In biblical times they could be found on every street corner, preaching God's word to sinners in a rumbling voice and shining eyes. A new course opening this week aims to restore passed glory and train the next generations of Jewish prophets - for the first time since the days of the Second Temple.
"The Cain and Able School of Prophets" is not located on a high mountain or on the banks of a serene river, but rather in the heart of the southern Tel Aviv neighborhood of Florentine.
Pictured: Prophet Isaiah. Paving way for modern foretellers? Photo: Getty Images
According to Jewish tradition, prophecy ended among the Jewish people after the Second Temple era and will only return in the generation of redemption, which will see the arrival of the Messiah. The saying "Prophecy given to fools" refers to those trying to communicate prophecies since the Temple's destruction.
But Rabbi Shmuel Portman Hapartzi, founder of the school of prophets, who says he is affiliated with Chabad's messianic stream, believes that the generation of redemption has already arrived and that prophecies are permitted again.
"Our generation has been declared by many as the first generation taking part in the experience of redemption," Hapartzi explains in an introduction to his curriculum. "The Cain and Able School of Prophets aims to provide the generation of young prophets with authorized sources to direct their spiritual experiences to way of truth and honesty."
So what does one need to know to become a modern prophet? According to the course's syllabus, the future prophets will learn about face reading, dream interpretation and ways to achieve divine spirit.
The school's core studies also include an introduction on the angels' ways of communication and participation in our lives.
The course will take place on Tuesdays at the Palterin Shel Melech spiritual center in Tel Aviv. Each participant attending 10 one-hour lectures will receive a prophet's diploma. Registration costs NIS 200 (about $52).
SOURCE: Akiva Novick