The Shekinah

“Shock and awe” may sound like something Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appropriated from the Third Reich, but the term may have a much older resonance. This Web page, which contains text by Fred P. Miller, a conservative Christian writer, is devoted to an explanation of the Shekinah. It’s mentioned, according to Miller, in rabbinical commentaries to the Book of Zechariah, number 11 of the Old Testament’s 12 minor prophets, but not in the actual biblical text. The word refers to the presence of God, who inhabits a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, frightening observers with his terrible glory. The masculine version of the feminine noun Shekinah is, you guessed it, “shokinah,” which makes this news junkie wonder if certain apocalyptically minded people high up in the Bush regime are deliberately trying to hasten Armageddon. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” indeed.