Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Calculating The End

Two rabbis on why we shouldn't [attempt to] calculate The End -

Rabbi Josh Waxman: Parsha Blog

Rabbi Yossi Mizrahi: [audio - over one hour] Divine Information


  1. do you have the story of the dubno magid why is it ok to calculate the ketz in our generations?

  2. I tried to point out on Reb akiva's forum months ago that the 17 Iyar was as R' Mizrachi said, "pure xtian nonsense." There were some rabbaim saying that the mekubalim expecting something big to happen this Spring or Summer, but they *never* quoted a date, nor a specific event--and they never said it was "the end." Some how "this spring" got someone excited enough to write "17 Iyar." Oy! They continue to say that there are heavy decrees hanging over klal yisrael that may materialize this summer if klal yisrael doesn't make tshuvah.

    The whole Rosh Chodesh Av thing has to deal with it corresponding to Mincha Gedola on the 6th day (Friday) of the cosmic clock. Mincha Gedola is a time when people stopped working the fields on Fridays and started preparing for Shabbat. It is of cosmic significance perhaps, but it doesn't mean a specific event is going to happen on 1 Av (or 25 Tammuz for those who divide the leap year hours into 13 parts).

    If you read http://www.chazonhatorah.org/the-time-of-our-simcha.htm you can see the link of mincha gedola being part of the tikkun for getting rid of the erev rav...so if events start moving towards that direction around "cosmic mincha gedola"..all well and good.

  3. Regarding the permissibility of calculating the arrival of moshiach
    Rav Pinchas Winston wrote about this years ago:


    The Talmud records:

    Rabbi Shmuel ben Nachmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonaton: "May the spirit of those who calculate the end expire. For they say, "Since the pre-determined time has arrived, and [Moshiach] has yet to come, he will never come!" (Sanhedrin 97b)
    Whoever forecasts the date of Moshiach's arrival has no place in the World to Come. (Derech Eretz 11)
    We see that the Talmud is concerned about making calculations regarding the precise day for Moshiach's arrival, since errors in such calculations usually result in national disappointment, and perhaps, revelations of false messiahs. Furthermore, the Talmud states:
    When Rav Zeira happened upon scholars who were engaged [in calculating the date of Moshiach's arrival], he told them, "I beg you! do not postpone it ... for it has been taught, 'Three things come when the mind is occupied otherwise: Moshiach ...'" (Sanhedrin 97a)
    Additionally, there is the concern that believing in a specific date will prevent a person from expecting Moshiach earlier than that date, a violation of the principle of "anticipating him any day." Failure to believe this, says Mamonides, can give such a Jew the status of a heretic (Laws of Kings 11:1).
    Yet we see that great rabbis over the ages did attempt to predict the precise date of Moshiach's arrival. This is because the prohibition has been interpreted differently by many rabbis throughout the ages, as follows:
    According to the Abarbanel (15th century Spain), it is only forbidden to make calculations based on astrology, however it is permissible to calculate the date of Moshiach;s arrival based on Biblical sources (Maayeni HaYeshuah 1:2).
    Nachmanides says that the prohibition applied only to earlier generations, and now that we are on the eve of redemption (he was writing in the 13th century!), there is no prohibition (Sefer HaGeulah, Ma'amer 4).
    Signs all around us foreshadow redemption.
    The Malbim (19th century Europe) provides an analogy of a father and son traveling a long distance. As they start out, the son begins to ask when they will arrive, and of course the father does not answer. However, as they near the town, the son asks the same question, and this time the father readily answers that it is only a short while before they reach their destination. "So too, as the time of redemption is clearly approaching, we cannot help but notice the signs all around us that foreshadow that redemption. As the end grows nearer, doubts will become smaller, and at the very end, all doubts will be removed... As the time grows closer, uncertainty recedes in the wake of increasingly abundant wisdom" (Introduction to the Book of Daniel).
    The Vilna Gaon (18th century Lithuania), whose commentary offers a formula for calculating the end, entreats those who understand the formula not to reveal it to others:
    "...And from here [what I have just written] you can calculate the time of the Final Redemption if, God forbid, we do not merit [to bring it earlier]. However, I have imposed an oath, in the name of the God of Israel, on the reader of this that he should not reveal it." (Biur HaGra, Safra D'Tzniusa, Chapter Five)..