Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, a popular Orthodox lecturer who was born and raised in Israel and is now living in New York, has pronounced the significance of the upcoming Sukkot (Tabernacles) Blood Moon “nonsense.”
Mizrachi told Breaking Israel News, “About the Blood Moon, it’s totally a Christian theory that has nothing to do with Judaism. It was made up by a Christian priest named Mark Blitz and now it’s promoted by the evangelist John Hagee. It’s based on the words of Prophet Joel (3:4) that says ‘The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.’”
According to Mizrachi, the central issue that makes the Blood Moon claim unreliable is that the verse from Joel speaks about two heavenly events – the sun turning dark and the moon turning to blood. “The problem is that the sun never turned into darkness in the past.The fact that this Christian used a verse from Joel the Jewish prophet was enough to confuse many Jews,” he said.
“The claim that eclipse that is about to happen on this coming Sukkot is special is nonsense,” he continued. Explaining that there have been 62 tetrads over the last 2,000 years, including eight that happened on Sukkot and Pesach (Passover), Mizrachi completely discounts a relationship between Blood Moon tetrads and anything unusual happening in the world.
Citing Jeremiah 10:1, he further explained that the Bible explicitly warns the Jewish people not to pay attention to, or be upset by, claims of doom that the non-Jewish world makes about these kind of heavenly signs.
Mizrachi has delivered over 4,000 lectures on Jewish subjects. Hundreds of his lectures are available on YouTube. He devotes his time to teaching secular Jews about Judaism.
In contradiction to Mizrachi’s perspective, Rabbi Mendel Kessin, a rabbinic scholar, was recently quoted saying, “Every time a Blood Moon happens [on a Jewish holiday tetrad] there is messianic advancement.”
Asked by Breaking Israel News to respond to Rabbi Mizrachi’s challenge, Blood Moons expert Bob O’Dell, co-author of “Israel First!”, a brand new book about the connections among Blood Moons, Shemitah and the Jubilee, acknowledged Mizrachi’s initial claim of over 60 tetrads over the past 2,000 years, although he believes there have been nine tetrads (not eight as Mizrachi states), that have fallen on Jewish holidays.
Responding to the question of whether the Blood Moons represent a sign of doom, as espoused by various popular Christian leaders, O’Dell explained to Breaking Israel News, “Our view is that the Blood Moons are not something to fear, but are simply highlighting certain Jewish feast days as a cause for extra celebration among the Jewish people, and among all who love the Jewish people.
“That the sun and moon were designed by God to be for ‘signs and signals’ is contained generally in Gen 1:14, and specifically for the Jewish people in Ps. 89:36-37. Here it says referring to the sun and moon and God’s covenant with the Jews, ‘and the witness in the sky is faithful’. So our view is that the Blood Moons are a witness to the Jews of God’s eternal covenant to the Jews, and are therefore a cause for celebration, even if the nations are dismayed by them.”
WATCH: Blood Moon – What is God Telling Us?
O’Dell clarifies a common error made when people speak of the four Blood Moon tetrads that have occurred in the last 500 years. Many people incorrectly report that there was a tetrad in 1492 when Jews were expelled from Spain. “They began in 1493 and 1494, only after the Ottoman empire had received the Jews with open arms all around the Mediterranean Sea, and only after Christopher Columbus had returned from his world-changing discovery.”
Based on his research, O’Dell sees the four most recent Blood Moon tetrads as signalling important stages of the Jewish journey to redemption. “The more recent tetrads in 1949, 1967 and 2014 mark, as far as we can tell, three phases of the establishment and rebirth of the State of Israel in the modern era.”