22 thoughts on “Agudath Israel Blog Links Obama to Haman – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. richard, don’t slander all orthodox jews just because of the ignorant radical conservative hate-spewing wing-nuts at some know-nothing blog. simply, these guys were brought up on some form of brooklyn racial bigotry. the party is over now and don’t worry, just sit back and enjoy it as these same guys try to suck up to new administration. and anyway why didn’t you invoke the obvious criticism of the lame purim analogy – apparently she misses the sarah palin is esther theme! http://tzvee.blogspot.com/2008/10/midrash-from-boston-phoenix-sarah-palin.html

  2. Thank you for exposing these hate-mongering racists and bigots masquerading as God-fearing Jews. It’s time someone called them out on their murderous, bloody agenda. You don’t have to agree with Barack Obama and you don’t have to be his supporter to stare aghast at the froth of hate, racism and violence coming out of Chava Willig Levy’s mouth (with the approval of the OU community).
    I don’t agree with Tzvee that we can simply ignore these intolerant, fanatical religious people who incite to violence in devious ways. They are powerful and dangerous. Chava Willig Levy is widely respected in modern Orthodox circles. She was invited to be “scholar in residence” at the Kemp Mill Synagogue in Silver Spring. If these are the people the modern Orthodox people associate with – it’s a badge of shame on this community.
    You wisely pointed out they use words like secret weapons. They use a coded language, a sinister, terrifying language – understood only by members of this sect or ex-members of this sect who still remember the dark, shady, murderous meanings lurking behind the shadows of their divrei torah (words of Torah).

    In her very-carefully worded religious screed, Chava Willig Levy has just called for the assassination of Barack Obama. And she has done so with the silent blessing of the Orthodox Union. These are not just the so-called “black hat” Jews (I’m actually less afraid of them) but rather modern-Orthodox, well-to-do Jews, mostly Zionists, who owe evertyhing they have to American society and its ideals of freedom and equality, but have turned their backs on these very ideas that have made them so successful.

    Chave Willig Levy – and this blog – ought to be reported to the FBI and Secret Service. They must be under suveillance, and I hope the FBI and SS are taking this seriously. It’s scary; I grew up with this community and I still live amongst them. I know what they are capable of.

  3. Clarification:
    In the last paragraph, I meant of course “Chava Willig Levy – and her blog, i.e. Cross-Currents (referenced in Richard’s post), ought to be reported to the FBI and Secret Service.”
    To this day, we are paying the price of complacency and ignorance. When Israel’s domestic security service, the shabak – ignored the right-wing rabbis and their followers – we ended up with Rabin being assassinated. We cannot afford to have that happen here.

  4. Just to be clear, I think it is important to note that though Ms. Levy’s sister is a prominent member of Yeshiva University and the Orthodox Union, the OU (www.ou.org) did NOT publish this essay.

    I would note that the outgoing spiritual leader, Rabbi Weinreb, spoke very eloquently at the DNC, and his presence there was certainly a statement of sorts. Look at his reflections about this: http://www.ou.org/news/article/rabbi_weinrebs_rosh_hashana_op_ed

    We must not blame the right-wing Modern Orthodox community for a publication run by ultra-Orthodox. The OU would NEVER have printed this.

  5. I want to add that I didn’t mean to imply that ALL Orthodox Jews feel the way Levy, or Amir, or the YU dean do. Clearly, Tzvee Tzahavy, & David Kelsey are Orthodox and do not. And many tens, or even hundreds of thousands of others do not as well. I welcome making common cause with them in combatting such hatred.

    And if David is talking about Tzvi Weinreb above, he IS a good man. I wrote a long essay here about Judaism & child abuse & Weinreb was one of my valued sources for attitudes in the tradition on this subject.

  6. @Michael W:

    You aren’t very different than LGF

    Does it bother you that I point out that there are Orthodox Jews who believe Barack Obama is an enemy of the Jewish people? Far be it fr. me to explain to you why this is a bit more serious than the drivel the passes for rational discourse at LGF.

  7. I meant of course “Chava Willig Levy – and her blog…ought to be reported to the FBI and Secret Service.”

    Phew, thanks for clearing that up, Shamai. I was half expecting a knock at the door & visit fr. my local FBI field office (just joking).

    I suppose if it could happen to Charles Johnson, then it could happen to me. But more likely the FBI will be investigating threats against me than any threats I might make.

  8. Yasher Koah, Richard. for your post. Shammai is absolutely right in his comments — even the moderate orthodox can invite folks like these to speak as “scholars-in-residence.”

    As orthodox Jews, the hatred that Willing Levy spews forth hurts him and me the most — but it surprises us the least. We are painfully familiar with the superficial, banal, and uncritical thinking that, masqueraded with religious rhetoric, typifies most of the orthodox writers here and in Israel.

    There was a time when there were moderates in the orthodox movement. But today religious zionism (and agudah style zionism, however oxy-moronic that sounds), coupled with the multi-cultural Balkanization of Western societies that encourages cultural and ethnic tribalism, and served with a dollop of post-Holocause traumatic syndrome, has produced an Ugly Orthodoxy that, in its extreme forms produce nationalistic violence, bigotry, and hatred.

