Shabbat Talmud Study: If a Strongman is Not the Answer, What is?


When Isaiah dreams of a world more perfect, where the wolf dwells with the lamb, he ties that dream to a strongman who does not decide things based on the usual evidence, who does not need spread sheets and data, but who is filled with a spirit of devotion and reverence for the Lord. He just knows.

We also saw that the desire for a strongman to fix things is also tied to a desire for him to fix things now.  Blow the shofar on Yom Kippur day, and all the intractable social and economic ills will just be solved.

We also saw that this idea of an instant solution wrought by the chosen one has a deep appeal.  The single greatest rabbi in the Talmud, Rabbi Akiva, falls prey to the strongman complex and sides with the false messiah, Bar Kochba, who leads the Jews to ruination.

If what Yehuda Kurtzer calls “Messianic Politics” do not work, what does? Tomorrow morning we will encounter what he calls “Exodus Politics.”

It does not have the problems of Messianic Politics. No strongman. No instant cure.  It has other problems, which we will see and diagnose.

Tomorrow will end with the glimmering of a solution that actually works and that empowers each of us to do something that advances our core convictions for how to create a better world.

See you tomorrow at 8:30!

Shabbat shalom,
Wes