Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tehillim 102:12 Could Refer to Rosh Hodesh Av 5770

Tehillim 102:12:
יָמַי, כְּצֵל נָטוּי; וַאֲנִי, כָּעֵשֶׂב אִיבָשׁ.

My days are like a lengthening shadow; and I am withered like grass.

Eim Habanim Semeichah:

Furthermore, I challenge the Mabit's assertion that since exile is a verdict accompanied by an oath, we must wait until in its time. Behold, we are now standing in the 703rd year of the sixth millennium (5703 [1943]), and we have certainly reached the stage of in its time. This is not only true according to our mentor, the Ari z"l, who holds that the period of in its time began in the year 5335 [1575], and according to the Or HaChayim HaKadosh and the Chatam Sofer who maintain that the time of Mashiach begain in the year 5500 [1740]. Rather, according to all opinions, now that two thirds of the sixth millennium have already passed, the stage of in its time has undoubtedly arrived.

The Maharsha explains David's statement My days are like an evening shadow (Tehillim 102:12)
This refers to the shadows of evening. David was intimating that the time of redemption had arrived, as it says, And it shall come to pass that at evening time, there will be light (Zecharyah 14:7). That is to say, [redemption will occur] when the Jews have reached the depths of degradation, as it says, When He sees that their power is gone, and none is saved or assisted (Devarim 32:36).
Now, the Maharsha was forced to interpret evening as a degradation because he lived in the first third of the sixth millennium. But we, who live at the end of the second third, can interpret evening according to its simple meaning, for it is already actually evening.

A hymn recited in the morning prayer of the second day of Rosh Hashana states that after two thirds of the day there will be a fulfillment of the verse And it shall come to pass that at evening time, there will be light (Zecharyah 14:7). This indeed corresponds to our times, for we have already reached two-thirds of the day. Furthermore, Tosafot and the Ritva explain that evening implies the time prior to sunset, not nighttime.


The Eim Habanim Semeichah wants to say that 5666 is already called "evening". Perhaps we can say that it's really not "evening" until Minha Gedola. First of all, the word is נטוי - the Mechon Mamre people translate as "lengthening" - not "evening". However, "evening" is an interpretive translation, as it refers to when the sun is נוטה - bending toward the West. When does this occur? At Minha Gedola. See Rashi Shabbat 9b s.v. מנחה גדולה.

According to my calculation, Minha Gedola of the sixth millennium starts on Rosh Hodesh Av, 5770, which is coming up very soon.

I created an Excel spreadsheet that explains this. I'm aware that there are those who say I'm a year off and put this milestone at 5771, so I'm open to all comments about this.

Update: The comments have convinced me that I am off by a year since the counting started in 5001 - not 5000. I modified the spreadsheet accordingly, but kept the original count on sheet 2.

19 Comments:

At Wed Jul 07, 07:00:00 AM 2010, Anonymous neshama said...

Do I ever like what you wrote! This is great. Just one tiny impediment: my Nefesh flight does not leave until the day after the 15th of Av. I need to be there BEFORE or even during this BIG LIGHT. ;-)

One could say that the current days of tremendous light....strong sunlight and temps hovering between 89-103 every day so far frying the frum Jews on the east coast :-) so strong that Con Ed is worried about the pipes & wires underground burning up and has called all their customers to conserve... chv's......are a prelude to something.

 
At Wed Jul 07, 07:15:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Shiloh said...

According to many, our calendar is off over 100 years (not one). Like the fever around the Blessing of the Sun. Even a child can quickly figure out if the calendar is off, nothing will take place on these dates. The good thing is we are that much closer to the end.

Its fun to speculate, but even if it's off we always hope for the geulah occuring now.

 
At Wed Jul 07, 08:42:00 AM 2010, Blogger משה רפאל said...

