And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.—Revelations 17:5
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State of Judas
The State of Israel does not have the right to use the name. The biblical Kingdom of Israel was destroyed in 721 AC and its people were scattered; they disappeared from human history as a cohesive group. At the best, some of the people in the State of Israel are descendants of the Kingdom of Judea. Can you imagine the political consequences of the name "State of Judea?" Everybody would link them to Judas Iscariot the traitor. Thus “Israel” was chosen, and created a false image within gullible Christian communities. It is as if the United States changed its name tomorrow to the “Roman Empire.” They do not have the right, because they lack historical continuity. The same is true for the State of Israel.
Jewish redemption is far from the Spiritual Redemption professed by Christians. Jews expect a physical redemption based on a Godly Kingdom in the Land of Israel. All Jewish religious interpretations until the 19th Century did not allow a Zionist party to conquer Arab lands; that was the role of a future Messiah to be sent by God. Thus, any cooperation between Zionists and Haredim was impossible. Traditionally, Haredim and other groups of the Jewish Orthodoxy believed the abovementioned redemption would arrive in two stages. The early stage is called “Messiah Son of Joseph,” and includes the physical stages of bringing the Jewish people together; this stage is symbolized by a bull. The second stage is the “Messiah Son of David,” when a spiritual Messiah would restore the Kingdom of God. This stage is symbolized by a donkey; Christian readers would immediately recognize the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem riding one (John 12:12-16). In the 19th Century, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, was one of the Haredi Jews who created the basis of cooperation between Zionists and Pharisees.
What he did was simple, and is known as “Hamoro shel Mashiah” (“Messiah’s Donkey” in Hebrew). He claimed that the secular Jews—the Zionists—can take the place of “Messiah Son of Joseph” as a collective entity, creating the basis that would allow the Pharisees—Haredim and related groups—to produce the “Messiah Son of David” in the new and secular state. This interpretation resulted in a political alliance that was accepted by most Jews and became the basis for what now is called the State of Israel. Neturei Karta is one of the few Jewish groups that does not accept this unholy contraption. A social result was the creation of the “hand-woven kippas” group, also known in Hebrew as the “nationalistic religious” people, to whom most settlers in the West Bank belong. They could not have existed prior to the alliance. Their views are extreme on both ends, they are extremely nationalistic and extremely Pharisaic.
From Tel Aviv to Babylon
“Babel” is how the Hebrew Bible refers to Babylon; the most famous appearance of this kingdom is in the story of Tower of Babel in chapter 11 of Genesis. “Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9). This verse explains the name. The roots of verbs and most nouns in Hebrew are composed by a sequence of three consonants; variants of two and four consonants also exist, serving special purposes. A basic two letters root (beth.lamed) is related to the meaning of “mixing.” It can be expanded into a three consonants root meaning “to mix” (beth.lamed.lamed), and into a four letters one meaning “to confuse” (beth.lamed.beth.lamed). The name Babel in Hebrew sounds to a Hebrew speaker as a “mixed up ‘to confuse.’” It features a related, but confused, relation to the verb “to confuse.” As such, it was perfect for the metaphor used in the Bible. The State of Israel puts a clear emphasis on Babylonian history.
In 539 AC, the Persians conquered Babylon, where many Jews are still exiled. The Persians let them return to Jerusalem, where the Sadducees—the priests—became the de facto authority of the Jews. While the priests controlled the Temple, the scribes monopolized the study of the Torah, which was read publicly on market-days. After the fall of the Kingdom of Judah, and the earlier exile to Babylon—where the people could witness a more developed society—the prestige of the Sadducees was in decline; the former royal class was gone altogether. The scribes took advantage of that and began the process of organizing themselves into a political party that claimed to possess the correct interpretation of the Bible, which they called the Oral Law. They based the claim on their erudition—they were among the few that could read—and on the failure of the priests to restore the splendor of the former kingdom. “Something is wrong with their interpretation,” whispered the Pharisees to the people. “Prushim”—“Pharisees” in Hebrew—means “those who separated themselves.” Much later they became the religious leaders of the people, and in a brilliant marketing event, they changed their title to “rabbi” (“my master,” or literally “my much”). They were despised by Jesus.
The Old Testament was considered dangerous by the Pharisees. Simply, many of the Mosaic Laws were uncomfortable, and inconvenient, to fulfill. Moreover, the prophecies regarding Jesus in the Old Testament were difficult to ignore. Facing such a problem, these industrious men operated a two stage plan. First, an Oral Law was created. These were laws that defined how the Mosaic Laws in the Pentateuch should be interpreted. Using them, they could turn around any law to their convenience. They claimed the Oral Law was given verbally by Moses to their ancestors. The Bible does not support this claim. At a certain stage, before Jesus was born, the compilation of this Oral Law into books began. The result was the creation of a new layer of books—collectively known as the Talmud—that included all the formal interpretations of the Pentateuch, the Bible’s first five books. All the other books in the Bible were considered little more than fables by the Pharisees.
