Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Something from last month we have not argued about yet

Writing on the Atlantic last month, Jeffrey Goldberg said:
Today is Tisha b'Av, the ninth of Av, a Jewish day of fasting and mourning. It is on this day that the First and Second Temples were destroyed. The Western Wall, in Jerusalem, is a retaining wall of the Second Temple. It is, especially on this day, a locus of prayer and reflection. It is also, on this particular Tisha b'Av, the location of a very important photo opportunity for an American presidential candidate.
How vulgar is this?

Do we agree? Now there is no question that Obama would have been chewed into tiny pieces had he shown up at the Wall on Tisha b'Av with a kippah on his head. We'd have heard for days about how horribly insensitive it was to interrupt the prayers, and shut down the site on such a busy day. Plus, how dare he try to cash in on our historic suffering! But because it was Romney, and not Obama, who created the commotion, water-carrying Jews were uncharacteristically silent. I saw not one complaint.

Recognizing that rooting interests complicated the argument, can we pretend that it wasn't Obama or Romney who made the Jews stop praying so that he could have his picture taken? Let's say it was Candidate John Smith, an Independent from Ohio who commercialized the Kotel. All the other facts of the story stay the same. Is this terribly tacky or not?

Search for more information about Kashing in on the Kotel at4torah.com  


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