Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Was the Shoah (and WWII) Gog and Magog

One of the learning cycles that I'm working on (and desperately behind in) is the OU's Nach Yomi project.

We recently covered Sefer Yoel. Chapter 3 of that book describes the horrible events of Gog Umagog (AKA Armageddon).

I make no claims to be able to understand the hidden meanings of this Chapter (or any other part of Tanach), however I found the following description very chilling:

יואל פרק ג
ג וְנָתַתִּי, מוֹפְתִים, בַּשָּׁמַיִם, וּבָאָרֶץ: דָּם וָאֵשׁ, וְתִימְרוֹת עָשָׁן. ד הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ יֵהָפֵךְ לְחֹשֶׁךְ, וְהַיָּרֵחַ לְדָם--לִפְנֵי, בּוֹא יוֹם ה', הַגָּדוֹל, וְהַנּוֹרָא

Joel Chapter 3
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 4 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.
That expression "וְתִימְרוֹת עָשָׁן" ("Pillars of smoke") which is familiar to us from the Haggada may possibly be more accurately translated as "Palm Trees of Smoke" (this was according to Rav Dr. Gidon Rothstein).

Does the image of a palm-shaped cloud followed by darkness and the "terrible day of Hashem" bring up any chilling imagery from the final days of the Second World War?

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