The Shmooze

Disastrous New Year's Prophecies

By Michael Kaminer

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Planning a trip to China? Make it quick. The world’s most populous nation is about to disappear.

That’s just one of the “wild” New Year’s predictions that Israeli news website Ynetnews.com reported from Israeli mystics on September 17. “God will cleanse the world and erase China from the world this year, and there will be rough winds there,” kabbalist rabbi Nir Ben-Artzi told a gathering in the southern city of Tlamim. But don’t get too comfortable just because we’re on the other side of the world. Ben-Artzi, whose followers believe he possesses supernatural powers, predicts “Europe and the U.S. would also ‘fall apart,’” Ynet reported.

Slightly more science-based, the prognostications of Rabbi Mordecai Ganot foresee a leader’s death — if the planets line up right. “If a lunar eclipse occurs in the month of Sivan, in the summer, then a great gentile king will die and another rise instead,” Ynet quoted him as saying. “It is entirely probable that his death will be preceded by an earthquake.” No word on the identity of the unlucky ruler.

Rabbi Ganot also issued a warning for PC users. On the 22nd of the month of Nissan, in the spring, humanity must beware of a computer virus dubbed ‘Chernobyl’,” he cautioned. “That day, according to the Gregorian calendar, is the anniversary of the nuclear disaster that occurred there, and this will spark “a global hacking spree,” according to YNet.

Ben-Artzi and Ganot are in good company; 16th-century seer Nostradamus apparently didn’t think this year would look great either – on the Gregorian calendar, at least. World War III, he forecast, would start in November; a “heartless, blood-thirsty” leader who will rule with “sword and fire.” And a “large bird” will fly over the US.

Ganot had his own bird issues. In the months of Tevet and Shvat, he counsels against slaughtering geese, YNet reports, “because at the time of slaughter, the angel of geese has permission to harm the slaughterer”.


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