1) I read on Soul Mazal, the following:

"...The Vilna Gaon on the Mechilta (Shmos 14:20) says that the Gog U'Magog war shall begin three hours before "Hanetz Hachama" (crack of dawn) on Hoshana Rabba, and shall last three hours only.

Where in the Mechilta does the Vilna Gaon say this?

2) I read on mpaths the following:

It is also a verifiable prediction that according to Rav Yitzchak Kaduri's (zt”l) quotation of the Vilna Gaon that the final battle of Gog and Magog would begin on Hoshanah Rabba, the 7th day of Sukkot, in the first year of a Shmittah (Sabbatical) cycle.

Where did the Vilna Gaon say this?

3) I read an article called A Jewish Perspective of the War of Gog and Magog, which said the following:

Gog (12) and Magog (58) have a gematria (numeric value) of seventy which corresponds to the 70 nations Midrash Tanchuma, Korach 12. This seems to imply that Gog will rule over 70 nations, and all of them will join together against Israel (see Tehillim 118:110 and Zecharyah 14:2).

Then the article continues:

"On this great day [of redemption], however, they will be saved from all of their enemies for all times = therefore, it will be called Hoshana Rabba, the great salvation... The Tur Arizal says, "On Hoshanah Rabbah, the war of Gog and Magog will begin." (Paraphrased)

Does anyone where the source for this can be found?

Where does the Tur Arizal say this?

  • I don't know, but Israel National News is not known for its accuracy or precision. Oct 1, 2015 at 18:27
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    The Tur (Orach Chaim 490) writes in the name of Rav Hai Gaon that the war will break out on Sukkos. See, however, Malbim to Ezek. 39:8 who writes that the timing of that war was never revealed to any prophet. Oct 1, 2015 at 18:37
  • There are 3 parts to the war of Gog miGog. This is based upon Midrash Tehillim. The first part coincides with the Holocaust and the detonation of the nuclear weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is alluded to in Tikkuninim Chadashim of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato. It is also following the schedule of the redemption as outlined in Sefer Avkat Rochel of Rabbeinu Makir ben Abba Mori. The 2nd stage corresponds to Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. The 3rd and final stage called Operation Iraqi Freedom and the War in Afghanistan is what was mentioned by Rav Kaduri. Oct 2, 2015 at 14:52
  • Quite a lot of this type of information from the Vilna Gaon is the oral tradition from his students. A recent example is seen from this link. lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2014/03/… Oct 2, 2015 at 14:56
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    @Nic “... and Magog” = ומגוג (not clear in OP) = 58
    – Oliver
    Feb 7, 2019 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


The writing from the Vilna Gaon are most likely referring to the sealed letter which the Gaon wanted opened 100 years after his passing. It can be found in the Rav Menachem Kasher edition of Sefer Kol HaTor entitled "HaTekufah HaGadolah". It was published in 1972 and is still available in print. This schedule is also discussed in Sefer Kol HaTor. The Arutz Sheva article in question was actually quoting Rav Yitzchok Kaduri, zt"l, who said what you have mentioned. Rav Kaduri said the 3rd and final stage of the war of Gog u'Magog began on October 7th, Hoshana Rabba of the year 2001 with commencement of the bombing of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The link is: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/91417

The information is accurate and correct. This would also follow the tradition from the Tur, Orach Chaim 490 said in the name of Hai Gaon which says:

והכי אמר רב האי שמעתי מפי חכמים כי תחיית המתים עתידה להיות בניסן ונצחת גוג ומגוג בתשרי

This view was not only held by Rav Kaduri. For those who remember, the nascent Sanhedrin produced a scroll that was to be delivered to then President George Bush warning him that he was the one foretold in the Prophets in the Tanach as being Gog mi'Gog. This scroll warned clearly that Bush needed to support Israel or G-d would deal with him severely. The following links relate to this subject:













Yes, that is Rav Adin Even Yisroel Steinsaltz acting as Nasi of the Nascent Sanhedrin reading and signing the Megillat Bush/The Gog u'Magog Scroll.

I have been looking through the Vilna Gaon's commentary on the Mechilta and have found nothing that explicitly states what is being asked. The commentary is called "Biyurim v'Haga'ot HaGra". I also checked his commentary "Kol Eliyahu" on Tanach. It is possible there is some larger, more comprehensive commentary.

What I have found is only an explanation of what the Mechilta itself says. Namely that the final redemption will parallel the redemption from Egypt. In this particular case, the splitting of the Red Sea and all the details of this are associated with the final stage of the conflict in the War of Gog miGog. This is explicitly associated with chapter 60 of Isaiah at the beginning. It also relates this to what happened with the judgement of Sodom and Gemorrah.

A little later in the Mechilta it mentions the view of Rabbi Eliezer who says that although the exodus from Egypt was in the month of Nisan, for various reasons, the final redemption will be in Tishrei. The Gra there doesn't say how he holds. He just explains Rabbi Eliezer's reasoning.

The judgement of the nations is sealed and execution begins from Hoshannah Rabbah. That is the explicit teaching of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai as found in the Zohar on parshat Tzav.

So in context, if this judgement with Gog u'Magog parallels the timing of the splitting of the Red Sea, it would seem to be shortly before daybreak.

Looking simply at the timing, the beginning of the bombing in Afghanistan in the 2nd Gulf War started the night of Hoshannah Rabbah. That complies with the plain meaning from the Mechilta as understood by the Vilna Gaon.

This is also the explanation of how the final redemption unfolds as discussed in Sefer Avkat Rochel of Rabbi Makir ben Abba Mari, volume 1, Wars of King Moshiach, 8th sign. This is also brought in Targum Yonatan ben Uziel on Devarim 34:3.

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    Why would Bush be Gog? Just because Gog sounds like George? Oct 2, 2015 at 0:23
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    Where is this letter located? If it is in Kol Hator, it is known that the sefer is not trustworthy. Oct 2, 2015 at 1:32
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    @Emetv'Shalom, Don't forget the "Sanhedrin" which he is referring to. I don't know anyone who held it to be authentic or in any way appropriate without semichat Moshe Rabbeinu. Oct 2, 2015 at 1:37
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    Yaacov, the source for that paragraph is the Sanhedrin's own website. I'll ask my rav and gabbai over Shabbat for their opinions b"n. Oct 2, 2015 at 13:57
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    @NoachmiFrankfurt: Another detailed accounting of the Sanhedrin formation can be found at the following link. It should be read for a complete picture. thesanhedrin.org/en/index.php?title=The_Nascent_Sanhedrin Oct 2, 2015 at 14:33

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