Minute #612: Amateur Prophet

Since the building of the Second Beit Hamikdash, the Jewish People haven’t had the gift of prophecy. There has always been some degree of communication from Heaven to man, even today, but not at a spiritual level or with the clarity of prophecy.

Every generation has had individuals who “predict” the future with varying degrees of accuracy. One Rabbi once asked his student, “What do the ‘false prophets’ say about tomorrow’s weather?” His humorous reference was to the meteorologists who can’t seem to accurately forecast future weather conditions even one day in advance. Doctors collect information on modern equipment in order to foretell the future (i.e., give a prognosis) and calculate a treatment plan for the patient. Their “guess” as to what will be, however, is not at all in the realm of prophecy.

Not all predictions have to be prophetic to be beneficial.

There are many who act impulsively and don’t give much thought to the consequences of the words and actions they produce. Acting without regard to outcome can result in harm to the one who initiates the deed. Even worse, however, is the effect one’s actions may have on other people.

One should always consider what may result from one’s behavior. No one lives in total isolation. We are all connected, especially in this world of wireless technology.

In the realm of the spiritual, one person’s behavior can affect the cosmos to the detriment of many. One cannot expect to become a prophet; however, we all should attempt to foresee the results of our behavior before acting. If you can’t be a real prophet, be an amateur one for the sake of all.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

The Arizal explains that in the end of days before the coming of Mashiach, women will be given greater control over their husbands. Surely the reward (for not giving their jewelry to make the eigel) is not meant to be a negative; therefore, this must mean that if a wife truly wants her husband to find time to learn Torah and grow, if she sincerely wants to bring blessings of Torah into her home, she can do it. (Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, Ascending Jacob’s Ladder, p. 245)