September is a busy month for the Jews this year. As is usually usual, the “high” holidays fall in the middle of the month. As is most definitely unusual, so does the vote in Congress about a certain nuclear arms deal with Iran.
I imagine that many rabbis will use the first occasion to comment on the second. It’s harder to gauge where American rabbis stand (outside of the Orthodox) on this issue than where American Jewry does (see my previous post).
I have joined 339 other American rabbis who have signed a statement urging Congress to support the deal.
As I’ve said before, I don’t think that organizations like Jewish federations – which claim to represent Jewish consensus – should take a position on this. I’m just a person – not an organization – so I felt quite at liberty to do so. I even used my home address. My congregation, of course, tends to skew liberal (and our conservatives are pretty much libertarians and / or security-oriented “skeptics”) so I know that most of them agree with me. My informal polls confirm this. But I don’t pretend to represent the collective position of my employers.
The liberal Zionist organization Ameinu published our letter and you can visit its site to explore the list of 340 on which I’m proud to be included.
You might also want to pay a visit to the comment section. But just in case you don’t have that kind of time or patience, I’ve culled some of the juicier ones:
I can’t believe that 340 Rabbis can be so naïve – and I try to explain myself as civilized as possible.
If it is true that 340 Rabbis really support Obama’s Iran deal it proofs that we Jews don’t have the monopoly of intelligence.
That is correct. We do not have a monopoly on intelligence. I think your spelling “proofs” that. I’m sorry that it took something like this issue for you to confront your idiotic racist assumptions about Jews and everyone else on earth.
Please ask them this: What will you say to any remnants of a nuclear vaporization.
Apocalyptically catastrophic much are we?
I bet all these “so called ” rabbis voted blindly twice for Obama so they are trying to justify their dumb decisions. Should have put that in the letter to identify their long standing blind political views.
I bet you’re right about us voting for Obama! But no matter how bad my eyesight gets, I do not vote “blindly.”
I checked Snopes.com but apparently this petition is TRUE. I feel bad for the signators, but they still have a chance to remove themselves from the petition. I respectfully suggest they reconsider and pull out.
Did this letter seems so awful that you thought it was Snopes-worthy? I think this is the first time I’ve been Snopes-ed!
If you go through the list of signers of this document, you will discover that the majority are “Reform and Reconstructionist” Rabbi’s whose liberal ideals have driven them away from authentic Torah. Their teachings and inclinations no longer reflect Torah, but instead a secular humanism with a Jewish twist. [The emphases are mine.]
Nah. There’s only a few of us who are actual secular humanists on this list. I am proud to have been driven away from “authentic Torah,” by the way. My morality did the driving.
One of the commenters asked a good question: Why should rabbis’ opinions have any greater weight than any else’s?
Our opinions should not necessarily be granted greater weight. But I do believe that leaders on both sides have the right to make our voices heard and so far it’s the incredibly well-funded opponents of the deal who have been shouting the loudest.
For this reason our letter emphasizes the fact that American Jewry is not of one mind on this:
Most especially, we are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement.
We would like to remind people that we most certainly are not.