Foxes Appear on Temple Mount in Time to Fulfill Verse in Lamentations Read on Ninth of Av

August 9, 2019

4 min read

An article on Breaking Israel News published two days ago about foxes being sighted on the Temple Mount has already garnered over a quarter million reads, leading one influential rabbi to note that the phenomenon coupled with the reaction are sure signs that “more prophecies are on the way.” The sighting comes during the nine-day period of austerity culminating in the Ninth of Av when Jews read the Book of Lamentations which includes a verse about foxes on the Temple Mount.

Lamentations: Foxes on the Temple Mount a Precursor to Return

The article, the most-read Breaking Israel News article of the year, reports that visitors to the area of the Temple Mount observed a group of about a dozen foxes in the southwestern area of the Western Wall for the last three days in the early hours of the day. The image of foxes on the Temple Mount was described in the Book of Lamentations, which some Biblical scholars believe was written by the Prophet Jeremiah.

Because of Mount Tzion, which lies desolate; Jackals prowl over it. Lamentations 5:18

The Hebrew word used in this verse (שׁוּעָלִים) is most accurately translated as ‘foxes.’ This verse appears in the fifth and final chapter of Lamentations which culminates in the prophecy that Jerusalem will return to its former days of glory.

For truly, You have rejected us, Bitterly raged against us. Take us back, Hashem, to Yourself, And let us come back; Renew our days as of old! Lamentations 5:22

It is important to note that this sighting comes during the nine-day period of austerity preceding Tisha B’Av, (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av) on which the Jews fast and mourn for the destruction of the First and Second Temples which were both destroyed on that day. Part of the Tisha B’Av service is a public reading of the Book of Lamentations.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, emphasized that the huge interest in what is ostensibly a minor event is, in itself, an essential element of geula (redemption).

“When God created the world, he ‘hid’ Himself in nature,” Rabbi Berger explained. “This was, of course, necessary to give us free choice which is an opportunity for us to discover God. Many people can look at the foxes and say it is nothing, a natural event, that there is no difference between foxes or rabbits. But the fact is that the reason the Bible described foxes is that they only live in places of total desolation and loneliness. Yet Jerusalem today is a bustling city and it is truly remarkable that foxes suddenly appear. And they seem to be happily playing.”

“So many people look at the video and see nothing but it is truly a blessed sign of the times that so many more, Jews and non-Jews, look at the video and see signs of geula,” Rabbi Berger said. “God is hidden but His greatest joy is when we seek him out and find him. That is when geula happens.”

Wild foxes at the site of the destroyed Temple are described specifically in the Jewish Talmud.

The rabbi noted that the ability to see redemption in the appearance of foxes on the Temple Mount was specifically described in a section of the Talmud, which was written 2,000 years ago. The Talmud (Makkot 24b) wrote about how Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria, Rabbi Joshua and Rabbi Akiva went up to Jerusalem.

When they reached the Temple Mount, they saw a fox emerging from the place of the Holy of Holies.

The others started weeping but Rabbi Akiva laughed. Rabbi Akiva asked the rabbis why they cried and they explained that to see a wild animal in such a holy place, a place which was forbidden to unfit men, was distressing. Rabbi Akiva noted that this was precisely the reason he laughed. He explained that the fact that the prophecy of Uriah related by the Prophet Micah had come to be was proof that the prophecy of Zechariah would also come to be.

The Prophet Micah described the total destruction of Jerusalem.

 Assuredly, because of you Tzion shall be plowed as a field, And Yerushalayim shall become heaps of ruins, And the Har Habayit A shrine in the woods. Micah 3:12

The Prophet Zechariah described the return of Jerusalem to its days of glory.

Thus said the lord of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and women in the squares of Yerushalayim, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the squares of the city shall be crowded with boys and girls playing in the squares. Zechariah 4-5

More Prophecies on the Way

“The Talmud and the Book of Lamentations are not allegories,” Rabbi Berger said. “The simple meaning is that the appearance of foxes on the Temple Mount specifically is a key element that opens the way for more prophecies to come to be, most specifically Jerusalem returning to its former glory. This does not mean that Jerusalem will become a beautiful city. We have had that for over 50 years. The real glory of Jerusalem is embodied on the Temple Mount in the Temple as a House of Prayer for all Nations.”

Prophecy Appearing On the Temple Mount

As the focus of Jewish prayer and the site of the future Temple, the Temple Mount has frequently been the scene of prophetic images. In July 2018, a large segment from one of the stones of the Wall suddenly fell, barely missing a woman. Last year during the morning prayers of the last day Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), a strange mist rose from the ground and covered the Dome of the Rock.  Just a few weeks earlier, a snake crawled out from between the ancient stones. At around the same time, strange sinkholes appeared adjacent to the Shaar HaRachamim which the Palestinians later turned into a mosque.

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