A who's who list of Israeli right wing extremist rabbis have taken "credit" for Ariel Sharon, sheyikhye's, illness. These rabbinic low-lifes enacted a "pulsa d'nura" ceremony, a pseudo-kabbalistic death incantation "ritual" with ancient pretensions but thoroughly modern roots, before the Gaza withdrawal in order to fell Sharon and stop the withdrawal. They failed. But now, months later, they are claiming "victory." Among the leading figures of this repulsive group is Rabbi Yosef Dayan, who supposed "lineage" gives him "continuous" patralineal Davidic descent. This makes him very attractive to the new "sanhedrin" – among whom is the "sanhedrin's" "nasi" (president), Chabad Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. "Sanhedrin" members have been touting Rabbi Dayan as the future "king of Israel." Here is a quote from the "future king":
"This is a great day for Israel since that evil man is gone." Dayan said. "I am convinced that God heard the prayers of the children in Gush Katif. When those kids were thrown from their homes they prayed and God heard their prayers."
Perhaps Rabbi Steinsaltz may want to use his power as "nasi" to expel the "future king" from the "sanhedrin."
But this is not all that is happening on the fundamentalist front. The Jerusalem Post reports on rabbis who have refused to pray for Sharon's recovery. Among them:
- Rabbi Avigdor Halevi Nebenzahl, rabbi of Jerusalem's Old City, who told the extensive school system he heads not to pray for Sharon.
- Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Safed and son of former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who issued a legal ruling (teshuva) not to pray for Sharon.
But some more "moderate" rabbis said it was fine to pray for Sharon's recovery. But pay attention to why they say it is okay to pray for Sharon:
Rabbi Ya'acov Ariel, chief rabbi of Ramat Gan, also said that prayers should be said for Sharon.
"Notwithstanding what he has done in the past year, Sharon is a Jew who has done a lot of good for his people," said Ariel, who is a former head of a yeshiva in Gush Katif, Gaza. "There is no danger that Sharon will come back and serve as prime minister, so why not pray for him?"
Besides the obvious theological problem with Rabbi Ariel's implied assertion that God could not fully heal Sharon, Rabbi Ariel has made himself clear: If there were a real chance of Sharon returning to public life, prayers for his recovery would be wrong.
Conspicuously absent from the public discussion have been former chief rabbis Modechai Eliyahu and Avraham Kahana Shapira, who have manged to say nothing on the matter, even though they regularly pontificate on public issues. Both were severe critics of Sharon and the Gaza withdrawal, and both behaved very badly in the process. Not stepping forward now to ask Jews to pray for Sharon is tantamount to telling them not pray, a fact both rabbis are certainly aware of.
Orthodoxy is broken, not because of external pressures or repression. It is broken because of the failure of the rabbis who lead it. Such big hats. Such tiny minds.