As a rare and portentous total solar eclipse approaches the North American continent on Monday, heaven-watchers the world over will hold their breath in anticipation of a divine event written in the skies and reflected in the world of men. The event signals the beginning of the month of Elul, the last month of the Hebrew year, and the start of the days of repentance. Jews the world over will prepare to face their Maker on the upcoming holy days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as the momentous year 5777 draws to a close.
This Hebrew calendar year was full of signs from above: from eclipses to comets, from the birth of new stars to the discovery of new planets, the heavens drew aside the divine veil to reveal that God’s control of the universe is eternal and abiding. Many religious leaders and respected Jewish thinkers understood these rare and exciting events to correspond to ancient texts, prophecies and portents of the world to come.
On the eve of the highly-anticipated solar eclipse, Breaking Israel News took a look back at the biggest astronomical events of the year and what they mean for the Jewish people and the nations.
In one of the biggest stories of the year, Breaking Israel News discovered a prophetic connection between the upcoming total solar eclipse, traversing North America on August 21, and the rise of tensions between the US and North Korea by bringing to light a 100-year-old prophecy foretelling that a solar eclipse occurring in the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul will bring with it suffering for the “Kings of the East”. The prophecy, coming at a time of escalating nuclear threats between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, seemed to point directly to Jong-Un as the “eastern King” soon to be deposed. Other Jewish understandings of the eclipse saw in it a warning to the Jews and the nations, as mystic thought holds that Jews are represented by the moon and the nations are represented by the sun. Rabbi Lazar Brody said that the eclipse, only visible over America, was a warning to Americans lapsing into moral abomination, while Rabbi Pinchas Winston told Breaking Israel News it was a call for righteous Christians in the US to repent and for Jewish Americans to come to Israel.
An engineer’s unique understanding of the Holy Tabernacle’s construction led him to the stunning revelation that the dimensions of the Tabernacle as described in the Bible unmistakably correlated to significant astronomical measurements such as the lengths of planetary orbits and lunar years. The discovery reflected an ancient Jewish belief that the Tabernacle in the desert was the pivotal point of connection between heaven and earth, God and man, spiritual and material. In fact, Rabbi Yosef Berger noted, the Tabernacle was made in a process which mirrored Creation itself, enabling man, tied to a physical existence, to access higher dimensions of holiness on Earth.
Also in February, three astronomical events converged on a Shabbat which also happened to be a Jewish holiday, Tu B’Shvat, an arboreal celebration of the changing seasons. A penumbra lunar eclipse, the “snow moon” – a full moon in February – and the passing of a comet all appeared in the skies within a few hours of each other. Israeli amateur astronomer Ira Machefsky pointed out that Tu B’Shvat is a holiday with particular astrological significance, as it marks the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
4. NASA Discovery of 7-Planet System Conforms Exactly to Zohar’s Description of Pre-Messiah “Nibiru”
After Nibiru, a catastrophic planet-sized object whose collision with earth was predicted by more than one Jewish scholar in 2016, failed to appear, the subject lost traction for many who follow the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. However, when NASA announced it had discovered a seven-planet star system in February of 2017, one Nibiru expert pointed out to Breaking Israel News that the discovery conformed precisely to the Zohar’s description of the foretold astronomic event precipitating the Messiah: “A star will rise up on the east, blazing in all colors, and seven other stars will surround that star.” He identified the new star and its seven planets as Nibiru, or “Planet X.”
When scientists announced that an ancient collision would appear in a blaze of light in 2022, revealing a brand-new star in a stunning celestial event witnessed by the naked eye for the first time in recorded history, prominent scholar Rabbi Yosef Berger immediately made the connection between the new star and the fulfillment of Balaam’s End-of-Days prophecy, which holds that the appearance of a new star will accompany the coming of the Messiah. The new star and its color are also described in the Zohar, a seminal Kabbalist text.