24 May 2012


3 Sivan 5772
Day 47 of the Omer

Call me crazy, but it bothers me that the "firstfruits" aspect of this holiday is so sorely neglected in favor of making it all about Matan Torah. This situation came about as a result of our sins, for without the Beit Hamikdash, there can be no firstfruits offerings! The whole emphasis on Zeman Matan Torah was emphasized during the time of exile. And so we remain - in spiritual exile. But, let's at least acknowledge the fact that there is something major missing from our celebration and give some thought to its restoration. May the service of the Beit Hamikdash be returned to us speedily and in our time!!

Chag Habikurim
by Rabbi Julian Sinclair
Chag Habikurim is the least well-known of the names of Shavuot (after Chag Hacheesecake etc). It refers to the offering of the first fruits that farmers in the Land of Israel brought to the Temple in Jerusalem in early summer at around the time of the Shavuot holiday. The word bikurim itself is related to bechor, a firstborn son.

The finest of the first-ripening fruits would be brought with great ceremony in ornate baskets to the Temple. The Bible describes a strange ritual that would then take place (Deuteronomy 26:1-11).

The bringer of first fruits recited the vidui bikurim, a lengthy declaration describing how he came to be there. Beginning with "My father was a wandering Aramean," he goes on to recount how the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt, how they cried out to God who saved them, took them out of Egypt and brought them to the Land of Israel - the best of whose fruits he is now bringing to the Temple.

The farmer tells a story to account for his good fortune that stretches back to the beginnings of the Jewish people. Full gratitude comes from understanding the roots of his present situation. As the Sefer Hachinuch (a medieval compendium of the 613 mitzvot) says, the reason for the declaration is to etch on our hearts the reality of God's kindness.

More Shavuot learning...

Why we Omit the Temple on Shavuoth

The minhag of staying up all night studying is only about 200 years old. The Temple was the center of the holiday. The mishnah makes it the focus of our Torah reading. Why, then, do we read instead about the giving of the Torah?
Listen to the shiur here.

They'll blame it on the Jew(s)

3 Sivan 5772
Day 47 of the Omer

Facebook stock went public last Friday and in the course of a week, a situation has developed which threatens to eclipse anything that Bernie Madoff did. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and inventor of Facebook, is a very public Jew. Accusations of insider trading with $100 million dollars of immediate profit to the "Jewish" banks will not go down well. And even more so if the ultimate consequences will be as dire as some are predicting.

How Facebook could destroy the U.S. economy

...Facebook’s one of the “black swans” that could eventually bring down the global economy.

22 May 2012

"Pure Souls Have Ascended"

2 Sivan 5772
Day 46 of the Omer

UPDATE: Rav Yitzchak Dovid Grossman: The Accident Victims Were A Kapora for Am Yisrael


Rosh Chodesh Sivan
Day 45 of the Omer

For the second time, we are mourning an entire family - save one member - being consumed in a conflagration.

Midway between Purim and Pesach on Gimel Nissan, Guy Shaer, 38, and his five children – Eliav, 11, Evyatar, 8, Amitai, 7, Shira, 3, and one-year-old Itamar died together in a fire in their Rehovot home. Only the mother, Avivit, was left alive.

And now, today, in the early morning hours of Rosh Chodesh Sivan, just days before we are to celebrate the giving of our Holy Torah on Shavuot, another family - Rafael Atias, 42, Yehudit, 42, Avia, 17, twins Eliyashiv and Neria Shimon, 16, Shira, 11, Tair, 8 and Noa, 4 who, ironically, were returning from a Torah Scroll Dedication - has been lost to the flames of a devastating car wreck due to faulty brakes. Only seven-year-old Rachel survived by being thrown from the car.

G-d have mercy! What are we to think? What are we to do?? What does Hashem want us to learn from this horror???

Hershkowitz: “A Chilling Tragedy beyond Conception”
Minister Daniel Hershkowitz participated Monday night in the Migdal HaEmek Torah dedication along with the Attias family members who were the victims of the accident near Tiberias early Tuesday morning.

