This Wednesday evening, a rare confluence of astronomical events resulting in a “super blue blood moon” for parts of the world will accompany the beginning of an auspicious day of the Hebrew calendar, which is Tu B’Shvat (the 15th day of the month of Shvat), the arboreal New Year.
A “supermoon” occurs when the moon is at its perigee, the point in its month-long elliptical orbit which 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. A “blood moon” is a result of atmospheric conditions that give the moon a reddish tint, which usually occurs during a lunar eclipse. A blue moon is when two full moons occur within one Gregorian calendar month.
In contrast with regular blue moons that occur every two and a half years, a super-blue-blood moon is extremely rare. The last time such an incident took place was in 1866, as noted by Pastor Mark Biltz, head of El Shaddai Ministries and author of the bestselling book on the subject titled “Blood Moons.”
“The next one is on July 27, which is Tu B’Av or the fifteenth of Av on the biblical calendar,” Biltz told WND, an online Christian news outlet. “The next one is January 21, 2019 – which just so happens to be Tu B’Shevat again!”
This astronomical phenomenon is described by the Prophet Joel as preceding days of judgment.
Before the great and terrible day of Hashem comes, I will set portents in the sky and on earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke; The sun shall turn into darkness And the moon into blood. But everyone who invokes the name of Hashem shall escape; for there shall be a remnant on Mount Tzion and in Yerushalayim, as Hashem promised. Anyone who invokes Hashem will be among the survivors. Joel 3:3-5
Rabbi Yekutiel Fish, known in Israel as the author of the Torah blog “Sod Ha’Chashmal,” verified the connection between Tu B’Shvat and the super-blue-blood moon, explaining the special significance for the moon in Kabbalistic (Jewish mystical) terms.
“The moon represents the feminine,” Rabbi Fish explained to Breaking Israel News. “The masculine, known in Kabbalah as ‘Yesod’, is usually represented by the sun.”
“Trees are the masculine representation of the moon, appearing in its fullness on Tu B’Shvat since it falls in the middle of the month,” he elaborated. “The holiday is a symbolic meeting of the sun and the moon, the masculine and the feminine, in a balanced manner.”
The rabbi cited the Talmud (Sukkah 29a) which states that a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for Israel since the Jewish people bases its calendar in accordance with the lunar cycle. The rabbi noted, however, that this upcoming lunar eclipse will not be visible in Israel.
“This lunar eclipse will miss Israel by a few minutes, but it will be visible in the nearby Arab nations,” Rabbi Fish said. “Lunar eclipses are interpreted as a bad omen for Israel, but this eclipse will not be visible in Israel. It will, however, be visible in the Arab nations to the east.
According to Rabbi Fish, this does not bode well for Israel’s neighboring Arab countries.
“That is a bad omen for them since Islam relies entirely upon a lunar calendar,” he added.
The Muslim calendar can be described as a bit “unbalanced” since it is entirely based on the lunar cycle. As a result, is not synchronized with the solar seasons. The month-long fast of Ramadan, for example, can fall in the summer when the daytime fast is quite long, or in the winter when the duration of the fast is relatively short.
Unlike the Islamic calendar, the Jewish calendar is partially dependent on the Sun. Certain Biblical holidays must fall within specific solar seasons such as Passover, which must always be celebrated in the springtime.
“The moon, representing the feminine, will be conspicuously absent, making them unbalanced, which is a dangerous condition,” Rabbi Fish added.