In Pictures, 2019 Lunar Eclipse

Last night, a few minutes after 9:30pm, a rare lunar eclipse began. The lunar eclipse, which covers the moon temporarily, left it dark. Those outside braving the cold were able to take photos of the phenomenon. The eclipse lasted for hours, only fully ending a few minutes before 3:00am.


  • 1. F.C.S. wrote:


    Truly awesome and inspiring.
    We witnessed a lunar eclipse in Eretz Yisroel this past summer as well.
    As Yidden are compared to the moon – it makes one contemplate on this phenomenal event and try to learn positive and comforting lessons.

  • 2. Osher wrote:

    On a related issue, Dr Jeremy Brown Director of the Office of Emergency Care Research writes about a solar eclipse and disputes the Rebbe’s opinion.

    He was emailed:

    Good evening Dr Brown,

    I’ve just read your interesting article on eclipses ( which includes your dismissal of the explanation of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed memory and I wish to share with you my understanding of the Rebbe’s opinion.

    You quote the Rebbe saying “that while a solar eclipse was predictable, the local weather was most certainly not. It could not be predicted whether or not a solar or lunar eclipse would be visible through the clouds, and since it was this aspect that was under Divine control, it presumably could change in response to the local actions of the people” and respond: “Elegant as this might be, this suggestion, too, has considerable problems. In the first place, the weather is indeed predictable, although of course the ability to predict the weather is relatively limited. But more problematic is the fact that a total solar eclipse will be completely visible whether or not there are clouds. A cloudy day will prevent a viewer on the ground from witnessing the moment of conjunction as the moon covers the disc of the sun, and also prevent him from seeing the stars. However, the other effect of a total solar eclipse— darkness as though it were night—will be just as visible.”

    My understanding is that although the eclipses are predictable and precise, when God “shows” an eclipse to those cognisant of their meaning (as the Rebbe writes in the letter you refer to but inaccurately reference [Igros Kodesh 15:1079 should be corrected to read Igros Kodesh 15:5579]), He means to convey a message. If however the phenomenon is clouded (pun intended) from the sight of he who is aware of the meaning behind these occurrences, then no message is intended. Weather is not only (accurately and precisely) predictable (as you admit on page 7) but can be altered in numerous ways including, but not limited to, (good) actions, prayer and (in a more down-to-earth manner) through care of the environment. [No doubt you have studied Tractate Taanis and you are aware that clouds sometime appear “out of nowhere”.] Therefore, if this person “sees” an eclipse, he knows to take a message from on High. If Hashem obscured the eclipse, then he knows not to take a message.

    This answers your question on page 8. You quote the Rebbe saying:

    “There is a well-established principle that it is forbidden to institute a blessing that is not mentioned in the Talmud. And some say that the reason that no blessing was instituted is because the eclipse is a bad omen. To the contrary, it is important to pray for the omen to be annulled, and to cry out without a berachah.” and you reject it:

    “R. Schneerson combines a halachic justification for not reciting a berachah with the classic Talmudic teaching that a solar eclipse occurs as a result of human sin. However, there are two questions with R. Schneerson’s ruling. First, it is normative Jewish practice to recite a berachah on hearing bad news such as the death of a person,12 and second, the Talmud does not describe a solar eclipse as an omen of forthcoming disaster. It is a sign of sin, not of punishment.”

    However it is a well established fact that a Brocho is not recited when one is informed that something is about to happen. One does not recite the Brocho Dayan Ho’Emes when he hears that his father is going to die soon. This is true even if the “bad news” is inevitable; all the more so is this true when the “bad news” can be avoided through Teshuvah and good deeds. This was the Rebbe’s point.

    Your question on page 9 regarding the difference between the suitability of a Jewish marriage during a solar eclipse and the unsuitability of such a marriage during a lunar eclipse (and fasting…) is answered with the statement in Tractate Sukkah folio 29 that (only) a lunar eclipse is a bad sign for Jews while a solar eclipse is a bad sign for the nations.

    Best of luck in your endeavours to help mankind recover and making this world a dwelling place for the Almighty down below.

    P.S. There are many other teaching of the Rebbe that were misunderstood and questioned by scholars pursuing truth. One such example is the Halachic dateline and its affect on one travelling internationally in terms of shifting the day his Yom Tov of Shavuos falls out. This crystal clear concept was misunderstood by many, including Lubavitchers, and this lack of grasp resulted in the unfortunate dismissal of his solid viewpoint. But we can leave that for another time.

    Much success.

  • 3. Blood moons can also be sign of moshiach wrote:

    The blood moon is spoken about by the neveim as being a sign we will see right before moshiach comes.
    We certainly have had a lot of blood moons lately.

    Also the plagues of mitzraim are to return right before moshiach.
    Many rivers have turned red, there was a plague of locusts in mecca when we read about it the the torah, there was hail mixed with fire lightening and the hail killed cattle.

    The rebbes view of a lunar eclipse was that its a bad sign for jews. someone seeing it is in need of tshuvah.
    Hashem made sure who would see it so dont feel bad if you were not successful in getting to see it as it was better for you that way.
    The rebbe also said if we do the will of Hashem we dont have to fear from the signs of the heavens

  • 4. Milhouse wrote:

    The blood moon is spoken about by the neveim as being a sign we will see right before moshiach comes.


    • 5. Ezra wrote:

      He’s probably talking about this verse (Yoel 3:4):

      השמש יהפך לחשך והירח לדם לפני בוא יום ה’ הגדול והנורא

      “The sun will turn to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of Hashem comes.”

      Whether this eclipse is in fulfillment of that prediction – dunno. But the bottom line is that we need that יום ה’ הגדול והנורא, the coming of Moshiach, without further delay.


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