Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Tzunami Kabbalist -- Or how to predict the coming apocalypse (between Rosh Hashana and Succos, this time)

(I'm analyzing this to shed light on the latest apocalyptic prediction from a kabbalist -- Rabbi Shimon Dahan -- some people regard with awe yet has made many incorrect or nonspecific predictions in the past. For the present day prediction, see the bottom of this post.)

I have a surefire way to predict disasters, and convince people that you are a kabbalist with mystical powers of prediction.

Just issue repeated predictions of dire comings in the near future, of different sorts. Eventually, one of the predictions will match closely enough that people will think you are a great sage and prophet.

Almost doesn't count, except in horseshoes and hand grenades... and in apocalyptic predictions.

I won't bother talking about the "autistics", who do just this.

Rather, I would like to discuss the predictions of the famed kabbalist, Rabbi Shimon Dahan. He is known as the Tzunami kabbalist, because he predicted a tsunami.

But let us look at his record, for specificity and for accuracy. That is, when his predictions were accurate, how precise was he being? And how often did his predictions miss the mark?

1) Let us start with his tsunami prediction. The report as to his prediction was as follows. From a post in May 2005, regarding the tsunami which impacted India in December 2004:
But before this, I only will say that this Rav is the *only one* (as far as I know) who foresaw the tsunami exactly in time. In front of the same audience, one day before the tsunami, the Rav said that very soon something very hard will happen in India or in California! One day later we already saw the tsunami in the news....
So we have an accurate statement, but how specific was it?

If he knew, why did he think either India or California? This is called hedging your bets. It is not entirely specific in terms of place.

Did he say it would be the next day? No, he said "very soon". He lucked out that it was the next day, but within a month, people would still understand it to be "very soon". Moshe Rabbenu said kachatzot halayla so that people wouldn't scoff if they would be off in their calculations, but "very soon" is not really specific.

Did he say what would happen? No, he said "something very hard will happen". So he was not specific in terms of place.

To sum up, he said that in some near time, something big would happen in either place X or place Y. If nothing happened, people would have forgotten about it. (This is where his accuracy comes in.) And indeed, he has made false predictions, and people promptly forgot about it. But he makes an ambiguous statement to credulous people who want it to be true, and lucks out one time. His fame is established!

Fake psychics use similar techniques, giving general statements that the listener will fill in with the appropriate details. Examples from wikipedia of this shotgunning technique:

Shotgunning might include a series of vague statements such as:

  • "I see a heart problem with a father-figure in your family, a father, a grandfather, an uncle, a cousin... I'm definitively seeing chest pain here for a father-figure in your family."

  • "I see a woman that isn't a blood relative. Someone around when you were growing up, an aunt, a friend of your mother, a stepmother with blackness in the chest, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer..."

  • "I sense an older male figure in your life, who wants you to know whilst you may have had disagreements in your life, he still loved you.
and gullible folks are taken in by these charlatans all the time.

If in California, there were brush fires within a week, he would have had an accurate prediction. If there were a terrorist attack in a month in India, he would have had an accurate prediction. If the governer of California were taken by a corruption scandal three months later, he would have had an accurate prediction. And we live in a volatile words, where events of major significance or apparent major significance take place quite frequently. And if the prediction were unfulfilled, people would not call him a charlatan but assume that the people did teshuva. And if the prediction came anywhere close, they would remember him for having "predicted the tsunami." What nonsense!

Often, these predictions are made public after the event, so that people can breathlessly proclaim how he got it right. But who knows what false predictions are being filtered out?

2) Rabbi Shimon Dahan's next prediction:
Hitnatkut (disengagment)
The Rav said that the Hitnatkut will be carried out! Probably these word astonished the synagogue crowd that claimed it doesn't fit with other Gedolim words and promises. In response he said that this is only his opinion, not a prophecy (Daniel points that in his opinion the Rav said this just in order to avoid arguing with them)
Another possibility is that he was hedging his bets, while also remaining less controversial. Particularly where you face opposition for opposing Gedolim, if you fall flat on your face, people will remember and press you on it.

3) Also from August 2005, and here is a false prediction that speaks to his accuracy:
According to my source, the rabbi said that the next stage (Jerusalem) will take place very fast (he mentioned Rice's statements urging Israel for more expulsions). He didn't talk about the rest of the settlements in Judea and Samaria, only about Jerusalem. He mentioned that the news talked about the Arabs preparing all their rockets in Ramalla to target Jerusalem. He described a situation that will happen very soon where the American army will be here (in Israel), and also from all of Europe. He also said that the Yishmaelim will also be here. A little vague here - my source didn't understand whether they all come for a war or something else (such as expelling Jews from their homes; "peacekeeping"; or anything else) - all he understood is that they will be present here soon one way or another.

