Putin and Torah, 18 March, 2022; 15 Adar-B , 5782.
Vladimir Putin's talking up of the use of nuclear weapons reminds one of the principle milchama nami ischalta d'geulah (Megillah 17) ["War is the Beginning of Redemption," Talmud, Medillah 17b].
Fortunately Putin, who was once a KGB colonel, and has become a fervent born-again Russian Orthodox Xtian who talks apocalyptically of martyrdom with his enemies if Russia is attacked, seems to to be a Judophile.
Yechezkel-Ezekiel 38 and traditions from the Vilna Gaon, R.Dovid Luria, R.Shimshon of Ostropol and R.Moshe Shternbuch, indicate that war involving the Black Sea, Russia, Moscow, Tobolsk, Turkey, the Bosphorus, Dardanelles, Crimea, and the Strait of Kerch might be portents of Moshiach [the Messiah]. The name 'Ukraine' derives from Ekron in the Tenach, the original Ukrainians being of Philistine origin ("Sefer Hadras Chen," R. Noach Weintraub), and who in the future are destined to be uprooted - Ekron te'aker (Tzfaniya 2: "Ekron will be uprooted").
"For a fire is kindled in My nostrils that will burn to the depths of She'ol, and devour the earth and her produce and will set ablaze the foundations of the mountains" (Devorim -Deuteronomy 32). R. Boruch Horovitz stated that a brocho [blessing] should be instituted after every Shacharis [Morning Prayer] that there hasn't yet been a nuclear war! "The USA must double and redouble its production of atomic bombs!" (R. Avigdor Miller 1984).
Chassidus refers to the infinite chochmah [wisdom] of Hashem that is concentrated in matter as being the koach mah - "the potentiality of what is." The release of the vast energy in the atomic nucleus is a mere remez [hint] of this potential. Midrash Shir Hashirim 2 speaks of the Moshiach coming in a generation deserving of destruction, and indeed that will be capable of destroying itself.
"The L-rd empties the earth and makes it waste and utterly despoiled.....the earth mourns and withers, the world languishes and fades away..... the earth also is defiled under its inhabitants; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left....... desolation is left in the city and the gate is battered to ruins" (Yeshaya-Isaiah 24).
"A noise shall reach even to the ends of the earth; for the L- rd has a quarrel with the nations . . . evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the L-rd shall be on that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground" (Yirmiya-Jeremiah 25).
"And it shall come to pass that in all the earth two-thirds shall die . . . and I will bring the third through the fire and refine them . . . and this will be the punishment of the nations . . . their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth" (Zecharya 13 & 14). "Damascus will cease being a city: it will be a heap of ruins" (Yeshaya 17). "....fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup" (Tehillim-Psalms 11).
With the power of the atom bomb a person can be standing, and then in the next second before he hits the ground, be completely consumed. Before the atom bomb, no weapon had the capability of such destruction: "The war of Gog and Magog will last 12 minutes" (Vilna Gaon).
At the time when warships will come to attack Ashur and Ever (Syria and Iran?), Bilom in his last prophecy (Bamidbar-Numbers 24) wailed, Oy mi yichyeh misumo E-l , "Woe! Who will survive when G-d does this?"
"Near the time of the Geulah, all that will be left of the empire of Russia will be a little tree on a little hill!" (R.Nachman of Breslov).
May soon be fulfilled Hashem's promise: "Behold I will create a new Heaven and a new Earth; and the former one will not be remembered nor even come to mind!" (Yeshaya 65)