Saturday, September 02, 2006

. . . . but who is he?

You guys are doing great with this blog. I love the conversation!!

A number of responces to what you guys wrote come to mind, but I'll limit myself to one thought for now (and by making it a seperate post, we should be able to start a new thread.):
One point that few of you -- with the exception of Dasi -- focus on is the prophet himself. If some random guy comes up to you and tells you that God came to him in a vision, I don't think any of us would take him too seriously. On the other hand, think of the most honest, trustworthy, finest human being you know. Now add into the equation the fact that this person has already proven (we'll discuss how later in the year) that he/she receives legitimate prophesies. Now what if this person comes up to you with a message from God? Don’t you think we’d take it a little more seriously?


Blogger saragaut said...

Now that i got that off my chest, moving on. i think the main word here is PROOF, if one of my best friends came up to me and told me that last night g-d spoke to them, to be honest, if they didn't have any proof i would probably laugh thinking they were telling me a joke.However, i feel as though we have stepped into the personal realm beacuse this question is to each his own. that is to say that everyone has a different level of beliefs. but seriously nowadays if anyone came to you no matter who they were saying g-d spoke to them would you really fully be able to believe that even if you wanted to. even in the times that nevuah was prominent, the jews were not always good about believing and listening to a navi, b/c no matter how many years pass human nature pretty much stays the same and human nature and common sense is the main thing that forces us to question anything that we can't hear or see ourselves.
sorry if my comment is totally sinical and annoying but what i can i say, i'm a modern day skeptic. ;)

September 03, 2006 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Sara- I think that even if we were able to prove that a navi's nevuahs were legitimate we would still be skeptical about the legitimacy of the nevuah. For one thing, people haven't been receiving nevuahs for a long time now (since the destruction of beit hamikdash #2). While other religions claim to have received a prophecy (like Muhammed and the Mormons) in Jewish tradition people haven't been receiving nevuah for over a thousand years. Also, many rabbis say that the reason our generation doesn't merit receiving nevuahs is because we aren't as holy as previous generations. So I think many people would wonder why after so many years someone is now receiving a nevuah since we do not merit it. In addition, I think many people still wouldn't follow the advice of the navi. I agree with Sara that human nature stays the same. As depicted in Tanach, many neviim were unsuccessful in getting all of the Jews ro listen. For example as we learnt last year, Ezra and Yirmiyahu had trouble having all of the Jews do teshuvah and usually only a small percent of the Jews listened. So if the Jews didn't listen then when they were on a higher level, then I doubt that they would listen anymore now.


September 03, 2006 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Suz said...

I agree with Sara and Amanda.

If my best friend came to me and said they had a nevuah, I would not take them seriously, its just not what happens today. If some random Joe came to me and said s/he had nevuah, I wouldnt take them seriously either unless they could pass the "Navi test" (predict a future event correctly) Same for my friend. However, if my friend or anyone else came to me and said, I think HaShem helped me out", as Rach said with her biology story, then yeah I could believe that.

September 05, 2006 1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok so i semi agrre with all three of you, but semi-dont. on the one hand i agree that if someone came up to me today and told me they had a nevuah id have a RLLLY hard time beleiveng it, evn if there is "proof" i honestly dont think id beleive them. as for people in the past with neviim [like during the times of the beit hamikdash] i dont thnik it was a matter of belief, but rather a matter of will. i think that everyone believed in Hashem, they jsut also ahppened to beleive in other gods.we learned a gemara lat year in navi about one of the really bad kinds in milachim bet. in the gemara some rabbi [were gonna call him rabbi a] was talking about the king [i tihnk it was menashe] as though they were equals. later that night rabbi a had a dream with menashe in it, menashe told him that in his days [the end of beit hamikdash basicly] everyone did avodah zara. menashe proved to rabbi a that he knew more torah than the rabbi [i forget how but i know it was part of it], he told rabbi a that it wasnt lack o faith or knwoledge that led them to a"z rather it was a need/desire, like we feel physical esies today. therefore i dont think we can really equate our skeptism todya to the disobeyance [if thats a word] oh the people in the times of the beit hamikdash.

