Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile
26 Tevet 5760 (6000) / January 3, 2000

Y2K Millennium Celebration:

The World's Last Hurrah

Now that the Y2K hype is passed and the world has had its "hurrah" there is SERIOUS business to attend to ... preparing for the end of 6,000 years since Creation.

Yes, Torah family, this Rosh Hashanah, (September 30, 2000, by the world's reckoning), is the end of our "promised time."  From Rosh Hashanah onward, should Hashem allow us to continue, we will be living on "borrowed time."

Now I know that the year on the Jewish calendar SAYS 5740, but check out this article based on the authoritative Encyclopedia Judaica and the Classic work by Harvard Professor of History of Religion George Foot Moore, which cumulatively record a 240-year mistake in the reckoning of the years. See 2000 or 6000

So I feel duty bound to report the images and insights we gleaned from the festivities before and after Shabbat on 23 Tevet, 5740 (6000), -- that was New Year's for those not yet versed in the Hebrew calendar -- and the televised highlights afterward. Please understand that these are second hand reflections since like all of Orthodoxy, we were occupied with our family ushering in and basking in the holiness of the Shabbat from dusk to after midnight.

1)    The celebrations were full of idolatry. The natives of the Polynesian islands paddled into the Pacific, according to Peter Jennings, to pay homage to their gods. Hindu and Buddhist gods were given their due in Japan, China, India and other Eastern nations. As midnight spread around the world, the Greek Acropolis, home of a pantheon of gods, and the Egyptian Pyramids, monuments to man's technological prowess in an earlier time, were backdrops for the more ominous celebrations.  

In the larger cities, the Christian world gathered by the tens of thousands to commemorate the advent of its faith, the year 2000 believed to have its origin in the birth of Jesus, (although this event is historically traced to 4 to 7 years earlier).  Unfortunately, even "Jesus" was a substitute for the God of Creation in most of these celebrations.

But no greater god was honored than that of man himself, who was repeatedly exalted for his technological genius and for inoculating the world against the bite of the Y2K bug.

Of all the world's citizens, only  the Torah observant Orthodox community virtually ignored the celebrations continuing with life as usual in the year 5760 (or 6000).  You would not expect an Orthodox Jew to commemorate an event that marked the birth of "Jesus" would you?

2)    The celebrations spelled the formal end of "nationalism" and the beginning of the "community of nations," or the New World Order. Technological advances in communications together with a common Millennial theme for the world, made the event a "global party," setting the precedent and new world standard by which all parties in the future must be measured. The necessary hundreds of billions to "ready" the computers spent by the worlds commercial and industrial citizens -- ordinarily too profit-centered to care even about their employees longevity -- has forced those who want to stay up with the "Jonesey-Khans" across the world, to accommodate a global marketing strategy -- ready or not -- and gives the new global family a common language by which to stay in-touch  ... and by which to be monitored! The mouthpiece of this language is the Internet.

And unless Hashem does something to confuse the computer speak of this new technological Babylon and opium of the masses, mankind will continue to build monuments to himself and exalt himself oblivious to the de-humanization taking place -- now -- on a global scale.

Again, the "party poopers" were only the Orthodox Torah observant who march to a different drummer and save their "hurrahs" for the fall.  Or was the city of Jerusalem intentionally not given an invitation to the world's ball?  It was particularly damning for Peter Jennings to introduce the revelry in Israel (by mostly Palestinians) as Bethlehem, West Bank! And don't think that the secular Jews whooping it up in Tel Aviv were in any way representative of the Orthodox who were fast asleep at midnight after ushering in the holiness of Shabbat and who spent 23 Tevet paying homage to the God of Creation in shuls (synagogues).

3)  Perhaps the most damaging aspect of the Y2K "success" is the "Wolf Cry" that was heeded but turned out to be a false alarm. We have to admit to buying a used bicycle at a local pawn shop and saving months of empty plastic RC-Cola bottles for extra water.  But that is nothing compared to those who were "prepared for Armageddon" with power generators, wind-up lights and radios, and enough emergency food to feed a small army (a lot of which they now find to be infested with boll-weevils).

Those now splitting their sides laughing or feeling foolish will be slow to hear the cry when the REAL Big Bad Wolf shows up.

Tradition teaches mankind's time on earth began with the birth of Adam and Eve, the first human beings with a soul and will last only 6,000 years:

Here is how the Babylonian Talmud states this:

"The world as we know it will exist solely for 6,000 years. The first 2,000 years will be defined by chaos. The second 2,000 years will mark the years of Torah. The final 2,000 years will include the Messianic Age." (Rosh Hashanah 29a)

This is explained by the rabbis who call the first 2,000 years, the era before mankind was spiritually trained to believe only in the God of Creation, the revelation first given to Abraham.  Interestingly, Abraham made this discovery exactly 2,000 years from the Creation of Adam and Eve!

The following 2000 years included the giving of the Torah at  Mount Sinai and ended with the formal writing of the Mishnah, the record of the interpretations of Torah Law accumulated in the intervening years through the Oral Tradition.

This very tradition (as recorded in Tractate Rosh Hashanah 29a quoted above), says the world will end after 6,000 years!

There is a spiritual reason for the 6,000 year deadline. Just as Creation lasted six days, Hashem reckons one day as a thousand years.  And of course the Seventh Day was the Shabbat. The 6000-year cycle is designated for the world's secular purposes, but the last thousand years are set aside as a "Great Shabbat," when mankind must deal with his spirituality and soul.  It is hard for us to fathom an "eternal Shabbat," but nevertheless this is what Hashem has decreed.

The Talmud also teaches that the Messiah will have arrived by the year 6,000.  This means he MUST come by this time, but nothing stops him from making himself known earlier.

So, if we recognize the authority of the Encyclopedia Judaica and Professor Foot Moore in reckoning a 240-year mistake in the Hebrew Calendar AND we recognize the Oral Tradition giving mankind 6000 years and no more, we can see that SOBERING times lie ahead.

It is hard to fathom how all of the unfulfilled biblical prophecies which are supposed to transpire before the coming/return of the Messiah can occur but a great QUICKENING of events appears to be in store.

Every man and woman should humble himself or herself before the God of Israel, the One True God and the God of Creation ... and the same God which the World He Created left out of its Last Hurrah.

Maggid ben Yoseif