Thursday, October 15, 2009

U) Some more reflections

Reflecting on important episodes in Israel's history, we can discern three very peculiar events:

a) The Lord redeemed his people from Egypt, and gave them the Torah, not through a learned Jewish scholar but through a Moses who was brought up in Pharaoh's court, and then resided with the Midianite priest Jethro – i.e. by outer circumstances alienated from the people of Israel yet one with them;

b) He established Jerusalem and Zion through a shepherd boy, David. One of his ancestors was Ruth the Moabite lady, a stranger with a heart for Israel;

c) He "held him (Cyrus) by his hand" and made him instrumental in freeing the Jews from Babel's captivity and in preparing for the Second Temple.

In each of these three basic events of Israel's history, outsiders played a key role in the respective unfolding.

While we know of Moses and of King David only from the records in the Tanakh, Cyrus is documented both in the Tanakh and in mundane history. He and the Persian kings after him underlined the validity of the Tanakh also in the realm of the politics of the nations, beyond the sphere of metaphysical religion. He, the Gentile king and Messiah, serves as an unsuspected witness for Israel's destiny, namely her destiny in which she is “chosen” to serve as Kingdom of Priests for the benefit of all mankind.

The three events mentioned above, show also that Israel's call is not one of her own aspirations and likings, as often alleged. In fact, she is rather passive in this respect, a passivity which is expressed even by the grammatical form of the word “chosen”. Her main activity is her faithfulness to the covenant of Abraham.

In addition to the three peculiar events mentioned above, we can evaluate as another surprising feature the fact that it is the Koran which reminds us of King Cyrus the Anointed of the Lord, as mentioned.

Let us recollect his edict:

"Thus says Cyrus King of Persia: The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.

Who is there among all his people whose God is with him, may he go up".

Cyrus proved to be a true savior of Jerusalem and of Zion as well as a model for any future savior

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