Quarreling with you won’t advance my ministry.
My first act online tomorrow will be to Block a certain person, a Friend of a high school classmate, who I have concluded is a troll. She loves to hate and be hated, and she’s skilled at both.
It recalls to me another troll I dealt with for several years some time back; who has a fascinating story.
His screen name on the forum where I met him was ProfBenTziyyon; elsewhere, he called himself Mordochai ben Tziyyon. He was active for about five years and, given his gifts as told below, developed a following. He claimed to be up in years; he claimed to have retired after serving 40 years as chairman of the Bible department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He would post in extra large fonts, presumably to accommodate his eyesight, and sometimes claimed that people should accept his insults based on respect for one’s elders.
Nobody ever vetted his credentials. (Had anyone served 40 years in that position at the Hebrew University?) People referred to him as “the Professor” and addressed him as “Professor;” but I quit that real fast, because I have personally known many, many academics in real life and have never met one as ill-tempered as he is. I referred to him as “Mordochai.”
It is impossible to overstate his giftedness as a grammarian of ancient languages. He would post these grammatical analyses of passages from the Hebrew Bible that were absolutely to be relied upon, and were relied upon by other online experts in Biblical Hebrew. He was equally gifted in Aramaic and Biblical Greek.
His magnum opus puzzled me. It was a year-by-year chronology of all events in the Hebrew Bible — a vast file with many, many basically blank pages. He could have done so much more. I wished he had done an analysis of the words aman (Hebrew), pistis (Greek) and credo and fides (Latin), and their related concepts — faith, faithfulness, credit, credibility, honesty, integrity and truth. I figure no one else could do it as he could. He didn’t.
He was equally legendary for his abusiveness toward others.
He was insolent to rabbis.
He bullied many people, including me. The worst with me went on for about five months. The platform we were on had no “Ignore” or “Block” feature. Given Mordochai’s contributions (See “Assets,” above.), the admin was reluctant to restrict his privileges, but did lock one thread after another to try to get him to stop. It was not a happy time in my life.
The admin did ban him a number of times, for fixed time spans, to seek to correct his behavior.
He had a misogynist streak. He insisted that in the Gan Eden story (Genesis 3), Eve, not the snake, lied. He had a running conflict with a highly respected moderator who is female. I came to a personal breaking point when he called her a liar. His career ended soon after.
NOTE: She has always been gracious toward him.
His writings about Christianity, even serious, academic or scholarly pieces, are full of gratuitous slurs. He referred to our sacrament as “Mess,” not “Mass,” and any pontiff as “Poop,” not “Pope.” Now, religious Jews will not write the unaltered name of any god. His preferred name for Jesus was “Yoshke Pondreck,” chosen because “dreck” is Yiddish for “shit.”
He said that.
In the end, he faked his own death.
Whoever was behind the Mordechai persona evidently tired of it and determined to put it away. A new persona began posting, using the name binyamin (always lower case) and claiming to be Mordochai’s son. He had access to all Mordochai’s passwords. He reported, first, that his father had had a severe heart attack, and then that his father had passed. He explicitly blamed the mods for his passing.
Mordochai continued to access his account for some time after he died.
It was determined that no such person had ever taught at the Hebrew University.
From his activity in various places online, it soon became clear that binyamin and Mordochai are one and the same. Binyamin himself later vanished from the Net.
Anyone of Mordochai’s manifest brilliance has no need of credentials. So one can ask why he even brought them up, let alone lie about them. And how to account for his venom?
He deserved to be an eminent, eminent scholar. What kept him from attaining such a position?
I suppose that — possibly like Isaac Asimov’s character, The Mule — he may have been grotesquely deformed, physically or otherwise, enough that prejudice itself, against his appearance, finally barred him from the positions he deserved.
His abusiveness reflected the abuses that had been heaped on him, throughout life, on the same basis. And he may have been particularly sore about rejections from women.
G-d being G-d, he has met, or will meet, his reward.
If not ‘God will save’, what is the Hebrew meaning of the name ‘Yéshu’a’?