Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Terrible Tale of the Tzitzit

As some of you might know, months ago I contacted the Peter Popoff Ministry, a TV charlatan who claims to be doing the work of Jesus, but in reality, is practicing the exact opposite.

He is fleecing the poor and the weak and adding new Ferraris to his collection of dream cars. I'm not all that schooled in the New Testament, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

I wrote to Peter using the name Ruby Shipp, an old English teacher who used to live in my house and has been dead for more than 25 years. You would think that a man who is in constant, personal contact with the Lord would know such a thing, but clearly he doesn't.

Last week I received another letter from Peter Popoff in which he addresses me, Sister Shipp. The letter, like the ones that preceded it, included a small trinket. You might recall the Jesus Glove of Love or the Red Apron of Jesus, which was nothing more than a small patch of maroon rayon fashioned to look like a miniature apron.

But this week, the good reverend was able to get my dander up.

Because this week he included a small blue and white patch of cloth adorned by a knotted tassel (shown above). These tassels, found on Jewish prayer shawls, are called TZITZIT. Since ancient times, tzitzit have been a symbol of spiritual authority and devotion to God.

You're preaching to the choir, preacher.

I know what tzitzit are. I was introduced to them as a 12-year old attending Hebrew School. I still remember the giddy laughter that spread throughout the classroom when the rabbi gave us permission to use a word that was very close to tit-tit. Or titties. Or zit tit.

The better question is, what the hell are you doing with the tzitzit? And why are you appropriating the oddities of my religion to propagate yours?

Popoff isn't alone in this regard. Now you have Christian evangelicals making pilgrimages to Israel. You have Southern Baptists celebrating Easter and Passover. You even have born again kids tattooing their bodies with exotic looking Hebrew words.

You people need to leave our shit alone.

Mostly because all this culture thievery fuels the neo-Nazis and the conspiracists out there, who claim it's all part of a grand plan to Judaize the world.

Well it's not.

The fact is I, and I suspect most tribe members, liked it better when you didn't like us. When you called us Dirty Jews. Or Christ Killers. We liked it better when you kept us on the outside. And looked at us as oddballs. Because as underdogs, we learned to work harder and fight smarter.

It's a system has worked for 5000 years, let's not go changing that now.


Bob said...

Not to side with Christian evangelicals (or to let them near me), but there are quite a few Jesus-related sites in Israel. So the pilgrimages make sense. Celebrating Passover and getting Hebrew tattoos, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Christians are supposed to follow Torah LOL, since it's a blessing and a beautiful thing to live by, for G-d commanded it to be done for ever.