In a dramatic escalation of hostilities, North Korea fired a missile over Japan on Tuesday morning, setting off warning sirens and sending residents running to shelter, and at least according to one rabbi, opening the door for Elijah the Prophet to appear.
At six AM Tuesday morning, an unidentified North Korean missile flew over Erimo Misaki District, on the northern island of Hokkaido, breaking into three pieces before falling into the Pacific Ocean about 733 miles off the Japanese coast. There were no efforts by the Japanese to down the missile as it passed over their airspace. The Trump Administration responded immediately and strongly with the ominous warning, “All options are on the table.”
North Korea missile launch a “reckless act” & the most “grave threat ever,” impairing regional safety & peace – Japan Prime Min. Shinzo Abe pic.twitter.com/AZXHrwP2Qp
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) August 29, 2017
In a commentary on current events, Rabbi Moshe Grylak, co-publisher of the religious Jewish Mishpacha Magazine and a prolific author, hinted last week at just such an escalation, in which North Korea’s rogue leader, Kim Jong Un, would be the first to act, engaging in a senseless flexing of nuclear muscle.
However, the rabbi had a Biblical perspective on the turmoil emanating from North Korea, explaining that it is actually part of the process of redemption because it generates the necessary final ingredient to bring the Messiah: fear.
“When the world realizes that all their efforts fail, they will be terrified and some will take this and turn it into fear of heaven,” Rabbi Grylak told Breaking Israel News. Rabbi Grylak named this process ‘Elijah’, the prophet who will return to announce the arrival of the Messiah, as described in the Book of Malachi.
He shall reconcile parents with children and children with their parents, so that, when I come, I do not strike the whole land with utter destruction. Lo, I will send the navi Eliyahu to you before the coming of the awesome, fearful day of Hashem. Malachi 3:24
“Elijah is not an old man with a flowing white beard who will blow on a shofar,” explained Rabbi Grylak. “The Elijah that precedes Moshiach (Messiah) is an unprecedented awakening of hearts to God’s will.”
Rabbi Grylak quoted Michtav MeEliyahui, a book on Jewish philosophy written by Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, a 20th century Talmudic scholar, who wrote, “Only when men come to see the futility and emptiness of a life dedicated to this world, will they be enabled to rise to a spiritual outlook and the light of Moshiach will be revealed.”
“This awakening is sorely lacking right now,” Rabbi Grylak said. “But when two crazy men threaten the world with nuclear war, it generates fear. That is certainly one way to wake people up.”
In fact, multiple conflicts and catastrophes are generating concern around the globe: hurricanes in Texas, multiple armies vying for position in Syria, Iran flexing its muscles, and the internal polarization in America. Rabbi Grylak emphasized that at the root of the turbulence was the issue of Jerusalem and the Jews.
“So many times I heard people say they hate Israel today because when Israel was first established, and even more so after we conquered the Temple Mount in ‘67, they expected so much from Israel,” the rabbi explained. “We disappointed them. The truth is hidden under a great darkness of hatred of Jews. But even within this hatred is the key, the seed of hope from which the Moshiach will grow.”
The rabbi cited Isaiah to illustrate how an essential aspect of this pre-Messiah global awakening has to be focused on Jerusalem.
For the sake of Tzion I will not be silent, For the sake of Yerushalayim I will not be still, Till her victory emerge resplendent And her triumph like a flaming torch. Nations shall see your victory, And every king your majesty; And you shall be called by a new name Which Hashem Himself shall bestow. Isaiah 62:1-2
“Israel is presenting itself as a great success, which it is, but we are focusing on the wrong things,” Rabbi Grylak said. “We are focusing on the material when what the world really needs from Israel is to be a spiritual light of Torah, to guide them through this fear, to take them to the next stage before it is too late.”