From what I read, American TV is preparing several series for next (2006 - 2007) season dealing with a post-apocalypse America. Recently on Blogcritics, I've seen reviews concerning themselves with "Left Behind" the series of books and movies dealing with the fundamentalist Christian concept of a "rapture" grabbing up all the righteous in the End of Days - and what happens to those who are not included in the saintly élite.
Silas Kain, a frequent and highly incisive contributor to Blogcritics, submitted a piece recently dealing with the question "The End of Days or a New World?" It is one I suggest you all look at and consider.
In the Jewish world, the End of Days is certainly a Big Topic. Here in Israel looking at things non-Jews rarely contemplate, like the Hebrew calendar, we are beginning to see how the prophecies of the Hebrew Bible are beginning to play out. You can be sure, however, that the Master of the Universe, THE Creative Writer to beat all creative writers, always keeps a card hidden up His Sleeve for a surprise ending. But even all that is NOT the Big Question. The Big Question is the kind of thing that gets thrown in your face at the dinner table on a Saturday afternoon.
On 26 November 2003, Professor Eliyahu Rips gave a presentation at the Israel Center sponsored by the Root & Branch Association. Professor Rips, along with Doron Witztum, is one of the developers of and premier experts on the Torah Codes investigated by Rabbi Michael Weissmandl in his youth.
After showing the numerous ways one could mine repetitive information from the Torah Codes on one subject (using the Twin Towers attack as his example), he went off on a bit of a tangent, talking about how the Midrashic date of 5790 (2030) came up in the array that was formed when he typed the phrase “M’hhayéi haMetím” (rising of the dead). This was in connection with showing how even the Midrash, a series of stories in the Talmud that explain moral points, was reflected in the Torah Code - confirming what the Vilna Gaon had said about the Torah - that everything in the whole universe was somehow alluded to in Torah.