Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama - Leap of Hope?

Every vote for a nonincumbent Presidential candidate is in some sense a risk, given the power and complications of the job. But in both his lack of experience and the contradictions between his rhetoric and his agenda, Barack Obama presents a particular leap of hope. It is a sign of how fed up Americans are with Republicans that millions are ready to take that leap even in dangerous times.

To his supporters, such as Colin Powell, the first-term Senator has the chance to be "transformational," the kind of gauzy concept that testifies to Mr. Obama's unusual appeal. His candidacy is certainly historic, and that isn't simply a reference to his Kenyan father and American mother. One secret to Mr. Obama's success is how little his campaign has been marked by race, at least not by the traditional politics of racial grievance. He has run instead on a rhetorical theme of national unity, a shrewd appeal to voters weary of the polarizing debate over Iraq and the Bush Presidency.

Mr. Obama has also understood the political moment better than his opponents in either party. In the primaries, he used his inexperience to advantage by offering himself as a liberal alternative to what seemed like an inevitable, and dispiriting, Clinton replay. He then turned around in the general election to project sober reassurance amid the financial crisis, which was the moment when his poll numbers began to climb above the margin of error against John McCain. His coolness reflects what seems to be a first-class temperament. And while community organizing may not be much of a credential for the Presidency, Mr. Obama's ability to organize a campaign speaks well of his potential to manage a government.

None of this changes the fact that voters still know remarkably little about a man who is less than four years out of the Illinois state Senate. While he has already written two autobiographies, there are significant gaps in Mr. Obama's political resume. The nature of his relationship with onetime friend and political contributor Tony Rezko, a convicted felon, or with radicals Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, not to mention Acorn, remains ambiguous or contradictory.

They were all early supporters or mentors, yet during this campaign Mr. Obama has eventually disavowed each one. This is perhaps testimony to a ruthless pragmatism, or maybe opportunism, but what do those relationships say about what he really believes? He is fortunate the media have been so incurious about them -- as opposed, say, to Sarah Palin's Wasilla church or Joe Wurzelbacher's plumbing business.

More importantly, it remains unclear how Mr. Obama intends to govern. As a political candidate, he has presented himself as a consensus-oriented bridge-builder. But for all his talk about reaching across the aisle, we can think of no major issue where he has disagreed with his party's dominant interest groups or broken with liberal orthodoxy. Not one. The main example he cites -- "ethics reform" -- is the kind of trivial Beltway compromise that changes nothing about the way Washington works. [...]

If he is elected, Mr. Obama would immediately face the same kind of large, liberal Democratic majority on Capitol Hill that did so much to ruin Jimmy Carter and the first two years of the Clinton Presidency. Is there anything its liberal barons want that he'd oppose? He hasn't said so. On the contrary, Mr. Obama's voting record and agenda suggest that the "transformation" he may have in mind is a return to the pre-Reagan era of government expansion and liberal ascendancy.

Amid a recession, with the mortgage market already nationalized and the banking industry partly so, the next President needs to draw some lines against further politicization of our economy. Perhaps Mr. Obama will surprise by appointing Paul Volcker as his Treasury Secretary, or postponing his tax increases with the economy in distress. But those are further leaps of hope with little evidence of pragmatism to back them up.

On national security, Mr. Obama is an even greater man of mystery. Perhaps once in office he will take the course of prudent realism. He can certainly sound hawkish when he wants to, advocating unilateral military strikes inside Pakistan and promising the kind of open-ended commitment to the Afghan conflict that he claims we can't afford or sustain in Iraq. Yet he ran irresponsibly against the surge in Iraq and now has his lucky stars to thank that Mr. McCain prevailed in that debate, so Mr. Obama would inherit a far more stable Middle East. His belief that diplomacy can stop Tehran's nuclear ambitions is also naive, and we suspect would be shown to be so early in his Administration with an Iranian nuclear declaration, if not a test.

As Joe Biden recently said, an Obama Presidency would invite challenges from enemies who would tread more cautiously against a President McCain. Perhaps Mr. Obama will evolve into a Truman, or perhaps he'll prove merely to be another Jimmy Carter. Unlike Mr. McCain, he'll be making it up as he goes.

Perhaps this is the kind of leadership the American people want after the Presidential certitudes of the Bush years. Americans certainly are eager for fresh start, and it is typical of periods of economic panic that they may even be willing to reach for the kind of alluring but untested appeal that so marks Mr. Obama. Sometimes these gambles pay off, and sometimes they don't.

14 comments :

  1. > He is fortunate the media have been so incurious about them -- as opposed, say, to Sarah Palin's Wasilla church

    It's not curious. It's intentional.

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  2. I'm looking forward to the return to a Torah discussion. If I wanted to discuss politics, I would go to a political activist's blog, not an expatriot rav's...

    -micha

    ReplyDelete
  3. Recipients and PublicityNovember 3, 2008 at 9:38 PM

    "Obama - Leap of Hope?"

    If that old saying, "The boy is father to the man" has any truth, then if Obama were to win, the MARXIST boy in Obama would be a big problem for CAPITALIST America:

    See http://www.theobamafile.com/ObamaPolitics.htm

    "The Obama File

    Politics

    Background:

    Barack Obama was born of Communist activists, mentored by a communist writer and activist, spent his college days hanging around radical activists, worked as a radical community organizer learning the radical tactics of Alinsky, kept contact with radicals through the years, attends a radical church, and today lends his political skill to the international goals of radical activists, and has radicals working on his campaign.

    The fact is, Obama has been around Marxists, of one kind or another, since the age of 12.

    Frank Marshall Davis:

    Accuracy in Media has an in-depth profile of a leftist who influenced Obama during his high school years. In an article entitled, "Obama's Communist Mentor," Cliff Kincaid identifies a member of the Communist Party USA, who has been influential in Obama's life and education, Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist -- and born in Kansas.

    Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). The record shows that Obama was in Hawaii from 1971-1979, where, at some point in time, he developed a close relationship, almost like a son, with Davis, listening to his "poetry" and getting advice on his career path. But Obama, in his book, "Dreams From My Father," refers to him repeatedly as just "Frank." Frank is the black communist writer now considered by some to be in the same category of prominence as Maya Angelou and Alice Walker.

    ...

    Marxist Conferences:

    During Obama's Columbia period, he regularly attended the Marxist-Socialist conferences at Cooper Union and African cultural fairs in Brooklyn and started lecturing his relatives until they worried he'd become "one of those freaks you see on the streets around here."

    ...

