POLITICAL MEGA­LO­MA­NIA

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - LETTERS -

As a young­ster I was taught about Jer­oboam and Re­hoboam (1K12:1-24)

When the great king Solomon passed away his son Re­he­boam as­cended the throne. The peo­ple pleaded for re­lief from the heavy taxes levied by the late king to main­tain his mil­i­tary and his op­u­lent life­style.

Young Re­hoboam re­jected the coun­sel of the ex­pe­ri­enced El­ders, fool­ishly choos­ing to lis­ten to his brash young friends. His taunt­ing re­sponse, “My pinky is thicker than my fa­ther’s waste” was the trig­ger for re­bel­lion against Jer­oboam and the house of David. Jer­oboam led the ten North­ern tribes to form their own king­dom.

The rab­bis of old de­spised Jer­oboam not only for split­ting the king­dom but also for es­tab­lish­ing idol­a­try to keep the north­ern­ers from wor­ship­ing in Jerusalem.

A beautiful Ag­gadah at­trib­uted in Trac­tate San­hedrin to Rabbi Aba states: The almighty siezed Jer­oboam and pro­posed: “Re­pent! Then you and I and the son of Jesse – (his de­scen­dent) – will stroll to­gether in Eden.”

In the Ag­gadah, Jer­oboam asks “Who will be first? And the Almighty replies, “The son of Jesse.” To which Jer­oboam an­swers “Then I refuse”.

Un­til I be­came an Is­raeli voter await­ing an­other round of elec­tions, I could not un­der­tand such ego­tis­ti­cal mega­lo­ma­nia! HAYIM GRANOT Pe­tah Tikva

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