Perpetually orange/tan Florida Gov. Charlie Crist told a group of Florida real estate agents last Friday that he has been personally placing, or having someone else place, a prayer in the Western Wall of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem once a year since he became Florida’s governor.
Commonly referred to as “The Wailing Wall” the structure in question is the only remaining portion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Originally built around 960 BC by King Solomon, according to the Bible (and numerous non-religious sources, as well), the “First Temple” was destroyed by the Babylonians in the war leading to the Babylonian Captivity which dominates a good segment of the Old Testament.
Around 516 BC, Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great, in a move heretofor unique in history, set the Hebrews free and underwrote, out of his treasury, much of the reconstruction of the city of Jerusalem AND the Temple. Amazing! The gift of freedom and economic support to a former enemy by an absolute monarch of a completely different ethnic culture and religion. A burst of generosity and peace completely unprecedented in human history. And never equaled except, perhaps, when Pres. Harry Truman created the plan to rebuild Europe and named it for his Secretary of State Gen. George C. Marshall. (Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1953.)
Rebuilt over several hundred years, the Temple was again destroyed in 70 AD, this time by the Romans. Never since reconstructed, the only portion of the original (2nd) structure is the wall on the Western side, hence the Western Wall. The sobriquet “Wailing Wall” comes from the tradition of offering prayers, in the form of chants to Yahweh while facing the Temple Wall, most often from a standing position while rocking back-and-forth. Particularly important prayers are commonly written out on tiny “scrolls” of paper and inserted in the crevasses between the stones of the wall. It is this tradition, the written prayer inserted in the Western wall, that Gov. Crist, a Methodist, was referring to.
What does this have to do with hurricanes? That is exactly what the governor was purporting to explain to the meeting of agents. He noted that in the two years before his elevation to the governor’s chair, Florida had been hit by a total of eight hurricanes.
“Do you know the last time it was we had a hurricane in Florida? It’s been awhile. In 2007, I took my first trade mission. Do you know where I went?” said Crist, a Methodist, referring to a trip to Israel.
He then told of going to the Western Wall and inserting a note with a prayer. He said it read, “Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties. Charlie.”
Crist had a friend, Sen. Nan Rich, place the same prayer in the Wall on a trip to Israel during 2008. This year, in May, another friend repeated the same task.
“May, June, July, August — we’re getting closer,” Crist said. “Knock on wood. I would ask you all to say a prayer.”
Afterward, he said he’s not taking credit for the lack of storms in this hurricane-prone state.
“I give that to God,” Crist said. “But it’s nice.”
Nice that Charlie doesn’t want to hog all the credit. But here’s my question. Is God, in all his bloodthirstiness, sitting out there just itching to blast significant portions of Florida away, killing a few of his beloved subjects in the process, and only held in check as long as Orange Charlie keeps sticking scrolls in the wall?
Follow up question: Given the state of the real estate market throughout Florida, do you think that what the agents most wanted to hear was about how Charlie is in good with The Lord?