Monday, June 16, 2008

Does Judaism have their own Barack Obama?

regardless of your political views, recent comments from Barack Obama's racist and bigoted "Priests" really makes us wonder how someone who obvously has racist views himself could be running for President of the United States. Now does that mean that Jewish people should react by voting Republican? I think that the proper reaction is to ask ourselves whether or not we have racists giving drashas in our own Shuls - sadly being heard by our children as well as ourselves.

Now I am not trying to draw a parallel between a specific Rabbi and Barack's racist "spiritual advisors", but we do, sadly, have racist and biased Rabbi's preaching from the pulpit as well. At best we have religious leaders who give advice based upon race.

A recent note from Vicky Polin noted that Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch gave guidance for calling the Police in this amazing blog entry

Now would the Rav have given the same criteria if the bad guy was a black guy working as a maintenance worker? I think not. We set the bar much higher if the bad guy is someone who we refer to as being "frum". That just makes no sense.

I think that it is really clear to thinking people that - sadly - very sadly - our Rabbis cannot provide honest and clear headed guidance on this topic. There is too much of a cultural acceptance of covering up crimes committed by "Rabbis" and other supposedly "frum" people. The Jewish Press blatantly lies and the RCA actively blames the victims. The corruption is disgusting.

We need to separate ourselves from racist people. They are toxic. It doesn't matter what religion they are or their political orientation. We need to think clearly about the action - without weighing the religion of the person commiting the crime.

And rest assured that, if someone is going to hurt you, or someone else - call the Police and get the help that you deserve. As Vicky noted, "We need to leave all the investigating and fact finding/gathering to law enforcement and not our rabbonim". It pains us all a great deal to note that our Rabbinical leadership lacks the basic skills needed to deal with these problems and they must never be allowed to cover up sexual abuse of children again. We have no choice but to disregard these misguided psack Halachah. It saddens me to say this. It destroy my world in many ways - but I must first protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Some members of the community may be willing to listen to racist "Priests" but that should not be for Jewish people. We MUST - absolutely MUST - separate ourselves from racist and biased thinking regardless of where it comes from. We KNOW that Avrohom Avinu loved and treated everyone with kindness. Our Torah teaches us this value. We have a test before us now and we must pursue the path of truth. Its not going to be easy, but it must be done. We must trust that Hashem will carry us on this journey if only we take the first step.