בני נח לא נצטוו על השיתוף. אבל אתם יהודים, אז שתפו בכל הכוח!
Presidential Elections 2016 Tractate by R Joseph H. Prouser
Published here by the author's permission.
It is said of Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiba, and Rabbi Tarfon, that they convened for a long night’s discussion in B’nei Berak. Rabbi Akiba said: Read not “IN” B’nei Berak but “OF” B’nei Berak. That is, concerning the “Children of Barack” — thus: “They convened for a thorough discussion of all the childish (some say “puerile”) candidates aspiring (and who have aspired) to succeed President Barack Obama.
Rabbi Eliezer said: It is written in the Torah (Exodus 22:27): “Do not blaspheme, nor curse a ruler (Nasi; literally, President) of your nation.” To whom does the term Nasi apply? Whom does the Divine Author foresee becoming the President, and thus being subjected to the curses of the electorate?
Rabbi Joshua said: Ben Carson! As our Sages taught: “The very best of physicians are destined for Hell” (Kiddushin 82A).
Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said: NO! Derive it from this verse: Ben Naavat Ha-Mardut — “BEN is perverse and rebellious. I don’t know how you could possibly vote for him!!” (I Sam. 20:30).
Rabbi Akiba said: The Exodus verse anticipating our inclination to curse public officials refers to Carly Fiorina! We learn this from Hillel, who as a youth, was too poor to pay for admission to the House of Study. One Friday during the wintery month of Tevet, he climbed atop the roof to listen at the skylight to words of Torah from Shemaiah and Avtalyon. It snowed that night. On Shabbat morning, the House of Study was dark, as the skylight had been covered. When they looked up, they saw Hillel, covered by two cubits of snow. They brought him in and warmed him by the fire, saying: This one is worthy of desecrating the Sabbath in order to save him (See Yoma 35B — note: the 2017 Presidential inauguration is scheduled for a Friday in Tevet!). What did Hillel say to merit stoking the fire on Shabbat? He said: “Carly! Carly!” (Kar Li, Kar Li –literally, “I am cold! I am cold!” but prophetically referring to the former Hewlett-Packard CEO).
Rabbi Tarfon said: NO! The Exodus verse anticipating our inclination to curse public officials refers to Jeb Bush. As it is written in the Torah: “The Lord spoke from within the BUSH!” And as Moses stated: “I must turn aside and see this remarkable sight! Why isn’t this BUSH catching on?!”
Rabbi Eliezer says: Derive it from this verse of Scripture: “A friend is devoted at all times, but a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
Rabbi Joshua said: NO! The Exodus verse anticipating our inclination to curse public officials clearly refers to Donald Trump, as the Torah says: “Let us build a great tower in the city, and we shall put our name on it!”
Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said: The Exodus verse does indeed refer to Donald Trump, but we derive it from this verse: “I support construction of this wall… and all my servants will be gathered there to work on it” (Nehemiah 5:16).
Rabbi Tarfon said: Better to derive it from a verse in the Torah: “Israel saw His big hands” (Exodus 14:31).
Rabbi Eliezer observed: The sectarians and Evangelicals offer proof of the meaning of the Exodus verse from their scriptures: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the TRUMP of God” (I Thessalonians 4:16 — King James Version).
Rabbi Akiba (that is, Akiba ben Yosef) says: If the Exodus verse refers to Donald JOSEPH Trump, derive it from his Biblical namesake. As our Sages say of Joseph: “You eat and drink well! You are pre-occupied with your hair! You are a spoiled child! As you live, I shall sic a she-bear on you! At once it came to pass that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph. This is likened to the parable of a strong man who stood in the marketplace, made eyes at the women, kept combing his hair, walked with a swagger, and said: How fit I am! How well endowed I am! How strong! How handsome! He was told: If you are so strong and so fit, here is a bear — try to vanquish it!” (See Sefer Ha-Aggadah 3:96)
Rabbi Tarfon said: And who is this She-bear of whom the Sages spoke? Hillary Clinton, who was paid $675,000 for a single speech on the “bulls” and “bears” of Wall Street. As Scripture says: “A woman of valor — a worthy woman — who will find her? Her price is far above rubies.”
