To those of you not attuned to the nuances of Jewish history, my headline may not mean terribly much. But when an Orthodox Jew links anyone to Haman it’s the same as linking him to Hitler. After all, there are only a few nations or families that Jews are historically called upon to eradicate, and besides Amalek, Haman’s is one of them. What’s even more shocking is that David Kelsey reports that Cross-Currents, the blog which made this claim is the unofficial blog of Agudath Israel, one of the official representatives of U.S. Orthodox Judaism.
Here’s a taste of the spew that Chava Willig Levy writes on behalf of her fellow Orthodox Jews:
Even Obama acknowledges his “spooky good fortune.”
It certainly looks as if God is guiding Mr. Obama straight to the White House. But if God is guiding his history, and ours, aren’t we mere spectators forced to watch passively — some might say helplessly — as it unfolds? Several of my coreligionists think so, fatalistically pointing to the fact that the secular date of Obama’s breakthrough keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention — July 27 — coincided with Tisha B’Av, a fast day commemorating the many seismic tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people.
I can understand their prediction of impending doom.
So to Levy’s way of thinking, the day of Obama’s triumph is inextricably linked to the day of Judaism’s greatest cataclysm: the destruction of the Holy Temple. Which would make Obama a great enemy of the Jewish people on a par with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed the First Temple.
Levy continues with her exegesis:
He is admired by untold numbers of American Jews, as well as millions of people who call for the destruction of not only Israel but of world Jewry as well
And here’s the money quote:
Esther, heroine of the holiday of Purim, guides us to our answer.
…Things are looking pretty dismal for her fellow Jews. It looks as if the smooth-talking Haman, whose ambitions have been fulfilled at every turn, who has been blessed with “spooky good fortune,” is destined to succeed. It looks as if God is guiding his history so that he will have his way. But Mordechai knows that, at this juncture, fatalism would be fatal. He beseeches Esther to intervene, to help halt history in its tracks.
…We have no Esther today. But over 2,400 years after she left the world’s stage, her example remains. We must emulate her two-pronged strategy: politics and prayer.
To “politics and prayer” she should have added “incitement and hatred.”
If you think Barack Obama is Haman, then you have license not just to hate him but to actively pursue his destruction by any means within your power. Such is the animus that Haman arouses in the Jewish people. The latter is not just an enemy, he is a would-be genocidaire, someone eager to exterminate all the Jews in his kingdom.
There is, alas a long history of such incitement both against U.S. and Israeli political figures among the Orthodox community. The dean of the Yeshiva University rabbinical school called for hanging Ehud Olmert if he divided Jerusalem. Yigal Amir, assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, is an Orthodox rightist. Is there no introspection within the Orthodox movement about the impact that such hate has in real terms? Words aren’t just words after all. Words can easily lead to murder.
Tell me, is this the type of attitude that Orthodox Judaism really wishes to project toward the next president of the United States? I’d really like the Orthodox community to wrestle with this one. If Levy was just a stamm Orthodox Jew I wouldn’t be so concerned. But the fact that this race hatred was considered worthy of a semi-official organ of the U.S. Orthodox movement truly frightens and disturbs me.