Many people read prophecy, some understand its relevance in current events, but Avi Taub, CEO of Shefa Yamim, took it one step further and founded a multi-million dollar mining and exploration company based on prophecy. Seventeen years later, prophecy is still at the core of his successful corporate vision.
Taub grew up in the precious stones business. His family had a diamond polishing plant and dealt in manufacturing and marketing jewelry. In 1989, Taub, a follower of Chabad Hasidut, visited Rabbi Schneerson. The rabbi, known to his followers simply as “the Rebbe,” is the spiritual leader to millions of followers of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism. With very little explanation, the Rebbe told Taub to begin mining. Taub entered into an unsuccessful project in Australia. He struggled to understand the Rebbe’s message. Through a friend who was also a follower of the Rebbe, Taub was made aware of a video in which the Rebbe made a remarkable statement, given to then-mayor of Haifa, Arye Gurel in 1988.
“In Haifa, there is a sea. One shouldn’t become intimidated by something that is deep,” the Rebbe said to Gurel. “This is the uniqueness of Haifa – that it has a sea and that there is a valley and in the valley are precious stones and gems. The Holy One, Blessed Be He, did a wondrous thing; he concealed them in the depths of the earth, and in any case, in the depth of the river.”
Taub searched for more clues and found that the Rebbe discussed these hidden gems again in a public lesson in 1991. The Rebbe explained new and unprecedented knowledge and material resources, hidden since the Creation of the World, will be discovered as the redemption approaches. The Rebbe specified that precious stones and gems will be for the purpose of giving additional charity and performing other mitzvoth (commandments) to hasten the Messiah in its final stages.
Taub went searching for other clues to hidden gems in Israel and found hints that the region assigned to the tribe of Zevulun was hinted at in the Bible as the source of hidden wealth. This was based on Moses’ blessing to the tribe in Deuteronomy.
And of Zevulun he said: Rejoice, O Zevulun, on your journeys, And Yissachar, in your tents. They invite their kin to the mountain, Where they offer sacrifices of success. For they draw from the riches of the sea And the hidden hoards of the sand. Deuteronomy 33:18-19
The Meam Loez, an 18th-century commentary on the Bible initiated by Rabbi Yaakov Culi, wrote the following on that verse.
“There are vast amounts of natural treasures that are hidden in the sea and in the earth in the portion of the tribe of Zevulun. These treasures include the rare “chilazon” from whose blood the aqua color is obtained for ‘tzitzit’, precious stones and gems – diamonds – most of which afforded the Land of Israel vast wealth, generally speaking, and especially for the tribe of Zevulun!”
Taub was satisfied that all of the clues pointed towards Israel to find these hidden gems the Rebbe had told him to search for. He had no way of knowing that another hidden treasure, the Leviathan natural gas fields discovered off the coast of Israel in 2010, were also included in this prophecy.
In 1999, Taub and several other Chabad Jews established Shefa Yamim Co. Ltd. with the intention of locating precious stones and gems in Israel. As per the Rebbe’s instructions to Haifa’s mayor, Taub focused his company’s efforts along the Kishon riverbed in the Zevulun Valley, the Carmel Mountain Range bordering Haifa, and the area of Ramot Menashe. Their company based in Akko is in the final year of exploration and Taub anticipates that they will begin production next year.
They made important discoveries while drilling and taking soil samples, including a kimberlite, the source of diamonds, 77 diamonds of various sizes, as well as hundreds of thousands of mineral indicators that accompany diamonds and gems such as sapphires and rubies. A 3.5 mm moissanite, the largest example of this precious and rare stone found anywhere to date, was also discovered in the Zevulun region. The company recently upgraded the factory in Akko to handle more volume.
“All of the geologists, all of the experts were in shock. We succeeded in proving that faith is shaking hands with science,” Taub told Breaking Israel News. “Every day we are making new finds.”
The success went public about five months ago when Shefa Yamim began trading on the London Stock Exchange. Taub noted the timing of the discoveries of Israel’s hidden treasures.
“These stones could have been discovered ten years ago, or one-hundred,” he emphasized. “The Rebbe told us to begin now because he knew the Moshiach (Messiah) was coming and that was when these stones were to be brought to light.”
“This was the special trait of the Rebbe,” Taub explained. “He was one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the 20th century and certainly the most influential leader for so many Jews. But he connected prophecy and current events, the Bible with science.”
This is evident in the Rebbe’s personal story. Before becoming the leader of the Chabad movement, the Rebbe studied in some of the most important universities in the world, such as the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Berlin, receiving at least three Ph.D. degrees in physics, philosophy and mechanical engineering. An imperative given by such a man was not to be taken lightly. Taub noted that on the High Priest’s breastplate, every tribe was represented by a precious stone.
“It would be so much greater if all the stones from the breastplate came from inside Israel,” Taub said. “We are hoping to make that possible in time for the Third Temple.”
Coincidentally, in the high priest’s breastplate, Zevulun’s name was engraved on a diamond. The only source of native diamonds in Israel is from the territory belonging to Zevulun and the only company mining these diamonds is Shefa Yamim.