Two days before the Jewish holidays, a video of a strange cloud formation over Jerusalem accompanied by thunderous blasts from rams’ horns took the internet by storm, stunning millions in a pre-Judgement Day sight that seemed too good to be true. Unfortunately, it was.
The video showed a blue sky with a spectacular unbroken ring of glowing white clouds hanging low over the city. Filmed from a balcony, one man is seen from the back, staring at the amazing phenomenon, while another tells him in Hebrew to be quiet. The camera pans from side to side, filming the entire unbroken halo over Israel’s capital. The sound of many shofars (rams’ horns) is heard, the blasts rising and falling.
Heavenly Halo Over Jerusalem
The location seen in the video is easily recognizable to those familiar with Jerusalem. Filmed from a balcony in the prominent Holy Land Apartment complex in south Jerusalem, Teddy Stadium, a major sports venue, is seen in the foreground.
The video quickly began to attract attention on social media. The footage was used in another video which garnered over a million views on YouTube. Some commenters claimed it was a miraculous occurrence, while others rejected this claim, saying it was a naturally occurring phenomenon. Both sides of the argument were wrong.
Not only laypeople were fooled. Several religious sites, both Jewish and Christian, reposted the video enthusiastically. Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, an Israeli rabbi who runs outreach programs, reposted the video with a screenshot outlining the image of a shofar that he claims appears in the center of the cloud halo.
Nana 10 Online, a Hebrew news site, succeeded in tracking down the source of the video. According to Nana, the man who filmed the video was quite surprised at the impact his video made. Wishing to remain nameless, he explained to Nana that he created the video on his cell-phone as a unique New Year’s greeting to his friends, altering the original with a video editing program called After Effects. He had posted it on his social media pages, from where it was reposted and shared, its popularity growing exponentially.
As social media becomes more prevalent with web-connected devices covering the planet’s surface, videos of unusual phenomenon become more common. Sometimes for pleasure and sometimes with mischievous intent, people create these videos on their computers. A similar rash of videos, recording unexplained shofar sounds around the world, appeared before the holidays last year. It could be that such videos will become a tradition, a precursor to the Jewish holidays, part prank, and part wake-up call.
But one day, it could be that a similar video will surface, filmed by an average bystander, showing the arrival of the Messiah. And that time, it won’t be edited.