Sorry Disney, There Is No Mickey Moses: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

often non-jewish people wish to share holiday greetings with jewish people. we appreciate it!

likewise, i am more than happy to share holidays greetings for others as well. i enjoy wishing people “merry christmas” etc.

these greetings and interactions, at times, can be humorous. for instance, pronouncing the holiday hannukah is often a challenge. just like when people try to speak spanish and get hung up on the with rolling “r”s and “l”s, many non-jews are stumped by the famous gutteral “chuh” or “chah” sound which is prominent in the hebrew language. your effort to tackle this is greatly appreciated!

mickey mouse, however, messed up big time. not only was he not funny, he was actually sinister. this mess up refers disney channel’s most recent passover public service announcement. in my opinion, it is simply anti-semitic propaganda.

while i am not a person to levels such charges, understanding what they did with respect to an the over a thousand year old tradition will lead you to this conclusion as well.

before we look at the psa, we need to briefly review the thousands of years old history of the passover, the seder and book used at the seder, the haggadah.

the modern passover and passover seder practice can be dated back to the destruction of the second temple in jerusalem. “in 66 CE, religious tensions between greek and jewish citizens, and protests over the heavy tax burden, boiled over into the jewish rebellion against rome. this rebellion was put down in 70 CE. roman legions under titus retook jerusalem, destroying the temple and much of the rest of the city. passover was never to be celebrated as it had been again. [note from blog: before 66 CE, jewish people, during the temple periods, would go to temple in jerusalem as pilgrimage for the passover holiday. ] in yavne, a rabbinical school lead by rabbi johanan ben zakai and rabban gamaliel II, set out to forge a new judaism adapted to a post-temple world. among their innovations, which were later redacted into the mishnah, was the embryonic form of the passover seder we know and celebrate today. haaretz

there are scholars who believe that the haggadah text was created post-destruction of the temple. stein, bokser, shmuel and zev safrai, and shamma friedman believe they are post-destruction. schechter

the haggadah’s final words for the conclusion of the passover seder is “next year in jerusalem.” this statement is a reflection of the jewish people’s vision, hopes, and aspirations that there will come a time when a third temple will be built in jerusalem and that once again, jewish people would be able to make their pilgrimage to celebrate the holiday.

recently, the phrase of “next year in jerusalem” has become more meaningful. in 1948, there was establishment of the modern state of israel. in 1967, in the 6-day-way, israel captured and unified jerusalem. for the first time in a long time, jewish people were now able to visit and pray at one the the remaining structures of the second temple, the western wall. israel’s return to jerusalem, of course, is controversial to some. they take offense.

in sum, the passover holiday took on a greater historically and religiously meaning post destruction of the second temple in jerusalem. thus, the haggadah’s message of a returning to jerusalem is a one of the most powerful statements of jewish belief.

so, what did disney do?

algemeiner reported that “disney channel last week ran a passover public service announcement (PSA) that replaced the traditional jewish phrase “next year in jerusalem” with “next year in the holy land.” ” algemeiner according to the article, disney had young teens in the psa  young teens saying it in unison!

thus, given the backdrop of the significant religious meaning behind using the word “jerusalem” in the saying , disney decided to change it to the “holy land” this is tantamount to apostasy. which mouse-eared wearing genius thought this up? the only rabbinical looking disney characters would be the seven dwarfs. did rabbis bashful, doc, dopey, grumpy, happy, sleepy and sneezy, have any part of this decision?

the bottom line is that a “happy passover” would have been sufficient from disney. it would result a “thank you” for remembering our holiday. instead, disney tried to inject controversy and transform and holiday with a tradition dating back thousands of years to their own making and vision.

the bottom line is that disney has no business in attempting to change the jewish religion and provide disinformation to young children concerning judaism. with all respect, taking the last words of the haggadah and changing them to be propaganda is disgusting. further, i suspect that the individual who made the changes to the phrase did so knowing that it would be controversial and ruffle feathers. thus, i feel comfortable labeling disney’s psa anti-semitic in the worst way possible. intentionally disseminating a bogus statement on a channel for young people is reprehensible.

be well and beware!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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