Very little is ever what it seems to be on the outside. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes a bad one. That’s why there is a mitzvah to judge a person to the side of merit: what we see is rarely the whole story, or even just part of it.
Who are Gog and Magog? The enemy. Who is Moshiach? The hero. But who are they really, on the inside, and not just on the outside? The body, after all, is just a vehicle. It is a “car” to get around. It may be amazing in appearance, but at the end of the day, like with respect to a car, it is the driver who makes the difference.
A veteran driver in an average car can often outdrive an inexperienced driver in a more powerful car. Likewise, a great soul in a weak body can end up being a far more powerful person than a weak soul in a strong body. Brawn is a valuable asset but rarely more than brains. Bodies are crucial but never more than the souls that give them life, especially since the former die and the latter, in general, do not, allowing them to have an ongoing impact on history.
“Modern culture” and “Biblical history” are considered to be oxymorons by many today. Once-upon-a-time man was intellectually underdeveloped. A long time ago he was spiritually unsophisticated. He didn’t know much about how the world worked and often victimized by it, he deified the forces of nature so that he could “bribe” them. This lame effort at climate control resulted in religion and eventually, the Bible.
At least this is what many would have man believe. Agnostics and atheists trivialize religion and mock the service of God so that they can do whatever they feel like doing. It is a simple equation for them: No God, no religion, no Bible, and therefore, no moral obligation. Without Absolute Truth there is only subjective opinion, which can make life a lot more carefree. Hitler, ysv”z, pursued and murdered the Jews for this very reason.
The “good guys”? They are the people who agree with them. The “bad guys”? They’re the ones who oppose them, and impose their idea of good upon others. Gog and Magog? A Biblical myth. Moshiach? Any kind of savior who defends their version of good. He certainly doesn’t have to be religious, or even Jewish. He only has to stand up for principles that their society holds dear. It can be agreed upon that the bodies of today are not the same bodies of people from “Biblical” times. It is with respect to the souls that drive these bodies that create controversy, which according to Kabbalah are far from new. Neither are their mandates even if their methods for carrying them out are.
Simply put, souls reincarnate. They come and they go and then come again. A lot may change over time regarding the bodies they drive, but the nature of the soul inside each time remains the same. Consequently, it can bring the world of the Bible into modern times, something the average person may not recognize without some Biblical and Kabbalistic background.
For, just as the nature of the driver affects the “appearance” of the car, the nature of a soul affects the “appearance” of the body. An ancient Pharaoh-like soul can end up giving a modern body a Pharaoh-like look, albeit in an expensive European suit. Likewise, a Moshe-like soul can cause a modern-day body to have a Moshe-like appearance, albeit in a cheaper Israeli suit. Modern resemblances to ancient figures is more than mere coincidence.
Such ideas can also help to explain historical anomalies. For example, why is that some people try to rise in power doing everything necessary to do so only to fail, while others “cheat” the system and come out on top? Why do some people gravitate towards good while others seem to be “pulled” in the direction of evil?
Since historians tend to look for “natural” answers to such unnatural circumstances the truth often eludes them. They focus on current political trends and historical circumstance to “frame” the events of the day, not even considering that other powers might be at work. Not believing in higher planes of reality they cannot see how they are the reason for what is occurring, and how.
First there were the European leaders. One might have reasonably thought that after the Holocaust they would have been repentant and overcome their latent anti-Semitism. Instead, shamelessly, they created pretexts to attack the Jewish state. In true Amalekian fashion, they focused more on undermining Israel than on dealing with the growing Arab problem around them. Though it was consuming them that mattered less than destroying everything Jewish.
Then there was the American leader himself. In quieter moments he might have questioned his motives for pushing the Jewish state to submit to all the UN proposals that clearly endangered its continued existence. Others did.
He must have known, at least on some level, that his cause was not about right or wrong, but based upon a stronger affiliation to the Muslim world. Others did. What was driving him? Why was he so committed to a state for the Palestinians when he knew full well, as did everyone in his cabinet, that creating one would only result in a second Gaza? Those who voted for him, including many Jews, assumed that he knew something they did not, and trusted him. They were right about the first part, wrong about the second part.
He had also known all along that Iran had the bomb. He knew that they naysayers were right, that giving Iran nuclear leeway would be dangerous for the Jewish state. What they didn’t realize was that though the man they saw on the outside was naively pursuing peace with Iran, his soul on the inside was intentionally loading the gun aimed at his Jewish nemesis.
When Naval HaCarmelli cursed Dovid HaMelech, it says that “his heart smote him.” Kabbalah explains that this means that he knew on some level that, being the reincarnation of evil sorcerer Bilaam, he was reincarnating to fix the sin of trying to curse the Jewish people back in Moshe’s time. Thus, though cursing Dovid HaMelech may have felt right at the moment, it felt terribly wrong once he had done it.
Likewise the American leader felt emboldened. Only after setting the final war of Gog and Magog in motion would he finally sense the historical significance of his actions, when it would be too late to undo what he had done.
