In the wake of Barack Obama’s victory, there’s been quite a bit of laudable introspection on behalf of the Jewish community — and particularly the Orthodox community — about lingering racism.
Dr. Elliot Prager, the principal of Morah, an Orthodox day school in New Jersey, wrote a beautiful and bold letter to parents lamenting the disturbing comments he heard from some of his young students.
Now come similar words from Rabbi Reuven Tradburks, the President of the Toronto Bais Din. On Cross-Currents, Rabbi Tradburks writes:
There is a tendency, I believe, in our world to paint the world in the paradigms of and Esav â€“ good versus evil. But we often paint the wrong people with the Esav label.
There are Esavs in the world. There are people who display principles and attitudes that are dark and evil. Arafat, Hamas, Hizbulla, Aryan Nation, Ahmenidijad.
But Obama is not one of them. He is an intelligent, liberal thinking man of integrity and great rhetorical ability. You may not like his attitudes or his platform. But that is a discussion in the realm of ideas not in the realm of good and evil. He is a good man, a man who wants good. (MORE)
Unfortunately, Rabbi Tradburks makes his case for Obama — and against baseless hatred — by invoking another culturally prejudiced stereotype.
The moral of the story according to Rabbi Tradburks: “We should not become Jewish rednecks.”
Pronounced: YAH-kove or YAH-ah-kove, Origin: Hebrew, Jacob, one of the Torah’s three patriarchs.