Rabbi Michael Shevack Cult of Coin

End the Cult of Coins by Rabbi Michael Shevack

Rabbi Michael Shevack Cult of Coin

Rabbi Michael Shevack says today, instead of being yoked to the Kingdom of God, nations and peoples are increasingly yoked to a profane world economic machine.

In my last article, I urged three ways to re-JEW-venate Western civilization by establishing:

1) correct priorities 2) humility 3) equality under the law. These are three major spiritual corrections to the dangerous, indeed lethal Imperial Romanism that still contaminates our so-called “modern” world.

End the Cult of Coins by Rabbi Michael Shevack[/tweetthis]

Nowhere is this contamination more visible than in the Cult of Coins through which Imperial Rome established their world domination, and which became our so-called “economic system”.

Today, instead of being yoked to the Kingdom of God, nations and peoples are increasingly yoked to a profane world economic machine. Some Christian evangelists consider this a sign of “the anti-Christ”. Eschatological-debates aside: In principle, they’re right!

Remember Jesus’ response when asked about paying taxes to Rome? Glancing at a coin bearing the minted face of Caesar he proclaimed: “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Render unto God what is God’s”.

Julius Caesar
“Julius Caesar” by Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, Vesoul 1824–1904 Paris) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

This was a classic kosher solution to military occupation by the blessed Perushim or Pharisees. Dinah d’malchutah Dinah, The law of the land is the law. One was required to respect the law of the occupying nation– while holding fast to the Law of God.

Today, this kind of divided thinking is now simply called “being practical”. “Working for the man” is kept in one mental box. “Seeking God” is kept in another mental box. Or worse,  attempting to unify these fracture-lines, we start to preach that the multiplication of coins is, itself, covenant. These days they call this “Prosperity Theology”.

The Kingdom of God– the establishment of God’s Government of Justice, Peace, Righteousness and GOODNESS for all humankind– is not describable exclusively in monetary terms. Salvation is not achieved simply by “getting people money”. Indeed, the perpetual struggle of fundraising in our synagogues and churches is a sign of our shared Roman Diaspora; the vanquishing of covenant by a coin-cult.

Rabbi Michael Shevack
Michael Shevack

Ironically, because Jews in Christendom were forbidden to own land (so we couldn’t control our own food supplies), we became feverish traders and entrepreneurs in order to survive. Today, we contribute mightily to the world economic cultus.  But despite our great acts of charity and social responsibility, can we fail to notice our fair and shameful share of Boesky’s, Milken’s and Madoff’s?  The Cult-of-Coins is a false god when it does not serve The Creator and Redeemer of Israel and the World.

Heed the prophet first. Profit second.

Now profit, as the book of Deuteronomy makes clear, is perfectly natural. After all, we add labor to any natural enterprise, such as farming. Coins are a useful symbolic accounting of human enterprise.

But, the Kingdom of God is a far bigger enterprise than any for-profit industry. God’s Kingdom means a world civilization of justice, of peace, of Goodness for human beings, whether poor or rich– on a Good Land– Israel, and by extension, a Good Planet– teaming with life and natural abundance, not toxic waste dumps and despeciation.

Hear Oh Israel. Hear Oh World: Purpose before Profit! 

Purpose before profit! That’s how we re-purpose our Cult of Coins. That’s how we take the vital, energetic, and truly amazing world-tool of Imperial Rome–and point it away from the Diaspora and bring it into the Promised Land. That’s how our economic machine becomes salvific.

Our profane Cult of Coins needs to become a sacred offering to God. And it’s hardly happenstance that the word workAvodah in Hebrew– is the same word for sacrifice in the Great Temple.

Any Cult of Coins is a mere servant of human beings. And human beings are mere servants of the Holy One, Blessed be Him/Her/It.

Wake up World: God is our CEO.


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