There is no grand description of the anointing of an Israeli King in the Bible. At the most there is a description of a simple oil anointing ceremony of Saul and David and nothing more. It is the investiture of the High Priest and the dedication of the desert Tabernacle and the Jerusalem Temples where one finds much pomp and circumstance.
Since there can only be one true king of Israel, namely Hashem, it is far from surprising that all the ceremony of investiture takes place around His worship. Furthermore, if one looks at the kings of Israel one finds that the individual with the true king archetype, namely Saul, failed to keep the throne. Considering himself above the law of G-d, he refused to carry out commands by Samuel the prophet who spoke in G-d’s name, and so lost the throne to David. David was a warrior and poet, not a king archetype by nature, and more willing to admit his sins and accept G-d’s dominion.
Furthermore, when the Hebrews first asked Samuel the prophet to select for them a king, he warned them of all the harm a king could do to them. Power corrupts, and only G-d can be a truly objective king. It is therefore not surprising that Judaism downplayed the pomp and circumstance of kings, and, though Jewish tradition looks toward the eventual anointing of a future king from the house of David, such an individual will be bound by a court of sages, a Sanhedrin, and more than likely in this modern age will be a constitutional monarch.
Judaism values an equality between people. The word "Israel" referring to the Jewish people is ascribed by Genesis to mean those who wrestle with God. Yet as Dr. Israel Knohl of the Hebrew University has pointed out, this attribution is problematic. Usually, names that include God in them, such as Samuel or Michael, have God as the subject, not the object. Further, the usual means "sharrah", the root of Israel, means authority. Thus, Israel most likely means God will rule. Early Biblical history suggests that this direct relation of the people to God without intermediary was the desired state. There is archeological evidence from this era as well that suggests a certain equality within Israelite villages.
In the later Biblical era, Judaism had and honored a royal system with some reservations. Deuteronomy warns against the king have too many wives and horses, suggesting a concern that other Near Eastern Potentates had excessive courts, or that some Israeli Kings were viewed as excessive. Though David's Kingship is regulalry venerated, there is a real discomfort with royal power and perquesites throughout the Bible.
Ultimately, then, the goal is to direct experience each human being as created in the Divine Image. We are all of us Children of Adam, and so no one can say that his or her lineage is superior.
Judaism has had an interesting relationship with royalty, ever since the days of the Bible. In the Bible, the people are told not to have kings, but the people wanted to be like everyone else, so God, supposedly, has a change of heart and says it is ok for the people to have a king. The first king is Saul, chosen because he is tall!!In the Bible later kings are told that they must have their own Torah, as a constant reminder of their responsibilities. As far as non-Jewish royalty is concerned, there is even a blessing that one is to say when one sees them. ( I am not sure if seeing them on tv requires the saying of the bracha.)
In countries where there are kings and queens, such as England, the Jewish community says prayers on their behalf at worship services. In our country, we say prayers for our elected and appointed officials.
The royal wedding was indeed “worshipy” as the head of the church is the queen and there is no separation of church and state , as in the U.S. The closest we have to such a situation is a wedding in the White House, or , perhaps, the Clinton wedding which was supposed to be private, but was given lots of attention.
Copyright 2014 all rights reserved. Jewish Values Online
N O T I C E
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN ANSWERS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL JVO PANEL MEMBERS, AND DO NOT
NECESSARILY REFLECT OR REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE ORTHODOX, CONSERVATIVE OR REFORM MOVEMENTS, RESPECTIVELY.