Communique 9-13-2020 "Zealots & Zombies"
By Philip Drucker
Do you want to hear crazy? Well then, you came to the right place. I probably shouldn’t complain as I’m the one who brings it upon myself, but I tell you truly there is no insanity or delusions of grandeur quite like those that find their origins in, and I’m being kind here, theological interpretation.
I do not claim to be a religious scholar, but I do claim to have read both the Old and New Testaments as well as any number of sectarian teachings from any number of sources. Buddhism, Tao, Hindu, Islam, I am an equal opportunity seeker with no one destination or conclusion in mind.
I think it fair to say I rarely concern myself with what are called eschatological, or “end of times” studies and interpretation. In the Jewish tradition, the concept of an “end” is alluded to, but there are very few descriptions of any actual events, good, bad, or apocalyptic, of said end in the Old Testament.
This is not surprising as Judaism is not terribly focused on the afterlife. It has been my experience that most Jews accept that at the time of their passing, the soul separates from the body and goes either directly to heaven (Gan Eden) or, if necessary, make a little pit stop in hell (Gehinnom) to purge itself of sins.
As for the End of Days, the diaspora will end and the Jews will gather together and return to Israel where a new Temple will be rebuilt. After an unspecified time later, the dead will be resurrected and reunited with their souls to live in this perfect utopia called the World to Come. That’s about it. Admittedly, not as flashy as the New Testament summer blockbuster version, but hey, it does kind of have zombies, doesn’t it?
And so, against this backdrop, I received a communication from one of my Facebook buddies who it just so happens is also a religious nut job. He’s one of those who insists on let’s just call it a very expanded, creative and malleable version of as he refers to it, the Jewish eschatological version of the apocalypse.
After calling me a dope, and insinuating at least two more times I have no idea what I am talking about, my friend who I don’t really know who he is, Social media is like that, vents his umbrage with my assertion that Trump is not part of the End of Times or any other commonly recognized as a legitimate part of the Old or New Testament. Including, he is clearly not an instrument in bringing about events that will lead to, you guessed it the End of Times and beyond. As a bit of levity, I threw in that Trump can’t even follow the Ten Commandments much less the teaching of the Bible.
Having forgotten that Zealots have no sense of humor, he bombards me with the requisite list of verses, passages, Jewish folk songs and whatever else happens to sound like something I should know by heart but obviously don’t. Here, however is where it gets interesting.
Regarding the messianic qualities of Trump that I so blindly can’t see, he claims Trump is the new Esau, or as you might remember him, the older brother of Jacob, and son of Abraham and Sarah. All heavy hitters indeed. And that Trump, even though he is not consciously aware of it, now that he is drunk with power, his mission is to be, like Esau, a "man of the field," to wrestle with evil, subdue it, prevail against it. To my knowledge, there is no such struggle of redemption attributed to Esau in the Old or New Testament.
What we do know about Esau, is “man of the field” refers to his preference to be a hunter, and not a gatherer, like his brother Joseph. He was by all accounts “rougher” than his brother, but there is no indication he was a mean, nasty, racist, narcissist and psychopath like Trump. So far, meh, but here is where he goes completely off the grid nutzo.
The name Esau roughly translates to “unusually hairy” which Esau, apparently was at birth. He is also referred to Edom, meaning “Red” to reflect the red lentils in the bowl of stew he sold his birthright for to Jacob. And so, since Trump is, unruly, has unusual hair that is somewhat red, or at least orange to match his skin, but that doesn’t make him a messenger or savior, that would make him an Oompa-Loopa at best, he somehow fits the profile of the one and only returning messiah. No, I am not kidding. And, there’s more.
My somewhat losing his credibility fast scholar of theology also notes that Esau disobeyed both God and his father by marrying not one but two women from a “forbidden” tribe, he says Hittites, I say Canaanites, in unholy polygamy. In other words, he was a man who when it came to women, knew what he wanted and didn’t let a little thing like his Lord of Father’s wishes get in the way. And, you guessed it. Just like Trump. And yes, this is just another “kink” in his personality the Orange Fat Assed Calf Son of a Scorpion is apparently “working out” while he continues to anything and everything around him. Very biblical indeed, wouldn’t you say?
You might be asking yourself, did Esau “work it out”? Gaining insight and/or enlightenment? The answer is at best we don’t know. The Bible does not offer any evidence of Esau undergoing a spiritual awakening or return to grace. Nor does the Bible tell us when or how Esau died. There is some anecdotal evidence he may be buried in a grave on the West Bank.
In conclusion, there are many, and again I’m being kind, apocryphal stories out there deemed too “radical” for inclusion in the Old or New Testament and although I do from time to time indulge myself and read one or two, in no way do I approve of often heretical and questionable as to their actual origin as the “missing pieces” or as I like to call them, conspiracy theories of the Bible. Obviously, some do, but I am not one. I already have a life. A rich and beautiful spiritual life and thankfully, free of obsession with the End of Times, but full of living of one’s own life, right here and right now, in service of what I believe to be the true way of all things great and small, and as above, so below.