Chief rabbi of Russia says Jews on ‘eve of good times’, messiah here, Soviet victory a symbol of Jewish salvation

KAZAN, RUSSIA – MAY 11, 2021: Andrei Startsev, Father Superior of the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Metropolitan Kirill of Kazan and Tatarstan, and Yitzhak Gorelik (L-R), Chief Rabbi of Kazan and Tatarstan, take part in the 9th Republican Iftar held at the Kazan Expo Exhibition Centre. Iftar is the traditional evening meal during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. (Photo by Vladimir KrainovTASS via Getty Images)

Excerpts from an interview with Chief Rabbi of Kazan and Tartastan Yitzak Gorelik Russia in the Business Gazatte of Russia, January 22, 2016 Anno Domini. Translated from the Russian:

  • The Pope said last year that World War III had begun. Is this how you perceive world events?

“I will tell you how the Jews view these events. Everyone senses that something is happening. It can be called that, and in another way, but clearly something is happening. According to Jewish tradition, this happens on the eve of good times.”

  • Do you think that the Messiah or in Hebrew the Mashiach came?

“The Mashiach is coming. He is already on the doorstep. According to Kabbalah, the Mashiach is already in the world, and these global events are associated with it. And when he appears, the wars will end. But this is already included in the secrets of Kabbalah …

“For all of us, ordinary people, something will change in consciousness. Thirty years ago, no one in Russia would have believed that a time would come when synagogues would open and a rabbi would be invited for an interview in a newspaper. Not only did they not dream about it, but they could not even imagine it. Only a few decades have passed, and today we can no longer understand how we lived without it before ?! But changes have taken place, and, thank God, no war. And we believe that everything can change for the better all over the world.”

  • What do you think is the role of Russia for Jews?

“I see how Victory Day is celebrated here in Russia. This day is special for Jews as well. It is like a symbol of salvation. Perhaps, officially it cannot be called that, but for us May 9 is the same as the day of the salvation of the Jewish people, deliverance from great trouble.”

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