Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It's that time of the week again where a topic must be chosen for this week's column. There's some great material this week, but each topic has its weaknesses and pitfalls. There is, for instance, the matter of the $221m that Obama gave the Palestinian Authority as his final eff you to the Jews the morning he left office, the last act before Trump became president. It's money that will be used to pay pensions to the families of both jailed and dead terrorists, people who killed Jews. Indeed it is money that will be used to buy the weapons that will be used to kill Jews.
We know that, because hey. It's going to the PA (and that rhymes).

He knew that, Obama. He approves of that. He circumvented Congress to help underwrite that, Obama.

Yeah. I could probably find a few hundred more (steaming, seething) words to say about that. But then I'd have to give up on writing about the suspicious and possibly titillating behavior of  Sonja Maria Jetter, an activist with Women Wage Peace. (Is this organization really about peace? Or is it just one more antisemitic organization posturing on the order of J-Street or Jewish Voice for Peace, claiming to want what's best for Israel while giving an assist to the murderers of Jewish Israelis?)

It is Sonja Maria Jetter, you see, who confides to near strangers in lurid detail the story of an orthodox rabbi sexually assaulting her, but refuses to name him. Meantime, she is quite happy to pound the flesh with Mahmoud Abbas for a photo opp. That would be Abbas the mastermind behind the Munich Massacre, a man whose doctoral dissertation was a study in Holocaust denial, a man who incites his people to murder Jews on a daily basis.

Ah yes, the story of Sonja and Women Wage Peace might titillate a few readers, while sending a few others to toss their cookies.  

Alas it's a weak story. I can't actually prove that Women Wage Peace is antisemitic or that Sonja has it in for the Jews even if she's one herself. There's just the lingering stench of that ugly, detailed, lewd story, with no name attached hence lacking all credibility, plus the photo of the handshake with Abu Mazen. It's like Potter Stewart and porn. You know it when you see it. But write about it? Not much to say.

And of course, if I write about Sonja Maria Jetter and Women Wage Peace, I won't get to the story about the Women's March on Washington, all those Jewish women marching for free tampons and abortions, when their beloved Obama just slipped the PA $221m to kill the Jews. All those women who closed their eyes as Obama did nothing about rebels in Iran, the Yazidi women, Syria. All those women who are wearing pink hats and dressing up like vaginas. . .

but who won't say boo about Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, if I write about the pink-hatted women and their non-violent protests . . .

. . . then I won't get to write about Ivanka and Jared riding in a car; going into a church; the matter of his bare head; her bare head (and arms); and the fact that they call themselves orthodox. But everyone and his dog is writing about that. And anyway, who wants to walk into a minefield? You just know you're going to get attacked if you write about that. People will say you're judging them. People will say it's not being nice to the stranger, the convert. 

People will say that if we criticize them, they might leave the faith altogether—better we should be warm and embracing. Others will quote Halacha until their faces turn blue, while me? All I have is my common sense. I'm no rabbi. But if I didn't know a thing about Ivanka and Jared and ran into them at a party, what would tell me they are Jewish, let alone orthodox?

But if I were to say that, then readers would jump down my throat telling me that orthodox isn't a look. That there are all sorts of ways to be orthodox. And I'll be left looking rigid and unkind and judgmental when all I want to say is:

"You had a chance. You could have been this wonderful example for your people. You could have been orthodox out loud and proud, not just by giving lip service to hanging out with your family on Shabbos but by wearing the trappings of orthodoxy, you know, the fringes, the skullcap, the um, sleeves."

But if I say that, then people will say, but a rabbi said it was pikuach nefesh, saving a life, for them to ride in a car. A rabbi said they are karov l'malchut close to the kingdom, and therefore they must do what they must do to fit in so they can ultimately help their people in ways we cannot foretell.

And then I'll be left saying, "Okay, okay, but just think what an opportunity they had. What if they hadn't asked a question and had just stayed home, or slept over somewhere close by, or had the ball postponed until after Shabbos. Would it really not have been well received? Would they really have jeopardized something by doing so? And would the negative impact of that really have been greater. Would they really have been putting their lives in danger? Our lives in danger here in Israel?"

But you know: who wants to walk into a minefield, be called judgmental, blind, unkind to converts, ignorant of Halacha, intolerant, and so forth and so on.

So I'm not really sure what to write about this week. So many stories, so little time.

Maybe I should just pack it in and call it a day.


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