Kendall Wigoda

Ma-SHE-atch Now

According to Wikipedia, that bastion of all knowledge, everywhere, ever, as of 2023, the world’s core Jewish population (those identifying as Jews above all else) was estimated at 15.7 million, which is approximately 0.2% of the 8 billion people alive today. In addition, Wikipedia also calculates that religious Jews make up 10% of the Jewish population. This means there are maximum 1.5 million people, give or take babies, senile elders, those without televisions or computers, mentally challenged or hearing impaired Jews who did not hear the KCAL/CBS television reporter question the yellow flag with a crown and the word “Mashiach” printed on it glaring from the protesting crowds on the UCLA campus earlier this week. “I’m totally unfamiliar with that group or logo …”, said the reporter as he tried to decipher the word Ma-SHE-atch.

As a member in pretty good standing of this Sabbath-observant, Mashiach-aware group, I couldn’t pull myself away from the yellow flag YouTube clip. It is not possible to watch it once and then forget about it. It begs to be replayed over and over and over again. Surely there were non-observant Jews who also got the joke. They probably snickered. However, it’s not clear if they guffawed or bellowed or rolled on the floor laughing. 

The biggest question that the yellow Mashiach flag raises is: Was He or She there at the protest raising His or Her own banner announcing His or Her arrival or was someone else beckoning Mashiach to hurry up and get there since it was surely the beginning of the end of the world as we know it? Now that would get some very impressive YouTube click numbers. Or would it?

If we are being honest, the answer is probably no.

The Free Palestine groups would be suspicious of its Israeli origins because there is no Israel, just occupied land stolen from the Palestinians.

The Antisemite groups would dismiss it out-of-hand because Jews are either controlling the world or not good enough to lick the dirt off the soles of their antisemitic shoes.

The Death-To-All-Jews groups would probably murder Mashiach first, without hesitation, because they know there is no way the Messiah is a Jew.

The Americans wouldn’t trust Him or Her because the true Messiah would have to be American. Obviously.

The UN would say they were looking into it – even though they weren’t and had no intention of doing so.

The Ivy League university chancellors and presidents would have to consult with the Saudis and the Qataris who finance their institutions before they chose to ignore it.

The BDS groups wouldn’t be interested because being for or against Mashiach has no painful financial implications for Israel.

Ultra-orthodox Jews would ignore Mashiach if He or She arrived in blue jeans and a t-shirt with a Star of David around their neck, or worse still, dressed in an IDF uniform.

Secular Jews, and many national religious Jews, would ignore Mashiach if He or She showed up dressed like a shtetl Jew from 1800s Poland who wasn’t going to do compulsory army service.

It seems obvious now that it wasn’t Mashiach waving the yellow flag in Los Angeles at the UCLA riots the other night and it obviously is not the right time for a grand return. But it made for the best ad hoc TV comedy for a very small group of people who just keep playing it over and over again, while they hope for the day Mashiach is coming. 

About the Author
I spent 15 years as a Public Relations and Marketing Communications professional in Canada before making Aliyah in 2002. Since then I have written freelance articles for Israeli newspapers, written lots of marketing communication pieces and taught a lot of English. Sometimes life here is funny and sometimes it is sad, but mostly there's a lot of weird and wonderful moments.
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