I’m quite pleased with myself today. I’ve read everything that was of interest to me in the print edition of today’s Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet. They put a lot of work into their weekend editions. (Around the time of the Monica Lewinsky trials and salacious tribulations I was in Merry England and it took me the better part of a Sunday to go through the weekend editions of their major newspapers, in those days when they were bumper editions, with about 30% of the sanctimonious print being devoted to President Clinton. At that time the Brits were controlling about 300 papers in the USA. On the whole, the Brits are more sanctimonious than even the Bible Belt people of their former colony. There’s no doubt about it, that if David Cameron, or John Major, or William Hague or Carl Bildt (God forbid) had been thus accused they would have had to resign as leader of their respective Conservative parties…
“You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody “
“You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome “- you may even be born in a manger in Bethlehem, it’s always from the sacred to the profane: innocent baby is born maybe like his mum and dada pleading guilty or not guilty to the charge of “original sin” eventually separated from dear mama when the umbilical cord is severed, born circumcised or uncircumcised and invariably, his first words, some baby-babble crying – in pain – his first words in this vale of tears.
“The last temptation is the greatest treason,
To do the right deed for the wrong reason”.
I started watching from where The Temple is portrayed as an abattoir, nauseating, bloody, just before the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane up to the interrogation by Mr Pontus Pilate but must confess that I couldn’t watch any more when it started to get really brutal – and bloody – so I switched channels at the point in which a Swedish-looking blue eyed & blonde William Dafoe playing Jesus, put back in place – and intact – whole and all in one piece, no blood – the ear of someone that a Roman soldier had chopped off. When I switched back to the channel it was Jesus being flayed – so I switched over to Sky News, and did not get any relief or respite there either, it was John Kerry babbling some more about international law; fifteen minutes later Jesus and some other guys were being crucified, and unholy, bloody scene, couldn’t stand seeing it, not even in Hollywood version , so it was back to the BBC, ten minutes later, still scenes of savagery so I quit.
A good word : Devekut
This week’s Torah portion Vayikra has been bothering me the past eighteen years – the sacred issue of animal sacrifice as decreed by the Almighty in the Torah – no hypocrisy here ( I know the many awful sins I have committed intentionally and unintentionally, in the recent past) yet the idea of slaughtering animals as part atonement is still a little disconcerting and emotionally demanding that such a commandment be executed joyfully (too much Chesed?) giving intellectual and emotional assent to the Almighty’s decree after prior, strong influences from Hinduism (holy cow) and ahimsa and all that Hinduism incorporated from Jainism and more importantly , reading The AKEIDAH 365 days every year – we understand that the Almighty does not demand human sacrifice etc.
Thankfully, my uneasy questions were answered this Sabbath by the late great Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook commenting on Parshat Vayikra and answering the sacred question a question that was intensified in Dan Sherbok-Cohn’s Modern Judaism (1996) in which he expresses some scepticism about the diamond-cutting Hassid in New York being likely to be standing in line in their business suits, to offer animal sacrifices in the soon to be rebuilt Third Temple….
Rabbi Kook dispels these doubts in his answer to the question Will there be Sacrifices in the Third Temple?
Have no fear. The future is near, is on its way and so is the Messiah!
When the future is mentioned the technocrats think about gadgetry, even eternal life, the Russian cosmonauts, the American astronauts, the Hindu, Chinese space men and spacewomen think about outer space.
In “The Knee plays” Talking Heads’ David Byrne prophecies (and thoughts) about the more down to earth things should give the theologians in the Vatican and some of the moralists in York and Canterbury, goose-pimples, since he says that
“In the future it will be next to impossible to tell girls from boys, even in bed.
In the future men will be “super-masculine” and women will be “ultra-feminine.”
That alone should give President Museveni of Uganda some heartburns, but life will go on with or without him.
The world is getting more exciting by the second. At least two stars were supposed to be visible to the naked eye at about 18.23 this evening – that’s the predictable future that can be calculated, although unpredictably spring is a little early this year and right now,some of the past is coming fast back at ya, SALT II being thrown back in your face.
I remember that on the day after Olof Palme was assassinated Moscow said that the Americans must have done it. I myself thought that it was a plausible conjecture, considering what Mr Palme was most probably going to say at the SALT II talks which were just round the corner. But I now know that Mr Palme was assassinated because he did not control his finance minister Kjell-Olof Feldt who declared one thing – a sacred promise – and then reneged on that declaration just a few hours later as a result of which someone who was really pissed off bumped him off. (Of course philosophically speaking to know something, that thing must be true)
Pistorius? This is only imaginative conjecture: He (his big ego) was probably pissed off too, she probably joked – innocently – about either his third leg or that he looked so cute without his artificial limbs or was not sure whether or not she would always be true to him or something like that, which got him really pissed, so she ran and hid in the bathroom, he followed her and fired the four shots, it was a nightmare and he wasn’t dreaming.
I’m happy to read the latest news that In response to US sanctions over Ukraine, Russia may freeze weapons inspections
That’s what I call setting a bright example for their colleagues in the Islamic Republic of Iran to follow, all the way down the road. Tit for tat. What’s good for the goose must also be good for the gander. You’ve got yours and he’s got his.
Since we shouldn’t and we shan’t trust Washington about everything, we had better get news about Russia from Russia:
In the future (the near future) I think that Salome or maybe somebody else will like to be served the head of John Kerry, in a pitcher. Esther of course will still like to see Haman swinging from the gallows