Rabbenu Home

Rabbenu

A Discussion of Messianic Judaism, the Emerging Messianic Jewish Paradigm, and Related Leadership Issues from the Preoccupied Mind of Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD.

All Contents ©2004-2007 Stuart Dauermann - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Crying Out Against Publc Murder in the Jewish Journal

Someone was murdered this week in full view of the Los Angeles Jewish community, and so far, to the best of my knowledge, no one has cried out. Let me be perhaps the first.

Let me say that I deeply regret having to address this situation, but Jewish ethics, which I admire tremendously, tells us "hocheach tochiach--you shall surely rebuke your neighbor." This is based upon the Torah admonition found in Vayikra/Leviticus 19, ""'Do not hate your brother in your heart, but rebuke your neighbor frankly, so that you won't carry sin because of him." This is interpreted to mean that failure to rebuke one's fellow for sinful behavior is itself a sin. And I am afraid I must rebuke my brother Jew, David Klinghoffer, frankly and publicly because of a murder he committed against which no one, to my knowledge, has yet cried out.

The murder was that of David Brickner, the Executive Director of Jews for Jesus. And the murder was of a particularly egregious kind, which Jewish tradition terms "halbanat panim"--public humiliation [literally "whitening of the face" referring to the blood draining from one's face on such occasions. Jewish halachic discussion even considers whether one ought rather to forfeit one's own life rather than humiliate one's fellow.

I regret having to address this, but someone sent me a copy of part of the Jewish Journal article where the murder was commiitted, for posting as a comment onto this blog, apparently gleeful at the public humiliation of Rev. Brickner. I will of course not post the excerpt. This kind of sordid gleeful impulse reminds me of the cruelty I witnessed when I was an Intermediate School teacher almost forty years ago, how two children would get themselves into some sort of honor battle, with one so embarassing the other that it came to a public fight in the playground. What was so absolutely animalistic and obscene was how other children would gather around, egging the two on as they fought each other. The comment I received was an example of this kind of primitive, carnal, animalistic mob instinct. It makes me sick. It makes Judaism sick as well--which is one reason why halbanat panim is one of the most grievous ethical breeches named in the Jewish lexicon.

The issue involved David Brickner's lineage, and the fact that his maternal grandmother was not Jewish. Klinghoffer, a convert to Judaism who above all others, should know better than to do this, decided to "out" David's lineage in the public press. The fact that much of the Jewish community accepts patrilineal descent as transmitting Jewish identity, the fact that David's family has proudly claimed Jewish identity for many generations, and the fact that David Kilinghoffer himself biologically has no claim to the identity which he denies to David, did not stop Klinghoffer from perpetrating this carnage. And Klinghoffer is sure to undergo the indignity of being treated as second best by some in the Jewish community for whom all converts are less than truly legit. If it hasn't happened to him yet, it wll, and that too is sad. Nevertheless, he blithely exposed David Brickner to public ridicule, because, as the head of Jews for Jesus, he had a gentile maternal grandmother. Never mind that all his other lineage is a Jewish as the Western Wall.

I have known David Brickner since he was a child. I was privileged to meet his maternal grandparents and to know his parents. Of his grandparents, the words that come to mind are "sweet, decent, and gentle," people who would never speak a bad word of anyone, people of thorough decency. Likewise, David's parents, whom I have known to endure mistreatment and indignities for the honor of God and in stunning humility. I have never known either to speak ill of anyone. Likewise I know David's sister, another stellar human being. David himself is now no longer a child, a very capable and hard working man who deserves, as do all human beings, to be treated with the dignity due to one who bears the image of God.

David Klinghoffer has violated the best of Jewish ethical teaching. I feel confident that there are many other Jews who will be as embarassed and outraged as I am by his boorish behavior. He did not realize that he was committing chillul Hashem, desecration of the Divine Name, through disgracing the Jewish people by his conduct. But he did.

The Jewish community is replete with ethical giants who will be saddened by David Klinghoffer's conduct in this matter. He is a fundamentally good man. Let us all pray for him and stand by him, ready to commend him when he shows that he has matured in this area where, for now at least, he has disgraced himself and his glorious heritage.

At 4/02/2006 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Klinghoffer has grounds to expose deceitfulness when it can lead people to make harmful decisons based upon that deceit. Whether David Brickner's accentuating his lineage rises to that level is certainly debatable.

I wonder if publicly characterizing Klinghoffer's words as "murder" is hyperbolic. You seem like a sensitive man and careful to observe practices of civility. I would be surprised if you did not contact Mr. Klinghoffer before this post.

With such a strong charge against Mr. Klinghoffer, and risking an instance of lashon hara in doing this, why did you choose not to report what Mr. Klinghoffer had to say in response to your private rebuke before launching a public one?

 
At 4/02/2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

Yes, I could argue that I ought to have contacted Klinghoffer, with whom I have no relationship. However, I operated on the assumption that his action was extremely public and thus deserving of public rebuke, as Mr Brickner was worthy of public, not private, vindication. As for characterizing this as "murder," the characterization is not mine--it is that of the Jewish tradition. Halbanat panim is likened to bloodshed--murder. Lashon Hora is likewise likened to murder. "Don't go about as a talebearer among your people and don't stand idly by your brother's blood" from the same Leviticus context is taken to mean that the person who stands by when someone else is slandered is "standing by his blood' watching him be socially murdered while not doing anything about it. On this halachic basis I felt I had to intervene in the social murder of Rev. Brickner. I don't suppose that will satisfy you, but Abraham Lincoln was right: you can't please all of the people all of the time.

 
At 4/02/2006 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do Jewish ethics say about operating on assumptions, especially in the area of making public rebukes?

What do Jewish ethics say about shaming someone in public? What do Jewish ethics say is the best way to avoid shaming a person?

As strongly as you have come to defense of David Brickner, a person of questionable integrity (see www.exjewsforjesus.blogspot.com), I rise to the defense of David Klinghoffer who has responded in public to a public claim made by a known deceiver and enemy to our people.

I don't suppose this will change your mind, but I thank you for posting responses raising questions and coming to the defense of the one you have judged a "murderer" by Jewish standards.

 
At 4/02/2006 10:53 PM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

Dear Anonymous,

I do not hold myself up as a moral exemplar in this matter. I am not a holy man, but rather a man who struggles day by day and is still learning.

