Trapped between Jewish Vampires and Goldman Sachs
On a odd article about Jewish Vampires published by Haaretz
And an even stranger interview on World-Dominance published by the BBC
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Was this a trap? The topic was irresistible. It was unthinkable for me not to refer to it. Was somebody praying for my committing an error during the process? Did someone expect me to cross that thin and invisible line into racism? Fearing that, I decided to open this article with a picture of the English version of the Haaretz article on Jewish vampire (Published on September 28, 2011 at http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/love-thy-vampire-kosherly-1.387182). In the past, I reported about clear propagandistic articles by the same newspaper (Is the Vatican Training Hezbollah?) and opted this time for the same precautions I took back then. After all Haaretz is widely considered as the most serious Hebrew newspaper and the unofficial voice of the Shin Beth; blame them, not me.
Jewish vampires? Are they serious? They even called the article: “Love thy vampire, kosherly.” This is almost a perfect oxymoron, after all, consuming blood is not kosher. Expecting a parody, I began reading and soon found they were serious. Let me cite part of the article:
“Such legends influenced Medieval European Jews along with their neighbors. But Christian-European attitudes toward those vampires are very different than those seen in Sefer Hasidim (Book of the Pious). Many of the Christian-European stories describe vampires as evil and abusive. On the other hand, a source within "Sefer Hasidim" (which was written mostly by Rabbi Judah Hehasid in 12th and 13th-century Germany), says: ‘There was one woman who was an estrie [a bloodsucker, perhaps from a word meaning 'disturbance' or 'danger'] and she was very sick and there were two women with her at night; one was sleeping and one was awake. And the sick woman stood up and loosened her hair and she was about to fly and suck the blood of the sleeping woman. And the woman who was awake screamed and woke her friend and they grabbed the sick estrie, and after this she slept. And moreover, if she had been able to grab the other woman, then she, the estrie, would have lived. Since she was not able to hurt the other woman, the estrie died, because she needs to drink the blood of living flesh’ (This story, incidentally, is missing from several editions of the book).”
“The above description presents the "Jewish vampire" as a very tragic figure, one who even arouses empathy, since what is described is not simply cruel bloodsucking, but a sick woman fighting for her life. Moreover, these vampires apparently suck only enough blood to keep themselves alive, and don't kill their victims. The following passages in "Sefer Hasidim" (which are also missing from several editions) discuss the ethics of the matter, and surprisingly show empathy toward vampires.”
Following other examples, which include also fearful behavior towards Jewish vampires, the article concludes: “ The Jewish stories don't regard vampires as Satanic, evil creatures, but rather as sick people (in this case, sick women, which requires another discussion) who reluctantly harm others.”
It feels ridiculous to begin a qualitative analysis on Jewish vampires; however, the nonsense can be brought into modern context with the help of another comment by the Admiel Kosman, article’s author: “Many people have noted that the vampire legends could be a metaphor for spiritual energies that have not undergone sublimation and are ‘buried alive’ in the subconscious - our dark past, which repeatedly rises ‘from the grave’ and ‘sucks’ away our life force.”
This begins to make sense, despite the awkward referral to Freudian legends. In the Christian culture, creatures like vampires are related to Satan. This is obvious since they live by harming others; no Godly creature would do that. In the Jewish culture – and the text cited above belongs to one of the most respected rabbis ever – they are not considered evil. This illustrates the basic difference between Christianity and Judaism. The one is based on Faith and Love and thus cannot accept the evil vampires, while the other judges on a scale of relative values chosen upon personal convenience. Wonderful analogy!
In one of those happy coincidences, the BBC broadcast a day before the Haaretz article, an interesting interview with Alessio Rastani – a stock trader in London. He claimed that people should be trying to make money from an expected market crash in Europe which would evolve from the current financial crisis in Greece. "I go to bed every night dreaming of another recession. It's an opportunity.” he said to the BBC.
These words weren’t enough for causing the media mayhem witnessed afterwards. This was caused by a sentence uttered by the end of the interview: “Governments don't rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world [and] Goldman Sachs does not care about the rescue package.” He had described a very special type of vampires: financial vampires feeding on dollars, pounds, euros and probably even Bolivian Bolivianos. Does the Goldman-Sachs of vampires – descended from a couple of Jewish families – deserve mercy according to Rabbi Judah Hehasid?
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