Anyway, on Jan. 29 this guy named Ralph Messer, claiming to be a rabbi, came to New Birth, wrapped Long in Holocaust scrolls and anointed him a king. Really. The 14:40 video is already going viral.
Today, an excellent article by Wil Gafney, associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia who is also an Episcopal priest, reads Long and Messer down on their religious dramatics. Way down.
Just from the first few minutes of the video, Gafney points out these outlandish lies:
• The claim that Holocaust Torahs cannot be insured “because there are no more” is patently false. They are regularly insured as are other one of a kind objects d’art, i.e. the works of Picasso.
• The Torah cover is not a “foreskin.” Hyper-masculine, hyper-sexualization of the Torah reduces the holy Torah to a problematic phallic symbol – God’s? or Long’s? – and categorizes the most destructive behaviors associated with New Birth ministries in recent years. Grammatically and symbolically, the Torah is feminine in Hebrew and is personified as “She,” as in “She is a Tree of Life,” in Prov. 3:18.
“It is unfortunate that the speaker chose to plunder the sacred traditions of Judaism as he invented novel interpretations of biblical texts and imagery to affirm and elevate an individual who had admittedly broken the sacred trust between pastor and congregant,” Gafney writes.