However, I am not operating on assumptions, but rather on the public published words of Mr. Klinghoffer. God forbid I should operate on assumptions. What did I assume here? Nothing! I simply responded to a published article. And as you know, societal conventions not only permit, but invite responses from the public to such offerings in the press. This is what I was doing.

As to what Jewish ethics say about shaming someone in public, I refered to that in my complaint about Mr Klinghoffer's article. I am also aware that there is evidence in the literature for the fact that when dealing with one deemed an apostate, all bets are off in terms of forbidding loshon hora. But here I am sure I am not alone in thinking the that the tradition needs to aim higher.

As to Mr. Brickner's "public claim," it is HE who has evidence on his organization's website that his grandmother was a Gentile. From his point of view his patrilineal descent on that side of the family is adequte to give him Jewish identity. You may think him wrong in this, but he is operating within his own understanding and with integrity. Mr. Klinghoffer, in my opinion, ought not to have publicly humiliated him.

You may feel I was wrong to humiliate Klinghoffer. Fine. But will you likewise join me in being disappointed in his treatment of Brickner?

Or is this really more about politics than ethics?

 
At 4/02/2006 11:05 PM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

And one more point.

As will become evident to anyone reading this blog, I do not see eye to eye with Mr Brickner on a number of substantive matters. We are not "in bed together" so to speak, but have some fairly heated differences.

Nevertheless, as the Hashivenu Core Principles state, "Because people are made in the image of God, how we treat them is a measure of our love and respect for him. Therefore, true piety cannot exist apart from human decency". . .even toward those with whom you disagree. Rather I would say, *especially* toward those with whom you disagree.

As Yeshua said, "Love your enemies. . .anyone can love his friends" [a paraphrase].

And by the way, I think I dealt far more courteously with Mr Klinghoffer than he did with Mr Brickner. A comparison of my blog posting with his article will bear this out.

Shalom.

 
At 4/02/2006 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say in this response:

"However, I am not operating on assumptions, but rather on the public published words of Mr. Klinghoffer. God forbid I should operate on assumptions. What did I assume here? Nothing!"

To which I point out to you in your own words in your prior response:


"Yes, I could argue that I ought to have contacted Klinghoffer, with whom I have no relationship. However, I operated on the assumption that his action was extremely public and thus deserving of public rebuke, as Mr Brickner was worthy of public, not private, vindication."

To which I respond:

By your own admission you were operating on the assumption that Mr. Klinghoffer's was extremely public. Since Mr. Klinghoffer's comments were public, you felt the moral superiority (your claims that you are not holding yourself up as a moral exemplar notwithstanding) to rebuke and shame him in kind.

Would you not have done better to give Mr. Klinghoffer the benefit of the doubt? You have researched Brickner's claims on his website, could you not have found Mr. Klinghoffer's email address searching Klinghoffer's website.

You are the one who has raised this to a moral plain. Isn't attempting to shift responsibility for your actions to nothing more than politics or trying to get me to agree with you that Mr. Klinghoffer did wrong nothing more than obfuscation? You seem to give lipservice to criticism of what you have done, when these deflecting actions betray your inclination to deny that you have done wrong.

If you had contacted Mr. Klinghoffer prior to this public castigation, I would commend you for taking a brave stance. You seem to want to connect to the Jewish people, and standing up for a known deceiver and enemy of our people would risk you further rejection. I would be the first to defend you, had you done the decent thing and contacted Mr. Klinghoffer.

It is not too late. You can contact Mr. Klinghoffer. You can refer him to your post and the comments. You can solicit his response, and offer to post his response on your blog. You have the power to repent of your actions that, while they might be correct, are at this point in time premature. You set yourself up to be a teacher and a leader, and an educated man. Please live up to the punctilio of Jewish ethical behavior.

 
At 4/02/2006 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And one (maybe two) more point of my own.

You have jumped the gun on two points:

First, you have misrepresented the order of the events. Klinghoffer wrote a book. Brickner wrote a negative response with inaccuracies. Klinghoffer contacted Brickner to address Brickner's errors. Brickner did not issue a retraction. Klinghoffer went public with the steps he took to resolve the issue.

You missed all of that.

Instead an article was given to you. You judged the motives of the person giving you the article, comparing him to a member of a mob cheering on a schoolyard fight. That was wrong of you.

Then you compounded your error by launching a public humiliation, doing the very thing you shame Mr. Klinghoffer of: revealing his own lack of Jewish lineage.

I feel as if I've laid enough groundwork by appealing to your better senses, but you insist on defending and rationalizing your actions, to risk my own breach of Jewish ethics. Shame on you, Mr. Dauermann. You should know better, you do know better, you should act better. I am sure that those in the Jewish community who are sensitive to Jewish ethics will review the record and find any lapse in Mr. Klinghoffer to pale in comparison to yours in failing to perform due diligence before issuing your vitriolic tirade.

 
At 4/03/2006 6:23 AM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

I am afraid your logic is clouded here. I did NOT make an assumption about Mr. Klinghoffer but rather about myself. His words and actions were clear and public. My assumption was about the propriety of my issuing a response.

You are also in error about Mr. Brickner not issuing a retraction pertaining to a misstatement concerning Mr. Klinghoffer’s book.

On July 15, 2005, in Brickner published the following:

"In the May edition of Real Time I wrote a review of the book "Why the Jews Rejected Jesus" by David Klinghoffer. In that review I stated, "Klinghoffer wrongly attributes a statistic to the second century church father Origen--claiming that Origen noted there were fewer than 144,000 Jewish believers in Jesus in Israel by then. However, Origen said precisely the opposite." Actually, David Klinghoffer was right about Origen's quote. I relied on the word of a friend of mine who is a scholar of Second Temple and early Church History. He got it wrong and so did I. My apologies to Mr. Klinghoffer and to our readers."

I do think I will send a copy of my posting to Klinghoffer, however.

