Ah, a magical season begins. Joy blooms in the marly soil of the heart, even when the face of the earth is bedded in frost. Lights twinkle in adoring eyes whose gaze pierces the blanket of looming night. Weary combatants of the battlefield and the home front lay aside their foils and their barbs and huddle close in grateful peace. Avast, avaunt, yon anomie; aboard, ye bonhomie!
Jews and Christians may debate the provenance of the season’s power, but the Bard speaks for both:p> em>The bird of dawning singeth all night long: br> And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad; br> The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike, br> No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm; br> So hallow’d and so gracious is the time. /em> /p>
In so charmed an instant, we are all prophets who see with pristine clarity the world of Isaiah (35:6): “Then the lame will gambol like a gazelle and the tongue of the mute will croon, for water has sprouted in the desert and streams on the barren plain.” Suddenly, we are jarred back to reality by the thought that millions of Arabs have lately conceived a hatred for us that has moved them to stalk us implacably; with fairly feeble weapons, it’s true, but with rabid passion.
This seems like a time to take heart from a little-known prophecy that is tucked cleverly away in the earliest pages of Scripture, accessible only to those proficient in Hebrew. And if I may venture a creative interpretation of my own, we might even discover an avenue of policy worth traversing.
As we know, the father of the Arabs was Ishmael, son of Abraham. When Abraham prophesied (Genesis 17:18) that Isaac would be born, he answered humbly, “It’s enough that Ishmael live…” The answer came back (verse 20): “As for Ishmael, I have heard you… and I will multiply him very very much, twelve princes he will bear…”
The Hebrew word used here for princes is nesi’im, which also means “clouds,” as in Proverbs (25:14). So on the phrase “twelve princes”, we find this brief comment by Rashi (1035-1105): “Like clouds they will dissipate.” Folks who know Hebrew, this is their own little secret. A promise that ultimately the Arab ascendancy will not require a world war to take down like the German hegemony did, that it will dwindle away over the course of time.
But here is my personal twist. I always get the vibe that the clouds are the key. That somehow we will harness some energy source in water or hydrogen or oxygen to render oil obsolete as a fuel. This will immediately reduce the Arab nations from world beaters into Third World countries. The tin-pot dictators will be reduced to the tin cup of the beggar; that should mend their cant. They will no longer have us over a … er, barrel. (Remember Isaiah’s water sprouting in the desert.)
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online