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Russian Shabbaton for more info and to register  click here

Does Judaism Believe in the Apocalypse?

By Yehuda Shurpin  

The word “apocalypse” (literally translated as “an uncovering”) historically referred to revelations and prophecies related to the ultimate destiny of humanity, what some would call “the end of days” (eschatology).
However, the term is commonly used in reference to large-scale catastrophic events leading up to the doom of humanity and the end of the world as we know it.
So in answer to your question, if you’re referring to the original meaning, then yes, Judaism definitely believes in the apocalypse—as in the coming of Moshiach and the resurrection of the dead. (The details of what will happen vary significantly from the prophecies and traditions familiar to other religions. Learn more about it here.)
If, however, your question is about the apocalypse in the colloquial sense, then it is a bit more complicated.

Six Thousand Years—Then Destruction
Perhaps the best place to start is with the following statement in the Talmud:
Rav Ketina says: “Six thousand years is the world, and it is in ruins one [thousand], as it is stated: ‘The L‑rd alone shall be exalted on that day’(and the day of G‑d lasts one thousand years).” Abaye says: “It is in ruins for two thousand years, as it is stated: ‘After two days He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His presence.’”
. . . It has been taught in accordance with the opinion of Rav Ketina: Just as the Sabbatical year abrogates debts once in seven years, so too the world abrogates its typical existence for one thousand years in every seven thousand years, as it is stated: “The L‑rd alone shall be exalted on that day,” and it states: “A psalm, a song for the Shabbat day,” meaning a day—i.e., one thousand years—that is entirely Shabbat. And it says, “For a thousand years in Your eyes are but like yesterday when it is past . . .”

What Does It Mean?
There is much discussion regarding the exact meaning of Rav Ketina’s statement.
Some commentators, like Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (the Rashba) and Rabbi (Don) Isaac Abarbanel explain it in the literal sense, that the world will ultimately return to the state of nothingness from which it came. Others, like Rabbeinu Bechayei, while also interpreting it in the literal sense, explain that it refers to only part of the world. Maimonides, on the other hand, is of the opinion that the Talmudic statement is figurative.
In this vein, Rabbi Menachem Meiri offers a number of possible explanations. One approach is that the millenium of destruction refers to a period of great persecution of the Jewish people. According to this explanation, the “year of destruction” is actually the sixth millennium, and Rav Ketina’s statement should be read as saying, “Six thousand years is the world, and it is in ruins one thousand—of those six. Afterwards, there will be the messianic era.”
Alternatively, he explains that the “destruction” may actually refer to the destruction of the coarseness of the mundane world.

The Thousand-Day Shabbat
The third Lubavitcher Rebbe, known as the Tzemach Tzedek, points out that on the one hand there are Torah sources that state that the reward for our Divine service will be in the seventh millennium, while on the other hand, Rav Ketina states that the world will be desolate in the seventh millennium. How can both be true?
He explains that when the Talmud compares those thousand years to Shabbat, it is explaining the nature of the “desolation.” The word “Shabbat” itself can mean either “rest” or “annulment”—and in this case it means both.
When the Talmud says the seventh millennium will be “desolate,” it means that there will be such a great spiritual revelation during that period that we will have no physical needs, like eating and drinking. Thus, all physical work that comes along with our physical needs, like plowing and planting, will be “annulled.” Instead, the souls will delight in the Divine glory.
Nevertheless, the ultimate goal is the eighth millennium, when the physical itself will be refined to the point where the physical world and the great spiritual revelation will be integrated.
May we merit the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days!

Moshiach: An Anthology
 click here
 

Rabbi Belinsky's VideoBlog
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Где же Высшая справедливость?

Р-н Шауль-Айзек Андрущак 

Вопрос:
Где же Всевышний и Его справедливый суд, если праведники подвергаются страданиям, а грешники и злодеи преуспевают и наслаждаются?!

Ответ:
Начну с небольшой ремарки. Давно замечен такой парадокс: чем праведнее человек, тем меньше сомнений и вопросов вызывает у него Б-жественное правосудие. И наоборот.
С другой стороны, реальность, которую вы описываете, существует. И вопросы, которые вы задаете, в принципе легитимны. Факт: их задают и псалмопевец, и мудрецы Талмуда, и столпы еврейской этики (мусара).
Настоящий, честный ответ выглядит так: Б-жественный суд слишком точен, сложен и глобален для того, чтобы мы были в состоянии понять логику его приговоров. Как и в целом мудрость Небес.
Кроме того, есть частные объяснения для частных ситуаций. Самое распространенное: награда, которую душа получает за праведность, – на том свете, как и наказания, которые душа получает за прегрешения. И вот зачастую грешникам за те немногие заслуги, что у них есть (а заслуги есть у каждого из нас), Небеса стараются воздать по максимуму в этом мире, чтобы как можно меньше осталось для того света. Вот они и "преуспевают" на этом свете. А праведникам – наоборот, как можно больше откладывают на мир грядущий, чтобы преумножить их награду на том (истинном) свете. 
То, что с праведника гораздо более строгий спрос, чем с грешника – это еще один момент. А то, что праведника, чуть-что, Свыше всячески подталкивают к раскаянию (в том числе и ниспосылая неприятности и сложности, как знак недовольства Небес и т. д.), а грешнику с раскаянием никак не помогают – продолжение основного тезиса. 
Практическая рекомендация всех еврейских источников: не нужно пытаться разобраться в механизмах Б-жественной справедливости. Не разберетесь. Поэтому воспринимайте это как еще одно испытание своей веры. В том числе веры в Б-жественную справедливость и в Б-жественное милосердие.

Цена радости
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. . 

Russian Shabbaton to see photos click here

On a Lighter Note

A rabbi, a teacher, a millionaire, and a narcissist were golfing together.
As they walked the course, they came up behind a foursome that was moving very slowly, and that didn't offer to let them play through. Calling over the club pro, the foursome inquired about the poor sportsmanship of the slow group. The pro explained that the slow golfers were blind.
The rabbi said: Oh, G‑d bless them, I will keep them in my prayers. The teacher said, I will tell my students how inspiring they are. The millionaire said, I will offer to pay their greens fees for the year. The narcissist said, why do they have to play by day and occupy the field? If their blind anyway, why can't they play at night?

  

 

 

 

 

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