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.”