The last two chapters of The Book of Revelation (21 and 22), otherwise known as the Apocalypse, form the climax of the New Testament. The early Church Fathers believed it was written by John the Apostle, author of the Fourth Gospel, but this is now disputed.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
— The Book of Revelation, 22: 1-2
VIDEO : 8.32 mins
‘I went to Rome and Found Jerusalem’
ed note–underscoring yet again how integral to understanding the present situation the entire Rome/Judea paradigm is.
Times of Israel
Sometimes, you encounter Jerusalem in absentia.
It happened to me once. I was walking through the Pantheon in Rome.
The ceiling curved above me, the gilded walls loomed all around me, and I knew that I was supposed to look up at that marvel of Roman architecture, and feel awed.
But I didn’t feel awe.
I didn’t feel admiration.
I looked at that beautiful building, and laughed.
The emperor who commissioned the Pantheon — Emperor Hadrian — ordered the execution of one of our greatest sages, Rabbi Akiva.
Rabbi Akiva supported Bar Kochva’s rebellion and the bid for Jewish independence.
Bar Kochva lost.
Rabbi Akiva was executed.
Or did he?
I looked around again at that glorious relic, that beautiful monument to Hadrian’s grandeur. And all I saw were dead stones and dusty, stale accomplishment. But when I closed my eyes I saw Jerusalem, where Rabbi Akiva’s heritage is still very much alive.
I saw children reciting the prayer “Sh’ma Israel” in their classrooms. Rabbi Akiva uttered the same prayer with his last breath. Jerusalem’s children are repeating it in the mornings, as they embark on new adventures and harbor new dreams.
I saw Poetry Slams where sophisticated young Jerusalemites mention Rabbi Akiva’s sayings, finding new meaning in his ancient words.
I saw young mothers inspiring their children to live by Rabbi Akiva’s edict that you should “love your friend as yourself, this is the most important rule in the Torah,” by taking them to volunteer in Jerusalem’s hospitals. I saw the same children giving up their seats on the bus to let a pregnant women sit comfortably. And I saw the same pregnant woman helping an elderly Russian-speaker step onto the curb.
I saw the descendants of Rabbi Akiva’s generation shopping for groceries in the shuk and eating falafel downtown and dancing in Safra Square on Independence Day.
I saw the dream of Jewish sovereignty, the very dream which Rabbi Akiva championed and died for, come to life.
The Roman empire crashed the Bar Kochva rebellion. But it didn’t crash the spirit that inspired it. It didn’t crash what Rabbi Akiva stood for in his life.
“Sorry, Hadrian,” I whispered to the gilded walls when I opened my eyes. “This building sure is nice, but you lost.”
And then I walked out of the Pantheon, humming “Na na banana” under my breath.
Hours Before Being Fired, James Comey Gave “We are In Love with You” Speech to the ADL
May 11, 2017
My hope-o-meter is starting to get a wee bit perky.
As it just so happens, the day before the Comey firing, the man had given a literal “I love you” speech to the ADL.
I wish a full transcript was available (I have no idea who they imagine has the time to sit around and listen to a 23 minute YouTube clip, even on double speed).
But as your faithful servant, I will transcribe a few bits.
I last spoke to you, it was spring of 2014, and I was 7 months into this job. It seems like a lifetime ago [transcript of that speech]. I was, I think, taller then. When I spoke to you three years ago, I sang your praises. I sang your praises and highlighted the way you fight for inclusivity and diversity, highlighted the way you fight for equality and justice. And I did that because at the time I described yours as an organization that works with us to fight hate crime, to fight terrorism, to educate law enforcement, to build bonds of trust with important communities all across the country.
I labeled that speech three years ago “a love letter to the ADL.” Three years later I can say, from the perspective of the FBI: we are still in love with you.
And I wanna spend some time today explaining why we still love you, but first let me express a regret, which is as much as we love you, we’ve been spending way too much time together lately. I think we’d all be happier if we were having meetings that were fewer and far between. If we had no need to investigate hate crime, no need to share information about pending terrorist threats, no need to educate kids or community leaders or cops about bigotry and prejudice.
It’s been challenging the last few months. Together, we have dealt with bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and schools, the vandalism of Jewish cemetaries, the racially motivated shooting of two Indian immigrants. We have met together to talk about swastikas painted on synagogues and subway signs, a transgender woman attacked in her own home, a noose sent to an African American attorney.
In your line of work and in ours, we see a lot of people filled with hate. Some of those people will sit quietly, simmering and stewing in their own bitterness. Some will shout about it to anyone who will listen, ever hopeful that maybe their hate will attract hate. And while we can try to illuminate and educate those people who are sitting there simmering, some will always be trapped in that “starless midnight” that Martin Luther King wrote about so many years ago.
We have to ask ourselves: are people emboldened by divisive rhetoric? Are there simply more opportunities to instill fear and intimidation today than ever before? Do the ways in which we now communicate, often anonymously and from a great distance, offer license to those who want to hate, who want to discriminate, who want to poison?
I’m on twitter. I am not a tweeter. I am there to listen, to read, especially, what is being said about the FBI and its mission.
It is free speech. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to agree with it, but we will protect it, because it is the bedrock of this great country. That we can believe and say what we want. No matter how distasteful and how disruptive.
But there are others more worrisome to everyone in this room. Those are the ones who stop talking about who they hate and what they hate so much and start acting on that hate. You know all too well that in a heartbeat words can turn to violence. Because hate doesn’t remain static too often … can grow into something far more dangerous.
Sometimes, too often, hate becomes hate crime. So we have to do everything in our power to stop those people who move from stewing to acting.
I believe the Holocaust is the most significant event in human history. And I mean significant because it was the most horrific display of inhumanity imaginable, one that simply defies words, and I believe challenges meaning.
How could such a thing happen? How is that consisetent in any way with the concept of a loving God?
I also believe the Holocaust was the most significant event in history for a second reason … it was also the most horrific display of our humanity imaginable. A display of our true capacity for evil … and that’s the reason we require every FBI agent and agent in training to come to the Holocaust museum: because we want them to learn about the abuse of power on a breathtaking scale.
And so I close my letter, three years later: “Love, the FBI.”
The redacted parts are all just pure fellatio.
I mean, I have never seen a man bow down to Jews like this.
A lot of this was about us – hints about twitter and free speech.
And some of it was about Trump.
It is very difficult to believe it is a coincidence that this happened the day before his firing.
He gave them two speeches in three years.
We should also note that the Trump flip happened not long after the ADL’s fake prank calls from Israel – which Comey mentioned in his speech as though they were real – were exposed.
I don’t know what is going on.
No one knows what’s going on.
But my feeling of what is going on is getting better and better.
If Kushner is fired, and the policies are reversed back to where they were (the wall can simply be ordered built without congress) I pledge to forgive, on the assumption that Trump was held hostage and has just broken free somehow.
But I refuse to engage in the audacity of hope.
It’s going to be an interesting next few days.
I can promise you that.