    Alinsky:

    One of Obama's early mentors in the Alinsky method was Mike Kruglik, who had this to say to an interviewer of The New Republic, about Obama:

    "He was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."

    The agitator's job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the "realization" that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent "self-interest" in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.

    In these methods, euphemistically labeled "community organizing," Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere.

    ...

    He Is Who He Is:

    He has made it clear that the mere use of His name would be freighted with coded innuendoes of something too horrible to say straightforwardly. One has to go back to Exodus 3:13-14 to find such strict instructions concerning the use of a name. Moses explained: "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I Am Who I Am." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I Am has sent me to you.'"

    So perhaps we can call Him, for short, Sen. I Am (full code name: I Am who you have been waiting for).

    ...

    Arrogance:

    ...Perhaps he's an adulation junkie. Maybe the diminishing "nourishment" Sen. Obama receives from "popularity" is actually causing him to ratchet up his pursuit of more and more praise just to get the minimal fix he needs.

    That would account for why a man who thinks striving for popularity is a character flaw has nonetheless decided to give his nomination acceptance speech in a 76,000-seat football stadium.

    Or it might tell us why a candidate who hasn't even been nominated yet wants to re-enact some of the most famous scenes from both Reagan and JFK's highlight reels by holding a rally at Germany's Brandenburg Gate, even though he's not a head of state yet. (German authorities, aware of Obama's rock-star status with the German public, diplomatically suggested that it was up to Obama to decide what is in "good taste.")

    Perhaps Dominic Lawson, writing in the British newspaper The Independent had it right when he recently wrote that Obama is "a man of stunning articulacy, but also stunning self-regard."

    Associates:

    Obama has surrounded himself with racists, socialists, Marxists, communists, domestic terrorists and accused felons, yet has an uncanny ability to mesmerize the mainstream media into believing the people with whom he associates in the long term do not reflect upon him personally.

    "It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn’t seem angry all the time."

    That is a quote from Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father. He has learned to play the game well. Regardless of the company he keeps, his smiling well mannered persona has indeed been an effective shield into the psyche of Barack Obama.

    ...

    Defense:

    Obama calls for the Draft.

    In remarks that clearly pointed toward the restoration of the military draft under an Obama administration, the Democratic candidate said Thursday night that his job as president would include demanding that the American people recognize an "obligation" for military service. "If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some," Senator Barack Obama declared.

    ...

    Extremism:

    Senator Stealth: How to advance radical causes when no one's looking

    After hearing about Barack Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Fr. Michael Pfleger, and the militant activists of ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), it should be clear to everyone that his extremist roots run deep.

    But the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has yet another connection with the world of far-Left radicalism. Obama has long been linked -- through foundation grants, shared political activism, collaboration on legislation and tactics, and mutual praise and support -- with the Chicago-based Gamaliel Foundation, one of the least known yet most influential national umbrella groups for church-based "community organizers."

    The same separatist, anti-American theology of liberation that was so boldly and bitterly proclaimed by Obama's pastor is shared, if more quietly, by Obama's Gamaliel colleagues. The operative word here is "quietly." Gamaliel specializes in ideological stealth, and Obama, a master student of Gamaliel strategy, shows disturbing signs of being a sub rosa radical himself. Obama's legislative tactics, as well as his persistent professions of non-ideological pragmatism, appear to be inspired by his radical mentors' most sophisticated tactics. Not only has Obama studied, taught, and apparently absorbed stealth techniques from radical groups like Gamaliel and ACORN, but in his position as a board member of Chicago's supposedly nonpartisan Woods Fund, he quietly funneled money to his radical allies -- at the very moment he most needed their support to boost his political career. It's high time for these shadowy, perhaps improper, ties to receive a dose of sunlight.

    The connections are numerous. Gregory Galluzzo, Gamaliel's co-founder and executive director, served as a trainer and mentor during Obama's mid-1980s organizing days in Chicago. The Developing Communities Project, which first hired Obama, is part of the Gamaliel network. Obama became a consultant and eventually a trainer of community organizers for Gamaliel. (He also served as a trainer for ACORN.) And he has kept up his ties with Gamaliel during his time in the U.S. Senate...

    ...

    Fascism:

    Obama believes he is above criticism and will act aggressively to prevent stories and images, he and his supporters believe are unflattering from being published. Obama has become a one-man national censor.

    A while back, Obama was all upset that his wife, Michelle, received fire for her anti-American views, and ordered the media and Republicans to "leave my wife alone" -- even as the bride was out dissing the United States...

    ...Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November.

    Biden's comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

    But his statements represent the Democrats' strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years."

    and more...

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  4. micha said...

    I'm looking forward to the return to a Torah discussion. If I wanted to discuss politics, I would go to a political activist's blog, not an expatriot rav's...
    ============================
    Berachos (62a): It has been taught: R. Akiba said: Once I went in after R. Joshua to a privy, and I learnt from him three things. I learnt that one does not sit east and west but north and south; I learnt that one evacuates not standing but sitting; and I learnt that it is proper to wipe with the left hand and not with the right. Said Ben Azzai to him: Did you dare to take such liberties with your master? He replied: It was a matter of Torah, and I required to learn. It has been taught: Ben ‘Azzai said: Once I went in after R. Akiba to a privy, and I learnt from him three things. I learnt that one does not evacuate east and west but north and south. I also learnt that one evacuates sitting and not standing. I also learnt it is proper to wipe with the left hand and not with the right. Said R. Judah to him: Did you dare to take such liberties with your master? — He replied: It was a matter of Torah, and I required to learn. R. Kahana once went in and hid under Rab's bed. He heard him chatting [with his wife] and joking and doing what he required. He said to him: One would think that Abba's mouth had never sipped the dish before! He said to him: Kahana, are you here? Go out, because it is rude.1 He replied: It is a matter of Torah, and I require to learn.

    ReplyDelete
  5. RaP, have you ever considered just getting your own blog? They're free, you know.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Recipients and PublicityNovember 4, 2008 at 12:38 PM

    To Garnel Ironheart who said...

    "RaP, have you ever considered just getting your own blog? They're free, you know."

    Who says I don't have my own blog? I don't like to toot my own horn! In fact I have more than one blog, going back longer than this one even.

    If Rabbi Eidensohn/da'as torah has any problems with me or my posts he has no compunction in criticizing me and he is free to either post or rejcect them. I think that my work here helps dealing with the issues, increases his stats and engages the readership. On this blog I involve myself in issues that I share a common interest with the blog owner. Plenty of people have their own blogs yet feel free to come onto and participate and comment on other's blogs.

