Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bible codes

Sometime last month I wrote a post about my Stupid Friend who said that if Obama wins, moshiach will come.

The post had many comments, and one of them was from non-other than Anonymous. And he defended my friend, and said that he believed moshiach will come if Obama wins as well. He said that it's written in bible codes somewhere, and stood firmly by his decision, even though, I did argue with him a bit. Good for him for standing firm on his beliefs.

Anyway, one of the things that was said to be in bible codes (according to Anonymous- I did NOT look this up, I happen to trust this, why else would someone argue something being in bible codes?) was that and I quote:

actually it says obama in the Torah, not a description of him. They found a passage that spells out his name acrostically, and before that it says nasi, which mean president, and afterwards it says mashiach.

***

I'm not here to argue the validity of bible codes. Not at all the point of this post. Say the bible codes are truly accurate, and are truly the determining factors of the world, wouldn't there be major problems with this case?

Firstly, one of the things it says in some gemara somewhere is how we're not supposed to visit the fortune teller, or take our horoscopes seriously. The reason, is because of the concept of Jews being above mazal. Like, we supposedly have free will, and if we seek the services of the fortune teller, and we learn our future, there would be no way for hashem to change it.

My question is, wouldn't bible codes, at least in this case qualify as the same thing? I mean, Obama, would HAVE to win for this bible code to come true. If Obama didn't win, then there would be no way of it coming true, which would then be used as a source to discredit the concept of the Torah.

OR...there really is no free-will, and we all vote, but it doesn't matter, because hashem has some sort of ultimate plan, and we live in an illusion thinking we have free-will, even though we don't.

At the end of the day, should we really be dissecting the bible for codes? We're either going to fall into sticky grounds with knowing about our future, or we're going to find out we have no free will. Either way, are we mature enough to handle that?

21 comments:

frumpunk said...

Well, Obama won. So where's this Moshiach I've been hearing so much about?

Dina said...

My stance on the matter: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Moshe said...

Moshiach comes in January, after the swearing in.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Yeh its says alot of thing acrostically if you try hard enough. Not everyone can find the right one, only after it happens can you find what you are looking for since you know what look up acrostically.

DYS said...

Anything can be found in the bible codes. They found similar patterns in War & Peace. Was Leo Tolstoy a Navi? It's just the law of averages.

Jessica said...

moshe took the words right out of my mouth.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

By the way, I read yesterday that there's some cryptic statement by the Ra'avad that mashiach is supposed to come 1939 years after the destruction of the beit hamikdash(70). That's like, 2009. Though I'm not saying there weren't similar calculations about mashiach coming in 1290 or something (as well as many other instances).

In the article I was reading though (on some Israeli ba'a; tshuva site) it also said mashiach is alive- and living in Tel Aviv! See? The Satmar are just waiting for him to walk into the Satmar beis medrash- little do they know they'd more likely find him on an Israeli beach!

Anonymous said...

I believe they also say that Jesus is lord , and its gotta be true since the codes in Moby Dick and War and Peace confirm it.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

ha! Excellent books though..if you can get through them!

Jersey said...

Every time something big happens, people expect Moshiach. Know why Shabbtai Zvi was so successful? He wasn't the only false Messiah. He was just one of those guys who preyed on people when they were down. People always expect Moshiach to come when something terrible happens. After the Holocaust and 9/11, you had plenty of people walking around believing Moshiach was on his way.

First of all, Obama's winning is NOT a tragedy. Give the guy a chance before saying our country is screwed. He may not be the best candidate ever, but hey, we survived eight years of Bush. We can weather a storm. But even if he does screw up, even if there is a tragedy, it has yet to happen.

But here's the point: after each of these tragedies, in all of these times, people didn't just look to a Messiah for hope. They all pulled out some sort of text, some code, some mysterious letter, etc. endorsing the coming of Moshiach. Suddenly, it all makes sense! Big tragedy, some mysterious code, Moshiach must be on his way!

Now, this election is no different. It's something a lot of Jews dread, and there's potential for problems here. But there is no tragedy yet, and these mysterious messages will pop up over and over again. It's possible Moshiach will come-- he can come at any time. But there is NO guarantee that he will come now, the codes and whatnot don't mean anything, and it won't be the "result" of Obama's winning the election.

Oh, and if these codes are supposedly real and so crystal clear, then why do we always say "leshana haba b'Yerushalayim?" If Moshiach isn't supposed to come until 1939 years after the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, or if it clearly says Obama's name before Moshiach, then why would we have ever prepared for him until now? Seriously, we should have put the whole 'hope for Moshiach' thing on hold until now.

But no, we always believe and hope for redemption. That's because we don't need silly codes to tell us when Moshiach will arrive. He will come when he does, and that's that. No mystery magic will change that.

Faded Glory said...

hi Anita! (It's Katie!)I started a blog completely on a whim yesterday, its pretty bland so far, but come visit! :)

frumskeptic said...

mike- I totally agree with u.
Jersey- I do beleive the country is screwed.
Russia is already pissing at us, and theres no cease fire in Israel

The democrats want to take away the tax credit given to the money you put into your 401k.
They also want to moniter what gets said on talk radio.

Brilliant moves.

I'm sitting around dwelling on the fact that it took a Jimmy Carter to bring a Ronald Reagan. :)
IT'll all be worth it for Reagan II, but would the Republicans go right?
***

My post mostly was meant for the purpose of IF this stuff is true, is it really appropriate for us to be dwelling on it? Isn't taht somehow against halacha?

W/e

Anonymous said...

Frumskeptic

Re: your comment about the country being screwed, you might want to see Steven Den Beste's take on the election:

http://chizumatic.mee.nu/not_the_end_of_the_world

"It's easy to let yourself go in despair and start thinking things like "We are well-and-truly fucked" or "This is the worst of all possible outcomes". But it isn't true.

I think this election is going to be a "coming of age" moment for a lot of people. They say, "Be careful what you wish for" and a lot of people got their wish yesterday.

And now they're bound to be disappointed. Not even Jesus could satisfy all the expectations of Obama's most vocal supporters, or fulfill all the promises Obama has made.

I think Obama is going to turn out to be the worst president since Carter, and for the same reason: good intentions do not guarantee good results. Idealists often stub their toes on the wayward rocks of reality, and fall on their faces. And the world doesn't respond to benign behavior benignly.

But there's another reason why: Obama has been hiding his light under a basket. A lot of people bought a pig in a poke today, and now they're going to find out what they bought. Obama isn't what most of them think he is. The intoxication of the cult will wear off, leaving a monumental hangover.

And four years from now they'll be older and much wiser.

A lot of bad things are going to happen during this term. But I don't think that this is an irreversible catastrophe for the union. I've lived long enough to absorb this basic truth: the US is too large and too strong to destroy in just 4 years. Or even in 8. We survived 6 years of Nixon. We survived 4 years of Carter. We even survived 8 years of Clinton, God alone knows how.

The President of the United States is the most powerful political figure in the world, but as national executives go his powers are actually quite restricted. Obama will become President, but he won't be dictator or king, let alone deity. He still has to work with the House and the Senate, and he still has to live within Constitutional restrictions, and with a judiciary that he mostly didn't appoint.

The main reason this will be a "coming of age" moment is that now Obama and the Democrats have to put up or shut up. Obama got elected by making himself a blank slate, with vapid promises about "hope" and "change" -- but now he actually has to do something. Now he has to reveal his true agenda. And with the Democrats also having a majority in both chambers of Congress, now the Democrats really have to lead. And they're not going to do a very good job of it. It's going to be amusing to watch.

And the people who fell for the demagoguery will learn an invaluable lesson.

Oh, the Democrats try to blame failure on Republican filibusters, of which there will be many. But that's always been a factor in our system, and many people believe it's an important check on government excess. The tradition in the Senate is that it is supposed to be a buffer against transient political fads, and the filibuster is a major part of that.

If the Democrats go all in, and change the filibuster rule, then they'll have truly seized the nettle with both hands and won't have any excuses any longer. That's why they won't do it. It's their last fig-leaf. But even with the filibuster rule in place, they'll be stuck trying to deliver now on all the promises implied, or inferred, during this election. The Republicans can only filibuster on bills the Democrats have already proposed.

And it ain't possible for the Democrats to deliver what's been promised. Gonna be a hell of a lot of disillusioned lefties out there. A lot of people who felt they were deceived. A lot of people who will eventually realize that the Obama campaign was something of a cult.

Disillusionment will turn to a feeling of betrayal. And that will, in turn, convert to anger.

In the mean time, Obama and Congressional Democrats will do things that cause harm, but very little of it will be irreversible.

I would have enjoyed watching lefty heads explode if McCain had won. But we're going to see lefty heads exploding anyway; it's just going to take longer.

