Leaders of the Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist national rabbinic groups refuse to take President Trump’s call to wish the Jewish people a happy new year (“Rabbis on the line for High Holy Days Trump call,” Aug. 31).
This decision is beneath the dignity of these rabbinical councils. A gracious act should be received graciously. Moreover, it smacks of the liberal left playing politics when they shouldn’t.
In the aftermath of Charlottesville, Trump has denounced the KKK, the neo-Nazis, and the white supremacists at least three times. It falls on deaf ears. There is no alchemy that will wash him clean. None are so deaf as those who will not hear because being deaf serves their purpose.
I could not agree more with Orthodox Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler, who said, “We are a little too comfortable and arrogant if leaders of the Jewish community reject the president’s offer to speak to them.”
The Israeli people groaned under President Obama’s hostility in his second administration and they welcomed Trump joyously. They know who is on their side. They know that a president who buys his Jewish daughter’s chametz before Passover while sitting in the Oval Office is no anti-Semite. They know that Iran poses a great danger.
So when the president of the United States calls to express his good will to the Jewish people, take his call graciously, rabbinical councils, because you may have to plead for the U.S. to come to the aid of Israel. Remember, a multitude of Trump supporters, including gentiles, are watching. Tikkun your own olam.