    A word about Rabbi Heschy Weinreb. He is, on the one hand — and I would like to say, in essence — a deeply moral man, one who is not afraid to voice moral criticism, and to bring people together. I was privileged to be a congregant of his in Baltimore for several years. He was a rabbi who brought Jews, and even non-Jews together.

    But I will not forget how, during the Oslo period, this moderate rabbi, accepted by the religious zionists and the agudists, alike, brought politics into the shul by railing against the peace process. How on the eve of Selichot, the night when every Jew is supposed to begin the period of spiritual reckoning and soul-searching, the shul showed the “Arafat tapes” in an effort to rally the troups.

    But today is a day of hope. Let the dogs bark; the caravan moves on.

  9. umm, you people are scary, angery [sic], self-hating Jews as well as scary,angery [sic], Orthodox-bashing Jews. It is people like all of you who will bring about the destruction of Israel, G-d forbid! It is you who voted for Obama, an anti-American, anti-semetic [sic], scary individual who is in bed with some very scary people who want to destroy Israel, and the West. That includes all of you, who voted for Obama. Perhaps you hate Orthodox Jews, or shall I say, observant Jews, because you all know that you are not observant, and that’s exactly what you know you should be, observant of the TOrah and guarding it’s mitzvot? You hate observant Jews because you are guilty of being secular, of not upholding your responsibilities as Jews as a beaken [sic] of G-d to the Nations. Just like the nazis [sic], the modern day anti-semites [sic] won’t care if you are a secular, reform,conservative [sic],observant Jew, they will kill you just for being a Jew, they won’t care where you think you are holding politically or religiously. And your blogs are violent hate spewing and disgusting . shame on all of you!

  10. @truthvemes: Why thanks! Yours is the nicest compliment I’ve read all day.

    Not that anything you’ve written remotely approaches the truth. But it sure shows us what lurks in yr mind.

    You ought to be careful though because two of the commenters here actually ARE Orthodox Jews (though of course not YOUR kind of Orthodox Jew & so perhaps not even Jews at all–to yr mind).

    BTW, spell check is your friend.

  11. about this observant thing:

    ortho/frum judaism is based entirely on this idea that a subset of humans
    have instructions received from an alien being.

    said instructions are believed by these observant types to have supernatural

    the key thing we learn from the holocaust is that torah/kabalah/halacha/chazal/hasgafa/kvannah/whatever doesn’t work against a real enemy.

    thus the orthodox hypothesis is disproven and one may call any observant person “superstitious”.

    as for the self-hating epithet….i’m not superstitious so that which is in the heart of the superstitious erlicher type is not within me.

    so i am ethnically jewish and not self-hating and not superstitious.

    pretty simple eh?

  12. Hi everyone,
    I have been reading dreams about Barack Obama from Sheila Heti’s website. she is from Canada and has been asking people all over the world to submit dreams they have had about the candidats for the election. I think the website is called IdreamofBarack.com or something similar. and I thought this dream is quite strange given the discussion above:

    134. 22-Year-Old University Of Chicago Alumni

    I’m at summer camp with my husband’s family and one of the evening’s activities is a Purim party. Campers are randomly selected to play parts in a reenactment of the Purim story, and Barack is chosen to play Haman. Everyone at the camp (mostly Barack supporters, apparently) is disappointed that Barack, clearly a hero in real life, is to play the villain in the skit, but he’s a good sport, and we are all impressed with his acting skills.

    Posted by Sheila Heti at 8:55 AM

  13. all this talk of obama is not good for any jew be they orthodox or not . he is our president and pray for him that he should be good for us and america and the world at large and we should pray for isreal by respecting one and all jews we dont have to agree with non orthodox jews.but pray for them to do repentance and do our own repentance as well but we should not give up any part of isreal. they dont want peace they want a piece of isreal and that should never happen

  14. Richard,
    Cross-currents is in NO WAY an organ, semi-official, or otherwise, of the Agudah. And if it was, you should also link to Rabbi Adlerstein’s very favorable recent post about combating racism Obama.


    The quote comparing Haman to Obama really does not do that. It is more comparing the circumstances of Klal Yisrael then and now. I, and many other Agudah-type Jews, do not see the comparison.

  15. @Michoel: You left out a few things. There is no official connection, except that the spokesman for the Agudah himself is one of the writers. Cross Currents obliges and obeys the haredi rabbinical leaders.

    If Shafran or any other haredi power broker(s) dictates policy to Menken, that will be CC policy. If the MO Weinreb or Joel Klein attempted to dictate policy to dictate policy, Menken would laugh.

    Adlerstein’s essay came almost three weeks AFTER the election. Of course CC is going to have someone say something nice and conciliatory. Adlerstein is there because he is a macher, and frum Jews like machers.

    I, and many other Agudah-type Jews, do not see the comparison.

    As for the Haman article, I and most other reasonable non-Agudah type Jews found the article deeply offensive. I have no doubt that Agudah Jews, after Obama won the election, might find the piece embarrassing in retrospect & would want to say they don’t see the comparison.

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