When Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran, this created a chain reaction that led Bahrain and other Middle Eastern countries to expel Iranian diplomats. Unwittingly, Saudi Arabia’s actions can be seen as the fulfillment of a messianic Jewish prophecy found in the ancient Jewish holy book known as the Yalkut Shimoni.
The Yalkut Shimoni, a compilation of rabbinic commentary on the Bible, is believed to have been composed in the 13th century. Despite being written over 800 years ago, the Yalkut Shimoni has something extremely relevant to say about today’s headlines.
Speaking about the relevant passage in the Yalkut Shimoni, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam, better known as the Klausenberger Rebbe, said, “Remember these words. Now, perhaps, they are not understood, but in time, they will be, and they will be a source of chizuk (strength) to Am Yisroel (the Jewish people).” The Klausenberger Rebbe was an Orthodox rabbi with thousands of followers in the years prior to World War II. Most of his followers were murdered in the Holocaust. The Klausenberger Rebbe died in Israel in 1994.
What was the prophecy of the Yalkut Shimoni that the Klausenberger Rebbe knew would bring comfort and strength to the Jewish people at a future date? The Yalkut Shimoni predicted that the year the Messiah would appear, the “King of Persia [Iran] will provoke the King of Arabia [Saudi Arabia].”
The two main sects in Islam are Sunni and Shia. While they both have much in common, the differences between the two sects in Islam have led to a long history of violent and deadly conflict among Muslims . Many of today’s political and diplomatic conflicts between Iran and other Muslim countries are connected to this Sunni-Shia divide
Not surprisingly, Iran and Saudi Arabia do not share the same Muslim sect. Although the vast majority of the Islamic world today is Sunni, Iran, and, to a lesser degree Iraq, are home to the majority of the region’s Shiite Muslims. Saudi Arabia is more than 90 percent Sunni. Iran, by contrast, is 95 percent Shiite.
Thus, when angry Shiite Iranians recently overran the Saudi embassy in Tehran this past Sunday to protest the execution of a Shiite Muslim cleric named Nimr al-Nimr, the duel between the Sunnis and the Shiites was inflamed. As a consequence, Saudi Arabia gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to pack up and leave.
The full text of the Yalkut Shimoni connects the political tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia with good news about the full redemption of the Jewish people.
“Rabbi Yizchok said: ‘The year that Melech HaMoshiach [Messiah the King] will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be provoking each other. The King of Persia (Iran) will provoke the King of Arabia, and the King of Arabia will go to Edom (the West) to take counsel, but the King of Persia will in turn, destroy the entire world. The nations of the world will be outraged and panicked. They will fall on their faces, and they will experience pains like birth pangs. Israel too will be outraged and in a state of panic and ask, where do we go? But say unto them, “My children, do not fear, ‘Higiyah zman geulatchem’ [the time of your redemption has come]. And in the last redemption will be different from the first which was followed by further bondage and pain. After this last redemption, you will not again experience any further pain or subjugation.”
Rabbi Baruch Cohen, a civil trial attorney in the US and pro-Israel blogger at American Trial Attorneys In Defense of Israel shared with Breaking Israel News the enthusiasm many feel when comparing the ancient prophecy to current events.
“It is incredible to see Chazal’s [the Jewish sages’] prophecies come to life in real time in today’s headlines,” he said.
“The Baal Haturim [early 14th century scholar of Jewish law] explains when Yishmael [Ishmael, meaning the Muslim Arabs] will fall and be finally defeated in the end of days, then the Moshiach [messiah] – the descendant of Yishai [father of King David], who is himself a descendant of Yitzchak [Issac], will come. Even in the most terrifying of times, we are comforted by the fact that eventually, with the ultimate downfall of the descendants of Yishmael, we will merit the final redemption by our righteous Moshiach.”
Cohen concluded his comments to Breaking Israel News with with a spiritual challenge to those who are waiting for the Messiah to come and redeem humanity.
“Yishmael typifies the power of prayer. He himself was born out of the power of the prayer of his mother Hagar. To this very day, the Arabs excel in prayer, which occupies a significant place in their daily ritual. In order to counteract the power of their prayer, we need to improve the concentration and intensity of our own prayers.”