tamar schneck

September 06, 2006 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... terms of nowadays and prophecy, honestly, if one of my friends came up to me and told me they got a prophecy from God i would never believe it. and the truth is even if a great rabbi said that they got a nevuah from Hashem im not so sure id beleive that. times are much different now and i dont think that any one in our times now is on a high enough holy level to be able to recieve such divine inspirational communication from/with Hashem. yes, like rachels story there is the concept of hashem giving you a sign or answering ur prayers however this is no prophecy rather Hashem presenting himsself in life.
liek amanda said in the jewish religion no one has recieve proper nevuah since the 2nd beit hamikdash, meaning that now adays theres no such thing as such holy nevuah. when rabbis talk about "messagess" from hashem i think this is refering to simply hashem sending one a message/test simply presneting himself in the world however not nearly able to reach the level of anything near what nevuah was

back in the biblical times when nevuah really was possible and actually did happen, when bnei yisrael or the people didnt beleive the nevuah i do think that this came from and was a result of faith issues/ not fully beleiving in hashem however now that the times our different and theres no such thing as nevuah it would be bizzare for someone to say they had a nevuah from hashem
and yes tamar is right that back then it was the inclination to do avodah zara however its not possible to be an inclination not to have faith, therefor it was simply that they had faith issues in beleiving in hashem reuslting in the trouble of believing certain nevuah.


September 06, 2006 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As some of you already stated, believing a friend when they tell you they received a nevuah would be quite difficult, if the situation did arise. On the other hand (correct me if I'm wrong) not many of our friends are great chachamim. They may be wise and know a great amount of Torah, but at the same time they are not as scholarly as we would like to think. As Rabbi Krestt said, if a great Talmud chacham came to us and said that they received a nevuah, I think we might have an easier time considering their thoughts as truth (forgetting the fact that there haven't been nevuahs for quite some time now). I think this concept is difficult for us to understand because of the fact that we did not live in those times. We can easily hear a story and then go and say what so-and so did wrong; passing judgment is not difficult when seeing something from the perspective that we see everyday (Tanach).We are constantly told what Bnei Israel did wrong, whether it was the egel hazahav or not listening to a navi time and time again. We can say that Bnei Israel didn't have faith and that they should've listened to Hashem more often, but then again it’s so much easier to find people’s faults (especially when they are pointed out to us clear as day).Think about it, for a moment, if one of your best friends came up to you one day and told you something unbelievable. Yea, you would question her like crazy, but at the end of the day- would you or wouldn’t you believe her? I’m sure there are those of you that are staying strong and would never believe it- but what if you knew that God really did speak to them. Perhaps they passed the navi test- would it be as difficult to believe her then- I’m guessing no. No, we wouldn’t have tangible proof , but some would say that we don’t really have proof nowadays either…

-Naomi Z

September 12, 2006 9:08 PM  
Blogger Gablutski said...

Though I agree with Naomi in that it would be easier to accept nevuah from someone with high religious credentials, I still belive that this whole issue is totally theoretical and not applicable to us until masheach comes. The reason I say this is because I believe that Hashem's shchenah has left us, thereby making it impossible for Hashem to communicate to us through nevuah nowadays. This also is the basis for my strong skepticism in people like shabtai tzvi and others who claimed that they were masheiach in a day and age where reality could not promote such a case. The only tangible proof we might have of someone's nevuah-credentiouls is if masheach came because that would be a clear indication of Hashem's returning shchenah. Because hashem has taken on a more hidden role since beit hamikdash was destroyed can we really believe, whether through a peer or a prestigious of rabbi, that he would simply give nevuah again-a clear and direct way of communication?

September 13, 2006 8:20 PM  
Anonymous B-Silb said...

Ok-- so i know this has been said already in response like A BILLION times, but i would NOT belive anyone who came up to me with a "prophecy" (what is prophecy...hah) from god. Weather if be my best friend, a relative, or even one of the greatest known Rabbaim of our time. Truthfully i do not understand why any of the people in the tanach belived what the Nav'iim said but as sara said PROOF would help. If a man came up to me and said God will kill you if you dont keep shabbat, i would say yeah ok what a freak...but if this man then continued to show many human-impossible tasks that God executed i would say i belive this guy im keeping shabbat--- i just went on a tangent im sorry--basically main point= i would say i understand why the jews belived in nevi'im in the tanach because obviously they were at a higher level and closer to god then we are now....but i leave yall with this--were they really? compare the sins they did with the minute sins most of you commit every day.....

