In Parshat Re'e, the Torah addresses the existence of false prophets, individuals who may seem worthy of prophecy but contradict the teachings of the Torah. Despite performing signs and miracles, these prophets fail to sway the Israelites. This article explores the unique status of the People of Israel as guardians, entrusted with preserving the authenticity of God's word for the entire world. How do the lessons of Sinai protect the people from religious influences that deny or contradict the teachings of Moses? Join us on a journey of faith and understanding as we uncover the significance of false prophets and the sacred role of the People of Israel.
Are you interested in hearing the words of the prophets - as they are reflected among the sages of Israel from Jerusalem?
Among many of the topics dealt with in the portion of Re’eParshat, the Torah teaches us about a ‘false prophet.’
A ‘false prophet’ refers to a person, who seems worthy of prophecy. He does not appear to be a madman, a weak minded person nor a bad person. It relates to someone who, based on our initial information, appears to be worthy of prophecy. However, when he speaks, his prophecy contradicts the Torah as the law of Moses. For example, if he teaches to worship other gods, to alter the Torah, or to abolish the Torah, the Torah teaches us that, in spite of all earlier indications, this person is indeed a false prophet.
In this week’s portion, we learn that there is nothing to be afraid of such a person. We are instructed that even if he performs a sign or a miracle as proof of his mission, we are told to disregard his prophecy as false. Amazingly,not because he has no powers. It is actually possible that someone not only has extraordinary ‘powers’, but that God Himself helps with his hand to bring good news to the world, and therefore He gives him a certain extraordinary ability.
In spite of ‘so called’ miracles this ‘false prophet’ will fail to convince the Israelites. This is because the entire People of Israel stood at Sinai God revealed the Torah. There has never been a person in the world capable of bringing about an event that is comparable in value or impact to the status of Mount Sinai. Here, in Parshat Re’e, the Torah tells us that signs and miracles performed by such a prophet, who contradicts the Torah, comes only to test whether we love Adonai, the Creator, with all our hearts and all our souls. Thus, the people of Israel are protected from any religious, mystical or other influence that would come to deny or contradict the teachings of the Torah of Moses. This is what attributes to the People of Israel the status of guardians, whose role is to preserve the authenticity of God's word for the entire world.