Vatican City covered in snow (Photo by Shutterstock)
A violent hailstorm struck Medina, Saudi Arabia over the weekend, and on Monday, a rare storm blanketed the Vatican in snow. Two Jerusalem rabbis noted that such unusual weather phenomena occurring on the week of the holiday of Purim bear a powerful message for the world’s two largest religions.
In Medina, the burial place of Muhammad and the second holiest site for Muslims, hailstones rained down the size of golfballs and pelted the city on Saturday and Sunday, injuring people, killing animals and severely damaging vehicles and buildings. There was also significant flooding, and many public buildings and facilities were forced to close. A total of 54 people were injured at al-Masjid an-Nabawi (“the Prophet’s Mosque”) and needed to be taken to the local hospital.
Rabbi Yosef Berger, who is in charge of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, noted that according to Jewish sources, the plagues of Egypt will return and strike the nations of the world.
“This was highly unusual but it was clearly unlike the hail that struck Egypt which was a miraculous combination of fire and ice,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. “Nonetheless, ever since the solar eclipse in the summer, the world has seen extreme natural occurrences like this.”
The rabbi mentioned the hurricanes that struck the eastern coast of the United States (US) as well as the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that have occurred with disturbing frequency in recent months all around the world.
“This is just a preview and a taste of things to come,” Rabbi Berger said.
The snowstorm that hit Vatican City and Rome on Monday was the second and heaviest snowfall to hit the Mediterranean city in 33 years and the result of a massive cold front dubbed the ‘Beast of the East’ by meteorologists. The cold front originated in Siberia and is crossing Europe.
With four inches of snow, the winter storm was hardly a blizzard but temperatures rarely drop below freezing in the Vatican and the city was consequently, ill-prepared. Schools closed, transportation was disrupted and the airport all but stopped functioning as the Italian army was called in to help clear the snow and restore order.
As expressed by the prophet Isaiah, snow can be seen as a sign of repentance.
“Come, let us reach an understanding, —says Hashem. Be your sins like crimson, They can turn snow-white; Be they red as dyed wool, They can become like fleece.” Isaiah 1:18
Rabbi Yekutiel Fish told Breaking Israel News that the hail and snow striking Medina and the Vatican respectively are warning calls of repentance with an added hint of dire consequences that will occur if they do not repent.
“The gematria (Hebrew numerology) of the word sheleg (snow) is 333,” Rabbi Fish explained to Breaking Israel News. “This is precisely equal to gar’een, the word for an atomic bomb.”
Rabbi Fish said this was a reference to the end-of-days battle of Gog and Magog.
“The war in the end-of-days is going to be between Ishmael, the Muslims, and Edom, the Catholic Church,” Rabbi Fish said. “Both cities, religious centers for their respective religions, being hit by snow and hail in the same week in such an extraordinary manner is a clear hint of the nature that war will take.”
The War of Gog and Magog as a nuclear conflict conforms to a tradition from Rabbi Elijah of Vilna, the preeminent Torah scholar of the 18th century known as the Vilna Gaon who was well known for his contributions in understanding the Messianic process.
The Vilna Gaon, taught that the war of Gog and Magog will last 12 minutes. This 18th-century prophecy of a 12-minute war was somewhat prophetic as it came several hundred years before the advent of nuclear weapons. Such a short war, possibly a nuclear exchange, may have been hinted at in the Bible.
At eventide behold terror; and before the morning they are not. Isaiah 17:14
Rabbi Berger also referred to the timely significance of these two bizarre storms, noting that Jews around the world read last Saturday, the section of the Torah describing the mitzvah (commandment) of erasing the memory of Amalek. The reading of the biblical passage is in preparation for the upcoming holiday of Purim that celebrates the downfall of Haman, a descendant of the Amalekites, who attempted to wipe out the Jewish people.
“Here we see the Hand of God covering up these two cities that are sanctified to erasing Torah,” Rabbi Berger said to Breaking Israel News. “It is like Hashem (God, literally ‘the name’) wiping out the memory of those two cities.”
The rabbi elaborated with an allegory.
“After the Messiah, the world will be entirely different, as if it was newly created,” Rabbi Berger said. “Covering these two cities in white is like whitewashing a canvas before beginning a new painting.”
Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/103366/holy-cities-islam-catholicism-struck-freak-ice-storms-within-days/#zgpZwUuC08RrGH3R.99
Trump hails ‘big week’ for historic move; ‘Congratulations to all,’ he tweets ahead of May 14 opening
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman gives a first glimpse of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on May 11, 2018, ahead of its opening on May 14 (Screenshot)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Friday gave a first glimpse of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, showing off workers erecting the official seal on the building and preparing for the opening ceremony.
“We are so excited,” Friedman said in a video posted on the embassy’s Facebook page. “We have the official seal of the United States embassy. We have the dedication plaque. They are covered right now, but on Monday they are going to be unveiled.”
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Netta Barzilai after winning the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018. (AFP/ Francisco LEONG)
Israel won the Eurovision song contest for the first time in two decades Saturday as singer Netta Barzilai clucked and bucked her way to the top of the international song contest with women’s empowerment anthem “Toy.”
Backed up by three dancers, her trademark side buns featuring stripes of pink dyed hair to match her pink-and-black outfit, Barzilai busted her way through “Toy” on stage in Lisbon, Portugal, punctuating her singing with her trademark eye rolls and chicken dance moves
Quoted by US president one day, hosted by Russia’s president the next, PM is on a high, including in the polls. But will this encourage his more divisive tendencies?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the Victory Parade marking the 73th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II, in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
JTA — On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu began his week by meeting his Cypriot and Greek counterparts to finalize the commercial export to Europe of Israeli gas that he has pushed to exploit for about a decade.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from nuclear deal with Iran was widely seen as a coup for Israel’s prime minister, a fierce opponent of the deal.
The same day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel seized Iran’s archive of its military nuclear program in Tehran and spirited it to Israel, a video was posted of IDF soldiers singing Soltane Ghalbha, a traditional Persian love song – in Persian.
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Netanyahu’s detractors in the US and Israel called his presentation as a dog and pony show. “He didn’t tell us anything we haven’t known for years,” they sniffed.
Moreover, they insisted, Netanyahu’s presentation was actually counterproductive because he couldn’t show evidence that Iran is in breach of the nuclear deal it concluded in 2015 and so did nothing to persuade the Europeans to abandon the deal.
While US policy-makers are trying desperately to stabilize Afghanistan, a shift is being orchestrated by China.
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Reuters/Ipsos set a new standard this week when it condemned its own polling as unreliably favorable to the president.
“This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend,” stated a paragraph that appeared before the press release on its latest polling even began.
“Every series of polls has the occasional outlier, and in our opinion, this is one. So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.”
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When a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called the police after two black men refused to leave, the chain of events ended with the burnt taste of the overpriced coffee chain colluding with anti-Semitism.
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“It is me who in large part made most of the situation worse than it was,” he announced.
“Your threshing season will last until your grape harvest, and your grape harvest will last until the time you plant. You will have your fill of food, and you will dwell securely in your land” (Vayikra 26:5).
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