With tensions escalating between Russia and Turkey, many are wondering if the world is being witness to a divine act of messianic intervention.
Just before his death in 1797, an exceedingly well-respected Jewish sage known as the Vilna Gaon (the genius of Vilna) left his followers with a prophetic statement about two specific events that would happen just before the appearance of the Messiah.
After being held as “a closely guarded secret” for over 200 years, Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch, a great-grandson of the Vilna Gaon, shared the full prophecy publically for the first time in 2014. The text of the Vilna Gaon’s prophecy was reported by Rabbi Lazer Brody, an American-born Hasidic rabbi and teacher from Ashdod, Israel in March, 2014.
“When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople, you should put on your Shabbat (Sabbath) clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.”
In this prophecy, the Vilna Gaon mentioned two signs of the imminent arrival of the Messiah – Russia capturing Crimea and Russia invading the Turkish city of Constantinople (now Istanbul). The first prophecy was fulfilled in 2014 when Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.
Current tensions between Russia and Turkey, including Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter jet on November 24, are setting the stage for the second sign, the Russian invasion of Istanbul, to occur soon.
The prophecy of the Vilna Gaon is strengthened by the existence of a similar prophecy, this one from the Jewish sage known as the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of the Hasidic Judaism. Like the Vilna Gaon, the Ba’al Shem Tov lived in the 18th century.
The Kloisenberger Rebbe, a 20th century Hasidic rabbi, echoed the Vilna Gaon’s second sign when he wrote “in the name of the Ba’al Shem Tov, when you see the Russian horse in Constantinople, a city in Turkey, you should know Moshiach (Messiah) is about to arrive.”
According to the Kloisenberger Rebbe, in addition to the Russian military presence in the Turkish city of Istanbul, the Ba’al Shem Tov foretold another sign of the impending arrival of the Messiah – “the Russians will come, they will come and be together with the sons of Ishmael.” That is, when the Russians join forces with the spiritual descendents of Ishmael, who today are identified as those of Islamic descent, it’s another sign of the coming of the Messiah.
Militarily, Russia is already connected with its Shiite Muslim allies in Syria and Iran. As reported in Breaking Israel News, a 75-year-old prophecy connects Russia’s unfolding role in Syria to Gog and Magog. Since late September of this year, Russia has become a central player in Syria, leading many to hypothesize that Putin is Gog and Russia is Magog.
The messianic alliance between Russia and the Shiite Muslims of Syria and Iran was deepened by a recent gesture of friendship off the battlefield. On November 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a rare and valuable gift to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Putin gave Khamenei one of five copies of the original handwritten Koran, the Muslim holy text that dates back to the 7th century.