September 13, 2006 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its not that they were closer to god, liek tehy sinned less, they were closer to god because only a few people before tehm actually were at mataan torah. like with the holocaust, its such a big thing that it kind of seems unbelivalbe that sucha thing is possible, but since our own grandparents were in it and have proof, its more beleivable then 100 years from now when they can only read about it. But on a side note, maybe one of the ways to prove yourself as truthful was to say something and make it happen, if someone said there will be a car accident on (hypothetical) arcola and kersey and it happened that second, then when they said god was gonna come and strike me, i would be more likely to beleive them.
- esti

September 14, 2006 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter what,in this day and age human beigns are disinclined to believe in the fact that G-d came to someone and spoke to them. We have a hard enough time struggling with day to day faith (well, I don't know about the rest of you people but believing isn't always so easy for me!)that an idea such as this one sounds way to far fetched and unnartraul. The normal human response would be "Are you ok?" or "someone call the loony bin!". No matter how trusted and wise this friend/ leader is it takes a lot of faith and imagination to believe in their declaration of prophecy. We simply are not on the spiritual level nowadays that Hashem would give someone a nevuah. Nevuah simply cannot exist to us untill we're on the level of holiness in that Hashem's shechinah rests on us once again.until then Nevuah simply won't be prevalent in our daily lives

September 14, 2006 9:06 PM  
Blogger Sara Laya said...

Its true that nowadays if someone came up to you (even if they are known as a talmud chachum) and told you G-d has just spoken to them youd think twice because our mindset will not agree to somthing like nevuah to happen again, which is unfortunate. The problem is that since we dont have any close connection today like the Bait Hamikdash its inconcievable that somone could even talk to G-d, IF the Bait Hamikdash was still around now people might be more believing in someone having a prophecy.

September 21, 2006 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Raquela said...

I agree and disagree. It would deffinately be more believable if a person that i knew was an amazing person and was extreemly into judaism and doing mitzvot and davening etc came up to me and told me they got a nevuah. But even under these circumstances i would still not fully believe them and to be honest i would think they are a little bit crazy. As sara leah peviously said, we do not have the beit hamikdash and our closest connection to g-d is through prayer. So why would someone who prays, just the way i do, get a nevuah? especially when no one has heard of anyone gettting a nevuah for an extremely long time. So while i would be more inclined to believe a person who is extremly in touch with jewish identity over someone who isnt such a fine perosn, it would still be difficult for me to belive such a statement.

October 02, 2006 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Dani B said...

i suppose it would be more believable if a person i knew and trusted told me they were getting prohesies as opposed to a random person on the street, but i still wouldnt beleive it. Nevuah hasnt happened for many years so it would be very hard for me to belive. I may like to belive it, but i dont think i would be able to.

October 02, 2006 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay so first of all i'd like to say that after reading the majority of everyones posts, it really got me thinking about this whole topic. Like most of you have said, I concur that it would be ridiculously hard to believe a friend of yours that tells you they have recieved a nevuah or some kind of message directly from Hashem considering that 1) there is no such thing as Nevuah's now a days and 2) Like we discussed before in class, Hashem doesn't send a nevuah to just ANYONE; it most likely would be to a someone who's in a higher position of power or has a strong connection with Hashem. Like Sara has stated in her post, I would have to agree that proof is a major key in believing if a freind or anyone in general has recieved a Nevuah. Ofcourse I would believe a Rabbi over a friend of mine (no offence to any of my friends!!), but I would most likely still be skeptical about a Rabbi telling me they have recieved a Nevuah, even though it's a given they have a strong connection with God. In conclusion, I agree 100% with Amalias post that the idea of someone recieving a Nevuah today is completly far fetched and unnatural. And it deffinatly takes ALOT of faith and imagination in someone to believe that another person has recieved a Nevuah.

