Jerusalem – Prominent Rabbi: Claim Of Divine Prophecy Predictions Troubling

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    Rabbi AvnerJerusalem – 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.”

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    49 COMMENTS

    1. While I make no case for Rabbi Ben Artzi either way, Rav Aviner should look at the Rambam’s Iggeret Temen, where he predicts the return of Prophecy to Klal Yisroel at a date which passed hundreds of years ago.
      The Lubavitcher Rebbe referred to the Precious Rebbe as a Novi.
      Further, where in Kisvei Arizal does it say that those with Ruach hakodesh can not know the future? On the contrary, there are numerous credible stories of Rebbes and Chahamim, among all sectors of Judaism, who did know and sometimes told of future events correctly.

      • “The Lubavitcher Rebbe referred to the Precious Rebbe as a Novi”

        I have no idea who this “Precious Rebbe” is but given that the Rebbe, Mav MMS, Z’tl, was niftar years ago and Rabbi Artzi is much younger, I doubt Artzi is the “Preciouser Rebbe” he was speaking of. As so many have noted in prior postings in related articles, this region on the Turkish-Iran border is one of the most active seismic zones in the world and there are earthquakes there almost every year, with several recent ones of a similiar magnitude. Thus, you can safely forecast an earthquake there with full confidence that a broken clock like Artzi will be right at least twice a day. Please spare us you bubba meisas.

      • “On the contrary, there are numerous credible stories of Rebbes and Chahamim, among all sectors of Judaism, who did know and sometimes told of future events correctly.”

        No doubt.
        Make enough predictions and make them as vague as possible — and you’re bound to eventually be “right” about something. That’s how gypsy fortune tellers work — and which is why many people are nevertheless impressed by them.

        We only hear about it afterwards when the predictions turned out “right,” but don’t keep track of the times that the predictions were worng.

      • yep

        if one makes many prediction some of them will hit the mark

        any person can do that

        show me a Rebbes and Chahamim who is batting above 50% in their predictions

    2. The reason there is no prophesy today as you wish there to be is becuase You do not NEED to know the future to exactly what it will be. I thought I had the divine prophesy yesterday. I tried to predict the football game outcomes and the plays. It did not work. But seriously, I think that you might want to consider that Hashem has a guiding hand in humanity. This world will go where Hashem wants it to go. If someone is to avoid disaster and G-d wants it to be so, G-d will directly make certain that he is not scathed by the troubles at hand. Look at the fact that Elie Wiesel did not succumb to the flames of Germany and the holocaust. He is a major writer. It must been divine providence. So have faith in our Creator. He really does dictate who will live and who will die by the sword, famine or any other disaster. There is no reason why we have to worry about prophesizing the future, even though clearly all of us including myself want to know who will be in our future and what we will do tomorrow.

    3. Of course rav Aviner is correct that there is no nevu’a in our time, however…
      There is the well accepted fact that HaSh-m operates the world with the concept of midah k’neged midah (measure for measure).
      Thus, to say that those who show themselves to be enemies of Am Yisrael will be repaid accordingly, one need not be a navi, just perceptive and aware of what is going on.

      • Turkey is not the enemy from klal yisroel, their the enemy from a secular opposing zionist mdina, and we frum jews have no issue with turkey, as matter of fact, if I would be a non jew I would hate the zionist israel with a passion! Maybe the arabs too but that’s not the descussion here, the discussion is israel, an arragont medina that has no appreciation or shame, besides some PR in offfering help when there is a disaster.

        • I’ll sum it up in Two words. Silly. Naive. Did all those non-Jews who claim to be anti-Zionist learn the Vayoel Moshe?! Does their anti-Zionism come from the Torah. Are they opposed to the medinah for the same reasons that Torah-observing Jews are?! Of course, not. They hate all Jews. Including you and me! But anti-Zionism is a good cover.

    4. Why are so many of our people obsessed with prophecy and knowing what will happen in the “end of days”? Why are we looking for “holy men” who can tell us what the future will bring when we ought to be more concerned with serving HaShem in the HERE AND NOW!!!

    5. There is no shortage of simple minds who want to predict that some event happened due to someone elses wickedness or perceived iniquity. This is going on and popular today and I assure you that it is an evil.

    6. Even if Hashem would allow for a man or woman to have insight and knowledge of the future or the reason for world events such as if an earthquake is divine retribution for evil in the world, why would he tell us that. It is much more interesting and valid for us to predict patterns in society and clearly our prophetic abilities are not quite such that we are given insight into the details of all the future events. And of course, why would our G-d give us some prediction that basically makes it feel right to basically shake a stick at the other party. For that is all that we are doing by saying that an earthquake in Turkey was due to their evil. That is all. We are wanting to shake a big stick at The moslems and Turks and we just want to be able to justify the anger of G-d. Clearly we do know who is evil and wicked and we know that Israel is being attacked.

