Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The *final* ketz of Rashbi, in 2012!

Yeranen Yaakov brings us great news, from Rabbi Yekusiel Fish, that the final ketz of the Rashbi is 5772! Either way, this is good news. If if comes to be, then we have mashiach. And if not, people won't be able to drei with Zohar apocalyptic dates anymore.

Bli neder, I'll take a look at the substance of the Zohar proof later. But first I just want to note that according to Shadal, all the Zohar's times have already passed:
And what will you say in the matter of the fixed times {for redemption} which are stated in sefer haZohar? Behold, our Sages z"l said {see Sanhedrin 97b, where it is bones rather than souls} that Blasted be the souls of those who calculate the end {of days}. And the author of the Zohar is not concerned {nizhar} on setting nine ends, different one from the other, and all of them have already passed.
The other think that gives me some slight pause that this calculation of 5772 is accurate is this post on Yeranen Yaakov that mashiach will come in 5771 (as well as this one and this one detailing Rabbi David Katz's interpretations for the same); this one and this one for 5770; this one and this one and this one and this one for 5769; this one for 5768; this one for 5767; possibly this for 5766; and the blog does not go much further back than this. All of these are rather convincing, to why should I believe this year is the one? Maybe all those other posts were correct, and mashiach arrived; just we did not notice it. (Yes, I am being a bit snarky here.)

Here is where yaak and I might differ. He writes in this post:
The point of the article, I believe, is to spread awareness of the obligation to believe in Mashiah's coming any and every day.  As the Rambam writes, whoever doesn't expect his coming, not only denies the validity of the prophets, but even that of the Torah and Moshe Rabbeinu. 
I don't know that I would translate מחכה as "expect". I would render it more as hope, await. That is, one should always be hoping that this will be the day. (To be fair, yaak may simply mean 'expectantly wait'.) The idea is that although he tarries, we still believe that he is coming and are looking forward to it. The difference would be whether one must confirm in his mind, each and every day, that this is the day, such that he expects that this is the day to the exclusion of any other. The text of the Rambam:
ב  וכל מי שאינו מאמין בו, או מי שאינו מחכה לביאתו--לא בשאר נביאים בלבד הוא כופר, אלא בתורה ובמשה רבנו:  שהרי תורה העידה עליו, שנאמר "ושב ה' אלוהיך את שבותך, וריחמך; ושב, וקיבצך מכל העמים . . . אם יהיה נידחך, בקצה השמיים--משם, יקבצך ה' אלוהיך, ומשם, ייקחך.  והביאך ה' אלוהיך . . ." (דברים ל,ג-ה).  ואלו הדברים המפורשים בתורה, הם כוללים כל הדברים שנאמרו על ידי כל הנביאים.
Note also that 'every day' is not part of this Rambam; rather, it is part of the popularized version of his 13 ikkarei emunah, which is not as precise and was not authored by the Rambam.

I don't see the bechol yom sheyavo explicitly in the Perush Hamishnoyot (upon which this popularized version is based) either. Here is a summary / citation of what he says there:
העיקרון השנים עשר - האמונה בימות המשיח, "להאמין... שיבוא, ואין לומר שנתאחר אִם יִתְמַהְמָהּ חַכֵּה לוֹ" (חבקוק ב 3). ולפיכך אין לקבוע לו זמן, ולא לחשב את הקץ, ולהאמין בו ולהתפלל לבואו "בהתאם למה שנאמר בו על ידי כל נביא, ממשה ועד מלאכי". וימות המשיח הוא הזמן "שבו תחזור המלכות לישראל, ויחזרו לארץ ישראל", ומקום מלכותו של אותו המלך - ציון, ואתו יכרתו העמים "ברית שלום" - אבל: "לא ישתנה במציאות שום דבר מכפי שהוא עתה, זולתי שתהא המלכות לישראל". עם זאת, בימי המשיח "תוקל על בני אדם פרנסתם מאוד", ועם ישראל ישתחרר "משעבוד מלכות הרשעה העוצרת בעדנו מלעשות הטוב" וכן "ייפסקו הקרבות והמלחמות" (על פי ישעיהו יא 9) וגם יאריכו חיי בני האדם "בהיעדר הדאגות והצרות". לפי רמב"ם, הכמיהה לימי המשיח אינה נובעת מן הרצון "שירבו התבואות והנכסים" ושאר תענוגות החיים כפי שחושבים "מבולבלי הדעות" - אלא מן השאיפה למצב שבו יהיה " מקבוץ הצדיקים וההתנהגות הטובה והחכמה ויושר המלך וגודל חכמתו והתקרבותו לפני בוראו... וקיום כל תורת משה בלי דאגות ולא פחד" (על פי תהלים ב 7). 
Note the part I marked in light red. 'Therefore, as a consequence of awaiting for him every day, one should NOT set a specific time for him to come, and one should not calculate the end.' I don't, meanwhile, see mention of every day expecting him. Except perhaps this is just it. Don't set a specific time, because he can come any day!

