33

Maimonides describes the qualifications of a Jewish prophet. He also describes how to discern a prophet who appears to meet the qualifications, but still is shown to not be an authentic prophet. Among them: Therefore, if a prophet arises and attempts to dispute Moses' prophecy by performing great signs and wonders, we should not listen to him. We know ...


32

There is a tradition, recorded in various sources, that the prophet Ovadiah was an Edomite convert. This tradition is born of the fact that there is nothing within his short (one chapter) oracle that concerns Judeans or Israelites; the entire thing is an oracle about the Edomites instead. Sources: Sanhedrin 39b; Tanchuma, Tazria 8. See also Rashi and ...


24

There are many reasons why Muhammad could not have been a true prophet, according to Jewish belief. I'll summarize at the top of this answer and then drill down into particulars. Because of Bilaam's wickedness, as emblematic of the wickedness of gentile prophets, God removed prophecy from the gentiles (Midrash Tanchuma, Balak, siman 1). Muhammad was born ...


20

The last of the true prophets (nevi'im) were indeed Chaggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The Talmud (Bava Batra 12a) cites: 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. i.e. the wise can predict the future using their wisdom, but not through nevua - prophecy. (The ...


15

The Talmud (Megillah 14a) writes: הרבה נביאים עמדו להם לישראל, כפלים כיוצאי מצרים, אלא, נבואה שהוצרכה לדורות - נכתבה, ושלא הוצרכה - לא נכתבה.‏ Many prophets arose for the Jews: more than twice the number of Jews in the Exodus [1200000, but this language is likely meant to be understood as a really, really big number]. However, those prophesies which ...


15

According to R. Yehudah Halevi, a convert cannot be a prophet. The question on R. Yehudah Halevi's view is that Chazal say Ovadiah was a convert. This question, which was raised by the commentators on the Kuzari, is addressed by R. Yitzchak Sheilat who suggests that R. Yehudah Halevi's view depends on a possible dispute in the Gemara about whether Ovadiah ...


15

Unfortunately, indeed we do not have prophets today, and Chazal say that the last prophets were Hagai, Zecharia and Malachi. Rashi's momentous perush on most of the Bible and most of the gemara speak for themselves, however here are a few quotes (loose translations by me, except for the last Rashi) about his special work (this list can go on forever): The ...


14

Coming in late to the party, so this just comes to reinforce Yishai's answer, but I feel compelled to mention the Rambam's "Iggeret Teyman". Background: The "Epistle to Yemen" was written by Maimonides back in 1172, specifically to answer the rabbis of the Jewish community in Yemen who were being forced to convert to Islam. There was apparently a self-...


14

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 99b) says that one who is mevazeh a Torah Sage has no place in the World to Come. Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 334:43) lists this as the first of 24 reasons why a person can be excommunicated, even after the Sage passed away. As discussed in the commentaries there, the Sage has to be of a certain stature for it to reach that point. I ...


13

In Melachim (Kings) Chapters 22-23, King Joshiahu discovers a Torah scroll during renovations of the Temple.


12

Assuming we use the conventional Jewish chronology, that puts us right during the Babylonian exile. 2414 years ago = 400 BCE; conventional chronology has the first Temple destroyed 20 years earlier and rebuilt 50 years later. (The secular sources have a missing century or so, which would put this instead in early Second Temple years, but that's for another ...


11

These fasts are counting from Nisan as the first month (the Jewish religious calendar). The fast of the 4th month is 17 Tammuz. The fast of the 5th month is 9 Av. Here, the fast of the 7th month is Tzom Gedalia (usually observed on 3 Tishrei) although Yom Kippur also falls in the 7th month. The fast of the 10th month is 10 Tevet. These fasts commemorate ...


10

There are three main differences between Magic and Miracles. A miracle is a request to Hashem that is then granted, but it may not always be granted. While Magic is an attempt to subvert the will of Hashem and presumably is reliable. The ability of magic is limited. It can not create new things, can not raise the dead, and if it passes over fresh water it ...


10

Like in just about every question of Judaism, there's more than one explanation/opinion. Ramabm (Moreh Nevuchim 2:45) and Radak (intro to Tehillim): Expounding upon the Gemara (Berachos 4, Pesachim 117, Megillah 7), they say that the reason for the difference is that the prophecies of the books of Navi were written in a higher level of prophecy than ...


10

Hashem tells Yechezkel that his wife is going to die, and that he specifically shouldn't observe several of the practices of aveilus (Yechezkel 24:16-17). It's a machlokes whether the first day's aveilus is Min Hatorah or Miderabanan (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 398), but either way these laws are part of Torah.


9

If you look at the context in the passage, it doesn't appear to be speaking of a single prophet but instead of something that God would do many times through history. 18:10-11 speaks of the option to use divination and other kinds of magic to find things out, but verse 13 says the nation with whom God made a covenant should be wholeheartedly devoted to Him; ...


