Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another repulsive valentine to a replusive person at Cross Currents

Those wondering why the Third Temple remains unbuilt, are directed to Cross Currents, and Avi Shafran's post about why John Hagee is a better Jew than Eric Yoffie.

What, precisely, is wrong with those idiots? For all their claims to be an objective and authentically Jewish voice, Cross Currents seems to exist mostly to prop up Jew-hating Christians. When JP II died, Cross Currents sat with the chief mourners and contributed nothing to the conversation about the Pope's campaign to cast Catholics as victims, rather than perpetrators, of the Holocaust. When that baseball chaplain made some theologically objectionable comments, Cross Currents came to his rescue. When Pat Robertson was rightly reviled for being an anti-Semite and a (possibly reformed) white supremacist, Cross Currents posted in his defense. When that creep Ted Haggard was exposed as a liar and an adulterer Cross Currents attempted to rehabilitate him with post after post after post. This week, Haggee is the down-on-his-luck Christan under fire from the press, and we've already had two Cross Current posts about how poor, corpulent Haggee is really one of our top ten friends of all time.

But let a reform Rabbi step out of line, and its out with the knives.

I mentioned the Temple at the beginning of this post, because the Rabbis teach that groundless hatred is why it was destroyed and that it won't be restored until this sin is erradicated. Most imagine that the hatred described by the Sages existed between the good, kosher Jews - perhaps Shloimy didn't listen to Beryl's drasha with enough respect; perhaps Shaindel failed to compliment Raizy on her new hairstyle - but this is historically inaccurate. In first century Palestine, the period the Rabbis describe, different Jewish sects were always and forever at each others throats. Take for instance, the Hellonists, who sparked the Great Revolt by defiling a shul in Ceasrea. Or, the Zealots who murdered the entire leadership of the southern command, and terrorized all of Jerusalem. Or, the Scarii who tried to provoke the Jews to fight by burning all the food in Jerusalem, and so terrified Yochana ben Zackai he was forced to escape Jerusalem in a coffin. Or the Jewish-Christians, who had a strong Jerusalem community (led, at one time by James, brother of Jesus) and were already circulating the books that would become the New Testament. In particular, John, the most anti-Semitic of the gospels, is believed by conservative scholars to have been published between 65 and 90.In short, Jerusalem, in the late 60s, was a wreck.

I have very little doubt that all of this - and more - is what the rabbis meant when they said that baseless hatred destroyed the Temple. And I have very little doubt that Safran's attacks on Yofee's legitimacy are a continuation of that sad legacy.

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