The end of the world, huh? On an Erev Shabbos, no less. But while everyone secretly wonders if there is, in fact, some grain of truth to the the prediction, let’s quickly recapitulate some other apocalyptic prophecies that caused a ruckus – but left us unharmed.
1. Heaven’s Gate - Back in 1997, Chuck Shramek claimed that an alien UFO was following the comet Hale-Bopp as it passed by Earth. These aliens wanted to save the worthy few from the impending end of the world. The kicker was that death was the only way to enter the alien ship. 39 followers committed suicide before they could discover that no doomsday was to follow. Often remembered as a weird Nike product placement.
2. Another top failed prediction had God driving a UFO, according to Taiwanese cult leader Hon-Ming Chen. Yes, God is an alien. This claim was enough for 140 people to gather in Garland, Texas to await the arrival on March 31, 1998. Nobody died, but a lot of them were disappointed.
3. Nostradamus predicted July of 1999 to be the chosen date of Armageddon. A “great King of Terror” was to descend from the sky. Oh well. And of course, no one can forget the years leading up to 2000 in which doomsayers the world over predicted catastrophe for man due to the Y2K bug.
So everyone can relax.
But what about prophecies in the Torah?
1. The Jews will be exiled - “And you, I will scatter among the nations, at the point of My drawn sword, leaving your country desolate and your cities in ruins” (Leviticus 26:33). Well, that happened.
2. The Jews will be in-gathered - And it shall come to pass when these things shall come upon you, the blessing and the curse that I have placed before you, you will take it to heart amongst all of the nations where God has scattered you; you will return to the Lord your God and you will listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you today, you and your children with all of your heart and with all of your soul. Then the Almighty will bring back your captivity and have mercy upon you; and He will return and gather you from among all of the nations where he has dispersed you. If your dispersed ones will be even at the ends of the heavens, from there God Almighty will gather you and from there He will take you. And God your Lord will bring you to the land that your fathers inherited and you shall inherit it and He will do good for you and make you more numerous than your forefathers. (Deuteronomy 30:1-5)
3. The Jews will always be small in number – God will then scatter you among the nations, and only a small number will remain among the nations where God shall lead you.” (Deuteronomy 4:27)
Come Tuesday December 25th (apocalypse pending), we’ll be talking about this stuff, and much more, at our Discovery seminar. Faith is a big part of Judaism, but there’s also logic and proof for all of it, wherever we look.