What are Israelis saying about the total solar eclipse?

Many Christians see the rare total solar eclipse in North America as a divine warning, and a “sign of the times.”

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Prophecy, Eclipse
An Orthodox Jewish man watches a solar eclipse in Jerusalem on January 04, 2011. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90
An Orthodox Jewish man watches a solar eclipse in Jerusalem on January 04, 2011. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90

Tomorrow, Monday, April 8, people living in parts of North America will have a rare opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse. Many Christians view this as a prophetic event, which for us always begs the question: What are Israelis and the Jewish people at large saying about it? After all, they are the ‘People of the Book’ from which those prophecies come.

A survey of the Hebrew press reveals that Israelis are widely aware of, and even excited by the upcoming eclipse, but aren’t seeing anything in it beyond scientific curiosity. Even religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish media outlets are devoid of any talk of prophecy or “signs in the skies” in relation to this particular eclipse.

That’s not to say Judaism attaches no spiritual importance to eclipses or other celestial events. It most certainly does. The medieval French rabbi known by the acronym Rashi, one of Judaism’s most revered sages, wrote that eclipses are always a bad omen. Which means a total eclipse is most certainly not a ‘good’ sign. Most other rabbis agree that a solar eclipse is a heavenly call to repentance.

In the Talmud, the Jewish sages teach that a total solar eclipse is “comparable to a king who prepared a feast for his servants and placed a lantern before them to illuminate the hall. He became angry at them and said to his servant: Take the lantern from before them and seat them in darkness.”

But for many religious Israeli Jews, for a major celestial event to have prophetic significance, at least in relation to Israel, it should actually be visible from Israel.

Some Christians who have written to Israel Today argue that the eclipse is visible in North America because the prophetic significance is as a warning to the world’s only true superpower regarding its recent hostile stance toward Israel. The Biden Administration initially backed Israel unreservedly in its war against Gaza and other regional enemies. But, like most other nations around the world, America quickly became critical, and of late has been issuing little but condemnations of Israel over the prolonged battle against Hamas.

For Israelis, this simply makes no sense. Hamas announced its goal of destroying Israel, and then went on a mass killing spree on Oct. 7 to show that it was serious. And Hamas, like Hezbollah, is backed by an Iranian regime with the same agenda. In other words, this is a clear existential threat. So Israelis are more than a little frustrated that their supposed “best friend” in the world is being so critical of their fighting tooth-and-nail against this threat. Maybe God is signaling His displeasure, too?

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One response to “What are Israelis saying about the total solar eclipse?”

  1. Robert's World says:

    Who knows??
    Luke 21:25 “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And upon the earth nations will be confused….”
    It would appear the signs do not necessarily have to be just over/ around Israel.

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