Messiah Countdown in Israel

Latest news from the Israeli religious right, via Arutz Sheva:

On Thursday night, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri said, “Jews must come to the land of Israel to receive our righteous Mashiach (Messiah), who has begun his influence and will reveal himself in the future.”

…During the afternoon Mincha prayer on Yom Kippur, the Kabbalist scholar surprised his students and fellow worshippers with secrets relating to the coming of the Mashiach…Only after some 45 minutes, the Rabbi raised his head and looked around the room at the students and worshippers who were gathered at his Nachalat Yitzhak Yeshiva, in the Bucharim neighborhood of Jerusalem. With a broad smile on his face familiar to his students when he has a revelation, he declared, “With the help of G-d, the soul of the Mashiach [i.e. “Messiah”] has attached itself to a person in Israel”.

Kaduri is 104 years old, and his esoteric mysticism is in no way otherworldly: back in 1996 he was part of the election campaign for the religious Shas party, blessing magical amulets for that purpose; he later split with Shas to create Ahavat Yisrael. But he has wider appeal: the Likud foreign minister Silvan Shalom recently presented Prince Charles with one of the Rabbi’s amulets as a wedding present. Kaduri is also a supporter of the unofficial “Sanhedrin” which was recently established by Israeli rightists, and he shares their detestation of democracy, as a quote in this document shows:

“The revolution has begun”, exclaimed the overwhelmed hundred-year-old kabbalistic rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri. “We want a monarchic regime in place of the current fascist regime which only pretends to be democratic. And we want the Temple of Jerusalem”.

Kaduri has also stated that Sharon will be the final prime minister.

(Some may be shocked by the use of the word “fascist”, but in fact rightist Israelis throw Nazi epithets around quite casually. While I was in Jerusalem in 1993-4, everywhere I looked there were posters with Yitzhak Rabin’s head superimposed on a Nazi uniform).

The Arutz Sheva report also gives Kaduri’s timetable for the Messiah’s appearance, based on his interpretations of the writings of a mystic known as the Vilna Gaon:

On September 24, 2001, Channel One Israel TV broadcast an item on what Torah and other mystics were saying in the wake of the World Trade Center attack. Speaking from the room adjacent to where Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri receives visitors, Arutz Sheva Hebrew radio showhost Yehoshua Meiri, a close confident of the Kabbalist, explained to the cameras Rabbi Kaduri’s understanding of the events based on the calculations of the Vilna Gaon: “On Hashanah Rabba, the actual war of Gog and Magog will commence and will last for some seven years,” said Meiri. [ Click here to view the Channel One clip in Hebrew and Rabbi Kaduri’s prediction communicated by Meiri at the 1:40 minute mark.]

Precise to the minute, 13 days later on October 7th as the sun was setting and the Jewish holiday of Hoshana Rabba was ushered in, US and British forces began an aerial bombing campaign targeting Taliban forces and Al-Qaida.

So, apparently, while the person who will be the Messiah is around at this moment, he will not actually become the Messiah until two more years have passed. But who will the “Messiah” be? Most likely, Kaduri is backing Rabbi Yosef Dayan, who claims to be the legitimate King of Israel, and who recently uttered a death curse against Sharon. But if the Messiah must be Sharon’s successor, perhaps Kaduri (pictured here) has a more likely candidate in mind…?