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An Open Letter to Sarah Silverman

I wouldn't be writing these words had your most recent video not been framed in biblical language. Its title held deep significance to me, as I am sure was your intention... I believe I have your number...

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Dear Sarah,

You have grown political as of late, and your politics have traction. Your YouTube video “Let My People Vote” has been viewed more than 1.4 million times. You have 3.4 million Twitter followers apparently eager to consume your mix of sexual references and political barbs.

I wouldn’t be writing these words had your most recent video not been framed in biblical language. Its title held deep significance to me, as I am sure was your intention.

Your name is Silverman. My name is Rosenblatt. We both have Jewish ancestors; I am not sure what else we share. You are good at what you do – comedy – and I try to be good at what I do – being a husband, dad, rabbi, and manufacturer of kosher meat. My wife and I are blessed with six children and my day is spent earning for the brood.

You stand out among comedians because your comedy is sharper than theirs. It is crude and clever, simple and punishing; your perception of the human condition is acute, which is why your punch lines bite deeper and hurt longer. You have a knack for finding faults and inconsistencies in people and blowing them wide open with carefully plotted language and cleverly nuanced pauses.

If I were to be gratuitous, I would say you mock what is imperfect because you know what perfect should look like and you seek the ultimate perfection.

But I won’t be so gratuitous. You are in show biz. I am in the rabbi biz. You entertain people. I serve people. I believe I have your number. You will soon turn 42 and your destiny, as you stated, will not include children. You blame it on your depression, saying you don’t want to pass it on to another generation.

I find that confusing, coming from someone as perceptive as you are in dissecting flawed arguments. Surely you appreciate being alive and surely, if the wonder of your womb were afflicted with your weaknesses and blessed with your strengths, it would be happy to be alive, too.

You said you wouldn’t get married until gay people can. Now they can. And you still haven’t married. I think, Sarah, that marriage and childrearing are not in the cards for you because you can’t focus on building life when you spend your days and nights tearing it down.

You have made a career making public that which is private, making crude that which is intimate, making sensual that which is spiritual. You have experienced what traditional Judaism taught long ago: when you make sex a public thing it loses its potency. When the whisper is replaced with a shout there is no magic to speak about. And, in my opinion, Sarah, that is why you have had trouble forging a permanent relationship – the most basic desire of the feminine soul.

Human beings have many acquaintances and fewer friends, but only one spouse. Judaism celebrates the monogamous, intimate relationship with a spouse as the prototype of the intimate relationship with God. Marriage, in Judaism, is holy. Family, in Judaism, is celebrated. But for you, nothing is holy; in your world, nothing is permanent. Your ideology is secular. Your culture may be Jewish, but your mind is not.

I think you have latched on to politics because you are searching for something to build. There is only so much pulling down one can do without feeling utterly destructive. You want to fight for a value so you take your belief – secularism – and promote it. As an Orthodox rabbi, I disagree with just about everything you say, but respect your right to say it. All I ask, respectfully, is that you not use traditional Jewish terminology in your efforts. Because doing so is a lie.

Nothing you say or stand for, Sarah, from your sickening sexual proposal to a Republican donor to your equally vulgar tweet to Mitt Romney, has the slightest thing to do with the most basic of tenets which Judaism has taught the world – that the monogamous relationship is the most meaningful one and that a happy marriage is the key to wholesomeness.

You are driven. You are passionate. I pray that you channel your drive and direct your passion to something positive, something that will make you a better and more positive person, something that will allow you to touch eternity and truly impact the world forever. I pray that you pursue marriage and, if you are so blessed, raise children.

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About the Author: Yaakov Rosenblatt, the author of two books, is a rabbi and businessman in Dallas.

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890 Responses to “An Open Letter to Sarah Silverman”

  1. Donald Silverman Adopt me. =-)

  2. you, sir….are a total douchebag. if her dad feels compelled to defend his daughter, why should he need permission?

  3. Ellen Zen says:

    Dear Rabbi , With all due respect I must tell you that you are no man of G-d. You sir, are a schmuck and a dumb one too.. Shalom Schmucky.

  4. Yossi Zucker says:

    After seeing the comments, and the strong passionate responses – it's obvious that the Rabbi's hit a nerve.
    Avraham was called such because he had the power to be on Gd's side while the rest of the world was on the other – coming from the word "Ever or Ivri". Keep spreading the light Rabbi – their are many Ivrim on this page who haven't been exposed yet to the power of their fathers…

  5. Joanne Millett says:

    How did the debate go last night?

  6. Dewey Smith says:

    I am really tired of these dumb Orthodox Jews telling people how to live their lives. Having lived in Israel for about 5 months, it is extremely unfair to ordinary Israeli citizens that a small minority runs the country. Everyone except the orthodox do the army. These people (orthodox) are cowards, they don't the courage to die for their country but they have the audacity to tell people what to do. Outrageous.

  7. Considering her peculiar ideologies, and those of her family, I think the good Rabbi shd thank his lucky stars that La Silverman has chosen not to procreate…Perhaps a divine blessing for the rest of us?

  8. Went Brown says:

    I agree with you there Dewey

  9. Ken Stein says:

    Actually you wouldn't be writing this letter if you weren't a "Patriot For Romney." What ever happened to Thou Shalt Not Lie?