“I was shocked this morning,” said Minister Hershkowitz. “Migdal HaEmek Jewish Home activists requested I attend the Attias family Torah dedication, scrolls written by the esteemed grandfather, the great torah educator of the city. We celebrated last night at 22:00 and this morning I found out that Rafi Attias, the MC of the event and most of his family were victims of the accident. This is a chilling tragedy beyond human conception. May their souls live on for all eternity.”

Rabbi Grossman: Pure Souls have Ascended

A short while before the accident near Tiberias, Rabbi Grossman of the city of Migdal Ha’Emek blessed sole survivor Rachel Attias that her love of the Torah give her G-d’s blessing of long life. She was being embraced by her late father Rafi, and wished to remain as close as possible to the torah scrolls dedicated by her grandfather at the inauguration of his new synagogue.

“All of Israel must mourn this Divine conflagration,” said Rabbi Grossman, all choked up.

21 May 2012

Mazal Tov to the OU and "TT"

29 Iyyar 5772
Day 44 of the Omer

OU’s ‘Torah Tidbits’ turns 20
The Orthodox Union celebrated the 20th year and the 1,000th edition of its weekly Shabbat pamphlet, Torah Tidbits, during a gathering at the Jerusalem Theater on Sunday night.

The event was attended by almost one thousand members of the public, as well as Deputy Jerusalem Mayor David Hadari, Jerusalem-region director for religious culture of the Ministry of Education Rabbi Eliyahu Aviad, and Rabbi Avi Berman, director of the OU in Israel.

The celebrations were also staged to mark Jerusalem Day and were organized in conjunction with the municipality and the Ginot Ha’ir Community Council.

It was the OU’s ninth annual Jerusalem Day celebration, and Berman took the opportunity to highlight the social welfare initiatives the organization runs, including an educational course for soldiers, and a program for urban youth at risk.

Torah Tidbits is a weekly Shabbat booklet produced in English by the OU in Israel, which contains a wealth of commentaries and explanations of the Torah portion, or parsha, as well as communal notices, updates and information.
You can read more here.

And you can read Torah Tidbits every week online here.

19 May 2012

Happy Jerusalem Re-Unification Day!

Click to enlarge.

28 Iyyar 5772
Day 43 of the Omer

And may she remain forever re-united!!

Ramat Shlomo
Neve Yaakov
Pisgat Zeev
French Hill
Shimon HaTsadik
Har Hazeitim
Ir David
Ir HaAtika
Nof Tzion
Armon HaNatziv
Har Choma

17 May 2012


25 Iyyar 5772
Day 40 of the Omer
Because of a letter purportedly written by Rabbi Kadouri before his passing, in which the xians believe he named Yeshu - G-d forbid! - as the Mashiach, they have latched onto the saintly rav's good name and are now making all kinds of other lying claims, including that he converted to xianity at the end of his long Torah-filled life - Hashem have mercy!! Be aware that many messianics and other xians are using the rav as a means to their nefarious ends. His saintly, blessed name is now appearing on many of their websites and in many of their videos.

HaRav Yitzchak Kadouri's name and memory should only be for a blessing!!!

13 May 2012

The Weather Really is Getting More Extreme

21 Iyyar 5772
Day 36 of the Omer
40 die in Chinese hailstorm
Forty people were killed when a brief but violent hailstorm and torrential rain swept through a mountainous region of northwest China, according to the local government.

Eighteen others remained missing in Min county, a disaster-prone area of Gansu province, while 87 had been sent to hospital, the county government said in a statement on its website.

Officials said 29,300 people had been evacuated after rain and hail battered the county for just 60 minutes late Thursday afternoon.

It had "wreaked havoc" on all of the county's 18 townships and had affected more than two-thirds of its 450,000 residents, the state-controlled Xinhua news agency reported.

"Roads were blocked, houses collapsed, farmland was destroyed, and the power supply and telecommunications services were disrupted by the extreme weather," the agency said, quoting Xu Guangyao, a senior county official.

Titles from Youtube:

Largest Hail Storm & Rain Downpour In VA History

Massive Amarillo Texas Hail Storm 4/12/2012

April 19, 2012 hail storm near Oklahoma City

Hail Storm in McAllen - March 29,2012

April 14, 2012 Hail Storm Norfolk Nebraska

Warrior Dash NSW 2012 - Hail Storm

Melbourne HAIL STORM 2012 Tennis Ball size!!

