish People, prevented him from coming based on our collective spiritual status with G-d.

The verse )7:25( in the book of Doniel is supposed to be a key in deciphering the arrival of Moshiach.

דניאל ז:כה

ומלין לצד עליא ימלל ולקדישי עליונין יבלא ויסבר להשניה זמנין ודת ויתיהבון בידה עד עדן ועדנין ופלג עדן.

 

He will speak words against the Supreme One, and he will exhaust the holy supreme ones, and he will plan to alter the seasons and the law; and they will be given over into his hand until a time, and times, and half a time (Doniel 7:25).

 

A time period is discussed of “a time and half a time”. This posuk can predict Moshiach.  The Zohar on Vayeirah says this posuk refers to a period of one-thousand years of exile after the churban; this is equivalent to one day in G-d terms.  Plag idan פלג עדן , in the pasuk, refers to a time period have of this, which is another five-hundred years.  All together this is describing a period of 1,000 + 500 = 1,500 years.

Moshiach was to come 1,500 years after The Churban (2nd Beis Hamikdash destroyed).  This is why, nowadays, if the Beis Hamikdash is not rebuilt in our generation, Chazal says that we are responsible (Talmud Yerushalmi Yoma 1:1). Up until now we lacked the merit to bring Moshiach.  But now it seems that we can hasten the Geulah גאולה (redemption).

 

We Are Living In The Generation Of “The Dog”

These difficult times, prior to Moshiach, are referred to as  ikvesa dimeshicha עקבות משיחה. There will be a time that we do not know who to trust. Doctors, Rabbis and the media will tell us about the need for a Covid vaccine, wearing masks, social distancing. We will not who to believe. It will be a time of “fake news”. We will not know who to believe or trust. Our leaders will no longer lead and will rather tell the public what they want to know and parrot the fake media news and fake facts.

It will be the generation of the “dog”. Instead of being a true leader, the leaders will say what the public wants to hear; because it makes them feel good. A dog walks in front of his owner and looks like the leader. In reality, the dog always looks behind him to verify that his owner is following him. Thus the generation of “the dog” has leaders that actually follow public opinion and do not really lead.

תלמוד סוטה מט:

בעקבות משיחה חוצפה יסגא ויוקר יאמיר הגפן תתן פריה והיין ביוקר ומלכות תהפך למינות ואין תוכחת בית וועד יהיה לזנות והגליל יחרב והגבלן ישום ואנשי הגבול יסובבו מעיר לעיר ולא יחוננו וחכמות סופרים תסרח וירא חטא ימאסו והאמת תהא נעדרת…פני הדור כפני הכלבועל מה יש לנו להשען על אבינו שבשמים.

 

In the period which will precede the coming of Moshiach, insolence will increase, and costs will soar. [high cost of housing in Israel]  The vine will yield its fruit yet wine will be dear, [lots of drinking parties and clubs/bars will abound] and the government will turn to heresy, [the main country of the world will preach secularism] and there shall be no rebuke. [era of political correctness].  The meeting places will be used for licentiousness [gay parades] and the Galil will be destroyed and the Gavlan desolated [IDF predicts major war casualties in the next conflict with Hezbullah in the North], and the people who dwell on the borders will wander about from town to town [the borders will be attacked intermittently at various points, so that the inhabitants of border towns will be driven from town to town], but they will not be secured [gaza belt communities not safe from terrorist tunnels].  And the wisdom of the scribes will decay, and those who dread sin will be despised, and truth will be absentThe face of the generation is like the face of a dog [leaders will first check to see if their views will be popularly received, like a dog that looks back to see if this master follows]…upon what can we rely? Upon our Father in Heaven.

 

This Gemarah teaches that in this time period the Rabbis with be hated and we can only rely on G-d.

 

The COVID Era

Refer back to the Talmud Sanhedrin (97a). There will be a time period when people will suffer. We are now in the time of Covid where we experienced severe suffering. There will be a “famine” and men, women and children and Rabbis will die. The price of food and gas has increased and in many places has doubled. Many great Rabbis died in the COVID pandemic in the last two years/ Torah knowledge will be forgotten; schools and Yeshivos were shut down. Then the people will recover, and Torah will return. During the Shemita year war will be waged, and then Moshiach will come.

In regards to the increasing food and energy costs we have seen the Talmud Sota (49b). “Chutzpa” will increase and costs will go up. The leaders will be heretics, reject G-d and religion, and allow abortions; not distinguish a man from a woman.

We have seen in the past year families broken up and family members not talk to each other. What was the crime? Because they supported Trump or believed in the secular immoral ideals of the USA Democratic Party; or they decided not to mask or get a experimental vaccine. A son will disgrace a father; a daughter will rise up against her mother. A man’s enemies will be the members of his household. This is all discussed in the aforementioned Talmud.

 

Current Events in the News about Ukraine

NATO was fearful of Russia going to war in February 2016. The recent of invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24, 2022 (23nd of Adar I), has been planned for many years.  The Russians, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin have been improving their military over the years (while the USA has been destroying its military). Russia has being perfecting its weapons and fighting capabilities in Syria.