9

Without getting into a distinction between magic and miracles (because in the end both are supernatural) the halacha (Yoreh Deah 179) states that all forms of k'shuf are forbidden except those performed through Sefer Yetzeirah. The Beis Yosef and others explain that the general principle is that the Sefer Yetzeirah discusses the use of combinations of Hashem'...


9

When a scribe writes a full Tanach on a scroll, he leaves 4 blank lines between books of the Torah and 3 blank lines between books on Nevi'im including between books of Trei Asar. (Rambam Sefer Torah 7:15, Shulchan Aruch YD 283:1, and I have seen this done when laining a haftorah from a Trei Asar scroll.) The Mishna Berurah 144 sk 9 quotes an opinion that ...


9

He would be a prophet through whom God worked a miracle. In fact, this happened with the prophet Elisha, as recorded in Melachim II 4. Elisha had told a Shunammite woman who had treated him very kindly that she would have a son. She did, and then the boy died. She cried to Elisha, who ran to her house, closed himself in the room with the dead boy, prayed ...


9

Eliyahu at Har Carmel. Standard halachic opinion is that sacrifices away from the Temple were forbidden. So Eliyahu was either directly told to break this, or decided on his own and that decision was then endorsed by the resulting fire. Rambam seems to understand the first way. See the Hilchos Yesodei HaTora 9:3 where he says that Eliyahu was acting under ...


8

This is discussed, of course, by Abarbanel, first thing in Sefer Shmuel. An initial glance at the names of the books of Tanach shows us that the books are not necessarily named for their authors, especially in this case being that Shmuel clearly did not author a large portion of Sefer Shmuel. Rather, books are named for their content. There are two ways to ...


8

Rashi on Numbers 22:5, s.v. "Eretz Benei Amo" ("the land of his people"), says Balaam was a special case: ואם תאמר מפני מה השרה הקב"ה שכינתו על גוי רשע, כדי שלא יהא פתחון פה לאומות לומר אלו היו לנו נביאים חזרנו למוטב, העמיד להם נביאים והם פרצו גדר העולם, שבתחלה היו גדורים בעריות וזה נתן להם עצה להפקיר עצמן לזנות:‏ If you ask, “Why did God bestow ...


8

A prophet is someone who speaks in the name of Hashem. Someone who can say, "Hashem told me to say..." However, there are ways that Hashem lets his close ones know things, סוד ה' ליראיו. This is not Nevua, but can be seen as a hint thereof. The Chovos Talmidim describes a level called בני נביאים, alluded to by the Kuzri, in which people nowadays can be ...


8

In Judaism, prophecy means to communicate the direct word of God. Someone who does the things that you mention might be a great person, but that is simply a different thing from prophecy. The Bible lists 55 Jewish prophets, although the Talmud (Megilla 14a) states that there were 1.2 million Jewish prophets, so prophecy was not limited to those prophets ...


8

Talmud Bavli, Megillah 14a lists the seven prophetesses as: Sarah Miriam Deborah Hannah Abigail Huldah Esther (Interestingly enough, Eve is not listed as one of the prophetesses.) The Talmud proceeds to derive the prophetic status of each of these women from a biblical verse or verses. When it comes to Esther, you are correct that the derivation is ...


7

Per the Tshuvos V'Hanhogos 1 Chapter 300 you can make a Siyum on Yona for example if necessary. This proves that each one of the Trei Asar is a seperate entity. אבל בשעת הדחק שאינו מוצא סעודת מצוה בסיום מסכתא יש להקל שילמוד אז עם רש"י ספר נביא כגון : יונה , או מגילת שיר השירים, או מגילת אסתר , וכדומה עם רש"י ומספיק


7

There are two questions here: the one you asked and the one you intended to ask. To answer the question that you asked, even if someone accepts Mohammad as a prophet, he remains Jewish. Nothing can remove a person's Jewishness. Once one is Jewish, he is Jewish forever, no matter how many sins he commits. In response to the question you intended to ask, ...


7

There was once a book that had all the cures you are talking about, but it was buried. In the mishna of Psachim 4:9 it says that the king Chizkia buried "the book of cures": ששה דברים עשה חזקיה המלך על שלשה הודו לו ועל שלשה לא הודו לו. גירר עצמות אביו על מטה של חבלים והודו לו. כיתת נחש הנחשת והודו לו. גנז ספר רפואות והודו לו. The Tashbetz writes (סימן ...


7

The Rambam in hilchos teshuva chapter 9 halacha 2 actually writes that Moshiach will be smarter than Solomon and also on a level of prophecy close to Moshe. מפני שאותו המלך שיעמוד מזרע דוד בעל חכמה יהיה יתר משלמה. ונביא גדול הוא קרוב למשה רבינו. ולפיכך ילמד כל העם ויורה אותם דרך ה'. As for the passage you quoted, Rambam himself in his Guide for the ...


6

Chananya ben Azur was a prophet (until he went bad), and he was a Givoni, who are a nation of converts (Rashi on Yirmiyah 28:6).


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