Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nir ben Artzi's Divine Prophecy - or not?

Jerusalem - Israeli Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Rav of Beit El and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalyim discounts claims that Kabbalist, Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi’s warnings several weeks ago of impending trouble in Turkey prove that he has the gift of divine prophecy, following yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey.

“There are no prophets in our days,” R’ Aviner was quoted as saying in an interview with Israeli website Srugim . “Real prophecy ended 2,300 years ago and in our day only children and the mentally unbalanced have the gift of prophecy. While ruach hakodesh does exist, as described by R’ Chaim Vital in his sefer Shaarei Kedusha, it does not give one who is so endowed the ability to predict the future.”

R’ Aviner described R’ Ben Artzi as a “dear Jew, like every other Jew”, but cautioned that many of R’ Ben Artzi’s predictions have failed to materialize and suggested that those who want to know what will occur when Moshiach arrives should heed the words of the Rambam who said “no one will know what will happen at that time until it actually happens.”

While his previously written sefer “Ben Or L’chodesh” clearly states that there is no prophecy in our day, R’ Aviner insists that he was not targeting R’ Ben Artzi, but rather the notion that anyone has the gift of divine prophecy, a concept that R’ Aviner called “troubling”.

Asked to explain the cause of yesterday’s earthquake R’ Aviner told Srguim “earthquakes happen. We must daven that something like this never occurs in Israel.”

Source: VIN News

Also see: Rabbi ben Artzi on Turkey's quake: it's Round 1

and Focus on the Light   :  "In mid-September, 2011, Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi asserted that, "The leader of Turkey said what he said - and will receive a mighty blow from the Creator!"
The same week, just 6 weeks ago, Rabbi Nachman Kahana wrote these words: "I am waiting to hear a news bulletin that an earthquake of unprecedented force has swallowed up half of Turkey..."

Back in April, Rabbi Glazerson showed Torah Codes revealing that Nir ben Artzi is a chozer [seer] in the times before Moshiach - video in Hebrew only:


Anonymous said...


New statements and predictions from Nir ben Artzi:

He again called on Jews to make Aliya due to the natural disasters around the world
The earthquake in Turkey is just the beginning - there will be internal conflicts there and more earthquakes. "Any nation whose leaders speak and act against the Jewish nation and the Land of Israel will be immediately harmed."
Japan will experience another tsunami
The U.S. will continue to experience the forces of nature in all their might
The internal conflict in Egypt will intensify
The terrorists who were freed for Gilad Shalit will not continue in their terror. They will fight among themselves and won't have time to harm Israel.
Gilad Shalit doesn't know it, but he enacted a great Tikkun for Am Yisrael.

Anonymous said...

"The U.S. will continue to experience the forces of nature in all their might.."

American is going to be damaged in a big way, very soon. Hashem is going to unleash on America and there's no guarantee Jews will be saved. I heard Rabbi David Solomon expound on the Navi saying America is modern day Tyre - Tyre was destroyed by water.

joshwaxman said...

Did Rabbi Glazerson ever explain how he knows that this is predictive (i.e. that this proves that Nir is a prophet) rather than descriptive (i.e. that people are saying that Nir is a prophet)? I other words, what about the distinction typically made by Torah code folks, including his colleague Dr. Haralick?

Until he clarifies, why should **anyone** rely on this as proof that Nir is really a prophet, like the prophet Shmuel who was called a חוזה?

Anonymous said...

There are no prophets today - there won't be any till the Messianic era. That's what our sources say...no?

Devorah said...

I believe that's what it says. But ben Artzi is a seer, not a prophet. There is a difference.
But all he seems to see is BAD. If and when he would see something good, and announce it, and then it happens as he says..... then he could be called a prophet. But until then, as the Torah codes say, he is a Seer.
But he gets it wrong too, as we have seen.

joshwaxman said...

In Biblical Hebrew, Chozeh means prophet. Shmuel the Chozeh, Gad the Chozeh. These were prophets.

Devorah said...

Josh: Chozeh in basic Hebrew means to see. It is not biblical hebrew that is used in these Torah codes.

Also see this video: NBA Part 2 [Hebrew only] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1tE5JZlqBQ

Also see this link where you will find the statistics of how accurate the codes are: TorahCode.us

Devorah said...

Also, Herzl was known as 'chozeh' - a Seer - but not a prophet.

shimonmatisyahu said...

Personally, I would not quote Rabbi Aviner for anything, as he helped throw out Jews in the Gush Katif Disengagement, as anyone can check out, among on other sources, at www.aviner.net. As for Nir Ben-Artzi, if Rabbi Glazerson Shlita pointed out through the Hidden Codes of the Torah that he is a seer, then it doesn't matter what anyone else says that is against this as far as I am concerned.

joshwaxman said...

