Monday, January 08, 2007

Modern Revelations?

We live in interesting times. It seems the pace at which things are moving are faster than ever. I am not sure whether it’s a matter of perception, a change in reality, or the confluence of events in the world coinciding with technologies that make information so instantaneously available. What I do know is that it is different [though, then again – most people believe the age in which they personally are living in to be of paramount significance and perhaps justifiably so]. I was recently at a friend’s house whose family is very into natural living, organic lifestyles, vegetarianism etc., and I picked up a magazine that had been sitting on their coffee table and began reading it. Within, there were many advertisements for the advice and help of various gurus, witchdoctors, shamans, so on and so forth… basically though probably well intentioned – quacks. However there was one article that referenced something known as Indigo Children, and this piqued my interest. Most of the attributes that these children possess sound more like a ben sorer umorer, however that is not what interested me. Allegedly these children have abilities that are of a seemingly spiritual nature, such as telekinesis, psychic talent, and communication with the “unseen world”. This reminded me of a now defunct website that had been around for a while that recorded the thoughts of a Jewish six year old boy in the NYC area that professedly was revealing ideas regarding Moshiach’s eminent arrival as per conversations with his father. Of course, it entirely could have been fakery, but nonetheless we do have a tradition according to the Zohar of the potentiality for such a scenario and its validity.

Zohar on Parshas Vayera : "Rabbi Shimon continued: HaKadosh Baruch Hu, does not wish that too much be revealed to the world. But when the Days of Moshiach are near, even infants in the world will discover the secrets of Wisdom and, through them, know how to calculate and figure the End of Days. At that time, it will be revealed to everyone. Therefore, it is written: "For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language..." (Tzefanyah 3:9). What is meant by "then"? It means at the time when the Knesses Yisrael shall rise from the dust, and HaKadosh Baruch Hu, shall raise her up. Then, "I will turn to the peoples a pure language that they may all call upon HaShem and serve Him with one consent"."

However that in and of itself of course is not enough of a justification for acceptance. We know that even within Orthodoxy the Zohar is not entirely accepted by everyone as being an authentic sefer to be learned – for example the RaMBaM oriented Dor Daim of Yemen who follow the judgments of the sefer Milchamos HaShem, lambast it as stinking of avodah zarah. Personally I am no expert on the matter and will reserve my opinion for a future date at which time I will God willing be more learned. Nonetheless I could not help but recall the stories I had heard about this child, and the passage of the Zohar referencing the intuitive capacity for young children in the days preceding Moshiach’s arrival. It may very well be that these alleged “Indigo Children” are simply spoiled brats, pampered by their parents into negative behaviors, an instance of a father who read too much into his son’s imagination, and an over-acceptance of the Zohar’s authenticity within Orthodox Judaism that led me to ponder these things – however it is very tantalizing and seducing to be able to point to concrete evidence of how close something is that we yearn so greatly for. Honestly, I want to believe these children have powers, and the boy in NYC had visions, and that the Zohar is dead on about this topic… it has great emotional appeal – but it may be a bit irrational, illogical and not in line with what the Torah wants of us. Before I run off accepting such ideas, it is probably best for me to recall “Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai taught: If you have a fruit-tree on your hands and someone says to you: Here is the Moshiach. Go and finish planting your fruit-tree just the same, and afterwards go out and welcome the Moshiach.” (Avos d’Rabi Nasan 31).

Perhaps I am best off continuing with the work at hand, conscientiously with full force, and not allow myself to be concerned with such proclamations - it is in the hands of heaven, and when Moshiach arrives I will not be plagued with questions of rationalism - it will {I hope} be blatantly obvious to all.