The War of Gog and Magog:
The Haftara of Shabbat Chol Ha-mo’ed Sukkot
By Harav Mosheh Lichtenstein
Translated by David Strauss
The haftara for Shabbat Chol Ha-mo’ed Sukkot (Yechezkel 38:18-39:16), which deals with the war of Gog and Magog, is one of the most famous prophecies in Scripture. It has succeeded in taking hold of the human imagination and penetrating deeply into our cultural and religious consciousness. The destruction of the existing and imperfect world, the ultimate war against evil, the heavy price of blood, and God's victory over men of flesh and blood are powerful images that leave a profound impression on the human soul. Thus, this prophecy has become part of the inalienable property of the Jewish and general world.
It is quite understandable, then, that this prophecy was included in the haftarot cycle. However, its relationship to the festival of Sukkot is not at all clear, and is even surprising, for what is the connection between a blood-drenched world war and the festival of Sukkot? How does the sukka of peace connect to war, and what is the relationship between the refuge and shelter of the sukka and the destruction and desolation described in this prophecy?
The reading of the haftara of Gog and Magog on Shabbat Chol Ha-mo’ed Sukkot is not merely a custom, but an obligation of Talmudic law. The gemara in Megilla (31a) mentions it along with the other haftarot read on the various holidays to this very day; we thus see that Chazal already saw an essential connection between the prophecy and the festival.
In answer to this question, Rashi (Megilla 31a, s.v. be-yom) identifies the war of Gog and Magog with the war fought in the end of days that is mentioned at the end of the book of Zekharia in the chapter that serves as the haftara on the first day of Sukkot. As Rashi puts it, "'On that day, when Gog shall come' is the war mentioned in Zekharia in 'Behold, the day of the Lord comes.'" Indeed, there is significant correspondence between these two prophecies. Both deal with a future war of defense fought against nations oppressing Israel in which God Himself rises to fight against the enemies of Israel, making use of very similar methods of fighting. Both campaigns are decided by way of supernatural means introduced by God, the focus of which is a great earthquake that utterly overturns the regular natural order, as a result of which pandemonium breaks out, causing "every man's sword to be against each other." From this perspective, we can certainly speak of very similar accounts issuing from the mouths of Yechezkel and Zekharia, and conclude from this that we are dealing with the same war, as is argued by Rashi.
Based on this, we can explain why we read the story of Gog and Magog on Shabbat Chol Ha-mo’ed Sukkot, for the prophecy in Zekharia makes explicit mention of the festival of Sukkot. According to Rashi, the two haftarot read on the festival of Sukkot deal with the terrible war that will take place in the future, "on that day," for they are one and the same war. On the first day of Sukkot, we read the account of that war as it appears at the end of the book of Zekharia, mentioning the festival of Sukkot at the conclusion, and on Shabbat Chol Ha-mo’ed, we read Yechezkel's account of the same war.
Read the rest here.
An ominous beginning to the new year and a bad omen for Sukkot.
...Even though the beginning of Sukkot is also the beginning of the rainy season, we do not mention rain until the end of Sukkot, since rain on Sukkot is a bad omen. Sukkah 28b-29a draws a comparison to a servant who brings his master wine only to have the wine spilled in his face - i.e., we build our sukkot in order to serve our Master, but He causes the rain to fall, as if to say that He does not desire our service and requests that we leave His presence. (Mishneh Torah)
Israel Gets First Hint of Winter Rain
Rain falls from Negev to Golan as summer season ends. Forecast: more rain, storms.
See Yeranen Yaakov - Rav Dovid Soloveitchik: The Matzav is Ayom VeNora
And latest Debka report:
Shortly before the Israeli Prime Minister rose to speak in New York, Syrian President Bashar Assad again removed chemical weapons out of storage. Some were almost certainly passed to the incoming Iranian units. The weapons’ movements were accounted for as a precaution for “greater security,” but in practice they will be ready for use against Israel when the order is handed down from Tehran.
Friday, Sept. 28, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was specifically asked by a reporter if it was believed that “Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Syrian rebels had been able to get possession of any of the chemical weapons” which the secretary had just disclosed were on the move. He left the door open, saying only that he had “no firm information to confirm this.” That sort of question never comes out of thin air.
It was also the second time in three weeks that the defense secretary mentioned the movements of Syrian chemical weapons out of storage. This time, he said, ‘‘There has been intelligence that there have been some moves that have taken place. Where exactly that’s taken place, we don’t know.” But he did not rule out the possibility that they were being made ready for use.
This non-denial tied in closely with the words heard that day from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “Iran has left no doubt that it will do whatever it takes to protect the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Tehran’s staunch ally,” she said.
Syrian chemical weapons movements out of storage, the presence of crack Iranian fighting units on Israel’s borders and Tehran’s determination to keep Assad in power “whatever it takes” hung in menacing silence over Netanyahu’s powerful cartoon presentation of the Iranian nuclear peril.
Already on Sept. 16, the Revolutionary Guards chief Gen. Ali Jafary announced publicly that al Qods Brigades personnel had landed not only in Syria but also Lebanon. The chemical weapons may therefore have already reached Hizballah or be on their way there unbeknownst to US intelligence.
Both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have repeatedly stated that the transfer of chemical weapons to Hizballah would necessitate Israeli military action.
...Netanyahu’s red line for preventing Iran achieving a 240-kilo enriched uranium stockpile does not cover an Iranian preemptive attack on the Jewish state before then – as threatened explicitly by the Iranian missiles Corps chief Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizade on Sept. 24.
Neither had Israeli officials anything to say about the Hamas leaders’ trips to Beirut and Tehran this month to sign military accords with the Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah pledging the Palestinian extremists’ participation in an attack on Israel.
The red line on the cartoon bomb which Netanyahu held up so effectively at the UN Thursday covered only one segment of the peril Tehran poses for the Jewish state. A more immediate danger lurks in the north.
Considering the "promise" of Gog and Magog on Hoshanah Rabbah and the Sukkot holiday's preoccupation with the topic, I'll be davening with extra kavanah and keeping a watch on the news.
Wishing Klal Yisrael the most joyous of Sukkot holidays and we should hear only good news! Chag sameach!!
12 Tishrei 5773
If you'd like a glimpse of what the world might look like after another four years of an Obama White House - years in which he no longer has to measure his actions against re-election - then click the picture to see Dinesh d'Souza'a excellent film "2016 - Obama's America."
