Dr. Yacov M. TabakDr. Yacov M. Tabak (1945-2015) was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Columbia University where he also did his post-doctorate. He and his family moved to Israel in 1975 where he founded a chemical instruments company, practiced and lectured on new developments in analytic chemistry to industrial chemists. Torah, however, was his first love and he was known for original interpretations, especially the 10 part series he gave at the Israel Cener on Redemption.
The "orange Orthodox" on the other hand may be expected to be in deep depression at the apparent shattering of a 140-year-old ideology, as the State of Israel can no longer be viewed as "reishit tzemichat geulateinu" - the initial flowering of our Redemption. A state that would do what the government, army and police have just done cannot possibly have this role to play. A political refuge for persecuted Jews, maybe. A vessel of classical Bible-based prophetic Redemption - never.
Both positions are incorrect, says Jewish tradition. It turns out that this process of the destruction of N'vei Dekalim and its satellites was foretold, and is an integral element in the unfolding scenario of Redemption. The source is the Targum Yonatan ben Uziel (an ancient, elaborate Aramaic rendering of the Pentateuch and Prophets, sentence by sentence, in light of prophetic and rabbinic [midrashic] sources) on Deuteronomy 34:3.
First, the Hebrew Torah text and its transliteration, then the Targum and its transliteration, then the English translation of the Targum:
1) ואת-הנגב, ואת-הככר בקעת ירחו עיר התמרים--עד-צער
"Ve'et hanegev ve'et ha kikar, bikat Yereicho ir hatemarim ad Tzoar."
2) וְיַת מְלִיךְ דָּרוֹמָא דְמִתְחַבֵּר עִם מְלִיךְ צִיפוּנָא לְחַבְּלָא יַתְבֵי אַרְעָא וְעַמּוֹנָאֵי וּמוֹאֲבָאֵי יַתְבֵי מֵשְׁרָא דִּמְעִיקִין לְהוֹן לְיִשְרָאֵל וְיַת גַּלְוַות תַּלְמִידֵי אֵלִיָהוּ דְגַלַן מִן בִּקְעָתָא דִירֵיחוֹ וְיַת גַלְוַות תַּלְמִידֵי אֱלִישָׁע דְּגָלוּ מִן קִרְוַות דִּקְלַיָּא עַל יַד אֲחוּהוֹן בֵּית יִשְרָאֵל מָאתָן אַלְפִין גּוּבְרִין וְיַת עָקַת כָּל דָּר וְדָר וּפוּרְעָנוּת אַרְמַלְגּוֹס רַשִּׁיעָא וְסִדְרֵי קְרָבָא דְגוֹג וּבְעִידַן צַעֲרָא רַבָּא הַהוּא מִיכָאֵל יְקוּם בִּדְרָעָא לְפָרוּקָא:
"VeYat melich daroma di'mitchaber im melich tzifuna lechabala yatvei ar'ah, veAmonai uMoavai yatvei meishra deme'ikin lehon leYisrael, ve-yat galvat talmidei Eliahu de galan min bikata deYereicho, ve-yat galvat talmidei de'Elisha de galu min Kirvat Diklaya al yedei ahuhon beit Yisrael matan alfin guvrin, ve-yat akat kol dar vedar, ufuranut Armalgus reshia ve sidrei krava d'Gog, uve'idan tzaarah rabah hahi, Michael yekum bideraa leferuka."
3) "And the King of the South who joins with the King of the North to cause injury to the inhabitants of the Land [of Israel], and the Ammonites and Moabites ? dwellers on the plains who cause pain to Israel, and the exile of the disciples of [the Prophet] Elijah who are exiled from the plains of Jericho, and the exile of the disciples of [the Prophet] Elisha who are exiled from the town of Dekalim by their brethren of the House of Israel, two hundred thousand, and the pain of each and every bonfire, and the disaster [caused by] Armalgus the Evil One, and the battle order of Gog, and at the time of that great agony, [the Archangel] Michael will rise up with [G-d's outstretched right] forearm to redeem."
