We know that the yetzer tov can use its opposite, the yetzer ha-ra, for its own purposes, either by shelo lishmah, or as described in the article "Light from Darkness" (See p.180).  We learn this from the saying: "You shall love Hashem... with all your heart-- with both your inclinations, the good and the bad.
    It may not be realized that the yetzer ha-ra can use the yetzer ha-tov for its own purposes, too.
    Say the yetzer ha-ra causes a person to sin, and the yetzer ha-tov then counterattacks by giving him conscience-pangs. The person suffers from the contradictions within himself.  The yetzer ha-ra may tempt him to rid himself of the contradictions and silence the voice of conscience by self-deception and radical denial.  This means that he decides to reverse his values and henceforth to consider the bad as good and the false as true. The yetzer ha-ra has succeeded in converting the demand of the yetzer ha-tov into a factor leading to denial and heresy. 
    This is the meaning of the saying of our Rabbis:  "It is not enough for the wicked that they have not turned the yetzer ha-ra into yetzer tov; they have even turned the yetzer tov into yetzer ra'."
    The lesson is that one has to look very carefully at the demands of the yetzer tov.  One has to refine them, select them, and see that they lead promptly to practical results.  If not, one might wake up one morning and find that the yetzer ha-tov has lost its voice.
    It is all too easy to forget the true perspective and adopt the opposite view.  This is the one that has many names--"practical," "realistic," "progressive"; but whose real name is nothing more nor less than: "false."
    The result may be that the person finds he is --at least temporarily--at peace with himself.  But may God preserve us from that kind of peace!
(Strive for Truth, Rabbi Eliyahu E. Dessler, volume 2 p. 95)



The Jewish Idea (The Time of the Redemption) p. 907-909

In the era of Redemption, Ishmael  will rise up and become strong while still hating Isaac, Jacob and their descendants.  They will provoke kings and nations, while the world is sinking into a chaos of wars and tragedies.  We have already quoted Pesikta Rabbati (Kumi Ori, 36):

R. Yitzchak said, “The year the Messianic king is revealed… Persia will provoke Arabia, Arabia will go to Edom to take counsel from them, and then Persia will go back and destroy the whole world… Israel will be in a tumultuous panic, asking ‘Where shall we go? What shall we do?’”

The Holy Zohar, likewise, often states that the Ishmaelites  will attack the Jewish people and Eretz Yisrael in the end of days. The Zohar, Bereshit, 119a, teaches, “At that time, the Ishmaelites will be aroused together with all the nations of the world to attack Jerusalem.” The Zohar further teaches (Vaera, 32a, part of which was quoted previously):

The Ishmaelites shall long have control over the Holy Land when it is empty… and will deter Israel  from returning to their place… In the future, they will stir up major wars, and Edom’s descendants will gather against them and wage war on them—one on the sea, one on dry land, and one near Jerusalem. They will employ great force against each other, and the Holy Land will not be given over to Edomite control.

Thus the wars of Ishmael will be against Israel and will also be part of the series of wars between the nations.  All this will occur in an age of global collapse, which G-d will bring in order to punish the nations, sanctify His profaned name, defeat and eradicate false gods and religions, and publicize His Oneness to all the world.  The central theme of that age will be G-d’s  confrontation with the nations’ deities and religions, and Israel are duty-bound to clarify this point publicly.  Only when the world understands that the confrontation is religious, will they note the collapse of all the untrue faiths. On that day, “the L-rd shall be King over all the earth” (Zecharia 14:9); He shall be one and His name one” (Ibid.) “For the kingdom is the L-rd, He is ruler over the nations” (Psalms 22:29) – and over their gods.

The first redemption from Egypt was this way.  As our sages said (Tanchuma, Vaera, 13), “Why did the water get smitten first with blood?  Because Pharaoh and the Egyptians used to worship the river.  G-d said to Moses, ‘First smite their god in their presence, and then smite them.’” They also said (Mechilta, Beshalach, Mesechta DeShira, 2):

When Israel saw (Egypt’s) angelic prince fall, they began praising G-d.  It therefore says  “Exaltation on the sea” (Ex. 15:1).  Just so, G-d is not going to punish the nations in the future until He punishes their angelic princes, as it says,  “On that day, the L-rd shall punish the host of the high ones on high” (Isaiah 24:21), and only then, “and the kings of the earth” (Ibid.).  It also says,  “How have you fallen from Heaven, O bright star, son of the morning!” (Ibid., 14:12), and only then,  “How have you been cut down to the ground, you who ruled over the nations” (Ibid.).  We also find, “For my sword is sated in Heaven” (Ibid. 34:5), and only then,  “Behold it shall come down on Edom” (Ibid.).  (See Tanchuma, Beshalach, 13 for a similar source.)