Those who ignore his bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power across the Middle East will never understand that the ultimate goal here would necessarily be the elimination of the "colonialist Zionist entity."
(NOTE: Just close the vixden pop-up which says you don't have the right plug-in to watch.)
Erev Yom Kippur
And yes, I mean that as a pun. It seems that "Arab Spring" is arriving late to Jordan.
Jordan on the brink: Muslim Brothers mobilize for King Abdullah’s overthrow
Other meaningful news at this hour:
Syrian mortar shells land in northern Golan Heights
U.N. envoy sounds regional alarm over Syria war
Tzom mutzlach - a successful fast!
It would seem that there is just too much going on for it not to lead to something really, really BIG!
1. Foreign embassies are now endangered by rampaging Chinese angry with Japan.
2. Before the fire of Islamic ire could go out, the French have now added fuel to it with cartoons insulting to Muhammed. (Since a Jew is also caricatured in the French publication, see Mystical Paths for an appropriate Jewish response to this insult.)
3. While the largest ever military drill in history is taking place in the Persian Gulf, Israel launches a huge "surprise" drill in the north of the country. (See Tens of thousands of Israeli troops in surprise Golan drill)
4. There is document shredding going on right now in the US embassy in Beirut, according to the same article.
Erev Rosh Hashanah
When we come back after the two-day holiday, it will already be Gimmel Tishrei 5773!
Until then, Tomer Devorah wishes all the blog readers a k'teviah v'chatimah tovah. You should be written and sealed for life along with all the righteous on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
~A Good and Blessed New Year 5773 everybody!~
Erev Rosh Hashanah
The Israeli public was not informed that the Prime Minister would be away on Erev Rosh Hashanah. What's going on? Why all the secrecy? If he and Obama are meeting, where is the meeting taking place? And what will be the result of it? What does this portend for 5773???
Report: Netanyahu and Obama to Meet as West Deploys in Gulf
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet on Sunday in an unannounced meeting, The London Telegraph reported Sunday. There has been no confirmation or denial from Washington - but the Prime Minister’s spokesman Mark Regev told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that the newspaper’s report they will meet on Sunday is “incorrect.”
Concerning a meeting in the near future, he issued a “no comment” response.
The reported meeting is to take place as 25 countries deploy warplanes and warships in the Persian Gulf (Strait of Hormuz) in annual maneuvers, in the largest exercise ever....
Erev Rosh Hashanah
Armada of British naval power massing in the Gulf as Israel prepares an Iran strike
Israeli Foreign Ministry officials say U.S. ignored Arab radicalization
Foreign Ministry official on signs of 'radicalization' in Arab world: ‘We knew what was happening, but the Americans preferred to find excuses.’
US Embassy Staffs Flee from Islamic Fury
The US has ordered officials to flee Tunisia and Sudan, and Al Qaeda urges worldwide terrorist attacks on American targets
Look for updates to be added here throughout the day as needed.
Erev Rosh Hashanah
When Prince Harry, third in line to the throne of England, took off his clothes in Las Vegas and exposed himself to the world, we tsk tsked and kept going. But, now that Princess Catherine, future Queen of England, has done a similar thing in France, it's time to sit up and take notice. There is a message in here somewhere. To find it, look to Yechezkel, chapter 16.
Erev Rosh Hashanah
Debka reveals the story that the mainstream media refuses to cover:
Post-Arab Spring "moderate” Muslim regimes cornered by radicals
The United States is positioning military forces so that it can respond to unrest in as many as 17 or 18 places in the Islamic world, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced late Friday. "We have to be prepared in the event that these demonstrations get out of control,” he said.
Those words dashed hopes in Washington that the anti-US Islamist rampage by now sweeping 21 countries over a video deriding Islam had passed their peak. In fact, by their sixth day Saturday, Sept. 15, the street protests against American embassies and other US symbols of influence were growing more violent and more organized, threatening not only American lives but tearing up President Barack Obama’s entire outreach policy toward Arabs and Muslims.
In at least four Arab countries, anti-US protesters were no longer just throwing stones but using firearms. The most serious occurred in Egyptian Sinai, where scores of armed Salafist Bedouin linked to al Qaeda firing missiles, grenades, mortars and automatic weapons were able to break down two guard posts at the US-led Multinational Force near El Arish base in search of American victims. A battalion of Colombian troops fought the invaders off in fierce battle for hours, preventing them from reaching the hundreds of US officers, soldiers and air crews pinned down in fortified quarters.
...Those policies aimed naively at the removal in the name of democracy of autocratic, secular Arab rulers to make way for “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood regimes elected by the people and ready to work with the United States. This ideal was violently reduced to ashes in the second week of September 2012.
It is hard not to recall another debacle of 33 years ago, when President Jimmy Carter helped overthrow the Shah of Persia only to bring implacable ayatollah rule to Tehran.
Read the rest of Debka's conclusions here.
Erev Rosh Hashanah
(Yechezkel 38.4) "...I shall put hooks into your jaws and bring you forth...."
Rashi: It is customary to lead out a beast with the hooks in its jaws because it does not want to go [voluntarily].
(Sefer Eliyahu) "...The last king who rules Persia shall come up against the Romans three successive years until he expands (his gains) against them for twelve months. Three mighty warriors will come up to oppose him from the west, but they will be handed over into his control. Then the lowliest of the kings, the son of a slave woman and whose name is Gīgīt, will confront him from the west..."
Barack Obama may be descendant of first African slave in colonial America
A study of Barack Obama's family history has revealed that he is likely to be a descendant of the first African enslaved in the American colonies.
Perhaps surprisingly, the line to the president's 11th great-grandfather was traced through the president's white mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, whose ancestors were some of the first African American settlers of colonial America.
Either Obama will win re-election and do this in his second term or he will have to do it before he would leave office in January 2013. But, it has to be Obama, who else could ever qualify for the role as he does?
I tend to believe, based on the sources, that this is intended to be showdown between East and West - between Christianity and Islam - and does not directly involve Israel. The cosmic energy that is fueling the spreading protests against US embassies reflects this struggle. If the momentum is sustained and grows, that will give us an idea of how close we are to the finale.
A lot is happening in the world and I’ve been so busy with family business and holiday preparations that I’ve not been able to respond to it. However, it's just as well since the situation is being clarified even as I write.
