Debbi Gjunik wrote:
I heard recently that some great Rebbe in Jerusalem said that this year, 5760, will be a difficult, (G-d forbid) hard year for the world in general. Are there in the gemara or various different sources opinions to back up this claim? Have you heard of it? Doesnt 5760 stand for "Tehai Shnat Segulot It should be a year of treasures?"
Dear Debbi Gjunik,
One of todays great Torah Sages, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashev, in regard to questions such as yours, said the following: "Those who know dont say; those who say dont know." He meant that those who purport to definitively predict the future are only speculating; anyone truly wise enough to know the future is also wise enough to know how much to reveal, when, and to whom.
However, some interesting things have been said about the year 5760:
In Jewish law, the number 5760 represents purity. Thus, one of the kabbalistic writings (Chesed LAvraham, written around 200 years ago) saw 5760 as the year in which G-d will "remove the spirit of impurity from the land." (Zecharia13:2)
The connection between 5760 and purity is as follows: In Jewish law, ritual purity is achieved by immersing in a pool of naturally gathered waters called a mikveh. Now, for a mikveh to be valid it must have a certain minimum amount of water. The Oral Torah (the unbroken chain of information going back to Mount Sinai) teaches that this minimal amount is 5760 "egg-volumes." Thus, 5760 symbolizes a mikveh and hence the removal of impurity.
(An "egg-volume" is the amount that spills from a totally full cup when you put an egg in it. Ancient mikvehs discovered in Israel, such as those at Qumran and Massada, are built precisely to this standard. One seah =144 eggs; hence, a minimum 40 seah mikveh = 40 x 144 egg-volumes, or 5760.)
Another source, the Yalkut Reuveni, wrote that 240 years before the year 6000, the world will be engulfed by a flood. But didnt G-d promise Noah never again to flood the entire world with water? What kind of "flood," then, is being referred to?
Earthquakes in Mexico City, Taiwan, Turkey and Peru; deadly storms in Central America; typhoon in Japan; volcano alerts in Ecuador and the Philippines. This flurry of tragedies prompted CNN to ask "Is There a Link Between Recent Natural Disasters?" Add to this a nuclear meltdown in Japan, the subway tragedy in London and a military coup in nuclear-capable Pakistan; all of these which occurred in the few weeks since the years beginning on Rosh Hashana. Could these events be the rumblings of a deluge of disaster?
Or will the "millennium bug" bring an ocean of information crashing down around us?
The possibilities are endless. Lets pray for another possibility, that a flood of love and kindness will engulf the globe, and that "the earth will be full of G-dly knowledge, just as the waters cover the ocean."(Isaiah 11:9)