web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Reinstating God In Northern California

Resnick-032913

The motto “In God We Trust” is emblazoned on our currency and in courtrooms across America. And yet it seems we’re trusting less and less in God these days. With each passing year, secularists and sophisticated intellectuals manage to kick Him out just a little more from the public square.

But the battle for the country’s soul is not lost. In a little known part of Northern California called the TriValley, God was recently kicked out – but then reinstated. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago my son, Rabbi Raleigh Resnick, organized “A Historic Evening with Anne Frank’s Step-Sister” – Mrs. Eva Schloss – in the city of Pleasanton, CA, where he serves as a Chabad shaliach. (More than 500 people attended the event.)

Pleasanton decided to recognize the week of Mrs. Schloss’s visit as Holocaust Education Week. My son was asked to help draft the proclamation.

Among other sentences, he wrote the following: “Whereas, this is an opportunity to be utilized by educators, clergy, and civic leaders to highlight and emphasize the innate God-given rights endowed to every human being.”

When the city sent my son its final draft of the proclamation, however, two words were missing: “God-given.”

Many people likely would have said nothing. After all, removing God is a recurring theme in America. Why bother fighting for a lost cause? My son, however, was not deterred. He wrote the following e-mail to city officials:

“I notice that you removed ‘God-given’ from the proclamation and wanted to respectfully request that mention be made of God or the creator. Please allow me to explain: The very document that proclaims the rights of the citizens in this great country, the Declaration of Independence, states man is ‘endowed by his creator with certain inalienable rights.’ The inference being that what makes human rights inalienable is the fact that they are God-given and hence no human being can violate them.

“This is an important truth underscored by our founding fathers and very relevant – I feel – when discussing events like the Holocaust. So if you might consider including this, I would be most appreciative.

“Please do take my remarks in the spirit in which they are written, in a non-judgmental tone and with the utmost respect.”

It worked! The city reinserted God into the proclamation.

But the story doesn’t end there. Rabbi Chaim Zaklos, a Chabad shaliach in neighboring Vacaville, went through the same experience a few weeks later. He, too, invited Mrs. Schloss to speak to his community; he, too, was asked to help draft a Holocaust Education Week proclamation; he, too, inserted a reference to God; and his draft, as well, came back sans God.

Here is the version the city proposed to publicize:

WHEREAS, Chabad has, for many years, in the United States and throughout the world, actively promoted a greater awareness of the concepts of education, morality and decency amongst all people; and; and

WHEREAS, Mrs. Eva Schloss, who is a survivor of the holocaust during which six million [Jews] were exterminated, and is dedicated to combating bigotry and hatred; and

WHEREAS, the City of Vacaville is dedicated to fostering an environment of acceptance of and respect for human dignity and diversity,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Steve Hardy, Mayor of the City of Vacaville, on behalf of the entire City Council, do hereby proclaim and designate this week of January 13 through January 19, 2013 as “Holocaust Education Week.”

Knowing the same thing had occurred to my son, Rabbi Zaklos decided to take a page from his book. He too wrote to the city government, explaining the vital importance of mentioning God, and Vacaville – like Pleasanton – acquiesced to his request and inserted the following paragraph:

WHEREAS, “Holocaust Education Week” will be used by educators, clergy, and civic leaders to highlight and emphasize the God-given rights endowed to each and every human being….

Now, Pleasanton and Vacaville are not New York and Washington. But these two small California cities teach us that not all is lost. If we fight and speak up for our values, we can make a difference and win. Big changes often come in small increments. If we can win the culture war – nay, the war for God – in small cities like Pleasanton and Vacaville, surely the cumulative effect will influence the future of our larger cities, and the entire country as well.

Regardless, Pirkei Avos teaches us that “it is not our obligation to finish the task but we are not at liberty to desist from it” either. Our job is to fight where and when we can. God will hopefully help with the rest. Scratch that – God will surely help with the rest.

About the Author: Molly Resnick, a former NBC TV News producer and founder of MATCKH (Mothers Against Teaching Children to Kill and Hate), is a popular international lecturer and motivational speaker. She can be reached at mollymres@gmail.com. Read other articles by Molly Resnick at mrsmollyresnick.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Reinstating God In Northern California”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’
Latest Indepth Stories
The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

More Articles from Molly Resnick
bibi statue

Hellenism captured the imagination and hearts not only of the Greeks but of the majority of Jews in ancient Judea.

Resnick-032913

The motto “In God We Trust” is emblazoned on our currency and in courtrooms across America. And yet it seems we’re trusting less and less in God these days. With each passing year, secularists and sophisticated intellectuals manage to kick Him out just a little more from the public square.

Two weeks ago I found myself at the International Conference of Chabad Shluchos in Crown Heights running a program together with my friend Rivka Kotlarsky for 120 Guests of Shluchos – many of them not yet especially observant.

“If you put Google, Apple, and Microsoft together, it still doesn’t compare to the miracles of Jewish renaissance I have witnessed in this country,” I said to two reporters from The New York Times and Moscow Times.

I went to a sentencing several weeks ago – my first ever. The man being sentenced, William Hill, was convicted by a jury of brutally beating Jacob Gerstle, an 81-year-old member of my community in Washington Heights, in 2006.

Anger – no, fury – was my first reaction to news of the rampage at Fort Hood last week. Thirteen dead and thirty wounded is tragic enough. But how could the alleged murderer, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, have gone undetected on an American military base for so long?

I couldn’t wait to board the speedy Acela train to Washington, DC two weeks ago to hear an old friend of mine, constitutional legal wiz Floyd Abrams, argue before the Supreme Court. I had watched him twice before and was riveted each time. This case, involving the McCain-Feingold Campaign finance reform act, promised to be a landmark in First Amendment law. To watch top-notch lawyers spar swords with some of the best legal minds in the country is quite an experience and I couldn’t wait to feel that intellectual thrill once again.

Natan Sharansky has been a hero of mine ever since I learned this courageous refusenik refused to be exchanged for two spies without the Book of Psalms he had treasured for nine torturous years in Soviet prisons.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/reinstating-god-in-northern-california/2013/03/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: