Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bush as Gog -- But Why Not Obama?

In her latest post, Nava at DreamingOfMoshiach admits she has no understanding of US politics. But still, she is confident of her prediction that Bush will cancel the elections, based on her knowledge of Torah. And she quotes Ben Bag Bag as to הפוך בה והפוך בה דכולא בה.

The first problem is that it takes knowledge of the metziut to be able to figure out what the Torah is speaking about. And the second problem is that is not just any know-nothing who is competent to be able to look at Torah sources and determine what they mean. And the third, related problem, is that one can use partial citations, often out of context, to bolster any thesis, ignoring Torah sources to the contrary of the thesis. One example of this, where she used a partial citation when the full one contradicts, is in this earlier parshablog post about Voices in the Sixth.

To this end, she cites a bunch of sources out of context, and does not note the probably hundreds of other sources which do not match. And she asks who these sources best match: Bush, McCain, or Obama? With the implication that Bush is clearly the best match. Let us look at the sources, and see if we agree it is Bush, and whether we agree that this is the correct interpretation of sources. Thus:
Otzar HaMidrash (בית המדרש חלק ג קמ"א)
ויתגאו בני מערב ויבואו ויחזיקו מלכות בלא אפסים
And the Westerners are proud and they will come and hold on to the Kingdom without end

ובימים ההם יקום מלך עז פנים...והוא מחזיק מלכות בחלקלקות
And in the end days a shameless King will rise... and he will hold on to the kingdom by fraud
So this is taken to refer to the USA, and the one "holding on" to it by fraud would presumably be Bush, who either assumed power by voter fraud (?) or will do so by canceling the elections.

How about מחזיק meaning grabbing on to the position of Malchut, such that it could be Obama or McCain? And how about noting Obama's association with ACORN, and thus voter fraud, which might give him the election? And some might say Obama has no shame about his various embarrassing associations.

Not that I believe that it applies to any of the candidates. I am just noting this alternative, and questioning just how Nava is so sure it applies to Bush.

Also, she Dowdified the quote, by putting in elipses. Quite sneaky. The full quote is available here:
ויתגאו בני מערב ויבואו ויחזיקו מלכות בלא אפסים ויבאו עד מצרים וישבו כל השביה. ובימים ההם יקום מלך עז פנים על עם עני ודל (דניאל ח') והוא מחזיק מלכות בחלקלקות, ועל אותו הזמן אמר ישעיה (כ"ו) לך עמי בוא בחדריך וגו'.

I highlighted in red the portions Nava conveniently left out. If we are going to apply this to the US, then how come we have not heard anything recently about an invasion of Egypt? And how exactly did Bush (Gog) arise upon a poverty-stricken nation?

We can interpret this, again, as referring to Obama. People will be poverty-stricken because of the Wall Street problems, and Obama is using smooth-talk (חלקלקות) and promises of tax cuts to seize power.

Next source Nava cited is Daniel:
Prophet Daniel zs'kl 7:25
ויסבר להשניה זמנין ודת ויתיהבון בידה עד עדן ועדנין ופלג עדן
And he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall give into his hand until a time and times and half a time.
The implication it seems she intends is that Bush will have more than the two periods in office. But, that is Nava's interpretation of the pasuk. But how about the Midrash's interpretation of that pasuk, from the same link as above:

אמרו חכמים: רבי חייא ציווה לדורו כשתשמעו שעמד מלך עז פנים לא תשבו שם, שהוא גוזר כל מי שהוא אומר אחד הוא אלוהי העברים ייהרג, והוא אומר נהיה כולנו לשון אחד ואומה אחת, והוא מבטל זמנים ומועדים ושבתות וראשי חדשים, ומבטל תורה מישראל, שנאמר: ויסבר להשניה זמנין ודת ויתיהבון בידיה עד עידן עידנין ופלג עידן (דניאל ז'), עידן שנה עידנין תרתי ופלג עידן חצי שנה.
Thus, the changing of the times and the law is changing Jewish practice, to not let them practice Judaism. Has Bush done that? Rather, he had a Chanukka party in the White House!

And what about the time and times and half a time? The midrash interprets this as 1 year plus 2 years + 1/2 a year, for a total of 3 1/2 years. That is less than one term in office. In contrast, Bush has been in office for 8 years!

Indeed, if we assume it is Obama, then he could be elected to office for one term, but then be impeached. Or McCain, with Palin taking over for the last 1/2 year.

Next quote:
Zohar Chadash - Parshat Balak
בלקומאן דלא אתחזי למלכא ייתון ליה למישלט
Someone who was not suitable to rule will be brought to rule.
Where the emphasis on "was." Is this really Bush? I am sure many republicans would think otherwise. Perhaps she is saying he was not suitable because he already had two terms. Perhaps.

But going with Obama, the charge brought against him is that he lacks the experience to become president. So perhaps it means Obama. Or perhaps it means McCain, which would place Sarah Palin just a heartbeat away from the presidency, where people claim that she lacks the experience to be president.

Next quote:
ובגו שפה רפייא, וממלל רכיך, יעביד כרעותיה ישלוט
With a smooth and soft voice, he will do as he pleases, and he will rule.
You say Bush. I could just as easily put the focus on "with a smooth and soft voice" and identify Obama, who will then do as he pleases.

Next quote:
וההוא מלכא דהוה שליט בפום רכיך, ישלוט ברגז בגיאו נס ובתוקפא על עמא קדישא
And the same king that ruled with a soft voice, will rule with great rage and wrath and will attack the holy nation (am Israel).
So by same king, we are to assume it means Bush, who was "king" before? But how about Obama? Remember the comments of Joe Biden (Obama's vice presidential pick)? He said:

"Watch. We're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.

"And he's going to need help . . . to stand with him. Because it's not going to be apparent initially; it's not going to be apparent that we're right."

At any rate, while she is certain 100%, at least she says she will admit it if she is wrong:

If it turns out that Bush will not stay in power, which is highly-doubtable, I apologize and take full responsibility for my error of misunderstanding our holy Torah.

Our holy Torah is 100% accurate and truth אמת ויציב!

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