In the mean time, those of us who didn't want Obama to be president have to accept that he is. And let's not give in to the kind of paranoid fever dreams that have consumed the left for the last 8 years. Let us collectively take a vow tonight: no "Obama derangement syndrome". Obama is a politician. He isn't the devil incarnate.

So what are the good sides of what just happened?

1. It is no longer possible for anyone to deny that the MSM is heavily biased. The MSM have been biased for decades but managed an illusion of fairness. That is no longer possible; the MSM have squandered their credibility during this campaign. They'll never get that credibility back again.

2. Since the Democrats got nearly everything they hoped for in this campaign, they'll have no excuses and will have to produce. They'll have to reveal their true agenda -- or else make clear that they don't really have any beyond gaining power.

3. Every few decades the American people have to be reminded that peace only comes with strength. The next four years will be this generation's lesson.

Now, a few predictions for the next four years:

1. Obama's "hold out your hand to everyone" foreign policy is going to be a catastrophe. They'll love it in Europe. They're probably laughing their heads off about it in the middle east already.

2. The US hasn't suffered a terrorist attack by al Qaeda since 9/11, but we'll get at least one during Obama's term.

3. We're going to lose in Afghanistan.

4. Iran will get nuclear weapons. There will be nuclear war between Iran and Israel. (This is the only irreversibly terrible thing I see upcoming, and it's very bad indeed.)

5. There will eventually be a press backlash against Obama which will make their treatment of Bush look mild. Partly that's going to be because Obama is going to disappoint them just as much as all his other supporters. Partly it will be the MSM desperately trying to regain its own credibility, by trying to show that they're not in his tank any longer. And because of that they are eventually going to do the reporting they should have done during this campaign, about Obama's less-than-savory friends, and about voter fraud, and about illegal fund-raising, and about a lot of other things.

and 6. Obama will not be re-elected in 2012. He may even end up doing an LBJ and not even running again.

One last thing: I'm not saying I'm happy with this outcome. I would much rather have had McCain win. But this is not the end of the world, or the end of this nation. We've survived much worse.

And now we need to show the lefties how to lose. Our mission for the next four years is to be in opposition without becoming deranged.

UPDATE: One other good thing: no one will be spinning grand conspiracy theories about this administration's Vice President being an evil, conniving genius who is the true power behind the throne."

Ichabod Chrain
(Sorry for taking up so much room, but I wouldn't presume to edit Den Beste)

frumskeptic said...

IC- :)!!!!!!!

That made me smile!!

Today in the morning I heard "It took a Carter to get a Reagan" :)

So I'm TRYING to dwell on the fact that a Reagan is not far away, but you know... the Republicans scrwed the party too. Will they finally return to conservative values?

Anonymous said...

Frumskeptic,

I don't know if you heard of Den Beste, but he's one of the Rishonim on the right side of the blogosphere. He had a great blog called USS Clueless, but ended it a few years ago. He'll still occasionally post on other blogs. He has enough blog cred so that when he does post something, the high traffic blogs will pick it up.

Anyway, keep up the good fight. The MSM didn't do its job, so the bloggers are going to have to do it for them.

I think he's right that buyer's remorse is going to start setting in soon. So let's look at this as an opportunity.

Ichabod Chrain

The Babysitter said...

Or it could be that these bible codes are like a prophecy. That they are real and true, but the people have the power of changing the prophecy based on their actions.

About the horoscopes, there's a difference between a gypsy horoscope lady and the Torah. There's the concept of gematriah, where lots of stuff are learned from it.

Jersey: that was a great comment.

frumskeptic said...

babysitter- It could also be that the bible codes mean that Obama was a president and everyone thought Moshiach was coming.

Or it could mean, Obama won as president, and moshiach wasn't going to come.

Or it could mean that Obama never makes it as president because moshaich will come before.

The possibilities of what those three words could mean are endless, leaving the concept of prophecy , well...just like the gypsy lady.

You can't tell until after the fact.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: your right, most of it is just after the fact. Like what you said before to anonymous on the other post. I agree with you.

frumskeptic said...

which is why i think this moshiach thing is all nonsense.

~lady E~ said...

"that mashiach is supposed to come 1939 years after the destruction of the beit hamikdash(70). That's like, 2009."

1939 yrs after the destruction of the beis hamikdash would fall out to 2007, sorry!

beis hamikdash II built in 3408
destroyed 420 years later=3828
3828+3408 comes out to 2007 when converted to christian years.

~lady e~ said...

I'm sorry I meant 1939+3828.

It came out to 5767, which is 2007.