Rabbi Avi Weinstein

What if the rapture is a rupture?

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2011 at 8:11 am

How will the theologians adjust to the fact that the world is still here, and, all the faithful have yet to disappear? This is why the Talmud looks askance at those who try to ascertain the end of history. According to the Talmud and Midrash, by design the endgame was usually hidden, but even when revealed to individuals they were prevented, by sudden amnesia, from publicising the timing of the main event.

Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uziel, the first translator into Aramaic of the Prophets wished for Divine inspiration to do the same for the hagiographia כתובים of the Tanakh, but was refused by Divine decree. The reason given was that the timing of the “end of days” was encoded within them, and these were not to be known (Megilla 3a)

This is the cornerstone of the Jewish ‘this worldly’ pre-occupation. On the one hand, we are judged after we leave this world, but on the other hand, the work at hand is to make this world fit for redemption. Well maybe, a “deadline” would be helpful and get everyone moving? Such a theology would preclude the possibility of fulfilling the Torah’s commandments out of a deep love of the Torah. Instead, everyone would be committed out of fear for the consequences of the end time.

I’m betting that the only thing special about tomorrow is that it’s shabbos, and my son’s fourteenth birthday.

Nevermind, however, I am sure some theological accommodation will be made and those dollars will continue to flow to those selfless televangelists. Sheeesh!


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