There are Jews. And there are Jews.
There are Jews who eat pork chops. And there are Jews who eat Hebrew National Salami. There are Jews who drink Chateauneuf Du Pape. And there are Jews who drink Mogen David. There are Jews who gather ’round the Christmas tree. And there are Jews who kindle the menorah and feast on potato latkes.
There are Jews who hold a cherished place in God’s box seats, just so long as they are basically good guys even if they order a Reuben every once in a while. And there are many, many decent gentiles who are also vouched safe in God’s huge arena — Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Bahai, and even a few pagans for good measure.
But – as I cringe as I say it – There are Jews who have betrayed their calling by chiming into the faux celebration of President Trump’s Chanukah party. Keep in mind that beyond the purloined potato pancakes and smarmy l’chayims, there lurks a megalomaniac who is tearing up our sacred Constitution and calls on street violence fomented by his hoards of goose-stepping toadies.
Brother and sister Jews, has the time not come for us to shake off the filth of this Hitler wannabe and his treacherous minions? Has his mockery of an ugly hoax of a sacred Jewish festival become emblematic of a people who has stooped in resignation rather than rising in indignation.
We Jews have already encountered face-to-face tyrants that the world had already ordained as heroes, role models. But we knew better. Once upon a time, President Reagan made a state visit to Germany including a cemetery where the military wing of the SS was buried. The President laid a memorial wreath during an eight minute visit. He in himself caused much ill-will, especially as the he insisted on attending. Elie Wiesel, the conscience of the Holocaust, spoke pointedly to the essence the matter: “That place, Mr. President, is not your place. Your place is with the victims of the SS.”
Those brief words could have come from any of us, spoken simply by an otherwise timid lawyer, shoemaker, teacher, butcher, anyone who sucked up his gut and railed with indignity.
Now, brothers and sisters of our Tribe, who among us has the guts to rail with pointed anger, spill our Mogen David, curse our demagogue, the President, grab our coats, and say resolutely for all to hear:
“That place, Mr. President, is not your place. Your place is with the victims of the SS.” Then walk out and never look back, lest you too become a pillar of salt.
!איחולים לימים טובים ומתוקים כדבש
Blessings for days as sweet as honey!
RABBI MARC WILUDZANSKI-WILSON
משה חיים ב׳ר שמעון ווילאז׳אנסקי-