Here, in a beautiful manuscript, is what the Rambam says in his Perush Hamishnayos:

What I underlined in red is: ומי שהסתפק בו או נתמעט אצלו מעלתו. Such a person is כפר בתורה. That is, doubt in his arrival, parallel to Mishneh Torah's וכל מי שאינו מאמין בו. And not thinking that Mashiach would be a great thing when it comes, parallel to Mishneh Torah's או מי שאינו מחכה לביאתו. Thus, this is anticipation, rather than expectation.

In fact, the Rambam did mention a ketz, in his letter to Yemen. But this was because they had a false mashiach on their hands, and he was trying to tell them that the ketz had not yet arrived, such that this was not yet the time for mashiach. This would work against expecting him to come any and every day.

So there is what to disagree with this formulation, especially if one will base it on the Rambam, and especially to argue that Rambam maintains that lack of such expectation "not only denies the validity of the prophets, but even that of the Torah and Moshe Rabbeinu." (But again, I should stress, I think it entirely probable that I am reading too much into his words.)

I wonder, also, BTW, about the binding of בכל יום. Yes, mashiach could come every day. But is the expectation / anticipation to be בכל יום, or to אחכה לו, that every day one should be invigorated and eagerly expecting his arrival? I can see it both ways, and find support both ways.


yaak said...

It's nice to know that someone's a bigger Baki in my blog than myself! :-)

But, alas, you forgot to mention the ones from 5765 such as this. :-)

Regarding "expecting" vs. "hoping", I agree that מחכה has more of a "hoping" connotation, but if you take a look at the nusah for "Et Tzemah David", many add the words "VeTzipinu". Some others add the words "Umtzapim Lishua" - which is probably a mistake - but it creeped into the Nusah for some. Regardless, the gemara says that one of the questions asked a person is "Tzipita Lishua?". So, it's very easy to interpret the Rambam as "expecting" from proofs that come from elsewhere.

Regarding "every day", again - Et Tzemah says "Kol Hayom" - besides the fact that we say the beracha 3 times a day, 6 days a week. So, even if the Rambam doesn't say so explicitly, it's what's implied, and therefore was inserted into the Nusah of the Ani Ma'amin.

Regarding predicting, we've been through this countless times before. In addition, take a look at the yellow section of the pdf file where the author explains that predicting a Be'Ita date is fine.

joshwaxman said...

i also say umetzapim liyshua, in 'et tzemach david.'

but i don't see where that gets you. to cite the Hebrew dictionary at morfix:

צָפָה פ' קל
to watch, to observe ; to witness ; to view ; to overlook ; to predict, to foresee ; to expect, to look forward to

צִפָּה פ' פיעל
to expect ; to await ; to look forward to

צִפִּיָּה שֵם נ'
expectation ; hope, aspiration

I've always understood it, in all those cases, to mean hope and aspiration, rather than expectation in the sense you are positing, in davening. So, it gets you nowhere.

(i understand the argument that כי לישועתך קוינו כל היום is what is stated, so that "כי לישועתך קיווינו וציפינו כל היום" would imply something extra, but i don't buy it.)

in terms of כל היום from elsewhere, good point. but one again, this is readable in several different ways, including *unflagging*, unwavering hope. and it doesn't make the kol hayom into one of the ikkarei emunah.

In terms of the last point, indeed. And I'm sure he is moreh heter for himself, or else he wouldn't be doing it. I don't think the Rambam would agree with such rationalizations, however.

kol tuv,

Anonymous said...

Leah said:
I have been so burnt out from all
this predictions ,I believed everything specially the warning that we must leave America before Rosh chodesh Sivan, I even Made Aliyah My family suffered greately from culture shock lack of parnassa I depleted all my savings, came back to the states, My family is super messed up: academically ,issues w/ depression,anxiety,and the person who encouraged all of this hardly ever blogs or even says that the presumably Moshiach past away.You are the only one who is very cautious about all these "PREDICTIONS' I wish I WOULDNOT HAVE BEEN SO NAIVE and saved my family and I so much heartache.

joshwaxman said...

i'm sorry to hear that. and thanks for highlighting this important point. and you have not been the only one to have such an experience -- others have contacted me with similar stories.

as yaak commented in the linked-to post:
That said, the only life-changing decisions people should make from this prediction is to learn more Torah and do more Mitzvot and to come closer to Hashem.

Unfortunately, some bloggers (and rabbis) are nowhere near as cautious.

kol tuv,

Mike S. said...

The requirement is not to believe every day that Moshiach may come that day, but that we should always believe in the eventual arrival of the Messiah. And there is a clear proof from halacha; namely, someone who takes a vow to become a nazir beginning on the day that the Messiah comes is permitted to drink wine on Shabbat and Yom Tov since we do have a clear tradition that he will not come on those days.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin