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1 SanFranciscoZionist  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:30:45pm

Yona Metzger has lost his damn mind.

2 HappyWarrior  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:32:23pm

Does the good Rabbi know that Beck has quoted numerous Anti-Semitic writers and tried to compare himself with Holocaust victims?

3 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:33:59pm

That’s why you don’t want any rabbis, priests or mullahs on the state’s payroll.

4 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:34:00pm

I think it’s important to point out that terms such as ‘Chief Rabbi’ or ‘leading Rabbi’ are purely political terms (as in synagogue politics), and carry absolutely no religious meaning. Perhaps the rabbi has expertise in a particular area of halacha, more than likely a particular skill at fundraising.

We have no hierarchy, such as Pope, Cardinal, Pujols, Bishop, Priest. Israeli governments always hang on to office by a thread.

Bottom line, we are anarchists by nature. And this fact drives many US politicians, and the State Department a little batty—because there is no leader to go to for the Jews, for Israel.

So, to get a rabbi to show up and bless Glenn Beck’s event simply means, to Jews, that Glenn made a nice contribution to whatever . To non-Jews, it appears to mean something more—because it can’t possibly be that insignificant.

It is that insignificant. However, we live in a time when the less qualified seem to make the most headlines, generally.

5 Atlas Fails  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:35:14pm

Come on, Israelis. Shit like this makes it harder to defend you to moonbats.

6 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:35:39pm

re: #1 SanFranciscoZionist

He didn’t do this for free. He only lost his mind if he didn’t get enough money in return.

7 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:38:55pm

re: #2 HappyWarrior

Those facts just raise the price.

8 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:42:05pm

re: #5 Atlas Fails

I think the main issue is—does that fact that Jews own property really threaten world peace? Stay on that thread, and do not waver.

9 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:43:19pm

re: #3 Sergey Romanov

The solution is to raise collective cynical consciousness. ;-)

10 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 3:27:02pm

re: #4 Bob Levin

I think most people here worry about what you seem to dismiss with the phrase “purely political”. “It is that insignificant” because it is not religiously significant but only “purely political”? Really?

[Link: en.wikipedia.org…]

11 CuriousLurker  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 3:42:45pm

Dammit, this is exactly what I was talking about on my Page Friday night.

12 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 3:46:25pm

re: #10 000G

What else are they going to write in Wikipedia? How many observant Jews are there, and of that group, how many look to—I don’t even know his name—for guidance? Not many. The two largest groups of observant Jews, Chabad and Aish certainly don’t see this guy as their main authority. Yes, he has some legal power. But all countries have groups with legal power, such as the FCC in the US. If you want to start a radio station, then you have to abide by FCC guidelines.

Regarding your link:

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel (הרבנות הראשית לישראל) is recognized by law [1] as the supreme halakhic and spiritual authority for the Jewish people in Israel.

Even though most people disagree with and disregard every ruling he makes.

It has legal and administrative authority to organize religious arrangements for Israel’s Jews.

Really? Like what, planning a Bar Mitzvah party? What exactly does this statement mean?

It also responds to halakhic questions submitted by Jewish public bodies in the Diaspora.

Who freely do what they want despite the ruling.

I could on, but you get the point.

13 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 3:49:47pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

I know. What you were actually seeing is a guy showing up with his own opinions, not the opinions of Israelis, not even connected to the opinions of Israelis, who was their because of the honorarium. It was a picture of people deluding themselves that something significant was taking place.

14 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 3:55:54pm

PIMF. …I could go on,….
…who was there…

15 CuriousLurker  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 4:29:25pm

re: #13 Bob Levin

It’s not the Israelis I’m worried about. Even if the Chief Rabbi isn’t effectively influential inside Israel, and even if his move is mostly political, most non-Jews in America won’t know that.

His title sounds impressive, and by blessing Beck’s event in a religious capacity he lends him a moral legitimacy that he doesn’t deserve. Not legitimacy to Jews in Israel, but amongst a certain subset of the religious right in America.

Those people are already making a grab for the White House, and (IMO) the Chief Rabbi isn’t doing Israel any favors by further legitimizing their efforts, for the reasons I mentioned in my page. If he really did it just for money/politics—which, BTW, would sound terribly anti-Semitic if a non-Jew had said it—such cynicism is very disappointing to hear.

16 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:28:38pm

The Sephardic Chief Rabbi has a much cooler outfit!

