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September 1, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 PAGE 3A By Rabbi Benjamin How it got its name has a moments--brought to the Blech biblical source. It seems that tenth power. Aish Hatorah in the mid-19th century there The relationship between Resources was a famine in northern the sun and the moon and the Illinois. Thankfully, there years predicted for the Egyp- The mystical meaning of was a bountiful harvest in tian exile share the number the next eclipse which is only the South. So the people in 400 so that we be attentive to seven years away. the North said that they felt apowerfuldivine message.An Amazingly enough, the themselveslikethechildrenof eclipse, the Talmud teaches "totality eclipse" which Jacobwhoinatimeoffamineus, is a heavenly sign. An took place this past Mon- were forced to go down to eclipse of the moon, the rab- day across the continental Egypt to seek food for their bis tell us, is a bad omen for United States was not the end families--andthe Carbondale the Jewish people; an eclipse of the story. While eclipses region which saved their lives ofthesunisabadsignforthe of this magnitude are fairly became known to this day as non-Jewish world. I dare to rare occurrences--scien- Little Egypt. suggest that an eclipse across tists tell us that if you stood If you believe, as I do, that the continental United States in one place on earth you coincidences are but God's of America linked to Little would have to wait on aver- way of choosing to remain Egypt may well serve as a age another 360 years until anonymous and that theywarning to the darkening of you again saw another total carry great significance as the American spirit--for the eclipse--this time round divinely inspired messages, verysamereasonthechildren is going to be different. A it surely bears noting the of IsraelendedupinEgyptof sequel is due a mere seven remarkable link between the old to shortly begin the eraof years later, on April 8, 2024. story of our original exile to their slavery. This proximity of time is Egypt and the "X marks the The children of Jacob were almost beyond belief. It de- spot" Little Egypt location of guilty of a serious crime. It ties law of averages. It means the rare dual eclipses of our was the sin of hatred between that anyone who might have decade, brothers. It was the crime missedtheblackoutofthesun There is an all-important of the sale of Joseph which thisyearwillhaveanotherop- number associated with the led to our first exile. That is portunity to join the millions Torahaccountofthe Egyptian what first darkened the pages whosharedviewingthismag- exile. It was in a prophecy to of our national history as nificent cosmic performance Abraham that God informed Jews. And that is what, post on August 21 of this year. our patriarch of the time that Charlottesville, darkens the Butthere'ssomethingeven would first bring darkness to story of American democ- more remarkable about this his descendants: "You shall racy. The cover of this week's "double feature." surely know that your seed Time magazine carries the The path of the eclipse in will be strangers in a land ominous headline "Hatred 2017 went from Northwest that is not theirs, and they Across America". More than to Southeast, from Oregon willenslave them and oppress a century after the Civil War, to South Carolina. It reached them, for 400 years" (Genesis Americans are at war with itspointofgreatestdurafiona 15:13). each other--and after alittle fewmiles south of Carbondale, A solar eclipse is predi- more than halfa century past Illinois.Totalitylastedfortwo cated on that very number, the Holocaust the barbaric minutesandthirty-eightsec- The sun, as the Bible told cries of Nazi anti-Semitism onds. In 2024 the eclipse will us, is larger than the moon: and"let's replace the Jews"are wend its way in the opposite "And God made the two great also incredibly again heard in direction, fromtheNortheast luminaries: the large lumi- our land. to the southwest. There is nary to rule the day and the If an eclipse does in fact however which small luminary to rule the have divine meaning, this will mark the intersection night " (Genesis 1:15).] Tobe must be awake-up call. Little betweenthisyear'seclipseand exact we know that the sun Egyptspeakstocontemporary the one to come, the meeting is exactly 400 times larger Americajustasancient Egypt of the two different paths thanthemoon.Howisitpos-did for us as Jews throughout across the United States, as if sible for the moon, so much the ages. Egypt with either marking the center of a large smaller, to cover the sun to adjective, little or ancient, X. It is precisely in the very our eyes in an eclipse? That has always served as a tragic same spot in Illinois where is because the sun is also 400 lesson for the consequences tOtalitY--the complete eclipse times further from us than of enmity between brother of the sun--will be repeated the moon--a relationship of and brother, between human for the greatest length of distance exactly parallel to beings all created in the same time. That exact point where that of size! image of God. the 2017 and 2024 lines of In the mystic tradition of In an eclipse, the sun totality cross is Cedar Lake in Kabbalah the number 400 is continues to shine even if we Jackson County, just south of meant to alert us to special are temporarily blinded to the Carbondale. meaning, It is the number rays of its goodness. God has Andhereisthespookypart. 40--the days Moses spent not deserted us, nor will He That geographic location on mount Sinai, the days ever do so. Eclipses are not has a name. It is called Little of the flood, and a host of curses;theyarebutwarnings. Egypt! other spiritually important If we but heed their mes- for visiting Amanda Hanna By and United with Israel Staff The winner of a Lebanese beauty pageant has been stripped of her title after itwas revealed she had visited Israel. Dual Swedish-Lebanese citizen Amanda Hanna, who won the Miss Lebanon Emi- grant 2017 competition ear- lier this month, was told she would be stripped of her title after visiting Israel, using her Swedish passport on an academic trip in 2016. "After communicating our decision with Lebanon's Minister of Tourism, he de- cided that Hanna should be stripped of her title because her visit to Israel violates our country's laws," according to a statement by The Festival of Lebanese Emigrants in Dhour Al Choueir provided to Leba- nese newspaper Al Modon. Israel and Lebanon techni- cally remain in a"state of war," and it is illegal for Lebanese citizens to travel to the Jew- ish state. This is not the first contro- versy over a Lebanese beauty queen and Israel. In 2015, Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, nearly lost her title after she posted a photo on socia media appearing with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon. Lebanon also recent- ly banned the blockbuster "Wonder Woman" movie due to the casting ofGal Gadot, an Israeli actress, in the movie's lead role. sage, we may turn the eclipses of 2017 and 2024 into the blessings for which they were divinely intended. Rabbi Benjamin Blech, a frequent contributor to Aish, is a Professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University and an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, and lecturer. Author of 19 highly acclaimed books with combined sales of over a half million copies, his newest, Redemption- Then and Now, commentaries and essays on the Passover Haggada is is presently available on Ama- zon and your local Judaica book store. See his website at ( the wake of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's ousting, reports detailing his views on the Israeli-Palestin- ian conflict have started to emerge. Bannon reportedly aggres- sively petitioned President Donald Trump to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but was blocked by Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Vanity Fair reported Sunday. Trump promised to relocate the embassy during his elec- tion campaign in 2016, but he signed a six-month waiver June 1 to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv--in line with ev- ery president's actions since Congress passed legislation calling on the U.S. to move the embassy in 1995. Bannon also reportedly lobbied Trump to take a more aggressive stance regarding Palestinian Authority Presi- dent Mahmoud Abbas. When Abbas visited the White House in May, Bannon boycotted the meeting, sending a text mes- sage to a friend stating that he would not "breathe the same air as that terrorist," accord- ing to Vanity Fair. With Bannon's departure, his alleged West Wing rival, Kushner, and others are slated to have greater influence over Trump's decision-making regarding the Israeli-Pales- Gage Skidmore Steve Bannon tinian conflict and overall foreign policy. FLORIDA Publication Date: September 15, 2017 Advertising Deadline: September 6, 2017