שועלים הלכו בו: Dozens Of Foxes Seen Early Morning Near Kosel – Prophecy of Zechariah Alive and Well! [WATCH THE VIDEO]

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As the video below shows, for the past three consecutive days, dozens of foxes have been observed entering and exiting the south western corner of the Kosel from dawn until sunrise. The scene immediately reminds one of the famous Gemara.

It would seem that the appearance of these foxes in contemporary times is indicative of a similar consolation – a message sent to us from Hashem not to worry that the prophet of Zechariah will soon be fulfilled!

The Talmud (Makos 24b) relates as follows:

Once, Rabbi Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah, Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva were arising to Yerushalayim. At the point where they had reached Har HaBayis they observed a fox that exited from the Kodshei Kadoshim. The others were crying, but Rabbi Akiva was laughing. They asked of him: Why are you laughing? He responded, why are you crying?

They said to him, “A place upon which it is written – ‘and the stranger that approaches shall surely die’ and now that foxes have overridden it – we should not cry?”

He said to them: That is precisely why I am laughing! The verse tied the prophecy of Zechariah with the prophecy of Uriah. Regarding Uriah it is written, “therefore because of you Zion shall be a field that is threshed.”  In the book of Zechariah it is written, “Older men and older women shall yet sit in the streets of Yerushalayim. Until the prophecy of Uriah would be fulfilled I was afraid that the prophecy of Zechariah would not necessarily be fulfilled. Now that the prophecy of Uriah has been fulfilled – it is known and established that the prophecy of Zechariah is being fulfilled!

They responded to him, “Akiva – you have consoled us! Akiva – you have consoled us!”

“פעם אחת היו רבן גמליאל ורבי אלעזר בן עזריה ורבי יהושע ורבי עקיבא עולין לירושלים. כיוון שהגיעו להר הבית – ראו שועל שיצא מבית קדשי הקדשים. התחילו הן בוכין, ורבי עקיבא מצחק. אמרו לו: מפני מה אתה מצחק? אמר להם: מפני מה אתם בוכים? אמרו לו: מקום שכתוב בו ‘והזר הקרב יומת’, ועכשיו ‏שועלים הלכו בו – ולא נבכה? אמר להן: לכך אני מצחק!… תלה הכתוב נבואתו של זכריה בנבואתו של אוריה. באוריה כתיב: ‘לכן בגללכם ציון שדה תחרש’. בזכריה כתיב: ‘עוד ישבו זקנים וזקנות ברחובות ירושלים’. עד שלא נתקיימה נבואתו של אוריה – הייתי מתיירא שלא תתקיים נבואתו של זכריה; עכשיו, ‏שנתקיימה נבואתו של אוריה – בידוע שנבואתו של זכריה מתקיימת

“בלשון הזה אמרו לו: “עקיבא ניחמתנו, עקיבא ניחמתנו

(תלמוד בבלי, מסכת מכות, דף כד, עמוד ב)

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40 COMMENTS

  1. So you take this Aggadah literally? Was there ever a safek that the geula was not coming? That you needed foxes to verify the redemption?

  2. Oh my this is exciting!!! The Yismach Moshe was known for his awaiting Moshiach that whenever he saw a commotion he would get excited that perhaps Moshiach is arriving. Im sure if he would see this he would be anticipating Moshiach with much fanfare. We too should arise from our slumber and eagerly await His arrival Amein.

  3. By looking at the video you cannot tell where this is. all you see is rocks. it could be in a zoo, and this is the area where the foxes always are. don’t get me wrong. I am 100% maskim that this should be a sign that Moshiach is on his way!

  4. Those are probably jackals not foxes. While R’ Akiva referred to fox, Yirmiyahu similarly referred to jackals:
    וְנָתַתִּ֧י אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַ֛ם לְגַלִּ֖ים מְע֣וֹן תַּנִּ֑ים
    (9:10)

  5. Looks like the Davidson Center by the Southern Excavations.
    I’m sure Rabban Gamliel didn’t say – “Akiva, I think they’re jackals, not foxes”. We’re talking concept here.

  6. It is a passuk in Eicha that we read every year, near the end of the fifth chapter. It is not in Zecharia, and it is not a gemara. Actually, it is quite an interesting book. You may wish to read it.

  7. In general, foxes have narrow, pointy snouts, and are much smaller than the wolf-like canines. They are solitary hunters and they usually hunt small prey. … Wolves and jackals are closely related but jackals are much smaller and more dainty, and they usually hang around in much smaller groups

  8. There are shulaim that pray on the har habayis 5 times a day. Perhaps this is a reminder that despite the fancy plaza we are still in galus, and to do something about it.

