Is it all Donald J. Trump’s fault?

Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 87.
Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 87.

Who has done more damage to American Jewry,  President Donald J Trump or Progressive Jews?

There is evidence about this, coming from the murders of 11 congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The ages of those who perished in Pittsburgh last Shabbat ranged between 54 and 96.  The average was 74.

As Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker of Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul, Minnesota, spoke on Rosh Hashannah, (reprinted in JStreet):

Young Jews are increasingly saying that they have no religion at all – despite identifying themselves as Jews – often proudly. This is all from the Pew Research Center’s Portrait of Jewish Americans from five years ago. It reported that these “Jews of no religion” are rewriting the norms of Jewish behavior. They are far less likely to raise their children Jewish, to give to Jewish charities, to belong to Jewish organizations, to feel connected to the Jewish community and to care about Israel.

Demographic trends among the non Orthodox are terrible.  They are not having enough children to maintain current populations; they are giving up on the Jewish religion, and they are marrying outside the faith.  At current rates, even without intermarriage, the numbers of non Orthodox will approach zero by century end.

Writing in Town Hall and elsewhere, Dennis Prager maintains

The dishonest now have the Pittsburgh massacre to blame on Trump. But that’s as big a falsehood as blaming Trump for the bomb threats. In reality, the Pittsburgh murderer criticized Trump for his close connections to Jews and Israel.

The biggest increase in anti-Semitism in the last 10 or so years has come from the left. Just ask young Jews who wear yarmulkes or are vocally pro-Israel on most American college campuses. And this generation’s threat of Jewish annihilation comes from Israel’s Iranian and Arab enemies.

As Prager notes,

The mainstream left-wing media, along with left-wing Jewish organizations and media, told us every day for months after Trump’s election that anti-Semitism had greatly increased. They cited the great number of Jewish Community Centers that received bomb threats. It turned out, however, that about 90 percent of those threats were called in by a mentally disturbed American Jewish teenager living in Israel, and the other 10 percent were made by a black radical seeking to frame his ex-girlfriend.

As President Donald J Trump and his family approached Tree of Life, they were met by people protesting their appearance.  From the White House grounds, President Trump brought small stones, one left at each memorial.  First Lady Melanie Trump left a white rose at each as well.

Meanwhile, several houses away, Presbyterian Minister Susan Rothenberg protested.   Wearing denim jeans and a sweater, she could be heard shrieking, “You’re not welcome here; this is our neighborhood.”

According to The Presbyterian Outlook:

Rothenberg’s husband, Mitchell, is Jewish. Their children were baptized in the Presbyterian Church, but they identify as both Presbyterian and Jewish.

Banning the Trump family is funny since Squirrel Hill was also the neighborhood of the late Fred Rogers,  a Presbyterian minister.  And who famously said to all, “Please won’t you be my neighbor?”

The biblical passage from which the synagogue’s name is taken is spoken at every shul, each time the Torah is read.

It is a tree of life to all who grasp it, and whoever holds on to it is happy; its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all it paths are peace”

Sadly, for those in Progressive Judaism, the Tree of Life which is grasped may not be Torah, or even Judaism, but left wing politics.  It is not Judaism they are selling, but something else altogether.

Which  is far more anti-Semitic than campaign speeches from the current occupant of America’s White House

About the Author
A resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan, I hold BA and MA degrees in economics, and spent the first decade after graduate school in journalism. I have worked on Wall Street, met a payroll, won a wire service award, and served on three boards. With a partner, I am involved in a litigation funding business.