3/2/2012 Hamel, IL Hail Storm

A Bad Hail Storm At ST louis 2012

Hail Storm Indianapolis,In (03-02-2012)

Increasing wind storms

21 Iyyar 5772
Day 36 of the Omer

The Earth is getting hotter, but it's not our carbon footprint...

U.S. 2012 Weather The Warmest, Most Extreme On Record

The U.S. has seen its warmest and most extreme weather on record so far this year through April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday. The average temperature this year has been 45.4 degrees, up 5.4 degrees from the long-term average.

From May 2011 to April 2012, the U.S. had its second hottest summer, fourth warmest winter and warmest March on record, according to the NOAA. The time frame was also the warmest consecutive 12-month period for the country. Additionally, the U.S. Climate Extreme Index — a measurement that tracks the highest and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, drought and tropical cyclones — was twice the average, a record 42 percent during the January-April period.

The Sun is getting hotter!

08 May 2012

Truly a "descent into novelty"

16 Iyyar 5772
Day 31 of the Omer

Nobody could make this stuff up!

Last Minute Unity Government Nixes Early Election Plans

In a surprise move, just hours after the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill to dissolve itself and hold elections, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz announced they had reached an agreement to form a national unity government.

According to a report on Kol Yisrael radio, the Likud and Kadima parties converged at 2:00 a.m. (Israel time), and the members of both factions are being updated on the meetings between Netanyahu and Mofaz. It was also reported that Mofaz is expected to be appointed either a minister without portfolio or Homefront Defense Minister, a position recently vacated by MK Matan Vilnai (Independence).

It was also reported that the agreement reached between the Likud and Kadima calls for the Tal Law for the recruitment of hareidim into the army to be replaced by the end of July. Netanyahu and Mofaz will head a team which will be tasked with forming the new law.

In addition, Kadima has promised to remain in the coalition until the end of its term in November 2013. Also, it was agreed between the parties that by the end of December, a law changing the Israeli system of governemnt will be put to a vote.

According to reports, the talks between Netanyahu and Mofaz went on for several days.


What's the message here?

..."This is a disgrace to the Israeli parliament and a terrible message to the public, who is losing all faith in the country's leadership."
...“The move will ensure that Barak remains as defense minister for another year and a half, and will drop the leftist party called known as Kadima into the government,” said Danon. “It will damage the settlement enterprise, hurt the values ​​of the Likud and will hurt the Israeli public who elected the Likud to lead Israel.”

... “This is the most ridiculous and ludicrous zigzag in the history of Israel. No one will forget this dirty deal, which will, unfortunately,
deeply hurt the public's trust in politics.
...Netanyahu, facing criticism from the right on the Ulpana housing, Migron and building in Judea and Samaria, threats of social protests this summer from the left, and hareidi anger on changes in the draft law, has now neutralized the parties representing those issues,....

Hashem is knocking down all the idols and preparing us to accept Mashiach's leadership.

06 May 2012

Tokyo Tornado!

15 Iyyar 5772
Day 30 of the Omer

Tornado near Tokyo kills one, injures dozens

...Public broadcaster NHK showed rows of houses without roofs, apartment complexes with smashed balconies and shattered windows, and tilting telephone poles that could barely stand.
It said about 200 homes were damaged.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said 24,000 homes were without electricity as lightning added to the storm's damage.

Tornadoes are relatively rare in the Tokyo area.

Preparing for the next war of redemption?

15 Iyyar 5772
Day 30 of the Omer

Syria Moving Scuds to Israel, Turkey Borders – Report
Jordanian news site says western spy satellites show hundreds of Scud launchers moving south and north.

Jordanian news site Ahbar Baladna reports that western spy satellites have recently spotted movements of Syrian heavy missile launchers northward and southward, toward Syria's borders with Turkey and Israel.

The site says hundreds of high-caliber launchers are being moved, and that these could only be long range Scud missile launchers.

Syria has threatened in the past that in the event of foreign military intervention on its soil, it will not hesitate to fire missiles at Israel and Turkey in order to ignite a large scale regional war.

Turkish and French officials said ten days ago they were mulling a potential military intervention in Syria, where civil war has been raging for 14 months.

“In the face of developments in Syria, we are taking into consideration any kind of possibility in line with our national security and interests,” Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu told parliament during a briefing to lawmakers.

"Here Comes the Sun, doo-doo-doo-doo..."

15 Iyyar 5772
Day 30 of the Omer

Space weather expert has ominous forecast
Mike Hapgood, who studies solar events, says the world isn't prepared for a truly damaging storm. And one could happen soon.

...People often talk about solar flares and solar storms in the same breath. What's the difference?

Solar flares mainly emit X-rays — we also get radio waves from these things, and white light in the brightest of flares. They all travel at the same speed as light, so it takes eight minutes to arrive. There are some effects from flares, such as radio interference from the radio bursts.

But that's a pretty small-beer thing. The big thing is the geomagnetic storms [on Earth] that affect the power grid, and that's caused by the coronal mass ejections [from the sun].

Coronal mass ejections are caused when the magnetic field in the sun's atmosphere gets disrupted and then the plasma, the sun's hot ionized gas, erupts and send charged particles into space. Think of it like a hurricane — is it headed toward us or not headed toward us? If we're lucky, it misses us.

Read more here.

05 May 2012

What's Happening to Greece?

14 Iyyar 5772
Pesach Sheini
Day 29 of the Omer

And how long until it reaches the rest of Europe and even America, too?

Fascism rises from the depths of Greece's despairA neo-Nazi party that wants work camps for immigrants is on course to win its first seats in parliament on Sunday

...Entering its fourth year in recession, Greece now outstrips even Spain for youth unemployment with the new statistics published yesterday showing joblessness among the under-25s at 51.2 per cent. The headline unemployment rate is 21.7 per cent while the real rate is believed to be closer to 25 per cent.

It's in this environment that a fringe group of neo-Nazis that would previously have struggled to attract a hundred supporters to one of its rallies seems set to enter parliament according to polls.

Together with two other ultra-nationalist parties, LAOS and Independent Greeks, some surveys indicate that the far right could take as much as one-fifth of the vote on Sunday.

...One of the new lawmakers is likely to be Elias Panayiotaros. A candidate for central Athens, he runs a shop called Phalanx selling military gear. His business card features a Byzantine eagle and a skull and crossbones. Speaking at the party's offices opposite the Larrisis train station where volunteers do weekly handouts of clothes and food to "needy Greeks", Mr Panayiotaros said that the priority in the midst of the economic crisis was to throw out foreigners. "All of the immigrants are illegal, even the ones that have been in the country for a long time and they have to be punished," he said.

Greeks were afraid to leave their homes as immigrants were on a spree of robberies, rapes and murder, he said. The cost of jailing or deporting more than a million people would be offset, he said, by putting them into work camps. Those that were not prepared to work would not be given food, he added.

Another priority would be the immediate closure of all foreign non-governmental organisations, which would be compelled to return all funds to the Greek state. A new organisation would be established, he said, to be called "doctors with borders" which would provide medical services exclusively to Greeks.

Once Greece was withdrawn from the EU's passport-free Schengen zone and the borders were sealed, all foreigners would require a visa to visit Greece, including the millions of tourists who come each year.

"We're not afraid to be called Nazis or fascists – the whole political system is against us," said Mr Panayiotaros. Appeals by mainstream parties for Golden Dawn to be prevented from entering parliament were met with veiled threats against MPs.

Asked about the party leader Nikos Michaloliakos' links to the military junta which ruled Greece between 1967-1974, he said that people were calling for the return of George Papadopoulos, the leader of the Colonel's regime.

"The name of Papadopoulos is being heard everywhere," he said.

Ahead of its most uncertain election, the Golden Dawn's message is getting through to some first-time voters such as Ioanna Vassila, who is unemployed. Attending a political rally for the first time in her life, the 29-year-old said she was excited to be voting for a patriotic party and that it was time to for Greece to be "cleansed of the foreigners". Laughing and joking with her boyfriend they applauded as men in paramilitary uniforms waved black flags and chanted "Greece for the Greeks".

What's Happening to Europe?

14 Iyyar 5772
Pesach Sheini
Day 29 of the Omer


A covert group of EU foreign ministers has drawn up plans for merging the jobs currently done by Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.

