Sweetening the War of Gog and Magog
So much has happened in the 10 or so days since Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlita, spoke about the need to sweeten the gezeirot (judgments) that were hanging over the nation.
Last Tuesday, there was a miraculously brief two day war in Israel, when around 450 rockets were shot into the Holy Land from Gaza. Onlookers were amazed when everything seemed to melt away, in 48 hours, instead of escalating up. No-one knows why, but Hamas refused to join in the rocket attacks, and so an uneasy peace returned to the Holy Land.
A week later, again on the Tuesday, four rockets were shot over into the Golan Heights from Syrian territory, and Israeli planes swiftly retaliated, bombing as many as 23 Syrian and Iranian targets in return. Again, the Middle East held it’s breath to see if war was about to begin….again, an uneasy peace has descended.
Currently Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlita, has been absent from the prayers with his community since motzae Shabbat.
The last time the Rav took an extended break away from the community was back at the end of July 2019 – shortly before tensions between the US, Britain and Iran started to ratchet up after a spate of tit-for-tat oil tankers being captured.
At that time, Rabbi Berland asked for 75 prayers to be translated and published immediately, to avert harsh decrees and bring the geula the sweet way. Last week, Rabbi Berland again asked to be given a minimum of 10 translated prayers a week.
At the same time, the Rav also published a way that we could avoid the decree of destruction, and spoke about a potential holocaust that could be averted by as many people as possible joining the new schedule of learning. He said:
“There is an obligation to study 8 pages of Gemara, and 5 chapters of Rambam, because there is going to be a terrible shoah (holocaust / destruction), and whoever sticks to this holy learning schedule will be saved.”
This post caused a great deal of commotion, and many people turned to us in order to try to clarify the true intention of the Rav, shlita. In turn, we went back to Rabbi Berland to ask him, and he responded:
“People didn’t understand the matter correctly. The shoah is only meant to be in another 200 years, chas v’halila, and bezrat Hashem, the Rav will sweeten everything, and everything will turn around for the good. In another 200 years, the war will begin.”
The Rav returned to the subject again on a separate occasion, during one of his house visits to the home of Rabbi Rachamim Bracha, and said:
“In another 200 years, there will be the war of Gog and Magog, but the brachot (blessings) can begin every single day. Gog and Magog can only occur in another 200 years. It’s written ‘two thirds’. This is like when Shabbat is brought in 40 minutes before sunset.
“This week, for example, sunset will be at 16:46, so we light candles at 16:06. Everyone who comes to the shiur of the Rav will live until 200, this one will live until 300, that one until 400, this one 500 – everyone will live for 2000 years.
“There’s an obligation to [join with] Shuvu Banim, and to nullify the decrees.”
During Melavah Malka of this past week, Rabbi Berland returned to the subject again, and remarked:
“Today is Chayai Sarah, Sarah didn’t die, Sarah lives forever. The Tzaddik lives forever. A single Tzaddik can sweeten all the decrees in the world. The Midrash Rabba says that now, it’s enough to have a single Tzaddik. After we received the Torah, after we had Rabbenu, a single Tzaddik is enough to sweeten all the decrees.
“Now, it was already Gog and Magog.
“The rockets already got to Highway 1. I said that we need to travel to Tel Aviv by way of Haifa. But we cancelled the decrees! Gomarnu, (it’s finished)! There was a decree, [but] we said Tikkun HaKlali, we recited the Shacharit prayers – all the decrees were nullified. Shacharit, mincha, ma’ariv. Praying with ‘Shuvu Banim’ sweetens all the decrees in the world.
“There is nothing that is not sweetened.”
“On Thursday, we started to pray at 12:00, we hope that we will begin earlier. Now, it will be at 7pm. At 4:45pm there will be the Mincha prayers, after this there will be two hours to study Likutei Halachot, and the Gemara Tractate Nidda.”
This is not the first time that we have literally seen harsh decrees melt away before our eyes.
As is known, on a number of occasions the Rav, shlita, informed us about awful decrees that had been aroused upon the world. The Tzaddik sees things when they are still in their root, and, BH, long before they actually materialize the Rav takes upon himself more shame and humiliation, in order to sweeten them.
This time, too, just the week before the latest rounds of hostility began, the Rav was publically slandered and humiliated in a totally deceitful ‘expose’ orchestrated by his main persecutors, in conjunction with Channel 13.
This was clearly not a coincidence.
In one of the classes that he gave over before he died, the late Rabbi Meir Selma, z’tl, spoke about the terrible suffering that Rabbi Berland is undergoing, on behalf of the Jewish people – and the world at large – in order to sweeten the judgments. He said:
“Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlita, could be one of the most honored people in the world, and known as one of the biggest rebbes, with everyone falling over themselves to praise him. Instead, he chose to be shamed and humiliated and persecuted. No-one grasps the greatness of his Torah, no-one grasps the greatness of his kedusha (holiness).