    Your comment is very puzzling and troubling.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Recipients and PublicityNovember 5, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Frum Fear of Barack Hussein Obama.

    Serious concerns about Obama from a frum perspective in an article written by Chava Willig Levy and filed by Rebbetzin Toby Katz on Cross-Currents on 10/31/08 at

    http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2008/10/31/full-disclosure-reflections-on-barack-obama/

    "FULL DISCLOSURE: Reflections on Barack Obama

    Guest column by Chava Willig Levy

    Full disclosure: I believe that God guides history. The improbable, meteoric rise of Barack Obama offers a case in point.

    The facts are common knowledge: In 2000, Obama was a virtual unknown. He had to scrape together the airfare to attend that year’s Democratic National Convention, to which he had not been invited. Three months later, he was trounced in his run for an Illinois congressional seat. But in 2004, not yet a United States senator, he was the Democratic National Convention’s keynote speaker, an honor usually reserved for political icons; he became an overnight sensation. Just two years after he became Illinois’s junior senator, he announced his candidacy for president of the United States.

    But here are some less well-known facts:

    • Obama’s 2004 victory might never have occurred were it not for an unprecedented financing loophole. Because his opponent in the Democratic primary had financed his campaign with over $28 million of his own money, Obama was permitted to accept as much as $12,000 from each donor, or six times the limit at that time.

    • Obama’s opponents for that coveted Senate seat evaporated at every turn like morning dew. As a 2004 New York Times editorial put it:

    It’s been looking a little too easy lately for Barack Obama, the Democrat running for United States Senate in Illinois against whom? Let’s see. It’s a little complicated. The race has been a little like the football scene in a Marx Brothers movie, with the candidate sprinting past a squad of defenders who look mean and beefy but end up slipping, sliding, colliding and falling all over themselves.

    Even Obama acknowledges his “spooky good fortune.”

    It certainly looks as if God is guiding Mr. Obama straight to the White House. But if God is guiding his history, and ours, aren’t we mere spectators forced to watch passively — some might say helplessly — as it unfolds? Several of my coreligionists think so, fatalistically pointing to the fact that the secular date of Obama’s breakthrough keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention — July 27 — coincided with Tisha B’Av, a fast day commemorating the many seismic tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people.

    I can understand their prediction of impending doom. Reasons abound:

    • Barack Obama or, as New York Times columnist David Brooks has called him, “Fast Eddie Obama”:

    He speaks so calmly and polysyllabically that people fail to appreciate the Machiavellian ambition inside. But he’s been giving us an education, for anybody who cares to pay attention. Just try to imagine Mister Rogers playing the agent Ari in Entourage and it all falls into place.

    • He has inveigled his way into the hearts of diametrically opposed constituents. According to New York Times reporters Jo Becker and Christopher Drew, here’s how he did it:

    He moved from his leftist Hyde Park base to more centrist circles; he forged early alliances with the good-government reform crowd only to be embraced later by the city’s all-powerful Democratic bosses; he railed against pork-barrel politics but engaged in it when needed; and he empathized with the views of his Palestinian friends before adroitly courting the city’s politically potent Jewish community.

    His chameleon-like charisma reminds me of my favorite scene from Fiddler on the Roof. In it, Tevye and his friends are immersed in a debate. One villager expresses an opinion; Tevye, nodding, says, “He’s right.” “That’s nonsense,” another man retorts and refutes his friend’s idea. Tevye, nodding, says, “He’s right.” “He’s right and he’s right?” interrupts a third man. “How can they both be right?” “You know,” says Tevye, “you’re also right!” Back in 1966, I laughed uproariously at this bizarre interchange. But Obama’s run for the White House has given it an ominous overtone. For when a Broadway musical makes all characters — even those with opposite opinions — right, it is amusing. When a politician does the same thing, it’s no laughing matter.

    • He is admired by untold numbers of American Jews, as well as millions of people who call for the destruction of not only Israel but of world Jewry as well.

    • He is guilty of politically motivated flip-flopping to woo Jewish voters. Hours after securing the Democratic nomination, when the cameras were rolling, when the reporters were taking notes, when influential Jews were listening with rapt attention, Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference and declared, to thunderous applause, “Now, let me be clear: Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is nonnegotiable… And Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” Hours later, he issued a retraction, subsequently calling “undivided” a “poorly chosen” word.

    • He favors talks — without preconditions — with Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who, in the words of Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, is a “Holocaust-denying, virulently anti-Semitic, aspiring genocidist,” the Hitler of our era.

    • Hours after visiting Sderot, hours after a Palestinian terrorist wreaked havoc outside the Jerusalem hotel where Obama would be staying, the senator spoke to an adoring throng in Berlin, proclaiming, “We must defeat terror…in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York.” To glaringly omit cities in the country that has suffered the greatest number of terrorist casualties per capita in the world is hypocrisy and political expediency of the lowest order.

    Full disclosure: With pundits predicting a landslide victory for Obama, I feel pessimistic not infrequently — but never permanently. Here’s why: God may guide history, but He does so without full disclosure. Part of what the Almighty hides from us is how we, in tandem with Him, can guide history too. The question isn’t: What does God want? The question is: What does God want of us?

    Esther, heroine of the holiday of Purim, guides us to our answer. We just need to examine a pivotal point in the book that bears her name.

    In Chapter 4, things are looking pretty dismal for her fellow Jews. It looks as if the smooth-talking Haman, whose ambitions have been fulfilled at every turn, who has been blessed with “spooky good fortune,” is destined to succeed. It looks as if God is guiding his history so that he will have his way. But Mordechai knows that, at this juncture, fatalism would be fatal. He beseeches Esther to intervene, to help halt history in its tracks. And when she demurs, Mordechai upbraids her (Esther 4:14): “Who knows whether it was for just such an opportunity as this that you attained your royal position?”

    In the absence of full disclosure, Esther has to resist her temptation to follow protocol, to be politically correct. But she accedes to Mordechai’s demand only after he agrees to accede to hers (Esther 4:16): “Go and gather all the Jews in Shushan, and fast on my behalf for the three days…My maidens and I will also fast.”

    We have no Esther today. But over 2,400 years after she left the world’s stage, her example remains. We must emulate her two-pronged strategy: politics and prayer.

    Full disclosure: Come Election Day, I will not be voting for Barack Obama, a man who sold out on full disclosure long ago. Furthermore, whatever the election’s outcome, I will watch the White House vigilantly, lifting my pen and voice whenever necessary to help safeguard the welfare and security of Americans and Jews worldwide. And finally, I will remember that God rules the rulers. He is the King of all kings, and no one rises to or falls from power unless He wills it.

