A new message from an autistic man in Jerusalem said to be gifted with the power of prophecy warns that the difficult times preceding Messiah are very near while explaining that the preparations may not be what you think.
Two young autistic men in Jerusalem have garnered much attention for several years. The most recent communication, given over by ‘Daniel’ (not his real name), was published on the website Ki La’Hashem Melucha, a Hebrew language website dealing with Jewish mysticism and the end-of-days. Daniel’s message warns that the final stages preceding Messiah are imminent and they will be difficult. He also describes how to prepare for them.
“Most people don’t want to understand that we are near the end,” Daniel said. “The Messiah is about to be revealed but we have to undergo something very difficult first. God is going to destroy two-thirds of the world. Don’t think this is going to be due to a nuclear war, though that may be part of it. Man can’t destroy the world. Only God, who created the world, can destroy it.”
“There will be a star, just as it is written,” Daniel said. “The star belongs to God, all the stars belong to him, the sun also belongs to him, everything belongs to him, even the wicked belong to him and soon they will learn it.”
Daniel seems to be referring to a prophecy written in the Zohar that states that in the end of days, astronomical phenomena, including a war between seven stars, will be seen from earth.
“The only way to save ourselves is full confidence in God,” Daniel said. “Even if you have a bunker, weapons, food, and water, all you need for a few years, it will not help you if you do not do teshuvah (repentance). And if you do teshuvah, God will take care of you: food, water, electricity and all that is needed. [The end-of-days] will be like when the Jews left Egypt. And just as the plagues did not harm the Am Yisrael, the Jews will not suffer.
Daniel transmits his messages via facilitated communication (FC), a technique that has been in use since at least 1985 as a way of communicating with those who cannot speak normally. Proponents of the technique claim that people with debilitating autism or severe mental retardation actually can communicate if given the physical support of pointing at letters on an alphabet board or by typing on a keyboard.
Daniel also transmitted that another process essential to the end of days will be “a clarification.”
“A significant portion of the Jews in the world are not Jews at all,” Daniel said. “We do not know exactly how many real Jews there are. Only God knows. Many Jews who think they are Jews are not Jewish at all. There are real Jews among the secular and there are unreal Jews among the ultra-Orthodox and the religious. So there will begin to be a clarification now – who belongs to what.”
Though controversial and not universally accepted, FC has been accepted by the Autism National Committee, an autism advocacy organization. FC’s policy approving of facilitated communication reads, “Facilitated Communication is one accepted and valid way in which individuals with autism can exercise their right to say what they have to say.”
According to some rabbinic opinions, there is a basis for facilitated communication with autistic children as a form of prophetic communication in Jewish sources. The Talmud teaches (Baba Batra 12:b) that “Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy was taken from the prophets and given to shotim and children.”
The Hebrew word shotim is usually translated as ‘fools’ but in rabbinic literature, it refers to a person with a distinctive lack of social functioning. This does not refer to their level of intelligence and is clearly not a derogatory expression. In the framework of Jewish law, shotim is understood to be a classification that includes autistic people.
This special prophetic ability of shotim was also stated in the Zohar, the basis for Jewish mysticism.
“Before disaster and destruction happens to some nation, Heaven announces this throughout the whole world, and sometimes this is transmitted to shotim.“
Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, one of the greatest Jewish philosophers of the 20th century, explained how it could be that prophecy, requiring a high spiritual awareness, could come as a result of what is considered a developmental disorder.
“Prophecy was given to shotim since by them the screen, the intellect, is not so strong. The brains of shotim are different, and one can peek within the world of the soul without any physical concealment or cover. When the brain is thus different, the soul is freed. It is unlimited and sees all. The brain is what limits and conceals the soul.”
Rabbi Lazer Brody, an American-born Hasidic rabbi and teacher, has met with several autistic children. He cited Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, the leader of Haredi Judaism in Israel in the first half of the twentieth century, known as the Chazon Ish.
“The Chazon Ish would stand up respectfully before autistic people,” Rabb Brody told Breaking Israel News. “He reasoned that since they didn’t have free will, they were the souls of tzaddikim (righteous men) who were sent down from heaven to correct us.”
Rabbi Brody described one young man who has absolutely no social skills and cannot communicate in a normal fashion.
“Until you talk to him Torah,” Rabbi Brody said. “One-on-one, he has answered questions for me that I have struggled with for years. I feel this is straight from heaven. Their neshamot (souls) are very close to Hashem (God, literally ‘the name’).”
“I am in contact with many families with autistic children and they are each and every one awesome people coping with enormous challenges,” Rabbi Brody said.
Daniel described himself in the beginning of his book, telling of the challenges as well as the spiritual heights.
“I am autistic and I see the world much differently than most other human beings. I see the Adam that is God’s creation,” Daniel wrote. “I see clearly body and soul and their connection with the higher worlds.”
“We are souls sent to this world to rectify past sins. For klal yisroel (the nation of Israel) we are another opportunity to do chesed (kindness). For the parents and siblings, we are a test of their bitachon (faith) and love of Hashem. Remember what I have written and take it to heart for time is running out. In our poor lowly generation, whose bitachon is in material things, we, the mentally handicapped Jewish souls, show to all willing Jews a glimpse of God’s Truth.