Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi

Orthodox Jews in Israel: Back to the Dark Ages; (October 13, 2009)

 

            The Jewish Agency, supported by the Israeli government, has launched in September a campaign to “sensibilize” Jews in the Diaspora of the risk of mix marriages; Jews were contacted via Facebook.com to refrain from processes of assimilation in their home countries.

            What do you think a Jewish Orthodox widow should do after the requisite time of mourning?  Well, she is supposed to quickly marry her brother-in-law according to the religious Jewish laws.  In case either party is not satisfied with this regulation then a “halitza” ceremony is undertaken so that the widow would spit on the shoes of the brother-in-law and then pay him a sum of money.  Otherwise, the honor of the tribe is injured and lineage of the male is at risk. An interrogated rabbi said: “This ceremony is basically destined to humiliate the brother-in-law and to punish the widow”.  This custom has not been abolished and is practiced daily amid the Orthodox Jews. This story in Shomer Masakh was transmitted by the Israeli Channel 10.

            In Lebanon, marrying in another religious sect sends the couple to Cyprus for a civil wedding to be later acknowledge by the government. Flying to Cyprus to get married is done In Israel with a twist; if one partner is not an Orthodox Jew then the couple has to go to Cyprus.  Well, yes, there are the Orthodox Jews, the reformist or liberal Jews (mostly French speaking Jews), and the conservative or traditional Jews (mostly USA and Eastern European Jews). Don’t ask me on details but you may fill me in with your comments.

            In Lebanon, only the Sunni Mufti is paid by the government (a continuation of the Ottoman period).  In Israel, all three thousand Orthodox rabbis are paid by the government.

            In Lebanon we don’t have a ministry of religious affairs though we have 18 recognized sects legally running the civil status of the citizens from birth to death.  Israel had always had a ministry for the Orthodox Jews since its creation in 1948.  This religious ministry has a substantial budget of over 100 million dollars; 500 religious building were erected exclusively for the Orthodox Jews; the other Jews have no access to these facilities.  Actually, if an Orthodox woman is being married by a non Orthodox rabbi then she is denied the visit of her hometown mikveh (Temple).

            The Orthodox Jews constitute only 20% of the Israeli citizens but they have large political and financial leverages.  This powerful minority pressure many other ministries such as Education, Construction, Housing, national infrastructure, and Defense to pay their dues to the Orthodox communities.

            The Orthodox Jew has the right not to participate in the military service if he chose to; why should he? Why should any Israeli serve three years in the army and then be summoned every year to serve an entire month as a reservist?  Why the Israeli should participate in all the pre-emptive wars just to enrich the military infrastructure and inflate the Defense budget?  Why the Israeli is forced to be a low paid mercenary for the western powers’ interests?

 

Note: This topic is an extract of an article in Yediot Aharonot, an Israeli daily.  If you have other examples, send them in.

“Thus Spoken J.C” (July 15, 2009)

          

“Rabbi (Master) how should I behave in life to get to Paradise?” asked a follower.  Jesus said “I am not teaching you what you don’t already know in the spirit of the Land. You carry the spirit of the Land; you have been following me to remind you of the soul and culture of the Land. Your mind has been obscured by the daily regulations of the Pharisee’ Laws out there in Jerusalem that codified your life and clipped your wings. My message is not a set of instructions delivered by a teacher.  If you badly need instructions in order to live then read the prophets who spoke in the wilderness and abide by the laws.  I tell stories and speak in parables (examples) of the Land.  If you want the light then follow the light. Unburden your shoulders; sell everything, follow me and don’t look back”

 

“Rabbi, how can I free my soul from earth attachments?”  Jesus replied “What you freely acquired from your environment and community is yours; it is your own responsibility for whatever you act upon. Don’t blame anyone or society for your behavior. Go to the wilderness and reflect on your soul.  Make sure the location has a large tree with umbrage.  Let the birds and the living creature share your habitat.  Do not overstay your loneliness.  You are not an isolated tree or a plant”

 

“Rabbi, I have been practicing the Ten Commandments of our prophet Moses. Is that good enough to salvage my soul?” asked a follower.  Jesus replied: “Following the Ten Commandments is a good practice to changing your behavior toward your neighbor. But no, if you never learn to love and show compassion to your neighbor then the doors of Heaven are closed to you.  The Commandments demand you to respect your family and neighbors; this is an excellent practical behavior to learn the hardest step of loving your neighbors. If your are slapped on the right cheek then turn the left”

 

“Rabbi, you are asking an impossible gesture toward my enemy that only utter cowards would follow; and certainly not because of love” said a disciple.  Jesus said: “You are quoting me out of context. I never mentioned the occupier enemies; that is not of my domain. How would you learn to respect your neighbor if you refuse to turn animosity into understanding of your neighbor’s behaviors?”

