Updated: Mar 2
A History of the Vilna Gaon - Part II
I was going to publish this blog post on Wednesday, but events surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine are moving fast with no clue where they will end.
Yesterday I shared some of the history of the man known as the Vilna Gaon. A significant catalyst for the book Ishmael Covenant, the first book of the Empires of Armageddon series, the Gaon's character is based on the life of a real person who lived and worked in Vilnius, Lithuania in the late stages of the 18th Century. The Gaon ... or Genius ... of Vilnius was perhaps the most influential and famous Talmudic scholar of his time. He was also a dabbler in the mysticism of Kabbalah, and a master of mathematics, science and nature.
He was also a writer of prophecies.
With Russian invasion forces once more driving into the Ukraine, the Gaon's prophecy that was revealed in 2014 is now more compelling and ominous than ever.
The Messiah Prophecies –
In February of 2014, masked Russian troops without insignia invaded the Ukraine and occupied key locations on the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, including airports and military bases. Within days, the local Crimean government was disbanded and a new, pro-Russian government installed. In March of 2014, in Jerusalem, Grand Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch, the great grandson of the Vilna Gaon, revealed a closely guarded secret message that he said was written by the Gaon. Written in cryptic language in 1794, this prophesy was passed down in a direct line through four generations of rabbis and remained an ardently guarded secret over the centuries. Once deciphered and revealed by Shternbuch, the Gaon’s message read:
“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."
With the Russian military might crushing the legitimate government of Crimea in 2014, revelation of the Gaon's prophecy one month later stirred up quite a debate about what the "Times of Messiah" might mean.
But ... there was a second part of the prophecy that was revealed in 2014.
"And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople, you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.”
Constantinople, or the modern-day Istanbul, is one of the most strategic cities in the country of Turkey, a NATO nation that spans the eastern-most point of Europe and the western-most point of Asia. Why could the city of Constantinople/Istanbul have meaning in Russian's invasion of Ukraine?
The current war in Ukraine is a hate-crime, a war-crime, a crime against humanity by a megalomaniacal tyrant who has lost touch with reality and conscience. But, if Vladimir Putin succeeds in Ukraine, will he stop there? Or, will he risk a war with NATO by invading other former territories of the USSR? One reality is that, if there is a land-war with NATO, Putin will be desperate to use Russia's vast, world-wide naval power.
That may be one reason Russia opened the war with Ukraine on three fronts - north, east and south. From the south, Russian troops invaded Ukraine from their bases in Crimea. But they are also threatening the port cities of Odessa and Mariupol. Black Sea, warm-water ports that would give Putin's navy more freedom to operate.
Particularly if Putin envisions a future war with NATO as his chance to invade Turkey ... to "reach the city of Constantinople (Istanbul)."
It is interesting to note that there is a second translation of the Gaon’s prophecy that some believe is more accurate.
“When the ships of the kingdom of Russia will cross the Dardanelles you [Israel] should dress in Sabbath clothes because this means that the arrival of the Messiah is close. When you see the Russian armies begin to move southward and enter Turkey, put on your Sabbath garments and get ready to welcome the Messiah.”
On Monday, February 28, 2022 - yesterday - the government of Turkey closed both the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus Straits ... the narrow, lengthy waterways which are the only access from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, then from the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean to military vessels from any nation. A ban would prevent Russian warships that are normally permanently stationed around the world from sailing into the Black Sea to assist troops in Ukraine.
In order to get his Black Sea navy into the Mediterranean to threaten NATO's underbelly, Putin would need to open - and control - the two narrow waterways now closed off by Turkey. He would need to invade Turkey ... and conquer Istanbul.
Both of these prophecies about Ukraine are Messianic ... signs of the imminent arrival of the Messiah. Both Russia capturing Crimea and Russia invading the Turkish city of Constantinople will accelerate the coming Messiah. The Jewish faith still awaits the coming of Messiah. The Christian faith believes Jesus Christ is our Messiah. When Messiah comes a second time, the world as we know it will end.