Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wanker of the Day

Rabbi Marc Gellman.

Here we have Gellman now:

My disappointment is with my people. I simply do not understand why so many Jews bailed on Joe. I cannot understand why Joe's percentage of the Jewish vote was not in the high 90s instead of the 54-57 percent range (according to Lieberman’s campaign). I have opinions on way too many things I don't know nearly enough about, but I know about Jews. I am a professional Jew, and yet if you asked me to explain why Jews did not vote for Joe the way blacks voted for Barack Obama or Catholics voted for John F. Kennedy I would not know what to tell you.*


There are and have always been only two kinds of Jews: tribal Jews and cosmopolitan Jews. Tribal Jews love anything Jewish. Cosmopolitan Jews love anything but Jewish. Tribal Jews are not trying to pass, assimilate or deny their tribal roots, their attachment to Israel and their love of other Jews no matter who they are. Cosmopolitan Jews are trying to pass and assimilate and become an undifferentiated member of the majority culture. The problem with tribal Jews is that they have trouble loving non-Jews. The problem with cosmopolitan Jews is that they have trouble loving other Jews. The reason for this split is you are Jewish by blood and not by belief. Judaism, which is the religion of Jews, has many wonderful beliefs but you can reject them all and still be Jewish.

Here we have Gellman then:

Another consequence of this historic selection is that it now frees Jews to vote against Lieberman even though he is Jewish. His selection is the historic moment that marks full Jewish acceptance in America—not the rise of Henry Kissinger, not the movies of Steven Spielberg, not the corporate mastery of Michael Eisner. None of them have done and none of them mean what Lieberman has done and what Lieberman means. True acceptance means that we as Jews can be delighted that he was nominated and then vote against him because we do not agree with his politics. Voting for Lieberman because he is Jewish is just as wrong as voting against Lieberman because he is Jewish. Acceptance means being considered for public office because of where you stand on the issues, not where you stand on the sabbath. Politics isn’t baseball. There is no room in politics for irrational rooting for the hometown team. If you believe in Lieberman’s political views, then you should vote for him; if you don’t, then you shouldn’t, and you should not feel as if you have betrayed Judaism or the Jewish people or God by your vote.

*And, yes, Obama's opponent was also black and Gellman is apparently not confused by the fact that catholic Kerry lost the catholic vote. But, hey, he's in "The Spiritual State" and I am not.