  9. These are jackals. Foxes are solitary – you won’t find one within miles of another, as a rule. But that’s okay – Shualim are jackals, not foxes.

  10. Attn apushatayid
    I do not know if there is an intentional hidden meaning in your comment of שועלים praying 5 times a day – but the גמטריא of שעלים and ישמעאל is equal (my understanding of גמטריות is that off by one or ten is not an issue).

  11. > estabachurmibangeladash August 7, 2019 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm
    > Instead of arguing about the minutest of details how about take the message to heart of the imminent arrival of
    > mashiach.

    OK, Deal. I will take to heart that the messiah is arriving, on one condition. That you provide some degree of conditions for this promise. What is the time frame for his arrival? How will he be identified? And what will be the result if he fails to arrive?

  12. Benephraim, are you greater then the prophets? They mentioned it in their words so that the blind in the times of the galus can at least see a physical sign that the geula was coming. May Hashem have rachmanus on your neshama.

  13. “עַל הַר צִיּוֹן שֶׁשָּׁמֵם שׁוּעָלִים הִלְּכוּ בוֹ. איכה”

    This is a nevua?

  14. “Instead of arguing about the minutest of details how about take the message to heart of the imminent arrival of mashiach.”

    Perhaps the message is, wake up folks, despite the fancy plaza in front of the kotel, the shechina is still in golus, we are still in golus, har tzion is still in ruins, and while you get to daven in a fancy plaza down below, shulaim get to go up to the har habayis and pray 5 times a day.

  15. To Rav Epstein who wishes me well for asking , are you related to the well known Rav Yaakov Nachum Halevy Epstein who was from the great Talmudists?

  16. MDshweks, Lurker, Aryehshoeg, and apushatayid; it’s true that the pasuk of “shualim hilchu ba” is from eichah. However, this pasuk is bringing evidence for Uriah’s nevuah that “Zion shall be a field that is threshed”. (a nevuah of galus)

    Zechariah’s nevuah is the one of geulah: “Older men and older women shall yet sit in the streets of Yerushalayim” (people will live to old age because there will be times of peace).
    I think Akiva’s point is that “Now that the prophecy of Uriah has been fulfilled – it is known and established that the prophecy of Zechariah is being fulfilled!”(quote from the article above)

  17. After reading through all these posts, it appears that someone should have consulted the wildlife experts before proclaiming that a questionable nevuah had been fulfilled. Fake news but very entertaining.

  18. Funny, I always thought of modern Jerusalem as quite urban. What a difference 2,000 years make. Back then, foxes (& jackals) ran wild; now they would have to dodge cars & buses.

    Of course, NYC (where I live) has raccoons and coyotes, so I guess it is plausible.

    In any case, this is a great sign.

  19. Yes, I agree to GadolHaDorah! R’ Akiva should have consulted the wildlife experts! How could he have thought that the nevuah was fulfilled without asking the wildlife experts first!!!!
    LOL

  20. Hi. just got a quick question and dont want to sound like a koifer in moshiach but i dont understand the whole big deal.
    Hasnt this prophecy been fulfilled already in the times of the gemoro. Isnt this the reason the taanaim were crying.
    And didnt reb akiva respond “Now that the prophecy of Uriah has been fulfilled – it is known and established that the prophecy of Zechariah is being fulfilled!”. So what happened now more than what happened way more than over 1000 years ago. As i said, i dont mean to say moshiach is not coming in the near future, just what do we see from here.

  21. While the appearance of foxes is certainly stirring, it has NOTHING to do with nevua of Zecharya, IMHO.

    The nevua of Zecharya, עוד ישבו זקנים וזקנות ברחובות ירושלים, we have baruch Hashem been zocheh to see already many many times in this blessed era of אתחלתא דגאולה, and we should continually thank Hashem for that, may it only grow.

    The statement שועלים הלכו בו , as we all should know, comes from the concluding verses of Eicha, and was not a nevua but a report of fact that was witnessed by Yirmiyah after the CHurban. It is interesting to see their return, but nothing more than that.

  22. Perhaps a deeper dive into the gemara itself is in order. Did Rabbi akiva c’v ever doubt the nevua of zecharia would be fulfilled? Was he of the opinion the har habayis was not “plowed over” and “desolate” until he saw foxes walking there? Wasnt Yirmiyahus report in Eicha enough “proof” that the har habayis was desolate? Didnt Rabbi Akiva live just after the churbas bayis sheini and see its utter destruction? How was Rabbi Akivas response a nechama to the other tanaaim, didnt THEY trust the nevuah of zecharia would come to fruition?

    Its nice to read a story about a purported sighting of foxes on the har habayis, then misquote, and completely misunderstand a famous gemara, and ergo, lets light up the internet with (well, im not really sure what to call it except silliness).