Category Archives: Predictions
Here‘s an article we recommend from Aish.com that lists the 7 miracles of Jewish history.
Summary of the miracles and a really quick analysis by us of each miracle:
WONDER #1: THE JEWISH PEOPLE ARE ETERNAL
Amazing, a tiny nation surviving 3300 years with the same belief system. Just to appreciate this a bit, ask yourselves what ever happened to Rome, Persia, Athens, etc.?
WONDER #2: DISPERSION
Okay, this refers to the Torah telling us that if the Jews misbehave they will be dispersed all over the globe. This one happened too.
WONDER #3: ANTI-SEMITISM
The Torah also tells us that we will be persecuted in foreign lands if we misbehave. This one definitely happened. I think we can probably group this with the one above, but either way, the Torah was spot on when it came to this. It warns us that if we misbehave we’ll be punished and it happened.
WONDER #4: FEW IN NUMBER
I would also group this one with the above two wonders. I would also add that in Devarim Moshe says the Jewish people have become as numerous as the stars as God had promised and the Jewish population at the time was only 3 million. More analysis needed on this one.
WONDER #5: A LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS
Definitely. Promises made all over Genesis and the rest of the Bible. Spot on. Amazing.
WONDER #6: THE INTERDEPENDENCE BETWEEN THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND THE LAND OF ISRAEL
Israel was a waste land before the Jews came back. I’m not sure how much this says about the interdependence between the Jews and Israel. The Bible doesn’t tell us about this interdependence to the best of my knowledge and the Torah even tells us that before the Joshua conquered the land it was very developed. I don’t really want to get into this right now, but I’m sure nobody would have lost faith had Israel been thriving while in gentile hands. There is a prophecy that the land will lay desolate if the Jews misbehave, but I think we can throw this into the above category of the prophecy of the Jews being punished if they misbehaved.
WONDER #7: THE MIRACULOUS RETURN OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE TO THEIR HOMELAND
I don’t know if there has been a miracle greater than this in the past 3300 years. Unbelievable! May the Temple be rebuilt soon.
In summary, I think we can probably categorize the miracles in this article into four groups and they truly are amazing:
1) Eternity of the Jewish people.
2) Punished for sinning.
3) A light unto the nations.
4) The return to Israel.
I would also add that antisemitism, to my mind, is totally irrational and points to the specialness of the Jewish people. You’d think that after the holocaust and our return to Israel we’d get some rest, but no, now the Arabs want us annihilated.
In my last post I quoted the Midrash in Yalkut Shimoni Yeshaya whose words contain the lyrics to the song Anavim. The lines just before this quotation are equally fascinating.
To reiterate what I wrote in my last post, Maimonides wrote in his Epistle to Yemen that nobody knows how or when the Messiah will arrive, including the sages of the Talmud and Midrash. This is also explicit in Daniel where it says that many wise people will attempt to determine when the end will be and fail. The Talmud also says it is prohibited to calculate the time of the coming of the Messiah.
Nonetheless, take a look at these words that were written over a thousand years ago.
ילקוט שמעוני ישעיהו רמז תצט
א”ר יצחק שנה שמלך המשיח נגלה בו כל מלכי אומות העולם מתגרים זה בזה, מלך פרס מתגרה במלך ערבי והולך מלך ערבי לארם ליטול עצה מהם וחוזר מלך פרס ומחריב את כל העולם וכל אומות העולם מתרעשים ומתבהלים ונופלים על פניהם ויאחוז אותם צירים כצירי יולדה, וישראל מתרעשים ומתבהלים ואומר להיכן נבוא ונלך להיכן נבוא ונלך, ואומר להם בני אל תתיראו כל מה שעשיתי לא עשיתי אלא בשבילכם מפני מה אתם מתיראים אל תיראו הגיע זמן גאולתכם, ולא כגאולה ראשונה גאולה אחרונה כי גאולה ראשונה היה לכם צער ושעבוד מלכיות אחריה אבל גאולה אחרונה אין לכם צער ושעבוד מלכיות אחריה שנו רבותינו בשעה שמלך המשיח בא עומד על גג בית המקדש והוא משמיע להם לישראל ואומר ענוים הגיע זמן גאולתכם. ואם אין אתם מאמינים ראו באורי שזרח עליכם
Rabbi Yitzchak said: the year in which the king Moshiach (Messiah) will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be arguing with one another. The Persian king will be arguing with the Arab king and the Arab king will go to Aram to get advice from him and the king of Persia will destroy the entire world and all the nations of the world will scream and be confused/scared and will fall upon their faces and pain will grasp them like the birth pangs of a mother, and Israel will scream and be confused/scared and will say: “Where will we go to? Where will we go to?”. And He (God) will say to them: “My sons don’t be afraid. Everything that I did, I only did it for you. Why are you afraid? Don’t be afraid, the time of your redemption has arrived, and not like the first redemption is the last redemption, because the first redemption had after it pain and slavery but in the final redemption, you will not have pain, neither will you be enslaved by the kingdoms.
