08 December 2011
13 Kislev 5772
Lunar Eclipse on Shabbat Will Be Visible from Israel
Israelis will be treated on Shabbat to a rare astronomical event: A full eclipse of the moon as dusk falls upon Israel Saturday evening.
Jewish tradition has mixed views on the mystical and eschatological meaning of lunar eclipses. On the one hand, the Talmud (Tractate Sukkah 29a) says that lunar eclipses are a sign of Divine wrath against the Jewish people for moral failings, while solar eclipses are a bad sign for non-Jewish nations; the Jews date their calendar based on the phases of the moon, while the non-Jews base theirs on the solar year. On the other hand, Jewish tradition repeatedly says that astrological and astronomical signs do not affect the Jewish people, and that the Jews' direct relationship with G-d overcomes any “natural” effects of the movement of heavenly bodies that could affect other nations.
What if it means the whole world will turn to blood as a result of what Israel will do to Iran? What if it starts on the night after Shabbat? Makes my heart skip a beat or two.