Proof! We are the Chosen People

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Featuring: Political, historical, religious commentary with modern Israeli music
Webcast Title: Proof! We are the Chosen People
Webcast Date: 05/06/2010
Length: 39:17 Minutes
(May 6, 2010) …Shalom laYehudim, Shalom laBnai Noach, Shalom laGoyim. It’s the evening of the 6th day, kaf-gimmel be-Iyyar, Parashas BeHar, tav-shin-ayin, the evening of the 5th day, Thursday, 6 May, 2010, webcasting from the home of the Chosen People chosen by mankind as the Scapegoat People.

Interesting word “scapegoat,” invented, if memory serves, by William Tyndale, who was put to death for translating the Christian bible into English so that people could understand it. What a difference between Christendom and Jewishness until the age of Tyndale and subsequent translators. In the Catholic Church, the Latin Vulgate Bible was forbidden most believers because they couldn’t read Latin.

Versus Yiddishkeit which demands not only that our rabbis but all Jewish men read and study all the holy texts. The Jewish rabbinate has no monopoly on what’s written in the Bible and Talmud. And because of that rabbis, when they cite a passage to make a point, if it is inaccurate and/or poorly argued, his listeners will not hesitate to tell him and challenge him.

Versus the Reform rabbis I knew in my youth who were never asked questions because there were no texts, so whatever the rabbi said was unchallengeable. Reform Jews simply do not read let alone live by what’s in the holy books.

But I digress. Roman Catholicism was in a way akin to the Druze religion which is known fully only to their priests; the laity is in the dark. And as part of the evolution of history leading up to the Protestant Reformation was the translating of the Latin Bible into a language Catholics could understand. It was a capital offense to do that, though, which is why Tyndale lost his life.

And when it came to the passage we just read on Shabbat the other day concerning the two goats sacrificed on Yom Kippur by the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem on land now in the hands of Ishmaelites who hold it captive as surely as their brethren in Gaza are holding poor Gilad Shalit, William Tyndale in 14th century England translated the term se’ir laazazel, the goat spiritually laden with all the sins of the community chosen to be sent into the desert away from the community to be pushed off a cliff and killed… Tyndale came up with the word in English, he made it up, “scapegoat.”

Later on in history when Israel sank in sinful failure, and the nation of Greece arose, the Greeks too, descendants of Esav, had yearly rituals of expelling from the community a goat who carried the evil spirits. In Biblical Hebrew goat is se’ir and in Greek it’s tragos, whence cometh the word “tragedy.” Today, “tragedy” is misused to stand for misfortune or sad occurrence or accident; originally it was connected to this ritual of expelling bad feelings.

And over time the religious rituals of early Greece led to the composing of poems and stories and dramas which were acted out as part of the ritual. And these early dithyrambs evolved into the theater of Greek tragedy, which commonly concerns man and fate/divinity in conflict.

Aristotle the great theorist of art defined tragedy as a story leading to, in the audience, the purging or expelling of the emotions of pity and fear.

So Tyndale gave the English language the word “scapegoat,” which is directly rooted in the Torah miSinai. It comes as a concept from the Jews, and historically the Jews have been mankind’s scapegoat people who are laden with the community’s – in this case, the international community’s – worst sins. Leastwise it is one way to understand the current moment in the news in which we in Israel are being bashed from all sides…

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