Mechilta teaches (Ibid. 9), “Nations heard and shuttered’ (Ex. 15:14).  Once the nations heard that Pharoah and his hosts had died at the sea, that Egypt was eliminated and that its deities had been punished, they began to shudder.” Our sages also said, (Tanchuma, Mishpatim, 18):

“I destroyed the Amorites before you… I will destroy their fruit from above” means their angelic prince, and  “their roots from below” means the Amorites.  G-d will, likewise, do the same in the  future.  He will first punish the nations’ angelic princes and only then their earthly kings.

The Jewish people are duty-bound to clarify for themselves and proclaim to the world that the confrontation between themselves and Ishmael is between the G-d of Israel and the false religion called Islam.  The confrontation of the redemption era must constitute a collision between our G-d and theirs.  Then G-d’s victory will be the height of Kiddush Hashem and proof of His greatness and unparalleled might, and will establish His reign over the world.

Should a frightened coward whisper to you that such a proclamation is likely to heap tragedy and destruction upon the Jewish People, send him back where he came from.  Do not let him spread his fear.  Surely, it is Israel’s duty to sanctify G-d’s name and make the world understand that “the L-rd is G-d”; there is none besides Him” (Deut. 4:35). Whoever  has reservations about this and intentionally ignores his duty out of fear, letting the false religions rule the world, profanes G-d’s name and is partner to blasphemy.

Surely the false religions are undeterred from proclaiming their “truth”. Neither Christians nor Moslems fear confrontation with other religions, and they demonstrate their views publicly, aggressively trying to reach and convert members of other faiths, including the Jewish People—Heaven help us.  The Ishmaelites speak openly about the greatness of their religion, never hesitating to talk of waging holy war for it’s sake.

By contrast, not only do a lion’s share of Jews, including the impoverished regime in Eretz Yisrael, reject the truth of Torah, but they allow the false religions to influence our Jewish brethren to  change their faith, and do not deport them form the Holy Land.  Our policy must be to demonstrate that the confrontation is and will remain religious, a struggle between G-d  and the god of the nations, between G-d’s Torah and alien culture and beliefs.  That they find the very thought of this illegitimate, insane and abominable, is our main problem. For the Ishmaelites’ pious faith, in face of Jewish heresy and apathy, we will ultimately pay a heavy price – Heaven help us!

We must praise the Master of all, and turn our thoughts and actions to understanding the truth—that there is a war going on between G-d’s Torah and false beliefs.  In this way, we will lift our eyes to the mountains, as King David said, “I will lift my eyes to the mountains (harim).  From whence will my help come?” (Psalms 121:1).  Bereshit RAbbah, 68:2, comments, “I will lift my eyes to the patriarchs (horim, literally “parents”), my teachers and masters.”

There is a spiritual war happening across the entire world between good and evil.  Good being the truth of Torah and evil being all false belief systems. We need to understand that we are at war and we are soldiers of Hashem. The teachings of our forefathers and our Sages are our weapons in this war.


"No matter which level one is on, the underlying principle of Yiras Shamayim is the same.  It is an awareness that moral relativism is a myth. There are absolute rights, and absolute wrongs, and there are consequences for our actions.

Other religions teach that if you have a loving relationship with their deity or deities then you can buy or confess your way out of even the most serious of sins.  That is not Judaism.  Judaism teaches that you can't buy your way out of sins.  The prophets repeatedly warned the Jews who lived in the Temple era that they could not storm into the Temple Courtyard, offer sacrifices and then return home to a lifestyle that ran counter to Hashem's will. Sacrifices offered by people who live their lives with the same lack of spiritual growth and achievement as the animals they sacrifice are worthless.  Sacrifices are part of a lifestyle.  If the sacrifice fits with everything else that one does, it causes Heavenly satisfaction.  But one cannot say,  "Hashem, look at what I am willing to sacrifice for You.  Please let me get away with A,B, and C."  No matter how loving a relationship you have with Hashem, you must still follow each of His commandments.  

A ye'rei Shamayim knows that since right and wrong are not randomly chosen, they cannot be summarily dismissed.  Hashem's love for us and ours for Him will not make up for a corrupt of careless lifestyle.  Realities remain realities under all circumstances, in all generations, and at all times."
( The Six Constant Mitzvos, Artscroll Series)