Monday, November 28, 2005

With Friends Like This

Ah, Jews and our books. Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe, called a “prominent Jewish messianist” by the Jewish internet news service ynet, and leader in that faction of CHaBaD Lubavitch Hassidism that believes its deceased rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, is the messiah, has written a new tome calling for religious Jews to view the State of Israel as an “administrative body, like the British government who controlled Israel before the country’s establishment.”

Titled “Between Light and Darkness” the book is the latest in a series of moves to deligitimize the government of Israel and call for the coming of the restored Davidic Kingdom. The impetus for such calls is the recent withdrawal of Israelis from Gaza under the leadership of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Of course the call is made not to the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), but to God. Unfortunately for Rabbi Wolpe, God doesn’t seem to be listening:

“So many prayers were said from the bottom of the heart in last year [sic], in a bid to prevent the eviction and destruction [in Gaza]. The heart must wonder, why did God do this to this land? How is it possible that such a wicked man like the prime minister was able to jump over so many political hurdles, until he achieved his goal, the crime of withdrawal?”

OK, so let’s wonder. Why would God ignore the prayers of His most faithful? Hmmmm. I can think of only two reasons: 1) There is no God and so these prayers were a waste of time; 2) There is a God but He favors Sharon and withdrawal over Wolpe and occupation. Neither of these reasons would suit Rabbi Wolpe, and lucky for him he came up with an alternative:

“It is we that gave him the power. We determined that him, his state and his government are the beginning of our salvation. We blessed him before an open bible every Saturday. With such power, it is no wonder that the false messiah storms forward without stopping, while taking his devotees and the rest of the Israeli people down to the abyss with him.”

Sounds about right to me. While the faithful didn’t have enough power to convince God to stop Sharon, they did have enough power to prevent God from stopping him. Anyway, Wolpe’s book calls for the cessation of prayers in support of Israel and her welfare. That ought to do it.

Actually, while I supported the withdrawal from Gaza and look forward to the establishment of Middle East peace when Jesus, the Mahdi, and Rebbe Schneerson arrive together to beat the crap out their rabid followers, I am in favor of Wolpe’s call for the cessation of the Prayer for the Welfare of Israel. Anything that shortens our prayer services has my support.