I’m a little late with this. A couple of days ago Yahoo News (and others) reported,
For just 200 shekels, about $53, and in only 40 short classes, the Cain and Abel School for Prophets says it will certify anyone as a modern-day Jewish soothsayer.
The school, which launched classes this month, has baffled critics, many of whom have dismissed it as a blasphemy or a fraud.
I say a fraud or possibly a joke. The story continues,
On a religious level, Jewish tradition recognizes a few dozen prophets from the biblical era — from the monumental figures of Abraham, Moses and Elijah to lesser known foretellers of doom and tormented questioners like Micah the Morashtite and Habakkuk. Tradition says no one can be a prophet ever since the Romans destroyed the second temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 and the era of prophecy can only be revived with the arrival of the Messiah and the temple’s rebuilding. As one Talmudic phrase puts it, the only prophets now are children and fools.
The Talmudic phrase is from Babylonian Talmud Baba Bathra 12b,
R. Johanan said: Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children.
I’m not sure why the Talmud didn’t include frauds and jokesters. But who am I to judge.
By the way, I’m thinking of opening an ophiomancy school. Tuition may be a little higher than prophet school but I’ll provide the snakes for free. Let me know if you’re interested.
Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars