Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Did psychic tractor driver Nir Ben Artzi predict Tropical Storm Irene?

According to his followers, yes.

According to anyone sane, no.

(Actually somewhat related to this, though, is the topic of navi sheker in parashat Shofetim. See these two posts so far.)

Where did Nir Ben Artzi "predict this"? About two weeks before the storm hit. Bat Aliyah has started presenting Nir's delusions in English, so we can read it there:
Hakadosh Baruch Hu is toppling [sic; should be activating] all giants of nature, on all levels throughout the world- volcanoes, exceedingly high temperatures, fires, drought, floods [שטפונות -- Josh: perhaps also 'torrential rains'], tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes- in order to shake up the entire world, and in order for Am Yisrael to unite as one and do complete Teshuva, and in order to reveal King Mashiach and to bring Geulah with mercy.
Or, in Hebrew:

Red underline is mine. One can translate סופות רוח קשות as strong storms. Thus, hurricanes.

Note that:

  1. he does not specify when
  2. he does not specify where in the world this will occur
  3. he is predicting this smack in the middle of hurricane season. To cite How Stuff Works:
    Every year, the world experiences hurricane season. During this period, hundreds of storm systems spiral out from the tropical regions surrounding the equa­tor, and between 40 and 50 of these storms intensify to hurricane levels. In the Northern Hemisphere, the season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30,
This makes it rather easy for people to 'predict' hurricanes in this manner. (Indeed, see how I am a psychic, just like HaRav HaGaon HaTractoron-driver Nir Ben Artzi, Shlita.)

But that did not stand in the way of Nir Ben Artzi's followers claiming that this proves him a prophet. Well, actually, they don't point to the parashah sheet, but to what he said in his speech. And they refer specifically to floods rather than strong winds. Thus, via Kikar Shabbat (see English translation):
Due to severe storm raging in the United States , said this morning the rabbi's associates Nir Ben Artzi: "Now everyone can see that the rabbi was right. He predicted all the natural disasters, floods, tsunami and the collapse of the global economy. "
"Irene", the deadly hurricane so far claimed the lives of ten people.Millions of people were evacuated, hundreds of thousands of homes lost electricity.
Now, it is estimated that in the coming years is expected to arrive in New - York. Hysteria at its height.
Disciples of Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi said that the rabbi described the events of horrors for many weeks. "The rabbi said in recent days that the elements will continue in full force, God breaks all of the bad, and the only place he would use the land of Israel", say those close to "Saturday Square ".
"Floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions cities did not stop, everything would get worse and worse every day, until the people of Israel will understand that they return to Israel," citing the students from their teacher.
Close to add that on Friday two weeks ago and even earlier warned the rabbi on "the difficult situation is going to be all over the world" and among others mentioned flood close. {Josh: The Hebrew is שטפון קרוב, that a flood, or torrential rain, is close.}
According to the rabbi, the Creator "game" with the world economy, to tell the Jews and the world - have a beer leader {Josh: really: there is a Director to the Palace}.
All tasks in the elements and weather damage, said the two weeks ago, are warning the Jews of the Diaspora.
The missiles were intended, according to Herb, to wake the people of Israel from his slumber.

So it seems that this is based on his general message of increasing natural disasters.

This is stupid. Besides what I wrote above, there is a point (4). See what I wrote when Nir's followers claimed he predicted the earthquake in Japan as it was happening (though without mentioning where or when). Basically, I pointed out that this meshuggenah gets up every week and predicts this sort of stuff, and has been doing this week after week. Follow the above link, and see that week after week, along with earthquakes (which was what was under discussion there), he predicts volcanoes, strong winds, tsunamis, flood, rains, ice, snow.

Well, most recently he did not predict ice and snow. It is summer, so instead he 'predicted'
exceedingly high temperatures, fires, drought
Given the entirety of the world, and large spans of time, yes, his 'predictions' are rather likely to be fulfilled.

Though given how Hurricane Irene fizzled, some on Twitter were discussing whether Ben Artzi's prediction of incredible calamity makes him a navi sheker; especially if they wanted his correct prediction to be the basis for establishing him as a navi emes. (Of course, it would not, according to the Rambam, who maintains that negative predictions cannot establish a navi emes or navi sheker.)


Anonymous said...

All these people should hace a refua shleima and see a good psychiatrist.

Anonymous said...

He should predict the next terrorist attack in his place of residence, Israel, before it happens. Then he would be a hero.

Anonymous said...

I don\'t understand why Israelis think Israel is a safe haven, while they are constantly bombarded with real rockets and danger. If all the Jews return to Israel now, then Moshiach will not be able to fulfil his task of bringing the Jews home.

Anonymous said...

What you don't tell your readers is that every week, Rabbi Ben Artzi speaks about Achdut and Shalom in our lives. He speaks about staying close to HaShem, performing deeds of kindness, and all the good things we Jews certainly know about but forget from time to time. He reminds anyone who wants to listen to refrain from senseless arguments, to stay away from lashon hara and more. What's wrong with that? His message is a breath of fresh air that we all need to hear. He speaks to the hearts of Jews everywhere to remember the Torah and keep its commandments. If you don't want to listen, don't. But if you want to hear how we can be better, his words aren't prophesies, and he doesn't say anything that we don't already know. Yes, it is hurricane season, everyone knows that! But I prefer to be reminded that the Master of the World is the Creator of hurricanes, lightening, and mighty ocean waves. "There will be hurricanes" means: return to HaShem! Understand HaShem's messages! Many Rabbis including Rabbi Ben Artzi are saying that lately!I suggest that your readers listen to his words of strength and courage if they chose to at :
and after watching, decide for themselves what it is really all about.

Navi said...

"Did psychic tractor driver Nir Ben Artzi predict Tropical Storm Irene?"

No! But he did predict "Hurricane" Irene which turned out to be a false prediction...

BTW, The Ibn Caspi has a great pashut on "bein dam l'dam"!

joshwaxman said...

"What you don't tell your readers is that every week, Rabbi Ben Artzi"

He does not have semicha.

"speaks about Achdut and Shalom in our lives. He speaks about staying close to HaShem, performing deeds of kindness, and all the good things we Jews certainly know about but forget from time to time."

Yes. Very positive messages. Cult leaders and false messiahs can also say nice things.

"But if you want to hear how we can be better, his words aren't prophesies, and he doesn't say anything that we don't already know."

I was not the one who said that he predicted the hurricane. That was his followers.

"return to HaShem"
Also, abandon all other countries, because Hashem is going to smite all of them!

joshwaxman said...

thanks, i'll try to check it out.

Navi said...

He doesn't really, maybe he does..I didn't check. Perhaps you'll find something interesting though...Just keeping in line with my jokes ;)

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Irene wasn't such a fizzle -- New Jersey, the Catskills and Hudson Valley, and Connecticut are all still dealing with the horrible aftermath of flooding, roads and rail lines getting washed out, deaths, etc.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin