Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The War of Gog U'Magog

Gog and Magog will be a war that will happen after moshiach comes, contrary to popular belief. It says this explicitly in the Gemara (Avoda Zara 3b) and the Zohar in a number of places. However, although the "big war" of Gog and Magog will take place post Moshiach's arrival, the "armies" of Gog and Magog will be with us before Moshiach comes, and will begin making trouble for us then.

There are those who say that the fighters of Gog and Magog will be those among Klall Yisroel who distort the words of the Torah and who try to tear Jews away from Hashem. So in a way, the war of Gog and Magog has begun already, in the sense that their armies are waging war against Hashem. But the violent war described in Chazal called "Milchemes Gog Umagog" will take place after Moshiach comes.

Gog is a King, Magog is his kingdom. When Moshiach comes, they will wage war against Hashem and Moshiach. Hashem will destroy them all.

Gog UMagog is 70 b'Gematriah, since they comprise all 70 nations. Also among the armies of Gog and Magog will be traitorous Jews who will rebel against Hashem and Moshiach.

Chevlei Moshiach are the "birth pangs" of the redemption. They are described in the Gemora at the end of Sotah. Jews being killed en masse r"l is not listed there. However, with a bit of creativity, one can "fit in" the holocaust to statement in Chazal about chevlei moshiach. This of course would not eliminate the idea of the holocaust being a punishment for our sins. But in any case, you will not find any precise "halachic ruling" regarding what is chevlei moshiach since it really doesn’t matter to us -- our job in this world and our duties are not affected regardless of whether any given even was or wasn’t "chevlei mohsiach". We still must look at suffering as a punishment, and we still must do teshuva. The rest is Hashem's "cheshbon."

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