As for committing the same sin as Klinghoffer did, by making reference to his lineage, you may have a point there. On the other hand, he unselfconsciously makes mention of that fact himself in the Jewish Journal article. Had he not done so, I would have not made reference either, being sensitive to the issue you raised,

My language pertaining to Mr. Klinghoffer is more temperate than yours pertaining to Mr. Brickner, whom you call” a known deceiver and enemy of our people.” Mr Brickner and I have our differences, and have not spoken to each other in years. My blog demonstrates substantial ways in which we differ. However, calling him “a known deceiver and enemy of our people” is intemperate. You attribute to him a malice foreign to my knowledge of him which goes back close to forty years. I believe he is wrong on certain matters—but malicious, no. And to be a deceiver requires one to know that what one is saying is a lie. This is emphatically not true of Mr. Brickner.

One of the reasons I love Jewish ethics, is that it calls us to treat all people with dignity, Let’s try and do that.

I closed my blog entry referring to Mr. Klinghoffer as "a fundamentally good man." If this be a "vitriolic tirade" so be it.

I will try and contact Klinghoffer with a copy of my posting, as a courtesy.

Lech b’shalom.

 
At 4/03/2006 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand corrected on Mr. Brickner issuing a public retraction. Mr. Klinghoffer reported that himself.

I do not know what prompted Mr. Klinghoffer to write his piece. You do have a point in calling into question the propriety of that action. My point is that in your issuing a public response, you committed the same act with which you charge Mr. Klinghoffer.

Mr. Brickner leads an organization well known for abuse and deception. The record is clear regarding his treatment of those entrusted to his supervision. Whatever your fond memories of this man when he was a child, he seems to have changed when entrusted with power. The Tanakh is replete with examples of good men gone bad when given power.

He also leads a group that has publicly called "rabbinic" Judaism a "false religion." He subscribes to the Willowbank Declaration that consigns our people to hell unless we come around to his point of view. You don't need to be in bed with the man to align yourself with him and what he stands for. You may use a scalpel in cutting a fine line between decrying his actions and supporting him, but we do not. The goal of his group is to see Jewish people leave Jewish communal life and join churches. If there is "murder" taking place, it is Mr. Brickner's in seeking to steal Jewish souls.

You say that my comments are more intemperate than yours. Mr. Dauermann, you seem reasonable enough. Perhaps in time you will read your post from a more understanding perch. It would be hard to be more intemperate than to accuse someone of murder on the basis of an article written for a Jewish audience about a man seeking to destroy that same audience.

I commend you for forwarding a copy of your post to Mr. Klinghoffer. If he has done wrong, I have no doubt that he will make matters right.

Good day.

 
At 4/03/2006 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more point again.

In re-reading your rationale for exposing Mr. Klinghoffer's lineage, you say the following:

"As for committing the same sin as Klinghoffer did, by making reference to his lineage, you may have a point there. On the other hand, he unselfconsciously makes mention of that fact himself in the Jewish Journal article."

So it was ok for you to make a point of Mr. Klinghoffer's lineage because he had made such a disclosure himself.

You also admit that Mr. Brickner has made a disclosure regarding his own lineage:

"As to Mr. Brickner's "public claim," it is HE who has evidence on his organization's website that his grandmother was a Gentile."

So it is ok for you to make a point of Mr. Klinghoffer's lineage because he himself made it known, but it is "murder" when Mr. Klinghoffer makes a point of Mr. Brickner's lineage when Mr. Brickner makes it known?

Klinghoffer uses the same defense as you (the following is from Klinghoffer's article):

"Brickner points out that he has acknowledged, briefly, his non-Jewish background in a long sentimental article about his family’s Jewish roots. It’s tucked away on the Jews for Jesus Web site, if you know where to look."

You have characterized my logic as clouded. I suggest that you look at your own reasoning, and reread Mr. Klinghoffer's piece with the same forgiving spirit you give to your pen.

 
At 4/03/2006 11:33 AM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

To all concerned. I just sent the following letter to Mr. Klinghoffer.

Dear Mr. Klinghoffer,

I have a blog where I have reacted somewhat strongly to your recent article concerning David Brickner, which appeared in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. Due to my own temperament and convictions, and the fact that I have known David Brickner for about forty years, I felt your article was needless, cruel, and in poor taste. I wished you had not written it.

I felt you had indulged in what our tradition terms social murder, an example of halbanat panim, and I felt I should say something. However, at least one commentator to my blog has criticized me for lashon hora, for exposing YOU to needless social humiliation. He may be right, and if so, I beg your forgiveness.

Be that as it may, I invite you to visit my blog and to draw your own conclusions, using this URL:

http://rabbenu.blogspot.com/2006/04/crying-out-against-publc-murder-in.html

Should you see fit to write a comment in response to the blog entry [and the comments you read there, by myself and others], I will of course publish that as well.

Finally, having just seen your picture on your website, I must say that had I seen it earlier, I might not have written my posting. You have a wonderful, open and good face.

May Hashem watch over you and yours,

Stuart Dauermann

 
At 4/03/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

To all concerned:

Following is David Klinghoffer's response to my letter, in its entirety.

Hi Stuart,

Thanks for the kind words about my face! :)

I’m glad that my little article generated some passionate discussion on your blog, though if you’ll forgive me I think your postings can be a little overwrought.

Do you think there’s an objective and true definition of a Jew? If so, what is it? How did you arrive at it? Now if someone came along advocating what you regarded as a non-Jewish ideology, someone who is not “Jewish” by your definition or indeed by the definition of most affiliated Jews, and if that someone used his self-styled “Jewish” identity to reel in other Jews, would you call him on it on in private? (As I did at first with DB.) If he denied any wrongdoing, would you then leave it at that and allow him to keep on deceiving fellow Jews, or would you then call him on it in public?

Warm wishes,

David

 
At 4/03/2006 2:25 PM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

TO ALL CONCERNED.

Following is my response to David Klinghoffer's letter to me, again, in its entiretly.

> Hi Stuart,
> Thanks for the kind words about my face! :)
> I'm glad that my little article generated some > passionate discussion on your blog, though if > you'll forgive me I think your postings can be a > > little overwrought.

Absolutely true. This is one of my frequent faults.

> Do you think there's an objective and true > definition of a Jew? If so, what is it? How did you > arrive at it?

I do think that there is an objective definition or at least a field of definitions, and I agree that the Jewish community's assessment of who has a right to claim such identity must be factored in!

