While amateur astronomers gear up to see the penumbral lunar eclipse, which will occur on the nights of 4 and 5 July, Rabbi Yosef Berger is warning that the event is also a "message from God" and could lead to tragedy. Berger claims that celestial events related to the Sun and the Moon are how the God of his faith announces a final redemption.
"A modern man does not understand how God appears in nature, how God speaks to us through nature. To the prophets, this was very clear", Berger said in a conversation with The Daily Express newspaper.
The rabbi cites several religious books, which he says predict tragic events. First he cites a verse in the Book of Joel, a portion of the Hebrew Bible.
"Before the great and terrible day of Hashem [a title in Judaism to refer to God] comes, I will set portents in the sky and on earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall turn into darkness and the moon into blood," the section reads.
Berger warns that some politicians may die after the upcoming lunar eclipse, pointing to a statement in an 1894 book of Kabbalistic insights penned by a Polish rabbi, Moshe Yisrael Benyamin, who stated that if the Moon is eclipsed in the month of Tammuz [fourth month in the Hebrew calendar, which this year falls on July] "a sultan will die and great troubles will follow".
Berger also referred to a discussion in the Talmud suggesting that lunar eclipses are a bad omen for Israel. Berger claims that Tel Aviv is represented by the Moon. The rabbi also assumes that lunar eclipses seen only in the eastern hemisphere are a bad sign for all nations in the east and similarly, if it is observed in western hemisphere, nothing good awaits countries in this part of the world.
Earlier this year, Berger declared that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has currently killed over half a million of people and infected more than 11.2 million, is one of several biblical plagues that signify the end of the world and the coming of a Jewish 'Messiah', or savior.