If you're reading this, then you are connected to the internet and there is no way that you can not have heard about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Supposedly, this was the result of "spontaneous" riots which broke out in response to an anti-Islam film which was attributed to an "Israeli Jew living in California." In Cairo, also, riots broke out near the embassy and the US flag was burned and replaced with an Islamic one.
Within twenty-four hours, however, new reports have emerged that a group of Egyptian Christians were responsible for the film and serious questions have been raised about how "spontaneous" the reaction really was.
Today, the situation is very fluid. The US State Dept has issued a travel advisory for American citizens:
...Embassies in Armenia, Burundi, Egypt, Kuwait, Sudan, Tunisia and Zambia all issued warnings on Wednesday that don't report any specific threat but note that demonstrations can become violent and advise Americans in those countries to be particularly vigilant....
There are reports that rioting is continuing in Egypt and has spread to Yemen, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Morocco.
In response to the murders in Libya, the US is sending in two warships carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles.
And lest we forget, there is still the situation with Syria and Iran which deteriorates by the day.
As if this were not enough, we've got a talking head at NBC asking a representative of the group who made the anti-Islam film who is really more dangerous to the world, the "Supreme Leader" in Tehran or "Bibi" Netanyahu? He went on to say that the only way to get along with Netanyahu is to agree with everything he says.
The New Yorker took its cheap shot, too: "High-handed,” “arrogant,” “dangerous” - these are just a few of the personality traits of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, if the editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick, is to be believed. In an op-ed piece on the magazine's web site. Remnick laces into Netanyahu as a “dangerous neocon” whose aim is “to embolden and elevate the reactionary forces in Israel, to eliminate the dwindling possibility of a just settlement with the Palestinians, and to isolate his country on the world diplomatic stage.”
The scary part is not that people say these things, it's that they say them openly and unabashedly. There is no shame in it and this bodes ill for Jews in chu"l particularly.
We are living in generally scary times and it's getting worse. We're more informed than ever and yet we have no idea what can be believed. The relationship between the US and Israel may or may not be as tenuous as reported. Some have hypothesized that the 'bad blood' between the President and the Prime Minister could all be a magnificent act meant to fool the leadership of Iran while they secretly plot its downfall together. Still others think the Libya attack might be a false-flag event intended to cover up the real reason for warships in the Mediterranean - an invasion of ISRAEL meant to cut her down to size and prevent her putting the whole world at risk with her insistent demand that Iran be denied nuclear power.
Only Hashem knows what's really going on. It's up to us to have faith in Him that He does everything for our very best and He is the One ultimately in control. The power of life and death are in His hands alone.
However, it's worth noting that it is highly significant that this started on 9/11 on the eleventh anniversary of the destruction of the Twin Towers. The number eleven is itself highly significant.
The number eleven, which is how many spices there were in the Ketores, at first seems rather odd. However, Kabbalistically it is a number of tremendous importance for it alludes to one of the most prized possessions in all of history: Da'as Elokim - G-dly-Knowledge.
It is well-known that there are only ten fixed Sefiros: Keser, Chochmah, Binah, Chesed, Gevurah, Tifferes, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malchus - Crown, Wisdom, Understanding, Kindness, Strength, Harmony, Dominance, Glory, Foundation, and Kingship. They are, for all intents and purposes, the spiritual DNA for all of existence, and the filters through which the G-d of light passes to make it all exist and happen.
Kabbalah explains that there is actually an eleventh sefirah. However, because it is really the product of other sefiros and subject to movement, meaning that it can come and go based upon the efforts of man, it is more like a pseudo-sefirah, though its centrality is not to be under-estimated. (In truth, Da'as is what the light of Keser becomes after being filtered through Chochmah and Binah, which is why it is not really counted independently, but that is already a discussion that goes above our heads.)
Brushing aside the details, Da'as means one thing and one thing only: Redemption. The more of this light that exists in the world, the more redemption will become a real and fixed reality, which is why the prophets describe Yemos HaMoshiach as a time when the world will be filled with Da'as, just as Betzalel was to construct the Mishkan, a microcosm of the entire universe in perfection, as the Zohar said....
The golden calf represents the other extreme - the world without Da'as, a forerunner of modern Western Society. (Ow! The truth hurts.) The Parah Adumah, the subject of this week's special Maftir, of course is the tikun for the golden calf, and therefore an expression of this very concept. (See Rashi at the beginning of Parashas Chukas.)
Thus, there are some very famous elevens through history, and they are all associated with this concept of Da'as. For example, Yosef was the eleventh son born to Ya'akov, the one through whom the hand of G-d became clear and from whom Moshiach ben Yosef will descend to help us across the threshold into Moshiach's time.
However, perhaps the most famous eleven is the gematria of the letters "Vav-Heh" from G-d's Tetragrammaton Name, purposely left out at the end of Parashas Beshallach when G-d swears there will be war against Amalek until the end of history. The Name of G-d that represents this reality is "Elokim." Once Amalek is finally snuffed out in Moshiach's time, they will return and G-d's Name will once again be one. However, until such time it is as if they remain hidden, like the hand of G-d itself in the affairs of man, allowing Gevuros and Amalek to do their thing.
(Rabbi Pinchas Winston, Perceptions on Parshat Ki Tisa)
And just as that first 9/11 led to war on Hoshanah Rabbah 5762, the events which began on this 9/11 may finish that war on Hoshanah Rabbah 5773.
We will have to watch this play out over the days to come, but I have the feeling that events might converge and cascade until we could have a real shot at GoguMagog on Hoshanah Rabbah 5773 just as predicted. If so, then history may very well show in the end that the Redemption began right at the closing of the year 5772.
May each one of us be inscribed and sealed for life and health and a future. May each one of us live and survive to greet Mashiach Tzidkeinu and merit to live in days of Mashiach and the rebuilt Beit Hamikdash in peace and love and joy.
Shabbat shalom and shanah tovah!
UPDATE! Israeli Arab Official Warns Of ‘Armageddon’ Over Anti-Islam Film
I refer you to Jewish Israel's:
As well as:
Jeremy Gimple preaching from the pulpit at a 'Messianic Jewish' Church.
Jeremy Gimpel hosting the church members at his home in Neve Daniel.
Reb Akiva writes regarding A & J's position on unity:
1. Unity. They think it’s crazy for parties in a similar space to be divided, resulting in a bunch of tiny parties with limited or no voice. They’ve committed to giving up their seats if that results in a single party block. (Their area of focus is the national religious parties, but this statement could apply equally as well to the ultra-orthodox parties.)
