Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Interesting Posts and Articles #86

  1. At the LA Times, a video and article about how the copper ruins in Jordan bolster the biblical record of King Solomon. From the article, but read it all:
    Because wood was used to produce the heat for smelting, charcoal samples are available for dating. Two years ago, Levy reported radiocarbon dates from the site indicating that mining was taking place in the 10th century BC. Finkelstein and others objected, noting that archaeological evidence in the nearby highlands of Edom showed no evidence of habitation before the 8th century BC.

    To answer those criticisms, Levy's team excavated through 20 feet of slag near the center of the site, carefully documenting the location of each bit of charcoal and other artifacts. The charcoal was then dated by physicist Thomas Higham of Oxford University.

    The bottom stratum of the site revealed a period of extensive mining that lasted for about 40 years around 940 BC and produced 9 feet of slag. There was then a major disruption in mining about 910 BC, followed by a resumption in the 9th century BC.
  2. Update to the above: see the discussion at PaleoJudaica.

  3. Achas LeMaalah unfortunately supports the autistic false prophets. See here and here.

  4. A disprove of Jewish Freemasonry? A while back, in September, Shirat Devorah cited the following false prediction by Dov Bar Leib:
    "I believe by Sukkot 5769, 2 1/2 years from now, it will all be over. Baruch HaShem that we can survive this."

    Immediately before Succot, on October 5th, 2008, Dov Bar Leib posted the most recent entry on his blog. An excerpt:
    It is now seven full years since 9/11/2001 and almost seven full years since President Bush started bombing Afghanistan. The Sabbatical cycle in now complete. How G-d advances the Redemption this year, only He knows.

    We still do not know if George W. is Gog. We will definitely know by mid-January. Until then I will write sparingly. If he turns out not to be Gog, and the Redemption comes anyway, I will gladly herald the good tidings along with many other bloggers.
    Now that Succot has come and gone, and it is not all over. I guess this disproves Jewish Freemasonry. Or not. Events are being (or likely will be) "interpreted" as fulfillment of predictions. And he has now given himself at least until January, and will post sparingly, thus not putting himself out so much.

    In the comment section, a meshichist, Moshe Yess, writes:
    So far no Basra "slaughter" and no multi-national boots on the ground in Jerusalem. Oil has fallen below $100 again. Nothing in your prior posts referenced a global economic collapse on Eruv Rosh Hashanna 5769.
    He has a few nice comments there. Another excerpt:
    What occurred on Eruv Rosh Hashanna with the Dow falling around 777 points means one thing only: i.e. the Dow fell around 777points. The temperature in Phoenix may have been 83 degrees that same day. Are we to see a "sign" in that number too?

    I took issue with 3 matters stated by Dov: 1) That there was an irrefutable Bas Kol "Message from Hashem" in the number 777. 2)That we could therefore accurately extrapolate that a Divine Blessing had departed "only" from America. A corrupt and illusion-based economic structure has collapsed GLOBALLY...not just in America. 3) To spin this global event as a "Message from Hashem" to make aliya or else die by not doing so is open and shut, self serving, Zionist propaganda wrapped up in Dov's Kaballistic divination of what occurred.

    The fact remains that we are facing a global event that of itself is not new in human history. Around the 14th century there was an old world economic collapse born from the tricky practices of some Venice banks. This affected all of Europe and any country which had ties to that regional economy. Then there was the 1929 crash we all have heard about. Were those "make aliaya or die" Messages as well?

    In summary what we have before us is a global economic crisis born of greed and Wall Street fraud. This became global because the global economy is inter-connected as never before in human history. A second shadow (and unregulated) banking system was established via the free market policies that got put into place these past 2 decades by special USA interest lobbyists.

    The inherent Jewish desire for Moshiach and Geula has spawned many false announcements and incorrect interpretations in past Jewish history. Such were based upon Torah calculations of the End by emminent Sages which later proved wrong.

    I have zero doubt that Moshiach is on his way and that his arrival is imminent and that it will change the world forever. But so far the "rule of evil" has not been lifted from the world. Jerusalem is in as much golus as NYC. And the State of Israel will not be immune from all this global financial chaos. Israel needs European markets and American annual charity just to survive according to the laws of nature. Can Hashem send manna from Heaven? No question. Will such happen now? I don't know. Possibly or possibly not.

    Dov, as your long time friend, I am asking you to stop yelling "fire" in a crowded theater and creating a stampede of fear to promote "aliya".
    Sometimes, having an alternate (though likely false) belief can impel people to make some good observations.