The new bureaucrat, who would not be directly elected by voters, is set to get sweeping control over the entire EU and force member countries into ever-greater political and economic union.
Tellingly, the UK has been excluded from the confidential discussions within the shady “Berlin Group” of Europhile politicians, spearheaded by German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle.

Opponents fear the plan could create a modern-day equivalent of the European emperor envisaged by Napoleon Bonaparte or a return to the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne that dominated Europe in the Dark Ages.

They are concerned that David Cameron’s coalition Government is doing nothing to prevent the sinister plot. The secret talks were uncovered by Independent Labour peer Lord Stoddart of Swindon.

“This is a plot by people who want to abolish nation states and create a United States of Europe,” he said.

“The whole thing is barmy. These people are determined to achieve their final objective."

...Euro-MP Paul Nuttall, of the UK Independence Party, said: “This is a truly ridiculous idea that must never be allowed to happen. It sounds as if they are trying to go back to the days of the Holy Roman Emperor.”
...“Such a merger would represent a massive shift of power into the hands of a single, unelected bureaucrat. The Government should be taking this far more seriously and voicing its objections very strongly.”

What's Happening to America?

14 Iyyar 5772
Pesach Sheini
Day 29 of the Omer

“We are Preparing for Massive Civil War,” Says DHS Informant
In a riveting interview on TruNews Radio, Wednesday, private investigator Doug Hagmann said high-level, reliable sources told him the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for “massive civil war” in America.

“Folks, we’re getting ready for one massive economic collapse,” Hagmann told TruNews host Rick Wiles.

“We have problems . . . The federal government is preparing for civil uprising,” he added, “so every time you hear about troop movements, every time you hear about movements of military equipment, the militarization of the police, the buying of the ammunition, all of this is . . . they (DHS) are preparing for a massive uprising.”

Hagmann goes on to say that his sources tell him the concerns of the DHS stem from a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the hyperinflation a collapse in the value of the world’s primary reserve currency implies to a nation of 311 million Americans, who, for the significant portion of the population, is armed.

... Through his sources, Hagmann confirmed Rickards’ ongoing thesis of a fear of a U.S. dollar collapse at the hands of the Chinese (U.S. treasury bond holders of approximately $1 trillion) and, possibly, the Russians (threatening to launch a gold-backed ruble as an attractive alternative to the U.S. dollar) in retaliation for aggressive U.S. foreign policy initiatives against China’s and Russia’s strategic allies Iran and Syria.

“The one source that we have I’ve known since 1979,” Hagmann continued. “He started out as a patrol officer and currently he is now working for a federal agency under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security; he’s in a position to know what policies are being initiated, what policies are being planned at this point, and he’s telling us right now—look,
what you’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. We are preparing, we, meaning the government, we are preparing for a massive civil war in this country.”
... Escalating preparatory activities by the executive branch and DHS throughout the last decade—from the Patriot Act, to countless executive orders drafted to suspend (or strip) American civil liberties “are just the beginning” of the nightmare to come, Hagmann said.

He added, “It’s going to get so much worse toward the election, and I’m not even sure we’re going to have an election in this country. It’s going to be that bad, and this, as well, is coming from my sources. But one source in particular said, ‘look, you don’t understand how bad it is.’ This stuff is real; these people, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they are ready to fight the American people.”

TruNews‘ Wiles asked Hagmann: who does the DHS expect to fight, in particular? Another North versus South, the Yankees against the Confederates? Hagmann stated the situation is far worse than a struggle between any two factions within the U.S.;
it’s an anticipated nationwide emergency event centered on the nation’s currency.
“What they [DHS] are expecting, and again, this is according to my sources, what they’re expecting is the un-sustainability of the American dollar,” Hagmann said. “And we know for a fact that we can no longer service our debt. There’s going to be a period of hyperinflation . . . the dollar will be worthless . . . The economic collapse will be so severe, people won’t be ready for this.”

04 May 2012

Oh, ye of little faith

12 Iyyar 5772
Day 27 of the Omer

There really is a Master of the World and He is fully capable of running it. Not even a blade of grass is uprooted without His direction.

The Ecological Effects of 2010 Chile Earthquake

The reappearance of long-forgotten habitats and the resurgence of species unseen for years may not be among the expected effects of a natural disaster.

