By Russel Andrew Crowe
In my life as a secular Jew and a public commentator, I have tried very hard to avoid jumping in the contentious fray of public religious discourse because religion is something I cannot pretend (and no one should) to understand better than the next pious fella or even your regular pagan. Even the Pope knows this.
Yet, on November 2, 2018, there was a little-noticed but a momentous religious incident that took place in Jerusalem that I considered deserving enough of my commentary, especially as it concerns my pet interest – the plight of the Jewish diaspora in Nigeria and its difficult quest for freedom under its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently in Israel.
Here it is:
For the first time in the modern history of Judaism, something paranormal (or supernatural, if you will) happened. On that very day, a snake (serpent) appeared on the wall of the Jerusalem Temple and attempted to rustle a pigeon (a dove). If the rustle had succeeded, the serpent would’ve have most probably swallowed or killed the pigeon and that would have been tragic for mankind, particularly the Jewish mankind, whether in Israel or the Diaspora.
I am sorry if this compounds anybody but the truth is that you need to be deep in the Torah, Jewish or not, to fully comprehend this phenomenon.
In much of Jewish orthodoxy, the dove is a symbol of peace, of liberation, and of freedom to fly away from danger and oppression. Conversely, the snake is a symbol of destruction, of corruption, and of death. And in the unique circumstance of this very incident, the triumph of the dove signifies the triumphant coming of a Messiah, whether for the entire Jewry or for a particular segment of it..
To better understand how this strange phenomenon applied to Biafrans, let us consider the following timelines.
First, for the first time in recorded history, the Biafran leader, Nnamdi Kanu prayed at the Jerusalem Temple. This was also, for other myriad reasons, another moment in history because for thirteen months, Kanu was missing as a direct consequence of the State terror levied at his home by the radical Islamic Buhari-controlled Nigerian government back in September 2017.
Second, Kanu saw fit, as his initial foray back in public, to address his millions of followers who have not heard from him and most of whom have thought him mortally wounded or worse. In that epochal address, Kanu offered a fervent prayer that confirmed his abiding faith in Judaism; and which – to me and Rabbi Rabinowitz (my esteemed spiritual guide) – evoked the most powerful incarnations in the Torah by a prominent Diaspora Jew in recent memory.
Third, in a subsequent interview on Israeli television, Kanu confidently and convincingly postulated the historical ties between native Hebrews or Judaic practices and his people of Biafra. I might add that this is a narrative that resonated with vast majorities of ethnic Jews in Israel who have long regarded Biafrans, of the Igbos stock as kindred brethren, even if another kind. One of the lost tribes, you might say.
Then, on the fateful day that the serpent confronted the dove at the walls of the temple, much of the world, including Biafran Christendom didn’t notice it’s unique religious significance. Better yet, watchers of Jewish moments in history, including noted Rabbis noticed, including my own Rabbi Rabinowitz, who – by the way – provided me with the spiritual confidence for this discourse.
Now, whereas there have been other interpretations of this sign of the snake versus the pigeon, one that stuck out in Israel and around core Jewish circles is that the incident signaled the imminent coming of the Messiah of the Jews or for the Jews. On same Friday, a few bits of this line of interpretation were published in the media, including foreign media. One Kabbalist (Jewish mystic) noted in one of the publications that the “Pigeon represents Israel while the snake represents evil”. So, the idea is that evil could not triumph over Israel and that the Jewish Messiah cometh, soon.
While I do not strictly disagree with above interpretation as widely believed and published, I have one of my own to add, and that is this: The Messiah that is signaled by the ‘snake versus dove’ phenomenon is NOT the universal Messiah of the entire Jewish world or of Israeli Jewry but a Messiah of a different kind; yes – a Messiah of Biafra and for the Biafran Jewry.
It is pertinent to state that I do not share this view alone, as I had, beforehand, spoken with highly knowledgeable Jewish Rabbis in the United States, especially those that came from the same background as I did, which are mainly of Ashkenazi stock and have followed the current Biafran struggle led by Nnamdi Kanu, especially as he is the first to have forcefully espoused the umbilical link between his people and the Jewish homeland.
Now, to go straight to the point, the snake versus the pigeon phenomenon signals one thing and one thing only, and that is: the imminent triumph of Nnamdi Kanu and Biafra (the dove) over the oppressive Nigerian State (the snake) that, since 2015, has become so much suffused by anti-Judeo Christian and radical Islamic designs by Mr Buhari
Put another way: the man Nnamdi Kanu is indeed the Messiah that has come to liberate his people (Biafrans) from evil, from the clutches of oppression, from persecution; and then guide them to the path that was preordained for them since ancient of days. I hope the Biafrans themselves will fully grasp this and rally behind Nnamdi Kanu to reclaim their manifest destiny.