August 11, 2019
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!"