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Louis Farrakhan

Last month, comedian Chelsea Handler posted a video of virulent anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. Handler’s father is Jewish, so you’d think that she’d have a bit more discretion about posting the rantings of someone who’s compared Jews to termites, called them “Satanic,” and accused them of controlling Hollywood, the banks, and the media.

Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly tweeted that it was “stunning” to see how many celebrities “are either too stupid to know what Farrakhan has said publicly about Jews – or worse – do not care.” Actor Josh Malina tweeted, “Louis Farrakhan is a virulent jew-hater. He is trash. Don’t tweet out his greatest hits.”

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Chelsea later apologized for posting the video – after a week of criticism – but what possessed her to post it in the first place? Does Chelsea believe she’ll get a pass from the mob by cozying up to an enemy of Jews – and whites, for that matter? Incidentally, even though Chelsea’s not halachically a Jew, Hitler would have been more than happy to count her as one. So what was she thinking?

Among the Torah’s many directives is one, of course, against eating pig. Commenting on this command, Rashi writes that a person shouldn’t say that he doesn’t eat it because it’s disgusting. Rather he should say, “I don’t eat it because the Torah says I shouldn’t.” Period. End of story.

The Torah is very clear in its portrayal of good and bad. Sure, you may have 10,000 great reasons for falling in love with your sister, but guess what? The Torah says no way. You may find yourself attracted to a married person, but guess what? Unless you’re married to that person, move on. You may have a desire for bacon, but forget it.

Most liberals – Chelsea included – are very smart and driven and care about right and wrong. They want to do the right thing, and, for that, they should be commended. So how does Chelsea go from caring about and helping underprivileged people to praising an admitted Jew hater?

Simple. When you don’t accept the divine basis for morality as recorded in the Torah, the possibilities for going astray grow exponentially. G-d knew man’s weaknesses. He knew humans were emotional and could find themselves on the wrong side of the line – and justify themselves being there. So when G-d tells man not to eat pig “because I said so” – not because you find it disgusting – He was conveying the very powerful idea that you cannot allow your feelings to dictate morality – because feelings can change.

One day, you may have a great reason for not keeping this law. But it doesn’t matter. The law must be kept anyways because it comes from G-d.

Chelsea, your universal acceptance of others and sensitivity to the downtrodden is admirable. But tolerance of a hate monger is not. And that’s not my opinion. It’s G-d’s. He, and He alone, determines when we should be compassionate – and when we must be firm and unrelenting.

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Avi Ciment lectures and writes about G-d at www.AviTalks.com.