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Prophecy in the Talmud

   ו - או - חיפוש


הוסף תגובה גירסא להדפסה


השאלה: תאריך פרסום: 03-01-2004
כותרת:   Prophecy in the Talmud
תוכן:   I am still secular and doubting. I read some interesting things on your website, though I find it difficult to get into them in depth. Yesterday I heard a speech by a rabbi, and he said that the Talmud is full of prophecies which came to pass.

What do you say?

For example, he said that Chazal knew Germany would try to conquer the world.

Aryeh

תשובה: תאריך פרסום: 03-01-2004
כותרת:   Prophecy in the Talmud
תוכן:   Dear Aryeh,

Rabbis, like other theologians throughout the world, tend to make things up and the attribute them to G-d or to sages. Thus did Baruch Spinoza write in his Theologico-Political Treatise (Chapter 7): "We generally see, I say, theologians anxious to learn how to wring their inventions and sayings out of the sacred text, and to fortify, them with Divine authority. Such persons never display, less scruple or more zeal than when they, are interpreting Scripture…if we ever see them perturbed, it is not that they fear to attribute some error to the Holy …but that they are afraid to be convicted of error by others, and thus to overthrow and bring into contempt their own authority."
Check the words of the rabbis who wish to prove the justice of their faith using rational arguments, for they are nonsense.
The example you brought is one of them.

First we will bring the Talmudic source from which the rabbis make these things up: "And Rabbi Isaac said: What is the meaning of the verse 'O Lord, do not grant the desires of the wicked, do not let their plan succeed' (Psalms 140)? Thus did they explain it: Jacob our father said to the Holy One, blessed be He: 'Master of the World, do not let Esau the wicked [according to Chazal Rome is the descendents of Esau] have his desire. So not let his plan succeed, do not keep away the nation which protects the world from Rome -- this is Germany of Edom, for had they not come the whole world would be destroyed.' Rabbi Chama the son of Chanina said: 'There are 300 angels for Germany of Edom and 365 for Rome. Each day they battle and kill each other to anoint a king'" (Megilla 6a-b).

Note three things:

1. The Talmud does not speak prophetically, it spoke of its own times (the fifth century). It is written in the Encyclopedia Hebraica, entry Germany, pp. 415-417: "The independent Teutons whom the Romans called Germans...in the middle of the third century a general assault by the Teutonic nations (Germans) against the borders of the Rhine Lippe, and continued almost without break over generations, until the Western Roman kingdom collapsed."
2. According to the Talmud, Germany saves the world from the wicked Rome, not the opposite.
3. Where Chazal spoke prophetically they also erred. I will bring two examples: Rabbi Joshua the son of Levi quoted Rabbi: Rome will in the future fall to Persia" (Yoma 10a). You know that Rome did not fall to Persia.

Another example:
"Rabbi Chanina said: 400 years after the destruction of the Holy Temple [470 CE], if a man tells you 'take a field worth 1000 dinars for 1 dinar,' do not take it [for the residents of Babylon will return to Israel" (Avodah Zarah 9b). As you know, the residents of Babylon were not redeemed until the Zionists came. They shook off the commandments and founded the State of Israel. For other examples see the portion of Bereshit and Vayechi.

Sincerely,

Daat Emet

תשובה: תאריך פרסום: 07-01-2004
כותרת:   Prophecy in the Talmud
תוכן:   This is the source, from Tractate Megillah 6a:

Rabbi Yitzchak quoted the verse: "G-d, do not allow the desires of an evil one, do not let him carry out his plot" - Yaakov asked G-d not to give Esav the desire of his heart.

Megillah 6b:
Do not let him carry out his plot - this is Germamya of Edom - if they would be released, they would destroy the entire world.
Rabbi Chama the son of Chanina said: Germamya has 300 crowned princes, and 365 provinces in Edom; every day they confront one another and kill one of them, and they are busy appointing a new king.

I have a question for the Daat Emet site: On what translation do those rabbis who claim that this is a prophecy about the World War rely?
Oren Shochet

תשובה: תאריך פרסום: 07-01-2004
כותרת:   Prophecy in the Talmud
תוכן:   Dear Oren,

The rabbis rely upon people not checking the notions they make up.

Sincerely,

Daat Emet

תגובה: תאריך פרסום: 15-12-2005
כותרת:   Prophecy in the Talmud
תוכן:   I don't understand how you decided who guards who: "had they not come the whole world would be destroyed" could refer to either the Romans or the Germans.

Duck, a pseudonym

תשובה: תאריך פרסום: 15-12-2005
כותרת:   Prophecy in the Talmud
תוכן:   Hello,

Let us try to analyze the Talmudic statement:
1. There are two nations--
a. Rome [called, in the language of the Sages, by different names Esau=Edom=Rome].
b. Germamiya [the independent Teutons whom Rome called Germans].
2. The Roman Empire and the German tribes fought each other [in the language of the Sages -- There are 300 village leaders in Germany and 300 governors in Rome. Each day they go out and kill each other.].
3. Rome=the evil Esau=desire to destroy the world.
4. Germany=intrigue=the nose ring of an animal, meant to restrain and protect=Germany restrains Rome from imperial expansion.
5. Now an explanation of the end of the Talmudic passage: "This is Germany of Edom, for had they not come the whole world would be destroyed." Were there not the German tribes, the Romans would have destroyed the whole world. [The original is not written clearly, but from the context you can see that the meaning is as we have explained it.]

Sincerely,

Daat Emet


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