Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Airborne Rabbis Fight Off Swine Flu

(Video removed because it auto-plays. See it at the link.)

BBC:
A group of rabbis and Jewish mystics have taken to the skies over Israel, praying and blowing ceremonial trumpets to ward off swine flu.

About 50 religious leaders circled over the country on Monday, chanting prayers and blowing the horns called "shofars".

The flight's aim was "to stop the pandemic so people will stop dying from it," Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri was quoted as saying in Yedioth Aharanot newspaper.

The flu is often referred to as H1N1 in Israel, where pigs are seen as unclean.


While these are crazier-than-average Orthodox Jews, I can't say the scene looks much different from the average prayer service at my yeshiva in Israel... except for the plane, of course.

Sometimes 60 seconds of video speaks louder than volumes of intellectual argument.

14 comments:

J said...

Balaam lives and he is a flying kabbalist.

Holy Hyrax said...

Ok, so it looks odd, but really, is there something immoral to their behaivor that needs to be so prodded? They are trying to help in the manner that they know best and believe in. That should at least be applauded.

Jewish Atheist said...

HH:

Nobody's saying it's immoral. It's just crazy, is all. Like Orthodox Judaism in general, just more obviously.

Orthoprax said...

Yes, H1N1, killer of ~2000 people worldwide. I just gotta say, if you're going to rent a plane to fly around praying for the end of one particular disease there are so many better options on the list.

Geonite said...

At least they weren't beheading or stoning anyone.

I'm surprised they didn't say that swine flu is the result of Jews raising pigs and eating pork.

Margo said...

Thanks for the laugh :D
Also, HH, even if they really do think it'll help, once they're up there, why don't they fly over the whole world, or at least a couple other countries? Why didn't they do this for all the other ills of the world? Why not for the AIDS epidemic, why not for the Darfur genocide, why don't they come fly over America and help us out of this recession? If this is such a great healing tool that they have, I think it behooves them to share it with the world.

Holy Hyrax said...

Also, HH, even if they really do think it'll help, once they're up there, why don't they fly over the whole world, or at least a couple other countries? Why didn't they do this for all the other ills of the world? Why not for the AIDS epidemic, why not for the Darfur genocide, why don't they come fly over America and help us out of this recession? If this is such a great healing tool that they have, I think it behooves them to share it with the world.

why this? why that? why this? why that? Endless whys, and if it wasn't endless we would find ways to make it endless. Just take it as a nice gesture of wanting to help in something in a way they believe and thats all.

Geonite said...

Here's what bothers me about this post.

I live in New Mexico and I see the natives here try very hard to preserve their traditions and I admire them for doing it. They have a beautiful culture and I think it is worth preserving. Their youth isn't very interested and that's very disheartening.

I can see the analogies of what the natives are gong through and us. We have an ancient culture that deserves to be preserved. irrespective of whether God exists or not.

When I first came to the conclusion that God does not exist I threw off everything that had to do with Judaism. I was uninterested and scornful and disrespectful. Over time I have learned to respect the ways and traditions as a cultural aspect of my identity. I think that's worth something.

Anonymous said...

HH,

Let's be honest here. These people are trying to make a buck, and are choosing a desease which isn't harming many people. It's like the guys in India who sacrificed some goats after a plane crash when the mechanics fixed them.

There is nothing "religious" or "orthodox" about this.

This is akin to the "scientists" who sell Magnetic bracelets to cure you of cancer. (there isn't any science behind it either)

Holy Hyrax said...

Their trying to make a buck? What buck?

Anonymous said...

The buck they make when people come to them saying, "I was told you were one of those who protected us from swine flu, well can you protect me from xyz?"

Holy Hyrax said...

OH please, way a go to creating some sort of scenerio that doesn't exist just so you can rip at them for another reason.

Anonymous said...

I am astounded that you think this is actually some sort of Jewish practice based on any sort of Jewish sources.

This is exactly how these sort of people work.

Anonymous said...

Do a google search for Yitzhak Batzri.