> Now if someone came along advocating what
> you regarded as a non-Jewish ideology, someone > who is not "Jewish" by your definition or indeed > by the definition of most > affiliated Jews, and if > that someone used his self-styled "Jewish" > identity to reel in other Jews, would
> you call him on it on in private?

Your term "most affiliated Jews" is most signiificant, because it predetermines the answer. As the issue of patrilineal descent illustrates, there is by no means unanimity on this issue, and among
Jews as a group, I dare say that a person with at least one Jewish parent who wished to continue identifying as a Jew would not be challenged. And yes, believing In Jesus complicates matters. Still,
the general Jewish public is less doctrinaire on these matters than are some community leaders and intellectuals.

You believe he was deceiving fellow Jews, and you are of course entitled to that viewpoint, which is a natural consequence of your presuppositions as to the propriety of his claim to Jewish identity.

However, since your presuppositions, as widespread as they are, are by no means Jewishly universal nor even demonstgrably majority, your case is not nearly as ironclad as you propose.

In addition, the fact that he really feels that by upbringing and lineage he is a Jew should not be treated as a non-issue when assessing whether or not he is practicing deception.

In addition, as his posting about his family illustrates, he was not seeking to hide his lineage, even if he was not in the habit of making a subject of frontal identification.

And is it not possible that you took some inappropriate glee in "outing" him, and that you sought wider community appreciation for
doing so. And is it not possible that these motivations, if true, vitiate the morality of what you did?

But you are a first-class thinker. I would not want to lock horns with you as a matter of habit.

Thank you for your response.

TWO CRUCIAL QUESTIONS:

(1) May I post your letter on my blog?

(2) Do you believe I maligned you and owe you an apology?

With equally warm wishes,

Stuart

 
At 4/03/2006 2:28 PM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

TO ALL CONCERNED.

(David Klinghoffer's final response to my response to him, in its entirety.)

Don't worry about it, Stuart, you don't owe me an apology!

Re the definition of a Jew, I suppose there are three ways to come up with one. Either consult the traditional rabbinic sources which convey the oral
tradition that explains the written Torah; or try as best you can to coax an answer from the Hebrew Bible itself (see my citation from Ezra in my
article); or take a vote (hence my appeal to the majority of affiliated Jews). Obviously I prefer the first option, but the other two yield the same
result -- and that result in turn yields the conclusion that David Brickner in billing himself as a "Jew" without qualification is committing a
deception. Deceptions like that need to be revealed. It's not just a personal matter. It's about the future of our people -- not that J4J has
much of an impact, statistically. He can't be allowed to score a propaganda point based on an untruth.

But certainly a clear definition of the term in question is needed. Without clarity, we can¹t begin to get at the truth.

You're certainly welcome to post our exchange if you'll kindly link to my book, here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385510225/ref=ed_oe_p/104-6996154-4332742?%5Fencoding=UTF8

And to the original article, here:

http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=15628

Warm wishes,

David

 
At 4/03/2006 2:36 PM, Anonymous Chayamindle said...

http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9808/opinion/klinghoffer.html#
See above First Things website on "David Klinghoffer and his Critics" re: his article
"Anti-Semitism without Anti-Semites." The impassioned but well articulated responses to his "highly controversial" article (which among other things tries to expound his view of the holocaust as perhaps a form of Divinely inflicted punishment, prove that D.K. is no stranger to blatently hostile reprimand from frum and not so frum scholarly readers alike.
Stuart, anyone who would take you to task, especially afer your mensch-like apology would do well to check out the portion of the First Things website given above.

 
At 4/03/2006 5:32 PM, Blogger yochanan said...

Reb Stuart,

I appreciate your defense of the values of ethical speech in your response to Mr. Klinghoffer's article in the Jewish Journal.

I think that it was wrong for Mr. Klinghoffer to malign Mr. Brickner by publicly "outing him" over his family heritage. In attacking Mr. Brickner, Mr. Klinghoffer also made an attack on the Jewish identity all Jews who lay claim to Jewishness by patrilineal descent and also an attack on Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism who accept patrilineal descent, making Mr. Brickner only one victim of Mr. Klinghoffer's words.

Like you I am at odds with Mr. Brickner on important issues of theology and thought and have addressed my concerns on my own blog, yet Mr. Klinghoffer attacked Mr. Brickner over his heritage (by a definition of Jewish identity to which many in the readership of the Journal would not subscribe), which is wrong.

I think that it was a good act on your part to contact Mr. Klinghoffer and I appreciate his responses.

Hopefully you will not be the sole voice for decency and ethical speech in the Jewish community to respond to Mr. Klinghoffer's article.

 
At 4/04/2006 10:00 AM, Blogger Craig said...

David Klinghoffer is an interesting gentlemen. While being Anti-Yeshua he wrote an interesting article entitled

THE DISPUTATION: Are We Being Fair to Messianic Jews?

http://www.forward.com/main/article.php?ref=200506081110

I appreciate that while recognizing differences he can also find common ground.

I also want to commend Rabbi Dauermann and the various contributors to this blog. I've found the dialog informative, thought provoking and at time entertaining. My congregation has used some of the topics covered here for a discussion group and we'll continue to do so.
Shalom

 
At 4/04/2006 2:05 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

I have so many thoughts on this subject. I did research the internet and the article in question was easily found. I actually purchased Klinghoffer's book a few months ago, so I'm familiar with his work.

My comments may actually conflict with one another, but I typically see many sides of an issue. It does not mean that I cannot have a strong opinion, but since this involves different communities, there will be different "takes" on this situation.

1. While Klinghoffer did express a "tone" in his article which did ring a bit sarcastic with a bit of contempt thrown in, I didn't view his article on the level of "murder". I did think his remark about how he liked Brickner was a bit disingenuous after dissecting his family history, though.

2. I think for those of us with Jewish backgrounds that also believe in Yeshua, we have to make up our minds. Do we desire to be accepted by the Judaism of today (with all its Rabbinic requirements) or not? If so, then as I'm sure you are intimately aware, there are strict requirements as to who is a Jew and who is not. By rabbinic definition, Brickner would not be a Jew. Does this mean I agree with Klinghoffer? No, but from his perspective and from that of most observant Jews, this is reality. If we do not care what Rabbinic Judaism thinks, then fine, but we must not be surprised when they find fault with us on this point.

