Since the Talmud mentions that once, there were hundreds of thousands of prophets: twice as many as the number of people who left Egypt (Megillah 14a), but that many had messages only for their generation, and so they aren't all mentioned, what is said about prophecy nowadays? I know that some Chassidic masters managed to get to certain levels of understanding which permitted them to do similar things. My question is: What are the teachings in regards of prophecy nowadays? What makes it different from then? Why aren't there as many prophets(not necessarily prophets per-se, people like Daniel also count) anymore, or are there still, but don't speak? Thank you very much in advance.


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There is a somewhat lengthy discussion of this in the Talmud:

אמר רבי אבדימי דמן חיפה מיום שחרב בית המקדש ניטלה נבואה מן הנביאים וניתנה לחכמים אטו חכם לאו נביא הוא הכי קאמר אע"פ שניטלה מן הנביאים מן החכמים לא ניטלה אמר אמימר וחכם עדיף מנביא שנאמר ונביא לבב חכמה מי נתלה במי הוי אומר קטן נתלה בגדול אמר אביי תדע דאמר גברא רבה מילת' ומתאמר' משמיה דגברא רבה אחרינא כוותי' אמר רבא ומאי קושיא ודילמא תרוייהו בני חד מזלא נינהו אלא אמר רבא תדע דאמר גברא רבה מילתא ומתאמרא משמיה דר' עקיבא בר יוסף כוותיה אמר רב אשי ומאי קושיא דלמא להא מילתא בר מזליה הוא אלא אמר רב אשי תדע דאמר גברא רבה מילתא ומתאמרא הלכה למשה מסיני כוותיה ודלמא כסומא בארובה ולאו טעם יהיב א"ר יוחנן מיום שחרב בית המקדש ניטלה נבואה מן הנביאים וניתנה לשוטים ולתינוקות לשוטים מאי היא כי הא דמר בר רב אשי דהוה קאי ברסתקא דמחוזא שמעיה לההוא שוטה דקאמר ריש מתיבתא דמליך במתא מחסיא טביומי חתים אמר מאן חתים טביומי ברבנן אנא שמע מינה לדידי קיימא לי שעתא קם אתא אדאתא אימנו רבנן לאותביה לרב אחא מדפתי ברישא כיון דשמעי דאתא שדור זוגא דרבנן לגביה לאימלוכי ביה עכביה הדר שדור זוגא דרבנן אחרינא עכביה גביה עד דמלו בי עשרה כיון דמלו בי עשרה פתח הוא ותנא ודרש לפי שאין פותחין בכלה פחות מעשרה קרי רב אחא אנפשיה כל המריעין לו לא במהרה מטיבין לו וכל המטיבין לו לא במהרה מריעין לו תנוקת מאי היא כי הא דבת רב חסדא הוה יתבה בכנפיה דאבוה הוו יתבי קמיה רבא ורמי בר חמא אמר לה מאן מינייהו בעית אמרה ליה תרוייהו אמר רבא ואנא בתרא

R. Abdimi from Haifa said: Since the day when the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from the prophets and given to the wise. Is then a wise man not also a prophet?— What he meant was this: Although it has been taken from the prophets, it has not been taken from the wise. Amemar said: A wise man is even superior to a prophet, as it says, And a prophet has a heart of wisdom. Who is compared with whom? Is not the smaller compared with the greater? Abaye said: The proof [that prophecy has not been taken from the wise] is that a great man makes a statement, and the same is then reported in the name of another great man. Said Raba: What is there strange in this? Perhaps both were born under one star. No, said Raba; the proof is this, that a great man makes a statement and then the same is reported in the name of R. Akiba b. Joseph. Said R. Ashi: What is there strange in this? perhaps in this matter he was born under the same star. No, said R. Ashi; the proof is that a great man makes a statement and then it is found that the same rule was a halachah communicated to Moses at Mount Sinai. But perhaps the wise man was no better than a blind man groping his way through a window? — And does he not give reasons [for his opinions]?

R. Johanan said: Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children. How given to fools? — The case of Mar son of R. Ashi will illustrate. He was one day standing in the manor of Mahuza when he heard a certain lunatic exclaim: The man who is to be elected head of the Academy in Matha Mehasia signs his name Tabiumi. He said to himself: Who among the Rabbis signs his name Tabiumi? I do. This seems to show that my lucky time has come. So he quickly went to Matha Mehasia. When he arrived, he found that the Rabbis had voted to appoint R. Aha of Difti as their head. When they heard of his arrival, they sent a couple of Rabbis to him to consult him. He detained them with him, and they sent another couple of Rabbis. He detained these also, [and so it went on] until the number reached ten. When ten were assembled, he began to discourse and expound the Oral Law and the Scriptures, [having waited so long] because a public discourse7 [on them] should not be commenced if the audience is less than ten. R. Aha applied to himself the saying: If a man is in disfavour [with Heaven] he does not readily come into favour, and if a man is in favour he does not readily fall into disfavour.

How has prophecy been given to children? A case in point is that of the daughter of R. Hisda. She was sitting on her father's lap, and in front of him were sitting Raba and Rami b. Hama. He said to her: Which of them would you like? She replied: Both. Whereupon Raba said: And let me be the second.

(Bava Batra 12a-12b, Soncino translation)

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