    Chava Willig Levy is a New York-based writer, editor and lecturer who zips around in a motorized wheelchair and communicates about the quality and meaning of life. She can be reached via her web site: www.chavawilliglevy.com."

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  8. Recipients and PublicityNovember 6, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Frum world grapples with Obama's elction!

    YW claims that Rav Kanievsky has expressed a view about Obama's election. Is this true and what does it mean?

    Yeshiva World of November 6, 2008 reports at http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/25554/Maran+Rav+Kanievsky+on+the+Election+of+Obama.html

    "Maran Rav Kanievsky on the Election of Obama

    November 6, 2008

    Maran Hagon Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita is quoted as having said [on Wednesday] - following the election of Senator Barack Obama as America’s next president, that this is not the first time that a black person was elected to a leadership post, ‘News1′ reports.

    Yiddishkeit believes a person with black skin is a descendant of Cham, the son of Noach, upon who it is written “he will serve his brother”. Rav Kanievsky stated in regard to the president-elect that he will be a “servant who rules”, adding there is a historical precedent with King Herod (Hurdus), who was also black. “Herod made Tzaros for Am Yisrael, but he also built the Beis HaMikdosh” stated the Rav.

    There is a measure of ambivalence regarding Herod, who came from a family of converts. He began ruling over Malchus Yehuda in the year 37 BCE after conquering Yerushalayim from the last Chasmonaim king, Matisyahu Antignus. He was supported by the Roman Senate.

    (Yechiel Spira - YWN Israel)"

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  9. Recipients and PublicityNovember 6, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    VIN on 11/5/08 carries similar report (News Source: News 1 Israel -Link-) about Rav Kanieksky's views on Obama's election at http://www.vosizneias.com/22157/2008/11/05/bnei-brak-israel-rabbi-kanievsky-compares-obama-to-hordus-who-rebuilt-the-beis-hamikdosh/

    "Bnei Brak, Israel - Rabbi Kanievsky Compares Obama To 'hordus' Who Rebuilt The 'beis hamikdosh'

    Bnei Brak, Israel - With anxiety and uncertainly roiling at the recent election of Barack Obama, As a young inexperienced chief will take the helm of being the president of the united States, Rabbi Chaim Kanievksy, Shlita, reacted to the development by saying there was nothing to worry about.

    In an apparent response to requests for guidance regarding the issue, Rabbi Kanievsky compared Sen. Obama to King Hordus, who rose from humble origins to become king of ancient Israel and build the Beis Hamikdash.

    ([Photo and caption:] Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (Hebrew: חיים קנייבסקי‎, born January 8, 1928) is a world-renowned Charedi rabbi and posek living in Bnei Brak, Israel.)"

    The full report from news1.co.il quotes Rav Kanievsky and Israel's Chieh Rabbi Yona Metzger as well at http://www.news1.co.il/Archive/001-D-178141-00.html?tag=02-22-29

    הרב קנייבסקי על אובמה: "עבד כי ימלוך"

    מאת: עידן יוסף NEWS1.co.il/blog/Idan

    ואומר כי אין מה לחשוש מבחירתו של ברק אובמה לנשיא ארצות הברית

    ▪ ▪ ▪
    הרב חיים קנייבסקי התייחס בקצרה (יום ד', 5.11.08) לבחירתו של ברק אובמה לנשיא ארצות הברית, ואמר כי אין זו הפעם הראשונה בה עולה שחור למלכות. כך נודע ל-News1.

    ביהדות נחשבים אנשים בעלי גון עור שחור לצאצאיו של חָם, בנו של נוח, שעליו נאמר "עבד יהיה לאחיו" (שם ויפת). הרב קנייבסקי אמר כי הנשיא החדש הוא בבחינת "עבד כי ימלוך", וציין כי יש לכך תקדים היסטורי כאשר הורדוס, שהיה שחור גם כן, עלה למלוכה. "הורדוס עשה צרות לעם ישראל, אבל גם בנה את בית המקדש", ציין הרב.

    דמות שנויה במחלוקת

    היחס לדמותו של הורדוס הוא אמביוולנטי. הוא היה בן למשפחת גרים, והחל למלוך על ממלכת יהודה בשנת 37 לפני הספירה לאחר שכבש את ירושלים מידי המלך החשמונאי האחרון - מתתיהו אנטיגונוס. הורדוס הוכתר למלך בחסות הסנאט הרומאי, שאף שלח צבא לעזרתו.

    דעתו של הרב קנייבסקי משמעותית, מאחר שהינו דמות אהודה בכל שכבות הציבור החרדי, ונחשב כמי שברכותיו מתקבלות. הוא בנו של ה"סטייפלער", הרב ישראל יעקב קנייבסקי, מבכירי הרבנים הליטאים בדור הקודם וחתנו של מנהיג הציבור הליטאי הרב יוסף שלום אלישיב.

    הרב קנייבסקי הרגיע ואמר על בחירת אובמה: "אין מה לחשוש. יהיה בסדר".

    הרב מצגר: לב מלכים ביד השם

    של ברק אובמה. בטקס השבעת חברי מועצת הרבנות הראשית לישראל, אמר: "כידוע, לב מלכים ושרים ביד השם, וכולנו תפילה שהשם ייתן בליבו לעמוד לצד העם היושב בציון ולצידם של יהודי ארצות הברית. לפני זמן מה הוא ביקר בארץ הקודש, ובחור ישיבה שלף את הפתק שתחב בין אבני הכותל, והגדיל לעשות והפיץ אותו בתקשורת. אני מבקש ראשית למחות על המעשה המביש הזה, אבל לאחר שפורסם מה שנכתב שם, אני רוצה לומר לכולנו שמי שגדל ומתחנך על כאלו ערכים – מצליח!".

    הרב מצגר לא הסתפק בכך, וציטט מן הפתק שטמן אובמה בין החרכים: "סלח לי על חטאיי ועזור לי להישמר מפני הגאווה ומפני היאוש. תן לי את החוכמה לעשות את מה שנכון וצודק ועשה אותי לכלי לביצוע רצונך".

    ReplyDelete
  10. Recipients and PublicityNovember 7, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Obama's post-election November surprise picks Rep. Rahm Emanuel who has strong Jewish and Israeli connections, and is reportedly Modern Orthodox!

    As reported on Fri., November 07, 2008 Cheshvan 9, 5769 by Ha'aretz at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1035128.html

    "U.S. Jews laud Obama pick of Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff

    By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent

    America's Jewish community welcomed U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's pick of Rep. Rahm Emanuel for the post of Chief of Staff, saying that the choice demonstrates that Obama has learned from the mistakes of previous Democratic presidents.

