By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir
“When a great war takes place in the world, Messianic forces are involved... The larger the war
in quality and quantity, the greater our anticipation of advances in the Messianic process” (Orot
3, HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook).
There is a connection between redemption and wars, as our sages said, “In the seventh
year will come wars. In the eighth year, the son of David will come” (Megillah 17b). “The
Master of wars... causes salvation to spring forth” (blessings preceding the morning Shema).
The prophets are full of descriptions of the War of Gog and Magog -- that terrible war in which
the enemies of Israel suffer resounding defeat in their attempt to conquer Jerusalem, and out of
which G-d’s name shall be magnified and sanctified in the world. Indeed, when we recite the
Kaddish, we open with, “Magnified and sanctified be G-d’s great name.” And when will His
great name be magnified and sanctified? When the enemies of Israel suffer a resounding defeat.
G-d’s glory will then be magnified and sanctified in the world, when Israel’s glory is magnified
in the world.
Today we are in a war which began before the State’s establishment, with the first Aliyot
to Israel. The symbol of heroism of those days was Joseph Trumpeldor, who sacrificed his life
for our hold on the Galilee. Our enemies today make use of the same ploys they used back then.
When they were repulsed by Trumpeldor and his comrades, they tried treachery, approaching
Trumpeldor with their hands outstretched as if in friendship. Yet once they had penetrated the
fortified courtyard of Tel Hai, they murdered Trumpeldor and his comrades.
Now, as well, our enemies are attempting, by means of terror, to weaken and subjugate
us, with the goal of driving us out of our land. When they see that they are not succeeding, they
make use of the weapon of “peace,” with the aim of taking bites out of our land while planning
for the next stage of the war. We can console ourselves and have faith that we will be victorious
in battle. In order to be victorious, we need not just tanks and jets, but faith and spirit, as well as
knowledge of what we are fighting for, and why. We have to realize that we are fighting in order
to sanctify G-d’s name publicly.
Israel’s hold on Eretz Yisrael and its capital Jerusalem brings light to the world, through
G-d’s kingdom being revealed on earth, and through the divine bounty produced. As Isaiah said,
“For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
Our enemies are attempting to extinguish the light, but the children of light shall defeat
the children of darkness.
Longing for complete salvation,