Rabbi Conundrum part 2

Repost from 2011

I wrote an earlier piece about the issues concerning my Rabbi, who has never met a leftist, an Israel-basher or an Islamists that he did not like. I had issues with leaving my Temple because this Rabbi was the only Rabbi that would bar mitzvah my autistic children. I would give him the benefit of the doubt in all his political dealings because I felt deep down he was what I termed the “kumbaya rabbi.” I felt he was just looking to make the world a better place but that he still understood the dangers that the Jewish people face. He was naive yes (silly for a man his age), but not really dangerous.

In his last letter to the Congregation, he wrote how he was a guest of UNRWA and the antisemitic Ging in Gaza. He wrote how wonderful it was and what a great time he had being such an honored guest. He not only lauded Ging, who refuses to accept Israel’s right of self-defense, but Hamas as well. The Rabbi told everyone what a good job Hamas is doing in Gaza and that there are women without headscarves running around. I suppose that the Rabbi never reads any newspapers that have not been stamped with the approval of Code Pink, JStreet, the Obama State Department or the UN Human Right Council, or he might have read about the persecution of women in Gaza, the terrorizing of the people in Sderot and of course, the imprisonment of Gilad Shalit. He might have even read Hamas’ charter which quotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, calls for genocide against the State of Israel and the creation of a caliphate in the Middle East. By the way my Rabbi has never never never mentioned Shalit nor talked about how its a violation of international norms. He never mentions Sderot or the threat of annihilation that Israel lives with and the trauma of having to deal with suicide bombings. I suppose the Palestinians are not to blame for any of their atrocities committed against the Jewish people.

I have decided that this Rabbi is no longer the kumbaya rabbi but a threat to the well being of the Jewish people. Also I sent him an email asking why the Temple did nothing for National Jewish Disability Month. An organized educational experience led by the Reform Movement to teach about disabilities and inclusion in our society especially in the Jewish world. I asked him how he could find time to go laud Hamas  because they pick up the garbage on time but had no time to prepare a program based on the disability awareness curriculum. I never heard back. I doubt I will. Next time I receive a bill, I will send it back with our resignation from the Temple and let them know why. Its sad really and very very disappointing. But what is even more frightening is that there are people at that Temple who still listen to him  and think he is a mensch.

Update: here is a copy of the email that we sent to the Temple.

To the Temple,

Please remove our family from your membership rolls. This has not been an easy decision for our family as our children despite their overwhelming issues were greeted warmly and welcomed wholeheartedly into your Temple. However, we believe that there comes a time when a review of the purpose of belonging to a Temple has to come into play. While we have not always agreed politically with the Rabbinate of this Temple, we had always felt that their progressive ideas did lend itself to attempting to procure a better world and society. We felt that we could teach our sons to look up to and respect the ideas presented even if we did not agree with them. We did however, question the need for the Rabbinate to fast for Gaza but to make no mention of Gilad Shalit or to do anything on his behalf. We did question the association with the obviously anti-Israel and anti-American elements of JStreet such as Code Pink and the BDS movement, apart from every leftist Jewish movement that seems to exist. Yet we  felt that there was still a place for our centrist ideology at the Temple, or at least our point of view would be respected.  Unfortunately we were wrong. After the last letter from Rabbi XXXX detailing his trip into Gaza, lauding the notoriously antisemitic UNRWA, its director and even praising Hamas, we no longer feel that the Rabbi is someone to whom we would direct our boys to seek counsel if needed. We find it unbelievably disheartening that the Rabbi, in his push for his political ideology glosses over the evil that is Hamas in their attitude towards, women, gays and especially their call for genocide against not only Israel but world Jewry. We do not care to hear the Rabbi’s explanation as it will be filled with nonsensical and convoluted sense of reality. Furthermore, we are tired as Jews that we have a Rabbinate that feels it is necessary for the Jewish people to beg for their existence and  to need to apologize for being free,strong and proud. We do not apologize for our right to exist as Jews, nor Israel’s right to exist, be secure and protect itself as she sees fit. We truly believe that by ignoring the reality of Israel and the Jewish people’s enemies, by placing the blame for antisemitism on Israel, this rabbinate is placing millions of Jewish lives at risk. Quite frankly we believe that this Rabbinate has lost their minds.

We again do thank everyone for everything that they did in order to bring our sons into Jewish adulthood. While because of their autism we have not been able to participate as fully as we had hoped in Temple life, it did provide us with a basis to teach our sons their heritage, religion and history. Our children have grown into wonderful young men, very proud of their Jewish heritage intent on making the world a better place to live. We are very saddened that our relationship has to end this way.


About Elise "Ronan"

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