"Chozeh in basic Hebrew means to see"

Right. Since the present tense verb is formed from the noun, in both Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew, it is both the present-tense verb 'sees' and the noun 'seer'. Similarly, Biblical Hebrew 'shomer' means 'watches' and 'watchman'.

See this online dictionary:
(biblical) seer, prophet


seer (noun)
נָבִיא, חוֹזֶה

If you wanted to say psychic in modern hebrew, then you would say:


which is 'medium'.

"It is not biblical hebrew that is used in these Torah codes."
Why? They make up the rules as they go along.

Also see this link where you will find the statistics of how accurate the codes are

I am not a statistician, and neither are you, to understand this and what the significance is of the numbers they spout. But I know that there are "lies, damned lies, and statistics". They talk about as compact a table. Is this as compact for the **specific words** they found on this table? If so, there is an easy answer, that other words from other searches conducted, or which did not appear on the table, would also make a compact table, much more compact than any other 'monkey text'. I don't see them trying this proposed experiment. I'd like to.

In other words, repeat the following, 100 times. Rabbi Glazerson only gets to run one run-through of his program, not getting to fiddle when results don't turn up as expected. Generate a list of expected words for some current event. Take a 'monkey text' and the actual Torah text. See what Torah-codes are generated for each, and publish them. Let us see what the statistics are then. I am fairly confident in what the results would be.

kol tuv,

joshwaxman said...

"Also, Herzl was known as 'chozeh' "

True. I would translate that as 'visionary', which has a different connotation than seer.

"if Rabbi Glazerson Shlita pointed out through the Hidden Codes of the Torah that he is a seer, then it doesn't matter what anyone else says that is against this as far as I am concerned."

Really? You don't care what Rav Ovadiah Yosef says? Or Rav Yosef Kapach? Or Rav Nevenzahl? Or Rav Shlomo Amar? And others. See here:

Those are some pretty big names, and big talmidei chachamim! And against that, you have a rabbi and torah codes researcher who believes in the Mayan apocalypse. And that is that, for you? The Torah codes are interpretable in many ways, as Rabbi Glazerson himself would likely be quick to point out (in certain circumstances). How do you know that by Chozeh, it does not mean that people will *say* he is a Chozeh, just like by Nibiru, it could mean that people will be *talking* about Nibiru in 2011.

To quote a fellow blogger, follow rabbanim, not rabbis.

Devorah said...

I think it all comes down to emunah. We believe the Torah is a Divine Document [and I'm assuming you also believe that Josh]... it is not comparable to War and Peace, even if you can find codes randomly in that book, or any other book, there is no comparison to those found in the Torah.

How can it be coincidental that so many events are encoded in the Torah, as we have seen from all these videos?

You can play with words, and you can accuse other rabbis of playing with words, but the tachlis is that events and dates are there, they are being found as they happen in the world, and for those who believe, this is all we need.

You can pull it all apart if you want to, and G-d has certainly given you all the necessary talents to do so.... and you do present some good arguments, but you have yet to win me over to your side on this.

It is a fact that while NBA gets things wrong, he also seems to get things right. But as somone wrote to me..... even a broken clock is right twice a day.

But I know Rabbi Glazerson from his many books, and I trust him and his codes. And I think many other people feel the same way. Rabbi Glazerson is up there with the best, for me anyway.

And just by the way.... if chozeh means the same thing as navi.... then why did G-d give them different names?

joshwaxman said...

"I think it all comes down to emunah."

I don't have time to respond right now, but I don't think this is right. There are plenty of maaminim who do not think that the Torah codes are legitimate.

perhaps more later...

joshwaxman said...

I'm back, for a short while.

In terms of the math, I wasn't the first to bring it up here, and was just responding to claim of statistical strength. Plus, for many people, Torah Codes is supposed to be evidence for faith, not something which requires faith.

But to address the emunah aspect...

There was a Tanna by the name of Shimon HaAmsuni. He was a maamin. He came up with a novel method of deriving halachah and aggadah from pesukim. There is a word את in Hebrew used to mark the direct object. Thus, in the beginning Hashem created et the Shamayim and et the Aretz. Some other languages have such markers, though English does not. Et also means "with" and sometimes (as in one case in Noach) "from". Thus, the Hebrew word itti, with me. Taking the meaning "with" for each et, one can derive that there is something extra. Thus, Hashem created something else with the Shamayim and with the Aretz. What? To be defined by the person darshening.