Shilo: The calendar is off "100" years (it is more actually) with respect to the historical date of the first Churban. The calendar must be off much more than 100 years if you look at more ancient events. Because, history is far from a period of 6000 earthly years. Mankind is much much older than 6000 years. The world is 13.8 billion years old. The 6000 years of the calendar do not have a literal historical accuracy. Rather, the calendar that we received from Chazal is eschatological. In this calendar the sixth millenium is from our 5001 to our 6001 (sic for Yaak).

 
At Wed Jul 07, 10:26:00 AM 2010, Blogger Ari Goldwag said...

It's worth noting that ערב, which we translate as 'evening' actually means 'to set.' The sun sets twice, once when it starts its descent from its peak at noon, which is noticeable at mincha gedolah, and the second time when it dips below the horizon. The first 'evening' is at 12:30, the second at 6 PM. Between the two is the period of time called "בין הערביים" - "between the evenings."

 
At Wed Jul 07, 10:57:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Shiloh said...

Moshe, I could not recall how much over the 100 years. I realize it's much more. But when we try to peg prophecy to dates that we believe are correct, they simply won't happen on that date or they have already taken place.

Even using it in the eschatological sense, it is still off substantially. Take the simplest form of error. The rabbinic calendar vs the actual lunar cycles. Just because one is halachic, certainly does not make the lunar cycles match it no matter how we pretend.

The good news would be that we would have been much closer to the 7the millennium. Like I said, it's fun trying. Even if it sparks hope in some, that's a good thing.

 
At Wed Jul 07, 11:47:00 AM 2010, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Mincha Gedolah, as calculated by the Vilna Gaon is probably next year on the 25th of Tamuz. Each hour is 1000 / 24 = 41.667 years. Chazot was the end of 5750 or Rosh HaShana 5751 because the first year according to Bircat HaChama was the year 1 not the year 0. Birkat HaChama is calculated to be 28 * n + 1 where n is any positive integer. It is a calculation which calculates the years that the appearance of the sun in the heavens is identical to the appearance of the sun at the creation of the world. This calculation recycles and produces a day once every 28 years, for the appearance of the sun is the same as it was at the Creation once every 28 years. We add one because Man was created on Rosh HaShana of the year One not the year zero.

This has consequences It means that since there was no year zero, the end of each millenium is the first year of the next millenium. That is the end of the fifth millenium was Rosh HaShana 5001 not the year 5000. 3/4 of the way through the sixth millenium which is high noon was therefore Rosh HaShana 5751 not 5750. Mincha Gedolah 41.6667 / 2 + 5751 which is 5751 + 20.83333 years or 5771 + .8333 years which is 5/6 of a year. In a regular lunar year this takes us to Rosh Chodesh Av. Yet, next year is a 13 month year. Therefore .83333 years takes us to the 25th of Tamuz. But the action is next year 5771 according to the Gaon. That is b'itah begins 25th of Tamuz 5771.

Interesting enough the PA according to PM Fayed is planning on unilaterally declaring their state and dividing Jerusalem next August which is approximately the end of Tamuz 5771. If they do declare their state Obama and the rest of the entire world will send troops.

 
At Wed Jul 07, 12:04:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Berebi said...

Didn't Rav Kanievsky say that there would be no fasting on Tisha BeAv this year because the Moshiach would already be here?

 
At Wed Jul 07, 01:24:00 PM 2010, Blogger משה רפאל said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Wed Jul 07, 01:26:00 PM 2010, Blogger משה רפאל said...

"Take the simplest form of error. The rabbinic calendar vs the actual lunar cycles."

What is the error, Shiloh?

 
At Wed Jul 07, 01:26:00 PM 2010, Blogger yaak said...

Neshama, once again, I wish you much Hatzlaha on your move.

Shiloh, the missing 165 years (some say it's 195 years) have been mentioned on this blog previously. I'm using the years as we know them - whether historically accurate or not.

Moshe Refael, I'm not going to get into an old universe/new universe argument here no matter how relavent it may be. It is an argument for other blogs.