17 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:28:43pm

re: #15 CuriousLurker

It’s not the Israelis I’m worried about. Even if the Chief Rabbi isn’t effectively influential inside Israel, and even if his move is mostly political, most non-Jews in America won’t know that.

This is an old problem, how to eliminate Jewish stereotypes. By extension, how do you eliminate Israeli stereotypes—which is comparatively new.

I do believe, we’ve given up. Can’t win this one. Foxman does his best, but, if you follow how Jews think of Foxman, eh. He has a job, he can send his kids to college, good enough.

There are groups that do outreach, form alliances between Catholics and Jews, Presbyterians and Jews, whatever. All you have to do is read the news, listen to CNN, the BBC, Fox (for a different set of stereotypes), and basically, it’s not working. We still try to dispel stereotypes. I try. Everyone tries.

If he really did it just for money/politics—which, BTW, would sound terribly anti-Semitic if a non-Jew had said it—such cynicism is very disappointing to hear.

If a non-Jew said this, and if that non-Jew were a stand-up comic, every Jew in the audience would swear that this guy or gal (poetic license), must have Jewish lineage.

I am cynical about our institutions—I’ve been saying this for a long time. I think that my cynicism is deeply rooted in reality. (In other words, I could tell you stories.) I am proud that we are such anarchists. That we even exist, given these dynamics, is, for me, conclusive proof of the existence of Gd.

And still, despite all of this disorganization, despite this constant and flagrant disrespect for authority, and an almost reflexive dislike of institutions—we appear to the world as a highly organized, well-oiled, cabal of people intent on taking over the world. I can’t even explain that.

18 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:36:44pm

re: #12 Bob Levin

The religious courts play a pretty important role in Israeli government.

19 CuriousLurker  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:37:44pm

re: #16 Alouette

The Sephardic Chief Rabbi has a much cooler outfit!

Heh, indeed he does.

20 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:39:32pm

re: #18 Obdicut

I would think things such as diplomacy, intelligence gathering, economic policy, monetary policy, and such are important. The Beis Dinim have no authority in those areas.

21 CuriousLurker  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:41:11pm

re: #17 Bob Levin

If a non-Jew said this, and if that non-Jew were a stand-up comic, every Jew in the audience would swear that this guy or gal (poetic license), must have Jewish lineage.

LOL, okay, you’re probably right about that one.

As for the rest…yeah. *sigh*

22 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:41:23pm

re: #20 Bob Levin

I would think things such as diplomacy, intelligence gathering, economic policy, monetary policy, and such are important. The Beis Dinim have no authority in those areas.

That’s true.

But the religious courts still play a very important role in Israeli life and politics.

23 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:48:46pm

re: #22 Obdicut

But the religious courts still play a very important role in Israeli life and politics.

I love this part. Because folks would rather work with them than go through the actual justice system. It’s part of the anarchy.

Now, when we were in Israel, at the wall, and folks were forming a minyan, no one asked me for any certification from any court. And if I was called for a Levi aliyah, no ID required. I couldn’t prove that I’m a Levite, if a court wanted me to produce evidence. But no way will I not take that aliyah if offered (three times—very inside joke).

24 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 5:53:22pm

re: #23 Bob Levin

I love this part. Because folks would rather work with them than go through the actual justice system. It’s part of the anarchy.

Er, what part?

I’m talking about stuff like how you need to get married through the religious courts; secular Jews generally have to leave Israel to get married.

25 jayzee  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:08:27pm

Hope all is well. Stopping by, and while Bob’s statements about the role of the Chief Rabbi is essentially correct, what is not correct is that Metzger blessed Beck’s rally. Beck is stretching the truth here.
Politically he agreed to say a prayer, in Hebrew, for the State of Israel at a rally that has star power (both culturally and politically). A blessing is somewhat formulaic and formal. He didn’t bless Beck unless I missed it.

26 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:10:37pm

re: #25 jayzee

It’s really frightening that Glen Beck has star power in Israel, after his promotion of anti-Semites. Bizarro-world.

27 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:10:47pm

re: #25 jayzee

That makes perfect sense. CL, you see? It’s beyond our control.

28 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:14:35pm

re: #24 Obdicut

The part? The paradox. Going to the Beis Din to avoid another institution.

I can understand the religious courts wanting authority over that, but as you note, it’s easy to get around them if you wish. And no one ever died from being Shomer Shabbos for a year.

