The Last Battle


The End of Days occupies a much more central place in Christian theology than in Jewish thought. Judaism, for the most part, is more concerned with the present day than the final days.

Perhaps we don’t think too much about the End because some Jewish visions of the apocalypse are just so weird. According to the Talmud, the highlight is an Ultimate Fighting Championship of unprecedented proportions: The Leviathan, a giant sea-beast, will fight with the shor habor, an equally giant wild ox (Babylonian Talmud, Baba Batra 74b).

God will witness the battle, and all the people who were righteous will have front-row seats. The Leviathan and the shor habor will kill each other–and then God will actually sheht (kosher-slaughter) them both. The meat will be served to the spectators in a sukkah large enough to hold them all–with its walls made out of the leviathan’s skin (Leviticus Rabbah 13:3).

Now that’s the kind of barbeque nobody would want to miss.

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