This is my own translation and it’s not perfect, but it’s close enough.
Anyway, the point is that Iran is Persia (it changed its name in the past century). The king of Persia today is seemingly Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and he would most certainly destroy large parts of the world given the opportunity.
In my opinion there will most certainly be a big war in the next fifty years (if not in the next decade). Its only a matter of time before Iran gets its hands on a nuclear bomb. Israel will have to go to war. There’s also the fact that in the next century Muslims will be the majority population in many major European countries and even in America. Things are brewing up. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if we don’t see a major war in the near future.
As a religious Jew I believe things will work out for the best at the end of the day, but things could get worse before we get there. God has looked after the Jews for the past 4000 years. May He continue to do so in the future.
I am not trying to bring proof from this Midrash that the Sages of the Talmud knew how and when the Messiah would arrive. I don’t believe that they did know. There are countless Midrashim about the arrival of the Messiah and a high probability that one of them would sound somewhat like the political situation we have today. Furthermore, what this Midrash predicts hasn’t yet happened and it might not happen, but it’s clear that this definitely could happen.
Maimonides says in the last chapters of the Mishneh Torah that nobody knows what will be at the end of days. Great rabbi’s gave their opinions in the midrashim and agadot, based on different readings of the Scriptures, but no one can be certain what will be. How the Messiah comes may also be dependent on the spiritual nature of the Jewish people.
Nonetheless, there is a song that has recently become famous called “Anavim” (“humble ones”) by Yakov Shwekey. The lyrics come from the Midrash in Yalkut Shimoni Yeshaya (chapter 60 remez 499).
Here is the midrash in it’s original hebrew:
שנו רבותינו בשעה שמלך המשיח בא עומד על גג בית המקדש והוא משמיע להם לישראל ואומר ענוים הגיע זמן גאולתכם, ואם אין אתם מאמינים ראו באורי שזרח עליכם
Here’s my own translation of this line:
Our Rabbis taught: At the time that the king Messiah comes, he will stand on the roof of the Temple (the Beit Hamikdash) and will say to Israel: “Humble ones, the time of your redemption has arrived, and if you don’t believe me, look at my light that has shone”.
The Midrash continues but the song is based on this line alone. The statement this Midrash is making is unbelievable. How could it be that the humble ones won’t believe that the Messiah has come even while standing on the roof of the rebuilt Temple?
I don’t know if things will be exactly as this Midrash says, or even whether the author of the Midrash believed that things would turn out exactly as he said. The author may have been exaggerating in order to give over a certain principle.
The point of the Midrash is that the Messiah will come and people will just not have realised. People will be dreaming, and not only the regular people, but even the humble ones. Perhaps, it will be specifically the humble ones that haven’t realised the coming of the Messiah. The people that believe they are so unworthy of seeing the Messiah might not be capable of realising that he has actually come.
When dreams are actualised they always turn out differently to how you imagined.
I believe we are living in a period where the Jews have seen miraculous events, but some people, including even the most devout Jews, just don’t realise what’s going on. The Jews have return to their homeland after a two thousand year exile. Has there ever been a greater miracle than this? No nation has ever returned after being exiled. What are the chances of survival after an exile? What happened to the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans? But the Jews still survive and are thriving as ever.
Wake up! See the reality. The Jews are back in Israel, in Jerusalem. How long long will it be till the final rebuilding of the Temple?
In this week’s Torah reading, we read about the rewards God promises the Jewish people for following His commandments and the punishments that await the Jewish people if they do not keep His commandments.
