Friday, January 06, 2006


God help us all

Comments on now. I don't know why i turned 'em off.


It's time for us all -- myself included -- to shut up, and pray.



JERUSALEM -- The question first appeared on a religious Web site: Is it right to join nationwide prayers for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon even if you despise him for forcing Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip?

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu replied it is not. It's wrong, he said, to offer prayers of hope if you believe otherwise in your heart.

The exchange - posted shortly after Sharon suffered a massive stroke Wednesday - highlighted the passions binding an unusual nexus of ultra-nationalist settlers, doomsday zealots and Christian evangelicals such as Pat Robertson. In the span of a few years, their views of Sharon have swung from ally to betrayer of biblical prophecy and his people.

Read all about it.

I especially liked this part of the article:
"Last year, a group of Jewish extremists took part in an ancient curse ceremony called "pulsa denura" that called for Sharon's death."

Pulsa Denura:I'm going to have to look that one up for sure.:(
Its so hard to understand any circumstances where it would be wrong to pray for anyone's health. Hard to fathom hatred running that deep.

Glad to be here... but just because I got in today doesn't mean I will get in tomorrow. I'm still having a hard time getting any goggle blogs to load for me.
Missed ya bunches Miss C!
If someone believes in war, capital punishment, or euthanasia, there would be no moral contradiction in praying for a death in some circumstances.

OTOH, Mark Maness mentioned in his blog that Robertson claiming that he knew the mind of God on this matter was the height of arrogance. As I've said before, the common practice of asking God to do something seems impious to me - as if He needed suggestions. The only noncontradictory rationale of which I can think is that the act of supplication is good in more the soul of the person praying; or perhaps the gratitude at having a prayer answered can set off a spiritual awakening. But despite understandign perfectly either hatred or practical reasons for thinking someone should die, my point of aggreement with mss cellania is that this problem seems even sharper when you're tellling His Omniscience who deserves to live and die.
I think anything beyond the following prayer is very presumptuous:

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Then there are the nonverbal groanings of the spirit that Paul mentioned, when we don;t know what to pray. I think those are probably OK.

Prayers for guidance and wisdom. Gotta be OK.

Prayin' for a Lexux, as the kid next door told us his mama was doing when we moved in in 1999 (which caused us to immediately and forevermore refer to the family as "the Flanderses"): very uncool.
I don't know about the Lexus type prayers. They may have some value in that after you pray for it you may go out and earn one knowing god is going to provide you with one. As a matter of principle you generally can't obtain something unless you can imagine that you can obtain it.
Now when we start praying for something like the "end of days" and work towards that goal by praying, publishing, providing money, politicalizing, and making national policy on the assumption that it is happening, then it might just happen. Maybe not exactly like your favorite Myth but maybe pretty close. I think in Psychology that is called the Rosenthal Effect, or in the general palabra a Self Fullfilling Prophecy. There seems to be a lot of that going on these days.
And here it is the Jewish version of Bell-Book-and Candle.....

Pulsa denura is commonly considered the most severe of kabbalistic curses. According to descriptions found in books and the media, ten righteous kabbalists gather at midnight in a synagogue, by the light of black candles, blow shofars and recite the curse. If the curse has been uttered by worthy and righteous men and against an appropriate target, the target is supposed to die within the year. If it has been uttered by unworthy persons or against a target who has not sinned, the curse is supposed to have a boomerang effect.

Among the persons against whom the pulsa denura has been recited, or at least against whom its use has been threatened: the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, current Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, the late Jerusalem mayor Gershon Agron and the incumbent mayor, Uri Lupolianski. It is doubtful if any Israeli public figure could be considered truly high-ranking without a pulsa denura being invoked against him at least once - in a synagogue or at least in a press leak.
On my list of things to learn more about is the kabbalsitic stuff -- not what Madonna (the singer) and other celebs are doing, but what Renaissance Christian humanists were looking into. Same thing, I think, though.
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