A shonda and hillul hashem

Religions are never pure. All have their outliers. Nixon had his rabbi, Baruch Korff, Catholicism had its Fr.Coughlin and those scandalous popes of the Borgias. There is no end to wacky mullahs without learning and credibility. Israel has ist share of rabbinic posers who sanctify occupation and and anti-Arab hostility. So Trump now has his rabbi to bless what? Who knows.

Now that the Donald has a 16 year old singer to headline his inaugural he has his rabbi. Marvin Hier could not resist his 15 minutes



But wait. all is not kosher in the Jewish community.

Hier’s friend Rabbi Moskovitz publicly upbraids him.

Rabbi Marvin Hier should not give a blessing to this President at the Inauguration next week. I appreciate Rabbi Hier’s work at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles (a community where I too was a rabbi for 13 years). He has done a great deal to advance the cause of racial/religious tolerance and to fight anti-Semitism. Rabbi Hier also previously served in my current community of Vancouver, British Columbia, where he is still spoken of in high regard. But Rabbi Heir is wrong on this issue and his lack of rabbinic judgement reflects poorly on all rabbis.


A rabbi is a symbolic exemplar. When we appear or speak publicly we represent more than ourselves, we represent Judaism. Not just “the Jewish people” but also the moral/ethical code of the Jewish tradition. The Talmud instructs us, “It is not the place that honors the person, but the person that honors the place.” (Ta’anit 21b). It is not an honor for Rabbi Hier or the Jewish religion to be associated with Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric, it is a shanda, a disgrace.


When asked what blessing he will bestow Rabbi Hier stated that he will offer readings, recite an original prayer and give Mr. Trump and incoming Vice President Mike Pence each a personal blessing. Not a blessing for the nation, but upon the man. At present Mr. Trump’s venomous insults continue unabated by his new station, and are inseparable from the high office he is about to occupy. Thus to bless Mr. Trump in this most public of way is to bless all that he has said and stands for. Rabbi Hier’s participation as a Rabbi gives a Jewish hechsher, a kosher certification to the swearing in of a man whose social conduct, rhetoric and fomenting of hate and division are directly at odds with Jewish tradition (and the work of Museum of Tolerance that Rabbi Hier leads). I firmly believe that it would be hillul hashem (a desecration of G-d’s name) to give a rabbinic imprimatur to this man at this time.


1 Comment »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    I can’t see Trump as anything but a curse on anything. An ignorant wealthy narcisstic immature 12 year old in an adult body.

    And a story today in the National Catholic Reporter which does not bode well for the continuing conflict in Lebanon.

    Take a look…
    National Catholic Reporter Jan 10, 2017
    Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    The election of Donald Trump may mark the end of any realistic hope of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And don’t expect the Democratic Party to try to save it, it appears.
    Trump has appointed two strident advocates of Israel’s right-wing settler movement to the key positions of U.S. ambassador to Israel and chief negotiator. Ambassador-designate David Friedman insists the United States should end the “two-state narrative” and claims that moderate Zionist groups like J Street who support it are “far worse than kapos — Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.”

    With the incoming administration’s rejection of the long-held international consensus that Israeli colonization of the Palestinian West Bank is both illegal and an obstacle to peace, and with his pledge to block any international action to prevent it, there will be nothing to stop Israel’s right-wing government from consolidating its control over the occupied territory.

    With Palestine’s remaining population centers in the West Bank increasingly surrounded by large Israeli settlement blocs, a viable contiguous Palestinian state alongside Israel would become physically impossible. Palestinians would then have no choice but to demand equal rights within a greater Israel, forcing Israelis to choose between being a Jewish state or a democratic state. They could no longer be both. This was the message on Dec. 28 in Secretary of State John Kerry’s address, strongly denounced by the Israeli government, the Republicans, and a surprisingly large number of congressional Democrats.

    On Jan. 5, in one of the first acts of the new Congress, the majority of House Democrats joined virtually all the Republicans in siding with Trump against President Barack Obama in a resolution condemning the United Nations for opposing illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, claiming it was “anti-Israel” to object to the Israeli colonization of the West Bank.

    Light-of-Truth-friends-2016.jpgNCR’s award-winning reporting and commentary are possible because of support from people like you. Give today.
    Meanwhile, Trump and his appointees have reiterated plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a provocative move certain to inflame regional tensions, given the ancient city’s importance not just to Jews, but to Muslims and Christians as well. All foreign embassies are currently in Tel Aviv in recognition of Jerusalem’s special international status as determined by the United Nations and the fact that the eastern half of the city is formally recognized as being under foreign belligerent occupation.

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