Tuesday, March 19, 2019

trump and purim


t’s a typical morning segment on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, late in 2016. The controversial Access Hollywood tapes, on which then-candidate Donald Trump can be heard boasting about grabbing women by the genitals, have just been released.
Standing on a sunny street, reporter Chris Mitchell says, “Christians are divided about what to do on Donald Trump.”
Some want to abandon him, he says. Others want to stand with him. But others, he says, are wondering: Does Trump have a “biblical mandate” to become president?
Mitchell runs swiftly through the first two options, citing both a condemnation of Trump and an endorsement by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson. But it’s the third option — that God himself has chosen Trump to be president — that Mitchell focuses on.
Evangelical thinker Lance Wallnau then gives Mitchell his take: Trump is a “modern-day Cyrus,” an ancient Persian king chosen by God to “navigate in chaos.”
Mitchell notes that some evangelicals disagree but does not name or cite them. Instead, he cites the growing threat of China, Russia, and Iran, before Wallnau concludes, “America’s going to have a challenge either way. With Trump, I believe we have a Cyrus to navigate through the storm.”
The comparison comes up frequently in the evangelical world. Many evangelical speakers and media outlets compare Trump to Cyrus, a historical Persian king who, in the sixth century BCE, conquered Babylon and ended the Babylonian captivity, a period during which Israelites had been forcibly resettled in exile. This allowed Jews to return to the area now known as Israel and build a temple in Jerusalem. Cyrus is referenced most prominently in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, in which he appears as a figure of deliverance.
That comparison has become more and more explicit in the wake of Trump’s presidency. Last week, an Israeli organization, the Mikdash Educational Center, minted a commemorative “Temple Coin” depicting Trump and Cyrus side by side, in honor of Trump’s decision to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It was among the most brazen, public links between Trump and Cyrus; one that takes the years of subtext running through outlets like Christian Broadcasting Network and, quite literally, sealed the comparison.
Monday, however, an even higher-profile figure linked Trump and Cyrus. During his visit to Washington, DC, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu heavily implied Trump was Cyrus’s spiritual heir. Thanking Trump for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, “We remember the proclamation of the great King Cyrus the Great — Persian King. Twenty-five hundred years ago, he proclaimed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon can come back and rebuild our temple in Jerusalem...And we remember how a few weeks ago, President Donald J. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Mr. President, this will be remembered by our people throughout the ages.”
While Cyrus is not Jewish and does not worship the God of Israel, he is nevertheless portrayed in Isaiah as an instrument of God — an unwitting conduit through which God effects his divine plan for history. Cyrus is, therefore, the archetype of the unlikely “vessel”: someone God has chosen for an important historical purpose, despite not looking like — or having the religious character of — an obvious man of God.
For believers who subscribe to this account, Cyrus is a perfect historical antecedent to explain Trump’s presidency: a nonbeliever who nevertheless served as a vessel for divine interest.
For these leaders, the biblical account of Cyrus allows them to develop a “vessel theology” around Donald Trump, one that allows them to reconcile his personal history of womanizing and alleged sexual assault with what they see as his divinely ordained purpose to restore a Christian America.
“I think in some ways this is a kind of baptism of Donald Trump,” says John Fea, a professor of evangelical history at Messiah College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “It’s the theopolitical version of money laundering, taking Scripture to … clean [up] your candidate.”
This framing allows for the creation of Trump as a viable evangelical candidate regardless of his personal beliefs or actions. It allows evangelical leaders, and to a lesser extent ordinary evangelicals, to provide a compelling narrative for their support for him that transcends the mere pragmatic fact that he is a Republican. Instead of having to justify their views of Trump’s controversial past, including reports of sexual misconduct and adultery, the evangelical establishment can say Trump’s presidency was arranged by God, and thus legitimize their support for him — a support that has begun to divide ordinary evangelicals and create a kind of “schism.”


  1. Kalonymus AnonymusMarch 20, 2019 at 12:04 AM

    Jared's sister in law (giyoret)


  2. I support Trump and Netanyahu. Trump is a normal man with a יצר הרע. Now, with a good wife, Trump’s past episodes with bad women are irrelevant. Netanyahu has a good wife, Sarah. Netanyahu and Sarah’s alleged crimes are irrelevant. There are no proofs of crimes of Trump and Netanyahu, ב"ה.

  3. so it is irrelevant that trump was involved with porn stars during his present marriage a number of months after they had a son!???!

  4. Daas Torah Mod says “so it is irrelevant that trump was involved with porn stars during his present marriage a number of months after they had a son”
    Of course it’s bad to be involved with porn stars for a married man (with a son). Is this a crime ? crime = an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.
    I’m happy to tell just now on https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/18-7160.html
    Mar 20 2019 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 4/12/2019.
    Meaning that the judges will vote, yes or no on my petition on 4/12/2019.
    I say that, thank God, that Trump and Netanyahu are decent fellows, innocent of any crime. Thank God the US and Israel are decent societies where gang rapes, adultery and such are rare. Women’s rights are truly respected, most generally, today in israel and in the US. May this be to the merit of Israel and the US before God. Happy Purim.

  5. Kalonymus AnonymusMarch 20, 2019 at 9:46 PM

    I was writing about his mechutan,. Both brothers have good taste in good looking women (conversion candidates).

  6. Kalonymus AnonymusMarch 22, 2019 at 2:36 AM

    You see, even the early Zionists would celebrate Purim in Tel Aviv -

    this is an important festival, so even the chilonim are not chilonim, and they still celebrate today.



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