Rav Moshe Wolfson of Brooklyn has held an emergency gathering in his community and called upon the members to be strong in Torah and prayer so that the Jewish people will survive the time of tension with Iran.
The rabbi noted that the Torah sages predicted that Persia, now called Iran, would one day destroy the world, in the times immediately preceding the Redemption.
Rav Wolfson is known as a hassidic "mashpi'a" – literally, an influencer – a title that refers to rabbis who do not head a hassidic dynasty (chatzer) but have influence outside their own communities.
"Our Sages of Blessed Memory say that Persia will destroy the entire world and the Jews will be in a difficult situation," he told his followers. "Why are we quiet? Where is the awakening? Why is everyone apathetic? Why is everyone busy with silly and unimportant things? Do we not hear the alarm? Do we not know that we must break open the gates of Heaven and ask for mercy from G-d?"
"In the coming weeks we face a total war in Iran, Israel, Europe and the U.S. And the nation of Israel in its entirety must prepare spiritually. The Rambam says that it is a mitzvah to pray in difficult times, and if one does not pray, one is being cruel, and it causes the situation to get worse, G-d forbid."
The rabbi compared Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the evil Haman from the Scroll of Esther, who wanted to kill all of the Jews. If Israel attacks Iran before it achieves nuclear weapons, there will be a world war, he said.
"There is no need to panic," he added. "We believe that G-d will perform miracles for us, it is possible that the time of Redemption (geula) has come and we must prepare for Redemption. Since the Holocaust, G-d has done great miracles for the Jews, especially in the Land of Israel, that hosts most of the world's Jews. And the Torah world receives unnatural help from Heavens. We can see that G-d wants to perform miracles for us and we must prepare for redemption."