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Elaine Rosenberg Miller

Kol Nidre

There we were, hundreds of people, dressed in our Yom Tov finery, men in jackets and ties, women in dresses, suits or pants.

It was Kol Nidre at a reform temple.

The cantors and choir were all female.

The prayer book was mostly in English.

After a while, the rabbi approached the lectern to deliver his Kol Nidre speech.

From the moment he said “occupied territories” you knew where he was going.

His words sounded like they were written by JStreet.

He criticized orthodox Jews, romanticized Palestinians and attacked the judicial reform movement in Israel. He boasted of the thousands of protestors who signed petitions and took to the streets as if their actions were conclusive evidence supporting his argument. He spoke against Netanyahu. He even took a shot at Trump. He referred to the 2016 election when “the unthinkable happened.”

He delivered his words in dulcet, “I’m doing this for your own good” tones.

Kol Nidre (“All vows”) is supposed to be a pre-Yom Kippur declaration, repeated three times so that even latecomers will hear it, annulling all vows, personal and religious. It encourages people to reach into their souls and ignite or re-awaken self-reflection and connection with God.

Neither happened.

It was, in the end, loshen hora against the Jewish people and Israel and like loshen hora was injurious to the listener, the subject and the speaker.

Most of the congregants left shortly after.

Did they agree with the sermon? Object to it? It was unclear.

Then came the October 7th Simchat Torah invasion of Israel by Hamas, the massacres and taking of hostages.

The liberal rabbis responded with a tepid “Now, is not the time for politics”.

Yes, it’s a good thing that Jews have apparently united since that day, but the Jewish left bears responsibility for its years long defamation of Israel and energization of terrorists. They not only forgot the torah commandment to “Remember Amalek!” they gave comfort to Israel’s enemies.

They also forgot about Korach rebellion, the Golden Calf, Lot’s wife, the spies and even Noach who saved himself and his family but didn’t save anyone else.

Recent events have once again taught us that if Jews need reference points and guidance, they will not be found in Marx, Alinsky, the legacy media, postings of celebrity elites. They will be found in “The Book”, where they have always been available, accessible and on point.

To drift into and absorb popular political thought and practice is an abandonment of the values that sustained Jews in Israel and the Diaspora for millennia.

To quote Polonius “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follows the night the day, Thou canst not then false to any man”. (Hamlet, Act. 1, scene 3)

And Malcolm X who famously asked “What do they call a Black Man with a Ph.D?” He answered his own question.

Here’s a modern version.

“What do they call a Jewish leftist?”

“A nar”.

About the Author
Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS. Her books,, FISHING IN THE INTERCOASTAL AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, THE CHINESE JEW. THE TRUST and PALMBEACHTOWN are available on Amazon and Kindle.