Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What is WRONG With Some People?

Good G-D Almighty! It’s been a terrible spring if you are Jewish and at least kind of care about it. It’s bad enough that there is increasing anti-Semitism worldwide, but hell, what one thought was among the safer places to be Jewish are going to hell in a handbasket.

New York City. And specifically, Jewish institutions.

The first bad news I read about had to do with Lincoln Square Synagogue. Back in my younger days, living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, some of us might brave the trek down there in our skirts and heel--on a nice day. It was a really good synagogue, with a nice mix of families--young, middle-aged and older families--and a nice mix of the younger, single crowd. It was a friendly place. And it WAS ORTHODOX.

Aside: One of the things that I have taken comfort with as the more “liberal” Jews have started bashing Israel, and have jumped whole-heartedly with both feet on the Moral Relativism Bus, is that at least the Orthodox have their priorities straight. As I sat in a California synagogue one shabbat morning, wishing I could disappear, because the guest speaker was haranguing us about the necessity of passing Obamacare, and anyone against it was against tikkun olam, and a whole lot of other nonsense. Other shuls, at other times, I would hear “divrei torah” that would twist and convolute a parshah into underscoring the “evils” of the Israeli “apartheid” regime. It seemed like so many Jews out there were as bad as the non-Jewish liberals in their venom towards Israel. I took comfort in the memories of sitting in nice Orthodox synagogues on the Upper West Side, where the only politics that were discussed were always focused on the support of Israel.


I read a little over a month ago that the rabbi at Lincoln Square saw fit to invite Peter Beinart to speak. On shabbat. I was so ANGRY, I drafted a letter to Rabbi Robinson... that I never mailed. But the upshot of the letter was that there are plenty of opportunities for members of Lincoln Square to listen to Peter Beinart speak. The man lives in New York, and has spoken in several venues around the city. But by inviting him to Lincoln Square, there is a tacit implication that the powers that be of LSS have given his point of view their imprimatur. After all, they provided him with a pulpit from which to broadcast his views.

Then I heard about the 92nd Street Y. While not an Orthodox venue, at least a very Jewish one, and like Lincoln Square, it has been known for decades as a cynosure of Jewish life in Manhattan. And like Lincoln Square, it is selling out. They invited Roger Waters—yes, of Pink Floyd fame, but also a supporter of the anti-Israel, anti-Semite “Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. They may or may not have come to their senses—the event was canceled, officially because Waters has a “conflict.” The 92nd Street Y is apparently offering no other explanation. But they problems is—THEY INVITED HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Oh, but life gets richer still…

Yeshiva University, who invokes Torah in describing its mission, is honoring Jimmy Carter. Okay, technically, an entity within the University. But it is still Yeshiva University. The Cardozo School of Law’s Journal of Conflict Resolution is honoring him with the “International Advocate for Peace” Award. Nope, the Onion did not make this one up.

What is wrong with some people? Do they not realize what is happening in the world? Are these New York Jews so insulated from the outside world, from reality, that they do not see what is wrong with this?

There is a made-in-Hollywood legend that a person is safe from vampires in their home—unless they invite them in. Lincoln Square, the 92nd Street Y, and Yeshiva University have invited the vampire into their home.