Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shas’s Campaign Slogan (or, Whose Side Are You On?)

Seen on a bus several days ago: the Shas political party’s campaign slogan for the approaching elections.

The slogan, which is taken from Exodus 32:26, translates to: “Whoever is for the Lord, come here!” This was Moses’s rallying cry to the Levites after the sin of the Golden Calf, after which the Levites swept through the Israelite camp, summarily executing all those who had worshipped the idol.

I’m sure that the party’s intentions are harmless and that their use of the Biblical verse is no more than an authoritative, resonant restating of “Whoever is on God’s side, vote Shas.” Just the same, I have to admit that I find their use of this particular phrase a bit jarring. Their constituents know Hebrew and I assume they know their Bible. Didn’t they consider the context?

And that’s without even mentioning how I feel about political parties claiming that they have a direct line to God.

(By the way, here is an excellent roundup of Israel’s major political parties and their respective platforms.)

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