Jun 29, 2022
JERUSALEM WEATHER
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The earth, moon, and sun will align on Sunday night, creating a total lunar eclipse, the first full eclipse of the year.

Super Blood Moon

 When this happens, the moon passes through the earth’s shadow, and the earth blocks the sun’s rays from illuminating the moon. This gives the moon a red hue in what many refer to as a Blood Moon. The moon on Sunday is also a super moon, making it a super blood moon eclipse.

The total lunar eclipse will be visible from portions of the Americas, Antarctica, Europe, Africa, and the East Pacific. Meanwhile, a penumbral eclipse, where the outer part of Earth’s shadow blankets the moon, will be visible in New Zealand, eastern Europe, and the Middle East. 

The moon will be a faint, reddish glow during totality as red wavelengths of sunlight filter through our planet’s atmosphere onto the moon’s surface. The air molecules from Earth’s atmosphere scatter out most of the blue light. The remaining light reflects onto the moon’s surface with a red glow, making the moon appear red in the night sky. At different moments during the eclipse, it could also appear to take on shades of orange, yellow or brown.

A lunar eclipse only occurs under a full moon and can last up to six hours. This eclipse will happen when the moon is the biggest and brightest of the entire year, referred to as a supermoon, which occurs when the moon is 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 its apogee, its furthest point from Earth.

The visible part of the eclipse will begin around 10:30 PM EST on May 15, NASA said, when the moon enters Earth’s shadow. Totality, when our planet’s shadow fully covers the moon, follows around midnight, lasting about an hour and a half.  It will end around 2 a.m. EST. 

This will be the first of two lunar eclipses in 2022. The next one will take place on Nov. 8. The last total lunar eclipse occurred a year ago, on May 26, 2021. There will not be another total lunar eclipse until March 2025.

Second Passover and Yom Nakba

The timing of the lunar event is quite auspicious, coming directly after Pesach Sheni, the second Passover. Coincidentally, it also falls on “Nakba” day when the Palestinians commemorate the “catastrophe” of the creation of the state of Israel.

Rabbi Eyal Riess, Director of the Tzfat Kabbalah Center, emphasized the difference between the Jewish holiday and the Palestinian day.

“Pesach Sheni is proof that everything can be fixed, and that is our purpose in the world,” Rabbi Riess said. “This is manifested in the moon, which is constantly in the process of fixing. This is even more true for a lunar eclipse. The moon disappears completely, but it returns. This month is the month of Iyar, which is an acronym.”

The rabbi cited the verse (Exodus 15:26) Ani Hashem Rophecha (אֲנִי יְהֹוָה רֹפְאֶךָ); “I Hashem am your healer.”

“Nakba is the Palestinians lamenting a reality, reacting in anger, rather than working to fix it,” Rabbi Riess said.

Rabbi Nachman Kahane emphasized that Sunday was Pesach Sheni, a day of serving God in Jerusalem. 

“But Sunday isn’t Nakba day for the Arabs,” Rabbi Kahana said. “For them, every day that Jews exist is Nakba. We saw during the Ramadan that they celebrate and serve their religion by going out to spill blood, just as the descendants of Ishmael.”

He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone’s hand against him; Genesis 16:12

“They don’t need a special day or a sign in the heavens to tell them to murder,” Rabbi Kahana said. “It is in their nature. Our idea of a Messiah is when we serve God perfectly in a house of prayer for all nations. Their Messiah is when they have eliminated all the non-Muslims.”

Eclipses in Jewish tradition

In his book Davar B’ito, a guide to the calendar based on esoteric Jewish sources, Rabbi Mordechai Genuth discussed the meaning of eclipses in Jewish tradition. Rabbi Genuth explained that lunar eclipses are considered a bad omen for Israel under normal circumstances. 

This is based on a discussion of eclipses from the Talmud (Sukkot 29a) that specifically stated that the nation of Israel is spiritually represented by the moon. If the moon appears red during the lunar eclipse, as the upcoming eclipse will be, the Talmud states that this is an omen that great wars will come to the world.

“In the time of the Talmud, only Israel set the calendar according to the moon,” Rabbi Genuth said. “Setting the calendar according to the sun was the practice of the idolaters, like Rome, which named the solar months and days after pagan gods. Today, the Muslims set their calendar according to the moon, even more than the Jews, in a manner that leads their calendar to be imbalanced. So a lunar eclipse is closely connected to the Muslims and, in this case, is a warning for the Arabs.”

Rabbi Genuth made one disclaimer; at the end of the section of the Talmud describing the omens contained within eclipses, the Talmud states: “When Israel does the will of the place (God), they have nothing to fear from all of this,” citing the Prophet Jeremiah as a source.

Thus said Hashem: Do not learn to go the way of the nations, And do not be dismayed by portents in the sky; Let the nations be dismayed by them! Jeremiah 10:2

“This is a warning to the Israeli government,” Rabbi Genuth said. “They need to be strong when it comes to Jerusalem.”

He explained that the name of Jerusalem is rooted in the Hebrew word “Shalem” (complete), which is a reference to the sun, which, unlike the moon, does not go through phases.

The rabbi also noted a prophecy in the Book of Joel that states that a blood moon will precede the coming of the Messiah.

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

“We are indeed close to the end of days, so these astronomical signs are taking on increased importance,” Rabbi Genuth said.