Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Re'eh

One of the frightening phenomena of civilizations, both ancient and modern, is discussed in the Torah reading this week. That recurring phenomenon is the one of the false prophet. The Torah warned the people of Israel that there would be false prophets in their future. It also warned them how dangerous and sinister such people are, because for all of their charisma and attraction, their influence is lethal. Even if the false prophet gives signs and omens to substantiate the prophecy that he is advancing, and those signs and omens apparently become actual and real, nevertheless the Torah admonishes us "do not dare to succumb to listen [and have belief] in him." The Torah wants us to carefully inspect both the message and the messenger before investing our behavior and future in the forecasts of anyone. The Torah especially emphasizes the danger of "dreamers of dreams," the purveyors of utopian schemes, unrealistic magic and ideologue nonsense. Look at what Karl Marx' dreams, theories and ideological certainties have accomplished for mankind. How about the false prophets of all of the major idealistic movements of our sad century? Hitler, Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Pol Pot, etc. all prophesied the emerging "New Order," the "Brave New World," "Democratic Collectivism," "Redesigning the World," and all of their prophesies gained millions of believers. But all their dreams, certainties and bravado ended up as pure nonsense, or better put, impure bloody nonsense. False prophets are deadly expensive luxuries for human societies.

How does one spot a false prophet? Again, the Torah is most instructive in dealing with this problem. If the prophet promotes goals, or means to achieve those goals, which are contrary to the accepted value norms of Torah, then he is automatically a false prophet. The promotion of paganism, the unjustified violence in the supposed cause of good, "moral" political and intellectual leaders who are personally immoral, radicals who are determined to destroy everything old to make way for the purportedly blessed new - none of these scenarios is allowed by the Torah. They should not be condoned by society, certainly not by Jewish society, either. Our world is always looking for a new false prophet. The new ideologues such as the Greens, who are dangerously close to pantheism, if not paganism; the homosexual lobby, interested in proselytizing others and debasing all standards of accepted human behavior established over the last two millennia; and the true believers, both Right and Left, who believe that coercive social engineering is the panacea for all our inner and communal ills, are all part of the group of the false prophets of our time. We should be steadfast in avoiding being swayed by their currently, but only temporarily, political correct, siren song. Anything that does not conform to God's natural law of nature and humans, as clearly expressed in the Torah, is a dangerous delusion and a false and destructive type of prophecy.

The Jewish society, because of its innate, almost naive, search for spirit, perfection, and a compassionate and just world, is particularly prone to the disaster of false prophets. The Jewish world in its long history has been able to identify and reject false prophets and false messiahs. But that ability has suffered over the past two centuries. Our Jewish world has embraced many Jewish and non-Jewish false prophets, ideologies, programs and goals recently. The disastrous consequences of such recklessness in the Jewish world are by now patently obvious to all unprejudiced observers. The admonition of the Torah to ignore and reject the false prophets of the world is as valid today as ever. We disregard it at our extreme peril.

Shabat Shalom.
Rabbi Berel Wein


Text Copyright © 2001 Rabbi Berel Wein and Project Genesis, Inc.



 
Sell Chometz Online


ARTICLES ON TZAV AND PESACH:

View Complete List

Where There's A Will...
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Don't Cut Corners
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771

Father-on-Loan
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Passover Never Passes Over
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

Love of Money, or Money of Love?
Rabbi Gavriel Prero - 5761

Aharon Was Hesitant To Spend Money On Koban Olah, So Hashem Charged It
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Morning to End Our Mourning
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

High Dividend Investments
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Why are you asleep?
Shlomo Katz - 5771

> Light and Joy
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Expanding Upon A Thought From The Kli Yakar
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Just Think!
Shlomo Katz - 5760

ArtScroll

All The Days of Your Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Renewable Joy
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Double Entendre In the Word
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

15 Steps To Freedom
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information