Russia is currently a world leader in control of Europe’s gas and oil supply. Russia currently supplies oil to the USA! Russia has an extensive alliance with China and Iran. They are not scared of the USA or its sanctions. At the same time that Russia is invading the Ukraine, the USA is helping Iran arm itself with nuclear weapons, for its war against Israel and the Jews.

Remember what the Vilna Gaon stated:

When Russia enters the Crimea (Ukraine) this is a sign that Russia has reached its peak and one should start to soon hear the “bells” [or shofar sound] of Moshiach.”

 

Nothing Is By Chance – Especially In The Month Of Adar

This war with Ukraine started in the month of Adar. Purim will be here soon. Haman represented Amalek and the concept of “chance” to the exclusion of divine intervention in our daily lives. Nothing occurs by chance מקרה  , rather all event that occur are directly from G-d רק מה’ (“chance” and “only from G-d” are the same letters).

Historically the Ukrainian and Russian people have not treated Jews well. Stalin killed more people than Hitler; they were both evil. Vladamir Putin, the current leader of Russia, seems to approve of Stalin. Both the Russians and the Ukrainians are guilty of murdering many Jews. Having a JINO (Jew In Name Only) president, does not whitewash the horrible crimes of the Ukrainian people against the Jews. Forgetting the crimes perpetrated against our people is a disgrace to the memory of our holy martyrs who died in G-d’s name על קידוש השם.

  • (1648-1657), Khmelnytsky Pogroms Cossacks, Crimean Tatars – murdered 30,000 Jews and completely destroyed 300 Jewish communities. From 1888 until today there is a “hero’s” statue dedicated to the honor or Bohdan Khmelnytsky (the murderer of Jews. Since 2001 it is registered as a monument of national importance. It is located in Kyviv and is the symbol of the city (I pray that a Russian rocket will blow it up soon). It’s a symbol of shame.

 

  • (1821) Anti-Jewish riots in Odessa – 14 Jews murdered.

 

  • (1915) The Ukraine Government expelled thousands of Jews from their border areas.

 

 

  • (1917-1921) Ukrainian People’s Republic – 100,000 Jews murdered in pogroms.

 

  • (1918-1920) Russian Revolution/Civil War – 250,000 Jews murdered throughout the Russian Empire; with 31,000 Jews murdered in Ukraine.

 

  • (1919) In Tetiev Northwest of Kyviv – 4,000 Jews murdered. Half of them were burned to death in a shul by Cossack troops of Colonel Shliatoshenko. That same year 800 Jews were decapitated in assembly line fashion in Dubovo. February 1919 Parshas Tetzveh,  Jews were massacred on shabbos: 390 men, 309 women, and 76 children were murdered. Over 500 Jews were wounded.

 

  • In the 20th Century many pogroms took place in Kishinev, Kyiv, and Odessa. It’s seems to a national pastime in the country of Ukraine to murder Jews.

 

  • World War II – At least 1 million Jews were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen with their many local Ukrainian supporters.

In the 1990s, there were many documented cases of anti-Jewish discrimination in the Ukraine. This inspired some Jews to make Aliyah to Israel. Anti-Semitic violence against Jews is still a problem in Ukraine. As of 2014 there were around 400,000 Jews remaining in Ukraine.

 

Russia Has Never Been Our Friend

Shallom Pollack has recently noted that the Soviets, patrons of the Arabs, realized in the 1960’s that their clients were not capable of defeating little Israel even with unlimited military and diplomatic aid and instruction. With the exception of the war of 1948, all of our wars here in Israel have been proxy wars with Russia fought by the Arabs. In 1948, the USA tried to wipe out the fledgling Jewish State by instigating an arms embargo on Jews only. England actively helped the Arabs by giving them advanced weapons to kill the Jews in the 1948 war.

Repeated defeats (especially after the 1967 and 1973 wars), reinforced the perception of Arab military inferiority and embarrassed their Soviet patron. They then embarked on a sophisticated campaign called “Semantic infiltration.”

The “Palestinian   People ‘‘narrative was a brainchild of the KGB. They understood that aggressive Arabs trying to wipe out the tiny post-Holocaust Jewish state is not a successful tactic.  The world’s sympathy will always lie with the ones on the barricades repulsing barbarian onslaughts. The Jews were initially seen, by some, as the victims and believed in their justice.

To fix this perception they created a national identity around which the Arabs can focus their energies against the hated Jews. That identity must be one of a victim that was terribly wronged by a heartless foreign invader of their ancient homeland. The Soviet propaganda machine was the first to dare place the Jews in the role of Nazis and the Arabs victims as the Jews.

For a world that was actively or passively complicit in the murder of six million, Jews the tiny remnant in the Jewish state was given a short period of grace. The Soviets understood that this moral mantle must be removed from the Jews. Only thus could their Arab client’s progress in breaking down the wall of Jewish self-confidence and moral strength.