Rabbi Eliezer retorted: Read not “rubies.” Rather, “Her price is far above RUBIO’s.” As our Sages have taught: Klei Nechoshet MARCO — “A brazen vessel? MARCO!!” (Mishna Zevachim 11:6… Literally: “A brazen [i.e., brass] vessel is restored to ritual purity through a process of scouring.” Senator Rubio tarnished his squeaky-clean image with a series of crude insults directed at the front-runner!)
Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah proposed: The Exodus verse anticipating our inclination to curse public officials refers to Ohio Governor John Kasich, whose speaking style is a bit soporific! We may derive this from Elijah the Prophet, who mocked the false god of the prophets of Baal, as it is written in Scripture: “Shout louder! KI SIACH — Your god may be talking too much — or he may have been detained, or he may be on a journey, or perhaps he fell asleep and needs to wake up!!” (I Kings 18:27). Do not read KI SIACH… but KASICH!! (Let’s make Anagrams great again!!)
Said Rabbi Akiba: Might not the Exodus verse anticipating our inclination to curse public officials refer to former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is an Eagle Scout and author of “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For”? As it is written: “There was a great EAGLE with great wings and full plumage; and this vine now bent its roots in his direction… that it might grow branches and produce PERRY and be a noble vine!” (Ezekiel 17:7-8… “PERRY,” Hebrew — literally, “fruit”).
Hey! Hey! NO! To whom does the Exodus verse anticipating our inclination to curse public officials refer? Said Ben Bag-Bag and Ben Hei-Hei: Chris Christie! Ben Hei-Hei taught: “The reward is commensurate with the suffering” (Pirkei Avot 5:24). It was a deeply pained and conflicted Chris Christie who endorsed Trump… but he expects to be rewarded with a Cabinet post (at the very least)!
Rabbi Joshua said: NO! To whom does the Exodus verse anticipating our inclination to curse public officials refer? We need only look at the anonymous Mishna in that very same Chapter! The verse refers to the Democratic Socialist and erstwhile Kibbutz volunteer, Senator Bernie Sanders! “One who says, ‘What is mine is yours and what is yours is mine’ is an Am ha-Aretz — a spiritually diminutive ignoramus!” (Pirkei Avot 5:12).
Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said: Breathe, Joshua, breathe! NO! To whom does the Exodus verse anticipating our inclination to curse public officials refer? To the Senator (and former Solicitor General) from Texas who, as a young Supreme Court clerk to Chief Justice William Rhenquist, advocated passionately for capital punishment. This is taught in Mishna Sanhedrin — describing the procedures of the People Israel’s highest judicial authority: “a CRUZ (a judicial herald) would go out before a criminal condemned to death and declare: ‘This man has been sentenced to stoning. Anyone who has exculpatory evidence on his behalf, come and present it!’” (Mishna Sanhedrin 6:1).
Rabbi Akiba said: I agree… but derive it from this Rabbinic dictum: “He is one of three human beings thoroughly considered by the Holy One blessed be He, and adjudged by Him to be a CRUZ fit only for urine!” (Midrash Bemidbar Rabbah 20:6 — CRUZ, the Hebrew cognate source of the English term “cruse” — a small and unremarkable vessel.)
“It happened that Rabbi Joseph son of R’ Yehoshua fell ill and had a disturbing vision. When he awoke, his father asked him: ‘What did you see?’ He responded: ‘I saw the world turned upside-down. The most worthy and deserving were brought low, and the lowliest were on top!’ His father told him: ‘My son, you saw the world as it really is!’” (Pesachim 50 A).
Rabbi Joseph asked: So what is the force of our Scriptural verse: “Do not blaspheme, nor curse a ruler (Nasi; literally, President) of your nation” (Exodus 22:27)? Do not blaspheme or blame God for the poor quality of political leaders… and do not curse those unworthy leaders themselves. It is as President John F. Kennedy said: “In a democracy, every citizen, regardless of his interest in politics, ‘holds office’; everyone of us is in a position of responsibility; and, in the final analysis, the kind of government we get depends upon how we fulfill those responsibilities. We, the people, are the boss, and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve.”
What was JFK’s favorite maxim? “There are three things that are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension, so we must do what we can with the third.”