Russia, Ukraine, Israel, and the Coming Invasion
What does the current war between Russia and Ukraine tell us about Gog and Magog and the coming invasion of Israel? What can God-fearing people do right now?
“When you are about to go into battle, every day is like Yom Kippur.” Says my good friend Eli.
A veteran of both the IDF and Chabad, Eli is a Torah Jew and IDF combat fighter who has been in every Israeli war for the last 15 years.
“The guys in my unit are an unbelievable mix of Israeli society. We are secular who became religious, religious who became secular, and everything in between. The most amazing sight comes each morning when the soldier with the tattoo on his arm shows the soldier with the black kippa how to recite the morning prayers properly.”
“I always carry a tzedakah box in our tank. It’s such a wonderful thing. The Torah tells us that charity protects us from death. It’s a mitzvah we can all agree on. Before a battle, everybody puts a coin in. Baruch Hashem, everybody comes back.”
“Thank G-d, the same cannot be said for our enemies.” He says with a smile.
Rabbi Mizrachi says, “There are no atheists in a hospital.” He goes on his ‘rounds’ often, visiting Jews that have asked him to come. When he finishes his visit, he cannot walk three steps outside the room before a patient begs him for a Blessing that Hashem should give him health.
We live stable and ordered lives. When a situation changes that we have no control over it, the uncertainty makes it Yom Kippur for everyone.
The Day of Judgment
For the Ukrainians who woke up to bloodshed, Yom Kippur is today.
They have an opportunity to pray to Hashem from the deepest place of their hearts, with focus and intention greater than most of us can only dream of.
In King David’s time, when Israel went to war, the Kohanim would rush to the front lines. They would go where arrows and heavy stones were being fired at them at velocities five times that of a tank.
Only under enemy fire could they pray with such intensity, because they didn’t know what would happen next. They could pray with all their helpless hearts to our True King and Protector.
Ukraine is at Our Doorstep
Don’t waste this opportunity.
Russia didn’t just run into Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, the master tactician, is way too smart for that. He massed his troops gradually. He waited to see what NATO would do.
He put his troops into attack formation, ready to pounce. Putin waited to see how the world would react.
The empty threats of the civilized world became his green light to invade.
The West literally said, “Russia will not go it alone unless Russia decides to go it alone.”
Had Putin believed that attacking Ukraine would lead to a battle with America or Europe, things would have been a lot different.
At any moment, America can still get involved.
China can get involved.
The rest of Europe can get involved.
Russian retaliation will not be against Ukraine; it will be aimed at the free world. Ukraine sits alongside Serbia, where the fallout of a political assassination got so out of hand that it led to World War I.
Seize this Chance to Do our Bit
Rabbi Avigdor Miller tells us to be grateful for the morning peace.
Every day we wake up with enough food in the fridge for breakfast. We wake up with the security that there will be no enemy soldiers bombing our homes or local secret police pounding on our doors.
It’s a blessing that what we had yesterday we still have today. It’s a blessing to feel that there will be no robbers, foreign invaders, or secret police outside our gates, ready to take us away.
Every day we wake up to peace.
It’s our chance to recite Modeh Ani Lifanecha (I gratefully thank You) with great enthusiasm. We can say in our own language, “Thank You, Hashem, for giving me peace today. Thank You for letting me wake up to enough food and safety to serve Your Will with a tranquil heart.”
We can see what every Ukrainian stands to lose and tell Hashem “Thank You” that we still have it.
How Bad Can It Get?
Over the past century, we Jews have woken up to nothing more than once.
In 1923, the Jews of Russia lost what little they had when Stalin seized everything. A decade later, the Jews of Germany, a very wealthy community, lost everything overnight. Their careers, businesses, assets that they had built up over a century were confiscated in a moment. A decade later, the same happened to the Jews of France and most of Europe.
Fifteen years later, after the establishment of the State of Israel, the half a million Jews in Arab lands had everything ripped from them. Thirty years later, it happened again to the Jews of Persia. Fifteen years after that, those Jews leaving the Soviet Union could only do so with what they could carry on their backs.
Everything we have in our life is a gift from our Creator. He gives it to us every moment. He can take it back or give it to someone else at any time.
Understanding how fickle our comforts are, we can look to Ukraine and be inspired to make heartfelt repentance. We can work on eliminating our Loshon Hara. We can strive to use our body the way Hashem commands by improving our Shmirat HaBrit. We can pray with more focus.
We can do it knowing that the sword of exile, poverty, and sickness hangs over us no less than they do every man, woman, and child of Ukraine.
The Miracle for Israel and the Jews
God has his eyes upon the Land from the first day of the year to the last. (Devarim 11:12)
We should get on our knees and thank our Creator for what He has done for Israel and His Jews.
The Americans tried to sign a treaty that brought belligerent nuclear weapons to Israel’s back door.
As part of his strategy, Putin is putting Russian nukes into Belarus, which is a thousand kilometers closer to Western Europe. He hopes to place nukes inside Ukraine, which borders Hungary. He is mulling a Russian withdrawal from a series of treaties obligating Russia not to point its nuclear arsenal at America.
Instead of America placing dangerous nuclear weapons aimed at Israel, Hashem is pointing dangerous atomic weapons at America.
This conflict also continues a new exciting development: Donor Israel.
Instead of asking the Jews of the diaspora to help Jewish communities in need, Israel is doing it directly. We are lending to other countries without borrowing.
The world is even considering appointing Binyamin Netanyahu as its emissary to end the fighting.
The signs are clear: Israel is slowly rising to re-assume its role in the world.
Even in tragedy and chaos, the message of Redemption is clear.
The West gave Putin the green light to invade Ukraine with empty rhetoric.
With His Divine protection and material blessing over the Holy Land, Hashem is giving every Jew the green light to invade Israel.
* * *
David Ben Horin lives in Afula with his wife and children. Since moving to Israel in 2002, David has discovered Torah, writing hi-tech, hiking, coding ReactJS Apps, and hearing stories about the Land of Israel from anyone excited to tell them. Check him out on Highway 60 or email him your favorite Israel story at: email@example.com.