One of the inherent features that divides the Creator from His created subjects is that He is at total rest with never an iota of change. In stark contrast, every created entity is permanently moving in every direction and forever changing.
Every single human is a complex organism made up of an estimated 100 trillion cells, each with a unique structure and function and forever moving and changing. Hashem created a dynamic feature in all created entities that changes every nano-second from the previous structural feature. This dynamic function is essential in bringing humans and all nature to Hashem’s pre-determined point in time and space, regardless of the human's free will. This can be likened to a passenger on a train who has the freedom to choose where to sit and what to do during the journey, but who has no control over the train’s speed or direction.
A corollary to this fundamental law of nature is that since every thing is in constant flux, any particular event at its precise second has only marginal bearing on the future. Hence, there is little that we can grasp and conclude from what is happening at any precise moment. Therefore, the intelligent thing to do is to look at the larger picture and wonder where Hashem is taking us? One of my guiding principles is to try and understand what the future holds and not what the daily headlines report that bring on anxiety, fret and paranoia.
After saying this, I would like to state my thoughts - based on rabbinic sources - regarding the true intentions of the ruthless Islamic State of Iran-Persia at this time in history.
The Islamic Shi’ite leaders of the Iranian government are inherently and innately incapable of telling the truth, as are most Arab and Moslem leaders and their adherents. Lying and deceit are part of their culture when it serves their purposes. Mohammad did it often, and many people paid with their lives by believing him. So, what they say at any given moment is a fabrication or a distortion of the truth.
The Iranians do not want nuclear weapons in order to attack Israel. We are simply a deceptive camouflage for their real intentions. They do not need intercontinental ballistic missiles to attack Israel, but they do need them for their real enemies - the Christian nations of Europe and the United States. Moslems hate Christians more than Moslems hate Jews, and Christians hate Moslems almost as much as the Christians hate Jews.
What is in store for the world? As I see it, the Christian nations of Europe and the US will wake up at one minute to twelve and wage a war to the death against the Islamic Republic of Iran. China will eventually enter the fray on the side of Iran, while we, in Medinat Yisrael, will view it all live on color TV.
You may be asking how I arrived at this hypothesis? Following are my three sources:
1- The Gemara (Yoma 10a) states in the name of Rabbi Yochanan (translation):
In the future, Paras (Iran) will wage war against Rome (Europe), and there is disagreement between rabbis as to who will be victorious - the Christians or Islamic Persia (I personally wish them both great success in destroying each other).
Here Persia is a master player in the last scenes of this world’s evil history.
2- The book of Midrashim, Yalkut Shimoni, Yeshayahu chapter 498 (translation):
The year when the Mashiach will appear, the world’s nations will taunt and provoke each other. Persia will provoke the king of Arabia who will seek advice from Aram. Persia will destroy the world (the world order of nations). All the nations will be in a state of terror and fear and suffer the pangs like a woman in childbirth. Yisrael, too, will be panic-stricken and cry out: “where shall we come? where shall we go?” Then Hashem will say to Am Yisrael, “My children, be not afraid. All that I have done is for your benefit. The time for your redemption has arrived. But unlike the redemption from Egyptian slavery, which was followed by a long history of suffering, this redemption from the hatred of the nations will be without suffering. There will be no nation that will threaten you again.”
Here again Persia is the master player in the last scenes of this world’s evil history.
3- Zohar Shemot, end of parashat Vayera (translation):
In the future, the sons of Yishmael (specifically Islamic Persia) will arouse great wars, and the sons of Edom (Esavic Europe) will declare war on them. They will engage in battles: one on the sea, another on land and the third in the vicinity of Yerushalayim (Yishmael and Edom will try to conquer the city). However, they will weaken each other, and the city will not fall into the hands of Edom (Christian Europe or Yishmael). At that time, a powerful nation (probably China) will attack evil Rome (Christian Europe) for three months, and many countries will fall to that far-away nation. At that point in time, Hashem will intervene so that the Jewish people (in Eretz Yisrael) will reign as the world’s sole superpower.
The reference is probably to Persia as stated in Yoma and the Zohar quoted above.
The commentary of the Malbim (Meir Laibish ben Yechiel Michal) to the prophet Yechezkel 32,17 (translation):
It will come to pass in the end of days, after the Jewish people will return to the land of Israel, that the nations will come together in order (with the intent) to capture Yerushalayim.
The prophet names the nations who will come. Gog, the king of Meshech and Tuval from the north and west who are uncircumcised and called “Edom”, who are the descendants of Yefet living now in Europe. And Paras (Persia), Kush and the House of Turgama who are all circumcised and adhering to the belief of Yishmael, will join with the children of Edom to attempt to capture the Land of Israel from the Jews.
