Why Orthodox Rabbis Should NOT be Supporting Trump [opinion]

Dear Reader:

The following is an Opinion that was posted in Haaretz. It is posted behind a paywall so we will only post a few excerpts. It is worth the read.

The inevitable conclusion of the Opinion is that Donald Trump shares no values at all with Orthodox Jews (and we would comment he shares none with secular Jews either). To support him is to support, if not be complicit with the many atrocities of Donald Trump. The author maintains that as Jews, we should know this.

Please read further.

Donald Trump and Orthodox Jews Share No Values at All

Backing Trump is a morally disastrous decision for Orthodox Jews, and for Orthodox rabbis in particular. He stands against everything we believe in   

Daniel Landes

A ‘rediscovered’ student of many years past caught me recently in a chance encounter. “As an Orthodox rabbi living in Israel – I imagine that you are supporting President Trump,” he stated.

But no, I immediately responded: as an Orthodox rabbi, I am compelled to vote him out. He stands against everything we believe in.

As a covenanted people, our theological DNA affirms the holiness of all human beings, while Trump makes common cause with racists and white supremacists; we have always allied ourselves with the best findings of scientific investigation and Trump ridicules that process and the scientists behind it; we believe in the preciousness of human life, while Trump indicates that as long as he is healthy, the rest of the country be damned.

The list goes on. I do not like to identify myself as a rabbi in political matters. I have seen both in the U.S. and in Israel the terrible damage of theocrats who push their religious agendas into every aspect of social and personal life. But facing the potential of four more years of terrible social strife and climactic cataclysm, we all need to speak from the deepest part of our knowledge.

In this case it is not only the holy books that speak to us, but our experience as a people. We know what it means and what can happen when democracy is eroded: public rallies based on hate; the deriding of a free press; the effort to deny voting; the imputation of wild conspiracies; and the refusal to accept a peaceful transfer of power when one loses an election.

Orthodox rabbis know all this, so why are they silent, or even complicit?

To continue reading in Haaretz, click here.

Flouting Covid -19 Rules, Monsey, NY – A Subtle form of Bio-Terrorism [video]

Police Officers Enter House to Find Large Gathering, Monsey, NY Where Numbers are Rising

This is not anti-Semitism. It is an understanding that every sick person has the power to infect others. Private homes, public gatherings, these are spreading events. There should be some accountability, particularly in areas where the numbers of sick to healthy are legitimately rising.

Targeting violators within the religious community

Ghislaine Maxwell & Epstein Deposition Public, and The Men in Her Life [videos]

NBC News
CBS News This Morning

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/07/25/nbc-archive-footage-shows-trump-partying-with-jeffrey-epstein-in-1992.html

Donald Trump and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Forbes Photo from here

Here’s Every Time Donald Trump And Ghislaine Maxwell Have Been Photographed Together

Topline: During a Tuesday coronavirus briefing, President Trump offered well-wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime confidante who now faces multiple federal charges related to Epstein’s alleged sex ring. In the 1990s and early 2000s, all three traveled in the same social circles, and Maxwell was photographed with the future commander-in-chief multiple times. Here’s every photo of them we could find:

Elsewhere:

A photo of Trump and Maxwell at a “hookers and pimps” themed party was published by the Daily Mail in December 2019. Maxwell sports a blonde wig and a leopard-print trench coat, while Trump wears the same business suit he’s typically seen in.

Another image of Maxwell wearing a green outfit and posing with Trump and an unnamed third woman has been posted multiple times to social media, but it’s unclear when the photo was taken, or where.

Crucial quote

“I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “I just wish her well, frankly.”

Big number:

At least 15 years. In July 2019, and after Epstein was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges, Trump said he hadn’t spoken to the disgraced financier—who he once called “a terrific guy”—for 15 years. “We had a falling out,” Trump told reporters, adding he “was not a fan.”

To continue reading in Forbes, click here.

Journalist at the Center of a Storm, His Public Service and Covid-19

theJC.com

Charedi reporter at centre of a storm

There are two men at the centre of the febrile Brooklyn street demonstrations by strictly Orthodox Jews, protesting against a coronavirus crackdown by the Democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, and his mayoral colleague, Bill de Blasio.

