Before them earth trembles, Heaven shakes, Sun and moon are darkened, And stars withdraw their brightness. Joel 2:10 (The Israel Bible™)
Avid readers of Breaking Israel News should not have been surprised by last week’s earthquakes in California: That’s because BIN published an article in December of 2018, citing a rabbinic source pointing to the super blood moon over Washington D.C. as a sign that the upcoming year will be marked by increased volcanic activity. In this article, BIN revisits that source to investigate what the recent earthquakes themselves portend.
On January 21, 2019, the first lunar eclipse of the year was visible in its entirety from North and South America, as well as portions of western Europe and northwest Africa. The evening of the eclipse was also a supermoon; when the moon was at its perigee, the point in its month-long elliptical orbit that brings it closest to Earth. At that time, the moon appears up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than at its apogee, its furthest point from Earth. It was also a blood moon in which the moon has a distinctly reddish tint.
The holiday of Tu B’shvat, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, began at sundown on the same day. Known as the new year of the trees, Tu B’Shvat is one of four “New Years” mentioned in the Mishnah (the oral law).
In December, the day before the lunar eclipse appeared over the White House, BIN published an article in which Rabbi Mordechai Genut discussed the events in his book Davar B’ito, a guide to the calendar based on esoteric Jewish sources.
“A lunar eclipse in the month of Shevat is a sign of the rise of the aspect of din (judgment) in the world,” Rabbi Genut told Breaking Israel News. “This eclipse will rule over the Americas but for Israel, it will bring chesed (loving-kindness).”
“There will be a marked increase in earthquakes and volcanoes, even more than we have seen in the past year,” Rabbi Genuth said. “Just as the eclipse is a conflict between the sun and the moon to rule over the heavens, there will be a similar conflict on earth. This will begin a time when governments are in balance. Some governments that seem powerful right now will fall and others will rise in their place.”
The biblical source
Rabbi Genut bases this on a verse in Isaiah.
In that day, Hashem will punish The host of heaven in heaven And the kings of the earth on earth. Isaiah 24:21
This verse correlated astronomical events with “earth on earth” events, i.e. earthquakes. Rabbi Genuth’s book used Jewish sources to make sense of these connections.
It is important to note that Rabbi Genuth’s sompendium of prophecies also predicted that the total solar eclipse that transversed the continental U.S. in the summer of 2017 would precede a period of intense storms. Indeed, one week after the eclipse the most devastating hurricane season in US history began.
Rabbi Genuth’s approach to eclipses is based in Jewish sources which interpret the significance of solar and lunar eclipses. In its discussion of eclipses, the Talmud (Sukkot 29a) specifically described solar eclipses as being a bad omen for the nations.
It all comes together
Just like the intense period in December, last week saw a confluence of several natural events that beg interpretation. The first of two major earthquakes that hit California last week came on Thursday, on the eve of Rosh Chodesh, the day signaling the beginning of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. Rosh Chodesh by definition occurs on the new moon. Also, on Tuesday last week, a solar eclipse crossed the southern Pacific Ocean, visible from New Zealand to the Coquimbo Region in Chile and Central Argentina at sunset.
The seismic events were a source of alarm for the residents of Southern California who fear instability in the San Andreas Fault. Two decades of serenity were dispelled in one weekend.
What it all means
Since the prediction in December proved to be accurate, BIN revisited the source to see what the earthquakes portend. This remarkable prediction by Rabbi Genuth was brought to BIN by Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion.
“Rabbi Genuth repeated what he wrote about the lunar eclipse in Shevat; that if there is a solar eclipse on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, there will be earthquakes,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel Newsquoting Rabbi Genuth’s book. “‘On the third day (Tuesday) there will be a solar eclipse that will be visible in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, from East to West, as well as much of South America.”
Rabbi Genuth cites several esoteric sources that agree that this solar eclipse in this particular season portended one outcome.
The good news and the bad news
“This will be accompanied by the death of livestock like was seen as a plague in Egypt, fevers and disease, and dry hot winds,” Rabbi Begrer quoted. “But the most devastating result will be a multitude of wars. If a war breaks out in the month of Tammuz, it will be between two kings. In the end, one king will defeat the other and he will be secure on his throne.”
“Israel has nothing to fear from all this,” Rabbi Berger emphasized. “We were given the Torah and it is upon us to fulfill the commandments. If we do as we should, then Jews in Israel have nothing to fear. And everything can be fixed through Tshuvah (repentance).”