From a JPost article featured at A & J's website:
..."We in religious Zionism have the power to bridge between secular Israel and Jewish Israel.”
To bring haredim closer to Israel, Gimpel has a four-step plan to solve the problem of equalizing the burden of IDF service. He would expand the Nahal Haredi battalion, recognize current volunteer programs of haredim as national service, give higher child welfare payments to haredim who serve, and only fund yeshivas that send 50 percent of their students to serve.
To bring the secular closer to Judaism, Gimpel would promote inclusive, open-minded Judaism. He laments that religious councils, conversion and kosher certification have become dominated by haredim, in part because of the bond between the Likud and the haredim.
“We need power to ensure that at least 50% of the religious court judges and city rabbis will be religious Zionists,” Gimpel says. “A vote for Likud is a vote for the haredim to continue to have power. Haredim only care about their institutions. Our issues are non-sectarian and affect all of the nation of Israel.”
I ask you. Which is more important - unity among political parties or unity among Torah Jews?
Murdoch: King David Was Right, Jerusalem is the Capital
...Murdoch also said, "Twenty years ago my company invested in a small company in a small Jerusalem apartment, and what I gained from this company in terms of capital returns and technologically was critical to my company in the last few years."
“There are more than $11 billion in foreign investments in Israel. Usually we invest in assets that generate the best returns and Israel is too good for investors to ignore it.
"We once thought that G-d chose a Holy Land without any oil or natural resources, but recent years have shown that Israel has incredible resources with enormous oil and gas reserves".
Murdoch added, "What differentiates Israel from other countries is the creativity. Israel is successful because it is one of several countries whose economy revolves around the human mind, and it is really a light unto the nations.
“Bear in mind that everything that happens in Israel happens despite all the threats to the country.”
I love "Only in Israel" stories. Is there anyplace else in the world where the bus signs wish you "Shanah Tovah?" Is there anyplace else in the world where a cell phone rings with the sound of a shofar?
And is there anyplace else in the world as threatened - or as protected - as Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael?
Gotta love LATMA!
Arsonists Burn Jewish Eatery; 2nd Attack At Hollywood Plaza
A strip mall where arson destroyed a Judaica store last year became the site of a second fiery attack Friday, when two masked arsonists in hoodies broke into a kosher restaurant and splashed flammable liquid all over the kitchen to make it go up in flames.
Whether Friday’s fire at Achla Pita Grill is linked to the blaze that destroyed Holyland Judaica store on Dec. 1, 2011, remains unknown.
...“I have no indication at this time that this is a hate crime,” Hollywood Police Lt. Nicole Coffin said Friday afternoon. “And there is no indication that the prior incident was a hate crime, either.”
Emerald Center is in a heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in west Hollywood.
Today is the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 according to the Hebrew calendar.
Supposedly the name "Uncle Sam," referring to the United States, comes from the two initial letters (US). But, it really has a much deeper meaning. "Sam" is also the name of Eisav's ministering angel, who also just happens to be the Angel of Death and the Yetzer Hara.
SAMAEL (pronounced Sam-kel when spoken)
Prince of the demons, and an important figure both in Talmudic and in post-Talmudic literature, where he appears as accuser, seducer, and destroyer. His name is etymologized as = "the venom of God," since he is identical with the angel of death (Targ. Yer. to Gen. iii. 6; see also Death, Angel of), who slays men with a drop of poison....
As the incarnation of evil he is the celestial patron of the sinful empire of Rome, with which Edom and Esau are identified (Tan. on Gen. xxxii. 35; Jellinek, l.c. vi. 31, 109, etc.). He flies through the air like a bird (Targ. to Job xxviii. 7), and, while the ḥayyot and ofannim have only six wings, he has twelve, and commands a whole army of demons (Pirḳe R. El. xiii.). In so far as he is identified with the serpent ("J. Q. R." vi. 12), with carnal desire (Yeẓer ha-Ra'), and with the angel of death, all legends associated with Satan refer equally to him, while as a miscreant he is compared to Belial ( = "worthless"; ....)
All these descriptions of Samael show that he was regarded simply as the principle of evil that brought upon Israel and Judah every misfortune that befell them. Even at the creation of the world he was Lucifer, who ever sought evil and who began his malignant activity with Adam. His opponent is Michael, who represents the beneficent principle, and who frequently comes into conflict with him ....(Read more from the Jewish Encyclopedia)
It was this angel with whom Yaaqov Avinu wrestled on his return to Eretz Yisrael:
...Who indeed was this malach who had come to do battle with Yaakov? Rashi quotes Chazal (our Sages) who identify him as "Saro shel Eisav - the ministering angel of Eisav. (Bereishis Rabbah 77:3; Midrash Tanchuma 8)" The struggle, commentators explain, was not a simple wrestling match.
...Eisav is the antithesis of everything holy and ethical. His ministering angel, thus, represents the forces of evil that do battle with the Yaakov's of the world, attempting to draw the righteous from the just path, and entice them to forsake their spiritual assets in favour of material trappings and ambitions. (Parshas Vayishlach @ Torah.org)
(Read more here.)
The World Trade Center was the physical representation of "material trappings and ambition" in a city which represents all of that for the whole world. The fall of the Twin Towers was the physical representation of the spiritual fall of Eisav's ministering angel and the ultimate collapse of materialism as a power. It began with the launching of the war in Afghanistan on Hoshanah Rabbah 5762 and proceeded to the War in Iraq and until today when the US and Europe are teetering on bankruptcy.
Eisav's ministering angel climbed so high up the ladder that the only way to come back down was to fall. And although it doesn't look much like it from where we are standing, that day the power of Yisrael began to rise.
Remember when major events occurred once a century, then once a decade? Then, they started occurring every year - 2004 Asian Tsunami; 2005 Hurricane Katrina; 2006 Second Lebanon War; 2008 Economic Crash, etc.
Then, things changed. Time speeded up. In 2010, there were massive earthquakes in Haiti and then Chile (which was also accompanied by a tsunami), as well as the volcanic eruptions in Iceland which interrupted air travel across Europe. Then, there was the explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And that was followed by massive fires and a killing heat wave across Russia.
The year 2011 was so bad, the BBC made a video detailing all the disasters and they called it The Year the Earth Went Wild.
