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As for the opera, people who live here boycott it under its present management, and I have never shopped in Macy’s, even though it is practically next-door.
Only one time, as a child, did I see the Easter show at Radio City Music Hall, and even then the spectacle of a rabbit and a lily dancing to Rubenstein’s “Kamennoi Ostrow” played on the mighty Wurlitzer was a shattering experience never repeated.
The Magi knew both the stars and the Hebrew Scriptures, and shared an expectation of a Messiah born of a virgin.
Their people had long been on friendly syncretistic terms with the Jews whom they protected after their release from the Babylonian exile.
In the “global village” of the electronic media, Arabia, and the whole Middle East, are not the illuminations of story books any longer, not even in the purview of New Yorkers for whom the divide between the Occident and the Orient is Fifth Avenue.
It is likely that those “wise men from the East” were Zoroastrians from Persia, not kings but magisterial priests of the monotheistic and dualistic belief system called Mazdayasna.
Being a New Yorker, I only go to the top of the Empire State Building about once every thirty-five years, and I have been to the Statue of Liberty just twice.
Theatrical depictions of the Three Wise Men are even more problematic.
The Sultan of Brunei, Hassnal Bolkiah, has been decorated by many European countries, is an Honorary Admiral of the British Royal Navy, and Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.
Shortly before he sanctioned a law for the stoning to death of sodomites, the University of Oxford made him an honorary Doctor of Laws. When a group of stoneable undergraduates asked that the degree be rescinded, they were ignored.
Meanwhile, the leading Islamic leader in Saudi Arabia has called for the destruction of “all the churches” in the Arabic peninsula. He brought along numerous wives and a few of his 115 children.
My friend belonged to a Christian denomination founded by King Henry VIII who only practiced sequential polygamy.