An Israeli rabbi predicted 55 years ago that a full-scale war between Arabs--including the use of chemical and germ warfare--would erupt during the upcoming Jewish holiday of Succoth and that the messianic age would begin after the battles end.
Portions of the predictions by the late Rabbi Haim Shvili, described as a seer and mystic, were published in the Jerusalem Post today and in Thursday's ultra-Orthodox weekly Yom Hashishi.
Shvili's predictions in 1935 were published in 1964 in his book, "Reckonings of Redemption."
Analyzing prophetic sections of the Bible, Shvili wrote that the chronology of Daniel along with predictions in Ezekiel 38 and 39, Joel 4 and Zechariah 14 indicated a great war would break out during the Succoth holiday of the Jewish year 5751, which began last week. This year, the harvest festival of Succoth begins at sundown Oct. 3.
According to the newspapers' accounts of his book, Shvili predicted the war would coincide with a great earthquake in Jerusalem and the destruction of Muslim and Christian homes. The city also would be bombed from the air and shelled by land and its residents would be prisoners for several hours or days.
But Shvili also predicted that, after the war, Jerusalem would reign supreme and the city would become a center of tourism, pilgrimage and Jewish religious learning.