29 jayzee  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:14:49pm

re: #26 Obdicut

Not in Israel, in the US. He’s not a star there, but he’s bringing some. Presidential candidates, members of Congress. So Israel sends a chief rabbi to pray for the state, they need what support they can get in the US.
Justin Bieber got invited to meet BiBi. Madonna too I think.
I am not arguing on behalf of Beck at all, just that I don’t see this 1) as a blessing of Beck or 2) anything other than PR.

30 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:18:47pm

re: #29 jayzee

I still don’t get how it’s good PR for Israel to have anything to do with a guy who promotes antisemitism.

31 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:18:57pm

re: #29 jayzee

It’s like—

1) Israel and Jews need friends, no question.

2) Across the Atlantic, Jewish friends who are quiet. Christians who are acting like friends, but out loud and with great love.

3) Across the Jordan, not even across the Jordan, people making speeches and plans right out of Mein Kampf.

Choose from this menu.

32 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:21:53pm

re: #30 Obdicut

No one said good PR. We haven’t figured out how to get good PR. You’d think, after an earthquake in Haiti, sending medical supplies and a mobile hospital would be good PR. Nope, claims that Israel is harvesting organs follow.

The list of such inversions is long.

33 jayzee  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:30:20pm

re: #32 Bob Levin


And that’s the deal. Ok he is an antisemite, but he’s got 4 presidential candidates going. Are they antisemitic too? Should Israel really diss them? At least they’re pro Israel. How many antisemites are on the left that are anti Israel? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, so you send the chief rabbi-WHO DIDN’T BLESS HIM.

34 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:31:26pm

re: #32 Bob Levin

I’m sorry, but all of this seems to be dodging around the central problem.

Glenn Beck promotes anti-semitism. yet, in Israel, he’s not being shunned, not being rejected as someone who promotes anti-semitism should, but being accepted, even unto this.

That’s not a PR problem. This is something much weirder.

35 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:32:12pm

re: #33 jayzee

Ok he is an antisemite, but he’s got 4 presidential candidates going. Are they antisemitic too? Should Israel really diss them?

What are you talking about? What 4 presidential candidates does Beck ‘have’?

36 jayzee  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:38:35pm

re: #35 Obdicut

Did you watch the video? Probably a lie, but that’s what Beck told the rabbi. 4 presidential candidates, 30 something members of congress, 77 nations represented (even Bahrain). That’s what he said.

As far as Beck being an antisemite-he’s never done a mein kampf book on tape (complete with Wagner background music). My point is, the shit is subtle. You know because you know (they really know nothing about American culture, trust me).
Write a letter to them. Let them know.

37 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 6:46:31pm

re: #36 jayzee

Did you watch the video? Probably a lie, but that’s what Beck told the rabbi. 4 presidential candidates, 30 something members of congress, 77 nations represented (even Bahrain). That’s what he said.

What do you mean by ‘have’. How does he ‘have’ them?

And to what extent are people that would associate with Beck good to relate with?

As far as Beck being an antisemite-he’s never done a mein kampf book on tape (complete with Wagner background music). My point is, the shit is subtle.

No, it really isn’t. He got called out for it by Abe Foxman, for chrissake, who’s normally one if his bizarro-land boosters.

You know because you know (they really know nothing about American culture, trust me).

I’m sorry, but I don’t. I have plenty of Israeli friends, and they’re clued into US culture just fine, albeit through a prism. One of them is as shocked as I am that Beck is being given airtime. The other, a cynical leftist, thinks that the right-wing in Israel is making a lot of deals with the devil its going to come to regret.

I don’t think that the contention that Israel doesn’t really get US culture and politics is going to be seen as credible by many people.

38 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 7:18:41pm

re: #34 Obdicut

Weirder? It’s the Twilight Zone. How about the UN, an organization founded upon the principle of stopping genocide, specifically after WWII. It’s become among the most anti-Semitic organizations in the world. Should Israel withdraw from the UN? How about the US State Department/Arab Division/Oil Division? That they have this pathological need to balance attacks on Israel with statements encouraging Israeli restraint. That they would even entertain the idea of negotiating anything with Yasser Arafat. The US may not be anti-Israel, but if they were, what would be different? Should Israel shun the US Secretary of State, at least ban James Baker from entering Israel?

The reason we walked across the burning sands of the desert for forty years—it built up callouses as we jump back and forth from the frying pan and the fire.

39 Obdicut  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 7:39:44pm

re: #38 Bob Levin

How about the UN is a total distraction from this conversation?