“Rav Berland, shlita, said that the intifada would stop after the prayer gathering in Hevron. The PM came and said that he was worrying about how they could stop the intifada – “mamash, well done to him!”
In this confusing, uncertain time, we decided to bring together some more of the different comments Rabbi Berland has made about the war of Gog and Magog in recent years.
In a shiur that Rabbi Berland gave in the week of Parshat Masai, 27 Tammuz, 5755 (July 1995 – two months before the Oslo Accords were signed) he said:
“Now, we’re in the ‘footsteps of Moshiach’. We see now that they, mamash, want to sell out Israel to the nations of the world. The Jewish people find themselves in the midst of the most enormous suffering. “Your persecutors and destroyers will come out of yourself.”
The Midrash says in Parshat Shemini, that before Gog and Magog and the coming of the Moshiach, there will suddenly be some terrible things.
Rabbenu brings down (in Siach Sarfey Kodesh Part II:31) that it’s possible to cancel all the decrees, if everyone will join together in prayer, because the misfortune is that not no-one is joining together in prayer at all!
There are those who are saying, it’s good that they’re killing Jews, they deserve it, they should die.
But if the tzaddikim were whole-heartedly behind my da’at (spiritual knowledge) and my emunah, and their da’at was with mine, I could totally cancel all the gezeirot being decreed on Am Yisrael.
Because then, (in the time of Rabbenu) they decreed to take [Jewish children]. A million jumped into the Volga, half a million Jews remained, holy souls, a million children jumped into the Volga.
My mother’s cousin said that even up until this day, he wakes up every night.
He can’t sleep, because of everything that he saw at Auschwitz. They took him to the place where they assembled people. He saw thousands of children, and some Nazi there was going around, who was from the ‘righteous amongst the gentiles’ (the Rav is being sarcastic), apparently from the S.S., from the Gestapo.
He put a rag with gas over the mouths of each one, because he didn’t want to burn them alive. These were the ‘righteous amongst the gentiles’. Within a second, the child would fall down [dead]. They didn’t know that were more robust children that didn’t immediately die from this, so they threw them into the fire alive, Hashem should have mercy.
Every child, at every age, without any exceptions, gave out such a cry – Shema Yisrael! Hashem Elokaynu, Hashem echad… Such a cry, that he has never been able to forget it. Every night he wakes up weeping, he says, 7, 8, 9 times.
The Biur Likutim says (at the end of 282) that if we don’t make the yichudim, the spiritual unifications, that are required, so then they simply take the souls of children. Dafka, children…And by way of these children, the yichud is made.
All of our spiritual work is to reach the level of being a baby, to achieve ‘breath that is free from sin’. When a person comes closer to the True Tzaddik, the he can attain the level of ‘breath that is free from sin.’
The 4th day of Chol Hamoed Succot, 18th of Tishrei, the yahrtzeit of Rabbenu HaKadosh, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
HaKadosh Baruch Hu wanted to make Hezkiyahu Moshiach, and Sancheriv Gog and Magog. He was all ready to make him the Moshiach, when the Samech Mem showed up, the big accuser showed up, and he said: “Where are the songs and the niggunim (melodies)?”
“Hezkiyahu didn’t sing a song! He still hadn’t hummed a niggun! He hasn’t done a single dance! How can you make him the King Moshiach, if he still didn’t sing or play a niggun?!”
King Hezkiyahu stuck a sword into the ground by the entrance to the beit hamidrash (the study hall), and said, whoever doesn’t learn Torah, they will be stabbed with a sword!
A war broke out, and there were no weapons, no chariots, no horses, no nothing. King Sancheriv said, I’ll give you thousands of horses, come, let’s have a bit of a war.
The Sfat Emet, in Parshat Beshalach, comments that Hezkiyahu didn’t know what to sing a song about. He said, I knew that Hashem would do a miracle, I knew that God would save Am Yisrael! But Hashem was waiting for a song, Hashem was waiting for some sort of niggun. Immediately, the Samech Mem pounced.
Afterwards, this accuser came and said, Ribonu Shel Olam, why didn’t he sing a song?! How can you make someone Moshiach if he doesn’t hum a niggun, if he doesn’t sing?
The Attribute of Din (strict judgement) said before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, Ribono shel olam, what was with King David, the King of Israel, who said a lot of songs and praises before You, and You didn’t make him the Moshiach?! And for Hezkiyahu, who You did all these miracles for, and he didn’t sing to You – you’re going to make him Moshiach?!
This is how the Samech Mem pounced.
 This is a reference to the Cantonist Decrees against Jewish children that were introduced by the Russian Czar in 1827.