President Trump places a written prayer into a crack at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel, on May 22, 2017.

President Trump places a written prayer into a crack at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel, on May 22, 2017.

Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital came on the exact same date on the Hebrew calendar that Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, 48 years earlier, just a year after Israel’s founding, announced that it would be so.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech, professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University and an internationally recognized educator, religious leader and lecturer, did the calculation and found that both announcements were made on the Hebrew calendar date of Kislev 19 – Ben-Gurion’s in 1949 and Trump’s earlier this month.

“[W]hen I looked at the Hebrew calendar, I realized something far more profound than a political statement,” Blech wrote in Aish.com. “Rabbinic scholars long ago taught us that with the end of prophecy, after the close of the Bible, God has another way in which to communicate with mankind. It is by way of the secret of time – the linkage of events occurring on exactly the same date that makes clear we are meant to understand divine messages. Coincidence, it’s been famously said, is God’s way of choosing to remain anonymous. In other words, it’s God’s way of testing our ability to concede the Almighty’s role in directing the remarkable twists and turns of history.”

Blech says he’s certain President Trump did not know the significance of the day on which he chose to proclaim the historic change of America’s policy with regard to the status of Jerusalem.

“The idea of the seemingly coincidental confluence of events on precisely the same day suggesting divine involvement has a precedent with another major moment in Jewish history – also linked to the month of Kislev as well as to Jerusalem,” he adds.

Hanukkah began on Kislev 25 – another notable date in the history of Jerusalem.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Rabbi Benjamin Blech

“What makes this date so special?” Blech asks. “The Maccabees fought the battles but it was God who, behind the scenes, saw to it that success was finally achieved on the 25th of Kislev – the exact same day when construction of the second temple had commenced years before, as evidenced in the prophetic book of Haggai (Chapter 2:10, 15 and 18). And when the Syrian Greeks, in their efforts to eradicate Judaism, defiled the temple with idols, pagan sacrifices were not offered in the temple until – yes, you guessed it – the 25th of Kislev” (I Maccabees 1: 54-59).

Blech says the message of that date is reflected in the prophet Isaiah’s vision for universal peace, which appears prominently on a wall outside of the United Nations: “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

“That, too, I believe was the message of the 19th of Kislev” this month, he wrote.

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