I awoke this morning in a bit of shock. I discovered that the messiah had finally arrived!
The first “shock” was an invitation from the Vatican to attend a one-day conference on 20 June at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Cardinal Bea Center for Judaic Studies in Vatican City. The interesting subject to be discussed is entitled “Jewish Jesus Research and Questions of Christology… A Seminar International Scholarship on Second Temple Judaism”.
I was astounded to receive an invitation to attend sent by Father Etienne Veto, Professor of Judaism at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
The costs of flights to and from Rome, hotels and kosher meals are out of my budget reins, so I had to respond to the Pontifical Biblical Institute with sincere regrets that I am unable to attend the conference which gives promise of exciting discussions and shared learning.
And of course I will have to forego the delicious Italian pizza. Nothing can compare to the real stuff!
The second “shock” was an announcement in the Hebrew language press stemming from Saudi Arabia. A top influential Saudi commentator has now publicly called for peace with Israel, for recognition of Israel and for the opening of embassies in Jerusalem and in Riyadh.
I thought I had clicked on to the wrong site so I repeated it twice. Same astounding message!
Abdulhameed Al-Hakeem published in the Saudi press an historical article in which he stated that “it is time to eradicate the culture of hatred for Jews in the Arab world”.
He went on to write that Israel has a right to exist. He extended Saudi Arabian “mazaltovs” to the government and to the Jewish people of the State of Israel on the occasion of Israel’s 70th anniversary of independence.
And happy as I was to read his profound words “we must now acknowledge Israel’s historic link in Jerusalem”, I worried that he might lose his head by a Saudi execution squad.
Relations, open and closed, between Israeli officials and Crown Prince ibn Salman have been developing rather quickly. Although his father, King Salman, does not agree with his son’s interest in achieving peace with Israel prior to the solution of the Israel-Palestine dispute, the Crown Prince yields much power and influence in his kingdom.
Who knows? Perhaps we will be able to travel to Riyadh and taste a sample of Saudi falafel !
Miracles have happened before. Sadly, not after the historic visit of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat who brought a message of peace in his address to our Knesset. Realizing the tragedy of his assassination, all present Arab leaders, with the exception of Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, have feared for their lives. Thus, no peace yet with the rest of the Arab world. Still, miracles do happen every now and then.
The third “shock” was the news of the recent gay marriage of the Orthodox grandson of the late Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef to his gay Orthodox male lover. The same-sex marriage, not yet recognized in Israel as it is in most enlightened countries, was performed by a double shock… first, by a woman rabbi and next, that she was a lesbian and an active member of Israel’s large and growing gay community..
What is happening to our once solid society? Why are we becoming like the nations of the world when God intended us to be a separate nation?
Three shocks early in the morning is too much to handle. I’m now on my third Cup O’ Joe black coffee.
I’d like to write more but there is someone knocking at my door.
I dare to hope it is the messiah!!!