    On Thursday, Obama announced that Emanuel, a key official in the Clinton administration, had accepted his offer and will serve as the next White House Chief of Staff.

    William Daroff, the director of the Washington office of the United Jewish Communities (UJC), an umbrella organization representing 155 Jewish Federations and 400 independent Jewish communities across North America, said Thursday "Rep. Emanuel is among the smartest political tacticians and policy-makers that is on the scene in Washington."

    "He was singularly responsible for guiding many of the top legislative priorities of the Clinton administration when he was a senior White House aide. He crafted the House Democrats plan to regain the majority when he was their campaign committee chairman," Daroff went on to say.

    "Choosing Rep. Emanuel is a sign that President-elect Obama is learning from the mistakes of the two most recent Democratic Presidents, who brought in Washington outsiders to run the White House, and did so at their own peril -- often finding themselves in battles with the Washington Democratic establishment. Emanuel's selection will avoid such 'freshman mistakes'," The UJC official continued.

    "Rep. Emanuel is also a good friend of Israel, coming from good Irgun stock, davening at an Orthodox synagogue, and sending his children to Jewish day schools," Daroff concluded.

    Ira N. Forman, Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), echoed Daroff's approval, saying in a statement Thursday that "Obama made an outstanding selection. Emanuel has been a forceful and effective leader within the Democratic Party. His voting record and leadership in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship are outstanding."

    "Emanuel has deep Jewish roots and strong ties to the Jewish community. Emanuel, the son of an Israeli immigrant, has a proven commitment to Israel's security and served as civilian volunteer on an Israeli military base during the Persian Gulf War of 1991," the statement continued.

    "We congratulate Emanuel and look forward to continuing to work with Emanuel in his new role in the Obama administration." Forman added."

    and at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1034635.html

    "Obama says Rahm Emanuel accepts chief of staff position

    By Haaretz Staff and News Agencies

    U.S. President-elect Barack Obama said on Thursday that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a former key official in the Clinton administration, had accepted his offer to become White House chief of staff.

    "I announce this appointment first because the Chief of Staff is central to the ability of a President and Administration to accomplish an agenda," said Obama, who was elected on Tuesday. "And no one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel."

    Choosing Emanuel was one of Obama's first decisions after becoming president-elect in Tuesday's election.

    The hard-charging fellow Chicagoan accepted the job after struggling over family and political considerations. By moving into a top White House job for a second time, Emanuel will have to put aside hopes of becoming speaker of the lower chamber.

    He is the son of a Jerusalem-born pediatrician who was a member of the Irgun (Etzel or IZL), a militant Zionist group that operated in Palestine between 1931 and 1948.

    Emanuel was a key figure in the administration of former President Bill Clinton, where he was known for his blunt management style. His selection is a shift in tone for Obama, who chose more low-key leadership for his presidential campaign.

    Emanuel's quick rise to a party leadership position in the House underlines his political acumen, and his choice by Obama points to the president-elect's preparations to move quickly on getting his legislative agenda through Congress. Emanuel will carry a major role in facilitating and selling Obama's plans.

    Obama was working in Chicago on Thursday where he received his first presidential-style intelligence briefing before moving into the White House in
    10 weeks.

    He planned his first public appearance since his presidential victory for Friday - a meeting with economic advisers to discuss the nation's financial troubles, which Americans listed as their top concern on election day. Obama plans to talk to the news media Friday afternoon after the meeting, aides said.

    He and his wife, Michelle, will visit the White House on Monday at the invitation of President George W. Bush, aides said.

    His new government faces massive challenges both at home and abroad, as evidence made clear on the first days after his historic victory over Republican John McCain on Tuesday.

    The U.S. stock market greeted his elevation to the pinnacle of American power by plunging nearly 500 points Wednesday on more dire news about an economy in the throes of its worst crisis since the 1930s Great Depression. It fell further on Thursday.

    Meanwhile, the Kremlin sounded off as well, with President Dmitry Medvedev declaring: Mechanisms must be created to block mistaken, egoistical and sometimes simply dangerous decisions of certain members of the international community - an apparent reference to the United States under Bush.

    Medvedev issued the stark challenge even as he threatened to erect missiles along the Polish border if the Obama administration were to go forward with plans laid out by the Bush administration to create a missile shield in the Eastern Europe.

    The Associated Press, meanwhile, declared Obama the winner in North Carolina on Thursday, a symbolic triumph in a state that hadn't voted for a Democrat in more than a generation.

    North Carolina's 15 electoral votes brings Obama's total to 364 - nearly 100 more than necessary to win the White House. Missouri is the only state that remains too close to call.

    Obama's win in North Carolina was the first for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter won the state in 1976.

    Before accepting the chief of staff job, Emanuel had told a Chicago television station he was honored but needed to consider the impact on his family.

    "I have a lot to weigh: the basis of public service, which I've given my life to, a career choice. And most importantly, what I want to do as a parent," Emanuel said in an interview aired Wednesday.

    Emanuel was a political and policy aide to Clinton before he turned to investment banking. He then won a Chicago-area House seat six years ago. In Congress, he moved quickly into the leadership. As chairman of the Democratic campaign committee in 2006, he played an instrumental role in restoring his party to power after 12 years in the minority.

    Emanuel maintained neutrality during the long primary battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, not surprising given his long-standing ties to the former first lady and his Illinois connections with Obama.

    Other White House officials were being lined up, including Robert Gibbs as the likely pick for press secretary, said several Obama aides. Gibbs has been Obama's longtime spokesman and confidant and was at Obama's side from his 2004 Senate campaign through the long days on the presidential campaign trail.

    Obama planned to stay home through the weekend, with a blackout on news announcements so that he and his staff can get some rest after a grueling campaign and the emotional rush of their win Tuesday night. He is planning a trip to Hawaii in December to get away with his family before their move to the White House - and to honor his grandmother, who died Sunday at her home there."

    ReplyDelete
  11. Recipients and PublicityNovember 7, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Official American Haredi and Orthodox reactions to Obama's presidentail-race victory:

    From Yeshiva World:

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/25581/Agudath+Israel+Letter+Sent+to+President+Elect+Barack+Obama+.html

    "Agudath Israel Letter Sent to President Elect Barack Obama

    November 6, 2008

    President Elect Barack Obama
    P.O. Box 8102
    Chicago, IL 60680

    Dear Mr. President Elect:

    On behalf of Agudath Israel of America, it is my pleasure to convey to you our heartfelt congratulations on your historic victory in yesterday’s election.

