Rav Yaakov Emden: An Icelandic Volcano is One of the Openings of Gehinnom
Thanks to Shirat Devorah for pointing me to a blog called AJNWatch, which posted the image above.
In it, Rav Yaakov Emden in Migdal Oz (another version of which you can find here) quotes the Gemara in Eiruvin 19a that says that there are 3 openings to Gehinnom: 1 in the desert, 1 at sea, and 1 in Yerushalayim. He tries to reconcile this with the Zohar that says that there are really 7 openings to Gehinnom. He therefore says that there are really 3 categories of openings to Gehinnom. There are 3 at sea: Hekla, Etna, and Vesuvius. (He goes on to say that there are 2 more on each side of India, plus 1 in the desert and 1 in Yerushalayim.) He specifically refers to Hekla (which Wikipedia says is the most active volcano in Iceland) as one which constantly spews fire like a river of sulfur, and near it, one can hear a wailing sound and a great roar.
What does this have to do with the Eyjafjallajokull volcano? Well, 2 things: 1)some scientists say that Hekla may follow and 2) it's close to Hekla.
This article says that R' Yaakov Emden is not the only one that calls it the "Gateway to Hell":
Eyjafjallajokull volcano recent volcanic activity in Iceland that caused a disaster in Iceland and almost the whole of Europe, the scientists are baffled about the eruption status of Hekla too.
Eyjafjallajokull is situated in close proximity of Hekla. According to Geological reports it says that volcanic activity has occurred in and around the Hekla volcano for at least twenty times in the past. For that reason the locals call it as the “Gateway to Hell”. One can estimate the level of activity of this volcano by knowing that the surface of Iceland is covered with the volcanic product, tephla, of which almost 10% has been produced due to volcanic activity of Hekla and the rest by other volcanoes in Iceland in past hindered decades.
In 1980 and 1991 eruptions, the Hekla erupted in 2000. It’s been dormant since then. People are starting to get worried because the general rule is that the longer it remains calm, the more violent will its next eruption be. It’s been ten years since last eruption and the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull tells that the chance of nearby eruption in the “Gateway to Hell” is high.
The ash cloud covering the sky which disturbed the life in whole Europe was a result of the recent Eyjafjallajokull eruptions. That volcano was much less fearful and threatening than this one. Only time can tell what will happen if this volcano goes off though the consequences might well be shocking.