One is homegrown local Harold “Heshy” Tischler, host of a populist pro-Trump radio programme, now facing a court case on charges of inciting a riot and unlawful imprisonment.

And the other, improbably, is a softly-spoken Orthodox Jew, Jacob Kornbluh, born and brought up in Stamford Hill, London and now a political reporter for the Jewish Insider website, a national Jewish publication rather than a Charedi, local, one.

Since the beginning of the pandemic — and Kornbluh himself fell victim to the disease early on — he has been one of the loudest voices calling for the strictly Orthodox community to observe the rules of masks and social distancing. He has lost both relatives and friends to the virus.

But last week matters turned ugly when a crowd of mainly young men and boys — apparently urged on by Tischler — turned on Kornbluh and began screaming “moiser” — “traitor” — in his face. Though there was no actual physical violence, Kornbluh, 39, requested and received a police escort to his home in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Boro Park, where he lives with his wife and five children.

He and his family now have to deal with intimidation on the street and on social media, directed at Kornbluh for apparently “siding” with the mayor and the governor, and for pressing charges against Heshy Tischler. “As a reporter, I never want to be the story”, says Kornbluh, “I always want to be the one presenting the accurate facts, the government guidelines and so on. Unfortunately there’s so much misinformation and miscommunication”. He is as critical of the mayor and governor for “failure to reach out to the community and educate about the virus”, as he is of the community for flouting the regulations.

Public service is central to Kornbluh’s family. His father, Isaac, ran for local council in Stamford Hill and was one of the founders of the area’s Hatzolah and Shomrim groupings, forming tight bonds with police and hospital authorities. Jacob, the fifth of seven siblings, told a Haaretz webinar this week that his memories of home life included his father “being almost never there” on Shabbat or even seder night, because of being on call for emergencies. “My father was always pretty vocal about his core mission, to save lives”, Kornbluh told the JC, “that’s how I grew up, and that’s how I feel”.

To continue reading in theJC.com, click here.
Hershy Tischler defying social distancing and mask mandates
Covid-19 Cluster Crackdowns and Heshy Tischler
Heshy Tischler Confronts Jacob Kornbluh

Frum Watch: People are Wondering it and Not Saying It – Covid-19 and Hareidim

***Journalist, governments, secular Jews, and non-Jews the world over are all wondering the same thing:Why are the coronavirus case counts higher in hareidi neighborhoods and communities?

Reposted with Permission of Frum Watch

Some like to point to the difficulty practicing social distancing with large families in cramped quarters, while others like to point to the lack of science education and general secular knowledge. Still others point to the hareidi communities refusal to put on hold its communal way of life. We would like to share with you the real reason behind the lackadaisical commitment to, if not outright rejection of, the social distancing guidelines in the hareidi community.

The answer is one word – WORK (or the lack thereof).

Let us explain. Never before in the history of the Jewish people has a Jewish community rejected the notion of the male members of the community working for a living. From the Bible to the Mishna to the Talmud — through the times of the later codes of Jewish law — husbands and male members of the Jewish community always have worked to support themselves and their families. In ancient times, some chopped wood, some made clothing, while others were shoemakers and blacksmiths. The Jewish marriage document, the Ketubah, itself attests to the importance and obligation of the husband and father of the household to support his wife and children.

However, this all changed when Rabbi Aaron Kotler, a Lithuanian yeshiva dean, arrived in the US and founded the Lakewood yeshiva and kollel in 1943. Rabbi Kotler believed and Rav Karelitz, the Chazon Ish, in Israel agreed that the secular work place was no place for a frum hareidi male. The temptations were too great; kefirah (heresy) was rampant – and besides, the hareidi world needed Torah scholars, not Torah businessman. This Torah Only theology spawned what we now know as the “kollel for life” model, where the male members of the community learn Talmud for life, while their wives and daughters support the household.

This new order is unprecedented in the annals of Jewish history. For the first time ever, we now have in Lakewood, Bnei Brak, and Jerusalem entire communities of men who don’t work for a living. Naturally, without working men, the community ultimately has become reliant on the income of the wives (usually working part-time), government welfare, and gemachim (community charities).

Continue reading