February 20, 2013 | 9:10 am
Here's a short bit from an IHT-NYT cloumn I wrote about King Herod and the recent excitement around him in the holy land-
Herod’s sudden popularity is somewhat strange, but it is not incomprehensible. As one commentator observed, Herod, unlike most Jewish heroes, gives the People of the Book an opportunity to also be the people of the stone, with temples and palaces like other nations.
He also gives Israelis a monarchical legacy more like the ones we read about in other peoples’ history books. Herod isn’t a Biblical king from whose story morality lessons are drawn. He is as manipulative as King David, but we don’t much care and don’t feel the need to explain his actions away. He might be as evil as King Ahab or Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, but since he doesn’t incur the wrath of God, his behavior isn’t much of a cautionary tale.
Herod is just a regular king. He rebuilt the Temple without being a great Jewish leader. Although he killed rabbis, he wasn’t punished for it. He is a king Jewish Israelis can discuss without having to struggle with our heritage or our Jewish identity or our relations with the divine. Herod is purely historical entertainment- ours.
You can read the whole thing right here. Enjoy...
5.24.13 at 12:03 pm | Another episode of our series of weekly video. . .
5.24.13 at 4:04 am | We bring you a daily round-up of the interesting. . .
5.23.13 at 6:42 am | A lot of the people involved in the Women of the. . .
5.23.13 at 3:25 am | Headlines & Reads: Clashes in Lebanon Intensify,. . .
5.22.13 at 9:58 am | Once Eric Garcetti is sworn in, the mayors of. . .
5.22.13 at 3:31 am | Headlines & Reads: US Senate Committee Backs. . .
5.17.13 at 3:28 am | Headlines & Reads: Mass Ultra-Orthodox Protests. . . (545)
5.22.13 at 9:58 am | Once Eric Garcetti is sworn in, the mayors of. . . (524)
5.19.13 at 7:55 am | The election race for Chief Rabbi is Israeli. . . (213)
We welcome your feedback.
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.
Jewish Ideas Daily
NY Jewish Week
Public Policy Polling
Sabato’s Crystal Ball
The Cook Report
The Jewish Channel
The Jewish Forward
The Monkey Cage
The Washington Institute for NE Policy
Walter Russell Mead