The rabbi said that the situation in Jerusalem will be according to him "5000 times" worse than what happened in Gush Katif, and the people who will remain there after all the troubles will be called holy (quoting Yesha'ayahu chapter 4 verse 3): "והיה הנשאר בציון, והנותר בירושלים, קדוש ייאמר לו".
He said this is the big test in faith. No matter in Jerusalem or not - many will fail the test. He stressed that we all need to strengthen our faith very much.
So "very soon" was the next day for the tsunami. How soon is "very fast"? It has been four years since then. And the great kabbalist certainly thought that it would be within Bush's presidency. To flesh out the thread of rocket attacks on Jerusalem, expulsion from Jerusalem, and the presence of the American army in Jerusalem, he pointed to statements of Condi Rice!

So he fell flat on his face. Luckily for him, the page with this prediction was taken off the Internet. So he is still the awesome "tsunami kabbalist."

4) Posted in September 2005, four years ago:
From one of the things that the Rav said, my source understood that he'd prefer the year 5766 won't come, but rather that 5767 will come instead.

He did say that the last Tisha BAv was the last Tisha BAv that we needed to fast, so the geula is close.
So, was it the last Tisha BAv we needed to fast? I fasted last year. I wish someone had told me that mashiach had already arrived!

5) From September 2005:
Commenting on Katrina and New Orleans situation, he said that what we saw in Katrina was the first stage of the future flooding. Hashem does not want to bring the "big" things at once, he desires to bring these פורענויות (punishments?) gradually, so just so that we understand: Katrina was only the VERY FIRST stage, the first taste if you want, from what Hashem is preparing for the world. According to what the Rabbi said, these events will all happen within the year.
So, non-specificity, but how many other major floodings happened within that year?

6) From September 2005:
Without mentioning anything about the recent statements about natural disasters and making aliyah to Israel, the Rav said that all the things of Rav Kaduri are correct: that Moshiach is already with us, that he has a magen David of a certain measure (this apparently was mentioned by Rav Kaduri -- see this link ). He reminded us that the Ben Ish Chai had promised Rav Kaduri that he would merit to see Melech Hamoshiach, and the fact that today Rav Kaduri is the last person alive who saw the Ben Ish Chai, and he commented something like "and he is already very old" (to say that Moshiach is very close).
One could interpret this that mashiach would come within Rav Kaduri's lifetime. That certainly was his implication of Rav Kaduri being very old. Though of course Rav Kaduri could have met mashiach (probably his talmid Yehoshua) and we are still waiting now, after Rav Kaduri's death, for that same individual to come.

7) From October 2005:
This gog that we're talking about, according to the Rav, is the third and last Gog. He said that this Gog had already conquered Iraq. When he said this he was asked by the audience if he means that George Bush is this Gog, and he said clearly: Yes, George Bush is Gog. He said that Gog will conquer Paras (Iran), and my source doesn't remember but he thinks that there were more places mentioned (he thinks Pakistan was mentioned, but not sure at all).
Four years later, Bush is a president of the past, and Obama is now known to be Gog, by the crazies. Did Bush conquer Iran? Not to recollection.

8) From November 2006
I asked him if 5769 is the last era for Moshiach's arrival and he said that he's almost positive this is the last one. Let's hope we don't have to wait till then...
Except now he is predicting it for early 5770.

9) From 2007:
Iran will be totally erased along with other Muslim countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, India, etc. The way it will be erased is thru a mega Tsunami. Afterwards, NY will fall (he didn't say how) and Yerushalayim will be raised and be the capital of the world.
He said that from all corners of the world, Jews are flocking to Eretz Israel and the wave of Aliya will continue strongly. Very few Jews will choose to remain in their foreign countries.
Israel Government will continue giving away Holy land and this is becuz they have permission from America. America is no friend to Israel but rather, taking advantage of Israel. The more land Israel gives, the richer America becomes.
In about 3 months, the Israel Government will tumble, fall, and be no more.
He is famous and popular for his tsunami prediction, so he predicts another one. Did the Israeli government cease to exist forever in 2007? Not to my recollection.