Now, it's happening every day. (Note: The following compilations of news reports are of non-Jewish origin. Please disregard any reference to non-Jewish religious texts.)
June 2012 (When you see the footage of the Dallas hail storm and put it together with the recent wildfires and record number of West Nile virus cases there, it makes you wonder just what is going on in Dallas!)
This speeding up of time and events is right in line with Terence McKenna's theories about Time Wave Zero.
Today, I was struck by the fact that there were TWO tornadoes in New York at the same time over Shabbat, where even one is a rarity. And then, I saw that many articles (Google it) on the earthquakes in China were reporting them as "TWINS:" 81 Dead in Twin China Quakes And suddenly, I recalled that Hurricane Isaac made landfall TWICE at New Orleans!
It made me think about what Yosef HaTzadik told Paro in regard to the doubling of his dream: (Breishit 41:32) - "And concerning the repetition of the dream to Pharaoh twice, that is because the matter is ready to emanate from God, and God is hastening to execute it."
And what did we just read in yesterday's haftarah?
"In its time, I will hasten it!"
Parshat Ki Tavo: "...Your heavens over your head will be copper and the land beneath you will be iron. Hashem will make the rain of your land dust and dirt; from the heaven it will descend upon you until you are destroyed...."
The driest season: Global drought causes major worries
Hurricane Isaac may have inundated the parishes of Louisiana, but for thousands of American farmers, it was a blessing, a reprieve from the most torrid summer on record.
In much of North America, July was the hottest month since such a record was first taken. Crop yields have fallen sharply; thousands of livestock have been lost.
The Midwest has suffered its worst drought in 56 years, and the International Grains Council has cut its forecast for the U.S. maize harvest by 25 million tons.
The relief from last week's rain may help planting conditions for winter wheat, but it's come too late to make much difference to summer crops. And it didn't even reach Iowa and Nebraska; 71% of Nebraska is now in "exceptional drought," the highest level on the scale.
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve of St. Louis reported that drought had ravaged farmers' income expectations in seven states, including Illinois and Missouri.
...The farmers and ranchers of the American heartland are not alone. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the land surface temperature in the Northern Hemisphere was the warmest ever in July, 2.14 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average.
From Ukraine to Yellowstone, in Pakistan and Kazakhstan, the skies have stayed clear, and the earth has been parched. And on the world's commodity exchanges, the prices of corn, soybeans, wheat and tea are surging. The World Bank's food price index rose 10% in July.
Drought in the Black Sea region -- which includes the bread baskets of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan -- has led to a sharp reduction in the forecast wheat harvest and pushed up export prices,....
Far from the plains, there's also anxiety about the late and lame monsoon season in India and Pakistan. Rainfall in most places has been far below average, putting the new planting season at risk.
...rainfall is less reliable, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. Records over the past century show that peaks and troughs in rainfall, particularly north of the equator, have become sharper and bigger. It's either deluge or drought.
There is a discussion in the comments of the Unity post about whether the Land of Israel is enough to unite all the Jews. I do not think so. No one loves the Land of Israel more than I do, but we were united as one man at Har Sinai when we stood in the Presence of G-d Almighty and accepted His Holy Torah. Without Torah, the land is meaningless. It's up for grabs, as we have seen only too well. One commenter says that I am writing off "a huge chunk of Am Yisrael" by saying this. If they are "written off" through unbelief, it is not I who has done it. They've done it to themselves. Read the Rambam on the essential beliefs which are required of every Jew.
These 13 Principles compiled by Maimonides outline Judaism’s tenets, which one must acknowledge as truths in order to be considered a Jew, and to partake in the World to Come. (To read the original Hebrew, see the end of Talmud Sanhedrin, Maimonides’ commentary on the Mishna.)
Principle I. To know the existence of the Creator
To believe in the existence of the Creator, and this Creator is perfect in all manner of existence. He is the cause of all existence. He causes them to exist and they exist only because of Him. And if you could contemplate a case, such that He was not to exist…then all things would cease to exist and there would remain nothing. And if you were to contemplate a case, such that all things would cease to exist aside from the Creator, His existence would not cease. And He would lose nothing; and oneness and kingship is His alone. Hashem of strength is His name because He is sufficient with His own existence, and sufficient [is] just Him alone, and needs no other. And the existences of the angels, and the celestial bodies, and all that is in them and that which is below them…all need Him for their existence. And this is the first pillar and is attested to by the verse, “I am Hashem your God.”
Principle II. The unity of God
Meaning to say to accept that this is the quintessential idea of Oneness. It is not like the oneness of a pair (i.e. pair of shoes - one group) and not one like a species. And not like man that has many individual (members) nor like a body that divides into many different parts until no end (every part being divisible). Rather, God is one and there is no other oneness like His. This is the second principle and is taught in what it says, “Hear Israel, Hashem is Our God, Hashem is one.”
Principle III. The denial of physicality in connection with God
This is to accept that this Oneness that we have mentioned above is not a body and has no strength in the body, and has no shape or image or relationship to a body or parts thereof. This is why the Sages of blessed memory said with regards to heaven there is no sitting, nor standing, no awakeness, nor tiredness. This is all to say that He does not partake of any physical actions or qualities. And if He were to be a body then He would be like any other body and would not be God. And all that is written in the holy books regarding descriptions of God, they are all anthropomorphic. Thus said our great Rabbis of blessed memory, “The Torah speaketh in man’s language” (i.e. using human terms to offer some understanding). And the Rabbis have already spoken at length on this issue. This is the third pillar and is attested to by the verse, “For you saw no image” meaning that you did not see an image or any form when you stood at Sinai because as we have just said, He has no body, nor power of the body.
Principle IV. God’s Antiquity
This is that God existed prior to everything, and exists after everything. This is proved many times throughout scripture and is attested to by the verse, “Meuna Elokei kedem.”
Principle V. That God, blessed be He is worthy that we serve Him, to glorify Him, to make known His greatness, and to do His commands
But not to do this to those that are below Him in the creation. Not to the angels or to the stars or the planets or anything else, for they are all created things in nature and in their functioning, there is no choice or judgment except by God Himself. Also it is not fitting to serve them as intermediaries to God. Only to God should you incline your thoughts and your actions. This is the fifth principle and it warns against idolatry and most of the Torah speaks out against this.