This section can be found in Leviticus chapter 26. Click here for to read the chapter in english with hebrew original next to it.
The chapter can basically be summarised as follows:
- If the Children of Israel follow the Torah they will be rewarded (verses 3-13).
- If they forsake the Torah they will be punished (verses 14-41).
- God will never forsake the Jewish people and He will remember His original covenant with them (verses 42-26).
The majority of the chapter speaks about the punishments that will befall the Jews.
It’s quite amazing how this chapter has come so accurately true. The Torah was given to the Jews by God over 3300 years ago (even non-believers accept it was written well over 2500 years ago). To make such a claim and for it to come true is truly remarkable.
I do not bring this chapter of the Torah as scientific proof that it was written by God. Although the Torah is making a prediction, I don’t think we can view it as a scientific prediction because the Torah claims that the Jews will only be punished if the Jews sin and be rewarded if they are good. Do we know if the Jews sinned or not? No. As a believer in the Torah, I believe that the Jews did sin and this is why the Jews were exiled from their land and this is why they underwent so much suffering throughout the past two thousand years, but I do not believe this can be used as “scientific evidence” for the veracity of a Torah written by God.
One could also argue that the Torah got lucky in predicting Jewish history.
I don’t view things this way and I think anyone that is not amazed by the accuracy of the Torah’s predictions is a fool and dishonest. One must at least admit that this chapter of Leviticus turned out to be extremely accurate; whether this leads to belief in the divinity of the Torah is another matter. No one bases their belief on one chapter of the Torah, their are many, many more factors that play a part. However, to deny the amazingness of this chapter is intellectual dishonesty. I don’t mind someone saying I think this chapter was amazingly accurate but I don’t believe because of XYZ.
I will now explain why I believe this chapter is so incredible. The Jews have been around forever and have had the most difficult history. Which other nation do we know that were around at the same time as the Jews and survived to this day? Who’s ever heard of Hammurabi or the Amorites or the Amalekites (except for in the Torah)? What happened to the Greeks, Roman, Egyptians, Persians, etc. They don’t exist anymore. The Jews do. This tiny nation has survived the course of history despite the dread persecutions. Has there ever been a more persecuted nation? Yet somehow the Jew has survived.
Some quotes from the chapter (Leviticus chapter 26, verses 41-45):
41 I also will walk contrary unto them, and bring them into the land of their enemies; if then perchance their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then be paid the punishment of their iniquity; 42 then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. 43 For the land shall lie forsaken without them, and shall be paid her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them; and they shall be paid the punishment of their iniquity; because, even because they rejected Mine ordinances, and their soul abhorred My statutes. 44 And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. 45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.
Many believe that God created the world and left it. Others don’t believe in a God. Jewish history says differently. The Jew will never be destroyed and will continue to sing God’s praise. This is what it means to be a Jew – a Yehudi – from the tribe of Judah which stems from the Hebrew root “hoda” meaning to thank, to admit and to praise. The other nations of the world may deny the existence of a Creator that cares, but the Hebrew will stand against them and proclaim God’s majesty (the word Hebrew is Ivri in Hebrew and means “from across the river”. Abraham was called an Ivri because he stood on one side and the world stood against him on the other).
The Jewish people have returned to their homeland after a two thousand year exile. They have miraculously returned to Jerusalem – their holy capital. No nation has EVER returned after an exile. For two thousand years the Jews have been mourning the destruction of the Temple. Others thought they were crazy. Why couldn’t they just get over it? They didn’t get over it and they still haven’t gotten over it. We mourn the destruction till this day and await its rebuilding.
If the amazingness of this chapter hasn’t yet struck you, try predicting the future yourself. Try guessing what will be in the next decade. I bet you’ll fail. Now try imaging what will be in 3300 years time. You don’t stand a chance. Did any human predict what would happen two thousand years ago? No. Only a prophet sent by God could make such a prediction.
Again, you might think it was pot luck, but if you contemplate Leviticus 26 just a bit you’ll realise that it really is quite extraordinary how precisely it predicted the Jewish people’s history. Read The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb to get an idea of how hard it is to make predictions about the future (and how unlikely it is for a nation to return to its homeland after exile, let alone with its beliefs still intact. Taleb is neither Jewish nor religious).