    Agudath Israel is an 86-year old national Orthodox Jewish organization, with eight advocacy offices across America, as well as a full-time D.C. office and active chapters in virtually in all of the states. We have had the pleasure of working with you and your staff during your tenures both in the Illinois state legislature and in the U.S. Senate, and we very much look forward to building upon that relationship as you assume the highest office in the land.

    The very first sentences of your victory speech last night, pointing out how the results of the election have shattered once and for all the myth that certain opportunities are foreclosed from certain types of people in this country, most meaningfully resonates in a community like ours. All Americans can share in the inspiration of this truly significant moment.

    We look forward to working with you in the months and years to come. For now, you have our every best wish and heartfelt prayers for great success.

    Sincerely,

    David Zwiebel."

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/25607/Young+Israel+Movement+Congratulates+Obama+On+Victory.html

    "Young Israel Movement Congratulates Obama On Victory

    November 7, 2008

    November 5, 2008

    President Elect Barack Obama
    713 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
    Washington, DC 20510

    Dear President Elect Obama,

    On behalf of our Board of Directors, our more than 150 member synagogues throughout the United States, and representing over 100,000 Jews across America, I congratulate you on your historic election as President of the United States.

    Our 100-year-old organization has long championed the causes of freedom and our members have traditionally been involved in charitable and social causes that benefit people of all races and religions. As Jews, we understand discrimination and unjustified hatred. President Abraham Lincoln issued The Emancipation Proclamation and, at the same time, countermanded General Ulysses S. Grant’s General Order #11, calling for the expulsion of Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. Discrimination has no racial, religious or ethnic boundaries.

    Among our organization’s stated aims and goals is to instill in our youth the tenets of our faith and that our faith is compatible with “good citizenship.” Our members have served in our country’s military, in government and as volunteers. At the same time, our members are Zionists and have a special relationship with the State of Israel.

    Israel made great sacrifices for peace when it closed the settlements in Gaza. It was repaid by the bombardment of Sderot. Israeli soldiers have been kidnapped and returned dead. Many of our members have lost relatives to terror and continue to support those who were injured or made homeless.

    During your presidency, you will be asked by some to pressure Israel to make concessions. Others will question Israel’s friendship with the United States and/or its strategic importance. At those times, I ask you to remember that during the first Iraq War, Israel withstood Iraqi missile attacks and did not respond, solely because it was asked to refrain from doing so by the United States. Through its inaction, Israel proved that it was more than a mere friend or ally. How many countries in the world can claim they sacrificed their own civilian’s lives to protect the military, strategic and diplomatic goals of the United States?

    Our membership also virtually speaks with one voice on behalf of a united Jerusalem. Jerusalem cannot be divided. It is the heart and soul of the Jewish nation. No country or religion has the historic and emotional ties to Jerusalem as does Israel and the Jewish people. The reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 was a miracle. A re-division of Jerusalem would rock the very foundation of the Jewish State and would remove the very soul of our people.

    During this campaign, you proved yourself to be a person with a plan for the future of America. You will be entering office during difficult times. We offer you our congratulations, our support and, most importantly, our prayers for your success. May G-d bless you, your family and the United States of America.

    Respectfully yours,

    Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, President
    Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President"

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/25604/Rabbi+Pinchos+Lipschutz:+Preparing+the+World+for+Moshiach.html

    "Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz: Preparing the World for Moshiach

    November 6, 2008

    Four years ago, he was a state senator in Chicago. Since then, he got himself elected to the US Senate, defeated the Clintons, came out of nowhere and lit up America. McCain seemed all but defeated in the primaries but came roaring back. As the candidate of the incumbent Republican party, he was weighed down by the massive liability of being linked to President Bush, and it is to McCain’s credit that the race wasn’t declared over a long time ago. President Bush is the least popular president in decades, the economy is in tatters, the nation is fighting an unpopular war, and McCain’s opponent out-raised him by hundreds of millions of dollars.

    McCain was fighting a liberal takeover of the country, the likes of which it hasn’t seen in decades. He ran a very imperfect campaign and was inept at pointing out his opponent’s flaws, as well as in giving people a good reason to vote Republican this time around. But despite that, everyone knew that John McCain is a real patriot truly dedicated to serving his country in ways Obama never would or could.

    Electing Obama as president of the United States is a dangerous gamble, but most Americans remain blissfully oblivious to the risks. The very fact that Barack Obama won so many votes requires explanation. How does a man with his background capture the support of so many people? How can it be that millions of people became so mesmerized by him and his speeches that they didn’t care about his associations or policies? Why is it that, with all the serious attempts to expose his flawed credentials throughout the campaign, he remained ahead in the polls all the way through until the big one, the one that really counted, on November 4th?

    Did you notice that throughout the primary and general election campaign, most of the media coverage and the primary point of interest for most people consisted of the polls? News headlines in the major media were all about who was ahead at any given moment in the polls. This guy was up and this guy was down. The news glossed over the candidates’ positions, concentrating instead on who the polls showed faring better in convincing the masses to support them .... [more] ..."

    and finally a message from Iran:

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/25576/Ahmadinejad+Congratulates+Obama.html

    "Ahmadinejad Congratulates Obama
    November 6, 2008

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has congratulated Barack Obama on his election win — the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes to a U.S. president-elect since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    Ahmadinejad sent a message to Obama in which he congratulated the Democrat on “attracting the majority of voters in the election.”

    The text of the note was carried by the official IRNA news agency on Thursday.

    In the message, Ahmadinejad also says he hopes Obama will “use the opportunity to serve the (American) people and leave a good name” during his term in office.

    (Source: Associated Press / Haaretz)"

    Truly all quite dizzying!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Recipients and PublicityNovember 9, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    BIG TROUBLE ahead with Rahm Emanuel!

    As reported by VIN on 8/11/08 (News Source: Exeminer - VIN News) at http://www.vosizneias.com/22253/2008/11/08/chicago-il-obama-civil-force-idea-in-the-us-appears-to-have-come-from-rahm-emnual/

    "Obama Civil Force Idea In The U.S., Appears To Have Come From Rahm Emnual

    Published on: November 8th, 2008 at 11:19 PMNews Source: Exeminer - VIN News

    Chicago, IL - On the campaign trail one of the controversy's that was posted on many news sites and bloggers including The Drudge Report [reported by VIN News] was the issue of Obama saying he wants to create a civil police force in the United states.

