Culture, Identity, Mishegas, Religion

Shabbtai Tzvi Lives!

Eddie Long, a Georgia based mega-church preacher, has been crowned king… Yup, you read right. Crowned king. King of what? Damned if I know. He was crowned king by “Rabbi” Ralph Messer, a self-indulged so-called Messianic Jew (but even the Messianic Jews have disavowed him, now that takes talent) led this obscene ritual at New Birth Missionary Baptist in Lithonia, GA. Videos abound on the web, I didn’t want to give one another view.
Long has claimed ignorance and that he meant no offense. Eddie Long was in the news a couple years ago accused of sexual abuse.
The “rabbi” who conducted this grandiose show claimed that the Torah scroll used to enwrap Long in during the ceremony was saved from Aushwitz-Birkenau; an unlikely factoid considering how difficult it would have been to hide a Torah scroll in those circumstances, but that does not prevent him from abusing the memory of those who perished in the Shoah, claiming that “the dust” may still be on the scroll. The whole thing just reeks of showmanship, grandiosity and the worst forms of appropriation.
Bill Nigut of the Anti-Defamation League took Messer, Long and the whole affair to task calling it a “fake Jewish ritual.” That is generous, IMHO. Others have chimed in with their own condemnations.
One cannot help but be reminded of Shabbtai Tzvi and other false messiahs.
On the one hand, it’s hard not to laugh at this kind of nonsense; on the other hand it’s hard not to vomit.

5 thoughts on “Shabbtai Tzvi Lives!

  1. Though false messiah, at least Tzvi knew about the Jewish faith of which he preached. He was steeped in it. Long is not even that.
    The bigger question is how this would look if Jews were desecrating Christian ritual objects. There’d be blood in the streets. Cuz you know, host desecration has never been something our people were ever (wrongly) accused of, so what would we know about it? But go on, use our Torah, creep…

  2. that’s a GREAT point, adam. one thing, though, at least if we take his word at face value, long claims that messer was the architect of the ritual and that long, himself, did not realize it would be offensive…

  3. @Adam, actually there’s all sorts of artwork in the contemporary Western world desecrating Christian symbols and objects. I’m not aware of any violence in response.
    I don’t think this really qualifies as false messiah-ship since Long’s doctrines and actions are wholly outside of Judaism (aside from some garish attempts at appropriated symbology). His absence of involvement with Judaism renders his activity Jewishly meaningless. The whole thing looks like such a circus that I can’t bother being offended.

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