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Rabbis: Flotilla Clash Similar to Gog and Magog Prophecy

Rabbinic Council: We may be at the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us at first, leading to a final redemption.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/3/2010, 7:08 PM / Last Update: 6/3/2010, 7:34 PM

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The Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement Thursday in which it said that the results of the incident in which Israel intercepted a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza seem like the Biblical description of "the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption."

The statement explained that while secular Zionism always wants Israel to be beloved by other nations, “the legitimacy of our people is not derived from the nations of the world and their poisonous traditions, rather from the Torah of Israel which teaches us that [Israel] 'is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations'" (Numbers 23:9). They emphasized that there is no reason to be alarmed by the world's condemnation as it is a predicted result of fear of Israel's success.

The Council blessed the soldiers of the IDF and called for the formation of an emergency unity government that will lead the nation from a position of strength.

The Council was formed by Rabbi Zalman Melamed of Beit El and includes leading religious Zionist rabbis who are the spiritual leaders of communities in Judea and Samaria.

'Gog and Magog' is a reference is to chapters 38 and 39 in the book of Ezekiel, a part of which is read on the intermediate Sabbath of Sukkot (Tabernacles). These chapters describe a vision of a war where the world is united against Israel that will precede the final redemption of Israel and the world. The prophecy's symbolism involves a prince called Gog of Magog, leader of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, who leads a coalition that includes Persia (Iran), Cush, Phut, Gomer, and Beit Togarmah against Israel. There are various opinions regarding the modern identity of these nations.

As a sampling of passages from Ezekiel 39 shows, the prophesy predicts that the coalition will be defeated by Israel, at a time following Israel's gathering from its exile:

And thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say: Thus saith the Lord G-d: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn thee about and lead thee on, and will cause thee to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel; and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the peoples that are with thee; I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort and to the beasts of the field, to be devoured.

(...)

Therefore thus saith the Lord G-d: Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have compassion upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. And they shall bear their shame, and all their breach of faith which they have committed against Me, when they shall dwell safely in their land, and none shall make them afraid; when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations.
 
And they shall know that I am the Lord their G-d, in that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them unto their own land; and I will leave none of them any more there; neither will I hide My face any more from them; for I have poured out My spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord G-d.'

The dramatic flotilla incident and the international reactions to it have sparked intense emotion, and unusual unity, among the Jewish public in Israel.