1) I can predict the next Powerball lottery numbers. Are you ready to hear them? Sorry, just as I psychically know them, I also am in contact with Hashem, and he forbade me from revealing them. Pretty impresive, no?
2) But I can also read minds. Think of a number from 1 to 100? Got it? Great. Now, I know it, but again, Hashem has not let me reveal it. Too bad, on that score.
3) But this will surely impress you. I can predict the weather. Watch this: Sometime, next week, somewhere in the world, it is going to rain. Who else but a psychic could know that?!
Think this is ridiculous? Sure, but Nir Ben Artzi, tractor driver and psychic extraordinaire, makes claims no less ridiculous. For example, parallel to (1) and (2), Nir Ben Artzi psychically knows where there is gold! To cite Life In Israel, citing in turn other sources:
Bechadrei reports on the speech with some excerpts of what he said. Ben Artzi claims that he knows where gold can be found in Israel, just he is not allowed to say where. Hashem, he said, does not want it revealed right now.He also is able to predict earthquakes. Thus,
Ben Artzi said that next week there will be a massive earthquake somewhere in the world. The quake will be one that is capable of wiping out cities in Saudi Arabia and Mexico.As I commented at Shirat Devorah, where she noted that this seems to (finally) be a testable prediction, since we are given a specific time, this earthquake prediction somewhere in the world over the course of a week is no different than predicting rain. Just how common are earthquakes somewhere in the world? Let us ask the experts at the US Geological Survey.
They have a handy chart pitting magnitude against yearly frequency:
Thus, in terms of minor earthquakes, about 1.3 million a year. But let us just take a look at magnitudes of 5 and up. That is 1319 + 134 + 15 + 1 = 1469 per year, or about 4 each day. What about magnitudes of 6 and up? That is 134 + 15 + 1 = 150 per year, or about 2.885 per week. Thus, we can expect about 3 per week, somewhere in the world. If he "lucks out", it will be one of the 16 we can expect on average yearly, in which case people are really wowed. But even without that, there is zero chance that he will be proved incorrect.
Frequency of Occurrence of Earthquakes
Magnitude Average Annually 8 and higher 1 ¹ 7 - 7.9 15 ¹ 6 - 6.9 134 ² 5 - 5.9 1319 ² 4 - 4.9 13,000
3 - 3.9 130,000
2 - 2.9 1,300,000
To further bolster the point, here is a Japan quake map. There have been 150 in the past seven days. But this is not unusual. People just don't understand the regularity of earthquakes, particularly in Japan. I should cite the following, again from the US Geological Survey:
So Nir Ben Artzi's predicting an earthquake over the course of an entire week somewhere in the entire world is no more impressive than my predicting rain sometime next week in the world.
Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase?
But, of course, he has already claimed fulfillment of his prediction. Via Tomer Devorah, translating from Kikar Shabbat:
Response to the SkepticsI agree with the meshuggena. Next week also, there will be an earthquake. And the sun will rise in the east!
In the meantime, last night, HaRav Nir Ben Artzi envisioned in his weekly sermon that "two earthquakes needed to come, in the Galil, HKB"H stopped them."
HaRav Ben Artzi referred to things that were mentioned during the conference in Bnei Brak. "Earthquakes continue in the world. Also, next week. We said that there will be an earthquake, everyone went 'we'll see.' We still hadn't done it and already yesterday there was an earthquake.
"Wednesday, we said in Bnei Brak, and everyone went 'we’ll see, we'll catch him red-handed.' Everyone is on to the next hot thing. Next week also, there will be an earthquake."