Principle VI. Prophecy
And this is that it is known to man that this (prophet) is a type of man who are created beings of great stature and perfection of the character traits. Who have tremendous knowledge until a different intelligence attaches to them when the intelligence of the person clings to the intelligence of God and it rests upon him. And these are the prophets; and this is prophecy; and the idea of it. The explanation of it is very long and the intention is not to bring a sign for every fundamental and to explain it all, encompassing of all knowledge (i.e. God’s knowledge) but it is mentioned to us in a story form and all of the Torah attests to this.
Principle VII. The prophetic capacity of Moses our Teacher, peace be upon him
And this is that we accept that he was the father of all prophets that were before him and that will be after him. He was on a qualitatively different level than any other, and he is chosen from all other people before and after him of any that have any knowledge of God; for his was the greatest. And he, peace be upon him, rose to the levels of the angels. He was granted all areas of knowledge and prophecy and his physical attributes did not diminish. His knowledge was different and it is through this difference that it is ascribed to him that he spoke to God without any intermediary or angel.
My intention was to explain this puzzling concept and to open up the sealed areas in the Torah regarding the verses of “face to face” and other similar references, but its length would be tremendous and it would require numerous proofs from the Torah and other sources and encompass many areas. Even to write it the briefest of briefest it would require 100 pages, so I will save it and write it in another book. I will now return to the intent of this seventh fundamental that the prophecy of Moses our teacher, peace be upon him, was different from all others in 4 ways:
1) Regarding all other prophets, God spoke to them through intermediaries. Regarding Moses, it was without one, as it says, “face to face I spoke to him”.
2) Regarding all other prophets, prophecy came to them at night while they were asleep in a dream as it says, “in a dream of the night” and other such references; or in the day but only after a deep sleep-like state came over them, and all their senses were shut off except their thoughts. Not so by Moses. Moses would receive a prophecy any time when he would stand between the two figures [fixed] on the ark, as God attests to it, “and I will make it known to you there” and “not so my servant Moses. Face to face I speak to him.”
3) When a prophet would receive prophecy he would not be able to stand the intense effect and he would shake and not be able to stand, as it relates regarding Daniel in his encounter with the angel Gabriel. Regarding Moses, he did not suffer from this. As it says, “Face to face do I speak to him as a person speaks to his friend”. And even though this is the greatest connection to God, still, he did not suffer.
4) All other prophets could not receive prophecy at their will, [but] only when God desired to tell them. Some would go days or months without prophecy. Even if they wanted or needed something, sometimes it would be days or months or years or even never that they would be told [a prophecy]. Some would have people play music to put them in a good mood such as Elisha. But Moses, peace be upon him, received prophecy whenever he wanted, as it says, “Stand here and listen to what God will tell you what to do” and “God said to Moses tell Aaron your brother that he can’t come to the holy of holies at any time [he wants]”. Our rabbis said, “Aaron was prohibited to come whenever he wanted, but not Moses.
Principle VIII. That the Torah is from heaven [God]
And this is that you believe that all of this Torah that was given by Moses our teacher, peace be upon him, that it is all from the mouth of God. Meaning that it was received by him entirely from God. And it is not known how Moses received it except by Moses himself, peace be upon him, that it came to him. That he was like a stenographer that you read to him and he writes all that is told to him: all the events and dates, the stories, and all the commandments. There is no difference between “And the sons of Cham were Kush, and Mitzraim, and his wife was Mehatbe’el” and “Timnah was his concubine” and “I am Hashem your God” and “Hear Israel [Hashem your God, Hashem is one]” for it was all given by God. And it is all Hashem’s perfect Torah; pure, holy, and true. And he who says that these verses or stories, Moses made them up, he is a denier of our sages and prophets worse than all other types of deniers [form of heretic] for he thinks that what is in the Torah is from man’s flawed heart and the questions and statements and the dates and stories are of no value for they are from Moses Rabbeinu, peace be upon him. And this area is that he believes the Torah is not from heaven. And on this our sages of blessed memory said, “he who believes that the Torah is from heaven except this verse that God did not say it but rather Moses himself did [he is a denier of all the Torah].” And this that God spoke this and that, each and every statement in the Torah, is from God and it is full of wisdom (each statement) and benefit to those who understand them. And its depth of knowledge is greater than all of the land and wider than all the seas and a person can only go in the path of David, the anointed of the God of Jacob who prayed and said “Open my eyes so that I may glance upon the wonders of Your Torah” (Psalms 119). And similarly the explanation of the Torah was also received from God and this is what we use today to know the appearance and structure of the sukka and the lulav and the shofar, tzitzis, tefillin and their usage. And all this God said to Moses and Moses told to us. And he is trustworthy in his role as the messenger and the verse that teaches of this fundamental is what is written (Numbers 16) “And Moses said, with this shall you know that Hashem sent me to do all these actions (wonders) for they are not from my heart.”
Principle IX. The completeness of the Torah
And this is that the Torah is from God and is not lacking. That to it you can’t add or take away from. Not from the written Torah or from the oral Torah, as it says, “Do not add to it and do not take away from it.” (Deut 13:1). And we already explained what needs to be explained about this fundamental at the beginning of this essay.
Principle X. That God knows man’s actions and does not remove His eye from them
His knowledge is not like someone who says God abandoned the land but rather like it says (Jer. 32) “Great in council and mighty in deed, Your eyes are cognizant to all the ways of mankind.” “And God saw for the evil of man on the land had grown greatly.” (Gen. 6) And it says, “The disgust of Sodom and Amorrah is great” and this demonstrates the 10th principle.
Principle XI. That God gives reward to he who does the commandments of the Torah and punishes those that transgress its admonishments and warnings
And the great reward is the life of the world to come and the punishment is the cutting off of the soul [in the world to come]. And we already said regarding this topic what these are. And the verse that attests to this principle is (Exodus 32) “And now if You would but forgive their sins - and if not erase me from this book that You have written.” And God answered him, “He who sinned against Me I will erase from My book.” This is a proof that God knows the sinner and the fulfiller in order to mete out reward to one and punishment to the other.
