Monday, December 21, 2009

Bless your heart, Rabbi

Recently "Rabbi Emmanuel G********" decided to leave a comment on one of my 9/11 related columns. I am using quote marks for two reasons:

1) One of the few references to him I could find - when I googled him - was a fictional character in a George Orwell novel.


... is a fictional character in George Orwell's classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Despite being a key part of the story, he is never actually seen or heard, and may in fact be nothing more than a propaganda fabrication of the Ministry of Truth ("Minitrue")....

2) Second reason I am using quotes is because it is inconceivable to me that a real rabbi would say what he wrote in my comments.

We have all been witness to the inflammatory, un-God-like speech of self proclaimed men of God in many 'religions.' Almost daily, imams of Islam can be seen encouraging their followers to kill all the infidels (that's you and me, folks.) It seems all too often, priests of the Catholic church are being unmasked as pedophiles, taking the 'suffer the little children' words of God to new lows. We have all heard churchmen such as Reverend Wright spew hatred from their pulpits.

I was raised in the teachings of the church; instructed that vicars, priests, men of God were the conduit from God, proscribed to lead their flock in the teachings of a loving God, a compassionate God.

Recently a friend of mine asked me why I was not religious, even as I am so obviously spiritual, with a clear faith in God. People like the rabbi who commented are part of very personal reasons that I do not look to human leaders within ANY church. I explained to this friend that at a pivotal time in my life, I rejected any formalised church, choosing to dispense with the notion of church leaders as filters, interpreters of God's Will, or Word. Having experienced - firsthand - the hypocrisy of human instruments of God, I chose instead to find my own personal - one-on-One if you like - direct relationship with my God.

What has got me so riled up, so offended by this latest revelation by a hypocritical church man? Here is part of what the rabbi said about a member of a 9/11 family:

Instead of acting like a [....] who should be experiencing untold grief and loss her behavior turns a catastrophic personal tragedy into a cold and calculating cheap publicity stunt. But then, the US government's 9/11 propaganda machine needed heroes as well as villains paraded through the media to support endless wars that murder indigenous people for control of their petroleum resources....

THIS so called man of God displays so much lack of God-given wisdom, compassion, in those few words, that I was stunned. Sorry to say, I was not surprised. On the one hand he denigrates this survivor's way of dealing with the grief from a very 'personal tragedy', and turns her chosen expression of grief into an excuse for his own political diatribe.

This self-proclaimed rabbi also saddened me. I know that many lost souls turn to the churches for help as they wade through the ravages of human tragedies. Through the ages of Man, every church has elevated individuals who are looked upon as comforters, sources of solace and wisdom.

This rabbi is a sorry example of any religion. I couldn't find what synagogue he was affiliated with. Probably just as well for him, because I would have been talking to whoever was in charge.

Any of us know that grief is a truly personal experience, which we each express in our own way. It is not for any of us to judge another's way of grieving. Yes, paradoxically, grief is also a universal condition of this human journey, but how anyone expresses their grief is truly a personal journey.

Rabbi Emmanuel offended me greatly, and yet, I also feel compassion for him and whoever his parishioners may be. It boggles my mind that a parishioner in grief may turn to such a man, only to be chastised for their choices. It outrages me to know that such a rabbi will turn a horrific personal loss into an opportunity for his own political grandstanding of ignorance. We all know that there are those who hold fast to the whole 9/11 catastrophe, and the ensuing Global War on Terror, as the raison d'etre - the real reason - for gobbling up oil in the middle east. Despite concrete evidence to the contrary, some will always insist that Iraq and Afghanistan were only 'invaded' so we in the west could access their natural resources. Simple ignorance, of course, and not working out too well for people like the rabbi quoted above.

For a number of reasons, I am presuming that this rabbi is in America. Luckily for him his freedom of speech is protected. The US laws - still in place - assert his rights to say whatever he likes without fear of retribution. Unlucky for him, THIS site is not a 'free speech' zone. He prefaced his screed here with:

I thought you would find these observations of interest...

No, Rabbi, I do not find your observations of interest at all. I DO find them yet one more affirmation that not all men of God truly have God in their hearts. The rabbi's words may resonate within his own little feifdom, but I will not tolerate them here. Obviously, this rabbi is so intent on sharing his misguided unGodly observations that he neglected to read that this IS a comment-moderated site. As anyone who knows me will agree, I will defend anyone's right to the opinions they have formed, but I will not perpetuate such ugly ignorance. I will most particularly not give space to any so called religious leader whose only goal is apparently to further his own human agenda at the expense of anyone in excruciating grief. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

Rabbi Emmanuel, you are in my prayers. My prayer is that you look to your own God so that you may - some day - know that God would never respond to grief in the way you chose to here. I believe it is not my job to judge you. It is God who will ultimately judge every single one of us.

I wish for you peace on your journey. Bless your (cold and calculating) heart, Rabbi.


Findalis said...

I can assure you that this was no Rabbi. No rabbi would ever write such words or use a fake name to do it.

K-Dubyah said...

Brat Dahling,

There are many days where the only thought that consoles is knowing that those who spewed forth hate and ill will have much to answer for when standing in front of God.

Even me...And yet we should pray for their soul and that their eyes and heart are opened to his truth. 'Tis hard at times to do.