Rabbi, Rabbi, WhereFore Art Thou Rabbi?
In the current “climate”, pun, barb, hurricane, wildfire references intended; the social atmosphere has degraded almost faster than any other aspect of our culture. The incivility, rudeness, and complete degradation of all values are almost complete. Read your local paper (a great idea btw, subscribe now, promote journalism on all levels), watch any newscast, even the dreaded F News is beginning to show signs of an actual pulse and nerve synapses, and you will quickly understand that we are, indeed, in a crisis. And more than crises of all of the standard political and tweet-worthy types of issues, we are in a cultural deficit of moral crises so deep, so infectious, so lethal, that we don’t even see them coming directly at us.
The 24 hour news cycle has become a 24 minute news cycle; the amount of crap thrust at our brains is too much to concentrate on for more than a minute and that, exactly that, is the plan. Bombard us with non-fact, fiction, alternative facts, and we will simply forget what the last destructive infraction of the norms, yesterday, this morning, last hour, actually was. And it works.
We are numb, besieged, over-stimulated, and just…plain…worn out.
But make no mistake. The onslaught is continuing, pervasive, coordinated, and as evil-intended as anything any of us has witnessed in our lifetimes, or anyone in any lifetime. History counts. Precedent counts. Intent counts. Results count. And really, in the end……votes count. Need I remind you of the next step? November 6th?
In the meantime, we have a privileged, wealthy, altered-beauty version of the current White House resident who, by the administrations own definition, is a Senior Advisor to the President. Oh, and her husband, the Observant Jew, Jared Kushner, whom she converted to Judaism for in order to marry, and who by the President’s dictate, is responsible for Peace in the Middle east among his many, Many titles, and who has suddenly gone Dark. Not just dark, incognito dark. For the photogenically inclined Ivanka, the pair of them has been conspicuously and completely out of view for months now.
Are they still working, pro-bono, for our collective largesse? Are they still benefitting from Secret Service protection at our expense? Are their children? How much are we spending to support and supplant the normative in order to create a new, lower, lower, lowest, norm? They were front and center during the campaign trying to normalize their collective family dysfunction. That dysfunction has been played out in pornographic Technicolor texts ever since by their “Titular” “Head” of the family. (This stuff really does write itself).
It is time to hold them to a higher power.
If they hold God as their standard-bearer then they need to stalwartly, proudly, and un-equivalently, stand by the principals of the religion they hold out as their family values predicate.
And so, where is their Rabbi? Who can she/he be? This amorphous entity that ostensibly advises them, as a family, about the values and principles upon which their Judaism is based? Oddly silent is this rabbinical cohort to the crimes of the moralistically challenged flock that they oversee.
Take just one monumental issue that the Kushers have not led on, their silence actually abetting the killing of more men, women and children; gun control.
It can certainly be volleyed about in the halls of congress and it has been, with no resolution or even progress, for generations. That does not absolve those of good conscience from acting though.
From Chabad.org: “Under Jewish Law there is an obligation for a private citizen to assist another in trouble: “You shall not stand by [the shedding of] your fellow’s blood. I am the Lord (Leviticus 19:16)” and as Rashi comments, quoting the legal texts of the Talmud:
“You shall not stand by [the shedding of] your fellow’s blood. [I.e., do not stand by,] watching your fellow’s death, when you are able to save him; for example, if he is drowning in the river or if a wild beast or robbers come upon him. — [Torath Kohanim 19:41; Talmud, Sanhedrin 73a]”
We cannot exempt ourselves of this obligation – even though in this country we have a wonderful and dedicated corps of law enforcement officers and other emergency personnel. We should respect them and support them in every way possible, as they have devoted their lives to the rescue of their fellows –but our obligation to our fellow remains: if we see someone in trouble we cannot absolve ourselves of our obligation by the fact that “professionals” exist somewhere.”
And this is only one of a host of issues that Rabbis across the globe daily tell their congregants to raise up and support. Call out the cancers as the President is so fond of doing but more than name-calling, issue a calling-to-arms. Join with others and raise up your voices to protect women’s rights, save children for war and guns in schools, create court and judicially reform, support LGBT human beings…all these are tenets of the Judaism that Jared and Ivanka seem to publically eschew.
A pretty clear message and a crystalline clarion call to action that every individual Temple and schule should be moved to put into local focus and raise the bar of responsibility. Start locally, aim nationally, and fire, directly at the hypocrisy in the White House.
I call on the populace at large, regardless of your affiliation, to call out to the tenets of this First Couple, who profess their Religion as their guidepost, to step up to the altar of truth. Defend the people you are Rabbinically required to support. Take a moral stand. Repudiate the stench that the rest of your family espouses.
Stand up. Be Human.
Listen to your Rabbi; I doubt they agree with your current positions.
Will your children?