My friend, who davens (prays) next to me in shul, was listening to a Preacher on the radio as he drove to the synagogue Sunday morning for shacharis (morning prayers).
He told me that the Preacher was talking about signs and wonders that G-d is showing us, specifically some of the things that I have mentioned in my seldom written blog. Specifically, that after 9/11, on September 17th, 2001, the day before Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year, the Dow Jones went down 684.8 points, which was the largest single day decline, up until that point, in the history of the stock market. Then, seven years later, in 2008, due to the "financial crisis," the Dow Jones plummeted 777.7 points, again the largest point drop in history. Ten days later, on Yom Kippur, the Dow Jones declined 678.9, the third largest point drop in history.
The point of his sermon was that G-d sends us warnings that are connected to the religion of Judaism because G-d wants us to understand that these are spiritual events and to "wake up" and turn to Him.
This Preacher then went on to say - now G-d has sent us President Obama…
In our Torah, we learn that G-d chooses Kings and controls the hearts of Kings. Our rabbis tell us that the President of the United States, the most powerful country in the history of the world, qualifies as a "Melech," a King in this respect.
In 2000, I asked myself the question – "Why would G-d choose George W. Bush to be President?" Because, that it certainly looked like President Bush was "Chosen" in that election, more so than almost any other Presidential election in the history of this country.
Then, of course, on 9/11 and in the following seven years, my question was answered. G-d apparently chose President Bush because He cares about both the United States and Israel.
Now, I have been asking myself – "Then Why in the Heck would G-d choose President Obama?" I mean, c'mon – really! He looks to be a disaster for both the United States and Israel.
Last week's parshas (the weekly readings in the Torah) were Tzaria and Metzora. These two parshas have to do with a kind of spiritual leprosy. The simple explanation is that if we do something bad, particularly the sin of gossiping or speaking badly about other people, then G-d will cause a physical discoloration to appear for which we then have to purify ourselves and rid ourselves of our "evil ways" in order to be cured.
The interesting thing about Tzaraas, this physical discoloration, is that it actually considered a "blessing" from G-d to catch it. It was G-d's way of notifying the Jews that they were doing something wrong and that they needed to stop doing this bad thing. If a person was beyond redemption, then they wouldn't need to get Tzaraas. However, if a person caught this spiritual disease, then he had a chance to make things right – to repent, redeem himself and be cured.
No – I am not comparing President Obama to the physical signs of leprosy. However, in light of last week's parsha, and the radio Preacher's emphasis on signs and wonders that are connected to Judaism and his remarks that President Obama was one of these "warning signs" that we need to repent and turn back towards G-d, it occurs to me that my question of "Why Obama," is answered.
President Obama is a Blessing from G-d. It is a wonderful idea.
For those that love his politics and all of the ways the President is trying to "Change" America, for them, he truly is a blessing.
For those of us who are leery of his politics and are horrified by the "Changes" he is bringing to America, he is also a blessing. He is the wakeup call from G-d that we need to stop this endless evil talk and instead, repent and do good. Obama is the catalyst for those that oppose his politics and beliefs to overcome their own petty needs and turn America back to a Goodly Path. President Obama wants to be "tough" with Israel – then America needs to be friends with Israel. President Obama wants to be "friends" with Iran – then America needs to be tough with Iran. President Obama wants to spend trillions we don't have – then, for the absolute First Time in American History, America needs to save the trillions that we don't have.
President Obama should be a wakeup call to all Americans that we need to be serious; respectful; prudent; responsible; and, as radio talk show host Dennis Prager would say – embody those American values found on every American coin :
E Plurbus Unum
And, In G-d We Trust.