    7. We should shut down the U.S. Geological Survey, fire every PhD geologist and hire unemployed kabalists “prophets” to predict earthquakes around the globe and pat themselves on the back when fault lines around the globe naturally go active as they have been for thousands of years.

      • To our un- ‘enlightened’ brother. You have a profound and basic understanding problem with the role of science. (Meaning, you have some Chochma, but no Bina hence no Daat).
        Science explains ‘how’ earthquakes happen and what is the technology Hashem applied to make the earthquake predictable (somewhat) and understandable (somewhat).
        Observing Teva (nature) will give you some understanding of the ‘how’ but non of the ‘why’. Our mesora explains the ‘why’ when it gets to natural disasters. It also teaches us that engaging in learning the ‘how’ will not help you avoid any disasters, however understanding, knowing and avoiding the ‘why’s WILL AVOID the issues.
        Both have different roles, and Science NEVER, EVER, EVER can contradict Torah. It talks about very very different things, and it has a very limited paradigm (Science, that is). Torah on the other hand is Truth, the Ultimate Truth, something infinite and finite, the Gift of the One Living God.
        So back to your PhD geologists. We need the USGS, we need the geologists. AND most of all, being Jeiwsh, we need to understand what can they do for us.

        • “To our un- ‘enlightened’ brother. You have a profound and basic understanding problem with the role of science. (Meaning, you have some Chochma, but no Bina hence no Daat)”

          And you, your solitary majesty, clearly have no sense of humor. You need to get out more often.

    8. TO above comments: not Precious Rebbe, rather the Frideriker (Previous) Rebbe. The Lubavitcher Rebbe mentioned in many maamorim that the Frideriker Rebber is a Novi.
      However, I understand the skeptics. It’s not so simple for us to tell, who is a Novi, and we have our good intentions violated by undeserving individuals, that we are very very careful granting such pedigree as Novi. Also, this is really not part of Daf Yomi, Mishna Brura Yomi etc, so you can’t expect A L L frumme jews be familiar. And maybe in this, we should be rather skeptic.
      As far as anyone who would claim about himself, that he is a Novi, for me personally that would be a red flag. Let everyone else think he is a Novi, without him telling us. (along withe routing number, if you know what i mean).
      I don’t know this Rabbi speaking in the article, but definitely he is making some statements that are questionable, or not clear enough. I always found intellectually dishonest to agree one side of an argument, just because he holds otherwise. In Daf Yomi a few days ago we learned a whole Mishna, where we quote an opinion that was actually disregarded back then. But the Mishna stayed. (Daf 116b/ on Rennet)

    9. Why be mispalel that earthquake don’t happen only in israel? What about people living in other parts of the world, isn’t the rabbi concernd about their wellbeing?

    10. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s not nevuah unless he says his prediction in the aibershter’s name, ko amar hashem, etc.

      leedach gisa ruach hakodesh, everyone has…

    11. He was the precious previous Rebbe.

      As for ben Artzi….. there is a video from Rabbi M. Glazerson showing the Torah Codes that ben Artzi is a chozer…. a seer….. google it and you’ll find it, in hebrew only.
      So he is not a Navi, but he is a chozer, according to the Torah Codes.

      • Whether he was a “navi” , a “chazer” , a “seer” or whatever you make this sound like these Torah Codes are something yidden should take seriously. To the contrary, this is borderline avoda zorah like a fortune teller.

      • Glazerson is a new age type of self-promoter who markets gematriah as some type of mystic fortune telling. His computer techniques seem entertaining but highly irrelevant to any ben-torah.

    12. Rabbi Ben Artzi said in 2010 that China would be destroyed that year. If a prophet’s words don’t come true, then he is a false prophet. When he makes these kind of predictions that do not come true, people look down more on rabbis.
      Also, when he makes these dire predictions, does he say it will not come true if people change their ways somehow?

    13. If someone claims Nevua. They should be prepared to live with the consequences. If this man is a Navi then he is a Navi sheker…and we know what the Torah says about false neviim.

      With respect to Rabbi Aviner. He does not decide when Nevua will occur. We know Nevua will return in the end of days. But these vague pronouncements do not qualify as Nevua.

      Beware of charlatans.

    14. Rabbi aviner is being incredibly ignorant when he says “earthquakes happen” Turkey had something coming to them and its no coincidence that it happened at this time

      • CSLMoshe
        Maybe Rabbi Aviner who said earthquakes happen did what I did.
        I googled EarthQuake Turkey and guess what I found?

        In October 1999, 12 years ago, Turkey was Israel’s best friend in the region. Yet, a 7.6 earthquake struck Turkey that month , killed over 17,000 people, injured over 40,000 and left over a half a million homeless. In comparison the earthquake this week was just a minor jolt.

        According to you, since the Turks did better as an enemy of Israel than as a friend, Divine Providence wants them continue to let the relationship with Israel go south..

        According to Rabbi Aviner, “earthquakes happen” especially in Turkey.

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