Principle XII. The era of the Messiah
And this is to believe that in truth that he will come and that you should be waiting for him even though he delays in coming. And you should not calculate times for him to come, or to look in the verses of Tanach to see when he should come. The sages say: The wisdom of those who calculate times [of his coming] is small and that you should believe that he will be greater and more honored than all of the kings of Israel since the beginning of time as it is prophesied by all the prophets from Moses our teacher, peace be upon him, until Malachi, peace be upon him. And he who doubts or diminishes the greatness of the Messiah is a denier in all the Torah for it testifies to the Messiah explicitly in the portion of Bilam and the portion of “You are gathered (towards the end of Deut)”. And part of this principle that there is no king of Israel except from the house of David and from the seed of Solomon alone. And anyone who disputes this regarding this family is a denier of the name of God and in all the words of the prophets.
Principle XIII. Resurrection of the dead
And we have already explained it And when the person will believe all these fundamentals and his faith will be clear in them he enters into the nation of Israel and it is a mitzva to love him and to have mercy on him and to act to him according to all the ways in which God commanded us regarding loving your neighbor. And even if he did all of the sins in the Torah due to desire of the emotions, and from his physical aspect’s conquering him, he will be punished for his sins, but he still has a share in the world to come and is among the sinners of Israel. However if he rejects one of these fundamentals he leaves the nation and is a denier of the fundamentals and is called a heretic, a denier, etc., and it is a mitzva to hate him and to destroy him (financially - not physically to kill him. And not to steal either). And regarding him it is said (Psalms 139) “Behold will not the enemy of God be my enemy?”
I have expounded at length many things and I have left the topic of my composition but I have done it for I saw a need in the dealings of the fundamentals of faith and I have gathered together many different and spread out areas. Therefore know them and succeed in understanding them and review them many times and know them very well [i.e. not just memorization but to understand fully and to be able to support them and know their proofs]. Therefore if after one or ten times you think you have understood them, God knows that you are just involved in falsehood. Therefore do not read them quickly because I have not written them as it suddenly entered into my mind. But rather, after a deep and careful study of the whole area and after I have seen many clear and true ideas and I have seen what is proper to believe of them [as the fundamentals] and I have brought proofs and logical demonstrations for each and every one of them. May it be God’s will that I have been correct that He helped me through this area on the good path and now I will return to my explanation of this chapter [in the Talmud].
(Hat tip Rav Yehudah)
Why 2013 will be a year of crisis
Prediction: 2013 will be a year of serious global crisis. That crisis is predictable, and in fact has already begun.
...The crisis originates in this summer's extreme weather. Almost 80% of the continental United States experienced drought conditions. Russia and Australia experienced drought as well.
The drought has ruined key crops.
...The Arab Spring of 2011 is sometimes compared to the revolutions of 1848. That's apter than people realize: the "hungry '40s" were years of bad harvests across Europe. Hungry people are angry people, and angry people bring governments down.
Will 2013 bring us social turmoil in Brazil, strikes in China or revolution in Pakistan? The answer can probably be read in the price indexes of the commodities exchanges -- and it is anything but reassuring.
Rabbis' and kabbalists' calculations aside, the daily news points to 5773 as the year of redemption. For have we not already been told that when Edom and Paras face off, it will result in redemption for Israel?
(Debka 5 Sep '12) The third US aircraft carrier, USS Stennis, is moving into place off the Iranian Gulf coast to lead a 12-day naval exercise of 25 nations on Sept 16-27, that will include a large-scale minesweeping drill simulating the breaching of the Strait of Hormuz against Iranian efforts to block oil passage through the strategic waterway.
...The Stennis will join two other aircraft carriers, the USS Enterprise and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, and their strike groups, which are already on operational duty off the coast of Iran, ready for the drill which kicks off in the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Sept. 16 [first day of Rosh Hashanah 5773].
US officials say the Stennis will replace the Enterprise, but according to DEBKAfile’s military and Washington sources all three carriers will remain in place opposite Iran in the Gulf region in the coming months. British and French warships are completing their transfer to new stations off Iran for the big exercise in which the Saudi and United Arab Emirates navies will also take part.
In addition to practicing tactics for keeping the Strait of Hormuz open, the exercise will simulate operations for destroying Iranian naval, air and missile bases in the Persian Gulf area.
(Debka 6 Sep '12)
Turkish army officers have assumed direct command of the first two Syrian rebel brigades fighting Bashar Assad’s government forces, according to DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources. This step has sent military tensions rocketing on Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon in case of a backlash.
...Turkey is considered to have stepped directly into the Syrian conflict marking the onset of foreign intervention.
...US, Turkish and Israeli intelligence watchers were reporting unusual military movements in Syria and on Hizballah turf in southern Lebanon – suspected of being preparations for a blowback from the Turkish intervention in Syria.
...The IDF countered by placing its units guarding the Syrian and Lebanese borders on a state of alert. Wednesday, Sept. 5, an Iron Dome battery was installed in Gush Dan to head off a potential Hizballah missile barrage on central Israel and its hub, Tel Aviv.
...military sources report that Thursday, Sept. 6, military temperatures remained high-to-feverish along Syria's borders with Turkey and Israel, and along Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel.
(INN 6 Sep '12)
'Next 50 Days Most Fateful Since Yom Kippur War' – Hanegbi
Former Head of Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Tzachi Hanegbi, hints at timetable for Iran attack.
"We now stand, in my opinion, before the 50 most fateful days in Israel's history, since perhaps the Yom Kippur War, in which there were also several dozen fateful days."
So said the former Head of Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Tzachi Hanegbi, at a closed meeting of Likud activists in Yafo. A recording of his speech reached daily newspaper Makon Rishon's reporter, Ze'ev Kam.
"The prime minister will have to make decisions that will bear a price tag. Allowing Iranian nuclear weapons has a price tag. The practical result will be a nuclear arms race in the entire Middle East," he explained.
"Today, when we say that we understand the danger of the Iranian threat, and understand that a confrontation bears a price, it is because we want to prevent our sons and grandson from paying unbearable prices," he said.
If you were thinking that the BP oil spill was finished, think again. All it takes is a big wind to churn all that spilled oil back up to the surface again. We'll never know how much is still out there.
Tar Balls, Oily Pelicans Found in Isaac's Wake
Environmental officials in Louisiana are facing a pollution problem in the wake of Hurricane Isaac after they found tar balls on beaches and oil-covered birds along the coast.
A large mat of oil and blobs of tar prompted local authorities to close a 12-mile (19-km) stretch of coastline on Elmer's Island, a barrier beach about 50 miles (80 km) south of New Orleans. Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on Tuesday announced all commercial and recreational fishing (with some exceptions for angling) was prohibited in waters up to a mile away from the shore in that area.
