GOD IS TELLING US SOMETHING: Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak’s Pesher and Socio-Political Pantheism of Coronavirus

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Abstract

The conflicting and different reactions to Covid-19 pandemic, ranging from a willingness to cooperate with health authorities to a violent rejection of all decisions and measures suggested or taken by local and international authorities are but expressions of framing meanings of and finding answers to why Covid-19 broke out on a such global scale beyond biological boundaries. This is to show why epidemics such as Covid-19 deserve to be investigated within their broader cultural, political, scientific, and geographic contexts. Religion or the religious rationale once again has made itself a site of interest in the public space; both as one of the many competing explanatory frameworks and as a scapegoat for contributing to the breakdown of the social order and for promoting unscientific, irrational and superstitious understandings and interpretations of Covid-19. As a matter of fact, certain religious communities across all the Abrahamic religions do present theological and eschatological interpretations of the pandemic. As we shall see, Messianic Jewish groups actually present a hermeneutical framework that consists of a theological-eschatological framework of the Covid-19 pandemic and a socio-political pantheism plan of action the aim of which is to maintain the believer immune to the attacks of secularism and its ills. On the latter point, I find Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak’s explanatory framework of the Covid-19 pandemic very informative as both to how the religious rationale is still at work in post-secular societies, and why Jewish ultra-orthodoxy’s theological-eschatological explanation and social pantheist response are worth investigating. In this article, Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak’s “perception, interpretation and response” to the Covid-19 pandemic and its global impact on both the biological and the social aspects shall be the primary subject of our analysis.
Tidsskrift for
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalTidsskrift for Islamforskning
Volume14
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)193-214
Number of pages22
ISSN1901-9580
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Judaism
  • Political Theology
  • Social Panthers
  • Eschatology

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