I am descendant of Jews on both sides of my family, but I cannot prove it purely through genealogy. I had to also submit myself to DNA testing which as of yet is not seen as valid by rabbinic courts. I am very careful to point this out when speaking with observant Jews.

Messianic Judaism is already seen by many Jewish people as deceptive, unfortunately. If we wish to build bridges with Jewish communities, I think it is absolutely necessary to be scrupulously careful about how we represent ourselves. Is it fair how we are treated many times? No, but if we take our example from Yeshua, he was not accepted many times either.

3. The fact that Klinghoffer is a convert doesn’t raise an issue with me because, as far as I know, he converted through a rabbinic court which is consistent with rabbinic law and this is his yardstick for what is valid.

4. Even if Brickner went through an orthodox conversion to remove any question of his religious affiliation, and stood before a beit din to be approved, the minute he declared his belief in Yeshua, he would be seen as an apostate and would no longer be seen as a Jewish person according to rabbinic law.

So, in essence, Brickner can’t “win” with Klinghoffer and, needless to say, most Jewish people.

Personally, I am pleasantly surprised when Jewish people don’t react violently to me when I visit their blogs. I don’t evangelize when I visit. I just want to learn and interact. I stay calm when questioned and I always represent myself as accurately as possible.

We are in a difficult position. I understand you feel deeply about your personal relationship with Brickner and I would be just as concerned if one of my dearest friends had a whole article basically saying they weren’t who they said they were, but I would think those of us who are charting this course would be aware this sort of thing would happen.

It is my opinion that once one gets into ministry, as Brickner has done, and especially when one enters leadership, that you’re putting yourself “out there”. I would expect disagreement from the Jewish community, not the other way around.

It would be wonderful if we could have a more unified dialogue and I think it is more and more possible, but it will take time. People tend to see the differences between each other rather than the similarities which is unfortunate and saddens me a great deal.

I would love for our respective communities to be more connected, but that may never happen in my lifetime. All I can do is practice my faith and hope over time more and more believers become aware of the Jewish roots of our faith and reject the paganism that has defiled Yeshua faith for centuries.

 
At 4/04/2006 2:17 PM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

Tracey,

I want to address only a few of the points you made in your comments.

First, you are right that we cannot and ought not to try and construct a Judaism which shows categorical contempt for the right of wider Judaism to define communal boundaries. If we do that, we will become a form of Messianic Jewish Karaism, a movement that flared up and died rather quickly, imagining that it too could form a new “truer” Judaism without reference to “the religion of the rabbis.”

I commend you for your caution concerning claiming Jewish lineage when speaking to observant Jews. I think that, in the interests of clarity of thought and respect for norms, we need to broaden our lexicon. A person who believes themselves to be descended from Marrano stock may claim to be a person of Jewish heritage, but to claim to be a Jew based on something in one’s family five hundred years ago is not helpful. Such persons ought to go through responsible and acknowledged conversions [and not ad hoc back alley ones!] if they wish to lay claim to the name Jew. Otherwise, they should say they have some Jewish heritage or background or something of that sort.

I agree wholeheartedly that Messianic Jews ought to be “scrupulously careful about how we represent ourselves.” Unfortunately, this is far from the case. There are people clinging to our ranks, Gentiles born of Gentiles, who think that because they change their names and manner of dress, and worship on Saturday instead of Sunday, and call their leaders “Rabbi,” that this makes them Jews. I even heard of one person who said of himself, “Well I am not a Jew, but I am Jew-ish.” With all due respect to all involved, it accomplishes little for us to manufacture a desired status out of thin air. It is like the person who receives his PhD from a diploma mill for a forty-five dollar money order. This Dr, is no Dr, and claiming to be such cheapens all concerned.

Of course you are right that once one puts oneself forward into a ministry position, once should expect conflicts and close inspection. Of course. Mr. Brickner expects that, as should we all.

I will take exception to the implicatiions of one comment you made, about the “paganism that has defiled Yeshua for centuries.” This is a common view, but erroneous. If the Newer Covenant Scriptures are true at all, they teach us that it is by God’s design that Jewish believers in Yeshua living in community and Gentile believers in Yeshua living in community should have different religions with the same Savior. Here I am using the term “religion” to represent a system of permitted and forbidden behaviors. Next door to my synagogue is a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. On Yom Kippur, the pastor of that Church can eat a ham sandwich followed by a glass of milk and not be sinning at all. I, on the other hand cannot do so. Similarly, the argument from the alleged “pagan roots” of Christmas and Easter, as appealing as it is, is entirely spurious. This is the argument from origins, which is fallacious.

As mentioned elsewhere on my blog, the Holy Temple was built on a Phoenician floor plan, modeled after pagan temples where the “worshippers” sacrificed their children to the accompaniment of frenzied music of pipes and drums of various sorts. Yet, the Temple is no less the dwelling place of the Living God, despite this. Similarly, for example, regardless of where Christmas originated, it can still be used for the glory of God. And the idea of one religion for all, where all the world practices a perfected form of Messianic Judaism, will not be so, nor should it be desired. Our tradition looks forward to that day when every knee will now, every tongue confess, and all the wicked of the earth, turned to Hashem [the Alenu and also Philiipians 2], but I daresay that Koreans will bow as Koreans do, and Cubans as Cubans, and the worship styles around the throne of God will be as diverse as all creation. I believe it is clearly by God’s design that Messianic Judaism and various forms of Christianity be “different religions with the same Savior.”

You are a sophisticated person, and I am sure have met people who think that in Messianic Judaism they have the elite religion. This viewpoint, as intoxicating as it might seem, is unfortunate, don't you agree?

I trust I have not misunderstood your final comment, and if so, please forgive. But I thank you for providing the opportunity to address this issue which repeatedly needs addressing.

We must always remember that the Holy Spirit has not been absent in the development of the Church during the past 2,000 years.

 
At 4/04/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

Dr. Dauermann,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comments. It warms my heart to know we agree on so much, not just because you agree with me, but because like I said before, I’d like to not only concentrate on differences, but see where we are similar and build our community in healthy ways.