At first, few outside the Communist and Muslim world dared adopt the KGB fabricated absurd narrative. But it caught on. Today Israel feels it must explain why they are not Nazis and are not trampling the rights of an “ancient”, “indigenous” peace-loving Palestinian people. The victim is presented as the aggressor and the aggressor the poor victim. Increasingly Jews are accepting the guilt and apologizing.

No matter how sophisticated and powerful Soviet “new think” propaganda is, it could not have imposed national amnesia on so many Jews if there was no fertile ground. The Jewish Left, in and outside of Israel, do not have the spiritual, moral, and intellectual means to weather the attacks.  They have joined the accusers and had an invaluable hand in creating the false narrative of Palestine. It is not the first time in history that Jews who reject Torah and  G-d turned on their own.

The KGB had much experience with such Jews who were leaders of the Communist party until they were “liquidated” and “purged” by Stalin. It did not stop Leftist Jews in Israel from mourning bitterly when Stalin died. The KGB had experience with Jews long before they launched the Palestinian Narrative New Speak campaign. They knew who they were dealing with.

 

אוי לרשע אוי לשכנו (משנה נגעים יב:ו)

Woe to the wicked ,Woe to his neighbor

 

 

 

Weekly Shabbos Prayer – In Memory Of Our Brethren Murdered In Europe

Av HaRachamim prayer, about G-d the Avenger, said by Ashkenaz Jews every Shabbos:

אָב הָרַחֲמִים…הוּא יִפְקֹד בְּרַחֲמִים הַחֲסִידִים…קְהִלּוֹת הַקֹּדֶשׁ שֶׁמָּסְרוּ נַפְשָׁם עַל קְדֻשַּׁת הַשֵּׁם…יִזְכְּרֵם אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְטוֹבָה עִם שְׁאָר צַדִּיקֵי עוֹלָם. וְיִנְקֹם לְעֵינֵינוּ נִקְמַת דַּם עֲבָדָיו הַשָּׁפוּךְ. כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים. הַרְנִינוּ גוֹיִם עַמּוֹ כִּי דַם עֲבָדָיו יִקֹּם וְנָקָם יָשִׁיב לְצָרָיו וְכִפֶּר אַדְמָתוֹ עַמּוֹ: וְעַל יְדֵי עֲבָדֶיךָ הַנְּבִיאִים כָּתוּב לֵאמֹר. וְנִקֵּיתִי דָּמָם לֹא נִקֵּיתִי וַ-ה’ שֹׁכֵן בְּצִיּוֹן: וּבְכִתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ נֶאֱמַר לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ הַגּוֹיִם אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם, יִוָּדַע בַּגּוֹיִם לְעֵינֵינוּ נִקְמַת דַּם עֲבָדֶיךָ הַשָּׁפוּךְ: וְאוֹמֵר, כִּי דוֹרֵשׁ דָּמִים אוֹתָם זָכָר לא שָׁכַח צַעֲקַת עֲנָוִים: וְאוֹמֵר, יָדִין בַּגּוֹיִם מָלֵא גְוִיּוֹת מָחַץ רֹאשׁ עַל אֶרֶץ רַבָּה. מִנַּחַל בַּדֶּרֶךְ יִשְׁתֶּה עַל כֵּן יָרִים רֹאשׁ.

Father of compassion…recall with compassion the devout ones…holy congregations who gave up their lives for the Sanctification of G-d’s name…May G-d remember them for good…may He avenge before our eyes the vengeance of the blood of his servants that has been spilled. As it is written in the Torah (Devarim 32:43) of Moshe the man of G-d: “Sing praises, O nations for His people for the blood of His servants will He avenge and retribution will He bring upon His enemies; and he will appease His Land [Eretz Yisrael] and His people…It is written (Yoel 4:21) saying: “Though I cleanse the enemy, their bloodshed I will not cleanse, when Hashem dwells in Tzion [Eretz Yisrael]”…let there be known among the nations before our eyes, revenge for the blood of your servants that has been spilled (Tehillim 79:10)…The Avenger of blood has remembered them, He has not forgotten the cry of the humble (Tehillim 9:13). And it says: He will judge the nations that are filled with corpses, He will crush the leader of the mighty land. From a river [of enemy blood] along the way he [Moshiach ben Dovid] shall drink [in complete victory] (Tehillim 110:6-7) – therefore he may proudly lift his head.

May G-d extract retribution on our enemies, for their past actions and murder. We pray that G-d choose how and when to atone for the blood of His fallen martyrs.

G-d will judge the nations. G-d intervenes against the nations who have slaughtered Jews in the past and intends to do so in the future (Iran beware). He turns their army into a mass of corpses and crushes their leader. The enemy’s blood flows like a river from which the rescued fugitives can drink. In the end, once we are spared from danger and shame and serve G-d securely in our entire Land of Israel, we proudly lift our head.

 

About the Author
Arie E. Pelta, M.D., a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon from the USA , made aliyah with his wife and 7 children in 2013. Received Rabbinical ordination in 1997. He is also a active Medical Corps Officer holding the rank of Captain in the IDF Reserves. Currently practicing in Laniado Hospital in Netanya; speciaizing in the surgical care of all problems of the colon, rectum and anus.
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