An ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Israel is concerned that gays are responsible for bringing the bird flu to his country.
Rabbi David Batzri, head of the Magen David Yeshiva in Jerusalem, seems worried about not only the plight of chickens affecting the food chain, but also the specter of further plagues to be visited upon the land if those in power ignore his edicts.
Batzri thinks God has a system for such maladies, first its animals and then it’s people. And the people plague may be coming soon.
“The bible says that God punishes depravity first through plagues against animals and then in people,” said the rabbi.
Is this consistent with the pattern of Passover plagues visited upon Egypt when Pharaoh didn’t let the Israelites go?
The rabbi seems to think so, but he didn’t comment about how an earlier swine flu epidemic might have fit in.
Maybe that’s because as an Orthodox rabbi he keeps kosher and isn’t particularly worried about the plight of pigs.
But with Passover coming up Batzri may be concerned there won’t be enough untainted chicken soup to go around, and what’s matzo balls without a little chicken soup?
Seriously though, Rabbi Batzri, following in the footsteps of another fundamentalist Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), consistently sees God punishing people that disagree with him. Specifically, those that oppose his religious vision for Israel, which he insists, must not include same sex marriage.
Batzri lambasted Israeli politicians that support gay marriage for “strengthening and encouraging homosexuality,” that he described as “not a disease or a deviation, but a straight-out abomination” reports 365 gay.com.
Much in the same manner Batzri invokes the Almighty, Robertson claimed that God smote Prime Minister Aerial Sharon with a stroke because he engineered the pullout from Gaza.
Robertson, like the rabbi, quoted the bible to support his religious rant, though after some bad press the preacher recanted his remarks.
Batzri also has had harsh things to say about Arabs and is a segregationist.
“The Arabs are donkeys and beasts. They want to take our girls. They are endowed with true filthiness. There is pure and there is impure and they are impure” he said. Adding, “It is forbidden to blend darkness and light. The nation of Israel is pure and the Arabs are a nation of donkeys. They are an evil disaster, an evil devil, and a nasty affliction.”
What would the rabbi think of Moses’ wife Zipporah, couldn’t she be considered Arab?
Statements like these have gotten the rabbi into trouble.
This week the state prosecutor ordered police in Israel to open a criminal investigation of the so-called “sage” whose religious edicts apparently fit within the legal description of “racist incitement” rather than the realm of biblical words of wisdom reports Haaretz.
Meanwhile Good as you.org pondered the link between the Almighty and “animal ailments.” What about “Mad Cow disease”? The Web site even suggested that there might somehow be a “phonetic link between rabbis and rabies,” well at least maybe this rabbi and his rabid racist remarks.
Which brings up an interesting conundrum, should Rabbi Batzri be quarantined?
The Israeli authorities are investigating.