Still Looking for that Word
Shapira speaks here on Isaiah 9:5 (6).
Here is what I have posted on the subject:
Make your own judgment.
You may find the following facts useful:
1) Shapira himself (yes, the one with “encyclopedic knowledge”) complains in his book that the Targum does not see this passage as a Messianic prophecy (page 145).
2) Contrary to Shapira’s assertion, the Talmud twice explains this passage in reference to King Hezekiah (Shabbat 55, Sanhedrin 94).
3) Contrary to Shapira’s assertion, the Vilna Gaon explicitly says that this passage is talking about Hezekiah. Shapira creates one of his “connections” and he arrives at the conclusion that the Vilna Gaon understood that the passage is speaking of the Messiah. But the Vilna Gaon himself did not arrive at the same conclusion. This should tell you just how reliable Shapira’s “connections” are.
4) The commentators who explain that the prophecies could potentially have been fulfilled by Hezekiah but ultimately will be fulfilled in Messiah obviously did not see a divine Messiah in this passage. No one, not even Shapira, believes that Hezekiah could “potentially” have been divine.
5) Rashi, Radak, Ibn Ezra, Mahari Kara, Metzudat David and Malbim (all of the standard commentaries printed in the typical Jewish study Bible) explain this verse in reference to King Hezekiah.
So why am I still looking for the word? You see, I pointed out to Shapira (in “The School of Matthew”) that the phrase “Almaya Meshicha” is meaningless. The word “Almaya” is the last word in one phrase while the word “Meshicha” is the first word in the next phrase. Shapira simply missed a critical comma in the text. Yet in this video he goes ahead and proudly makes the same ridiculous mistake again.
Shapira had to outdo himself. He quotes from the tractate “Masechet Zuta” (approx. at the 16:30 mark). There is no such tractate. There is a tractate with a similar name which is probably what confused Shapira here. But there is one thing that Shapira keeps confirming time and again. And that is that he is completely unfamiliar with the basics of rabbinic literature.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
‘Daydreaming’… Kohelet 5:6 / Ecclesiastes 5:7. That chapter warns every one of us though.
Dina, I finally get it… it may seem cruel to put down the person along with his works, since he attached himself so much to them, but it is the responsibility of the Jewish people to express the shame that comes from accepting and teaching these kinds of things. This kind of thing is NOT Jewish, and while the Jewish sensitivity to God will continue, these teachings and those to cling to them will be left behind in shame for the embarrassment of being so wrong about things so precious, and for the damage done in the lives of people who followed them. If Jews did not articulate that shame in each generation by attacking those who speak like this, however sincerely (while leaving the door wide open for them to come into light, humbly, along with the community) then they would be letting go of their testimony towards the world through history.
Whether or not people can understand that worshiping Yeshua or anyone else is antithetical to Torah and goodness, destructive, poisonous, and shameful to teach others, Jews need to keep saying so. Even if people think it is precious rather than shameful, they may take their own time to realise or may never realise, but the voice for seeing things differently is a huge gift from the Jews to the nations, in each period of time. Even for Tzahi, the force of the message against him is a gift of the clarity of the true message, if he can and will hear it.
There is still a danger of mindless bloodlust or arrogant, ugly mocking… perhaps even more so. But shaming and mocking something in order to keep very clear the testimony of Israel about God’s relationship with our world is not only appropriate, but often literally a responsibility. And Christianity is a uniquely bad heresy… since when is the Jewish identity associated with worshiping something in nature? It is basically important to be harsh with one hand, and to show the richness of the light with the other…
I learnt those things from Rabbi Yisroel and have come to resonate with them a lot in the past couple of days.
Of course… remembering even more the compassion that is shown to us every day.