Today I want to talk to you about the terrible attack on the synagogue in America. Well, that’s that talked about.
And in even more Big News today from a Faith Perspective, there’s a Big Jewish Festival just passed. Happy Tree New Year Day everybody! Let’s talk about trees and the evil emperor Hadrian…
2 thoughts on “Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg”
I think the Rabbi had got his piece on trees boxed off some days ago – the ‘big story in the news’ being a Big Jewish Festival (fancy!). Then the Synagogue siege happened, and had to be at least mentioned; and that’s just about all it got. Strange response from a Jewish commentator. ‘Anyway, what was I talking about – Oh yes, trees…’
Apparently trees sing their own spiritual song to the IMF. This was also just thrown into the mix, and left un-unpacked. Also, who knew that the Messiah will only appear when there’s enough trees? No, me neither.
What was more interesting was Wittenberg’s apparent lack of knowledge of the Emperor Hadrian, who definitely wasn’t in the habit of marching around with his legions waging war as he suggested. Quite the opposite. Hadrian (as anyone who has studied his eponymous Wall will know) spent his time consolidating the Empire built up by his predecessors, setting boundaries, and disposing of territories that were too troublesome to rule, or which were of no value to Rome. The one and ONLY conflict in which Hadrian involved Roman forces, and to which he himself went, was the suppression of a Jewish revolt in Judaea; which resulted in heavy losses on both sides, but particularly the Jewish population. Surely Wittenberg knows this? In which case why not mention it. Or perhaps he doesn’t know. Either way it made his narrative rather vacuous.
All together this seemed a string of non-sequiturs, and empty statements. We were left only with ‘trees are great. Plant more of them…. Er, that’s it.’
Yes, it was odd that, having raised the subject, Wittenberg didn’t make more of the Bar Kokhba rebellion, seeing that it ended with the virtual obliteration of Jerusalem and Judaea. One failed rebellion against Roman rule might just be misfortune; two looks like carelessness; three in a row starts to appear rather incompetent.
Much easier to witter on about trees. Even so, Tu Bishvat seems mainly to be about fruit trees waking up after winter (no doubt carefully controlled by the IMF) in order to produce a nice crop for the benefit of the people of Israel. Not really that much of a connection with rewilding.