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.