web analytics
January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


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
Ilana Medar, 18, of Paris, made Aliyah last year.
Jewish Agency Planning for Massive Aliyah of 120,000 French Jews
Latest Indepth Stories
Golan map

Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.

Social Media pic

Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.

Middle-East-map

Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians

Salamon-012315

Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists

In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site

Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”

The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps

Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.

How many sites that tell you to check your politics at the door have 10,000 likes?

In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

While we recognize the Republican Jewish Coalition is hardly a non-partisan outfit, a snippet from a statement the group released is worthy of note:

“These are good matzah balls,” my aunt Robertine would say, but her sister Irma would counter “No, not compared to Mama’s. They were always so light yet they never fell apart.”

Despite the 2005 Koby Mandell Act no Palestinian implicated in harming an American has been charged

The NY Times suggestion that HaMavesar cropping women from a photo is Israeli censorship is absurd.

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: