Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Return of Prophecy from Chayei Ha'Avot

(As an extension of this group of posts.)

According to the chronologies that we have, with their precision and imprecision, we can establish the following:

  • Yitzchak's Tefillah to Hashem for children (and Rivkah's subsequent revelation) was when Yitzchak was between 59 and 60 years old. (Breishit 25)
  • Yaakov's encounter at Beit El, when he was 63 years old. (Breishit 28)
  • Avraham was told to move to Eretz Yisrael, some say that this command was given before he left Ur Kasdim, others say that it was when he was in Charan.
  • Hashem's promise to Yitzchak on his way to Gerar, when he was at least 75 years old. (Breishit 26, if the prior parshah with mechirat habechorah was was Yitzchak was 75, when Avraham passed away, then this, by smichut haparshiot, is afterwards)
We see that all of these came from times of trouble.


  1. We also learn that David understood where is Makom HaMikdash when he was hiding from Shaul.

  2. Sh'muel 1, 19:18.

    According to Talmud Bavli, Z'vachim 54b:

    מאי דכתיב: וילך דוד ושמואל וישבו בנויות ברמה, וכי מה ענין נויות אצל רמה? אלא, שהיו יושבין ברמה ועוסקין בנויו של עולם

  3. ישר כח. אז ראוי להגיד שהשגת ניצוץ דוד המלך

  4. Truth in this matter has not been objectively determined, yet. By Hashgacha, during our evening meal we were just having, I said that true knowledge only comes to humble people.

  5. On another topic, have you taken a look at the calculation in Sukkah? I'm going to make a siyum, B'Ezrat Hashem, on Rosh Chodesh for my grandfather's 25th yartzheit (my other grandfather), and I'm trying to find a chidush for this, to no avail so far. Calculating forward, there is a Yovel cycle that breaks down after a few hundred years. I don't know how to count backwards.

  6. I think this refers to a calculation saying that the last family receiving in one Yovel does not receive anything in the next Yovel until after the others.

  7. But what is the calculation? Some mefarshim imply that each Yovel is shayach to one mishmar. If so, the kashya is that there have never been 24 consecutive Yovels observed since David and Shmuel. If it is not, and it is rather that each Yovel is divided over the fields sanctified throughout the first 48 years of the cycle, then what great calculation is required that we need Rebbi Abahu to come and confirm the math?

  8. I think that Rav Abahu is saying that 24 is preferred because 360 is a multiple of 24. And hence, if a year is 360 days, and Yovel is every 49 years, there are exactly 105 cycles of Mishmarot from Yovel to Yovel.

  9. I calculated forward from 5678, the pattern is as follows:


    So basically it breaks down after about 300 years.

  10. But perhaps that is because it is in the 7th millenium, and if it were from the time of Ezra until now, it would work... but I don't know how to do such a calculation.

  11. The calculation must be symbolic because it cannot be "real", because of the disturbance of Ibbur HaShana. Even in the fixed calendar, because 19 is no divisor of 49 or 50, and even more so when Sanhedrin determines Ibbur.

    If the calculation is necessarily symbolic, there is no reason to make it as real as possible. And so, Rav Abahu calculated with the ideal design, which is broken in reality. The idea is that there should be 12 months of 30 days in every year.

  12. But then the question should be asked, why does the pattern hold up (as I mentioned above) for some 300 years?

  13. As long as between two Yovels there are the same number of months, also the number of weeks will tend to be the same, and a fixed pattern in Mishmeret shifts results. A Yovel period is 2 plus 12/19 cycles of 19, so that would usually be 2*235+148=618 months. Until it is one month more.

    You could argue against my proposal that it is not much of a calculation. The text would suggest something deeper. I would counter that without any calculation one can see that a would-be "real" sophisticated calculation cannot exist, and that therefore the deepness must be sought in a different dimension.

  14. I'm examining for patterns. Yovel years alternate Rosh Hashanah day of the week consistently for hundreds of years. From 4208 to 5090, it alternated between Shabbat and Tuesday. Before and after, it alternates between Monday and Thursday.