Haaretz calls the Jewish Apocalypse

Hard to believe it was all just ten months ago, but last December the whole world just couldn’t stop talking about the Mayan apocalypse — the conveniently*-dated 12/21/12, or according to some tellings, the even-more conveniently-dated 12/12/12.

*I promise, the ancient Maya didn’t know from Jesus.

That one didn’t work out, so I’m still around to tell you all about the next doomsday that should be on your radar: the Jewish apocalypse. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a specific date attached to it — convenient or otherwise — so the best I can do is give you a range: it’ll happen sometime between now and the year 2089.

Where the Mayan prediction was derived from that culture’s calendar, I have divined my prediction from an article published almost-exactly one month ago in Haaretz, titled Happy Ridiculously Early Jewish New Year! See you on Thanksgivukkah! The article detailed just how early in the solar calendar the Jewish calendar began 5774:

This year, we’re doing it all really, really early. Crazy early. Historically, once-in-a-lifetime early.

Yes, but how early?

How unusual is this development of super-early holidays? Since I am no expert, I turned to my Internet rabbis – all of whom concur: this year’s Jewish calendar situation is highly unusual.

According to Rabbi Jason Miller, the last time Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot came this early was 1899 and the next time will be 2089. It has has never occurred in our lifetime and won’t ever again.

While I’m willing to concede that it’s reasonable to report that no one from 1899 lived to see this past Tishrei — after all, the “World’s Oldest Man” just passed away again, right after Yom Kippur, and he was born in 1901 — I must admit that I am troubled by Miller’s prognosis (and Haaretz’s uncritical reporting) that 2089 is firmly not within the bounds of “our lifetime”. 2089 is only 76 years in the future!

Who’s “our” anyway?

I might not make it to 102, and Miller might not make it that far either, but declaring that “it has has never occurred in our lifetime and won’t ever again” strikes me as an unsubstantiated statement that is unlikely to come true — unless Miller knows something we don’t — like that we’re all gonna die of unforeseen causes sometime before 2089.

Or who knows? Maybe they’ll be completely foreseen.

I won’t bother speculating further — I’ve played the Old Testament prophet card already — but maybe now’s a good time to run for the hills. But not the Judean ones; something tells me Haaretz would not approve.

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