Prophet Wanted Ad
Moses, arguably the most famous prophet of our tradition is deputized (much to his chagrin) in the beginning of the book of Exodus. The word prophet in the English language primarily describes a person who foretells future events, but the Hebrew word (Navi) has a different bend altogether. The Hebrew concept assumes that only a Deity has the ability to foretell, and that a Navi’s job is simply to act as a mouthpiece for God. Additionally, unlike a fortune teller who may believe that their gifts are God given, a Navi takes no credit for their vision or message. The goal is simple: to transmit the word of God to the collective whole. As purveyor of the Divine word, the Hebrew Bible has canonized the Prophetic writings after many expansions and redactions. The prophetic texts have not been added to since the prophet Malachi, and tradition holds that after him prophecy ceases.
However, (and completely tongue-in-cheek,) I thought I would set up a “want ad” in case God starts looking again:
Seeking: Ancient Israelite Prophet
Overarching Responsibility: Must represent Deity as compassionate and consolatory and/or angry, jealous and unforgiving, depending on the social and communal climate. Candidate must represent God’s message as one of strict but loving parent and/or bridegroom of Israel’s bride. Zealous believer in God’s jurisdiction in all creation is critical. Prophet must be solely motivated by commitment to God’s service.
Overwhelming Chutzpah: Candidate must be willing to condemn Kings and bargain with King of Kings when necessary. Prophet must be able to break bad news to the mass regarding God’s wrath, especially in the case of community’s sinning binge. Experience commuting Divine’s severe decree a plus.
Visions/Dreams: Must be in tune with God’s message through the use of dreams and/or visions, unless God decides to hide the pertinent information from Candidate (completely at God’s discretion.)
Communication Skills: Position requires an accurate reporter of God’s plan and/or God’s latest acts as candidate must serve as mouthpiece for Divine edict. Not limited solely to impending doom (i.e., pronouncement of death for Ruler’s child) as one may well get the chance to share the more uplifting message of redemption. Prophet must have experience yelling, cajoling, pronouncing, rejoicing and finger wagging. Candidate will have no qualms announcing really bad news and/or good tidings. Prophet must have devotion and faith in God no matter what the message. Ability to negotiate with Deity using reverse psychology is a must. Candidate openness to engage an Angel as conduit of Divine’s message is of high import.
Compassionate: Candidate will have sympathy for people’s woes even when making pronouncement of impending doom. Additionally, prophet will show clear ways for the community to repent and therefore dissolve God’s wrath and anger.
Miracle Maker: Through God’s amazing grace and kindness, one must be able to resurrect a child, bring oil to the poor widow, etc., depending on the given circumstance.
Compensation package: Candidate will work pro bono with few benefits. Must be willing to be dismissed, disbelieved and occasionally jailed. Possibility of living in Diaspora or “moving” (read “exiled”) high to midland.
Please send all resumes and cover letters to YHVH, c/o Earth below and Heaven above.
Michelle Drucker Friedman