Brain Dropping #150 – The Mosiach !
Mosiach is the Yiddish word for Messiah. The tsuris (another Yiddish word meaning trouble or grief) suffered by the Jews for over two millennia stems from their refusal to accept any Mosiach but their own. They were slaughtered for turning their backs on the Jewish Rabbi the gentiles deified as their savior. They were slaughtered for rejecting Mohammed’s appeal to join him in Medina. They have been called “dogs” by St. Augustine, and “that stiff necked people” by St. Thomas Aquinas. This treatment as the alienated “other” in Islam and Christendom set the scene for the horrors of the holocaust.
As a secular humanist, I find the whole miserable story a tragic case of the “theater of the absurd!” All this carnage and death because of the primitive hallucination of an “invisible man in the sky” who will someday redeem us and forgive our sins. If it all wasn’t so horrifying I’d find it amusingly pathetic.
There seems to be something in the human DNA that requires us to yearn for a savior – a celestial life-guard who will jump in and save us from drowning in a sea of troubles. This mindless whining and gnashing of teeth is particularly desperate in a society of alienated, narcissistic consumers who cling to the mirage of “exceptionalism.”
I raise this issue of a savior, of this “cult of the personality,” because of the now ubiquitous calls for Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for President and save our bacon. I attended a talk by Senator Warren in Burlington, Vermont where she firmly made it known that she is not running. And yet, like the adherents of Sabbatai Zevi, the seventeenth century Jewish mystic who was declared to be the Mosiach, but under duress converted to Islam, Ms. Warren’s followers refuse to take no for an answer. I like Elizabeth Warren and I believe she has more integrity and moxie than Barak Obama could ever hope to have – and if she runs I’ll vote for her. But I’m under no illusion that, short of massive protests and civil disobedience, any one person can make a significant difference in changing a terminally diseased system. As long as the drooling oligarchs, fortified by a loony-tunes Supreme Court, treat our electoral process like a cattle auction, there is little chance that real democracy will prevail. There will be no Mosiach on the ballot.