From judges to kings, to Kohanim, to prophets.
Prophecy…we wouldn’t be the Jewish people without it! The fact that HaShem gives special powers to special people is central to our faith. In fact, prophecy – the power to tell the future, and specifically the prophecy of Moshe Rabbeinu, are two of the “Thirteen Principles of Faith” the Rambam listed in his commentary on the Mishnah.
But prophecy can be tricky. After all, how are we supposed to know whether a prophet is a real, genuine, prophet…a true messenger of HaShem?
Here in our Parsha, Moshe, the greatest prophet of all time, answers this question:
“When you enter the Land of Israel, there will be all kinds of people who will claim to be prophets. Beware! Even if that so-called prophet performs wonders, but tells you to worship idols… such a person is a false prophet! Never listen to him.”
“No way! No listening!”
“And if he tells you to do something good and acceptable, but says it in the name of idols… Do not listen to him!”
And if he tells you something good will happen at a specific time, but that date passes and it doesn’t happen… Do not listen to him! He is a false prophet.”
“But what if he predicts something bad will happen and it doesn’t happen?”
“Well, that is really not a proof that he is a false Navi, since people can always repent and change their ways. It’s called Teshuvah and it’s exactly what HaShem wants from the Navi – to convince people to change for the better.”