Will Turkish Invasion of Syria Bring About Pre-Messianic Conflict With Russia?

“And Yaakov called his sons and said, “Come together that I may tell you what is to befall you in days to come.” Genesis 49:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Turkey launched a military incursion into neighboring Syria over the weekend, bringing Russian and Turkish soldiers into closer proximity in an already volatile region, making a 200-year-old prophecy of pre-Messianic conflict between Russia and Turkey appear to be closer than ever before. This 200-year-old prophecy was a closely guarded secret until just a few years ago and details described in the prophecy are strongly consistent with the situation developing to the North of Israel.

A massive Turkish ground force crossed into the Afrin region of Syria to fight the Kurdish militia and push them out of Syria. The Turkish government claims their goal is to establish a 19-mile buffer zone against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a militant group based in Syria. If the conflict intensifies, it could pit Turkey directly against Russia, which has boosted its military presence and bases in Syria in an effort to support the Syrian government in the country’s nearly seven-year-long civil war.

A conflict between Turkey and Russia was predicted over 200 years ago by Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, known as the Vilna Gaon, one of the greatest Jewish scholars of the 18th century who was also a known Kabbalist (mystic). Just before his death, the Vilna Gaon made a two-part prophecy that was kept secret, transferred orally from teacher to student for generations. This prophecy became public for the first time in 2014 by Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch, a great-grandson of the Vilna Gaon.

“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.”

The first part of the prophecy appeared to materialize in 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. The second half of the prophecy concerning a conflict between Russia and Turkey is one of many possible outcomes of the current escalation in Syria. Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) and traditionally, an ally of the US. Russia has permanent military bases in Syria supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad in the civil war against rebel forces, which includes ISIS. Russia has also with the YPK in the past in the fight against ISIS, which would pit Russia against Turkey should the superpower choose to stand up for its sometimes-ally.

This alliance between Russia and Syria is consistent with a later addendum to the Vilna Gaon’s prophecy. The Kloisenberger Rabbi, a 20th-century Hasidic leader and a part of the chain that held onto the prophecy, wrote of an additional aspect to Russia’s presence in Istanbul.

“The Russians will come, they will come and be together with the sons of Ishmael,” the Kloisenberger Rabbi added.

The Arab peoples of today are primarily identified to be the spiritual descendants of Ishmael. An alliance between Russia and Syria against Turkey, a non-Arabic country, would conform to the Klosienberger Rabbi’s prediction.

The current open-ended Turkish military incursion with tangled national alliances and unclear goals is potentially explosive.Turkey has the largest military in the region and is the second largest army in NATO, after the US. Last month, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Assad a terrorist mass murderer and called for him to resign. Assad responded by referring to Turkey’s current military action as “support for terrorism”.

Rabbi Lazer Brody, one of the first to publicize Rabbi Shternbuch’s revelation of the Vilna Gaon’s prophecy, cautions that prophetic predictions are far more than just political commentaries.

“It’s all up in the air and it can go any way right now,” Rabbi  Brody told Breaking Israel News. “It is tempting to try to understand the prophecy through the intellect as if it was strictly political. But these political events are really about emuna (faith).”

For the time being, Russia has merely resorted to expressing its “concern” for Turkey’s military incursion.  The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that they will demand Turkey to cease its operations in Syria. Should Russia’s involvement ever escalate from words to actions, Russian troops may indeed be marching into Istanbul much sooner than expected.

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