Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Are Israeli Leftists the Devil? And is the Chief Rabbi a Christian?

According to a news report, Ashkenazik Chief Rabbi, Yona Metzger said "The left is the devil" in a speech delivered at a central Jerusalem synagogue.

What did he mean? Unclear. In Judaism, the Satan is seen as an obstacle, or prosecuter. He's the one who leads the case against the Jewish people on Yom Kippur, and was traditionally bribed with a gift of a He-Goat.  He is not a rebellious angel, but a servant of God who can't do anything absent divine permission. The handful of times the word appears in the Hebrew bible, it means adversary, as in "And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite" or ויקם יהוה שטן לשלמה, את הדד האדומי.

Only in Christianity (and for all I know Islam?) is Satan believed to have his own agency and to be able, on his own volition, to tempt or betray believers. Only in Christianity is Satan seen as desiring the destruction of mankind and all of creation, the spreader of lies and deception.

Our Satan, like any angel, serves the Creator. Christianity's Satan, on the other hand, exists only to undermine Him. Christianty's Satan is a destroyer. Ours is merely an angel, like the others.

So what was the Chief Rabbi's insult? I agree he meant to offend his fellow Jews, but if he was speaking as a Jew himself its hard to understand what he meant. Certainly, the anti-religious left are the Chief Rabbi's "adversaries." Only if we agree that the Chief was thinking and speaking like a Christian does the remark carry any real venom.

*Note: In the title, I make a deliberate distinction between Israeli and America leftists, on the not-unreasonable premise that they are significantly different.

Search for more information about [topic] at

Follow me on Twitter

No comments: