“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
The Hebrew year of 5775 (2014-2015) ends on the evening of September 13, when Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins. 5775 was a year of great turmoil and change in the Middle East and the entire world, including the rise of ISIS, the Iran nuclear deal and countless Biblical events which point to a time of even more upheaval in the near future. Let’s take a look back at the biggest Breaking Israel News stories of 5775.
In March, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem announced that it had finished constructing an altar for the not-yet-built Third Temple, made to exact Biblical specifications and requirements. The altar, a central component for Biblical sacrifice, can be made operational in a moment’s notice as Jerusalem anticipates the building of the Third Temple.
Breaking Israel News took a look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and noticed an unmistakable trend: each attempt at working towards a peace deal was immediately followed by a natural disaster, political scandal, or stock market drop.
Last December, the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) debated over removing all references to “Israel” from its prayers, arguing that the Biblical and liturgical “land of Israel” was not the same as the modern Israeli state and that the existing language was “inflammatory” and “hurtful” to some members of the church. Investigations revealed that PCUSA, which last year withdrew all investments from American companies doing business with Israel, had also held meetings with known Hezbollah terrorists.
As the holiday of Passover approached in April, mystical Israeli rabbi Amram Vaknin, known for his accurate prophecies of war in Israel, predicted that the third blood moon (full eclipse) in the current tetrad coinciding with the Passover holiday indicated that Israel was in great danger. He called on the Jewish people to repent and pray for the coming of the Messiah. On the same day the article was published, the P5+1 powers concluded negotiating the framework of the Iran nuclear deal.
As the passing of the Iran nuclear deal began to seem more and more likely, a high-ranking senior IDF officer revealed that the IDF had the full capacity to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if necessary. Leaked intelligence confirmed that an Israeli strike on Iran had been planned in 2012 but aborted last-minute.
A self-declared Sanhedrin, a council made up of 71 Jewish sages which was active in Biblical times but never re-established until today, sent a summons to Pope Francis demanding that he rescind his official recognition of the Palestinian state and apologize or risk trial. The Sanhedrin accused the Pope of persecution and anti-Semitism, and tried him in absentia on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem.
Jewish rabbis and scholars pointed out that the dates associated with the Iran nuclear deal lined up exactly with two significant time periods in the Jewish calendar, leading to the realization that it was not merely an event of global significance, but of Biblical proportions. The deal was first signed on July 14 during the Three Weeks of mourning, when Jews grieve for the destruction of Temple. Congress’s vote on whether or not to pass the deal will fall during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, when all of creation is judged by God on the deeds of the past year.
Israel was shocked and dismayed when the US Supreme Court sided with US President Barack Obama in refusing to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, ending a 10-year court case over a passport which had gained international attention. The government’s claim that recognizing Jerusalem as part of Israel “would critically compromise the ability of the United States to work with Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region to further the peace process” raised alarms that the administration intended to negotiate for a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem.
In August, a horrifying document published by the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) revealed the group’s apocalyptic vision: a six-phase plan beginning with its conquests in Syria and Iran and ending in “open, worldwide warfare” against all non-Muslims.
A leading Orthodox rabbi has begun urging Jews all over the world to return to Israel in anticipation of the Messiah, whom he believes will come at the “end of the shmittah (sabbatical) year”. The current sabbatical year ends on Sunday evening. Rabbi Kanievsky’s message caught fire, spreading far and wide throughout communities around the world.