Thursday, June 13, 2013

Some Cool "Predictions"

Yaak points us to Absolute Truth, who he says has some "very cool predictions" which have "come true".

One problem with this sort of "prediction"? If you have tens of thousands of books with predictions, you can pick and choose only those which you deem to have come true. And the odds are in your favor that some of these will contain true "predictions". As Absolute Truth writes in his post:
There is an organization that sells a hard drive compendium of Hebrew books that have been written over thousands of years. They cover scriptures and all the commentaries written in support of what is known, or more appropriately put, what Hashem wants to tell us about everything. That hard drive is now at 60,122 Judaic books of information (last year when I wrote about this it was at 53,367 books). Hopefully, you see my problem.
Each of these books contains many lines. For example, how many pesukim are there in Yechezkel? Each can be taken as a 'prediction'.

A second problem is that we are living in modern times, once these predictions are supposed to have come true. And so, when we look back on these myriads of sources, we can lend our own interpretation into what the source meant. For each individual source from the myriad, there are a myriad of potential interpretations. And if someone is motivated by religious zeal to find these interpretations, the one offered will not be the most plausible one, but rather the kvetch which will yield the awe-inspiring true prediction.

I will pick one of the predictions at random, from the post:
We get miraculous prophecies even from Rabbis down through the ages. Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki, who lived in the years 1040 to 1105, is known to us as Rashi (all the great sages throughout history are referred to by abbreviated names -- either an acronym or by a book that the Rabbi wrote). Rashi wrote miraculous commentary on the entire Bible and the Oral Torah. In Ezekiel 47 we get a prophecy of waters flowing from the Temple Mount and going all the way to "Galila." The waters represent the study of Torah which will come out of Israel and spread throughout the world (the prophecy has been fulfilled). But what is Galila? Rashi explains “to America.” What? A Rabbi who lived about 400 years before Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 – February 22, 1512), whom America was named after, knew about America? No way. Oh contrar -- yes way. But, since Hashem put the commentary into the mind of this great Rabbi, he was able to tell us the name of a place centuries before there was such a place.
Or, maybe you are an ignoramus who is misunderstanding Rashi's words? After all, Rashi was writing for his own generation, who would have wanted to understand the meaning of Rashi's words.

Let us look at the pasuk and Rashi. The pasuk:

 וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הַמַּיִם הָאֵלֶּה יוֹצְאִים אֶל-הַגְּלִילָה הַקַּדְמוֹנָה וְיָרְדוּ עַל-הָעֲרָבָה וּבָאוּ הַיָּמָּה אֶל-הַיָּמָּה הַמּוּצָאִים (וְנִרְפּאוּ) [וְנִרְפּוּ] הַמָּיִם: 

And Rashi:
I underlined the Rashi, which states la marche in Old French (laaz), in German die grenze, as in Yehoshua 13:2. This means "the frontier" and "the limit".

From Chabad's online translation of Rashi:
to the… frontier: [Heb. הֳגְלִילָה,] la marche, frontier (province).
Yes, if you ignore that Rashi is writing Old French, Laaz as he says, you can take the lamed at the start of the word לאמרקה as the Hebrew connective meaning "to", and ignore that there is no yud in the word. And we can be inspired!

And we can say that the fulfillment is in the flowing of Torah to America, even though Rashi himself does not say this, and speaks of a different destination for these waters:
the eastern: [Heb. הֳקֳדְוֹמנָה,] the eastern. Our Rabbis taught in the Tosefta of Succah (3:3): Where do they flow? To the Sea of Tiberias (Kinnereth), the Sea of Sodom (Dead Sea), and to the Great Sea, to heal their salty waters and to sweeten them. [“Will descend upon the plain”] this is the Sea of Tiberias. [“And come to the sea”] this is the Sea of Sodom.

This person first chose an interpretation which fit the facts and which could possibly fit in the source, and matched them. And we can be inspired!


E-Man said...

Every party needs a pooper that's why we invited you Josh Waxman :)

.. said...

That person which was quoted has been through a lot of suffering, most of which can be traced to bad advice. I imagine yaak is his friend and seeks to encourage him. I agree with you it is inappropriate and potentially misleading. Thanks for commenting on his blog.


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