The Talmud has two components. The first is the Mishnah, which can be seen as the raw, first interpretations of the Pentateuch. The second is the Gemara, which is a condensation and interpretation of the Mishna. For the sake of clarity I won’t explain here these names in details; “mishna” can be understood as “repetition,” while “gemara” means roughly “closure.” The “closure” took place in two centers, the Holy land and Babylon. The Talmud produced by the first one is smaller, incomplete, and less important; it is known as the “Talmud Yerushalmi”—the Jerusalemite Talmud—despite having been written mainly in Tiberias, Sepphoris and Caesarea. The second is the main text in modern Judaism, the “Talmud Bavli,” the Babylonian Talmud. Sealed in the fifth century AD, the process of its compilation is seen as the Jewish Golden Age. Haredim would like to return not to the Biblical Kingdom of Israel, but to the Talmudic Diaspora of Babylon. By doing so, they confuse God's message, giving an updated meaning to the Tower of Babel.
The Talmud is a blasphemous and criminal text by all accounts. Technically it is a compilation of excuses allowing the commitment of crimes; non-Jews are considered by it as non-humans, thus every conceivable crime against them is allowed (see Is Quoting the Talmud Anti-Semitic?). This was the trick allowing Jews to avoid the difficult commandments of God given in the Bible. To make sure that they would not be forced to follow their own holy texts, additional measures were taken, and the Bible was clumsily modified (see Rabbinical Fake: 6000 Differences).
This attempt to change uncomfortable truths is not unique in Jewish culture. She'ar Yashuv is a moshav in northern Israel. Its name means “the remnant shall return” and refers to a verse in the Book of Isaiah, 10:22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. The verse is quoted by Apostle Paul in Romans, chapter 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.
This is a very good name, it fills me with hope they’ll return to God some sunny day. Yet, most Israelis pronounce the name as “She'ar Yeshuv,” (both names are rendered equally in consonant-based Hebrew) which means “the remnant of the settlement,” and refers to the survivors of WWII. Most Israelis don’t even know that the name is from Isaiah.
Overall, Zionists have adopted and adapted Biblical texts for their use, while providing the Babylonian subtext that would appeal to the Haredim. This is seen as a concession by the Humanists and mostly atheist Zionists towards the Haredim, that all of a sudden they could communicate with them on common grounds: an attempt to revive the Golden Era of Jewish Babylon.
The Talmud is the key to Haredi hearts. “Shas” is the largest Haredi party nowadays (see “Decider of the Generation” is Dying for details on Haredi politics). Shas is an obvious non-word in Hebrew since it lacks a three-consonant root. That’s because it is an acronym—a popular resource in Hebrew—for “shisha sedarim,” the “six orders” of the Mishnah. In other words, “Shas” is pretty much a synonym for Talmud. The link of the State of Israel with Babylon is in the fine print, and goes much deeper than the names of political parties.
Sayeret Matkal—formally Battalion 262, de facto an administrative brigade—is an elite special forces unit of the IDF, best known for Operation Thunderbolt in Entebbe. Modeled after the British Army's Special Air Service (SAS), its main function is as a field intelligence-gathering unit, used to obtain intelligence behind enemy lines. The Shaldag (“Kingfisher” in Hebrew) unit appearing twice in The Cross of Bethlehem was initially a specialized company within Sayeret Matkal. The Alpinists Unit serving at Mount Hermon is a subunit of Sayeret Matkal. At the beginning of 2011, Israel was conquered by this unit. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister was an officer in the Operation Entebbe force. Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense, was an officer in the force and the direct commander of Benjamin Netanyahu. Matan Vilnai, Minister for Home Front Defense, was second in command of the force. Shaul Mofaz, Deputy Prime Minister, participated in the force. Tamir Pardo, Director of Mossad, was a member of the assault team, apparently in charge of its communications. Moshe Ya’alon, current Vice Prime Minister was an officer of “the unit,” as it is referred to in Israel. Between them, they currently hold all the significant powers in Israel. How is this related to our topic? Simply, the number of “the unit”—262—is the number of times the word “Babel”—Babylon—appears in the Old Testament. Haredim and Zionists rejoice in their fine print agreement while reviving what the Bible defines as "upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth"— Revelations 17:5.
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