A Yom Kippur challenge for liberal Jews
LOS ANGELES, September 29, 2017 — Since everything in America from the National Football League to Dr. Seuss has now been politicized, why let Yom Kippur be free of politics? The Jewish day of atonement is supposed to be about looking inward and admitting wrongs committed. Yom Kippur involves asking for forgiveness and vowing to do right by those we have wronged. It should be about personal growth, not politics.
Forget it. Politically liberal Jews have spent decades issuing scorching indictments of all things Republican. If it is a Republican, attack it. If it is a conservative, despise it. If it is President Donald Trump, vow to drive it from the face of the earth. Why bother engaging in the Yom Kippur ritual if the prayers are hollow and insincere? Why bother vowing to be kinder only to return to vicious ideological bigotry the next day?
Not all liberal Jews are ideological bigots. Some of them are the kindest people walking the planet. That rings as hollow to many people as saying that not all NFL players are desecrating the American flag. When you belong to a group, you get the benefits and drawbacks of that group. Politically liberal Jews have gone from being an oppressed people to being the very bullies they used to fear. Liberal synagogues are frequently nothing but extensions of Democrat Party headquarters.
Since Yom Kippur is supposed to challenge Jews, a real challenge for liberal Jews is in order. They can apologize for every single intolerant word they ever sad about Republicans conservatives and President Trump. They can apologize for refusing to accept that Republicans have a right to win elections, and then govern in a conservative manner. Acknowledge that Republicans are human beings. Admit that Trump is not Adolf Hitler, and all comparisons of any American to Nazis, fascists, and brownshirts are statements to be disavowed. Admit that the father of Orthodox Jew Ivanka Trump is not an anti-Semite.
Saying this is tough enough. Meaning a single word of it is even tougher.
Yom Kippur should be based on Torah, the Old Testament. The Torah is non-partisan. Not one word of Torah justifies a politically liberal position on climate change, abortion, gay marriage, or any other hot button social issue. If it did, many Orthodox Jews who vote Republican and spend their entire lives reading Torah would be heretics. Liberal Jews may believe this, but they would be as wrong as they are about most things driven by emotion rather than data.
Far too many liberal Jews spend 364 days every year demonizing Republicans for existing and breathing air. They declare America a racist nation led by bigoted white nationalists just because the 2016 electorate rejected Hillary Clinton. Then these same liberal Jews show up to synagogue one day per year, offer half-hearted apologies, and then return to bashing conservatives the moment the first post-holiday bagel is shoved down their throats.
Liberalism is not Judaism, and conservatism is not anti-Jewish. Yom Kippur being free of politics would be a pleasant development for Jews everywhere.
That is an unrealistic goal in a nation where the left politicizes anything and everything. The National Anthem and The Cat in the Hat are now political. Expecting liberal Jews to stop politicizing everything is too much to ask. Asking them to just skip Yom Kippur and stay home is also too much to hope for. So since they have to inject politics into everything, at least let them admit it, acknowledge the error of their ways, sincerely apologize for this, and most importantly, stop doing it.
As for me, I will not be spending my Yom Kippur promoting the domestic terrorism known as social justice. I did not riot or try to silence anyone just for speaking words I disagree with. I am far from perfect, but at least I know that someone in a synagogue can disagree with me and still be a fellow Jew. I can even be friends with Jews who supported the anti-USA, anti-Israel Iran deal.
I have plenty to atone for, but ideological bigotry is not on that list. My thoughts in synagogue will be focused on God, not earth Goddess Gaea. The only climate I will be trying to change is my own behavioral climate.
As for liberal Jews, let us see how long they can go after breaking the fast before they return to hating Republicans and rendering their entire Yom Kippur prayers meaningless.