If he would look at a non-Biblical text, would he darshen it in this way? No. But the Biblical text is infused with meaning.

However, since this was his **innovation**, it is possible that it is a wrong innovation. One way of testing it is to try darshening each pasuk, and see if it works consistently.

He came to a pasuk -- Et Hashem Elokecha Tira, "Et LORD your God you shall fear" and he concluded that one could NOT include anyone or thing via this 'et'.

What did this maamin, believer, do? An amazing act of intellectual integrity. He decided that the deductive mechanism or interpreting 'et' was incorrect, and retracted. He said, 'just as I received reward on the deduction, so shall I receive reward on the retraction.'

Rabbi Akiva, another believer, salvaged it by explaining what that 'et' could include, namely Torah scholars.

What I would derive from this story is that even though the Torah is from a Divine source, not every method of derivation will yield non-junk. I could decide every ALEPH means 'I', every BET means 'WANT', every GIMEL means 'CHEESE', etcetera, and get words in the Torah (and War and Peace) to spell out sentences. That does not mean that they reflect Hashem's intent.

So too by Torah codes. They invent their own rules, over and above the extremely few similar historical examples. Via these rules, they outlaw most of the historical examples. And certain contrived examples within the Torah (such as proving that Jesus is God, chas veshalom) are clearly spurious, such that they kind of require rules for rejecting them. So, they have a method of derivation. Does it derive true things or nonsense? A believer in Torah MiSinai can reject their claims based on counter-examples, based on their math, based on performance of malei and chaser as discussed in Minchas Shai (which defines our modern masorah), and so on. Just as Shimon HaAmsuni could reject his own mechanism for deriving information from the Torah.

joshwaxman said...

"if chozeh means the same thing as navi.... then why did G-d give them different names?"

and why roeh, another word for seer?

a good question.

* Ibn Ezra, Radak, and other believers in kefel inyan bemilim shonot (synonyms) might say that these are simply synonyms.

* historically, different terms were in vogue in different times. they all exist as describing actions (verbs) and therefore actors (nouns), and people chose different terms at different times. and the torah speaks in the language of man.

* one word stresses the *seeing* Divine visions and knowledge aspect while the other (navi) stresses the bringing of the Divine word, or (as an Akkadian loan word from /nab/=proclaim) his role as a "spokesman", or (according to Rashbam's analysis) the hollowness of the recipient who is receiving the Divine message.

kol tuv,

Devorah said...

[quote] one word stresses the *seeing* Divine visions and knowledge aspect [unquote]

So would you then say that someone who is psychic and sees visions....
are these psychic people all seeing Divine visions? ..... I doubt it, they are not holy people according to our definition of holiness. Why would they be given Divine visions?

So what kind of visions are they seeing then? Where are these visions coming from? What would you call these people, using both modern - and bibilical - hebrew language?

In english they are psychic mediums, or just psychics. But they exist, and their visions are real. I believe NBA has visions like a psychic does, but like I said right at the start of the whole NBA Phenomenon..... where are his visions coming from? The answer is they are either coming from kedusha, or not. If not, they are coming from the Other Side of town. Which would be why he cannot accurately predict 100% of the time and is not a Navi.

And we don't call the prophets books in Torah "Chozeh" - [i don't know the pl. of chozeh] - we call it Nevi'im, and there must be a reason for that. And as Neviím do not exist now, but psychics definitely do.... what are we supposed to make of it all? Are all their visions impure, and sometimes they just get it right?

joshwaxman said...

One would need to ask a speaker of modern Hebrew. The dictionary just said מֶדְיוּם, a word taken from English. In terms of Biblical Hebrew, there might not be such a word. There is no Biblical Hebrew word for T-Rex, turkey, kangaroo, or cell-phone. Given the cultural context, they **might** have been understood and grouped into all sorts of different categories, rather than being understood as the modern idea of 'psychic'. Cholem, Kosem, Ov, Yidoni, Doresh el Meisim, Navi Sheker. Who knows?

The plural would be "Chozim", by the way. (See here, pasuk 18 and 19.) This is the most common name for prophet, perhaps especially in the times of the Tannaim and Amoraim, when it was relevant to talk about Tanach as the Biblical canon. Naturally, that does mean that it cannot encompass things authored by Roehs and Chozehs.

kol tuv,

Anonymous said...

Comic Relief.

Saturday Night Live (NBC comedy show) had a comedy sketch in the 90's about a TRIVIA PSYCHIC who had psychic powers but he could only see trivial things LOL.

The trivial psychic can see for example the ice-cream headache you'd get from eating ice-cream at 2pm but can't see the motorcycle accident that will kill you at 2.30pm.