Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief political opponent, Benny Gantz, made a Facebook post that inadvertently affirmed a prophecy made 30 years ago predicting the Israeli prime minister’s role as the final gatekeeper that will greet the Messiah.
Gantz, head of the left-wing Blue and White party, made a post on Facebook last Monday:
“119 Knesset members don’t want to go to the elections. And only one member of the Knesset, the chairman of Likud Netanyahu, drags a whole country to an election that is expensive and extraneous. By doing so, he saves himself from three tchares: bribery, fraud, and breach of allegiance.
I appeal to Likud Leaders: have we been chosen to take care of security, education and health, or to take care of the legal condition of Benjamin Netanyahu?
Remember, you are following in the footsteps of great leaders like Begin and Shamir who knew how to put the national interest before their personal interest. The good of the state of Israel is more important than Netanyahu.”
Gantz’s post is a direct reminder of a message given to Netanyahu by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitch Chabad leader who died in 1994. Rabbi Schneerson, known to his followers simply as “the Rebbe”, was one of the most influential spiritual leaders until of his time. Under his direction, the Lubavitch Chabad movement established thousands of institutions worldwide for Bible education and charity. Unlike many other Orthodox Jewish leaders, the Rebbe emphasized an active belief in the imminent arrival of the Messiah. The two first met in 1984 when Netanyahu was Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.
At an address in New York in 2009, Netanyahu related the meeting and the impact it had on him. Before Netanyahu returned to Israel in 1988 to join Likud, a former soldier who had served under him came to visit Netanyahu. Netanyahu did not recognize the soldier at first because while serving in the army, he was secular and clean-shaven. In the interim, he had become religious and was a member of the Chabad sect. He now sported a flowing beard.
The Chabad Hasid told the Israeli ambassador to the UN that the Rebbe wanted to meet him. The meeting was set for midnight.
“Much success,” The rabbi said to a young Netanyahu. “I had much satisfaction from your first speech. May you continue in this path. God helps all who wish to elevate others. How much more so when one begins with himself.”
“It is the best path to avoid war,” the rabbi said, paraphrasing Isaiah 30:15. “With tranquility and restfulness, you will be saved.”
Netanyahu thanked the rabbi.
“You are also just starting your new role,” Rabbi Schneerson said. “You will fight with 119 people. Surely you won’t be intimidated, because God is on this side. Blessings and success with God’s mission.”
Rabbi David Nachshon, a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who witnessed the dialogue, related that the Rebbe was confident that some great good would come out of Netanyahu’s political trials.
“It really pains me, as a friend, as a brother, as a close friend, to see how people constantly spill Netanyahu’s blood,” Rabbi Schneerson confided to Nachshon. “But I have a surprise for you, he’s going to come out of it, and he’ll stand tall, on G-d’s side. He has a promise from the Rebbe, and he’s going to make it through this. We’ve seen it happen up to now, and that’s how it’s going to be now as well. He will make it through this, and he will continue, and I hope he’ll be able to hand his keys over to Moshiach (the Messiah), and we’ll have the complete and true Redemption.”