- Devora

October 03, 2006 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So i agree with essentially everyone that it would be really hard ot believe nevuot today or that enyone could recive a nevuah today. AS i have said in other posts, I thnk this is the due to the increase in knowledge in our culture. Many people see this as skepticism, seuclarism,a dn a lack of faith. but i believe its people becoming less naive and smarter. People challeneg people. Thats a good thing. Otherwise you would have Shabbtai Tzvi all over again. He was a guy that pretended to be a prophet and the messiah and essentially ruined Jewish culture and hope for a while. Maybe he ruined the concept of Messaiah and Nevuah for some people, but maybe he proved a valid point about God's noninvolvement in our lives naymore/ his nonexistence period, and our need to challenge prophets to ensure such a disaster doesn't happen again.- guess who

October 09, 2006 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Essentially I agree with most of what everyone are saying, but then don't.
A few of years ago, I was listening to a Rabbi giving his tvar torah. It just so happened to be that a couple of nights priviously, he had a very different and "unique dream". The Rabbi had said that he couldn't believe that he would be able to receive a nevuah, b/c in his opinion he doesn't deserve it, is not such of a great man to receive such a thing. After he told the shul what his encounters and interactions in the dream were, I at first was skeptical and unsure thinking: are you really sure you received a nevuah and not a really special kind of dream?...but then I thought, it made more sense. I believe him to some extent, since he is a great talmud chacham and tzadikk. Plus his position is very important, especially when helping and teaching people/ the community about different important messages and themes in general. He is also there to help the community focus on the bigger picture or message, when special events occur and to realize what can we learn from these events.

I believe that Hashem does give Ruach Hakodesh in a more defined and extreme way to some people rather than to most people. Although I don't 100% believe that what the Rabbi saw in his dream was a nevuah, I do think it did happen and was pretty significant (especially in today's time). I also understand that it is MUCH harder and unlikely to receive nevuah today b/c of the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash(s). But I truely believe that some people are blessed and are on a more spiritual level than other people, therefore they are more likely to receive (and connect)with what Hashem is trying to give across/ receive extraordinary visions ...(his message, but not necessarily receive the big "N"-Nevuah itself). I do believe that there are also miracles today, all around us and everywhere, big and small. But it's all based on your perception. Like that story where a guy really needed to find a parking space, but couldn't find one anywhere. Finally he turns to Hashem and makes promises and swears to be a better person...Right after that a parking space opens and the man turns and says to Hashem oh it's okay I already found one.
I think that today, almost everyone are very skeptical. Personally I think I am more open minded, or perhaps naive, therefore I believe things can happen more. I do believe and have faith in Hashem, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Toady, I think that majority of people question their faith than people who lived 100 years ago. Since so many bad things have happened to the Jewish people, such as pogroms and the holocaust, to name a few, many people don't have such a strong belief, faith, or open mind to think that some amazing and extraordinary thing(s) can really happen, even in today's world. I think that since most people focus and hear more about the bad and negative things that do happen in the world, rather than the positive, people think more in the negative and "impossible" so to speak, aspect of extraordinary and amazing things that do and can happen (in today's world*).


P.S. I would like to take the time to thank Rabbi Krestt for giving us this wonderful opportunity to voice our opinions and be able to hear and discuss on other people's different opinions/ views and interpretations.
This is probably one of the more interesting h.w. assignment that I've ever gotten to do.

PLUS I would like to appologize in advance if in ANY of my comments that might have offended anyone, especially in my last 2 comments about "torah lo bashamaiim he" and rabbis being mediators in today's society.

October 11, 2006 4:05 PM  
Anonymous chavie said...

Okay...everyone has great points about nevuah not happening for such a long time and how we're not on a high enough level, etc etc. me naive or gullible, but i happen to have a lot of faith and i tend to have an open mind when it comes to stuff like this. therefore, if someone came up to me and said they had a nevuah and then PROVED it to me, why should i then reject the idea? of course i'd believe, i have no reason not to. if a random person on the street did the same, i'd wait till they had sufficient proof. As long as i have proof, i have faith. on the other hand, if someone didn't have proof, i wouldnt just laugh and be like ha funny depends on the "nevuah"--if it sounds believable, i may not take it to heart, but i'll still believe in that person. granted, if it was something utterly rediculous and dumb, i wouldnt be so quick to have faith. I dont think its a matter of simply believing. there's more color to it than that. It's a matter of the person, its a matter of the context...Don't just be that person that rejects it bc "nowadays society" rejects it. Be different. Have faith. Wow that was profound. i'm gonna go be normal again...sorry it was so long. peeaace

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December 09, 2012 9:11 PM  

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