Moshiach was also beginning to sense that there was more to him that what he had noticed until then. As he “prepared” for his mission he began to realize that there was more on his inside than his outside revealed. Humility, though, prevented him from reaching the logical conclusion.
Instead, he just did what he always did: the will of God to the best of his knowledge and ability. In the past, he had been compelled to respond to crisis because it was his inherent nature to do so. His compulsion now to do so to the extent that history was asking of him came from even deeper inside of him.
He had never met or spoken to any of the world leaders who were planning his departure from the political stage, if not life altogether. They didn’t deem him important enough to deal with directly. Rabble rousers rise up from the ranks of the underdogs and can easily be “put down” as fast as they ascended. They certainly had the means to do so easily.
Ignoring him, however, only made his job easier. He didn’t have to waste time answering to anyone directly but God. It was the first of many tactical errors that Gog and Magog have always made. This time it would cost them their existence—forever.
* * *
The tanks moved into position. The Israeli Navy also. It was not a good feeling being greatly outnumbered. Incredibly outnumbered. Israeli soldiers were good but not that good. Even with the air force flying above they greatly outgunned and they calculated that it would take less than a couple of hours to lose the war and their beloved country. The end was near.
“This is going to be one incredible test of faith,” one Israeli soldier said to the other. The second soldier did not even acknowledge his words.
“This is exactly what was predicted,” he continued. “It says that in the final war it’s going to look completely hopeless for the Jews . . . as if everything has failed . . . as if all is lost.”
“All is lost,” his friend deadpanned, continuing to look straight ahead at the future source of that loss. After some silence, the first soldier continued.
“Listen, I don’t know what to tell you that will change your outlook. But we don’t have a lot of time left to get it right.”
“That much I agree with,” the second soldier said, misconstruing the words of the first soldier. “I figure it will take about 30 minutes to run right over us.”
“Ain’t going to happen,” the first soldier said with what seemed like to his friend to be misplaced confidence.
“How can you be so sure?” the second soldier asked. “We’re outgunned ten times over at least.” He paused for a moment to further assess the situation. “All good things come to an end,” he said with finality. “I guess our end has come a little quicker than I thought.”
“Danny,” the first soldier said, “you have to stop that. What’s coming up is going to push our faith to the limits. I know you are not that religious . . .”
Danny laughed out loud at the understatement. He was as secular as they came.
“But you have to believe me,” the first soldier continued. He paused before saying his next words. “This entire war, as crazy and militarily overwhelming as it is will not come down to weapons. It will come down to faith in God. FAITH IN GOD,” he emphasized, as much for himself as for his secular compatriot.
“Stay with me . . .” he continued. “Stay with God. Things will happen like never before and you have to be ready for that, otherwise . . .” His voice trailed off, uncertain of what to say next.
Danny looked at his friend in the eyes. “You really believe in this stuff, don’t you?”
“Well, yeah, of course!”
Danny went back to observing the enemy, but for the first time he considered his friend’s words. He wasn’t sure why his heart was softening, but he suspected it had to do with the seriousness of the situation, or more accurately, the hopelessness of the situation. If ever there was a time he was going to believe, he thought to himself, it was then. He certainly no longer had anything to lose by doing so.
Danny looked back into his friend’s eyes and said, rather awkwardly, “Okay. I’ll believe.”
The first soldier gave him a look that suggested he wasn’t convinced. After all, no one changes that fast, not even in a foxhole. But when their eyes met he saw something in them for the first time that made him think that maybe, just maybe, his fellow soldier was finally coming around.
“Now I know Moshiach is here,” he said jokingly as if to lighten the moment a bit. “Danny believes? Moshiach must be here!”
* * *
The Prime Minister surveyed the latest military intelligence. The situation was in fact hopeless. Though he had given the command to arm the nukes, he suspected that push come to shove he would not use them. He was not a religious man per se, but he still worried about answering to God “later on.”
* * *
The American leader, a.k.a. “Gog” also surveyed the latest intelligence. He was already planning how to deal with the defunct State of Israel after the war. It never occurred to him, not even for a moment, that within six hours, only six hours, he would be regretting his very existence.
* * *
“Allah has been kind to us,” the Persian leader said to his General. “The Zionist enemy will be destroyed without us having to use a single weapon of our own! ”
“Perhaps there will still be need for them . . .” the Iranian General said, relishing the idea of finally obliterating the Jewish state.
“Perhaps,” he said, smiling to his military friend, when all of a sudden the smile vanished from his face. As the building they were in began to sway, the two men looked at each other, momentarily confused. Then the eyes of both of them widened as they simultaneously yelled to each other, “Earthquake!” and ducked under the closest table.
Thousands of miles away Moshiach had merely lifted his arms. But he knew that it was having a dramatic impact on an evil enemy of the Jewish people in a far away land. The end, indeed, was near, and was getting closer by the day.
* * *