Seriously, no matter how much sand gets thrown in the air, at the end of the day, Israel— at least some in Israel are honoring and paying respect to a gathering organized by a dude who promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy stories.

The UN isn’t Israel. The UN was meant to be a place where your enemies would be there too. That doesn’t mean you have to let them hold rallies in your country.

What is so hard about just saying that this shit stinks, without trying to justify it?

40 Bob Levin  Sun, Aug 14, 2011 9:16:56pm

re: #39 Obdicut

I think what I said is that the choice is between the frying pan and the fire. I’m not happy about this. I’m not justifying it. There is no making sense out of a little slice of Jewish life, or a great big view of Jewish life.

The situation for Jews in this world stinks. Some of it stinks more, some less. There are no places to step without getting some on our shoes. And therefore, we are not free of aroma either.

And, by the way, the UN was meant to be a place where debate would replace racism and war. Didn’t work out that way.

41 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 12:48:55am

Bob Levin seems to argue that the Jewish people as well as the Israelis have always been between a rock and a hard place when it comes to choosing alliances, no matter how wide or narrow the pragmatist paradigma of the day.

More pointedly, I guess one could ask: If you call out all antisemitism all the time, will there be any allies left in times of need?

Consider Jews in Germany before the 1930s. A social environment that differed very much in degrees of hostility and where some strata and individuals were even friendly but the society at large was hostile on average. How to make friends, how to make allies, how to blend it, how to keep staying true to yourself? A lot of those questions haven’t changed.

42 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:36:17am

re: #40 Bob Levin

The situation for Jews in this world stinks. Some of it stinks more, some less. There are no places to step without getting some on our shoes. And therefore, we are not free of aroma either.

How so? I’m Jewish. I’m fine with condemning Beck’s stupid anti-semitism. So what shit have I stepped in by doing that?


And, by the way, the UN was meant to be a place where debate would replace racism and war. Didn’t work out that way.

Ah, I must have missed the world wars that occurred since the UN got started. The UN sucks. The only thing worse would be no UN.

43 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:19:09am

re: #42 Obdicut

How so? I’m Jewish. I’m fine with condemning Beck’s stupid anti-semitism. So what shit have I stepped in by doing that?

I think you were wanting the State of Israel to condemn Beck, or to shun him, at least that was my understanding of your comments. When I comment, it means more than simply my personal opinion. I have in mind the collective as well, my first person belonging to the collective of all Jews. Do you have that feeling of being connected to all Jews? If it’s too personal, don’t answer.

Both the UN and the League of Nations had similar problems. The League of Nations simply fell apart. I wouldn’t mind another try, this time trying not to duplicate the mistakes made by both organizations. Neither seem to have any grasp on the definition peace, or how to maintain it.

44 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:32:02am

re: #43 Bob Levin

I think you were wanting the State of Israel to condemn Beck, or to shun him, at least that was my understanding of your comments.

Yes. People who promote anti-Semites should be shunned by Jews.

When I comment, it means more than simply my personal opinion.

Um, how? You’re you.

Do you have that feeling of being connected to all Jews? If it’s too personal, don’t answer.

I certainly don’t feel connected to Geller or Avigdor Lieberman. Do you really?

Both the UN and the League of Nations had similar problems. The League of Nations simply fell apart. I wouldn’t mind another try, this time trying not to duplicate the mistakes made by both organizations. Neither seem to have any grasp on the definition peace, or how to maintain it.

What metric are you using, exactly?

45 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 7:33:37am

re: #44 Obdicut

Yes. People who promote anti-Semites should be shunned by Jews.

Okay, if it’s my next door neighbor, fine. But should this be Israeli policy? I don’t think that’s feasible. The rules of wise global politics are much different than personal relationships.

I certainly don’t feel connected to Geller or Avigdor Lieberman. Do you really?

Yes, I do. Read the Yom Kippur liturgy. Read the second paragraph of the Shema. These are written from the collective point of view. In a sense, we are indeed one family.

What metric are you using, exactly?

I need a metric to determine that the League of Nations and the UN are screwed up? Reading history and paying attention to the news are enough for me.

46 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 8:51:42am

re: #45 Bob Levin

Okay, if it’s my next door neighbor, fine. But should this be Israeli policy?

Yes, of course. Be being friends with anti-semites, you endorse them. That’s suicidal.

47 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 8:54:12am

re: #45 Bob Levin

Yes, I do. Read the Yom Kippur liturgy. Read the second paragraph of the Shema. These are written from the collective point of view. In a sense, we are indeed one family.

