Friday, November 11, 2016
Posted by Rabbi Green at 12:47 PM
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Dear Facebook Friends who are celebrating the results of yesterday’s election:
Here are two relevant teachings of our Sages from Pirkei Avot (4:18), written some 1,800 plus years ago. Please read & share with your friends:
“Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar would say: Do not appease your friend at the height of his anger; do not comfort him while his dead still lies before him; do not ask him about his vow the moment he makes it; and do not endeavor to see him at the time of his degradation.
“Shmuel the Small would say: "When your enemy falls, do not rejoice; when he stumbles, let your heart not be gladdened. Lest G‑d see, and it will be displeasing in His eyes, and He will turn His wrath from him [to you]" (Proverbs 24:17-18).”
Here is a link if you’d like to study it in depth: http://www.chabadhebrewschool.us/…/…/jewish/Chapter-Four.htm
This election has been unnerving enough. There is no need to taunt or denounce anyone, regardless of whom he or she voted for. It is not helpful.
Here are the obvious directives from the above-mentioned teachings:
- Your fellow American who voted for Hillary is probably very angry right now. Respect that.
- Don’t try to appease or comfort him. Let him grieve. If he wishes to rant, let him and be quiet.
- If she vowed to move to Canada, don’t remind her or ask her about it. Understand that it was hyperbolic.
- Do not rejoice over her grief or loss. Just be happy over the election of the candidate you think will be best (or least bad) for the country. No need to revel or gloat on social media in a way that is disparaging to others. Be humble (like Shimon the "Small"). If it helps, try to remember back to 2008 or whenever when your candidate lost, and have some empathy.
- Do not say anything to make another person feel bad. Don’t rub it in. This goes for sports too. If you’re a Red Sox fan, for example, don’t taunt or insult a Yankee fan in a way that will really make him feel bad, unless both of you mutually understand that it is in good spirit. The Torah calls this “אונאת דברים.” It is forbidden to hurt another person with your words, spoken or written.
This goes the other way too. The same law also applies to those who are incensed over yesterday’s election results. Grief, anger, despair, regret, etc., is all fine. But please do not disparage other Americans who voted for the winning candidate. They do not necessarily approve of: misogyny, xenophobia, sexual assault, adultery, or anything else their candidate has been accused of. Nor do they even necessarily agree with all his stated policies.
Perhaps she voted for him because she feared the alternative more. Maybe he is a single-issue voter, like a jobless coal-miner in the rust belt, and the only thing that matters to him is his ability to put food on the table. Or maybe she fears a nuclear Iran more than anything else in the whole world, and feels that a misogynist, tax-evading buffoon is preferable to a perhaps-more refined and experienced candidate whom she fears is more likely to tolerate a nuclear Iran. Maybe for her, it’s a matter of life and death. Let’s stop judging each other and stop looking it in terms of US and THEM.
Peace to all. G-d bless America (and Israel too).
Posted by Rabbi Green at 9:45 PM
Sunday, November 6, 2016
It is never too late to turn back the clock and do teshuva!
Posted by Rabbi Green at 10:03 PM
As mentioned in my previous homiletic, nothing about this election is too poetic.
So please bear with me as I express
my disbelief over this current mess, two candidates we ought to dispossess
She said the word right. It’s a deplorable fight. Our nation’s horrible plight.
It cannot be denied. It’s on each side of the wide divide.
Condemn the Dem. Throw the Reps down the steps.
Silence honest debate. Replace it with hate.
Use the flag as a gag. Put your opponent in the bag.
No more stars and stripes. Only spars and gripes.
The white is out of sight. We’ve put out the light. Nothing else bright.
Now it’s just solid Red or Blue. Me versus you.
Us and Them, Rep or Dem.
Us Adorables against Them Deplorables.
Why tout policies, when we can shout fallacies?
It’s a distortion beyond proportion!
Who cares about moral clarity or what’s good for posterity, when we can discuss vulgarity? And that helps foment polarity and further entrenches each in his own insularity.
It’s all a parody, or should I say, hilarity? Feel free to overlook your candidate’s insincerity, if that helps promote his/her popularity. Of course, because the other one’s worse! (I keep hearing that verse.)
Our choices are grim. Her or him.
The question that stirs: whose mendacious slurs the electorate prefers? His or hers?
Whose corruption do you prefer? That of him, or that of her?
And if that’s the case, and there’s one you embrace, then the other you feel the need to debase?
Of course, the opponent must be deplored, while your candidate’s faults surely must be ignored.
Her husband is a whore, his wife is a whore. My ears have grown sore.
Is he a predator? Depends who’s the editor. And that depends on who’s the creditor.
He stiffed his contractors! She murdered her detractors!
She blamed her husband’s victims! (Never mind his locker room dictums).
The women he’s mistreated! He lied and he cheated! (Just overlook all the classified emails she illegally deleted)
Special govt treatment for her corporate investors. He rejected a judge because of Mexican ancestors. She’s a protestor against a sexual molester? (Hmm… she lives with one… something must have possessed her.)
He annoys sensitive females. She destroys sensitive emails.
