Over the weekend, Palestinians in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, and Israel responded with strategic attacks on terrorist camps.

It’s happened before and likely will again.

But a prominent rabbi warns that one of these times, it’s not going to end easily, because it will be the End Times war of Gog and Magog, prophesied in the Bible.

“The First World War was set off by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. The 2014 War in Gaza was set off by the murder of three young boys,” Rabbi Pinchas Winston said in a report in Breaking Israel News.

“The same is true for the War of Gog and Magog but even more so.”

He said that battle “could be more horrifying than anything we could ever imagine.”

The Israel Defense Forces has responded with counterattacks on known terrorist enclaves.

But Winston said that any student of history knows “that hindsight is 20-20 but in the moment, you never know what can set off a war.”

He said it’s not something for which preparations are made.

“Unlike conventional wars that are the result of politics, the War of Gog and Magog won’t be the logical outcome of our actions. It is Hashem’s (God, literally ‘the name’) way of building up our faith and trust in him in the final days. He wants us to be ready for anything because Moshiach (Messiah) is unlike anything that came before,” he said in the BIN report.

“There are some descriptions of what the War of Gog and Magog might possibly be like,” he explained, referring to a description by Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who two centuries ago predicted it will last 12 minutes and encompass the world.

“That was inconceivable at the time but now we can envision that as being realistic,” Winston told BIN. “There are many aspects described in prophecy that skeptics say are impossible. It is all part of the bigger plan.

“Gog and Magog is unavoidable but how or when it manifests will depend on our relationship with God leading up to it,” he said. “We can sweeten the judgment to the point where we barely notice the war. Or it could be more horrifying than anything we could ever imagine.”

The report by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz also explained Rabbi Rafi Peretz, a former chief rabbi of the IDF, says the military’s operational parameters are different from those guiding other armies.

“In almost every way, the IDF is like every other army in the world, he said. “Of course, we have a framework for educating our soldiers in military values, striving to make the IDF a moral army. We also emphasize the love of our nation and our land. Other armies do this as well but for the IDF, this takes on a unique form since this is our homeland from the time of the patriarchs.”

But he cited its religious component. For example, many soldiers in the 2012 war in Gaza requested the tzitzit, a four-cornered fringed religious garment, to wear into battle.

“The IDF is clear about its unique status as the army of Israel. These are not simply Torah concepts that only speak to religious soldiers,” he said.

And Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the spokesman for the nascent Sanhedrin, said the way Jews wage war also is unique.

“There are many laws in the Torah about how to wage war,” he told Breaking Israel News. “They are no less important than keeping kosher or keeping the Sabbath.”

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