I’m not religiously Jewish. I don’t think Geller is, either. Is that the disconnect here, that you believe in some mystical sort of connectivity?

I feel highly connected to my Jewish background and culture. I feel embarassed by Geller because she is a Jew, so I guess we are connected in that way.

But what you’re saying sounds like hand-waving mystic stuff to me.


I need a metric to determine that the League of Nations and the UN are screwed up? Reading history and paying attention to the news are enough for me.

Er, no, you need to compare them to what would have happened without them. And you can’t. unfortunately. It’s not black and white.

48 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 9:13:45am

re: #46 Obdicut

Yes, of course. Be being friends with anti-semites, you endorse them. That’s suicidal.

Okay, so, for instance, on the east there is Fatah, led by the money man of the Munich massacre in 1972. On the west, there is the US, pushing hard to negotiate with Fatah. It is clear what the intent of Fatah and Hamas are. And yet, the Quartet, led by Europe, historically no friend of the Jewish people, and the US, expect Israel to do some magic and get a treaty signed with Fatah, even though it very well could mean national suicide. Does Israel sever dialogue with Fatah, and break off diplomatic ties with the US and Europe?

That’s the dilemma of Jewish realpolitik. The answers are not so cut and dried.

49 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 9:21:24am

re: #48 Bob Levin

Okay, so, for instance, on the east there is Fatah, led by the money man of the Munich massacre in 1972. On the west, there is the US, pushing hard to negotiate with Fatah. It is clear what the intent of Fatah and Hamas are. And yet, the Quartet, led by Europe, historically no friend of the Jewish people, and the US, expect Israel to do some magic and get a treaty signed with Fatah, even though it very well could mean national suicide. Does Israel sever dialogue with Fatah, and break off diplomatic ties with the US and Europe?

No. That’s not remotely analogous, in the least. Israel shunning Glenn Beck is in no way equivalent. At all.

Can you please explain if you think the connectedness of all Jews is on a mystic level?

50 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 9:21:36am

re: #47 Obdicut

I’m not religiously Jewish. I don’t think Geller is, either. Is that the disconnect here, that you believe in some mystical sort of connectivity?

Chaos Theory, the Butterfly effect. It’s not so mystical anymore, imo.

I feel highly connected to my Jewish background and culture. I feel embarassed by Geller because she is a Jew, so I guess we are connected in that way.

So you feel it too. It’s there. It exists.

Er, no, you need to compare them to what would have happened without them. And you can’t. unfortunately. It’s not black and white.

I don’t compare them to if they weren’t there, I compare the decisions that were made to the opposite. For instance, if I were the League of Nations, I would have begun military action against Germany after they took the Sudetenland. The commonality between the two bodies is this inability to recognize evil, to compartmentalize threats to world peace, and essentially remain in active as massive human tragedy unfolds before their very eyes.

51 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 9:24:09am

PIMF. inactive

52 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 9:31:48am

re: #49 Obdicut

No. That’s not remotely analogous, in the least. Israel shunning Glenn Beck is in no way equivalent. At all.

It’s not meant to be an analogy. There is a spectrum, I suppose, beginning with individual interactions, to group interaction (and interactions between the group and individuals), which eventually becomes national issues and world issues. There are no lines showing when one thing becomes another thing—because the rules are different, depending on the interaction.

So, like I said—dealing with Antisemitism on an individual level is much different than on a level of realpolitik. Is the issue with Beck and individual issue, or is it a matter of realpolitik?

And for Jews, there really aren’t any safe, morally clear decisions.

Judging from the video, it appears that the rabbi and possibly Israel view this as a matter of realpolitik.

53 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 9:36:31am

We can let my poor proofreading skills go by, please?

54 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 10:15:14am

re: #50 Bob Levin

Chaos Theory, the Butterfly effect. It’s not so mystical anymore, imo.

That’s a reason for all humans to be interconnected. Not a subset.


So you feel it too. It’s there. It exists.

No. It’s not a feeling. I feel embarrassed because a Jew should know better, because we share a culture. We don’t have a connection beyond that. And I fail to see what that has to do with what we were talking about, at all.


So, like I said—dealing with Antisemitism on an individual level is much different than on a level of realpolitik. Is the issue with Beck and individual issue, or is it a matter of realpolitik?

Ah geeze. It would also be bad for the the Chief Rabbi to bless a meeting of Fatah, okay?