I would like to clarify my statement regarding “paganism that has defiled Yeshua faith for centuries.”
I agree completely that there is a demarcation “line” between Jews and Gentiles. The Torah was given to the Jews with all its commandments encumbant upon Jews and Jews only. According to Deuteronomy, and in other places, it makes mention of those aliens who wish to attach themselves to the nation of Israel and that once they do, they are required to fulfill Torah the same as a Hebrew from birth, but otherwise there is a very clear difference in what is required of either people group. I have investigated the Noachide laws, for example, and there are seven compared to the 613 laws given to Israel.
---------------------------------------
In your quote below…

[i]“I will take exception to the implicatiions of one comment you made, about the “paganism that has defiled Yeshua for centuries.” This is a common view, but erroneous. If the Newer Covenant Scriptures are true at all, they teach us that it is by God’s design that Jewish believers in Yeshua living in community and Gentile believers in Yeshua living in community should have different religions with the same Savior. Here I am using the term “religion” to represent a system of permitted and forbidden behaviors. Next door to my synagogue is a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. On Yom Kippur, the pastor of that Church can eat a ham sandwich followed by a glass of milk and not be sinning at all. I, on the other hand cannot do so. Similarly, the argument from the alleged “pagan roots” of Christmas and Easter, as appealing as it is, is entirely spurious. This is the argument from origins, which is fallacious. “[/i]

…I am of the opinion that you are combining two lines of thought. One is that Jews and Gentiles are different and two, that the roots and original reasons for a practice don’t matter as long as one believes in Yeshua. I would like to separate the second out from the first.

I have lived in different cultures (dependent in a military family) and have been exposed to many ways of doing things. Some cultural behaviors are due to geography or the lack or presence of certain technologies. Certain political holidays exist due to the history of each people group and and the dress and foods will, of course, differ due to what has generally been available in that particular area of the world and how it has been impacted by trade. Having said this, those practices are not necessarily attached to the worship of a particular god or goddess or religious in nature, although they can be.

From my reading of the scriptures in Exodus and Deuteronomy onward, G-d makes it clear in Torah before the Israelites were to enter the Promised Land they were not to engage in the “detestable practices” of the peoples there. He also says upon the completion of the circumcision of all those that were born in the Wilderness that “the reproach of Egypt has been removed off His people” (another idolatrous nation). If the practices were detestable to G-d, they were not acceptable to Him and not just in regards to the Children of Israel.

Asherah, Ashtarte, whatever you want to call the goddess that was worshipped in that time, (also referred to as Ishtar in other areas of the Middle East) was one of those “deities” that was worshipped. If Constantine, in his time (c. 325), took the worship of this fertility goddess, and reconfigured it to commemorate Yeshua’s ressurection, (who we believe to be the Messiah who was to come to the Jews first and then the gentiles) is it really a stretch to say that that sort of thing paganizes the faith? I think not.

Now, if you are making the argument that the people today aren’t knowingly engaging in idolatrous worship when they celebrate Easter, I would agree, but that doesn’t somehow make the holiday “all okay then”. In my opinion, it shows just how ingrained it has been for centuries, and the ignorance of the adherents of the faith. When I say ignorance, I do not mean that people are somehow less intelligent, but rather, that the spiritual leaders over the centuries have perpetuated the ignorance and one has to dig and dig in order to find out where so much of this stuff came from. Most people don’t dig to that degree. This thought process also applies to the Christmas holiday. For goodness sake, no one can even agree on the date Yeshua was born and it is an historical fact Constantine did the same thing in creating this holiday as he did with Easter. In addition, the man was converted through a known anti-semite, Eusebius, the earliest church historian!

Finally (I bet you’re glad for this conclusion!), I do agree that those peoples of the world that choose to believe in Yeshua will “bow differently” when He comes again. However, upon their decision to believe in Yeshua and turn from their worship of any other gods or goddesses, they would eshew any practices associated with these entities (real or imagined) in order to follow G-d.

You said,

[i]“You are a sophisticated person, and I am sure have met people who think that in Messianic Judaism they have the elite religion. This viewpoint, as intoxicating as it might seem, is unfortunate, don't you agree?”[/i]

As I stated above, I do not expect, nor would I want, only Messianic Judaism to be practiced because there is a clear difference between the Jewish people and gentiles.

You said,

[i]“We must always remember that the Holy Spirit has not been absent in the development of the Church during the past 2,000 years.”[/i]

I agree, G-d, who is alive and well, is working in the world. I do think, though, that He would appreciate us making sure we are not polluting his congregations with things, He, himself, did not ordain.

And with that, I will conclude my very long comment! LOL

 
At 4/04/2006 7:53 PM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

Tracey,

I am afraid there is a presupposition underlying much of your letter which I must call into question: that is the idea that we can simply base current practice on biblical precedent, as if the last two thousand years or more never happened. For example, you state,: “Torah was given to the Jews with all its commandments encumbent upon Jews and Jews only. According to Deuteronomy, and in other places, it makes mention of those aliens who wish to attach themselves to the nation of Israel and that once they do, they are required to fulfill Torah the same as a Hebrew from birth, but otherwise there is a very clear difference in what is required of either people group.”

Unless I miss my guess, you are arguing here for Gentile fellow travelers nowadays to attach themselves to Messianic congregations and to keep Torah as do Jews. This can get touchy however. First, the means and markers of a non Jew truly joining with the people of Israel have changed in the past three and half millennia, so imagining that one can "Just do it the Bible way!" is problemmatical.

Another problem: a Gentile man wearing a tallit or the wearing fringes is by doing so acknowledging that he takes upon himself all 613 of the commandments. This would require of him to obey the command to be ritually circumcised, in which case, he would no longer be a Gentile but a Jew. However, if he wears the tallit and doesn’t do so, the tallit is a lie. You see, these customs have meaning and context, and unless we wish to be insulting to the Jewish tradition and community, we may not simply have Gentiles picking up Torah laws as they choose. If you want to keep the laws of Torah, then undergo conversion: otherwise, respect the fact that the Jewish tradition reserves these laws for the people of Israel. The siddur, the Jewish prayer book comments on this in numerous places, as does Paul, by the way, when he speaks of the advantages that Jews have. He also says in 1 Cor 7 that anyone who takes on circumcision is required to keep the entire Torah, so this is no matter for picking and chooseing cavalier behavior, nor shoudl people imagine that the ways of life given to the Jews can be learned simply from reading the Bible. These ways of life were given to the people of Israel collectively, and we owe it to the wider Jewish community to listen to and emulate their consensus on these matters.

