Was Churchill So Good?
In his recent column on Winston Churchill and Zionism, columnist Saul Jay Singer omitted several salient facts. First, as British colonial secretary in 1922, Churchill transferred three quarters of the land set aside for a Jewish state to an emir of Transjordan.
Second, in June 1922, Churchill issued a White Paper that limited Jewish immigration to Palestine’s economic absorptive capacity. Speeches are nice, actions are paramount!
I read Rabbi Weissman’s article entitled “Are You an Assimilated Orthodox Jew?” and have some questions for him. Am I to understand that any frum Jew who chooses to live in the Diaspora is committing a chillul Hashem?
What would he say about rabbanim and roshei yeshivot in the Disapora? What would he say about Chabad shluchim who are sent worldwide to bring Jews back to the path of Torah?
Harold S. Rose
Rabbi Weissman responds:
The exile of millions of Jews from their homeland is the greatest chillul Hashem. It is the basis of Christianity and Islam. This chillul Hashem can only be rectified by the complete return of our people to Israel and is not dependent on Torah observance within the land.
When the chillul Hashem was involuntary, we could only pray. Today the chillul Hashem is perpetuated voluntarily by Jews who have no desire or intention to leave exile until forced to by Moshiach or persecution – neither of which is the proper impetus.
We ask Hashem every day in Shemoneh Esrei to gather in the exiles – before we ask for a Torah-based society and Moshiach. Hashem has granted this request, but we must cooperate.
The direct link between exile and chillul Hashem is illustrated in numerous Torah sources. I have written about this topic at length in other articles and in my sefer, Go Up Like a Wall.
Our rabbanim in exile should lead their respective flocks back home without further delay.
Our New State Religion
I enjoyed reading about the radio program guest-hosted by Jewish Press Chief Editor Elliot Resnick during which he argued that we should defend the Torah values that have served as the basis of traditional American values since colonial times.
I also enjoyed the op-ed in that same issue by Stephen M. Flatow in which he laments the disappearance of patriotic assembly programs in public schools.
Missing also are the morning announcements during which uplifting readings from Scripture were broadcast before the start of the school day. The sources were both Jewish and Christian, but the principal didn’t endorse any religion. Rather, young Americans were introduced to the theological sources of the values of their classmates.
Fast-forward to the present: The only values taught are atheistic, “progressive,” and anti-religious. As Attorney General William Barr noted in his famous 2019 Notre Dame address, “secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”
Americans are silently and implicitly condoning a system that seemingly protects freedom but, upon closer scrutiny, only allows the views of the progressive left to be heard. Atheism has become the state religion in America.
“Chillul Hashem” literally means a vacuum of G-d’s presence. We cannot allow it. As Mr. Resnick suggests, we must proudly promote Jewish values in society. They were always at the core of American culture and need to be reintroduced to the next generation of public school children.
Two Cheers for Courage
I applaud Rabbi Alan Sherman, a Reform rabbi in southern Florida who is openly supporting President Donald Trump. Of course, due to this support, he is being bullied by Conservative, Reconstructionist, and other Reform rabbis in the area.
I entered the rabbinate to effect change in the world. For more than 41 years, I have been outspoken via numerous forums: radio, TV, Facebook, books, and the pulpit.
Do I recommend that young rabbis and seminary graduates be outspoken as I am? Absolutely not. It is a recipe for being fired, being attacked in the press, and having few friends.
But some of us are born with the desire to make a difference and believe political engagement is therefore crucial. And so, I am outspoken. At first, I was bullied for supporting Trump. Just the other day, I was called Hitler for supporting him – which I thought was disgusting as the child of Holocaust survivors, but I won’t give up fighting for his re-election.
Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
The Abortion Scandal
I applaud The Board of Directors of The Jewish Pro-Life Foundation for its letter last week championing the life of unborn children and excoriating the National Council of Jewish Women and Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance for endorsing a woman’s “right” to kill unborn children.
NCJW and JOFA are not only enormous disgraces to Judaism; they also are responsible for increasing anti-Semitism by supporting the dismemberment of unborn children in the womb.
I could write volumes on the evils of abortion, but the bottom line is abortion is all about ending human life. So if any people should spearhead the movement to overturn the contemptible invented legal “right” of abortion, it is the Jewish people who were exterminated in masses in concentration camps just like unborn children are exterminated in abortion clinics.
But where are the Jewish people advocating for the lives of the unborn? Where are the Jewish people lobbying politicians to send Roe v. Wade to the refuge heap where it belongs? Why are Orthodox groups and institutions silent?
Millions of unborn children are cut into pieces in the womb every year. Where is the Orthodox community in the U.S. – and, sadly, Israel?