Tuesday, January 20, 2009

// // 19 comments

Talking Head Punditry - President Obama

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

I took a bit of time this evening (Israel time) to watch the US presidential inauguration. Since the talking heads can take the time to say a variety of inane things, I figure I can too...

- Musical Interludes: Pleasant and mild, though I pity the musicians who had to play under the cold temperatures. Why the US has a series of national songs practically impossible to sing decently is a mystery, and the bet at any such event is whether the singer will come out barely surviving or being completely destroyed.

- Invocation: The preacher was preaching quite nicely and somewhat generically, evening saying Shema Yisroel (in English of course). He blew it by going too long, and diving into Jaysus preaching at the end. Pity. Wrong approach for such a national stage.

- The Oath: Don't these guys rehearse or anything? Chief Justice Roberts clearly is inexperienced in oath giving (too many words before stopping), and President Obama a little overeager to follow. A good reminder to the president that he's still just a normal guy with an extraordinary job.

- The Speech: Mostly standard presidential blah blah blah. Highlights included a quote from Koheles, general lowering of expectations (wise), a statement he's open to talks with dictators (if they "open their closed fist"), and a statement about new relationships with Muslims of the world (that's a little worrying as Israel is usually the sacrificial lamb).

As always, as a "new king arises" we look to see if he knows Yosef, and pray to HaKodesh Baruch Hu that the "ministers and government be disposed favorably towards us"...

In this past Gaza war in Israel, we truly saw that "some rely upon chariots and some upon horses, but we rely upon and invoke the name of Hashem", as the nation and soldiers came together in an unprecedented level of prayer and faith in Hashem. Now if the leaders of Israel could only turn that way for just a moment!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also in the speech, a great line: "We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."

Obama has always talked about hunting down and killing terrorists, just like Kerry and all other mainstream politicians have done. Let's be honest now: the idea, held with such absurd certainty (even by the rabbis I respect the most), that he's going to screw over Israel, is based on half-truths, speculation, and conspiracy theories. The mainstream view that Bush was a great friend of Israel is equally misguided.

Okay, that speech that made Obama so famous did occur on the 9th of Av. But in the future the 9th of Av will be a day of celebration. Maybe it's an omen for good, not bad.

Obama, I am praying to Hashem every day that you prove my rabbis wrong.

Neshama said...

During the luncheon both Kennedy and Byrd passed out and were taken to the hosp. Both have been seriously ill and/or just plain old.

I have to admit that First Lady (uh) Michelle has been superior throughout; while here charming daughters typically little girls. They really do seem like a well-together family.

Pres. Obama surely looked like a maverick among all those old-school politicians at the luncheon. EIther he doesn't know what's in store for him, or they don't know what's going to happen to them. Actually BOTH.

I watched the whoooooooooooole thing on my 24 inch full screen and was impressed how smoothly things went. Did have half a tear when Bush helicoptered out. As a 'person', I'll miss him kinda.

When you think of the history of the USofA it is not extraordinary for this day to have come, it fits in with its eschatatology! I don't know how many people know about the beginning days of America, and how much Jewish symbolism and meaning is intertwined with its idealism and goals. The sheer dichotomy is amazing.

It's called HaKoras HaTov to what Hashem allowed to blossom so that the Jews would have a haven to sustain them until Moshiach comes.

Anonymous said...

I was kind of hoping for the first woman president of the U.S, but I was moved to tears by the first African American president of the U.S.
Visions of the past filled my eyes. The sound of slaves singing "let my people go". Slaves in the USA who prayed to the G-d who freed the Hebrew slaves from Egypt singing "Let my people go".
Wow!
And I thought about how it was to be black even up to the 1960's. If you wanted to take a road trip across the USA you had to drive straight through or sleep in the car.You couldn't stop at a rest stop, stay in a motel.
Sometimes it was "separate and unequal" other times "whites only" baby.
And in Florida you couldn't just go to any ole beach-uh uh. Crandon Park was THE black beach,for the Miami area. Imagine that!
And some of these people who went in through the back entrance, sat at the back of the bus, drank at the "colored" water fountains are alive to see the first black president.
Wow!
And I am so proud that MOST of the Jewish people here voted for Obama. That there are Jews who are not just narrowly concerned about ourselves but who can open their hearts and rejoice for others as well.
I read somewhere that the leading rabbi's said it's up to us whether the Obama presidency will be good for Israel and the Jewish people- that we should pray. SO I'm praying, not only for us but for all the world.
Am Yisrael Chai!

Shiloh said...

Hussein Obama will be responsible for a time of trouble never seen before for Israel. Shame on the leftist galut Jews who voted for him. Such chilul haShem. Louis Farakan (spelling ?) calls him the "Messiah". Wake up people!!! Akiva, that faith and prayer in this last gaza war will be like kindergarden to what we will need shortly. It will get bad rather quickly.

Anonymous said...

It was mind numbing. Fluff and stuff. What's that line from Macbeth, is it? "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." I honestly think they've been working so hard to build this guy up that they'll take him out, like they did MLK and JFK, to whom they've been comparing him ad nauseum. Before or after they bury him, I strongly suspect that Biden will be replaced by Sec. of State Clinton and we'll see her take center seat in due course. Think of everything they can cake walk through both Houses in honor of our fallen, first Afro-American president. It's a proven fact. Dead fallen heroes get budgets and legislation rubber stamped and pushed through faster than living icons or even dictators. I could be wrong though. We'll have to wait and see.

Izzy said...

Shiloh, I'm not an Obama supporter... but I have to ask this... So according to what you have said, the USA did not pick the right person to lead the country because he might bring conflict to Israel? Is that all that matters? Where is your faith? Have you no trust that Hashem is in control and is the Ultimate Power? Akiva said right at the end of his post.