    Wondering where that have might come from, and what exactly president elect Obama meant? Perhaps from his newly appointed Chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

    In his 2006 book The Plan: Big Ideas for America, Emanuel lays out an ambitious and detailed description of America, Emanuel-style, which would include a Democratic party free of New Deal policies and compulsory national service for all Americans under the age of 25.

    The following excerpt is from pages 61-62 of the 2006 book:

    "It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, All Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service. ...

    Here's how it would work. Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They'll be asked to report for three months of basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we're hit by a natural disaster. These young people will be available to address their communities' most pressing needs."

    Emanuel and co-author Bruce Reed insist "this is not a draft," but go on to write of young men and women, "the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service." They also warn, "[s]ome Republicans will squeal about individual freedom," ruling out any likelihood that they would let people opt out of universal citizen service.

    As chief of staff, Emanuel will not be in a position to directly introduce public policy, but his enthusiasm for compulsory service, combined with Barack Obama's own plan to require high school students to perform 50 hours of government-approved service, suggest an unfortunate direction for the new administration.

    Democrats hailed the book as a voice crying in the wilderness while Republicans wailed that Emanuel was advocating a nationwide descent into the great dark night of socialism.

    Some of the Republican angst over the The Plan probably stemmed from the book's lengthly and damning laundry list of Bush administration sins. However, with Emanuel standing next to Obama at the helm for the next four years, Republicans had best get used Emanuel's aggressive style since there is most likely going to be plenty more to come.

    Emanuel is renowned, both in and out of his party, for his sometimes abrasive tactics. The Democratic strategist Paul Begala once vividly referred to Emanuel's political style as: a cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache.

    Naftali Bendavid's 2007 book The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to be Ruthless and Finally Ended the Republican Revolution, goes behind the scenes of the 2006 midterm elections and gives readers an up-close view of Emanuel at his peak. Bendavid credits the Democrat's success in that election almost exclusively to Emanuel's ferocious new approach to politics--an approach that will almost certainly be a major component of his strategy as the new White House Chief of Staff.

    For anyone interested in political goings-ons, these next four years should make for some exceptionally fine viewing. Goody goody."

    ReplyDelete
  13. Recipients and PublicityNovember 11, 2008 at 4:07 AM

    Rahm Emanuel's wife's problematic conversion to Modern Orthodox Judaism, even as his rabbi (who converted her) is proud of him, as Emanuel's hidden Marxism based on Hegel is revealed!

    Some interesting stuff on Rahm Emanuel on the "Failed Messiah" blog and a letter from his spiritual leader there, Rabbi Asher Lopatin, who heads what the late Rabbi Meir Kahane would have called a "heterodox" synagogue. See:

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/11/obamas-mo-chief.html

    "Obama's Modern Orthodox Chief Of Staff

    President-elect Barack Obama's first appointment after winning the presidency last week was Rahm Emmanuel, who was named White House Chief of Staff.

    By now surely have heard about Emmanuel's Jewish roots. But you may not have heard that Emmanuel and his wife attend a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago.

    The New Yorker reports http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2008/11/17/081117ta_talk_widdicombe :

    …“I don’t know him in a political way,” [Rabbi Asher] Lopatin [Emanuel’s rabbi at the Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel congregation, in Chicago] said, “but I wish all our congregants were as loyal to the synagogue and as engaged as he is.” Lopatin said he tries not to get involved with politics, since this can lead to trouble (see Wright, Jeremiah; “Sometimes we spiritual leaders say things we don’t mean,” Lopatin said), but he’d taken the liberty of leaving “a couple messages” on his congregant’s voice mail. “I didn’t push him one way or the other,” he said. “I just wanted to congratulate him and tell him it’s a good opportunity.”

    Emanuel, Lopatin emphasized, is “a genius at balancing things.” A few weeks ago, Emanuel consulted Lopatin about working on the financial-bailout package during Rosh Hashanah. The rabbi gave his approval, citing the principle of pikkuah nefesh—“To save a life, you can violate almost any commandment,” he said. “There’s no doubt that somewhere in the world there would be a serious risk to lives and personal survival if the financial system melted down,” he reasoned. So Emanuel tiptoed out of the service to take a conference call. But the rest of the time he was in synagogue. “This year, I’d asked Rahm to open the ark,” the rabbi said. “We had to make sure we gave him an ark-opening time that didn’t conflict with the conference call, so he could get down from the bimah in time.”…
    What the New Yorker doesn't mention is that Emmanuel is a Yerushalmi. His father fought in the Irgun. His uncle, Emmanuel Auerbach, was killed while fighting for Lehi (the Stern Gang) in 1933. That is when Rahm Emmanuel's father changed the family's last mane from Auerbach to Emmanuel, to memorialize his fallen brother. And Rahm Emmanuel is himself named after a fallen Irgun fighter.

    But there is more to this story than that. Emmanuel's father's original last name was Auerbach. Many Jerusalem Auerbachs are related to the late Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, the preeminent haredi halakhic (Jewish law) authority who passed away in 1995.

    I haven't done the genealogy on this, but it is very possible that Emmanuel is Rabbi Auerbach's cousin.

    This is a bit ironic. Emmanuel's wife is a convert, converted by Rabbi Lopatin. As things now stand, the new Chief of Staff is married to a woman Israel's Chief Rabbinate won't recognize as Jewish, even though her conversion was [may have been] done by an Orthodox rabbi.

    Add to this the widespread and vicious haredi opposition to Obama, and Emmanuel's reputation for suffering fools and irritants poorly.

    When Williamsburg or Lakewood come looking for favors, what do you think Emmanuel will think of?

    My guess is it won't be his nostalgia for chulent.

    UPDATE: Rabbi Asher Lopatin responds."

    At: http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/11/guest-post-rabb.html?cid=138583310#comment-138583310

    "GUEST POST: Rabbi Asher Lopatin On Rahm Emmanuel, The Conference Call, And Pekuakh Nefesh
    In response to comments left on this previous post, Rabbi Asher Lopatin writes:

    Dear Fellow Readers of the Failed Messiah Blog:

    Please read and reread Wikipedia carefully: It does not mention who converted Amy Rule, nor does it say that it was an Orthodox conversion. Rahm Emanuel and his family are well liked members of our Modern Orthodox synagogue, but we are proud that Anshe Sholom attracts many members who would not necessarily classify themselves as Orthodox – or as any denomination. We strive to be inclusive and non-judgmental. People would have to ask Rahm and Amy what denomination, if any, they feel they are part of.

