Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mount Tabor

I'm slowly making my way through the Bible with the rather new modern Orthodox interpretation of Daat Mikrah, an interpretation put together over the past 30 years or so, and completed in the 1990s. I started sometime last year, and am currently reading Judges. The other day I sat on the porch of this cabin we rented, high on the shoulder of the front ridge of the Upper Galilee, with most of the Lower Galilee spread out below me, and read chapter 4 which describes the battle of Barak and Sisra, Barak's battle plan having been inspired by the prophetess Devorah.

In modern terms, Barak's army was a militia of infantry, while Sisra had 900 tanks, so Barak convened his men at the top of Mount Tabor, a steep hill, unaccessible to the tanks; once he went down to do battle he was assisted by a fierce rainstorm that turned the valley below into a sea of mud which immobilized the iron chariots. The Daat Mikra interpreter helpfully points out that precisely such a heavy rainstorm occurred at the same place and same time of year in 1953. Josephus wrote the same thing about a thousand years after the event, and two thousand years ago.

While I read I occasionally raised my eyes from the book and glanced at the vista below me; Mount Tabor was the 5th ridge to the south, standing out clearly because of its unusual outline: steep slopes on all sides, cut off from any neighboring ridge.

Such an experience is of course quite standard when you read the Bible in Jerusalem, but I was on vacation, getting away from it all. There is an endless supply of fools who talk about how this is all an artificial construct of cynical Zionists, but at the end of the day, that's all they are: fools.


Anonymous said...


What saddens me most is that our bible, put together by rabbis, hasn't favored "current events," or we'd know more about this man "called Jesus." Since, he walked among Jews. But there's no record. In my book? Jesus wasn't extremist enough!

We also get the story of Moses. Moses is the "tour director" who took a band of Jews out of Eygpt. All well and good. But there are no stories of other "tour directors" enjoining Jews to LEAVE the Land of Milk and Honey. And, ya know what? It's missing the pages, but these events still happened.

Why are we only told about extremists?

Why do we have to notice, that after the First Temple is Kaput. That Jews, alive at the time, didn't let go of the "instruction book" that detailed how you slaughtered animals on the alter in Jerusalem. A practice of slaughter that ran far and wide, including in the Greek world, too.

What Jews might notice, if they filled in the gaps, would be a continuous line. A SURVIVAL GUIDE. That Jews kept as they filtered out into many other nations.

And, in Europe; while Europe was undergoing an Enlightment; Jews themselves began to diverge. And, 3 distinct schools of Jewishness shows up. Gone, by the pen of Ben Gurion?

And, into a parliamentary system, where, OY VEY, to form a government, it's the "little schtick-lech" ... The obscene small religious parties ... that grab hold and "bargain" for portfolios.

In other words? I really don't know what Olmert's sins really are. But Jerusalem was sent down the toilet; backward. And, it's now a Haredi nation. Doesn't represent anything familiar to me! Here, you have, without a ghetto, men who are too delicate to work. And, who also found excuses not to join the IDF. Let alone allowing women to serve in National Service!

I think the doors have been opened. I think post WW2, where at least 50-million people were killed; most civilians ... You've got a "recall problem." It's as if Jews want to paint "war as quilt." Unless, of course, it's ancient. In which case all the warriors were extremists. And, then we celebrate Hannukah. Proves my point.

What do I think the future holds: EINSTEIN! There you have the one man who will be there for the ages. Jewish. German. And, an American hero. When people begin to focus on the secular, EINSTEIN's profound. Just as he is in mathematics. Which means? People come and go. His name will shine like a collosus. For a thousand years, if mankind draws the lucky card.

Anonymous said...

Huh? Only Zionists are not fools?