In a bizarre elemental display, a raging wildfire in Mohave, Arizona, created a swirling updraft, in turn forming a pillar of fire and smoke. Even more bizarre was when the blaze reached the river, and the swirling smoke over the water was suddenly transformed into a waterspout.
The past month has been especially challenging, as wildfires rage across the United States. The fire was considered relatively small at 924 acres, but much of the brush being consumed by the blaze was saltcedar, which burns at exceptionally high temperatures.
On Saturday, Chris and Ann Mackie stopped to watch the fire as it burned on the other side of the Colorado River. Much to their amazement, the fire and heat generated a swirling effect, forming what is referred to as a ‘firenado.’
Even more amazing was that the cone of smoke moved out over the water and continued to swirl, turning suddenly into a waterspout that pulled water from the river up into the air. The power of the unusual phenomenon was such that Chris Mackie exclaimed, “The branches are being pulled up into the air. I see big trees falling.”
The video could be taken directly from Exodus, which described the pillars of smoke and fire that watched over the Children of Israel.
Hashem went before them in a pillar of cloud by day, to guide them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, that they might travel day and night. Exodus 13:21
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, noted that the strange sight in Arizona coincided with a significant occurrence that shook the religious world in Israel.
“On Saturday, when this vision of a pillar of smoke and a pillar of fire appeared on the other side of the world, a great tzaddik (righteous Jew) passed away in Israel: Rabbi Shraya Deblizki,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News.
“In the Zohar, it is written that before the Messiah from the House of David appears, there will first be the Messiah from the house of Joseph. The Messiah from the house of David will be a specific person but the Messiah from the house of Joseph will be a process, focusing on the return to Israel. But the Zohar (the writings that are the basis for Jewish mysticism) goes on to say that before the Messiah from the House of David will be revealed, a hidden righteous man will be essential in helping prepare the way for him to be revealed. The Zohar states explicitly that the hidden righteous man’s name will be Shraya.”
Rabbi Berger met with Rabbi Deblizki last year and asked him several questions concerning the geula (redemption). Rabbi Deblizki said that for 70 years the erev rav (mixed multitude) will rule in Israel but that period will end, and beginning this year, the rule of the erev rav will begin to wane.
“It is written in the Zohar that a pillar of fire appears when tzaddikim leave the world and there have been many cases throughout history where this has been witnessed,”Rabbi Berger said, noting that Elijah the prophet, the harbinger of the messiah, left the world on a chariot that rose up on a whirlwind of fire.
As they kept on walking and talking, a fiery chariot with fiery horses suddenly appeared and separated one from the other; and Eliyahu went up to heaven in a whirlwind. II Kings 2:11
“This appearance of a pillar of fire in Arizona is like ripples flowing out when a large rock is thrown into a calm lake,” said Berger. “When Rabbi Deblizki left the world, this marked the beginning of a new stage in the geula. Very few people had the eyes to see it but the effects are going out into the world.”
Rabbi Berger noted that Rabbi Deblizki performed many austere and difficult acts of devotion including fasts and all-night prayer sessions.
“But the mitzvah (Torah commandment) he was most stringent in was in guarding his tongue from speaking slanders, lies, or even silliness,” Berger concluded.