Weekly Inspiration

Eclipse of the Sun
March 28th, 2024
Eclipse of the Sun

Hashem blessed Avraham Avinu, “And the fourth generation shall return [to the Land of Israel], for the iniquity of the Emorite shall not yet be full until then.” (Beraishis 15:16)

Does the term “fourth generation” refer only to the Biblical Era? Perhaps it is also a hint about the end of the Fourth Exile, meaning our current world. “Ma’ase avos siman l’banim …. What happened to the fathers is a sign for the children.”

Perhaps the Torah is hinting that the Final Redemption and Ingathering of Exiles will have to wait until the iniquity of our enemies is full in the End of Days. “The iniquity of the Emor-ite” in our own days seems very close to “full.” Examine the actions of our enemies in Eretz Yisroel and throughout the world. Entire countries who once claimed to be our friends are shunning and attacking us. The nations of the world are indeed bursting with iniquity. 

One of our readers pointed out that a full eclipse of the sun is predicted for Rosh Chodesh Nissan, which is next week. This eclipse will be visible over a wide swath of the United States, extending into Canada, two countries whose former friendship toward Israel has turned to bitter recrimination. 

What does an eclipse portend? 

“The Rabbis taught in a Baraisa: a solar eclipse is a bad omen for non-Jews ….” (Succah 29a) (Non-Jews are associated with the sun because they use a solar calendar. Interestingly, this would exclude Moslem nations, who use a lunar calendar.) 

Why does this happen? The Gemara gives several reasons, including the following: “The sun is stricken on account of illicit activities and on account of two brothers whose blood was spilled as one.”

The first reason speaks for itself; the world was destroyed in the Great Flood for precisely this reason. Regarding the second reason: there have been several incidents over the past year in Israel in which two brothers have been killed by our enemies at the same time. I am personally familiar with a family in which two angelic young brothers were intentionally struck down just before Shabbos

“Eichah! …. The city that was great with people has become like a widow…. She weeps bitterly in the night and her tear is on her cheek. She has no comforter.… All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies….” (Eichah 1:1-2) 

There is a tendency to assume that all our problems can be “worked out” in the context of our present civilization. If we pass this law or speak to this official or win this election, things will improve. 

But what happens if, as with an eclipse, “the sun is stricken?” What happens if the civilization itself is sick beyond repair? What happens if the world is in the condition described by King David, who says, “When the wicked bloom like grass and all the doers of iniquity blossom, it is to destroy them forever.” (Tehillim 92) 

I would like to point out that redemption occurs only when the host civilization crumbles and we escape. The paradigm, of course, is Mitzraim. How remarkable! This year, the sun will be stricken on the very first day of the month in which Mitzraim was destroyed and the Children of Israel were liberated from that evil empire!

“Rabbi Yitzchak taught: in the year in which Moshiach will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be in conflict. The King of Persia will quarrel with the King of Arabia and the … King of Persia will destroy the entire world. The nations will be confused and agitated and will be seized with fear and pains like the pangs of birth.” (Yalkut Shimoni as quoted in the Book of Our Heritage)

The Malbim says that, before Moshiach comes, Bnai Yishmoel and Bnai Esav will form a world coalition to drive us out of Israel, but, following that, these two super-cultures will destroy each other. This is what the Malbim calls Milchemes Gog Umagog, the final war in history. (Malbim on Yechezkel 32:17, quoted in my book, 2020 Vision)

The Chofetz Chaim said there will be three wars before Moshiach: the First World War, the Second World War and the Final War. 

Will we survive? Of course we will survive! However, we must separate our lot from the civilization that is about to destroy itself. We are “Am levadad yishkon … a nation apart.” (Bamidbar 23:9) The Prophet reassures us: “Do not be afraid, My servant Yaakov – the word of Hashem – for I am with you…. I shall make an end of all the nations where I have dispersed you, but of you I shall not make an end. I shall punish you with justice, but I shall not destroy you utterly.” (Yirmiahu 46:28) 

Hashem will save a remnant of Am Yisroel, whatever happens, but we have to try to merit salvation. Please, Am Yisroel, let us act like “one man with one heart.” Maybe then our Father in Heaven will have mercy on us and allow us to live in the perfect world which is just over the horizon! “Avinu malkainu … Our Father, our King, be gracious with us and answer us, though we have no worthy deeds. Treat us with charity and kindness and save us!”



Bnai Esav: The Children of Esau, progenitor of the Western Nations. 
Bnai Yishmoel: The Children of Ishmael, progenitor of the Moslem Nations
Emorite: The primary nation which occupied the Land of Canaan before Hashem gave it to the Children of Israel


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