New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

War for Your Mind

I can't imagine a subject deeper, thornier, more impassioned, more complex, and more contentious in New York City than anything involving Judaism or Israel.

So, if you want to INFLAME some New Yorkers, set up in Times Square and claim to be the only authentic descendants of the ancient Israelites.

Then, bring a chart showing a correlation between the Biblical 12 tribes of Israel and various groups in the Americas:

Judah — Black Americans
Benjamin — West Indians
Levi — Haitians
Simeon — Dominicans
Zebulun — Guatemalans, Panamanians
Ephraim — Puerto Ricans
Manasseh — Cubans
Gad — Native American Indians
Reuben — Seminole Indians
Asher — Colombians, Uruguayans
Naphtali — Argentines, Chileans
Issachar — Mexicans

Most New Yorkers have encountered groups of Black Hebrew Israelites, have written them off as extremists, and are unfettered by their presence as well as unwilling to waste time engaged in verbal war with them. Others, perhaps neophytes like a woman I saw there, were infuriated - she was asking everyone she could find to define Jewish and if any of these individuals fit the definition.

In New York City, whether you encounter those who Got Religion, see a Street Revival or someone Mad as Hell (see here and here), everywhere you turn, someone wants you to share their passion or their fury. There's a war on the streets of New York and it's a War for Your Mind...

Other Related Posts: Christ is Risen, I Must Confess, With All Due Respect


Thérèse said...

I am speechless!

Barbara said...

Hi Brian,

I am one of Ron's friends and a fellow photography fan.
Its my first time here and I am delighted. It is like a feast!

What an interesting shot. I would call this display like a "litmus test" of open or narrow mindedness!

I also have a photo blog. I do travel phtography. Come on over and check out my guest photo blogger challenge:

Have a great day.

Steve Rosenbach said...

There are plenty of Blacks who are authentic Jews, but these guys are not among them ;-)

It doesn't really pay to argue, or even discuss, with them - I tried in my younger days, and it's just a waste of breath.

These guys in NYC are much cooler than their bloviating brethren on Market Street in Philly. At least these guys show up in semi-biblical costumes (loosely, but inaccurately based on biblical descriptions of the vestments of the priests of the Temple.)

The guy with the "Bible" is the "quoter" - the guy giving the spiel occasionally pauses and waits for the quoter to read from the book to "prove" what he just said. Problem is, it's an English translation of the Bible, and not a good one at that. I noticed, for example, that quoted passages often get things really bolixed. For example, one quote, which in Hebrew can be translated as "the *gates* of Judah are black (or obscured, or charred by fire)" they read as "He [Judah] is black." The problem is, in Hebrew, the adjactive must agree in number with the subject, and in this passage, the Hebrew word for "black" is clearly plural, so it cannot refer to "Judah", but to the *gates* (she-ah-rim.) And so on, and so forth.

Well, in any event, these guys are pretty harmless, and it's a free country, so I say to them, "zay gezunt."