 

“Rabbi, are your parables the only truth and guidelines?” said a follower. Jesus went on:  “There are many versions to my parables but what I tell you are generated from the customs and traditions of the Land; you should have no difficulty comprehending them the appropriate way. People from other cultures may re-write them and edit them according to their fresh set of values. I am not to preach laziness of the mind but to nudge you to individual reflection.”

 

“Rabbi is there redemption?” asked a follower. Jesus said “The doors of the master of the house are opened as there is daylight.  Once the master goes to bed then the doors are closed for the night.  All the banging will not open the doors when you are late. I am the light and redemption. As long as you believe in my Father’s compassion there is always redemption.”

 

“Rabbi, I have the best intentions in the world; the harsh reality of life is not making it easy at all to show my good intentions” said a follower. Jesus said: “Good intentions are the first stepping stones.  Verily, verily, if you fail to nurture your good intentions into tangible acts of charity toward your neighbor then the doors of Heaven are locked to you” 

 

“Rabbi, are animal sacrifices acceptable to God for forgiveness of sins?” asked a follower. Jesus replied: “I have come to redeem humanity and liberate man of the superstition of Original Sin.  No sacrificial rituals of man, animal, or things are acceptable to God. You need to sacrifice your sinful tendencies by praying, reflecting, and changing your behavior toward your neighbor”

 

“Rabbi, the town is expecting your coming and it is preparing sacrificial lambs in your honor” Jesus replied” Do not imitate those hypocritical Pharisees who hide their sins behind external rituals of piety.  The only sacrifice agreeable to God is your individual conquest against sinful behaviors toward your neighbor. My Father never asked to sacrifice living creatures; this is a nasty habit that is not within the spirit of the Land”

 

“Son, what the neighbors would say about your wanderings with a bunch of friends?” said his mother.  Jesus replied “Woman, we are not at the same wave length.  You are always worried about the details for survival and society’s customs and traditions.  I have a message that you are not ready to comprehend.  Woman, leave it at that and stop harassing me”

 

“Rabbi, order Marie to help me out in the kitchen” said Martha.  Jesus replied “Martha, Martha, you are worrying about countless matters and you should work for the salvation of your soul.  Marie has poured expensive perfume over my feet and all she wants is to learn and follow my message”

 

“Rabbi, the Pharisees are parked in and around the temple in Jerusalem, selling and transacting usury” warned a followers. Jesus said: “As I arrive to Jerusalem I will chase out and away all the sacerdotal caste with a whip and turn over their tables. These hypocritical priests have been usurping the message of God of compassion and charity for profit.  The temple is for praying and not a location for the professional guild of priesthood.  Those serpents will humiliate me, put me to trial, bruise me, and then will put me to death because my message is to free the spirit and the mind”

 

“Rabbi, I don’t seem to get what I want” said a follower. Jesus said: “Knock on doors and it will be opened.  Keep knocking on doors; do not relent on asking for what you want. Keep applying and requesting. The birds have their lodging.  God will offer your “daily bread” as long as you confidently and feverishly ask for it.”

 

 

Night is a terrible period; people tended to sleep early. Night is synonymous to death in people’s mind. People tend to be more coward at night: all kinds of frightening ghost stories abound in the traditions of the Land. Jesus said about the surprise visit of death: “Stay awake and pray; you don’t know when the Master of the house will show up; in the evening, at midnight or the last crow of the coq”. Jesus said to Peter during the Last Supper “Peter, you will repudiate me three times before the second crow of the coq (at midnight)”.  (Implicitly, Jesus is telling Peter that he is already forgiven and that Peter’s Galilean accent will give him away).

 

Carrying the cross Jesus said “Sisters of Jerusalem, don’t cry over me.  Those who could manhandle moist branches what they wouldn’t do with the dry ones?”  (If the sacerdotal caste could sentence to death an innocent man then what you, sisters of Jerusalem, should expect them to do with you and your children?  You should be starting to cry over your coming miseries and injustices).

 

Handicapped persons have a hard life in the Levant; they are nicknamed according to their handicaps and up very recently they were hidden from the public.  A handicapped woman got her courage and dared to touch the robe of Jesus and was cured.  Jesus told her: “Woman, it is your faith and not my cloth that cured you. Go in peace” (Jesus was alluding to the custom that touching anything holy would cure or satisfy a want).


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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