10) Now, we have his latest prediction. From Vision of Geulah:

A thoughtful person notified me that there is a rumor that “something big” will happen between Rosh Hashana and Sukkot.

Research revealed that Rabbi Shimon Dahan, known as “the Rabbi who foresaw the Tsunami”, is saying that he has been informed from Above that there will be an atomic blast during that span of time. Something which will unify the hearts of Israel and cause Mashiach to come.

Quite a juicy statement!

And my sources tell me it might even be bigger than that.


For those who don't follow this idiocy, in recent years every major Jewish holiday is accompanied by messianic predictions of the apocalypse. Certain people are hoping frantically every day, and live their lives in this frantic state, and religious holidays have religious significance, and are referred to in kabbalistic texts such as Zohar. Past predictions for the apocalypse have been for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Chanukkah, Tisha BeAv, etc. So I knew that a prediction would appear for Rosh Hashanah of this year, or else Succos of this year.

But why should anyone pay any heed to Rabbi Shimon Dahan? If he is right, wonderful. But it is likely that he is not, but is either consciously playing a game of horseshoes, hand-grenades, and apocalyptic predictions. He is lucky he was not trying to establish himself as a navi in Biblical times, or he would have been in trouble, because of his multiple false predictions.

I just don't get why people are still hanging on his every word. Actually I do.

May we merit the arrival of mashiach soon, when we can all experience truly authentic Judaism.

13 comments:

Yosef Greenberg said...

Don't forget. I predicted it first! :)

Anonymous said...

love your post buddy, keep up the good work.

also remember how rav amnon itzcack live on video available on lazerbrody said this year 5769 is the year. well i guess we got 6 more days. but dont expect him to come on national tv and apologize for his missprophecy.

Devorah said...

Good post. Thanks.

joshwaxman said...

thanks.
josh

Anonymous said...

on the other hand (just to be devil's advocate) - there WAS a nuclear blast during that time - with Iran testing it's missiles and nuclear facilities - with the generality of the prediction - that could 'count'... :)

Rachel - California

Dinah said...

KABBALIST SCAM IN MIDWOOD (FLATBUSH) BROOKLYN

WOMEN (AND MEN) BEWARE!!

NEW YORK, NY (August 31, 2010) ‘Rabbi’ Yitzchak Kimmel who runs the organization “Derech Dovid” located at 909 E 29th St. 6F, Brooklyn, NY claims he is a “Mekubal” (Kabbalist), and on his fancy website he promises to help in all the problems of life “Sholom Bayis, Infertility, Health, Parnassah, etc. He says he can provide you with ‘segulos and tikunim’ -- however, Kimmel is a religious fraud.

Kimmel claims he is a student of the late Rabbi Eliyahu Elfassi who was a close disciple and Gabbai of the famous Moroccan rabbi, Hakham Yisrael Abuchatzeira ( the Baba Sali). Kimmel uses this line of ‘educational ancestry’ to get people to come to him, pay him, and make him a rich man. These are lies.

INVESTIGATION

A religious woman from New York we shall call “Rachel,” telephoned Rabbi Elfassi ‘s widow in August of 2010 -- as well as his personal assistant of 25 years. Both of these women deny ever knowing or meeting a “Rabbi Kimmel” from New York. Both the widow and personal assistant of Rabbi Elfassi were very upset to learn that Kimmel is claiming he earned semicha (was ordained) by Rabbi Elfassi. If Kimmel did obtain ordination from Rabbi Elfassi, a copy of the certificate should be on the Internet and made public, but there never was semicha—so there is no certificate. Kimmel is just a fraud.

A woman in Baltimore that runs the American charity account for Rabbi Elfassi was also contacted by Rachel. The accountant stated Kimmel went to see Rabbi Elfassi only once a year and only for 20 minutes to an hour at the most.

TRUTHS

(1) Kimmel was never a student of Rabbi Eliyahu Elfassi!
(2) Kimmel only saw him a few times and now that that Rabbi Elfassi is dead, Kimmel uses his photo to lure unsuspecting people (mostly women) to his office.
(3) Kimmel has posted a sign on his wall indicating there is a minimum $175 charge for a 20 minute meeting. (Rabbi Eliyahu Elfassi never charged, gave you as much time as you needed to talk with him, he never did theses ‘tikuns’ and never taught kabbalah to anyone.)

SUMMARY

Kimmel is exploiting the good name of the late Rabbi Elfassi.

