Friday, July 20, 2007


For Now ...

You can consider this the weekly parsha blogging unless I come up with something better after this Shabbos -- I do mention this week's Haftarah in this comment.

Update: the first Isaiah is so often misunderstood because we tend to depoliticize the Prophets, since we think of mere politics as base and quite the opposite of divine. This is a very Christian way to look at things (although Jesus himself would never have felt this way -- his mission likely was far more political than most Christians, who would rather worship him as God's son than actually follow his political agenda, would like to think ... remember, the "messiah" was/is "the annointed one", i.e. a king, a political leader), but everything is political (even religion as anyone who's ever been a member of a church, synagogue, mosque, temple or what have you can tell you), and, as James "ambition must be made to counteract ambition" Madison (more evidence we are not supposed to be a Christian nation) could tell you, politics can even be a major part of our salvation.

If we view Isaiah as addressing a geo-political situation, not only do we realize who the Messiah of whom he speaks was (not Jesus, but as the Rabbis pointed out, Hezekiah), but we also gain a lot of political insight about the issues of today. Alas, even too many Jews have a "Christian" view of the Prophets and prophesy. But by praising Isaiah as a seer of the far future, we bury him as someone who's advice is relevent to the present day.

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