As for your comments about pagan practices in the Land, and having no part in the ways of the pogans, of course I agree with the principle. However, you go beyond Scripture in your stringencies, in that not everything that is forbidden to Israelites is detestable to God, just that it is detestable to God for the Jews to do it!

For example, are we obliged to believe that God is grossed out when anyone eats pork or only the Jews? Scripture even says that God gave certain things to the other nations to do which were forbidden to His people Israel. For example, “"For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so” (Deut 18:14); “In times past, he allowed all peoples to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:14).

In Mark 7:19, where the parenthetical comment says that Yeshua pronounced all foods clean, we need to realize that the point of this parenthetical comment, addressed as it is to Mark’s Roman Gentile audience, is that foods are not unclean in and of themselves, but only because of the commandment attached to them. In other words, pork is not intrinsically unclean except for Jews.

You didn’t comment on my comment on the design of the Jerusalem Temple, but that reference is exactly to my point: God takes things that formerly were unclean and makes them clean for His use—such as the floor plan of abominable pagan temples. [Read about Phoenician worship sometime on an empty stomach].

So, your argument from origins is illegit, Tracey. Just remember that Esther’s name was actually Ishtar, by the way!

As for not knowing when Christmas should be celebrated, sure . . .no one knows. And yes, Constantine picked the date crazy reasons. So what? God is able to use it as a context where the nations glorifying Him for the gift of Messiah.

You talk about how “the spiritual leaders over the centuries have perpetuated the ignorance and one has to dig and dig in order to find out where so much of this stuff came from.” This gets me nervous too. There is something religiously compulsive and isolating about people trying to construct a religion that is the purest of the pure, “truly biblical.” I have met people like this. They always seem very cultic, and some are. Such people are very tiresome and, in my experience, some seem to determined to attract attention to how religiously virtuous they are. God calls us to join with streams of historical continuity, with communities of worship. Again, people who seek to construct confabs of the purest of the pure usually end up with small and strange elitist groups. How many cults can you name, small and large, that began with the claim to be “truly biblical.”

Yours, differing, with respect,

Stuart

 
At 4/04/2006 8:44 PM, Anonymous Russ Resnik said...

Shalom Stuart,

When I first read your original post I wanted to commend you for it, but I've been tied up ever since. Now there are 21 other comments, but the truth remains. You said the right thing, and were a mensch to do so, especially given your doctrinal and spiritual distance from DB. Since Klinghoffer spoke in the public forum, his rebuke needs to come in a public forum. Of course your blog may not have the same exposure as the Jewish Journal of Greater LA. It only seems fair to expect them to publish your letter of response to Klinghoffer's article. You might give it a shot.

 
At 4/04/2006 10:22 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

Dr. Dauermann,

Thank you once again for your response to my comment. At the risk of continuing this discussion far beyond my original intention, I must respond to your comment. I fear you have misunderstood a great deal of what I wrote.

---------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“I am afraid there is a presupposition underlying much of your letter which I must call into question: that is the idea that we can simply base current practice on biblical precedent, as if the last two thousand years or more never happened.

For example, you state,: “Torah was given to the Jews with all its commandments encumbent upon Jews and Jews only. According to Deuteronomy, and in other places, it makes mention of those aliens who wish to attach themselves to the nation of Israel and that once they do, they are required to fulfill Torah the same as a Hebrew from birth, but otherwise there is a very clear difference in what is required of either people group.”

Unless I miss my guess, you are arguing here for Gentile fellow travelers nowadays to attach themselves to Messianic congregations and to keep Torah as do Jews.”

***
I was not arguing for this at all. It is true that if a gentile wishes to convert to Judaism they may (albeit rabbis often try to dissuade such conversions). I was merely mentioning it in passing. I think I made it clear that Jews are Jews and gentiles are gentiles.
------------------------------------------------------------

You wrote:

“This can get touchy however. First, the means and markers of a non Jew truly joining with the people of Israel have changed in the past three and half millennia, so imagining that one can "Just do it the Bible way!" is problemmatical.

Another problem: a Gentile man wearing a tallit or the wearing fringes is by doing so acknowledging that he takes upon himself all 613 of the commandments. This would require of him to obey the command to be ritually circumcised, in which case, he would no longer be a Gentile but a Jew. However, if he wears the tallit and doesn’t do so, the tallit is a lie. You see, these customs have meaning and context, and unless we wish to be insulting to the Jewish tradition and community, we may not simply have Gentiles picking up Torah laws as they choose.”

***
Once again, I agree. I never said in my comment anything of the sort. At no time did I say that gentiles should pick up tallit, tefillin, be circumcised, etc. That would indeed be something only for Jews. I honestly don’t know how you could have culled this from what I wrote.

-------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“If you want to keep the laws of Torah, then undergo conversion: otherwise, respect the fact that the Jewish tradition reserves these laws for the people of Israel. The siddur, the Jewish prayer book comments on this in numerous places, as does Paul, by the way, when he speaks of the advantages that Jews have. He also says in 1 Cor 7 that anyone who takes on circumcision is required to keep the entire Torah, so this is no matter for picking and chooseing cavalier behavior, nor shoudl people imagine that the ways of life given to the Jews can be learned simply from reading the Bible. These ways of life were given to the people of Israel collectively, and we owe it to the wider Jewish community to listen to and emulate their consensus on these matters.

As for your comments about pagan practices in the Land, and having no part in the ways of the pogans, of course I agree with the principle. However, you go beyond Scripture in your stringencies, in that not everything that is forbidden to Israelites is detestable to God, just that it is detestable to God for the Jews to do it!”

***

Did I say that everything was detestable? No. Once again you are putting words and ideas into my mouth. I did mention detestable practices, but at no time did I say everything they did was detestable. In fact, I made it clear that there are many cultural practices that have no origin in idolatry, nor are they detestable. I made it clear I was referring only to those practices which would have involved worship of foreign gods or goddesses.
-------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“For example, are we obliged to believe that God is grossed out when anyone eats pork or only the Jews? Scripture even says that God gave certain things to the other nations to do which were forbidden to His people Israel.”