And for Jews, there really aren’t any safe, morally clear decisions.

Who says there are? to me, it’s a really fucking obvious one that you don’t pal around with antisemites. You can make treaties with them, deal with them, engage in diplomacy with them, but not make nice with them.

55 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 1:39:01pm

re: #54 Obdicut

That’s a reason for all humans to be interconnected. Not a subset.

Ultimately we are all interconnected. But I feel more of a connection to my family members than I do to people whose name I don’t even know.

The entire discovery of indirect cause and effect, such as Bell’s Theorem, is phrased as an external phenomenon, but what it really means is that we never fully understood the primary connections in the first place. So, if you are religious, then the Torah will tell you that the Jewish people are connected, and if you are not religious, then Jewish history will tell you that others and other nations certainly feel that we are connected by the simple fact of being Jewish.

No. It’s not a feeling. I feel embarrassed because a Jew should know better, because we share a culture. We don’t have a connection beyond that.

That counts.

And I fail to see what that has to do with what we were talking about, at all.

Go back to 43. In 44 you asked me if I felt connected to other Jews. I answered.

Ah geeze. It would also be bad for the the Chief Rabbi to bless a meeting of Fatah, okay?

I agree. That would be like the fire, jumping into the fire.

You can make treaties with them, deal with them, engage in diplomacy with them, but not make nice with them.

I agree. The rabbi appeared to be keeping a cautious distance from Beck.

56 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 2:05:28pm

re: #55 Bob Levin

Ultimately we are all interconnected. But I feel more of a connection to my family members than I do to people whose name I don’t even know.

Sure. And I feel more connected to someone who loves Borges and The Master and Margarita, and who has a swathe of friends of all religious persuasions, than I do Pamela Geller.

So, if you are religious, then the Torah will tell you that the Jewish people are connected, and if you are not religious, then Jewish history will tell you that others and other nations certainly feel that we are connected by the simple fact of being Jewish.

Sure. But then it’s nigh-unto meaningless; I’m connected with people for a lot of other reasons, too. So you’re connected to everyone. The Jewish part wouldn’t be special— unless you think it’s mystic.


I agree. The rabbi appeared to be keeping a cautious distance from Beck.

No, that is not at all what appears. What appears is that he showed up to a rally hosted by someone who promotes anti-semitism and blessed it.

That is not keeping one’s distance. At all.

57 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 3:13:46pm

re: #56 Obdicut

Sure. And I feel more connected to someone who loves Borges and The Master and Margarita, and who has a swathe of friends of all religious persuasions, than I do Pamela Geller.

There’s a difference between people with whom I have fun, (which is one type of connection), and then there’s the connection that I feel with other Jews. Believe me, it’s not a love fest. Right now, it’s a ‘gee, I hope we all get this figured out soon” fest.

Sure. But then it’s nigh-unto meaningless; I’m connected with people for a lot of other reasons, too. So you’re connected to everyone. The Jewish part wouldn’t be special— unless you think it’s mystic.

It’s not special, it’s just a fact of life. But, you asked me if I feel it, and I do. I’m not sure I even have a working definition for ‘mystic’. I never use the word.

No, that is not at all what appears. What appears is that he showed up to a rally hosted by someone who promotes anti-semitism and blessed it.

That is not keeping one’s distance. At all.

You didn’t watch the video. Beck is sitting in an easy chair, doing his teary thing and talking about how he read the Book of Ruth and the Book of Esther. The rabbi is asking him what he would like him to do. Beck describes the event. The rabbi is polite, and says that he’d be pleased to come, if his schedule permits. Somehow, Beck Productions puts this on Youtube with the heading that the Head Ashkenazi Rabbi blesses his event. I can’t even imagine how such a mix-up could occur.

58 CuriousLurker  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 3:51:48pm

re: #57 Bob Levin

You didn’t watch the video. Beck is sitting in an easy chair, doing his teary thing and talking about how he read the Book of Ruth and the Book of Esther. The rabbi is asking him what he would like him to do. Beck describes the event. The rabbi is polite, and says that he’d be pleased to come, if his schedule permits. Somehow, Beck Productions puts this on Youtube with the heading that the Head Ashkenazi Rabbi blesses his event. I can’t even imagine how such a mix-up could occur.

I watched it. Around 3:53-4:15 The Rabbi says:

…and when they hear from here what is going on, it’s important to us, such an event. And God will bless you for all you did. I’m sure that you do a very important job, and if I could be able to look to the heaven, a lot of angels are smiling for you.