  10. Steven Mazie says:

    Methinks the rabbi protests too much. He might be in love:


  11. Note, thoughtfully, that Rabbi Rosenblatt observes Orthodox Jewish practices. I am a Reform Jew and, whether I agree with his views or not, they are his and he has the right to observe the way he does. Think of what distinguishes each branch of Judaism from the others and why, at base, there "need" to be different "camps." Also – and most importantly (however confusing the whole process gets), Rabbi Rosenblatt does have the right to opine as freely as he wishes, too. I suppose that others' opinions (as explicitly stated so-many-times-over here) are also so justly or rightfully expressed.

    Ain't this boogie a mess?

    It gets ugly when we start calling one another names. What I observe as misogyny may be acceptable practice in another's culture (and we need to respect that each individual's response is borne of her / his perception) – regardless how horrible I think it may be or how I understand the tenets of that person's formal belief system to read. One of the fun things about people is that we each are capable of doing our own thing, understanding / perceiving and responding our own ways, respectively. We need not hurt one another simply because we are different. Individuality is a splendid thing, however controversial it may be at times. I also realise that my words here may be read as critical and, for that, I sincerely apologise. It's a slippery slope we all attempt to climb when we choose to share our opinions with others. I do not wish to insult anyone; rather, I'd love to inspire someone else to refrain from issuing insult. And on I ramble.

  12. Kimberly Bernhardt says:

    Yikes that letter is foul.

  13. P.S., Ms. Silverman, in every aspect of her public personality (the only one I am familiar with), is the most ferociously attractive woman I have never met….Just the way she is / appears to be.

  14. Baron Chat says:

    oh shahaf, calling you and gottlieb a total of 1.5 twats, is not nearly as impressive as you lot being evolution/science/genital mutilation deniers and infant dick suckers (and in at least one case, an infant killer):


    to answer your question with another: can anyone voice their opinions without being called a name by you right wing religious fascists, or, maybe, a patronizing, hateful 2 page article on a religious news site? no need to answer. you've answered plenty already. shalom!

  15. Shahaf John Klein says:

    BARON, its amazing you can put on your shoes in the morning….circumcision is not mutilation. i can not believe that someone as ignorant as you can even type. its a ritual that is 4000 years old. how many cases of herpes were caused by this? how many cases of other diseases were caused by not doing this? you keep calling people dick suckers…any issues you need to speak with your shrink about? you must of been in sandusky's gym

  16. Doobie Okon says:

    You're my hero Donald Silverman

  17. Emmy Cedar says:

    <i> You are in show biz. I am in the rabbi biz. You entertain people. I serve people. </i>

    Oh, so you do, Rabbi. That is what you get <i> paid </i> for, isn’t it? Is Ms. Silverman jumping up and down asking people to thank her for entertaining them? Um, no, because that’s what she gets paid to do.

    But unlike you, she actually decided to step outside her profit zone and advocate for people who might be unrepresented and shut out of the election.

    What have you done to make this world a better place? You used your position to make a lecherous, disrespectful statement to not just Silverman but to all women.

    From our side of the gender field: go stuff it where the sun don’t shine.

  18. Emmy Cedar says:

    "You are in show biz. I am in the rabbi biz. You entertain people. I serve people."

    Oh, so you do, Rabbi. That is what you get paid for, isn’t it? Is Ms. Silverman jumping up and down asking people to thank her for entertaining them? Um, no, because that’s what she gets paid to do.

    But unlike you, she actually decided to step outside her profit zone and advocate for people who might be unrepresented and shut out of the election.

    What have you done to make this world a better place? You used your position to make a lecherous, disrespectful statement to not just Silverman but all women.

    From our side of the gender field: go stuff it where the sun don’t shine.

  19. Doobie Okon says:

    So because I completely disagree with the Rabbi and think he's being a twat, I am a self-hating Jew?

  20. Alex Yu says:

    wow… this ignorant coward represent about 10-20% of all Jews… I am ashamed that there are Jews like that.. but every family has its freaks and stupid…

  21. Angel Iyes says:

    I'm a Christian and have to say that was one of the most beautifully expressed letters I've ever read. We may not agree on the New Testament but we sure agree on a host of other things. Family importance being one of them. You certainly have a gift for the written word. Thanks to our free society you are able to express those wise, wonderful thoughts to the world. So interesting how atheists display such unbridled anger when they speak yet when you speak its gentle like an ever watchful and caring father. This world is a much better place with you in it.

  22. Timothy Ace Holleran says:

    I am not Jewish, so I call upon the faithful to translate this into Hebrew and communicate it to Rabbi Rosenblatt: Mind your own business.

  23. Pam Richter Protas says:

    Ms Schwartz, Rabbi Rosenblatt, nor you for that matter, would understand the concept of "discreet" if it slapped you upside the head. An "open letter" is by definition a public document. Splashing it all over the internet is rather indiscreet.

  24. Scott Leahy says:

    Rabbi Yaakov, isn't there an infant boy's penis somewhere you should be mutilating?

  25. Robert Nevel says:

    me haha wow buddy you're a real douchebag. it'll be funny to see how all the people in support of the Rabbi will eventually be on the wrong side of history and be all but forgotten. guess your efforts to be immortal by having kids and continuing your lame-ass family name will be all in vain in the end. it's funny though to read your crap and laugh at you. please don't stop. we need more idiots like you to keep us chuckling.

  26. Renanit Levy says:

    There is a post on Huff Post about this you should also check out, sweetie.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Message to the Rabbi – If you attack someone's kid expect Dad to ferociously defend her. You would do the same. What did you hope to accomplish with this article?

  28. Shahaf John Klein says:

    denver tina, do you honestly think its more likely that we come from apes? really? shocking

  29. Shahaf John Klein says:

    beth, and the left never judges anyone, ever!!!

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