It made headlines across the country, local Jews tell Trump not to go to Pittsburgh to mourn Synagogue dead and visiting the wounded. A letter sent to the President by the Pittsburgh chapter of “Bend the Arc” a Jewish progressive, anti-Trump organization, 11 local Jewish leaders said President Trump isn’t welcome unless he actually does something about Antisemitism and white nationalism. The letter specifically calls out the president on “targeting and endangering all minorities” and putting forth an “assault on immigrants and refugees.”
Trying to falsely paint the president as a bigot, left out of most news stories was “Bend The Arc” is a progressive group dedicated to resisting the Trump presidency. Additionally omitted by the media reports are that the Bend The Arc letter is a violation of Jewish tradition. Keep in mind that while many Jewish Organizations (like the ADL, AIPAC, and the American Jewish Congress) place their primary allegiance to the Democratic Party and/or Progressiveness over the Jewish Issues in their mission, however, most don’t admit it. Bend the Arc is honest about its objective, acknowledging that the Democratic and progressive goals to obstruct the Trump Administration is their chief objective.
The header of the “Bend The Arc” homepage Identifies itself as part of the “resistance:” See picture above.
Right below the header on the homepage is a statement of its mission (emphasis mine)
HOW WE RESIST AND WIN
Bend the Arc is a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews all across the country. For years, we’ve worked to build a more just society. Now we’re rising up in solidarity with everyone threatened by the Trump agenda to fight for the soul of our nation. Together we:
Hold elected officials accountable: If politicians are going to enable the immoral agenda of the Trump administration and the Republican Party, we’re going to hold them accountable. And we won’t hesitate to organize and fundraise to replace them with progressive champions.
Interrupt Trump 2018: How do we stop Trump’s attacks on women, immigrants and their families, people of color, students, and Muslims? We replace his enablers in Congress. Meet our campaign to interrupt Trump by talking to 100,000 voters in key districts where we can flip the House.
Down further in their spotlight section it says:
Interrupt Trump 2018. How do we stop Trump’s attacks on women, immigrants and their families, people of color, students, and Muslims? We replace his enablers in Congress. Meet our campaign to interrupt Trump by talking to 100,000 voters in key districts where we can flip the House.
With these statements on its homepage, would anyone really expect Bend The Arc to roll out the red carpet for the President, Mrs. Trump, and administration figures when they came to show respect for the Tree of Life Synagogue victims in Pittsburgh?
An unbiased Jewish observer would call the Bend The Arc letter a “shanda fur die goyim, which is a Yiddish phrase meaning an embarrassment by a fellow Jew doing something terrible in front of non-Jews.
In Jewish law, an essential mitzvah is to comfort the sick and bereaved. The Talmud explains that when God came to Abraham in Genesis 18:1, “Now the Lord appeared to him [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre, and he was sitting at the entrance of the tent when the day was hot. Abe was recovering from a painful self-circumcision at age 99. In the Torah, we see that God does many things angels, but when it came to visiting the sick, God went himself. The Talmud explains: Just as God visits the sick, so too is it incumbent upon us to imitate God and visit the sick (H/T Maimonides – Avel 14:4-6;)
It is also a sacred obligation to comfort mourners, whether one related to them or not, and whether the dead or mourners are was a close friend or a passing acquaintance. In Judaism, exercising compassion by paying a condolence call is a mitzvah, considered by some of our greatest scholars to be biblically ordained. The Bible records that God visited Isaac: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac, his son” (Genesis 25:11). The sages infer from this verse that just like after Abraham’s bris, God himself was was there, comforting the bereaved Isaac.
Per Jewish tradition, every man has to imitate God’s good deeds. As God comforts the bereaved and visits the sick so man must do likewise. “Bend The Arc'” letter was basically an attempt to prevent President Trump from doing what God wants mankind to do.
The “Bend The Arc” letter not only tried to supersede the big guy upstairs, but it also was an attempt to supplant the Tree of Life’s Rabbi Judaism is a very grass-roots faith. There is no Pope, or national, or even local leadership council to make decisions for an individual congregation. It is the job of the particular rabbi, who functions as the “mara de-atra” which is Aramaic for “master of the house.” The rabbi is the local authority in Jewish law, therefore, if anyone was going to say we don’t want Trump to come, the only one who has the right to is the Rabbi for the Tree of Life Synagogue. But he would never. (Note: everyone knows that a wife the master of the household people live in, “happy wife, happy life” is basic knowledge in all faiths).
Do you know during the period of the Second Temple the high priests would make daily sacrifices to honor the head of the ruling state? There was even a daily sacrifice for whoever the Caesar was at the time, and they were not very fond of the Caesar. While Jews haven’t made animal sacrifices since the destruction of the Second Temple, we are still supposed to honor our political leadership. Every Shabbos many conservative synagogues say a prayer asking for God’s blessing for our country, “for its government, for its leaders and advisers and for all who exercise Just and rightful authority.” The “Bend The Arc” letter goes against that tradition.
Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect the mainstream media to explore the religious aspects of the “Bend The Arc” letter, or to have a guest (like me) to explain it to their audiences, it is NOT unreasonable for them to ignore the actual political leanings of the group. Using their own words, it is clear that “Bend The Arc” is an anti-Trump group. Did any reporter make an effort to visit their homepage? Based on their reporting, I highly doubt it.
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