That sounds like a blessing to me, or at least close enough for Beck to claim it as such.

59 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 4:25:28pm

re: #57 Bob Levin

There’s a difference between people with whom I have fun, (which is one type of connection), and then there’s the connection that I feel with other Jews. Believe me, it’s not a love fest. Right now, it’s a ‘gee, I hope we all get this figured out soon” fest.

What is the difference? What qualifies it?

You didn’t watch the video. Beck is sitting in an easy chair, doing his teary thing and talking about how he read the Book of Ruth and the Book of Esther. The rabbi is asking him what he would like him to do. Beck describes the event. The rabbi is polite, and says that he’d be pleased to come, if his schedule permits. Somehow, Beck Productions puts this on Youtube with the heading that the Head Ashkenazi Rabbi blesses his event. I can’t even imagine how such a mix-up could occur.

Please see CL’s post above. Why are you trying to hand-wave this aside? Why not deal with it?

And why the fuck did the rabbi sit down with someone who promotes anti-semitism anyway?

60 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:27:39pm

re: #58 CuriousLurker

That is standard fare for any meeting with any rabbi in any city—on any subject.

61 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:39:27pm

re: #60 Bob Levin

That is standard fare for any meeting with any rabbi in any city—on any subject.

Um, I’ve got a friend who’s a rabbi. He doesn’t do anything remotely like that when he meets with people.

62 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:42:51pm

re: #59 Obdicut

Please see CL’s post above. Why are you trying to hand-wave this aside? Why not deal with it?

What are you talking about? I’ve answered every question that you’ve asked. We’re up to 60 comments on this. This ain’t exactly a hand-wave. It’s practically a date.

And you don’t have to get angry because you didn’t watch the video.

No, that is not at all what appears. What appears is that he showed up to a rally hosted by someone who promotes anti-semitism and blessed it.

That is not keeping one’s distance. At all.

That wasn’t what was on the video, was it? The rabbi did exactly what you said he should do—

You can make treaties with them, deal with them, engage in diplomacy with them, but not make nice with them.

You push me around for 60 comments, I end up agreeing with you, and that is still not enough. Now the rabbi shouldn’t even have taken the meeting. Really? It is possible the rabbi could ask, what would be the consequence of not taking the meeting. What does O’Reilly do when people don’t come on the show? You act like this is easy, that Antisemitism can be dealt with in 15 seconds. Evidently, in the real world, it takes a little longer than 3000 years. Unless we’ve been doing it all wrong for a very long time.

63 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:43:29pm

re: #61 Obdicut

That’s the way meetings go with every rabbi I’ve met since my Bar Mitzvah. That’s a lot of meetings.

64 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:49:03pm

re: #63 Bob Levin

That’s the way meetings go with every rabbi I’ve met since my Bar Mitzvah. That’s a lot of meetings.

I’m having difficulty taking you seriously at this point. You’re trying to claim every rabbi babbles about angels smiling from heaven. Geez.

65 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:51:33pm

re: #62 Bob Levin

What are you talking about? I’ve answered every question that you’ve asked. We’re up to 60 comments on this. This ain’t exactly a hand-wave. It’s practically a date.

You’ve simply dodged the entire time. Your rationale, that Israel is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t, that it’s realpolitik, could be used to excuse anything, anything it all. It could be used to excuse an alliance between Israel and the EDL.

All of your explanations are “It’s really not a big deal, it wasn’t really a blessing, oh, it’s realpolitik, Israel has impossible choices, all Jews are connected, you see”. It’s all dancing around the central damn problem.

Glenn beck promotes absolutely vicious anti-semites on his show. Or did, anyway. Someone like that is not a friend to the Jews no matter how much is idiot self may think it is or how many other idiots think he is.

That wasn’t what was on the video, was it? The rabbi did exactly what you said he should do—

No. I said Beck should be shunned. The rabbi didn’t shun him. For fuck’s sake, deal with the issue.

66 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:52:26pm

re: #64 Obdicut

You’re not having any trouble taking me literally.

We’re probably done here. You’re getting awfully close to calling me a liar.

Rabbis are polite, they ask what you’re doing, they wish you well and give a perfunctory blessing. They have their own style, but it’s the same form.

67 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:54:07pm

re: #66 Bob Levin

You’re not having any trouble taking me literally.

We’re probably done here. You’re getting awfully close to calling me a liar.

