Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The True Recovery Plan

[street scene from the 1930’s]

In recent months, the global economy has entered an exceptional decline, not seen in perhaps seventy years. It is impossible to know what the long term outcome of this will be, however it is not difficult to imagine that the standard of living in the United States will decline considerably. We may see America become more similar to Mexico, in terms of both violence and poverty.

It is interesting to observe that we have a tradition that the Messiah will come before 6,000 years after the creation of Adam, which means that he will come within the next 230 years. The Talmud predicts that the prior to the coming of the Messiah, there will be a great deal of suffering in the world. However the Talmud also states “R. Eleazar's disciples asked him: 'What must a man do to be spared the pangs of the Messiah?' [He answered,] 'Let him engage in study and benevolence’”

The Talmud states R. Gamaliel Beribbi said: “And he shall give thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee” He who is merciful to others, mercy is shown to him by Heaven, while he who is not merciful to others, mercy is not shown to him by Heaven.

The best hope that we have of surviving and prospering is by using every opportunity we have to help others. If we have love in our hearts we will receive love in return. Through this we will God willing see the final redemption in the near future.


Avi said...

Ah Jacob my friend. I wish that I could believe in the coming of Moshiach although why, it makes no difference to me. Neither you nor I will be around in another 230 years. But what happens if he does not come ? The rabbis are gonna have to come up with another fairy tale to explain why the Messiah has not come yet. Maybe you should advise them now to start creating a good story....Avi

jewish philosopher said...

He's coming, but I'm afraid that people who don't believe it won't see it. You know only one in five Jews left Egypt.

Anonymous said...

I love how any unanswerable questions are left for Moshiach to answer... LOL...What a crock!

The real answer is that it makes no sense just like the rest of it. All religions are just that, religions. Nothing more than that. Not the truth. Not factual. Not a productive way of living.

Religions are just ancient superstitions that continue to be practiced due to tradition, community pressure and lack of in depth investigation.

jewish philosopher said...

DaveK, I would challenge to you look into Judaism a little more deeply.



Anonymous said...

In the past, the world has gone through many more upheavals with greater suffering than the present one. During these times people also predicited the coming of the Messiah. (BTW this is the story of the prophets after the first temple).

But I can't disagree with your call towards greater human compassion. Lets see if your politics are consistent with that.

jewish philosopher said...

Now that we are getting close to the year 6,000 (it is of course now 5769) I believe the end is near. I am afraid however that things may become much, much worse before they get better.

Politically, there is little I can do. Theoretically, I think that with a little belt tightening and hard work, this crisis could be easily resolved. However in reality, I am afraid that most Americans will just eat, drink and drug their way into destitution.

I recently tried to contact my childhood friends - typical, 1970's, American middle class kids. Where are they today? I would very roughly estimate that today, at about age 50, no more than 25% are alive, have a spouse, a job and a child.

Anonymous said...

"He's coming, but I'm afraid that people who don't believe it won't see it. You know only one in five Jews left Egypt."

Because they were smart enough to realize that Hashem was going to kill them all in the desert.

jewish philosopher said...

You're going to die someday too so be smart and kill yourself now.

Larry Tanner said...

On the statement that "only one in five Jews left Egypt."

This is an arresting claim. How many Jews were present at Sinai? (I'm actually asking you for an answer.)

OK, now go backwards: how many Jews came into Egypt in the time of Joseph? (Again, I'm asking.)

How many years separate the coming into Egypt and the Exodus?

If you add up the total number of Jews in Egypt at the time of the Exodus, how many children would have had to be born in every generation to get from the Joseph-generation to the Exodus-generation? (Yes, once again, I'm actually asking.)

My point is that we seem to be talking about a lot of baby-making and survival for a slave class. This slave class also was asked to sacrifice its first-born males, right? So, there would have been even greater numbers at the Exodus!

jewish philosopher said...

Larry, if you get a chance, you may want to check out the Book of Exodus. There seems to be some answers there.

1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.

1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.

Larry Tanner said...

It would be nice if you answered a question the way it was asked.

I'm asking for you to do some math. For example, how many Jews were present at Sinai? Some rabbis say three million. Is this not so? OK, that means that we're talking 15 million Jews total in Egypt at the time of the Exodus according to the 1 in 5 statement, correct?

Please, let's do some math and see what it yields.

jewish philosopher said...

Larry, you're free to calculate away.