On Tuesday, many people around the world will wake up to a calendar number date that has been one of dread and apocalyptic connotation since it first appeared in the beginning centuries of the Common Era. Written as a visionary message in the Christian biblical text known as the Book of Revelation, the number 666 was originally meant to refer to Satan and the dark side or underworld that is supposed to the opposite of the goodness performed by Man’s Creator.
While feared and revered by Christians, this so-called “human number” is not part of Jewish thinking. Although Jews have believed in exorcism and ‘dibbuks’, or fiendish apparitions supposedly connected to ‘Satan’, Rabbis and other learned scholars have not dwelt on this topic as a major part of Jewish philosophy. Recent books and films dealing with the dark side of human destiny, and prophecy, have appeared to become more popular, especially in countries like England and America. The recent publicity given to the book and film The Davinci Code, while generating great profits at the box office, is not something that should be taken seriously by normal people. A remake of an earlier film entitled The Oman is also in this light, as it definitely deals with the “Anti-Christ” or son of Satan, number 666 and all.
Undoubtedly, various ‘celebrations’ and commemorations of the day will take place in many locations around, including an American town known as Hell Michigan. Hopefully, people living in Israel will not be involved in these activities, and will simply let the day pass as any other day. Besides, religious Jews use a different calendar based on the 28 day lunar cycle; and not calendar events based on the secular or Julian calendar, devised by a certain Pope Julius back in the First Century.
Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, have always been part of Man’s fear and awe for that part of human existence that has always been hard to understand. Throughout the ages, certain events in human history have made people wonder if there actually is a Satan or Devil trying to gain control of people’s destinies. Terrible wars, natural catastrophes, holocausts, and the like have caused societies to place emphasis on the dark side of human existence, even to the point of actually incorporating these feelings into their respective religious practices. Jews are not immune to this phenomena as has been indicated in Jewish writings, including those in the Holy Scriptures themselves.
With more and more young people in Israel delving into subjects like the Kaballa and the occult, Tuesday’s calendar date may perhaps have more significance to them. This can be a concern to us all as forms of ‘devil worship’ have been known to be practiced by some youth in Israel, even to the point of creating acts of severe vandalism and even animal sacrifice. The Internet has helped to play a role in this behavior, as one can obtain all kinds of information on these topics by simply surfing the Web. We can all simply hope that the secular calendar date 06.06.06 will pass peacefully in Israel, as well as the world at large. We all have too many problems to dwell on, and not get involved in this nonsense.