Not to make light of anyone’s passing, but I thought this was, well…bizarre.
Last evening I was reading a story at Haaretz titled, Official Israeli curriculum likens Ariel Sharon to Moses. It caught my attention because it appears Israel has their own group of ‘scholars’ along the same line of the US’s David Barton–you know, people who rewrite history.
A curriculum to teach students about former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, published by the Education Ministry in the wake of his death, likens the former Israeli leader to Moses and contains no mention of the controversial episodes in his life.
The material, intended for fourth- to ninth-grade classes, also asks students to compare Peres’ eulogy of Sharon with King David’s lament for Saul and Jonathan.
Ministry officials issued a directive to schools to have their pupils devote class time to learning about “Ariel Sharon’s character, activity and lifetime achievement.” Some of the lesson plans, however, seem reminiscent of a personality cult. For example, one unit, entitled “The late Ariel Sharon: An indefatigable leader,” reads in part:
“In this unit, the pupils will examine Sharon’s bold leadership as discussed in the eulogy of President Shimon Peres, and will offer their views on it.”
Part of another unit reads:
“The leader as shepherd: In this unit, the pupils will examine the image of the shepherd as adopted by Ariel Sharon as compared with that of Moses, the faithful shepherd [a popular description of Moses in Jewish tradition], and draw conclusions from the comparison in view of the president’s description of Sharon’s leadership.”
The lesson plans ignore most of the controversial episodes of Sharon’s life such as the Lebanon War, the massacres in Sabra and Chatila or the investigation of his sons. All the units include excerpts of Peres’s eulogy.
Any controversial parts of Sharon’s career that are mentioned receive no elaboration. One example is its description of Unit 101, the army unit Sharon established that engaged in several controversial actions such as the attack on the Jordanian village of Qibya, in which innocent people were killed and which drew worldwide condemnation. “In 1953, Sharon established Unit 101,” reads the text. “The unit carried out retaliatory acts in response to terror attacks perpetrated by Palestinians.” The link to which the text directs readers also makes no specific mention of Unit 101’s violent acts and its killing of innocent people.
The oddest unit, entitled “The leader as shepherd,” reads in part: “In 1972, Ariel Sharon bought Havat Shikmim [Sycamore Farm], near Sderot, for sheep-raising, and lived there for the rest of his life. Many pictures of Sharon from Havat Shikmim show him as a modern sheep farmer, sheep aficionado and shepherd.”
Later on, the text compares Sharon with the biblical figure of Moses with help of a quote from Midrash Shemot Rabba. The pupils are asked: “In your opinion, is the relationship between the traits of a shepherd and the traits of a leader appropriate for Ariel Sharon? [Such as?] Give reasons for your answers. Base them on events from his life.” (highlights mine)
Tonight I open my mail and see the title of Chuck Baldwin’s message, posted today, is Another Moses Has Died
The liberty movement lost another one of its patriarchs last Saturday. My friend Jack….
(He) is among an elite few who have been on the front lines of the freedom fight longer than most people even knew there was a freedom fight. He, like the rest of us, had to prove the sincerity of his convictions by paying a heavy price for his place at the front. Thankfully, there are still many such men with us. Should I attempt to list them now, I might commit sacrilege by unwittingly omitting one of them, so I will refrain from the temptation.
I consider myself among the youngest (and the least) of these patriot fathers. It is extremely difficult to see them go. These are the men and women who, humanly speaking, have thus far saved our republic.
Yes, we lost another Moses. But I am confident that I am addressing hundreds, if not thousands, of people right now whom God is calling to be a modern-day Joshua. To many of you who are reading this column right now, God is saying, “Arise, go over this Jordan.” (highlight mine)
As pointed out earlier, I’m not making light of anyone’s passing. Only pointing out the strange coincidence in seeing two stories in less then 24 hours, claiming the person represented a ‘Moses. As a Christian it just struck me as bizarre and actually, kind of wrong, as I was taught about the typology of Moses and Jesus as a young believer many years ago. Seeing these stories which compare (in the same manner) two men today to…well, never-mind, because bizarre is the only word I can think of. There’s more I’d like to say concerning the comparison of Sharon to Moses…but won’t.
If you’ve never read or studied about the typology of Moses and Jesus, see A.W. Pink’s excellent (short) message: Gleanings In Exodus: Moses – A Type of Christ. Perhaps then you’ll understand why I found these comparisons so weird…
Ezekiel 8: – He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol?” (verse 12)