    When giving Rahm a heter for being on a conference call on Rosh Hashana, I did tell him that if he could have a gentile make the call it would be preferable. I feel as strongly now as I did a month a go that passing the bailout was a critical part of preventing the melt-down of the world economy, and that that is a Pikuach Nefesh issue. My Rav, Rav Ahron Soloveichik was a hawk, as all Briskers are, when it comes to enforcing Pikuach Nefesh even in a case of Chashasha Rechoka. People may disagree whether the bailout was the right thing to do, but Rahm felt it was critical, and my p'sak was based on his take on the situation, which I feel was appropriate.

    I doubt I have had any influence on Rahm Emanuel regarding Agriprocessors – in fact, I don't think it is my role to get involved with influencing my members on political issues. I have spoken in shul of my concern with Agriprocessors, but not in the context of what a Congressman should do or say.

    Finally, even though I was not involved in Amy Rule's conversion, I remain deeply concerned about the rejection of many halachically valid conversions, and also at the lack of communal effort to halachically convert legitimate adult and child candidates to Judaism. I salute Rabbi Marc Angel for his voice on this matter as well as Rabbi Michael Broyde who is working towards explaining the halachic options with Ger Katan.

    Rabbi Asher Lopatin"

    From the full New Yorker article "Emanuel In Full"
    (November 17, 2008 edition, by Lizzie Widdicombe) at http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2008/11/17/081117ta_talk_widdicombe we also learn that Emanuel is confirmed Hegelian (the philosphic fore-runner of Karl Marx, which would explain why Obama, a Marxist himslef, has put his full faith and trust in his fellow Marxist, Emanuel"):

    "When Barack Obama appointed Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff last week, a bunch of old stories went back into circulation, clues, perhaps, to how he’ll run the White House: Emanuel wrapping up a dead fish to send to a pollster who’d made him angry; Emanuel stabbing a table with a knife while shouting the names of people who’d betrayed Bill Clinton; Emanuel saying “Don’t fuck it up” to Tony Blair. These are memorable moments, but Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Emanuel’s rabbi at the Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel congregation, in Chicago, pointed out that they don’t capture the whole man. “I don’t know him in a political way,” Lopatin said, “but I wish all our congregants were as loyal to the synagogue and as engaged as he is.” Lopatin said he tries not to get involved with politics, since this can lead to trouble (see Wright, Jeremiah; “Sometimes we spiritual leaders say things we don’t mean,” Lopatin said), but he’d taken the liberty of leaving “a couple messages” on his congregant’s voice mail. “I didn’t push him one way or the other,” he said. “I just wanted to congratulate him and tell him it’s a good opportunity.”

    Emanuel, Lopatin emphasized, is “a genius at balancing things.” A few weeks ago, Emanuel consulted Lopatin about working on the financial-bailout package during Rosh Hashanah. The rabbi gave his approval, citing the principle of pikkuah nefesh—“To save a life, you can violate almost any commandment,” he said. “There’s no doubt that somewhere in the world there would be a serious risk to lives and personal survival if the financial system melted down,” he reasoned. So Emanuel tiptoed out of the service to take a conference call. But the rest of the time he was in synagogue. “This year, I’d asked Rahm to open the ark,” the rabbi said. “We had to make sure we gave him an ark-opening time that didn’t conflict with the conference call, so he could get down from the bimah in time.” (Lopatin said that he had missed the episode of “Entourage” in which the character based on Emanuel’s brother, the Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, sneaks out of Yom Kippur services to talk to a studio head on his cell phone. “That is so funny!” Lopatin said. “I like Jewish characters on TV. I think it’s a good thing.”)

    Last week around the same time, Ron Reagan (that Ron Reagan) offered his views on another facet of Emanuel—his training in ballet. Reagan, like Emanuel, is a former dancer. (Emanuel received dance training in high school, and danced for a year at Sarah Lawrence after turning down a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School; as a freshman, he appeared in a modern-dance piece called “Desire.”) Reagan, who was a professional dancer for four years, didn’t completely buy the comparison: “I’m not trying to knock him or anything, but, O.K., it’s like if I’m a well-known actor—not a big star, but I appear in movies—and you’re talking about someone who was in the drama club in high school.” He argued that dancing and politics are “really two different parts of your brain.” He said, “Politics is the art of compromise. It’s shades of gray and nuance. There’s nowhere to hide when you’re a dancer. You’re almost literally naked, wearing an outfit that reveals everything about you.” He went on, “There are no Sarah Palins in dance—no one who doesn’t know what they’re doing. They’re weeded out by the time you get to be a professional.”


    from the issuecartoon banke-mail thisSo that’s body and spirit. Meanwhile, back at Sarah Lawrence, the nicely named Jefferson Adams, a European-history professor, was discussing his former student’s mind. Adams had been Emanuel’s academic adviser. (They hadn’t communicated much except for one post-college phone conversation about the décor of Emanuel’s first Chicago apartment. “Somehow, wagon wheels come to mind,” Adams said.) He recalled that, in college, Emanuel was already raising money for political campaigns on weekends: “There was a now defunct little store, a BFO, and he was buying suits to go around fund-raising.” He loved philosophy, especially the nineteenth-century German thinkers, but, Adams said, “he wasn’t an academic.” His papers were “good, not outstanding. They showed an involvement in the material, but nothing you’d put in an anthology. He was not a stellar writer, and he’s not a great speaker. He’s very effective one on one.” Adams is one of the school’s few conservative professors, and he remembered getting into philosophical discussions with his advisee, trying to temper Emanuel’s infatuation with Hegel by showing how much Hegel had actually been influenced by Goethe—“The fact that nature is not going to be mastered, whatever the system, and that these man-made systems ultimately fail.” He would also try to explain the appeal of Ronald Reagan. Adams said, “I can remember his voice: ‘Mr. Adams, you can’t possibly believe that!’" "

    The MARXIST plot thickens and it ain't a pretty picture!

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  14. Recipients and PublicityNovember 11, 2008 at 4:27 AM

    Sorry, but as I re-read what Emanuel's rabbi had to say, I see that he (as a Modern Orthodox rabbi) claims that he did NOT convert Emanuel's wife, but that his synagogue nevertheless proudly accepts these type of mixed marriage couples, which makes one wonder what type of "Orthodox" rabbi he is. Emanuel is one GRAND manipulator including of his own supposed rabbi and synagogue knowing full well that any Orthodox synagogue and rabbi would not accept doubtful conversions of gentiles to Orthodox Judaism. So why does Emanuel even care to go through the charade of all this if his first love is Clinton/Obama/Hegel/Marx= power seekers all!?

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