Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Hair Raising Messianic Event?

Lets play a guessing game. What did  Ha'aretz in an opinion piece call " A hair-raising messianic formula"? Another writer described the same event as "Another step in the slippery slope that passes from a people hood to nationalist (ideals) and from democracy to theocracy. "

If you still haven't managed to guess what the writer was talking about, let me give you another hint – The title of the opinion piece is   " The IDF is leading Israel to destruction". What is this hair raising messianic event that is leading Israel to destruction and to theorcracy?

Astonishingly both of the writers referred to the ongoing controversy over the text of the Yizkor service that is used during IDF remembrance services. The question being debated was whether the Yizkor service should read   “May G-d remember His sons and daughters,” instead of the words “The Nation of Israel will remember its sons and daughters.”  Please read my previous post on the matter.

Here is the full quote of the opinion piece:

"May God remember his sons and daughters" is a hair-raising messianic formula. Making it the obligatory wording of the official Yizkor memorial prayer is a true revolution, one that alters the IDF's very essence: It has now become the Israel Divine Offense Forces. Author Haim Gouri wrote of fathers forced to sacrifice their sons, who were born with a knife in their heart. Now it's even worse: Those exempted from the draft are turning the nonreligious into future sacrifices for "God" and the messianic settlements."

Shrill would be the correct term to describe this nonsense. The author is one Sefi Rachlevsky  - a known anti-religious writer, of the type that you do find in Ha'aretz

The second quote however is from supposedly more serious individuals, Dr. Yossi Assaf from the Kibbutizim College and Prof' Yair Karo head of Oranim college. The context of their text is a letter sent this morning to the IDF:

 "To mix God, and therefore religion, in the memory of the fallen and the wars of Israel, may give  in the future of justifying in the name of religion and god the wars of Israel, and may be another step in the slippery slope that passes from a people hood to nationalist (ideals) and from democracy to theocracy. " "לעירוב אלוהים, ועל כן דת, בזכר הנופלים ומלחמות ישראל עשויות להיות גם השלכות בהמשך על הצידוק בשם הדת והאל למלחמות ישראל, והוא עלול להיות צעד נוסף במדרון החלקלק העובר מלאום ללאומנות ומדמוקרטיה לתיאוקרטיה", נכתב. 
My take on this matter is that the shrill anti religious have found a cause they can "score" with. If in the beginning of last week the debate centered on whether the phrasing "God" excluded the non religious, this week the debate is being spinned as a major question of the position of religion in public life. The actual debate - just one word, is being needlesly exaggerated into a major argument - leading to plain silliness such as dubbing ""May God remember his sons and daughters" into a major messianic theocratic god have mercy on us all event. This is a shame as these writers are so ridiculous that they are harming the serious debate that should be going on.  

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