‘Nothing Sacred’ entered the San Francisco Chronicle’s non-fiction bestseller list at #8 this week. The greatest part about it is the implicit approval in their choosing to categorize it as non-fiction! (I’ll take what I can get, given some of the reviews.)
Off to Toronto this week (in spite of family warnings about the new SARS outbreak), then New Jersey, Florida, Atlanta, and Athens next week. Please come.
I’ve started to receive those apocalyptic emails from what I assume are fundamentalist Jews. I’m not responding to them, because there’s no personal content – just tracts from the strangest portions of Ezekiel, Luria, and maybe a bit of Schneerson. All about preparation for the messianic age, etc. All I can say is this: DO NOT PREPARE FOR THE MESSIANIC AGE. There hasn’t been a messiah, and there won’t be. Judaism happens in the now. To me, that’s almost the whole point of this religion. When you do something in order to prepare for a future God-moment, you give yourself a justification for doing terrible things. That’s why Judaism was invented: because the Egyptian cults had lost their way, and began justifying cruelty with reward after death. The ‘Messianic Moment in the future’ is not a good enough excuse for us to continue settling the West Bank, or doing nasty things to other people. It’s not even a good enough excuse to distract us from the messianic present – the constant and everpresent development of compassion and exercise of social justice. Not to bring on some better age in the future, but to enact the messianic in the present moment.
Celebrate being number 8 rather than seeing it as just a stepping stone to number 1. Life may be over before you get wherever it is you think you’re going.