Some nearby coastal waters already had been closed to fishing due to continuing fallout from the 2010 BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Officials said an investigation will determine the source of the oil that has recently washed ashore.
A spokesperson for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said officials also found three live oil-drenched birds (two brown pelicans and one black vulture) as well as four dead ones (one black vulture, one brown pelican, one clapper rail and one common moorhen) on an abandoned platform near Myrtle Grove in Plaquemines Parish earlier this week.
They weren't the only animals affected by the storm. Hurricane Isaac washed ashore tens of thousands of dead "swamp rats" in the Gulf. The beaver-like invasive species known as nutria wreck havoc on native marsh vegetation, so the drownings actually might be a blessing — albeit a messy one — for the region.
This is unrelated to BP, but I thought it was interesting enough to note:
(From Global Disaster Watch) In just over 3 weeks there have been 4 quakes over 7.0 magnitude. Before that, the most recent 7.0 was in April.
9/05/12 - 7.6 Costa Rica
8/14/12 - 7.7 Sea of Okhotsk
8/27/12 - 7.3 El Salvador
8/31/12 - 7.6 Philippines
This clip says it all...
And guess what! Hurricane Isaac? The one that played havoc with the RNC and hit New Orleans - not once, but twice - on the Katrina anniversary? It's baaaaack!
Isaac's Ghost: Another Gulf Threat?
...Hurricane Isaac made landfall last week as a large Category 1 hurricane along the northern Gulf Coast the evening of August 28.
After moving north, spreading welcome rainfall (but also spawning tornadoes) into parts of the Midwest drought area, a funny thing happened to this remnant.
On Labor Day (Sep. 3), the main branch of the jet stream was oriented from the central Rockies to the Upper Midwest.
By late Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center, Isaac's remnant center was located over western Kentucky, while a second weak area of low pressure had formed farther south, over northern Mississippi and Alabama.
Basically, the polar jet stream was never able to catch up to the remnants in time to simply whisk them away. By the time the jet stream began punching into the Great Lakes the following day, the second surface low mentioned above tracked southward, triggering flash flooding in Alabama.
Now, a remnant of Isaac has shifted into the Gulf of Mexico, approaching the location of its previous life as a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, with thunderstorms persisting.
Bottom line...there is a chance this "piece of the former Isaac" could regenerate into a tropical depression, or perhaps weak tropical storm, over the next 1-2 days in the central Gulf.
Are you paying attention??
About three weeks ago, I wrote:
...When we stood at the foot of Har Sinai, we were united "like one man with one heart," according to Chazal. But, where did that unity come from? From within ourselves? Was it an ability to set aside all our differences and accept them with love, no matter how divergent? Emphatically, NO! We were not the source of that unity. We were the recipients! It was the truth of the Holy Torah that united us around it. I believe that only around the essential truth can we unite - even (and especially) today.
This is something that should be self-evident.
Today Rabbi Dov Lior is quoted as saying:
“There is no doubt that the desire to unite all sections of the national-religious camp into one big movement is something very important, but on the other hand, we must carefully examine the true values around which they come together,” he said.
At a time when we are being urged to unify despite important differences, simply for the sake of unity, as if it alone will save us, this truth can not be overemphasized.
On Rosh Hashanah our judgement is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed, and on Hoshanah Rabbah the verdict is implemented.
Hoshanah Rabbah, the last day of the Sukkot festival, is the day when the most prayers for redemption are recited.
Chabad.org: These prayers for redemption are referred to as Hoshanot because each stanza of the prayer is accompanied by the word hoshana - a combination form of the words hosha and na (bring us salvation, please).
On the first six days of the Festival, the bimah is circled once. On Hoshana Rabbah, the last day of the Festival, seven circles are made. This custom commemorates the service in the Bet ha-Mikdash during which the kohanim would circle the altar once daily and seven times on Hoshana Rabbah.
Hoshana Rabbah is the last day on which we fulfill the mitzvot of the Four Species and dwelling in the sukkah .... The day is referred to as Hoshana Rabbah (literally, the great Hoshana) because more Hoshana prayers are recited on this day than on the other days.
Jewish Virtual Library: "In the period of the geonim, the celebration of Hoshana Rabba acquired considerable solemnity and religious-mystic significance. In Jerusalem a large gathering took place on the Mount of Olives which was circled seven times; official announcements (such as fixing the coming year) were proclaimed; philanthropists and communities received blessings; and public excommunications were issued. The piyyut of Hoshana Rabba which opens with the words, "the power of Thy salvation cometh," which deals with the splitting open of the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4) and the resurrection of the dead, probably has its origin in this ceremony."
Hoshanah Rabbah occurs on the 21st day of Tishrei and corresponds to the 21st of Nisan when Israel was saved and her enemies were vanquished at the splitting of the Reed Sea.
Will Hoshanah Rabbah 5773 be the day that Israel is saved and her enemies vanquished at the splitting of the Mount of Olives?
Rav Fish (Sod Hachashmal) on Gog uMagog
...It is written (Zechariah 14:2) that during the Gog U'Magog war there will be an earthquake on Har Hazeisim (Mt. of Olives) in Yerushalayim, and there shall be the victory upon Gog U'Magog. Based on what we explained, that this will be on Hoshana Rabba, we understand the "Sefer Chassidim" which says: "Rav Hai Gaon used to go to Yerushalayim from Bavel every year on Succos, and surrounded Har Hazeisim seven times every Hoshana Rabba. Many of the special Tefilos we recite on Hoshana Rabba are concerning the Geula, such as: .תִּתְּנֵנוּ לְשֵׁם וְלִתְהִלָּה וְכוּ'. קוֹל מְבַשֵּׂר מְבַשֵּׂר וְאוֹמֵר
The Arizal writes (Likutei Torah, Sh'mos) the words Gog U'Magog equal seventy, compared to the seventy nations. Gog U'Magog shall control all of the seventy nations, and they will all gather against Yisrael. When Am Yisroel will be redeemed, it shall be "Hoshana Rabba" (a great salvation). The verse (Tehillim 27:5) "he shall hide me in the Succah on the bad day" is the same letters as "Arava day" (refers to Hoshana Rabba): "כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי בְּסֻכֹּה בְּיוֹם רָעָה", אוֹתִיּוֹת יוֹם עֲרָבָה
And then, there is this: Signs Sha'at Ratzon: Time of Will Sukkot 5773
KEN, YEHI RATZON!