Wake up people!!! Akiva, that faith and prayer in this last gaza war will be like kindergarden to what we will need shortly. It will get bad rather quickly.

Need shortly?? We need that now!! Hello? America is wounded and bleeding already... and the situation in Israel, and the rest of the planet isn't getting any better. How bad does it need to get before we put all our faith and prayers to the One and Only who could stop time, if He so wishes?

Elisheva said...

Shmomama the revolting.
WEll, guys I hate to remind you, but Shmomama is only reading what the speechwriters give him. Those are not his words.
He has Jews working for him, and they can give him nice Jewish stuff to say.
Personally, I find him so thoroughly revolting that I cannot even bring myself to look at his picture, nor at single video or him, nor to listen to anything he says - literally.
He has a handler, and is good at following directions.
My advice is not to listen to what he says, but look into his eyes [if you can stomach it - I cannot.].

Shiloh said...

Izzy, yes, that is all that matters. Israel and Yehudim! The rest are nothing but support actors in the play. HaShem is in control, of course, He will make America incredibly arrogant, making life terrible on Israel. Then it will change.

Neshama said...

This is the most memorable moment of the inaugural day to some:
" New prez does 'The Bump' "

:-)

Anonymous said...

a

Anonymous said...

The vitriolic, blind hatred of the Obamaphobes, based on nothing but conspiracy theories, is the real chillul hashem. Judge everyone favorably: that's a foundation of our faith. Let's pray for the best, and see what he actually does.

People should be careful not to make facile predictions of the future. Just because some "mekubal" said it doesn't mean it will happen. As Rabbi bar Tzadok has written, we should assume those who talk don't know, and those who know don't talk.

SHMOMAMAPHILES POSE RISK said...

SAY NO TO SHMOMAMAPHILES!!
Shmomamaphiles are a clear and present danger. Telling us not to warn about a burning building? Not to get out?
Anyone who has actually done research on Shmomama knows that he had lunch with Edward Said.
Photo available on line.
That said, I am revolted by him due to having picked up on his inner self, so to speak.
And this comment is a put down on the Sages, and counts as heresy:
"those who talk don't know, and those who know don't talk."
If RBT did actually write that, he cannot possibly be a worthy source of torah or other information.
Further, how foolish to say it - According to the position you state, if someone warns you that there is a fire, or an incoming rocket, you are to not believe him.
Is this just plain stupid and irrational or not?

Anonymous said...

Judge for yourself:

http://koshertorah.com/PDF/messianic.pdf

I don't agree that by looking at the facts you can tell Obama will be bad for Israel. Just because you've had a conversation with someone doesn't mean you accept their point of view.

Nor do I think it's stupid or irrational to be skeptical about doom-and-gloom predictions based on little or no evidence and wild speculation. For a similar view, see this Breslover settler rabbi (from Yeshivat Bat Ayin):

http://asimplejew.blogspot.com/2008/11/guest-posting-by-rabbi-ozer-bergman.html

So if anyone who anyone thinks of as a "sage" makes a prediction about the future, we're not allowed to disagree with it or refuse it accept it wholeheartedly? Given all the Torah sources discouraging the prediction of the future and messianic speculation, I don't think this is right.

Neshama said...

Let's pretend for a moment:

If Ahmed from Gaza said this: "We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."

WHAT WOULD YOU THINK?

The quote is actually something BHO said after taking the oath of the USofA.

Shiloh said...

Anon, therefore his (pdf document) logic of not speaking means he knows. He knows jack nothing. There was prophecy that happened that he in all his great ramblins was not a part of, nor was advised. There is a certain group of individuals who will be blinded, and he is one in that group. The train cannot be stopped, and the ONE has his part to play.

koby said...

mishle 21
proverbs

"like streams of water is the heart of a king in the hand of HaShem, wherever He wishes, so He directs it".

SHMOMAMAPHILES ARE ANTI-RATIONAL said...

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?...>
"I don't agree that by looking at the facts you can tell Obama will be bad for Israel."
SO, FOR YOU FACTS ARE NOT RELEVANT? YOU PREFER FANTASY AND DREAMS?
AND THIS -->
"Just because you've had a conversation with someone doesn't mean you accept their point of view."
<-- WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
SO AFTER YOU SAY FORGET ABOUT FACTS, BE IRRATIONAL, NOW YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE, THEREIN MIXING UP AND REVERSING WHO SAID WHAT?!
IT IS YOU WHO SAID BE IRRATIONAL
AND WHO IS MAKING PREDICTIONS.
"Nor do I think it's stupid or irrational to be skeptical about doom-and-gloom predictions based on little or no evidence and wild speculation."
< -- WHAT I HAVE SAID IS THAT I FIND SHMOMAMA REVOLTING, ON A DEEP LEVEL. SORT OF LIKE A VAMPIRE OR OTHER SUCH EVIL BEING.

Anonymous said...

First there was Smolmert, and Gog Bush who in fact was predicted to be the last president of the United States.

Now there's "Shmomama"

The rants about Shmomamaphiles do not belong on this articulate and intelligent blog. They cause this blog to loose credibility.

...and the rants are somewhat disturbing if the poster really believes them. Or is it a joke? I hope so.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid it's not a joke, so I'll respond. No, I think that by looking at the facts as a whole (not a couple isolated factoids and speculation based on them) you can believe that Obama is what he says he is, which is a mainstream US politician who supports Israel, though not without (as with previous presidents) promoting some kind of (no good) peace process.

OK, you have a deep feeling of disgust for Obama, but millions of Republicans also feel that way, just as hundreds of millions of people throughout the world felt the same way about Bush. Your disgust doesn't mean you've tapped into something profound.

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