Rabbi Chananya Weissman, the founder of EndTheMadness and the author of seven books, is frequently censored for his outspoken insights into the spiritual implications of the current global pandemic. On Sunday, he posted a blog in which he noted that an unexpected benefit of the pandemic restrictions is that it will make identifying the hordes of Gog and Magog a simple matter.
Isaiah: the shroud That is drawn over the faces of all the peoples
The basis of this theory is a verse in Isaiah describing the end of days:
And He will destroy on this mount the shroud That is drawn over the faces of all the peoples And the covering that is spread Over all the nations:He will destroy death forever. My Hashem will wipe the tears away From all faces And will put an end to the reproach of His people Over all the earth— For it is Hashem who has spoken.In that day they shall say: This is our God; We trusted in Him, and He delivered us. This is Hashem, in whom we trusted; Let us rejoice and exult in His deliverance! Isaiah 25:7-9
Rabbi Weisman cited a commentary on that verse written by Rabbi David Kimhi, a medieval Biblical commentator known by the acronym ‘Radak’. The Radak explains that verse, noting that “‘the covering that covers’ is a hint to a kingdom that covers its faces.”
The “Golden Mask”
“The mask is a sign of idolatry,” Rabbi Weissman said. “Today, this idolatry could be a false belief in the media, experts, in politics. Idolatry is a belief that a power other than Hashem runs the world. It comes from a place of fear. At Mount Sinai, the Children of Israel made the Golden Calf because Moshe took so long that they were afraid. So they made an idol to stand in God’s stead, ascribing powers to it.”
It is interesting to note that the Torah refers to the Golden Calf as a ‘masecha’ (מַסֵּכָה) which means ‘mask’ (Exodus 32:4)
“There may not be actual bowing down to idols today but people are setting up new idols out of fear of the virus,” Rabbi Weissman said. “They wear the masks and ascribe powers to the mask that don’t exist. Even the politicians who mandate the mask don’t believe in it. They wear the same blue piece of paper that we all wear rather than a more effective mask that they can well afford. And as soon as they think the cameras are turned off, they remove the mask.”
This concept of the ‘masked nations’ described in Isaiah was further explained by Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michel Wisser, a 19th century Biblical commentator better known as the Malbim. The Malbim explained that before Moshiach comes the kingdoms will be divided into two camps:
1) Nations that have faith and don’t serve false gods, though they will not necessarily be Jews or accept the Torah. Out of shame for their faulty beliefs, they place a mask on to cover their faces and by doing so are prevented from seeing the true light. It is easier for these people to recognize the true faith since they already believe in many fundamental principles of the religion, such as reward and punishment, providence, and similar things. These people are called “amim” (nations), which is a higher level than “goyim” (peoples). The Malbim explains that Hashem will destroy and remove the mask which covers their faces, removing their faulty beliefs, at which point they will be able to see the bright light in the heavens and recognize the Torah on their own.
2) The Malbim explains that the second type of people who will wear masks in the end of days is the “goyim” that don’t yet have any belief at all. These “people” still worship idols like the ancient people. The Malbim specifically mentions that one of these “people” is China. They are called “goyim” because they are on a low level. The Malbim explains that Hashem will remove the mask, which is the idolatry that “covers” them.
“The prophet stated that one of the identifying characteristics of the forces that will go to war to prevent the arrival of the Messiah is that they will be wearing masks,” Rabbi Weissman said. “This is the simple literary reading of the Book of Isaiah.”
But Rabbi Weissman added a disclaimer.
“A person cannot exhibit the entirety of their beliefs, including their relationship with God, just by putting on a piece of cloth. Just because a Jew wears a yarmulke doesn’t mean he is close to Hashem. The same is true of masks. Not everyone who wears a mask ascribes to the political system that advocates masking. Many people just go along with it out of fear. Most people have not thought critically about the masks. They just go along with what they are told, basically just following orders. But for sure, the science and data do not indicate that wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of the virus.”
“In the same way, many people will join Gog and Magog out of peer pressure of fear, or because they are following orders,” Rabbi Weissman noted. “Zechariah explicitly states that Yehuda will join in the final battle for Jerusalem, which is shocking.”
In that day, I will make the clans of Judah like a flaming brazier among sticks and like a flaming torch among sheaves. They shall devour all the besieging peoples right and left; and Jerusalem shall continue on its site, in Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:6
“This shows that many Jews will rise up against Israel in the end of days, becoming mixed among the nations. Jews are going to be dragged along in the war of Gog and Magog, fighting for the wrong side. But at some point, they will have an epiphany and repent. ”