  5. In terms of DreamingOfMoshiach's misinterpretation of a passage from the non-Zohar that Gog Bush would cancel the elections, she now suggests that Bloomberg's going for a third term, (which was not "rubber-stamped, by the way), where he still will have to run against someone else, is a precedent for Bush canceling the election. Well, November 4th is not so long from now, so we will see. Except in the same post she extended the time span for herself, just as Dov Bar Leib did, to January, stating:
    "Even if the elections will not be cancelled, January inauguration willl definitely be cancelled and no one except President Gog Bush will preside until Moshiach arrives."
  6. Tanach Yom Iyun at YU, some of it webcast:
    Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future presents
    Sunday, November 2, 2008
    Furst Hall (Corner of Amsterdam and W. 185th St), New York, NY
    Dr. David Pelcovitz:
    Yosef and his Brothers: Insights on Forgiveness from Positive Psychology

    Rabbi Hayyim Angel: Gideon: His Complexity as a Key to Understanding the Transition in Shoftim
    Mrs. Nechama Price: Shimshon: The Greyest Character in Tanach
    Rabbi Allen Schwartz: Mordechai: Why Wasn't He Accepted by ALL his Brethren?
    Rabbi Jeremy Wieder: Eisav and Balaam in the Portrayal of Chazal
    Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster: Tzidkiyahu, the Last King of Judah and the Question of his Surrender
    Dr. Mordechai Cohen: Jonah's Struggle with Man and God: A Literary Analysis
    Dr. Shalom Holtz: Yohanan ben Qareah: From Righteous Avenger to Insolent Man
    Dr. Michelle Levine: The Sacrifice or Sanctification of Jepthah and his Daughter
    Mrs. Smadar Rosensweig: Devorah: Prophetess, Political Leader and Judge
    12:15pm - Lunch
    Rabbi Menachem Leibtag: David Ha'melech- What Makes Him the Paradigm of the Moshiach?
    Rabbi Shalom Carmy:
    The Prophet and the Prostitute: A Literary and Midrashic Analysis
    Rabbi Menachem Leibtag: The Problematic Stories about David ha'Melech and the Prophetic Purpose of Sefer Shmuel
    Rabbi Mitchell Orlian: HaYotzer v'HaYetzer B'Sipurei Shimshon
    Dr. Shira Weiss: Pharoah: Malicious Tyrant or Divine Puppet?

    No Registration Required | Free Admission
    For Men and Women | For more information, please email YUYomIyun@yu.edu
    Program will be partially webcast live at www.yutorah.org/live


גילוי said...

To be fair, the false prediction that Moshiach would come within 7 years of the beginning of the War on Terror is not their idea. It was I believe posted in a video by one of Rav Kaduri z"l's students which aired between 9/11/2001 and Hoshanah Rabba 5762.

joshwaxman said...

granted. but still, i'm going to call attention to these claims, as they succeed or fail, in the hopes of raising awareness of the failing of predictions, something that often gets overlooked in certain circles...

Anonymous said...

We have a saying which sounds alot better in yiddish but it works in English too those who know dont say and thoses who say dont know,and of course you realize tis Mosiach thing is really old hat starting from rashi on each Pirush has said and figured into the torah that Mosiach was supposed to come at his tme and it did not Pan out to say they where wrong i wont thoses times he was supposed to come as the gemara says but the Jews keep doing Aveiros and pushing him away so he can not,so let me do mines and try to bring Mosiach by donig the Mitvah of Limud Torah and asking this question on Rashi he says if Noach was in the Generation of Avraham he would not be a Tzaadik,thats funny cause you know what he was in the generation of Avrahom in fact Avrahahm if I recall correctly was 50 when Noach died?

Anonymous said...

Josh, for the last couple of days I was going over a little bit of the literature put forth by the anti-religious daas emes propaganda machine with replies by thesandhedrin.org. Now reading about the pervasiveness of FC and mystical prophetic thinking in the frum world really highlighted to me the poles between ultra-secularist rationalism and fundamental religious mysticism. I really don't know what is more unsettling, the fact that anti-religious secularist paints Orthodoxy as only being superstitious and anti-intellectual, or that we do have vocal part of our community who actively disengage from rational discourse and give openings and more ammunition to all those who hate us and what we believe. I am the first person in line who desires and hopes for a more inclusive Orthodoxy in the full and proper definition of eilu v'eilu. However, how can we give this type of thinking legitimacy if it corrupts the rational and perhaps moral core of Judaism. The irony of people having greater issues (and claiming this is the REASON of all our problems) with alleged breaches of tznius or of having a hashkafa that is closer to the Rambam and Rav Sadiah Gaon then the Ramchal and Rav Dessler, then with superstition that at most might be bordering on A"Z or at least is taking advantage and manipulating handicapped children is truly frightening.

Perhaps there can be another solution to the discourse of how to bring moshiach closer. Can it be that if the charaidi world (and for that matter the DL world too) will open its mind to rationality and critical thinking and couple that with strong emunah and avodas hashem, THAT will bring moshiach much closer.

גילוי said...

Josh, I am all for your quest to disprove all these things, but just make sure you don't overlook the source and say how he was wrong as well.

See here:


yaak said...

Thanks for finding this article, which I remember coming out. Still planning the post about it.


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