“Rabbi, Is there a proper blessing for the Czar?” “A proper blessing for the Czar?!” “Yes. ‘May G-d bless and keep the Czar…far away from us.”
My first exposure to the term “Czar” (although it was then spelled ‘Tsar’) was as a five year old girl listening to the Original Broadway Cast recording of Fiddler On The Roof. Me being me, I asked my parents who ‘Tazarr’ was, assuming it was all one exotic name for a Russian monster.
Even though I’ve gotten over the Mondegreen, I’ve not quite lost the creeped-out feeling I get, the sense that a Czar is a type of dread monster. When George Bush created the first Czar position that I remember, I was upset. It seemed to be a gross misuse of government, naming an unelected person to an official position. I gather it’s well within the scope of the Executive Branch to do so, but it never seems to be more than a cronyist, figure-headish type of thing. Presidents have been creating and naming Czars forever–on both sides of the silly-headed seesaw of party politics. They never seem to accomplish much other than getting eased into the party machine, occasionally bending the president’s ear and making contacts for future employment at the upper echelon of the private sector.
That’s why this Czar cracks me up. We have someone in an insider, cronyist position sitting in judgement on…insider cronyist positions. It’s just weird.
I feel like I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. The government owns private business now. And the government is setting pay scales for private business. When I was a kid that was Bolshevik-style operating. Now the Bolshies are kaput. But we’ve got The Czar who oversees the corporations.
It doesn’t sit well with me at all.