No, I haven’t in the least called you a liar nor do I think you are one. I think you’re a bit silly for attempting to extrapolate the behavior of all rabbis by the behavior of those that you’ve met. I fully believe your experiences have been what they have.

Rabbis are polite, they ask what you’re doing, they wish you well and give a perfunctory blessing. They have their own style, but it’s the same form.

No. Not all rabbis are the same. I have no idea why the hell you think they are.

May I note that since I said I know a rabbi who doesn’t act like this, you are now calling me a liar?

Nifty.

68 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:54:34pm

re: #65 Obdicut

To me, because I didn’t say the exact words in the exact way you wanted to here them, I’m dodging. Like I said, we don’t communicate well. It’s probably not a good idea to continue discussing things.

69 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:56:13pm

re: #68 Bob Levin

Nope. It’s because you’re not addressing the centeral thing. If you disagree, that’s fine. I’m absolutely fine with you disagree.

What I’m saying is that Israelis shouldn’t meet and make nice with people who promote anti-semites.

All you have to do is say that, in the name of realpolitik or what have you, you think it’s fine for Jews to make nice with anti-Semites and tell them angels are smiling down on them.

What I’m not fine with is you dodging around that that’s what you’re doing.

70 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:57:20pm

re: #67 Obdicut

Nope, we just don’t communicate well. I never said all rabbis are the same, I said that this meeting went like every other meeting I’ve had. Again, miscommunication.

71 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:59:36pm

re: #70 Bob Levin

I never said all rabbis are the same,


re: #60 Bob Levin

That is standard fare for any meeting with any rabbi in any city--on any subject.

How isn’t that all rabbis behaving the same?

Do you believe me when I say that my friend does not act like this, would not meet with Beck or any other random guy and tell him that angels were smiling down on him just because he mumbled about the Book of Esther for awhile?

72 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:00:33pm

re: #69 Obdicut

If you think that’s what I was saying, then, again, we’re not communicating. If we are talking for 60 comments, it feels like, and all you can do is represent my arguments in a two-dimensional form, then you’re not hearing me, and evidently, I’m not hearing you.

So what do you want to do?

73 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:02:37pm

re: #72 Bob Levin

I want you to explain how this:


That is standard fare for any meeting with any rabbi in any city—on any subject.

Is somehow not talking about all rabbis. Any rabbi. Isn’t that all of them?

74 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:03:29pm

re: #71 Obdicut

Yes, I believe it. I also believe that your friend is probably from a different generation, more likely a different sect of Judaism, possibly reformed, and someone that Beck wouldn’t want to talk to in the first place—because Beck wants headlines. Some folks aren’t interested in making headlines, and they never meet those that are interested.

75 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:04:20pm

re: #74 Bob Levin

He’s an orthodox rabbi. Why on earth would you assume he was reformed or from a different generation?

76 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:05:59pm

re: #75 Obdicut

Reform, not reformed. Heh.

77 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:06:35pm

re: #75 Obdicut

Because he doesn’t do the standard form of hello, what is your business, you seem like a very good person with spiritual qualities, I wish you the best, and my Gd bless you.

It’s very common, whether you want to think so or not.

78 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:08:10pm

re: #76 Obdicut

Got me there. You win. Game’s over. Congratulations.

79 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:08:33pm

re: #77 Bob Levin

Because he doesn’t do the standard form of hello, what is your business, you seem like a very good person with spiritual qualities, I wish you the best, and my Gd bless you.

Why on earth do you think it’s ‘standard’?

It’s very common, whether you want to think so or not.

I’m glad you’re backtracking on the claim of ‘any rabbi in any city’, but would it really kill you to admit that you’d fucked up, overstated what you meant, and you did, indeed make a claim about all rabbis but didn’t mean to?

80 Obdicut  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 6:09:21pm

re: #78 Bob Levin

Got me there. You win. Game’s over. Congratulations.

Yeah. You say something that is wrong, I call you on it, and you flail around for awhile instead of just saying “My bad, that was wrong of me to say”.

And somehow I’m playing games.

Sheesh. Take some responsibility for what you write.

81 Bob Levin  Mon, Aug 15, 2011 11:08:35pm

re: #80 Obdicut

Okay, I just read some of what Beck is saying regarding Israeli society, I posted it, and I think the Rabbi needs to find something on his schedule that cannot be avoided and miss the rally.

However, I stand by what I said about Jewish culture.


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