“When one sees the horrific images that have come out of Charlottesville and the response from President Trump one can be full of despair, but then again when one hears the words of Heather’s mother and sees the response last night from the people of Charlottesville and also from the people who have come out against Trump one can replace despair with hope.
“What do you suggest, Rabbi, as to our response to all that is going on as Jews and as Americans so that we can turn around the feeling of being helpless and just standing by? I remember people saying that it’ll never happen here and I always disagreed – it can happen anywhere with the right set of circumstances and apparently we have these conditions now.”
“As you wrote, these are trying times for our country, for us as Jews, and for all of us-members of humanity. What I think we need to do is simultaneously condemn the hate and continue to speak to those who seem to think what is going on is “ok enough.” We cannot completely separate into our separate corners. But, we cannot be silent.For Tevye said “on the other hand.” At this moment, we must remember that there is no “other hand” and there is not “another side.” The fact that the President of the US made an equivalence between the Neo-Nazis/White Supremacists who are only marching to display their hatred, bigotry, racism, and antisemitism (since let’s be real, this isn’t a “right/left”/ “democrat/republican” policy debate) and those who are counter protesting for the dignity of human beings (a sacred value in our Torah), is beyond appalling. There is no other way to view a swastika. I just am speechless.”
“At this point, whether President Trump is racist or not is not the point for me. His lack of moral leadership throughout his presidency (and candidacy), culminating in this week’s events, is the problem. The criticism of President Trump is far from “just” the liberals. He is being criticized from the left and right-from lawmakers, business people, governors, and more. The Jewish community from the Reform to the Orthodox movement have universally rejected the “both sides” argument of the president, since this is a time to rise above the childish question of ‘they hit me first’ to what are the values that are being espoused.This has absolutely nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, and the assumption that is does, is trying to shift the conversation about what is right in front of us-there are Neo-Nazis/White Supremacists marching in our country and raising their voices in a way that is an affront to all that we stand for and have stood against, every time we say “Never Again.” I have an expectation that my president will stand up loudly and proudly, and reject that.
In this Torah portion, Re’eh, Moses tells the Israelites that if they worship idols, they will be punished. Moses explains the laws of kosher food, and he details the three pilgrimage festivals: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.
Thought Question: In this week’s parasha, we read the following:
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