Askmoses-A Jews Resource
Found a blood spot in an egg, is the bowl still Kosher?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

Are there still prophets today?

by Mrs. Dinka Kumer

  

Library » Philosophy » Prophecy | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

The Jewish people are not a non-prophet organization.

Since the greatest Jewish prophet of all time – Moses – Judaism has hinged greatly upon the words of our prophets and prophetesses. Prophecy is G-d’s revelation to us via a person whose mind and speech is united with Him. Prophecy can be a celestial vision meant for the recipient’s “enjoyment,” but is primarily a Divine message to be verbally conveyed to others.

The Torah commandment to heed the words of a prophet1  is binding today, as much as ever!

Though it’s written2  that “Since the passing of the last prophets, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi, Divine inspiration departed from Israel,” this only refers the end of the “Era of Prophets” and not the cessation of prophecy ad infinitum. In fact, the later Sages discuss people having Divine revelation following the Era of Prophets (mentioning some of the fortunate few by name3), albeit in a significantly less prevalent measure and often lower level of prophetic vision. The close of the Era of Prophets reflected a spiritual descent in the world, one in which people were generally no longer befitting of prophecy. However, despite this spiritually impoverished state of reality, a person could and still can receive G-d’s prophecy.4

The Torah commandment to heed the words of a prophet is binding today, as much as ever
Every generation has a single prophetic leader, and may also have additional 'lesser' prophets. The ultimate leader who is also a prophet of very high caliber will be Moshiach,5 who will usher us into the era of the redemption with his prophecies. As this long awaited era of Divine revelation rapidly approaches – and to prepare for it – prophecy will increase.6 Maimonides, one of Judaism’s greatest Halachic and philosophic minds, writes that preceding Moshiach’s arrival, prophecy will become more widespread—and the time he talks about is now.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, a leader possessing rare wisdom and foresight, is also famed for his actual prophetic statements. Perhaps the most well known of these sayings – one which he asked his followers to publicize amongst all members of the human race – is, "Behold, Moshiach is coming" and "Immediately to the Redemption.” This is not the Lubavitcher Rebbe's hopeful suggestion to us. It is a prophecy from G-d that at any moment Moshiach will, in fact, arrive.7

So, as we stand at the doorstep of the redemption, may we see the prophet industry continue to rapidly grow.

Footnotes

  • 1. Deuteronomy 18:15.
  • 2. Last Mishna of Tractate Sotah.
  • 3. R' Ezra 'the Prophet', from the Ba'alei Tosfot, Gittin 88a; Igeret Taiman of Maimonides; Gates of Holiness by Rabbi Chaim Vital, 3rd gate, ch. 7; Sha'arei Giluyim by Rabbi R. Margolit, introduction to Responsa from Heaven.
  • 4. The fact that in listing the requirements to be a prophet, Maimonides does not mention the impossibility of such a phenomenon in our post "Era of Prophets" time, indicates it is quite possible. In addition to this, he says that once criteria are met, Divine Inspiration may "immediately" come to the person.
  • 5. Maimonides, Hilchot Teshuvah, ch. 9.
  • 6. Maimonides, Igeret Taiman, ch. 3; "And your sons and daughters will prophecy" -- Joel 3:1.
  • 7. Sefer Hitvaduyot, Parshat Shoftim, 5751, pages 202-3, by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).

COMMENTS

many false prophets exist too !

Posted by: mark alcock, Durban, KZN, SA on Dec 10, 2006

How do we test the authenticity of the wannabee prophets ? How accurate are the rare prophets ? How do we recognise them ? Are they (their gift and purpose ) for all our benefit & sake's rather than a few individuals ? When does a prophet truly know he is a prophet ? Bearing in mind too , no prophet is a prophet in his own home.

Editor's Comment


RELATED CATEGORIES

Philosophy » Messiah
Israel » Messiah

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Moshiach
The Messiah. Moshiach is the person who will usher in an era of peace and tranquility for all of humanity when there will be no jealousy or hate, wars or famine. This is a fundamental Jewish belief.
Halachic
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
Maimonides
Moses son of Maimon, born in Spain in 1135, died in Egypt in 1204. Noted philosopher and authority on Jewish law. Also was an accomplished physician and was the personal doctor for members of the Egyptian royalty. Interred in Tiberius, Israel.
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Lubavitcher
One who follows the teachings of the Chassidic group which was formerly based in the Belarus village of Lubavitch. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York with branches worldwide. The Lubavitch movement is also widely known as "Chabad."
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Lubavitcher Rebbe
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn, spiritual leader of the worldwide Chabad movement.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.