Alt Right Torah Talk: Parasha Terumah (Exodus 25:1–27:19)

This week’s Torah portion is Terumah (gifts).

* Is President Trump doing enough to combat anti-Semitism? Are Jews doing enough to combat anti-Gentilism? Anti-Semitism is a bit like not wanting trannies in your bathroom.

* This week’s Torah portion is not immediately compelling but it helps to believe that God wrote it if you want inspiration to study it. Imagine you have created a Torah state wherein citizens study the weekly Torah portion. Would non-Jews have much interest in this Torah portion? In a Torah state, non-Jewish residents would be a weakness. Anyone who didn’t study the Torah portion would be a weakness. Cohesion and strength require unity.

* The parasha starts with God saying let people give from their heart to build the sanctuary. There aren’t many instances in Torah where you just give from your heart. Normally, a donation is required whether your heart is in it or not.

* The key verse to me is 25.8: “The shall build a sanctuary for me so that I might dwell among them.” What do we build in our own lives so that God can dwell among us? There’s a different feeling when you walk by a church or a synagogue than when you walk by a liquor shop. Have you ever stepped foot in a Catholic church? It’s far more ornate, typically, than a Protestant church or synagogue. When one thinks of religious art, one thinks of Catholicism. Protestantism is all heart. Judaism and Catholicism are much more physical.

* It’s a good thing that the Jews have all the gold because they’re going to need it to build this sanctuary.

* When you step on to a Seventh-Day Adventist campus, you can feel a sense of God. There are many ways to create holiness. If you’ve done kundalini yoga, you’ve probably felt yourself touch the divine.

* Sacred space. You don’t feel the presence of God as easily at a bar as you do at a church or synagogue. When you walk into a home filled with holiness, you feel it. When you walk into a secular home, you feel that. If I walk into your home or office, am I going to feel the presence of God? If I talk to you, am I going to feel the presence of God?

* There are degrees of holiness in the Sanctuary as you approach the kadosh kadoshim (Holy of Holies). Not everything is equally holy. The Hebrew word for holy, kadosh, means separate. You can only maintain holiness with separation. Every people who wants to develop holiness needs to create separation from others, it needs to create sacred space, which is not easy when you live in a country like America that forbids freedom of association.

* What is the ideal ethno-state? I look at Torah, which makes no room for non-Jewish citizenship in the Jewish homeland of Israel. That strikes me as a good model. Japan, which is about 99% Japanese, also strikes me as a good model. Modern Israel with a 25% Arab population does not strike me as a good model, it strikes me as insufficiently an ethno-state.

* The invisible God frees the mind.

* The concepts of “sin” and “atonement” are not popular topics today.

* Casey: Well since this chapter is about the Holy of Holies, let’s talk a bit about “authority” and how it is established and recognized… I’ll read something from Kenneth Minogue. A defense of elitism — toward a defense of tyranny. High priest as benevolent dictator. What problems does that solve?–what new problems does it create? The essential hiddenness of the basis for authority. Its inaccessibility to the plebs.

* Paul: A co-founder of Black Lives Matter makes the case that “Melanin enables black skin to capture light and hold it in its memory mode which reveals that blackness converts light into knowledge. Melanin directly communicates with cosmic energy.”
So that’s why I’m so tired these days. I have white skin?

* What Steve Bannon want? Christopher Caldwell writes in the NYT:

On Thursday, at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, he described the “center core” of Trump administration philosophy as the belief that the United States is more than an economic unit in a borderless word. It is “a nation with a culture” and “a reason for being.”

* I am reading, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America: “Hiring dedicated Nazis was without precedent, entirely unprincipled, and inherently dangerous…”

by Rudyard Kipling

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.

* On the penultimate page of Tragedy, Mearsheimer warns:

Neither Wilhelmine Germany, nor imperial Japan, nor Nazi Germany, nor the Soviet Union had nearly as much latent power as the United States had during their confrontations … But if China were to become a giant Hong Kong, it would probably have somewhere on the order of four times as much latent power as the United States does, allowing China to gain a decisive military advantage over the United States.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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