In two weeks, Jews around the world will read the Megillah (Book of Esther) and celebrate the holiday of Purim. On the same evening they are celebrating victory over the archetypal evil personified by Haman, a supermoon will appear in the heavens. Several rabbis agree that a rare confluence of events is especially auspicious for the unfolding of the Messiah.
A supermoon occurs when the full moon coincides with the perigee — the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit — resulting in a larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as viewed from Earth. A full moon at perigee appears roughly 14% larger in diameter than at apogee and appears up to 30 percent brighter. Supermoons usually appear 3-4 times each year.
The Purim supermoon will be the final in a series of three consecutive full-moon/ supermoons. The next appearance of supermoons will also be a triad, culminating on the night before Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).
Purim also coincides with the vernal (spring) equinox when the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north. On the equinox, the day and night are each about 12 hours in length everywhere on Earth.
Joy Brings Redemption
Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, was overjoyed to hear of the upcoming confluence of astronomical events with Purim.
“This ‘supermoon,’ as it is called, is a very good sign for Israel,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. Rabbi Berger explained that the opposite of a supermoon, a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for Israel.
Rabbi Berger cited a Judaism tradition of interpreting solar and lunar eclipses. In its discussion of eclipses, the Talmud (Sukkot 29a) specifies that lunar eclipses are a bad omen for Israel since Israel is spiritually represented by the moon and the Hebrew calendar is figured by the lunar cycles.
“This is especially true on Purim which signifies a great victory by Israel over evil and the beginning of redemption,” Rabbi Berger said. “Jews are commanded to be happy in the month of Adar because it is the beginning of all redemption. We begin Purim and then go directly into Passover, signifying the Exodus from Egypt.”
The rabbi noted that this year is a leap year, accomplished in the Hebrew calendar by an additional month of Adar.
“Redemption cannot come from anger or hatred,” Rabbi Berger said. “Redemption is brought through happiness. This year, instead of just one month of happiness we had two. And the moon will appear extra large on the holiday that begins the period of redemption.”
Rabbi Berger is in contact with several hidden tzaddikim (righteous people) whose identities are known to only a few rabbis. Last Shabbat (Saturday,i.e. the Sabbath) Rabbi Berger paid a visit to one of these hidden tzadddikim and before he even had a chance to say a word, the holy man began to laugh in joy.
“He told me that we are very, very, VERY close to geulah (redemption),” Rabbi Berger said. “He has never acted or spoken like this before. He said that in order to prepare, we need to become very strong in joy and happiness.”
We have arrived at our destination but the meter is still running
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, an end-of-days expert and blogger, has just published a new book titled “Redemption to Redemption” describing the “deep and intimate connection between Purim and Pesach.” Quite appropriately, the cover of the book features an image of a supermoon.
“The moon represents the Jewish people,” Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. “Just as the moon waxes and wanes but never disappears, the same is true of the Jewish people. This is especially seen in the story of Purim in which the Jews start out start, become weak, and then finish on an even higher note.”
“Also, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun but does not have a light of its own, the same is true of the Jewish people. We are a light unto the nations but it is God’s light going into the world reflected off of us out to mankind.”
“That is why most holidays are in the middle of the Hebrew month when the moon is full and its light is the strongest. That is when Israel has the greatest ability to spread the light of God into the world. A supermoon is a special opportunity for Israel to perform our function of being a light unto the nations.”
Rabbi Winston also noted several unique and significant aspects of the moon.
“The moon always has the same side facing the earth,” Rabbi Winston said. He also noted that the diameter of the Sun is about 400 times larger than the Moon’s, but it is also roughly 400 times farther away from Earth. These two qualities almost cancel each other out. As a result, the Sun usually appears to be the same size as the moon.
“The physical conditions necessary for this to be the case are astronomically small,” the rabbi said, pun intended.
When asked if he thought the supermoon had any significance for the Messiah’s arrival, Rabbi Winston demurred, saying that ascribing significance to a specific event is the realm of prophecy and not for the average man. But any event, no matter how small or distant, could prove to be “explosive.”
“But we are in the final stages,” Rabbi Winston said. He gave two examples to illustrate the current condition of mankind in relation to the end-of-days.
“It is like when you take a cab to someplace and you arrive but remain seated in the cab,” Rabbi Winston said. “The meter is still running but you are at the destination. All that is required is to open the door and get out. Any moment, any small event can trigger the explosion of redemption.”
His second analogy carried with it an ominous warning.
“The arrival of the Messiah has an aspect that is like musical chairs,” he said. “No one knows when the music will stop, but when it does, you might unexpectedly be caught unprepared and be left standing without a place to sit down. It is absolutely correct today to be paranoid.”
Purim Supermoon Symbolizing Pre-Messiah Feminism
“The moon always represents the feminine, “Rabbi Trugman told Breaking Israel News, noting that Purim emphasizes the feminine. “Every Purim occurs on a full moon and Esther is the heroine of the story. It could have been called the Book of Mordechai but it was significantly called the Book of Esther as she was the main agent that brought redemption.”
Rabbi Trugman wrote about this in his new book Seasons of the Soul: The Ohr Chadash Anthology of Jewish Holidays and Significant Events:
“The Rabbis compare the ‘fall’ that occurred in the Garden of Eden and the subsequent ‘demotion’ of women’s status, evident in a multitude of societies around the world for the duration of pre-Messianic history, to the Midrashic allegory of the moon and the sun. On the fourth day of creation, when the sun and moon were created, the moon complained to God that two kings, meaning the two “great lights” created on that day, could not wear the same crown.”
God subsequently, according to the Midrash, made the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. Genesis 1:16
“God’s response was to tell the moon to make itself smaller (Chullin 60a)… Based on this correspondence and the aforementioned allegory, Jewish mystics teach that one of the final rectifications that must occur before the Messianic era is Tikkun Chava, the rectification of Eve and the overall status of women, represented by the moon.”
“It seems clear that the almost unprecedented promotion of the social status of women in our day fulfills in part the overall process and requirements of Tikkun Chava (fixing of Eve).” This process is alluded to in the events of the book of Esther.
“All of history is understood as a series of attempts to rectify the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; a redemptive process which will, in effect, rectify the role of women in the world, re-balance the relationship between women and men, and, ultimately, return the moon to her former glory alongside her partner, the sun. In fact, the Book of Esther and the role that Esther played symbolizes, on many different levels, the rectifications that need to be made in order to reverse the deleterious effects of being exiled from the Garden of Eden. It is these very rectifications that will ultimately lead to the Messianic era and the proverbial return of humanity to the Garden of Eden.”
“It is therefore not surprising that the elevation of women’s status around the world in our time coincides with Israel’s rising from millennia of oppression and the ashes of the Holocaust, returning to their ancient homeland to create a strong and independent nation! From a Torah perspective, these two processes are intimately connected, as significantly, Israel is also always associated with the moon.”