05 Dec, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

Last Thursday, President Trump announced that he and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-29 and he was subsequently admitted to Walter Reed Hospital. One rabbi in Israel noted the compelling similarities connecting Trump’s illness with King Hezekiah’s both coming at a critical historical juncture.

Rabbi Greenbaum: Trump is Like King Hezekiah

Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, director of the Azamra Institute, made this compelling comparison.

“King Hezekiah got sick later in life when Sanherib threatened to take over all of Israel,” Rabbi Greenbaum noted. “Hezekiah was standing between the Torah and Sanherib so it was absolutely critical that he stand firm. Particularly since there was a majority of the Jews who were against him and wanted to open the gates of Jerusalem and allow Sanherib in. They were led by Shebna, the royal steward, who had an enormous popular following.”

Deep State

Rabbi Greenbaum noted that this is very much the political situation today.

“Shebna was, in his time, like the deep state is today,” Rabbi Greenbaum said. “Hezekiah was the legitimate king of Judah and Shebna was working from within to erode the king’s rule. Trump is unquestionably the legitimate president of the United States and in a disturbing and unprecedented manner, there are powers within the government that are working against him. This is not Democracy at work. The opposition is, in fact, taking away the people’s power of choice, usurping the voice of the populace and replacing it with their own.”

The rabbi noted that not only is this ‘deep state’ anti-democracy, but it also opposes the state it claims to represent.

“In the Talmud, it is taught that Shebna was basically treasonous. He was conspiring with Snaherib to bring about a new world order. This is precisely like Biden and Hillary Clinton trying to sell America out to China. Sanherib was trying to take over the world and that is what China is trying to do today. Sanherib wanted to have a world empire and the only one standing between him and achieving this was Hezekiah, just as today, the only one standing between China and a world empire is Trump. Like Hezekiah, Trump is standing for Jerusalem and truth. Like Hezekiah againstSanherib, if Trump goes, that is it; the deep state will win.”

Rabbi Greenbaum compared the recent frenetic political period to the Biblical story of Queen Esther.

“The timing of Trump’s illness and of the last six months is like the story of Purim,” Rabbi Greenbaum said. “Every day, there is a whole new twist and it is all incomprehensible. What we thought we knew yesterday is no longer relevant. Something that looked horrible is actually good and vice versa. But it is all God’s plan.”

The Power of Prayer

One bright point of the president’s illness was the prayer vigils held for his benefit.

“Hezekiah was healed through prayer while Sanherib went back to Ashur and was killed by his sons. Perhaps the entire point of his getting sick was to bring the people to pray. The same is true of Trump. It was beautiful that his illness brought people together in prayer. There were even rabbis and Jews praying for him in Israel.”

“The Midrash calls Sanherib, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nimrod ‘cosmocratic’. This comes from the Greek for ‘ruling the universe.’ They sought to take the rule over the universe away from God. This is what the Democrats want to do; negate the creation and usurp God’s rule.”

Academics generally associate cosmocratic ideas with Marxism. Dennis Overbue, a priominet science writer, postulated that “Marxist cosmocratic ideas have been moved to the dumping ground of the history and replaced by “technocratic” beliefs of the current Chinese ruling elite.”

Gog and the Messiah: A Missed Opportunity

Rabbi Greenbaum noted that the story of Hezekiah’s illness and recovery at the height of the siege was recounted three times in the Bible: in Melachim 2, Isaiah, Chronicles 2, underlining its importance.

“The Talmud in Sanhedrin stated that God wanted Sanherib to be Gog and Hezekiah to be Mashiach (Messiah). But when Hezekiah failed to sing after the miracle, God put off the Messiah. This underlines the Gog-Magog connection.”

Unity the Key

Rabbi Greenbaum emphasized that he did not favor any candidate or party.

“I only pray that truth will prevail and that this brings everyone closer to God,” 

Social separation and quarantine may be a way of forcing us to do what is called in Jewish practice Hitbodedut (solitary mediation). The message is that we need tshuva (repentance). Whoever wins it will be a difficult situation and getting through that will require a lot of prayer.”

This period of separation makes people more aware of the need for connection with their fellow man. When we come back together, we will be more aware of how we treat each other.”

The rabbi cited a verse in Isaiah:

But a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Yishai, A twig shall sprout from his stock. Isaiah 11:1 

The idea behind this verse, of that entire chapter, is that opposites can coexist and are actually codependent on each other. We need the left and the right. This is a prerequisite for the final redemption. In the end of days there will be peace, not because we are all the same, but because we will see that we need each other because  of our differences. 

We are seeing this now in the Abraham Accords that brought together Israel with Arab nations. Trump has the ability to bring together opposites. He sits with North Korea. Obama, Clinton, and Biden sow division, even among people who should be together.