Monday, August 30, 2010

Did Baba Sali lie to his son in a dream? Will his bones be blasted?

Summary: The answer is no, because he didn't really appear in that dream. But this should caution us from being gullible the next time around.

Post: In the gemara, Rabbi Yochanan says:
"Let the bones be blasted of those who calculate the end of days!"
אמר ר' יונתן תיפח עצמן של מחשבי קיצין שהיו אומרים כיון שהגיע את הקץ ולא בא שוב אינו בא

But surprisingly, earlier this year, Baba Sali predicted the moshiach would come this year. That means that in less than two weeks, when Rosh Hashanah arrives, Baba Sali's prediction will have failed.

Details are here, from about the end of January 2010:
The most fascinating part of the recent interview with Baba Baruch was when he was asked if he had any other dreams recently in which he saw his father. He went on to describe a dream that he said he had “not long ago” - less than two weeks ago - in which the Baba Sali appeared. The Baba Sali, he said, told him, “Moshiach will come this year. Be ready. Get Ready. And prepare a seudah because of this dream…. Because there is no solution for Am Yisroel except for Moshiach Tzidkeinu.”
The answer, I think, is that Baba Sali did not appear to his son in a dream. As we read in Berachot daf 55:
Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: A man is shown in a dream only what is suggested by his own thoughts.
Baba Baruch is excited about the prospect of moshiach coming, and probably listened to much to the misguided predictions of Rabbi Eliezer Berland and Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak, or others. Rather than coming up with his own prediction, he believes that he received a message from On High, from his much more famous father, who would know such things. Baba Sali didn't lie to his son in a dream. Baba Baruch lied to himself.

It was silly when he said it in January, and it is just as silly now. Except now that it will be a false prediction, people will be more willing to see how silly it is. And we won't get frantic in the future, and listen to all sorts of false dreamers. May moshiach come soon, but I don't put much stock in the individuals who claim knowledge that he is coming by a particular time, due to misinterpretations of text X or revealed message from person Y. 

1 comment:

David said...

Actually as Baba Sali and others have predicted Moshiach did indeed arrive in 5771, but he has not yet declared himself openly. Each person needs to recognize Moshiach for himself. This may not be that easy, since he will appear as an ordinary man, still incognito, until most people acknowledge him. The way to recognize him is thru his words or the message that he brings - the message of peace, brotherhood and justice. See http://www.moshiachishere.org/

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