The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Jews and their clergy at various synagogues around America were gathering to sit shiva — the Hebrew and Jewish term for the seven-day period of grieving that Jews engage in after the loss of an immediate relative — because Donald Trump was elected president.
Consider for a moment how childish and narcissistic this is, using the sacred ritual reserved for the death of one’s child or parent as a way to express disappointment over a presidential election.
And of course, there were the irresponsible, over-the-top outbursts by Jewish columnists and academics. Take Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who devoted his column after the election to writing an open letter to his 12-year-old daughter.
“As I watched the returns at Donald Trump’s celebration here Tuesday night,” Milbank began, “the hardest part was trying to reassure my seventh-grade daughter at home, via phone and text, that she would be okay.
“She had expected to be celebrating the election of the first female president, but instead, this man she had been reading and hearing horrible things about had won.”
The man’s 12-year-old daughter “feared her own world could come apart” because of the election result. He reassured her, however, that her world would be fine, especially since she would be receiving so much love at her upcoming bat mitzvah.
Milbank’s daughter’s trauma was more than matched by the reaction of a Jewish adult, Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine. On Nov. 8, he tweeted, “This is the worst thing that has happened in my life.”
Chait was 31 years old on 9/11.
A response to his tweet by a woman named Bethany S. Mandel pretty well summarized the maturity level of Chait’s comment. She said: “I took my mom off life support at 16 & dad hanged himself 3 yrs later. I’m sorry this election was so hard for you.”
I am sure Ms. Mandel would join me in paying Mr. Chait a shiva call.
Speaking of 9/11, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said on Bill Maher’s show that Trump’s victory is “a moral 9/11.” He suggested that Trump becoming president might be worse than 9/11, for 9/11 happened to us, but “we did this to ourselves.”
Paul Krugman, Friedman’s colleague at The New York Times, wrote that he now realizes that he “truly didn’t understand the country we live in.” Never have truer words been written. It’s tough to understand those for whom you only have contempt.
Add similar comments made during the election by other Jewish leftists in the media and academia, and you get the picture.
How are we to understand this?
Here’s one explanation: When Jews abandoned Judaism, many of them did not abandon Judaism’s messianic impulse. From Karl Marx — the grandson of two Orthodox rabbis — and onwards, they simply secularized it and created secular substitutes, such as Marxism, humanism, socialism, feminism and environmentalism.
If left-wing Jews want to sit shiva, they should do so for their religion, which, like much of Protestant Christianity and Roman Catholicism, has been so deeply and negatively influenced by leftism.
"Luke Ford reports all of the 'juicy' quotes, and has been doing it for years." (Marc B. Shapiro)
"This guy knows all the gossip, the ins and outs, the lashon hara of the Orthodox world. He’s an [expert] in... all the inner workings of the Orthodox world." (Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff)
"This generation's Hillel." (Nathan Cofnas)