(Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash)

Several rabbis are pointing to last week's rare lunar eclipse and continued earthquakes as a divine pre-Messianic wake-up call. In fact, it isn't only the rabbis. Even Arab sources are labeling the recent earthquakes as part of the end-of-days conflict centered around Jerusalem.

On Friday, Israel witnessed two natural phenomena: a 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck the northern Kinneret area at noon and as the sun set, a total lunar eclipse hung overhead, turning the moon deep crimson. The eclipse was remarkably rare: the longest lunar eclipse seen over the skies of Israel in more than a century.

The earthquake was remarkable, but not for its rarity. It was the second of the week and the most recent in a series that has shaken northern Israel in the past several weeks. On a practical level, this is alarming since Israel is situated along the Syrian-African rift, a tear in the earth's crust running the length of the border separating Israel from Jordan, extending from northern Syria to Mozambique. The last major earthquake in Israel struck in 1927, a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured another 700. Experts have warned a large earthquake could strike Israel in the near future, and the government has begun funding projects for public buildings to be bolstered against tremors.

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