As many of you know, Ann Coulter expressed her feelings recently….
Before I continue I would like to be clear that I believe most Christians and non-Jews do not agree with Ann’s remark. I do not see her as a spokeswoman or an ambassador for her religion.
It’s unnecessary to repeat the obscenity, but just to remind ya’ll of the context: during the Republican Presidential Debate, Ann felt that Israel, its interests, and its relationship to America was getting too much face time. As a result, Ann proceeded to tweet her thoughts on the matter. It’s not the first time Ann has spoken on the subject of Jews.…
In 2007, there was a well-publicized give and take with the Jewish talk show host Donny Deutsch. There, we were not “f” Jews, but Jews that , …..“need to be perfected”. To be fair to Ann, let me outline her justifications for the latter comments. Ann proposed that the old-testament follows the new one, (which I assume means that “new” or Christian testament is more developed, more perfected, than the “old” Jewish testament) Secondly, Ann stated that the Jews currently need to absolve or repent from sins, whereas Christians need not take part in this process as Jesus forgave them before they were even born. She called this the “fast track” to repentance. Christians have it, Jews don’t. So…if you follow Ann’s logic this all results in a group of people born perfected, the Christians, versus a group of people who are chronically works in progress, the Jews.
Alas, we come to my point. I am not here to lambaste nor judge Ann, but in fact thank her for being the perfect clarion call for pointing out our mission, as Jews, throughout these Days of Awe; the days between the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and for most, continuing on to the Festival of the Tabernacle (Succot).
During this auspicious time, we are asked to look at ourselves thoughtfully and objectively, and see where we need to heal. As we blow the shofar we are reminded to wake up from our spiritual slumber, from our dormancy, and look at what needs to be fixed. We ask God three times every day, “Grant complete healing (refua sheleima) for all our afflictions”, and there is also a parallel plea in “Avinu Malkeinu” — “Our Father, our King: send complete healing to the sick of Your nation”. Going into Yom Kippur and Sukkot, we are asking our G-d to help us shed light on our imperfections as individuals and as a nation. We are challenging ourselves to find ways in which to change and transform. We are asking to be perfected, just as Ann pointed out!!
Through authentic soul searching we aim to root out not just the symptoms but the source of our incompleteness, our imperfections .There are a myriad of symptoms that can play out in our lives. When we fell unsatisfied with our existence, when we are depressed, fearful, in unhealthy relationships or just plain stuck, to name a few. The “symptoms” are part of the human condition. They affect us all and one point or another. Very few people are immune from them. But what of the root?
Some would say the fact that we may be removed or distanced from God is the root; That His absence from a significant part of our consciousness, is the root. Others would say when we do not live authentically, when we don’t listen to the inner sanctum of our heart, we find the root .Still others would point out that when we are self-centered and ego based we find it difficult to connect to something beyond ourselves, and that is the root of our problems. As we engage in this soul searching practice we are meant to move towards forgiveness and repentance. We are meant to learn more about our inner workings, move towards a more authentic way of being, and vow to become a more complete human being next year, just as Ann surmised we need to do….indeed, we are works in progress.
So Ann, first I want to send you some gratitude for your outlandish remarks because they really got me thinking…..
Thank you for being a shofar of sorts, reminding this Jew or any Jew or non-Jew who wishes to participate in a time worn, magical practice, that this is the time for us to do teshuvah; to repent and take stock in our personal character inventory. And in the spirit of forgiveness that marks this time, I solemnly, and with all my heart, forgive you for your insensitivity and ignorance on the subject of perfection.
Blessing all of us for a sweet, good year and for the privilege to hear our Shofar blows, wherever they may come from….