On the night of January 20, a super blood moon will pass over Washington D.C. Sunset that evening will also mark the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, also known as the New Year of the tree. Significantly, the day will also mark the halfway point of Donald Trump’s presidency, precisely two years since he was sworn into office.
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.
This astronomical phenomenon is described by the Prophet Joel as preceding the final 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” said, “Every aspect of our lives are from Hashem (God, literally ‘the name’) but sometimes it is more obvious than others,” Rabbi Fish told Breaking Israel News. “When nature does something unusual, like an eclipse, we should certainly pay heed.”
Rabbi Fish verified the connection between Tu B’Shevat and the 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, normally appearing in its fullness on Tu B’Shevat 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.”
But a lunar eclipse bears a potent message according to Jewish tradition. 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. If the face of the moon is like blood, the Talmud reads, then this is a sign of the “increasing of swords.”
The rabbi noted, however, that this upcoming lunar eclipse will not be visible in Israel.
“Nonetheless, the lunar eclipse over North America bears a message for the U.S. and the Jews,” Rabbi Fish told Breaking Israel News. “It clearly is telling the Jews that they need to come to Israel.”
“When an emissary is on a mission from the king, he is under the protection of the king,” Rabbi Fish said. “When a Jew does the will of God, he is protected. The Jews were sent into exile, dispersed throughout the world, to spread the light of Torah. As soon as that mission is over, they are no longer under the protection of the king.”
“According to the prophets, the end of days will signal the end of the kingdom of Edom,” Rabbi Fish said, referring to the nation descended from Biblical Jacob’s twin brother, Esau. Edom eventually evolved into the Roman Empire.
“This is the period we are entering now,” Rabbi Fish stated baldly, emphasizing that the Western nations are about to enter an extremely challenging era. “There will be great tragedies that will bring down governments and great human suffering. Only by doing God’s will can tragedies be avoided or lessened.”
“Anyone who is not Jewish can do God’s will wherever he is. For the Jews who are still in the exile, the only way they can avoid tragedy is by coming to Israel.”
“If any Jew was waiting for the last moment before leaving, this is it,” Rabbi Fish said.