Here is a brief rendering of the sources for this text and their context:
a) Kings of the South and North - see Daniel 11: 40 and sentences following. At the Et Ketz - Time of the End [End of Days] - there is a back-and-forth conflict between a King of the South and the King of the North. The classic Jewish commentary Metzudat David identifies the King of the North as Rome - the Christian world. The Malbim, another commentator, identifies the King of the South as associated with the land of Ishmael - the Muslim world. As to the specifics of this conflict, kindly consult your daily newspapers since 9/11. The information is written there in gruesome detail. In the end, they invade Israel under the leadership of Gog from the Christian world.
b) Ammonites - dwellers in Rabat Ammon, the modern Amman, capital of Trans-Jordan. Moabites are the people who dwelled in southern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia. Their descendants migrated into Turkish and Mandatory Palestine during the last century and a half, and who are today identified as "the Palestinians". These indeed cause great pain to Israel.
c) Elijah went up to heaven in a fiery chariot at Jericho and his disciple Elisha assumed his mantle of prophetic calling. Their disciples are those who embrace the redemptive message of prophecy.
d) The reference to the town of Dekalim requires no elaboration. The reference to "two hundred thousand men" can be correlated with the total number of soldiers and police in uniform at this time - close to 50,000 dealing directly with the exile and destruction in Gush Katif, the balance dealing with the needs of the rest of the country.
e) Dar in Aramaic can be "generation", it can be "bonfire", and it can be a "ploughed furrow". Here, the context of bonfire is most logical. Some citizens even set fire to their own homes in the last weeks. Enough said.
f) Armalgus is a "misrendering" of "Armilius", originally the Aramaic version of Romulus, the founder of Rome (see the Targum on Isaiah 11:4). According to the students of the Vilna Gaon, he considered that in the gradual unfolding of the Redemption, Armilius will be not from Rome, but the leader of the Erev Rav, the modern-day faction among the Jews that, like the original Exodus Erev Rav [mixed multitude], will agitate for the undoing and the ridiculing of the Geulah - the Redemption. Since this "misrendering" leads to a Gematria - a numerical value - of 340, and since there exists a leading promoter of Palestinian interests among the veteran Jewish ministers whose name in Gematria equals 340, this may not be a misrendering at all; and Ariel Sharon may ultimately not be the one who is behind this entire scenario. Time will tell.
g) The War of Gog and Magog is the final battle where G-d Himself rescues the Jewish People in Israel (see Zecharia 14) from an invasion led by a leader referred to as Nasi Gog - President Gog (see Ezekiel 38-39). Taking into account that the classic Yemenite pronunciation of Hebrew can render this "Joj", and that in Texas, the southern drawl renders the name George with no "r" being pronounced, it is entirely possible that the leader of the Christian world to whom there is Biblical reference is easily identified as a current leader. We should not be surprised if, in the wake of the precedent set by the destruction of last week, the UN (Ha'Um, which equals Magog in Gematria - 52), under American presidential leadership, organizes an expeditionary force to invade Israel with the "peaceful" purpose of applying this Dekalim precedent further to other Israeli presences beyond the Green Line, when Sharon refuses to do so. If this happens, we will likely be witnessing the beginning of the War of Gog and Magog.
h) The archangel Michael is the guardian angel of the Jewish people (see Daniel 12:1). He will carry out G-d's will in the ultimate Redemption and save the Jews. It is his role that is referred to here.
The above sources were first brought to my attention about 12 years ago, at the time of the Oslo ("Gaza and Jericho First") Accords, by Mr. Shabtai Shiloh of Jerusalem, may he be well, who has done much research in these matters. We did not suspect then that the reference to Dekalim was in the Gaza Strip. Today, it is clear.
And so, the "blue" camp, supporters of the "Disengagement", should not rejoice yet. The Messianic redemptive vision, leading to the Messiah, the first modern true prophet, who will begin to function in the wake of the War of Gog and Magog, is alive and well, and is supported, not negated, by the events at N'vei Dekalim and its environs.
The "orange Orthodox" camp, resolute opponents of Disengagement, may take heart. We mourn the terrible injustice and privation visited upon thousands of innocent citizens whose only "sin" has been intense idealism. However, what has happened to them may well be a harbinger of wonderful times to come. May they be comforted and their pain assuaged. And may all of Israel be blessed from On High.