Tag Archives: prophecy

Prophecy IX: Prophecy and Natural Law

by R. Gil Student I. Prophecy and Commandments Other essays in this series Our relationship to prophecy reflects on our obligation to follow the commandments. Prophecy is a revelation of God’s will, providing us a special divine message for our time and place. The Torah’s commandments are an eternal message from God. Rav Yitzchak Hutner (Pachad Yitzchak, Sefer Zikaron, quoted ...

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Prophecy VIII: What Is Prophecy Today?

by R. Gil Student I. Prophecy and the Generation Other essays in this series Prophecy ended around the period of the destruction of the first Temple and the building of the second Temple. The last prophets–Chagai, Zechariah and Malachi–lived at the beginning of the second Temple. When they died, prophecy ceased. Rav Moshe of Coucy (Semag, introduction to positive commandments) ...

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Prophecy VII: For Whom Is Prophecy?

by R. Gil Student I. Subpar Prophets Other essays in this series We have seen at length that Rambam requires intellectual and spiritual preparation for prophecy, even though he agrees that there is a divine role in granting prophecy. Abarbanel (Commentary to Moreh Nevukhim 2:32) disagrees with Rambam and instead accepts the view that prophecy is a complete miracle, requiring ...

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Prophecy VI: Why Believe A Prophet?

by R. Gil Student I. Why The Torah is Eternal Other essays in this series We already discussed why Rambam emphasizes the uniqueness of Moshe’s prophecy — to make the point that the Torah cannot be changed. But not everyone takes that approach. In Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Yesodei Ha-Torah (7:7), Rambam enumerates the unique aspects of Moshe’s prophecy (Touger translation): ...

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Prophecy V: What Is True Happiness?

by R. Gil Student I. Prophecy Is Rough Prior essays in this series Unlike watching a movie, a prophetic vision or dream is completely spiritual. You don’t use any of your actual senses, just your mind. Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Yesodei Ha-Torah 7:2) writes: When any of them prophesy, their limbs tremble, their physical powers become weak, they lose control ...

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Prophecy IV: Were David and Shlomo Prophets?

by R. Gil Student I. Greater and Lesser Scholars Prior essays in this series The recent social climate in the Orthodox Jewish community mirrors, to some extent, the general climate in the Western world. Cynicism abounds. Great suspicion exists of leaders and experts. Many ask why we can trust the leading rabbis to reach accurate conclusions on Jewish law when ...

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Prophecy III: Do We Deserve Prophecy?

by R. Gil Student I. How to Become Holy Rambam continues (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Yesodei Ha-Torah 7:1, in R. Touger’s translation): Prior essays in this series If he possesses an accurate mental capacity to comprehend and grasp [them], he will become holy. He will advance and separate himself from the masses who proceed in the darkness of the time. He ...

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Prophecy II: How Do You Achieve Prophecy?

by R. Gil Student Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Yesodei Ha-Torah 7:1) continues: A person who is full of all these qualities and is physically sound [is fit for prophecy]. Prior essays in this series Someone who has achieved all three qualifications: intellectual, imaginative and moral also must have physical health. Why? Rav Yosef Kafach (ad loc., n. 4) suggests that ...

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All About Prophecy

I. Importance of Prophecy This summer, I am giving classes on prophecy, based in chapter 7 of Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Yesodei Ha-Torah (I will be using the Touger translation). This chapter is the Rambam’s primary Hebrew discussion of prophecy. However, he discusses the subject at great length in many places in his Arabic writings. In his commentary on the ...

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