Kimmel takes advantage of young religious frum men and women by saying he is a kabbalist.

Kimmel is one of the many fraudulent people who prey on the vulnerability of others.

Kimmel has no “special powers” or anything else. He just known how to sweet-talk people away from their money through fraud and unethical lies.

Dinah said...

KABBALIST SCAM IN MIDWOOD (FLATBUSH) BROOKLYN

WOMEN (AND MEN) BEWARE!!

NEW YORK, NY (August 31, 2010) ‘Rabbi’ Yitzchak Kimmel who runs the organization “Derech Dovid” located at 909 E 29th St. 6F, Brooklyn, NY claims he is a “Mekubal” (Kabbalist), and on his fancy website he promises to help in all the problems of life “Sholom Bayis, Infertility, Health, Parnassah, etc. He says he can provide you with ‘segulos and tikunim’ -- however, Kimmel is a religious fraud.

Kimmel claims he is a student of the late Rabbi Eliyahu Elfassi who was a close disciple and Gabbai of the famous Moroccan rabbi, Hakham Yisrael Abuchatzeira ( the Baba Sali). Kimmel uses this line of ‘educational ancestry’ to get people to come to him, pay him, and make him a rich man. These are lies.

INVESTIGATION

A religious woman from New York we shall call “Rachel,” telephoned Rabbi Elfassi ‘s widow in August of 2010 -- as well as his personal assistant of 25 years. Both of these women deny ever knowing or meeting a “Rabbi Kimmel” from New York. Both the widow and personal assistant of Rabbi Elfassi were very upset to learn that Kimmel is claiming he earned semicha (was ordained) by Rabbi Elfassi. If Kimmel did obtain ordination from Rabbi Elfassi, a copy of the certificate should be on the Internet and made public, but there never was semicha—so there is no certificate. Kimmel is just a fraud.

A woman in Baltimore that runs the American charity account for Rabbi Elfassi was also contacted by Rachel. The accountant stated Kimmel went to see Rabbi Elfassi only once a year and only for 20 minutes to an hour at the most.

Anonymous said...

Why would you be an agent for slander here? What do you gain? And do you know what you lose? In the case of Rabbi Kimmel, I know this report to be incorrect. You should read the personal letter from Rabbi Kimmel's personal assistant of 25 years. It sets the record straight.

joshwaxman said...

your name? a link to the letter? if rabbi kimmel is lying, why wouldn't his "personal assistant" also lie? (on the other hand, the facts in the letter can presumably be verified.)

not that i am endorsing the comment, by a third party, above. i don't know Rabbi Kimmel from Adam. but you should know that an absolutely anonymous comment like this doesn't persuade. and what you are saying is nothing to be embarrassed about, so why not use your own name? it will only make your point stronger.

Also, if you can get me a scan of the letter, I'd like to feature it as a post. It seems post-worthy.

kol tuv,
josh
Thanks,
Josh

Anonymous said...

! am the person who wrote the letter about Rabbi Kimmel.

The person who slandered Rabbi Kimmel was contemplating a run for congress at the time of his post. He was looking to gain publicity in the Jewish Community by taking down Rabbi Kimmel.

Every "Charge" he made can be prove false. Just type Rabbi Kimmel into google and you will see;

Photos of Rabbi Kimmel with Rabbanit Alfasi. (if she never heard of him, how did she take a picture with him?)

Videos of a Sefer Torah Donated in the name of Rabbi Alfasi where Rabbi Kimmel was the guest of honor. (Why would Rabanit Alfasi make Rabbi Kimmel the guest of honor if she didn't know him?)

Photos of Rabbi Kimmel Shaking hands with world renowned Rabbis where he was honored.

You also might want to check out rabbi-kimmel.blogspot.com where the names of some world renowned rabbis who support him are mentioned.

So who would you want to believe, some low life character assasin who never even met Rabbi Kimmel or Gedolei Torah?

Moshe Handler said...

I just sent you a post about Rabbi Kimmel. You can sign my name on that post.

When I get home today, I will send you a PDF of a file that shows clearly that every claim against Rabbi Kimmel is false.

S. said...

The Alfasi issue is a distraction. His relationship is not a credential.

With respect, a blog called "Rabbi Kimmel is Real" is no more persuasive than a "Advertorial" in the Flatbush Jewish News.

joshwaxman said...

Moshe:
thanks. i'll try to find a way to post the PDF, if that's all right with you.

my email address is at the top of the blog.

kol tuv,
josh

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