It has been heartwarming to read the warm responses to Rabbi Waxman’s post asking Beliefnet to reconsider its decision to cancel Virtual Talmud. Virtual Talmud offered an alternative model for internet communications: civil discourse pursued in postings over a time frame of days (rather than moments) predicated upon the belief in the value of and […]
The attempt to depict Barack Obama as a Muslim and the response of the Jewish community are depressing on a number of levels. First off, even if he was a Muslim, since when does that disqualify someone from office? Have I missed something here? Why on earth has the reaction of the American Jewish community been, “no, no he is not a Muslim?” Instead we should judge people by their words and actions, not on racial and religious biases.
Finally, there is the issue of Obama and Farrakhan. The other week, Farrakhan–a notorious anti-Semite–endorsed Obama sending chills down the spines of many Jewish observers. Let me be clear again–it would be absurd to accuse Obama of even the faintest sentiment of anti-Semitism because some anti-Semite might think highly of him. Likewise, I would go further, it is absurd that many in the Jewish world feel that his admiration for his pastor–who is friends with Farrakhan–makes him guilty by association. God knows how many rabbis or friends every Jewish person has who might in some way be connected to someone who spews hatred against gentiles or Arabs. If one looked into every statement made by every rabbi that Joe Lieberman was close to I am certain they could drudge up some unseemly material. Likewise, do we gang up on Christian politicians who have ministers that believe that all Jews will be going to hell if they don’t accept Jesus? That said, what we do expect from our politicians and those who represent us is a clear denunciation of those views expressed by those whom they might have ties to. All Obama needs to do is get out in front of the issue and make it clear that in this particular case he does not stand for the type of rhetoric endorsed by his pastor. Barack, “I know you can,” denounce such rhetoric the question is why haven’t you? Barack, we are still waiting.