Instead of long beards and robes, they wear track suits and T-shirts. Their tablets are electronic, not hewn of stone, and they hold smartphones, not staffs. They may not look the part, but this ragtag group of Israelis is training to become the next generation of prophets.
For just 200 shekels, about $53, and in only 40 short classes, the Cain and Abel School for Prophets says it will certify anyone as a modern-day Jewish soothsayer.
The school, which launched classes this month, has baffled critics, many of whom have dismissed it as a blasphemy or a fraud.
Here is more, and for the pointer I thank Asher Meir. By the way, I found this to be an especially odd and ineffective response:
“There is no way to teach prophecy,” said Rachel Elior, a professor of Jewish thought at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. “It’s like opening a school for becoming Einstein or Mozart.”
I wonder what Bryan Caplan will think of this line:
Hapartzy can’t guarantee his course will give his students a direct line to God. But, he says, the syllabus provides the essential tools to bring out the prophet in anyone.
Here is another oddly incorrect statement:
Roie Greenvald, a 27-year-old tennis instructor attending the classes, also showed some skepticism. While he expressed interest in the spiritual development the course offers, one crucial detail stands in the way of his religious elevation.
“I’m not going to become a prophet,” he said. “I don’t think it pays very well.”
The school takes on all comers and it is run by a Russian immigrant and software engineer.