Rav Ariel Bar Tzadok is a very interesting man. He's an Orthodox Jew who was a student of one of Jerusalem's great Kabbalists. He studied Jungian psychology in New York. He's a martial artist and an avid owner of guns, swords and other weapons. He's lived in New York, Jerusalem, Chicago, around Los Angeles and now resides in rural eastern Tennessee with his family and pets, far from any Jewish (much less Orthodox) community.
He's also an authentic teacher of Jewish mysticism. These days he teaches on the Internet, via his web site (KosherTorah.com), open and private Webinars, and privately via the telephone and other communication media. He's also published at least four books (two of which are in-print) and numerous E-books. This review is for one of his E-books: "Daniel and the End of Days: Understanding Apocalyptic Literature & The End of Days".
The book has seventy-five pages, split into six chapters. It progresses through individual chapters that address Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the course of human history, Daniel's dream of the four beasts, Daniel's vision of the war between the two-horned ram and the unicorn goat, the prophecy of weeks, and finally a chapter on the heavenly Sanhedrin and the angelic wars, prophecy and the Angelic time continuum, the final battles, and the end and the transformations.
In his open forums he's stated that he believes that Jews who live in urban areas are setting themselves up to be caught in what might be the next holocaust, which (as he often repeats) is coming real soon. This may explain his move to eastern Tennessee, where he can live off the land, home school his kids, let his dog bark without bothering the neighbors and nurture his Internet yeshiva far away from the vicissitudes of brick-and-mortar Jewish communities. Perhaps it wouldn't be a stretch to call him a Jewish survivalist.
This in part may explain his interest in Daniel's End-of-Days prophecies.
Unusually for an Orthodox Jewish teacher, drawing on the Midrashic story of the head of Esau, he often expresses that the righteous people of all religions are beloved of God and have a role to play in determining the world's ultimate fate. He seems to welcome them as students, and being that the US is mostly Christian, some of his students (and probably all of his neighbors) are Christian. He addresses them when he teaches by sometimes referencing Christian scripture (including Matthew and Revelations), usually providing a Jewish perspective on their contents. This can be unsettling for Jewish students, because from a Jewish perspective the Christian scriptures are replete with errors. (It's very clear that Rav Bar Tzadok does not accept Christian theology in any way. It's also clear that he respects all good people without consideration of their religious beliefs.)
Rav Bar Tzadok seems to treat some books from the Jewish Apocrypha (books which are not part of the Jewish canon, like the Book of Enoch) as being acceptable Torah sources.
Trained as a Jungian, he doesn't understand Daniel's prophecies as being literal, but rather as often expressing the human collective unconscious and archetypes.
Rav Bar Tzadok sees Daniel's prophecies as being the first time God sets out his overall plan for the world. The plan revolves around political entities and their leaders. He believes that God communicates with the world's political leaders, both in the past and now.
For Rav Bar Tzadok angels are aliens, interdimensional beings, lizard-like, Watchers of all that humankind does, and agents of the Divine. Some of them, though, look like people, and those angels descended to Earth to father children with human mothers. According to Rav Bar Tzadok, these angels are a key focus of Daniel's prophecies. Angels and humans don't understand each other well.
Each nation here on Earth has an angel that embodies and commands it. When the angels of different nations go to war in their dimension, so do their human counterparts here below. All earthly wars are expressions of angelic wars. The wars described in Daniel are no exception.
Time doesn't flow for angels in the same way that it does for us in our world. And so Rav Bar Tzadok understands that in some cases, a single prophecy may apply in many different situations and time periods. He calls this "quantum prophecy", perhaps drawing on the uncertainty of the wave/particle dichotomy found in Physics. He applies this idea to understanding parts of Daniel's prophecies.
Rav Bar Tzadok believes that there are occult forces active in the world, and he calls them the "evil empire". They have been active since World War I in opposing God and the Jews, and are still active. For example, in one of his open forums he stated that the Nazis and the Tibetan Buddhists collaborated in World War II.
Towards the end of the book, Rav Bar Tzadok discusses Rav Avraham Azulay's book "Chessed L'avraham", where he describes what American Christians might recognize as something akin to the Christian Rapture and a transformation to a higher kind of being. It's reserved for the seven thousand Jews who endure hardships to emigrate from their home countries to Israel.
Though he acknowledges that he can not be certain, he sees the final confrontation being between the Christian West and the Muslim East.
He draws on many of the major commentaries in the revealed Torah, and a few esoteric mystical sources too.
I'm left with two questions. First, why does Rav Bar Tzadok write this in English for an Anglo audience? Second, if he feels that Daniel's end-of-days prophecies are starting to be be fulfilled now, why has he sequestered himself in eastern Tennessee rather than attempting to be counted among the elect seven thousand who emigrate to Israel?
Rav Bar Tzadok knows how to write and has much to teach. He self-publishes. As with many self-published books, this E-book has some awkward language that a good editor would have corrected, and a fair number of typos that a good proofreader would have caught. Those minor weaknesses don't diminish the value of what he has to say.