It is worth noting that some mystical Jewish sources still find significance in this 20th century of the Christian era, even though they accept the year of the world as 5760, based on the standard Jewish calendar. The Zohar predicts that “in the year 600 of the sixth millennia [5600 on the Jewish calendar, or the year 1840] the gates of wisdom from above and below will be opened to [begin] to rectify the world to prepare it to enter into the seventh millennium” (1.117A). This analogy, comparing a thousand years to a day, means that 1999—still 240 years from the seventh millennium on the Jewish calendar—is just “hours” before the arrival of the cosmic seventh millennium or Sabbath. Just as pious Jews prepare for the Sabbath each week several hours before sundown, the events of the late 20th century (especially the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the Six-Day War in 1967) are seen as just such a Sabbath preparation—the “footsteps of the Messiah,” as it were. By such a cosmic measure, 1999 would be equivalent to the Friday afternoon of human history, about five hours before sunset! Ironically, one mystical rabbi of the 15th century, Abraham Azulai, actually ascribed significance to the precise year 5760 (1999 C.E.!). He reasoned that the measure of the world is the same as the measure of the mikveh (ritual bath), 40 seah. A seah is 144 eggs (these are talmudic measurements of volume), and 40 times 144 equals 5760. Writes Azulai: “Thus the length of days of this world shall be 5760 years. Then shall the world be renewed. For as the mikveh purifies the unclean, at this time, the Holy One, Blessed Be He, will remove the unclean spirit from the world…but this is only the beginning of the redemption.”