***

I agree. Like I said before Jews are Jews and G-d placed upon his chosen people certain commands that were not obligatory for the gentile nations.
-------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“You didn’t comment on my comment on the design of the Jerusalem Temple, but that reference is exactly to my point: God takes things that formerly were unclean and makes them clean for His use—such as the floor plan of abominable pagan temples. [Read about Phoenician worship sometime on an empty stomach].

So, your argument from origins is illegit, Tracey. Just remember that Esther’s name was actually Ishtar, by the way!”

***

I will admit that I know little about Phoenician worship or their temple floor plans. I will have to say at this point, though, that using this particular fact (I will defer to your knowledge on the subject at this time) as a proof for your argument, leaves me wanting for something more substantial. So does your statement that Esther’s name was Ishtar. The tribe of Judah had been sent into exile and it doesn’t surprise me that names from the surrounding peoples would have been used. How does that support your argument that it is okay for people today to engage in practices that were originally based on idol worship (especially the ones you say I should read about on an empty stomach)?
-------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“As for not knowing when Christmas should be celebrated, sure . . .no one knows. And yes, Constantine picked the date crazy reasons. So what? God is able to use it as a context where the nations glorifying Him for the gift of Messiah.”

***

“So what?” G-d goes to great pains to share with His chosen people 613 commandments. He tells them exactly how to celebrate and observe certain feasts. He makes it clear that His people are not to engage in foreign idol worship or practices. Not only this, but the sages “build fences around Torah” so that their people will not even come close to violating the commands of G-d.

If a Jewish person who believes in Yeshua is hopeful that other Jews will also believe, isn’t it a hindrance for even gentiles who believe in Yeshua to engage in practices that are considered pagan by Jews?
-------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“You talk about how “the spiritual leaders over the centuries have perpetuated the ignorance and one has to dig and dig in order to find out where so much of this stuff came from.” This gets me nervous too.”

***

Why would information make you nervous? Why would research and finding out how things came to be the way they are, a problem? How could this possibly be a detriment to our faith?
-------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“There is something religiously compulsive and isolating about people trying to construct a religion that is the purest of the pure, “truly biblical.”

***

It may well be your opinion that this research and study is compulsive, but I disagree. Accepting things one’s pastor or priest says, simply because they say it, or simply because that’s the way the faith has been taught for centuries displays a serious lack of critical thinking and responsibility on the part of the faithful. It wasn’t too long ago that I was being raised by Catholic parents (who did not know of their Jewish heritage) and I had questions, to which the priest told me “not to worry my little head about such things”. It made me angry then and it concerns me now that you may be describing this now as “compulsive”.

-------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“I have met people like this. They always seem very cultic, and some are. Such people are very tiresome and, in my experience, some seem to determined to attract attention to how religiously virtuous they are. God calls us to join with streams of historical continuity, with communities of worship.”

***

G-d calls us to be holy as He is holy. I have never read in Torah where G-d “calls us to join with streams of historical continuity…”. As for your comments about some individuals being “cultic”, I am at a loss as to why you would bring this up. Usually cultic behavior is that of trying to limit information and freedom to its members in a manipulative fashion, whereas if someone is willing to do research, study and is free to look into all the information available, that is hardly cultic.
-------------------------------------------------------------
You wrote:

“Again, people who seek to construct confabs of the purest of the pure usually end up with small and strange elitist groups. How many cults can you name, small and large, that began with the claim to be “truly biblical.”

***

If anything, I am not “constructing” anything. If I am doing anything at all, it is to follow to the best of my ability Yeshua’s example. Once again, I agree that Jews are Jews and gentiles are gentiles. My own spiritual journey has been long and complex. I am still learning and studying and I suspect that I will not stop learning (and hopefully growing) in my faith until the day I leave this earth. I do not claim to know it all, nor do I claim to be pure or perfect.

One thing I will say, and this will be my final answer on this entire subject, is that a person who is secure in his/her faith, even as they are learning, need not be afraid or made nervous by information or research. Whether you find this kind of activity “cultic” or “compulsive”, there are a great many people of faith who consider it their right, their duty and an expression of following G-d with all their heart, soul and MIND.

Thank you for your time and responses. I do appreciate how much time it takes to form a coherent response and I know that this blog is not your only responsibility. I wish you well, despite our disagreements.

 
At 4/05/2006 6:21 AM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

Dear Respected Tracey,

You misunderstand me, but I can see why. I could and should have communicated better.

Please understand now that I was for the most part taking the occasion of your letter to address certain long-term concerns I have in and around the Messianic Jewish Movement, NOT mind-reading about the state of your own motivations and beliefs, I can understand why you found my letter a bit insulting, but that was not my intent. Rather, I was taking the occasion to "address the crowd." I have visited your blog and I remain VERY impressed by your spirit and your far above average writing. Hazak. I apologize for appearing to insult you. Such was NOT my intent.

To put it briefly then, what motivated my responding as I did was the issue of "Church bashing" which is too common in our ranks, often coupled with a certain naive "We do it the biblical way, why can't they?" I think the King of the Nations is far more multi-style than are we. And I am always mindful of the rebuke God administered to the priests of Malachi's time, decrying their provincilaism, which is also rampant among some in and around the Messianic Movement. The text says this, with which I will close: " For from farthest east to farthest west my name is great among the nations. Offerings are presented to my name everywhere, pure gifts; for my name is great among the nations," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. . . . For I am a great king," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot, "and my name is respected among the nations."

 
At 4/07/2006 9:08 PM, Blogger Adam Hirschhorn said...

Blessings Gentlemen,

Yeah, you probably wouldn't call me a Jew, since my mom wasn't Jewish. My Dad was on both sides, from Latvian and Ukrainian lines. Yes, the name is German, that's who migrated to Latvia. My point is, when the fascists come again (they always do), none of the "compassionate conservatives" are going to say, oh you're mother wasn't Jewish, you're okay with us. I'd advise all of us to stop bickering about it. Anyone with the guts to claim it is alright with me... unless they are trying to collect my personal information for the next Gestapo. Don't you love my optimism? :)

Shabbat Shalom,
Adam Hirschhorn

 

Post a Comment

<< Home