Monday, December 06, 2010


Haifa Fire - Messianic Hint or Hype?

The last 10 years has found the Jewish world awash in messianic hints and hypes.  This week’s is a Midrash that involves Haifa and fire, which ties back to the terrible fire near Haifa in Israel over the last few days.

Our friend Rabbi Brody brings this to note a fire near Haifa will occur before Moshiach (also shown at Dreaming of Moshiach).  Friendly blogger Josh at Parshablog notes that in context the quote is about the enemies of Hashem being burned out from non-Jewish towns planted next to Jewish ones in Israel (and therefore invalidates the premise that the fire in Haifa, which killed Jews, has anything to do with this Midrash.)

And Shirat Devorah notes this back and forth and says, “I wish people would stop playing games with predictions.  It's very damaging to all of us.”

We used to spend quite a bit of time in the past on such predictions here at Mystical Paths, and Shirat Devorah’s response is EXACTLY why we stopped. 

The question and points come down to this:

1. We have plentiful hints that the Geulah is close.  As the Lubavitcher Rebbe and many other gedolim have pointed out, many world events over the last 20 years have aligned closely with statements of the navi’im (biblical prophets).  But “close” and “the generation of the Geulah” has been over 20 years already.  A process that may have started with World War I or World War II or the creation of the State of Israel or with the generation of the Rebbe may continue until when?  AD MOSAI???

2. Do we really think that Hashem is going to share His hints of the geulah by finding obscure passages in non-literal seforim (holy books) that require a bit of fast reading to get them to line up with events?  We have explicit holy navi’im (the Tanach, the biblical prophecies) who’s predictions for the future were specifically saved for us to tell us when the end of days has arrived.  When you see those events happening or the apparent preparation for them, THEN you can FREAK OUT.  [ And yes, some of them do seem to be in range – mostly around the (re)division of Jerusalem. ]

3. We are required to try and do and maybe be a little better EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Do Torah and mitzvot, help others, make the world a dwelling place for Hashem and a better place for all of us EVERY DAY.  We don’t start doing it because maybe Moshiach’s coming tomorrow, we start RIGHT NOW!

4. The world is changing. For the good or (apparently) bad, we don’t know. But this is a sea change generation with world chaos, reduced US power, economic turmoil, Chinese economic and political surging, Islamic religious surging, Islamic terrorism shaking the foundations of world civilization.  Are these signs of Moshiach, a “time of trouble of Yaakov”, or just changing times with opportunities and risks and a yet unclear future, WE JUST DON’T KNOW.

Personally I think we are close and the macro signs are lining up with the biblical prophecies.  But hyping every minor pasuk as an imminent sign of the geulah is neither healthy nor warranted.


  1. B"H

    Looking for explanations for something we are unable to comprehend is very human. People are simply longing for an explanation. I just wonder why no one has ever found and quoted the verse about Haifa before the fire had started.

  2. My husband came home after his hebruta with this pasuk, he was kinda excited and I....well I just rolled my eyes and went to sleep. I dont like my reaction as we have been geulah watchers for around 20 years now, but its just plain wear & tear. I just want to get on with my daily life and try my best and hope Hashem stops the madness and brings Mashiach.

  3. “Perhaps something good will come of this disaster”

    Bibi...It will if we want it to. As PM of Israel you have a pivotal role to play. When certain dynamics present themselves it is vital to capitalise on them. Sometimes this involves just waiting, patience and trusting the universe. It can also involve direct contact, communication and movement between people. I think G-d has a plan for the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, the Holy Land and Planet Earth. But he needs his good people down here on terra firma to direct and act on his stage.

    There is so much potential in the relationships between all the nations for peace, stability, order, benevolence and expansiveness. Just like the prophecy of World Peace 2050 !

    There is not much more terrible than death by fire. I think the Jewish people really need to reflect and act on what is going on right now.

    The chance of devastating fires would have been reduced greatly if there had been more rainfall in the region over the last six months. I wonder what Rabbi Ovadiah thinks about the concept of "Good reign for good rain" ?
    It is also interesting to note that it looks like the fires were a result of negligence and not arson. Both can have the same terrible effects but the former method is not conducive to simple blame gaming.

    I am happy to come to Israel now but only with certain conditions. People find sanctuary in good leadership. I know how the eternal sanctuary can be built...

    Prayers for the victims.

  4. There is nothing wrong with what Rav Brody did. If one reads the midrash simply without added commentary...yes it is uncanny. To me it adds to what is going on.

  5. Quote 1:
    >>> We used to spend quite a bit
    >>> of time in the past on such
    >>> predictions here at Mystical
    >>> Paths, and Shirat Devorah’s
    >>> response is EXACTLY why we
    >>> stopped.

    Quote 2:
    >>> When you see those events
    >>> happening or the apparent
    >>> preparation for them, THEN you
    >>> can FREAK OUT. [ And yes,
    >>> some of them do seem to be in
    >>> range – mostly around the
    >>> (re)division of Jerusalem. ]

    If this is not "playing games with predictions", then what that would be?

  6. Masiach will come when N O O N E expects him so says the talmud and medrash. to predict mashiachs coming is like picking a lottery thats always changing. speculation and yes yearning are essential we can learn from the muslims and xtians in this regard in there i ntense yearning to be saved for mashiach , I know that sounds unjewish to most but most of our daily liturgy including shemoneh esrei the pintacle of rabbinic prayer is based on such yearning .

  7. I meant saved by mashiach in islam and xtianity closely parrarels the et tzemach prayer and kisay dovid prayer. Oviousely islams mashiach and xtianities mashiah lahavdil are tottalyy different mashiach concepts then the jews concepts as there religions have similarities but are quite different. My main point is the whole xtian faith of 11/2 billion people is on the messiah concept exclusively . Rarely is it explored deep insights into the nature of mashiach by the gra and ramchal the 2 main expounders of meshichut in the last 3000 years ! This is sad because jews even religious ones dont know what to expect because the ramchal and gra on the subject are rarely if ever studied . As haazinu says you are a vine of sodom a shoot from emarrah and i would have toottaly destroyed you but for the long haired head of the enemy whod say i did this by my hand . This chillul Hashem by the goyim produces our victory not our merit . As we say we are not tzaddikim etc etc .......


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