I've been reading on all my favorite blogs (links below), about the critical moment of Be'Itah (referring to the redemption coming in 'its time') beginning this Rosh Hodesh Av. Roughly, this would mean that the period of time in which the redemption could have occurred "early" or "hastened" would have passed and we would be entering a new phase of waiting for the actual pre-appointed time for Mashiach to arrive.
I have some points to discuss and would like to bring this out for public discussion so we can all try to understand this properly.
1- The time calculation is being quoted as bringing us to the time of Mincha Gedola. This is being calculated based on the 41.66 years to 1 hour of a creation day conversion. Further, it is being quoted as being made by the Vilna Gaon (GR"A). However, upon further analysis, I remembered reading articles by Rabbi Pinchas Winston which stated that the GR"A's calculation of years is actually 83.333 years per hour of creation as no creation was done at night. This brings us to be currently located in the 10th hour of the day - after 3pm. See article and chart at JIDF. How can we calculate a date quoted by the GRA with a calculation he himself does not hold of?
2- The Gemara in numerous places already says that all the dates of Achishena have already passed. So what is so exciting about what's going on now?
3- Does anybody have a source of this calculation?
4- There is quite a bit of discussion of whether this calculation works out to be this year or next year - based on the question of what the first year of creation was (either 0 or 1). The consensus seems to be tilting toward the correct calculation being next year. Why don't we clear this up as well.
5- What about the "missing years" I keep reading about. I have sporadically seen this mentioned in blogs and in an article I saw once, but have personally not researched the issue much and have never noticed any Sefarim discussing it. Let's discuss this as well.
6- I know that we all write about Mashiach and calculations, gematriot and whatnot - and often there is quite exciting information to be published. However, by saying that we are entering a new time period and basically saying, from now on, we'll need to wait for the appointed time (which could technically be any time) aren't some people going to be disappointed and possibly even think (incorrectly) that Mashiach cannot come at any moment, since his "time" is already decreed?
Just some questions I've had. I'm just looking for feedback and discussion to clarify the issue further. I would love to hear from anyone who has more to add to the discussion and hopefully add some clarity.
Some of the wonderful blogs I've seen this calculation quoted:
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