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Stockpiling Nonsense

by Rabbi Rami ShapiroMay 23, 2019
Columnists
Gold coins in a pile

hqrloveq/Getty Images

Rabbi Rami compares and contrasts some of the Trump/Cyrus coins being hawked these days, to hilarious effect.

I love religious kitsch: garish objects d’art depicting gods, goddesses and other holy icons. My office is filled with them. My new favorite is the Trump/Cyrus coin being hawked by Lance Wallnau on the televangelist Jim Bakker’s "The Jim Bakker Show." This 24-karat gold plated coin depicts profiles of President Trump and the Persian Emperor Cyrus and sells for $45. It is, so we are told, a “point of contact” with God: when you hold this coin you are somehow in contact with God and more apt to have God listen to your prayers in support of the welfare of the President and his family, and to secure Mr. Trump’s reelection in 2020.

“They think we are crazy, but we’re actually the sane ones,” Mr. Wallnau said.

I agree. Mr. Wallnau is completely sane. That’s why he is selling these coins rather than buying them.

As it turns out, Mr. Wallnau’s coin is not the first Trump/Cyrus coin. Rabbi Mordecai Persoff of the Mikdash Educational Center in Israel made the first such coins to honor President Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State, something many fundamentalist Jews and Christians believe King Cyrus did 2,500 years ago. The rabbi’s coins are silver plated rather than gold plated and sell for $5 more than the Wallnau coin. Despite their higher price tag, Rabbi Persoff’s coins are not contact points with God, a fact that makes me prefer the Wallnau coin to the Persoff coin.

The coins also differ in their goals. Mr. Wallnau’s coins will enhance the impact of your prayers for Trump’s reelection in 2020. Rabbi Persoff’s coins do nothing in and of themselves, but the proceeds from their sale will support his Center’s mission to see the Jerusalem Temple rebuilt on the site currently occupied by the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque—the third most holy site in Islam. If you’re looking to start World War III, the rabbi’s coin is the one to buy. If you need World War III to trigger the return of Christ, you might consider buying both coins.

From the perspective of those who believe this coin is a contact point with God, Mr. Trump is anointed by God to bring us closer to the End Times. From the perspective of those, like myself, who believe the End Times are coming by way of climate change and massive socio-economic-military upheaval caused by mass migration of climate refugees, selling a gold plated coin is an act of cheap (or not so cheap depending on your level of discretionary spending) grace. Either way the end is coming, but better to stockpile real gold coins than gold plated ones.

Want more of Rabbi Rami's thoughts? You might enjoy his story on Tablet Wars.


Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art: Shattering the Illusion of Control and Falling into Grace with Twelve-Step Spirituality.

He has this to say about religion: “To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence.”

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