When they arrive, however, they will create chaos among themselves and make war on each other. In other words, Edom will make war on Yishmael because their beliefs are different.
And there Hashem will judge them in sword and blood as stated by the prophet Zecharia chapter 14. And here the prophet (Yechezkel) relates how they all will be lost; and he singles out Egypt, Ashur and Elam (Persia today) who adhere to the religion of Yishmael and are today circumcised. He then mentions Meshech, Tuval and Edom, their kings and princes from the north who are all uncircumcised. And between them there will be a war. The first to be utterly destroyed will be the Egyptians, who are the closest to the Land of Israel and will come forward first and fall. Then the Assyrians and Persians will come to avenge their ally, and they all will be destroyed.
If the Malbim were alive today, he would be more specific:
It will come to pass in the end of the exile and the Jewish people will return to the land of Israel, that many nations will come together in order (with the intent) to capture Yerushalayim.
The nations who will come are from the north and west. They include the European Union and the nations that comprised the former Soviet Union who are all uncircumcised and called “Edom”, the descendants of Yefet living now in Europe and adhering to the Christian faith. And Iran, the Arab peoples, and the House of Saud who are all circumcised adhering to the faith of Yishmael, will join with the children of Edom to attempt to capture the Land of Israel from the Children of Israel.
When they arrive, they will create chaos among themselves and make war on each other. In other words, the Christians from Europe will make war on the Muslims because their beliefs are different.
And there Hashem will judge them in sword and blood as stated by the prophet Zecharia chapter 14.
And here the prophet (Yechezkel) describes how they will be lost. He singles out Egypt, Syria and Iran who adhere to the religion of Yishmael and are circumcised. Then Meshech, Tuval and Edom, their kings and princes from the north, who are uncircumcised, and between them will be a war.
The first to be utterly destroyed will be the Egyptians who are the closest to the Land of Israel and who will come forward first and fall. Then the Syrians and Iranians will come to avenge their fallen ally, and they all will be destroyed.
We cannot blame the Malbim for generalizing, because he wrote his commentary in the 19th century when the return of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael was not even a dream. On the contrary, he was graced with the Divine spirit when he so rightly explained Yechezkel’s words as accurately as he did.
I would like to fill in some missing details:
The Iranians will soon achieve nuclear capability.
The West and Islam, on a collision course towards mutual destruction, will meet in order to discuss ways of defusing the ticking time bomb. They will be utterly frustrated in their attempts to find mutual grounds for understanding, except in one area - their mutual hatred towards the Jews in general, and specifically the Jews in Eretz Yisrael.
The need of the nations to function together will give rise to the mutual goal of ridding the world of the “maverick” State of Israel and its “archaically heretical beliefs”.
Here, in Eretz Yisrael, bewilderment will share the stage with dread. Many will try to leave, but there will be nowhere to go. The emergency “hotline” request to Washington will go unheeded. The President informs the Prime Minister that the US has no choice but to be neutral in this situation, since the decision was taken by the UN General Assembly where we have no veto power.
The sky will become clouded by the ascending dust caused by the multitudes making their way to Eretz Yisrael, with each person filled with ardor, ecstasy, and zeal to do the will of their god.
At this point, the two chapters of Yechezkel come together: Chapter 1 which we read on Shavuot with its description of the fiery Serafim, Ofanim and Chayot Hakodesh, and chapter 32 which describes the multitude of nations on their way to destroy what Hashem has blessed.
This is what the Gemara, at the end of the first chapter of Berachot, is referring to when it predicts that the miracles of the future will outshine the incredible miracles of the Egyptian exodus.
We might be apprehensive at the unfolding of current events; but for the Prophet Yechezkel and the Malbim, it is just a matter of time before these events become reality. However, it is a postulate in world events - those of our time and of times past - that they are all designed by Hashem for the ultimate redemption of the Jewish nation. There is no reason to fear, no matter what might seem to be the perils - because hakol be’ye’day shamayim - it is all in Hashem’s hands.
Rabbi Nachman Kahana is a Torah scholar, author, teacher and lecturer, Founder and Director of the Center for Kohanim, Co-founder of the Temple Institute, Co-founder of Atara Leyoshna – Ateret Kohanim, was rabbi of Chazon Yechezkel Synagogue – Young Israel of the Old City of Jerusalem for 32 years, and is the author of the 15-volume “Mei Menuchot” series on Tosefot, and 3-volume “With All Your Might: The Torah of Eretz Yisrael in the Weekly Parashah” (2009-2011), and “Reflections from Yerushalayim: Thoughts on the Torah, the Land and the Nation of Israel” (2019) as well as weekly parasha commentary available where he blogs at http://NachmanKahana.com