Dispose of the evidence. Just rely on your eminence.
Media runs wild. Both candidates historically reviled.
He mocked the disabled! All the womanizing she enabled!
His fictitious facts. Her secret pacts. His unpaid tax.
Returns undisclosed! Wall Street speeches undisclosed!
Conspiracy theories proposed. Secret nuclear deals unopposed. Incriminating evidence conveniently disposed. DNC fraud exposed.
He’s a buffoon and a glutton, can’t be trusted with the button. She can’t be trusted with the delete button.
Entered dressing room without permission! Defended husband’s exploits without attrition!
Business failures. Foreign policy failures. Political favors of unsavory flavors.
Illicit relations and vulgar conversations. Shady donations, phony foundations, rogue corporations, failed nations.
He’s Kremlin-backed. She’s Saudi-backed. His dearth of tact. Her emails hacked. Benghazi attacked. Cataclysmic nuclear pact.
Presidential endorsements. In Benghazi no reinforcements.
Crony capitalism. Patterns of fascism. Dangerous pacifism. Creeping socialism. Huge social schism.
Widespread discontent. Both candidates from the top one percent.
He’s up in Trump Tower. She’s in her Ivory Tower.
He’s the financial elite from Easy Street. She’s the political elite in cahoots with Wall Street.
Her lucrative speeches and security breaches. His fancy hotels on sandy beaches.
She's the political establishment, no stranger to scandal and corruption. He's the cynical anti-establishment...but can we handle his next eruption?
She’s a typical dishonest politician. He’s an inimical tycoon with no inhibition.
She shatters glass ceilings, but raises debt ceilings. Her shady dealings. He hurts people's feelings.
A nation in debt, spending trillions more than we net.
Millions on the dole. Trillions deep in the whole.
He may have experience in business, but these staggering numbers are causing me dizziness.
Some of his enterprises have gone bankrupt. She ran a government that’s practically bankrupt. They're both morally bankrupt.
She’s Whitewater and Kenneth Starr. He's reality TV star with hair that’s bizarre.
His grandiose promises. A huge fabulous wall. Her failing health, her 9/11 fall.
She’s for open borders. He’s for laws and orders. He insults reporters. They both have repugnant supporters.
She takes in migrants and “donations” from tyrants. His election defiance and Putin alliance?
Quite a feminist dame, adopted her husband’s surname. Built her career on her First Lady fame.
Do we wish to inspire that type of feminine ambition? Stay married to a liar, so you’ll get a great position?
Indeed quite an accomplishment, staying married to Bill. But not sure if that means she has presidential skill.
At least she stayed committed. (Although of course, she benefitted). Her opponent, on the other hand, has never submitted.
The billionaire’s affairs. Like stock options and shares. Then find someone else with better wares, once you grow tired of theirs.
He’s like royalty, but has no loyalty. Like King Henry the Eighth, lacking marital faith.
Their personal lives, maybe not so germane. It’s more about the economy, Syria, Iran and Ukraine.
But should we give the presidential nod to one whose character is so flawed?
No matter who’s your choice, it’s no reason to rejoice.
This election is not about diversity. It’s about adversity and perversity. Not to mention a phony university.
He defrauded his pupils without any scruples. She defrauded the nation, and is under FBI investigation.
No self-respect, the peculiar elite sect. Whom shall we elect? To vote for neither surely isn’t correct.
Hopelessly shameless, both claim to be blameless.
She’s a hawk. He’s all talk, strutting around like a barnyard cock. Voters gawk and balk.
His rhetoric incites disunity. She breaks laws with impunity.
To evade justice is a cinch. Bill’s chat with Loretta Lynch.
Does that make you flinch? Can someone give me a pinch?
Celebrities adore her. Patriots abhor her.
She’s adored by every celebrity. He IS a celebrity. Both sorely lack integrity.
Islamic terrorism, she can’t acknowledge. He alleges rigging in the electoral college.
Her ties to Muslim Brotherhood. She vies for terminating motherhood. Supports late-term abortions. His odd facial contortions.
His plans mass deportation receives broad condemnation. But what about the widespread public frustration with relentless illegal immigration?
He plagiarized! She’s compromised! We’ve all grown desensitized.
You’re with her? Not so sure I’m ready to concur.
Can we afford four years of more of the same? A foreign policy that’s set the Middle East aflame?
And a domestic policy that’s messed up our nest. Unprecedented racial unrest. The oppressed and repressed always under arrest, and likewise those who have so professed. Everyone’s distressed. Opinions suppressed. Have we progressed? For every police a bullet proof vest.
Can’t we do better? Don’t mean to upset her. Just worried we may come to really regret her.
But what’s the alternative? A renegade conservative, whose exaggerated self-view is so ultra-superlative?
So go root for your team, while the rest of us squeam.
But please focus your aim. Don’t blame and shame. It’s a lame game.
Color War, either or. You think the polls really keep score?
Red or blue. The joke’s on you. Don’t you have anything better to do?
Click here for my next post, more serious thoughts about election: "Most Important Election Ever."
Posted by Rabbi Green at 12:49 AM
Posted by Rabbi Green at 12:37 AM