Yet that's exactly what researchers found in a study of the sandy beaches of south central Chile, after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami in 2010.

..."So often you think of earthquakes as causing total devastation, and adding a tsunami on top of that is a major catastrophe for coastal ecosystems," said Jenny Dugan, a biologist at UCSB.

"As expected, we saw high mortality of intertidal life on beaches and rocky shores, but the ecological recovery at some of our sandy beach sites was remarkable.

"Plants are coming back in places where there haven't been plants, as far as we know, for a very long time. The earthquake created sandy beach habitat where it had been lost. This is not the initial ecological response you might expect from a major earthquake and tsunami."

Read more here.

03 May 2012

"Fiscal Armageddon"

11 Iyyar 5772
Day 26 of the Omer

Spain's Fiscal Armageddon Will Be WarningTuesday, 01 May 2012

By Wayne Allyn Root

Pay attention to Spain.

...Spain is about to become a gigantic problem for the entire world. Unlike Greece, Spain is too big to fail, but also too big to bailout. The economic news out of Spain is very, very, very bad news for all of us. Stress the “very.”

Mark this down — soon you will tune into the news and hear about “All Spain, all the time.” By this summer (and maybe sooner) Spain will be on everyone’s lips. You will wish you never heard of Spain. Spain could take us all down.

The reason Spain is so important is because size matters. Greece is a tiny country, yet its default threatened to destabilize and destroy the entire EU economy. To prevent that default the geniuses who run the EU “saved” Greece by loaning her another $170 billion to paper over her existing $100 billion in debt. They papered over the truth — Greece has defaulted on its debts.

But Greece is a tiny country. Spain is a big country. The 12th biggest economy in the world. There isn’t enough money in all the EU to save Spain. The real question is . . . is there enough money in all the world to save Spain? Will U.S. taxpayers agree to mortgage our children’s and grandchildren’s future (already buried in our own debt) to try to save Spain?

And even if America agreed to come to the rescue, where do we get the money? Have you seen the news lately? Our GDP is collapsing. Our unemployment rate is getting worse — again. Experts say it's clear we are going into a double-dip recession. To this economist it's clear we never left the first recession.

But our problems are small compared to Spain. Spain is in catastrophic shape. They are hanging by a thread off a cliff. And the thread is fraying. Spain's unemployment is fast approaching 25 percent. That’s reported unemployment.

If we used real numbers, not manipulated fake numbers provided by government (just like Obama uses in the U.S.), it might well be closer to 40 percent. Even worse, unemployment among young adults (25 and under) is 51 percent. And, this is all before their real estate falls off a cliff. Spanish real estate hasn’t even fallen as far as U.S. real estate — yet. Are you getting the picture?

Disaster looms....

Read more on Newsmax.com: Spain's Fiscal Armageddon Will Be Warning

02 May 2012

New Parties, Old Faces

10 Iyyar 5772
Day 25 of the Omer

Why do these tired, old rejected politicians believe that forming a new party with a new name will cause people to flock back to them. Uh, been there, done that! The average Israeli is not as gullible as the members of the "Elite" might think.

In 2011, Ehud Barak left Labor and started his own party called Independence. Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert joined Kadima when it was fresh and new, but once that wore off and people saw that it had no real substance, it lost it's popularity. Now, the two of them are looking to start yet another "new" party, but they still only have their "old" faces and nothing but the name will have changed.

01 May 2012

Good Signs for Yisrael in Iyyar

10 Iyyar 5772
Day 25 of the Omer

"Supermoon" on Shabbat and Solar Eclipse across China, Japan and America two weeks later.

Biggest Full Moon of the year due this weekend as 'supermoon' raises tides around the planet

The moon is set to get a lot bigger this weekend - at least from our perspective on Earth.

And the 'Supermoon' - the nickname for a perigee full moon, closer to the Earth than usual - could cause tides to rise around the world as the moon's close 'fly past' exerts 42% more tidal force.

The moon will appear bigger and brighter - sky-watchers promise this 'supermoon' will be 16% brighter than most when it begins on Saturday at 3.35pm GMT, 11.35am EDT.

The annular solar eclipse of May 20-21, 2012