Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Attention Bad People

Want to be assured of salvation and eternal life? Vote Shas!

As OrthoMom reports Rabbi Ovdya Yosef has made a promise: "Anyone who votes for Shas will end up in heaven."

In less elevated circles we'd call such gambits "drumming up trade." Rabbi Ovadya's technique is as old as the peddler's art, but it's much more troubling here: A peddler uses your insecurities to convince you to make a purchase; here, Rabbi Ovadya is appealing to our doubts and fears about the next world, also because he wants us to do something.

Trouble is Rabbi Ovadya's pitch will do more then put money into Shas's pocket. It also adulterates Judaism, by making it seem that heaven can be won in a day; and not through acts or through beleifs, but through one mechanical action. When he says, "Anyone who votes for Shas will end up in heaven," he's also saying that mitzvos and the developed intellect no longer matter. That's not Judaism.