Trump is not good for the Jews
Rabbi Boteach, have you no shame?
In praising President Trump, Rabbi Boteach sees no evil (“Is Trump good for Jews? It’s an easy yes,” June 8). Trump, after all, began his political career with a five-year crusade to delegitimize an American president, even reassuring us that we wouldn’t believe what the researchers he allegedly sent to Hawaii had discovered. Then in the heat of the campaign, he abruptly changed his tune — without explanation and without apologies.
Obviously, he is either a titanic liar or utterly delusional.
He followed that up by denigrating an authentic American hero, Senator John McCain, which coming from a five-time draft dodger gives chutzpah a bad name. Should such a person be allowed to serve as dog catcher, let alone president?
Rabbi — if I may quote a famous lawyer — have you at last no shame?
The author is the Emeritus Guterman Professor
of English at Yeshiva University
The president’s behavior and policies are not consistent with Jewish values
As an American Jew I would beg to differ with Rabbi Boteach’s rationale and conclusion as to why our president is good for the Jews.
Although Talmud and Torah may not be my strength, for me, as a secular American Jew, it is plainly apparent that the president’s character, behavior, and policies are antithetical to core values of Judaism.
Let’s provide some historical context. For centuries, Jews have been victims of heinous canards and conspiracy theories — for example, Christian-inspired blood libels, and the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Should not American Jews be concerned about a president who was one of the original founders and proponents of the discredited birther claim regarding President Obama’s birth certificate? Should not American Jews be concerned about a president who has publicly embraced a radio host well known for asserting that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax? Millions of European Jews were murdered by Nazis as a consequence of state-sponsored lies and falsehoods.
Should not American Jews be concerned about a president who is a serial liar, and when neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville last year struggled to find the right words to say, indicating there were some good people marching in their contingent?
The biblical matriarchs are revered in Judaism as pillars of the home and family. Should not American Jews be concerned about a president who demonstrates no respect for women and in fact boasted on tape of sexually assaulting women, along with paying off an adult film actress to conceal an affair?
Prior to the founding of modern Israel, Jews who were persecuted and fleeing their homelands were barred from entering many countries, including our own. Should not American Jews be concerned about a president who habitually insults immigrants and offends people whose ethnic backgrounds are different than his?
In medieval kingdoms, the ruling king could designate a court Jew as a cover to pretend that the ruler was tolerant of Jews. Although the president may have Jewish family members, it provides me no sense of comfort.
I, as an American Jew, will not be an apologist nor an enabler of this president.