Tuesday, October 26, 2004


"Apparently George Bush loves Israel and thus we need to vote for him"

So spaketh Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv, and the Jerusalem Post can hardly contain its glee: "The rabbi's decision will influence the vote of at least 10,000 American Jews currently residing in Israel, at least 700 of whom are from the battleground state of Florida,"

Oh me oh my. 700 ex-pats, of which perhaps 12 will remember to file their absentee ballot? That's the big news? The Rabbi of one of those big Conservative synagouges in Talahassee will have a greater impact on the election.

Questions for your local orthodox rabbi. (clip and save!)
- - - - - - - -
  • Apparently? Suggests the good Rabbi is unsure... so why the firm decree in W's favor? Is he hedging?

  • loves Israel? Is that the criteria? The sole criteria? Anyone who loves Israel gets the Rabbi's support? And, along with it, the Jewish vote? Anyone? Does this mean the famously luke-warm-on-Israel-black-hatters of Brooklyn are out of favor? And how does the Rabbi - or anyone - know which of the candidates "loves" Israel more? One could easily argue that Kerry loves Israel more. What must Kerry do to prove his affection to the Rabbi's satisfaction? Would an "I (heart) Israel" T-shirt suffice?

  • thus we? Is the Rabbi an American citizen? In other words, what you mean "we" pale face?

  • Does the Rabbi watch CNN? Does he subscribe to any political magazines? Does he read the newspaper? Is he at all up-to date on current events? If the answer is "no," as I suspect, why is his opinion worth anything at all? Unless you're going to suggest that the Rabbi has the gift of prophesy, what gives his endorsment any extra validity?

  • Is this the same Rabbi S.Y Elyashiv who brought us wig-gate? And didn't we discover, after the bonfires had been extinguished, that the Rabbi's wig ruling was based on a set of facts that he had been presented by outsiders, a set of facts that were not true --- but only in the sense that these outsiders lied to the Rabbi. How do we know it hasn't happened again? How can we be sure that when this endorsement isn't based on the same sort of agenda-driven misinformation?

  • 1 comment:

    Jack Steiner said...


    The simple answer here is that we shouldn't rely on others to formulate our opinion. We can use them to supplement our news and information about topics. We can rely upon them to assist us, but we make a huge mistake when we let others tell us what to do.