Ari, thanks for your insight.

Moshe Refael and R' Dov Bar Leib, you make good cases for the start of the millennium being 5001. The only thing holding me back from agreeing with you (which I may eventually do) is the idea that 5708 is significant. This seems to only work when starting from 5000 - not 5001. If starting from 5001, Shevat of 5709 becomes significant. If you actually download the spreadsheet and change cell "D2" to "5001", you can see this for yourself. That said, I might eventually revise the spreadsheet myself and change it to "5001", but I still want to understand the 5708 issue.

Berebi, I'm not so sure about that.

 
At Wed Jul 07, 02:34:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Shiloh said...

Yaak, I believe the Vilna Gaon puts more weight on next year heading into 2012.

If you are using writings that historically are after the missing years, then it's quite possible that they would then be accurate for today (or within a short time). I still think we are off around 13 days when you compare the rabbinical fixed calendar and the historical lunar cycles. (I think this was discussed a few months ago during the Blessing of the Sun).

 
At Wed Jul 07, 03:02:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Shiloh said...

Yaak, I was refering to the 13 day's off with the Blessing of the Sun as an example. All the best.

Neshama, Good luck, hope your aliyah goes smooth.

 
At Thu Jul 08, 12:16:00 AM 2010, Blogger משה רפאל said...

"Yaak, I was refering to the 13 day's off with the Blessing of the Sun as an example."

Is this your best example, Shiloh? What you mention is an issue that is marginal to the calendar. These 13 days do not imply any error in, for instance, the date of the upcoming Rosh Chodesh Av. In fact, I claim that there is no such error.

Regarding the Blessing of the Sun, the off-ness is a basic feature of the Mitzva. I have earlier tried to explain this in comments here, and elsewhere. Which leaves me to say: HaMevin Yavin.

 
At Thu Jul 08, 05:19:00 AM 2010, Blogger משה רפאל said...

"I still want to understand the 5708 issue."

A good question. Perhaps you can say as follows. It was only in 5709 that Israel drove out the Lebanese in the North, thereby conquering the Galil, and afterwards the Egyptians in the South. The Egyptians were driven out in Tevet, and the armistice with them was signed by the end of Sh'vat.

 
At Thu Jul 08, 06:13:00 AM 2010, Blogger yaak said...

Moshe Refael, I was thinking something along those lines, but didn't consider the armistice significant enough. Then again, nothing significant happened in Shevat of 5708 either. Regardless, there's enough support for the idea that I'm off by a year.

I decided to modify the spreadsheet by adding a second worksheet.
The first worksheet has the count from 5001. The second worksheet has the count from 5000 as it originally did.
Thank you all who commented.

 
At Thu Jul 08, 06:58:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Shiloh said...

I guess when one picks enough lemon's they make lemonade, Moshe. The bottom line is that no one know's. There is enough error in the historical time line that these calculations will never be accurate no matter how you spin it. You forget one thing, men and their predictions, their 'religion', are all futile as יהוה will decide when He has had enough of chillul haShem and breaches in the Torah. He will also choose whom He decides is best for cleaning it up and how it will be done. That day, b'ezrat haShem, will come rather quickly, to rid the world of it's lemons and lemonade. Any you Moshe, will not be one happy camper. Put that in the back of your mind for when it happens.

 
At Thu Jul 08, 08:30:00 AM 2010, Blogger משה רפאל said...

"Any you Moshe, will not be one happy camper. Put that in the back of your mind for when it happens."

That is a strange Blessing. May HaShem grant you with understanding.

 
At Thu Jul 08, 02:57:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Tziki kedera said...

if you mention rav tichtal's book ,am habanim ,he mentions has vashlom . To make a medina before mashich...

 
At Sun Jul 11, 01:59:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yaak, By the way Rabbi Nati said the same thing on Mystical Paths. Which I believe only strengthens what you are saying.

 

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