Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Sheera Frenkel, “'Prophet School' Trains A New Generation In Israel,” All Things Considered, Dec 25, 2012, on NPR-Radio, online at http://www.npr.org/2...ation-in-israel

Hear the word "prophet" and the names Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jesus or Mohammed may come to mind. While these are figures from the distant past, Rabbi Shmuel Fortman Hapartzi is training a new generation of prophets for a new age.

Fortman runs the Cain and Abel School for Prophets in Tel Aviv. It's named for the sons of Adam and Eve who, in the Bible, were the first human beings born of woman to speak directly to God and

"The Jewish people always in all generations had holy people who are inspired by the holy spirit and see above reality," says Fortman.

Anyone, Fortman says, can learn to speak to God and be a prophet. All are welcome.

"There are people with a religious background and without, women as well as men. And at the basic level, even non-Jewish people can come," he says.

Fortman says he draws his curriculum from rabbinic texts and other "kosher" or traditionally accepted sources. Coursework includes learning to interpret dreams and divination. More then a dozen students have already signed up, and Fortman says many show promise.

Warming up by heaters before class starts, several students said they'd come because something was missing in their lives. They refused to speak on tape, but a recently widowed Orthodox woman with four children said she wanted to speak to God and get some answers. A secular male student had tried astrology and numerology but was now looking for something new. Fortman, citing the need for spiritual concentration, would not let NPR record the class, which included a discussion of how a 15th century rabbi tried to speak to God.

Fortman acknowledged he's breaking new ground.

"Maybe the name, the School of Prophecy, is a little provocative," he says.

It certainly runs counter to rabbinic tradition, which holds that the age of prophecy ended some 2,500 years ago.

The Russian-born Fortman looks traditional enough. The 40-something rabbi first experienced Orthodox Judaism as a teenager, but he now wears the long beard and black clothing of his ultra-Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch sect.

Other religious leaders, though, have denounced him — among them Jerusalem Rabbi Israel Gelis.

"There is no such thing as someone who can teach you to be a prophet," Gelis says in Hebrew. "There are just individuals who are trying to line their pockets by luring in gullible people. This completely goes against Judaism and our belief system."

Fortman denies he's trying to profit from the prophet business. He says he charges less than $50 for his course materials. But even the larger Chabad movement has distanced itself from him, although he runs the school out of a Chabad-owned building.

Fortman belongs to Chabad's messianic wing. They believe, controversially, that their late leader was, or could return as, the messiah. The current generation, they say, will take part in the redemption.

Fortman says everyone in his class, himself included, is in the beginning stages of reaching enlightenment. Becoming a prophet, he says, can take decades of work.

"I am not a prophet. I wish to be a prophet also," says Fortman.

But he'll keep working to make sure enough prophets are on hand to guide humanity when the new age arrives.

See also Rabbi Shmuel Fortman HaPartsi, “Prophecy School by the name of Qayin and Hevel,” Dec 6, 2012, online at http://www.facebook....121029191334012 .

Link to comment

Florentin is an, ahem, interesting place.

I did googling in Hebrew, looks like Fortman plans on teaching several stages. First, the Jewish for of physiology known as the wisdom of faces, then dream divination. Both are considered preliminary to prophecy itself. There will also be a course on angeleology. Only the better students will then go on to higher levels until the attain the Holy Spirit. There have been individuals in Israel of recent times whom people have termed prophets (like the Baba Sali), but if Fortman is sincere, then this is an interesting example of the trend to spread esoteric teachings in the belief that this is the age of redemption.

Link to comment

I've never been to that part of Tel Aviv. What is characteristic about it? Lots of Chabadniks thereabouts?

No, very few Chabadniks, as far as I remember. Florentin is sort of Israel's Soho. Lots of shops, cafes, boutiques, clothing stores, and night clubs, but has a reputation for seediness. The younger crowd tends to live there as rent is a bit cheaper than elsewhere.

Link to comment

Hallelujah! Northern Arizona University doesn't offer Hebrew. I needed a good option. I could kiss you Volg!!

You'll like it. The felafel is great, and you can go native -- wearing khaki shorts and open-toed sandals. Three LDS branches conveniently located throughout the country observe Saturday sabbath.

The Hebrew University in Jerusalem has a foreign students office, and you can arrange things through them -- http://overseas.huji.ac.il/hebrewsummer .

Link to comment

How dare you tempt me with such fruitful knowledge! The anti-Mormons are gonna be mad!!

I'll let you into a secret of secrets- Yemenite falafel. True, Yemenite Jews never knew what falafel was until they emigrated toIsrael, but once there they upgraded it to an incredibly hot and spicy thing.

Link to comment

Hallelujah! Northern Arizona University doesn't offer Hebrew. I needed a good option. I could kiss you Volg!!

I'm going to be aiming for a Hebrew academic certificate available at Mesa Community College its saves me the gas from traveling to Hebrew University on a regular basis. Whoooohooo!!!

but for real I suppose that academic cert is a good place to start.

Link to comment

I'm going to be aiming for a Hebrew academic certificate available at Mesa Community College its saves me the gas from traveling to Hebrew University on a regular basis. Whoooohooo!!!

but for real I suppose that academic cert is a good place to start.

I believe Tom Shoemaker teaches both Greek and Hebrew there. I know he taught GRK101 last semester and will be teaching 102 this semester.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...