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The Politics of Miracle

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The Exodus Miracle as Revolution according to Rabbi Ya’akov Moshe Charlap

Shaul Magid, Tikkun

 

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https://www.tikkun.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Charlap-336x469.jpg / April10,2019 | The Jewish tradition suggests that the miracle of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt is the foundational miracle upon which all miracles rest. The question is: what exactly was the miracle? In a provocative essay, Rabbi Ya’akov Moshe Charlap (1882-1951) suggests that the unique nature of the exodus miracle is not any visual change in the natural order, such as the parting of the Reed Sea, but rather the erasure of exile as a category and the possibility that the slave can become the master through a new kind of servitude. This, he posits, is the notion of revolution, not viewed as a temporary intervention into the order of nature but a structural change in creation that points to the possibility of a usurpation of societal order for the sake of freedom and justice.

R. Ya’akov Moshe Charlap was born and died in Jerusalem having lived there his entire life. A respected member of the Old Settlement Jewish community – he was rabbi of the Shaarei Hesed neighborhood in Jerusalem – he became a Zionist and one of the closest colleagues (talmid/haver) of R. Abraham Isaac Kook. Charlap served as Dean (Rosh Yeshiva) of the Yeshivat Mercaz ha-Rav Kook from its founding in 1924 until his death in 1951 after which the position went to Kook’s son, R. Zvi Yehuda Kook. Charlap wrote a number of important works including the multi-volume Mei Marom dedicated to Torah commentary, essays on the festivals, and musar. The essay discussed here and translated below is from his volume of Mei Marom on Pesah and Shavuot.

Shaul Magid, the editor of Jewish Thought and Culture at Tikkun Magazine, is the Distinguished Fellow in Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, Kogod Senior Research Fellow at The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue. He is presently working on a cultural biography of Meir Kahane.

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The Terribly Tiny God of MAGA Christians

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I hope and pray that (professed Christians who support this President) soon find a God who is big enough so that they stop living so small.

John Pavlovitz, johnpavlovitz.com

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April 11, 2019 | I feel sorry for professed Christians who support this President.

They have a profound and fundamental spiritual problem: their God is too small.

They passionately worship a deity made in their own image: white, American, Republican, male—and perpetually terrified of just about everything: Muslims, immigrants, gay children, Special Counsel reports, mandalas, Harry Potter, Starbucks holiday cups, yoga, wind turbines, Science—everything. Their God is so laughably minuscule, so fully neutered of power, so completely devoid of functioning vertebrae that “He” cannot protect them from the encroaching monsters they are certain lurk around every corner to overwhelm them.

https://johnpavlovitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/John-Pavlovitz-Headshot-10-2018.jpg / John Pavlovitz is an American Christian pastor and author, known for his social and political writings from a liberal Christian perspective.

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Misogyny Is the Catholic Church’s Original Sin

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Allowing female leadership could be the only way to save the ailing church.

Sady Doyle, Medium

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Feb 12, 2019 | When I was little, I wanted to be a priest. Our family was Catholic, and I was the most fervent. We celebrated every feast day. I crowned Mary with flowers in May and blessed my cat with holy water to honor St. Francis of Assisi. I once nearly scalded myself to death by adding boiling water to the bathtub because I’d heard saints mortified their flesh. Then, one Sunday when my brother and I were too sick to leave the house, I blessed some bread and fed it to him so he could receive Holy Communion.

My CCD teacher screamed at me. I could never do that, never, because it was for priests to do, and girls could not be priests. God chose the clergy to serve Him, and all those clergy— from the pope down to Father Joe, who quoted Monty Python and kept a pack of Marlboros in his cassock — were men, because God was a man. I could be a nun. I could serve priests. But to serve God directly — it was sinful for a girl to even want it, let alone attempt it.

https://miro.medium.com/fit/c/120/120/1*VYfkBHVMEnq0Xprf34tPxw.jpeg / Sady Doyle: Author of “Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear… and Why” (Melville House, 2016). Seen at Elle, In These Times, and all across the Internet.

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Clerical cronyism and secrecy shielded McCarrick and others.

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 / Cardinal Theodore McCarrick arrives at a meeting of cardinals in advance of the conclave to elect a new pope at the Vatican in March 2013. (CNS/Reuters/Max Rossi)

Then-Cardinal McCarrick was apparently used to living a double life and thought no one would reveal the truth. And one thing is for sure. His case is not unique.

Peter Daly, National Catholic Reporter

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Oct 22, 2018 | Two months into the sex abuse scandal that forced Theodore McCarrick to renounce his cardinal's red hat and withdraw to a Capuchin friary in Kansas, Catholics are still asking, "How did this happen?" How does someone like McCarrick advance to the pinnacle of Catholic power and stay there for so long when he carries so much baggage of crime and sin? Was there no vetting? Were there no background checks? Was someone protecting him?

If there is any "malpractice" in this scandal, it belongs to the various papal nuncios (Vatican ambassadors) and the members of the Congregation for Bishops in Rome, who are responsible for checking the backgrounds of candidates for the episcopacy. They did not do their jobs. It also belongs to McCarrick's patrons and promoters in America and in Rome, including Cardinals Francis Spellman (archbishop of New York 1939-67) and Terence Cooke (archbishop of New York 1968-83) and Pope John Paul II. All three were enchanted by McCarrick's fundraising skills.

Peter Daly is a retired priest of the Washington Archdiocese and a lawyer. After 31 years of parish service, he now works with Catholic Charities.

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