May 28, 2014

Comments about the Pope's visit (video)

I basically avoided writing about the Pope's visit. While the current Pope seems like a bit more decent, nicer, warmer, than previous Popes, the Pope really holds little of my interest.

There are a few comments I want to make though, from side issues rather than regarding the Pope himself.....

1.  PM Netanyahu and the Pope argue about what language Jesus spoke
the "argument" comes at about 1 minute in... Bibi says Jesus spoke Hebrew, while the Pope says Aramaic, and then Netanyahu goes on to explain...


in the entire video, except the moment of argument, the Pope looks very bored. Netanyahu looks like he is giving a history lesson to someone who does not need it or want it. Strange.

2. The Palestinians have taken to claiming Jesus was not Jewish, but Palestinian. If we could rewrite history I would be happy for them to take him. Not only that, but they can also take all the blame for killing Jesus that has been thrown on the Jews throughout history.

3. USA Today has an article about the Pope's visit... in the article, a Rabbi Rosen comments about the issue of the Pope wanting access to the Kever Dovid Hamelech complex..

In the article they write:
Rabbi David Rosen, director of inter-religious affairs at the American Jewish Committee, says this "historical resentment" toward the church is still held by some Jews, including some extremists who have protested against the church's use of the Cenacle, or the Room of the Last Supper, because it is located on top of David's Tomb, a Jewish shrine.
"including some extremists"? anybody who opposes something is automatically called an extremist? just because they don't want a complex to be given over to control by a foreign entity turns them into extremists?

4. In the same article, comments are made about the road closures due to the visit:
Jimmy Ben-Sadon, owner of a Jerusalem variety store, said some of his customers came in complaining about the city's extensive pope-related road closures, and questions like "Why Israel had to make such a big deal about the pope?"
"I was embarrassed by their reaction," Sadon confessed. "I told them, 'When our rabbis go to the Vatican they are treated with a lot of respect and dignity. Doesn't he deserve the same?' "
a foreign head of state certainly deserves to be hosted with respect and dignity. I wonder though, when the CHief Rabbis visit the Vatican, while they are surely treated with great respect, is the city shut down for them? Are large sections of city roads closed down? Is the public banned from various locations, including holy sites, around town?

Sure, the Pope deserves to be treated with respect and dignity on his visit. That does not mean the city must be shut down.


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18 comments:

  1. a foreign head of state certainly deserves to be hosted with respect and dignity. I wonder though, when the CHief Rabbis visit the Vatican, while they are surely treated with great respect, is the city shut down for them?

    you answered your own question - the chief rabbis are not heads of state, the pope is.

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    Replies
    1. fair enough, but he made the comparison, not me. and, plenty of heads of state come to Israel without shutting down the city. Washignton DC doesnt shut down when Netanyahu shows up, or when prime ministers and presidents from other countries show up. london doesnt shut down, the Vatican doesnt shut down, rome doesnt shut down, not does Paris, Moscow or other capitals or cities. only Jerusalem shuts down.

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    2. i assume that any decision of what to shut down and how much time things are shut down is based on security assessments made by the people who we trust to do this stuff. there is no reason why there has to 1:1 equivalence for other heads of state or heads of governments, nor when the PM goes to washington. this isn't a respect issue, but a security issue.

      granted it is possible that the security folks do some over kill, but that is their prerogative.

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  2. just because they don't want a complex to be given over to control by a foreign entity turns them into extremists?

    they were protesting much more than that. they protested the idea of allowing a regularly scheduled mass in the room, even the pope being allowed to conduct a one time mass there.

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    Replies
    1. doesnt change my point. it still doesnt make them extremists.

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    2. Depends how you define extremists. If one points out that there are 8 million people in this country, and only a couple of hundred cared enough about this to protest, then I would think that they are extremists by definition. And, by the way, the city was not shut down. Several roads were closed temporarily over the course of the day. I drove around a fair amount in Yerushalayim yesterday (including in Rechavia) and was not inconvenienced at all.

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    3. I dont think "cared enough" is the right term. plenty of people might have cared, but maybe many didnt know about it (I didnt, until after it happened), maybe many were at work or too far away...
      and even if only a small amount did care, that doesnt turn them into extremists.. any time somebody opposes an idea he automatically becomes an extremist?

      many other people complained about sitting in traffic for hours... plus the kotel area was cleared out, as were other places..

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    4. No, not any time someone opposes an idea does he become an extremist, but someone (or a small group) who vociferously protest concerning an issue that 99.9% of the people don't care about probably is one, or at least staking out an extreme position on that issue.
      Bottom line, the benefits to Israel's image throughout the world engendered by the visit of one whom over a billion people look to for spiritual guidance is much more important than some variety store owner who didn't have customers for an hour or two, or the difficulty of sitting in traffic for a bit (the horror).

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    5. the claims i heard against allowing catholic prayer there bordered on conspiracy theories (eg this is part of a secret state department plan to internationalize the city).

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    6. I heard them too. amazing what nefarious plots people will believe...

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  3. or should i have said "they were protesting much less than that"?

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  4. I'm backing Rafi up on this one. Without going into the argument if two storey structures existed in the time of Yeshu, or if that structure was around and survived the great earthquakes that have occasionally come since then, I am against 'handing over' and thankfully that idea was passed over due to public reaction. Now, let's ask ourselves, if the tables were turned and the Jews in Rome wanted access to a certain room at the Vatican to perform a regularly scheduled ceremony. Would that request be if discussed?

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    Replies
    1. or because, as miri regev said, it was never on the table in the first place.

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    2. - Would that request be if discussed?

      In some cases it was. The "synagogue" of Trani was given back to a small Jewish community after having being converted to a church. HOWEVER there is no comparison between these cases and the case of David's tomb

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  5. If he didn't believe his church's nonsense, he wouldn't be pope.

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  6. The main argument I heard against allowing regular Catholic prayer in the Cenacle is that it would give that room the Halachic status of a church. As it is Assur to derive benefit from Avoda Zara, and as Catholicism is, according to many Poskim, considered to be a form of Avoda Zara, this would make the room Assur. Then, as the floor of the room is the ceiling of the room where Jews pray, any Jews using that room would be benefiting from Avoda Zara - or else be considered to be Davening in a "Beit Avoda Zara", which is Assur.

    That's the conundrum - there's no real Halachic way to give the Church what it wants.

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    1. eh. first of all, we don't pasken from radio interviews. i am more than willing to bet that there are heterim.

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  7. The last Anonymous here is the only one who gave a logical and correct answer. The hoopla given to the head of a church in E.Y. seems out of place, but look at those who are running the country at present The rumors of the Tomb being given away might very well be real. For Jews, anything other than Torah Judaism is considered avodah zorah.

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