Speechless Rabbi Admits Losing Argument Over Racism and Israel to White Supremacist Richard Spencer

Do you know why the rabbi couldn’t answer Richard Spencer’s point? Because there is no Jewish response to Richard Spencer here beyond, “You are right.”

Why shouldn’t other people enjoy the same cohesion and strong identity that Judaism wants for Jews?

Forward.com: After white nationalist Richard Spencer left him speechless by equating Zionism and white supremacy, Texas A&M Rabbi Matt Rosenberg is acknowledging that it wasn’t his best moment.

“I wasn’t on the high school debate team,” Rosenberg told the Forward. “I really didn’t want to get into it. That might have been the wrong decision, but I’ll let the next rabbi deal with it.”

Rosenberg, the Hillel rabbi at Texas A&M University for the past three years, later said he found Spencer’s attempt to get him to defend Israel erroneous and bordering on anti-Semitic.

“I am a simple teacher of Torah,” he said.

Rosenberg later took part in a silent demonstration against Spencer’s address. He said that he was concerned at the attention given to the “alt-right” leader, who calls for the creation of a white “ethno-state.”

“The undue amount of attention given to Richard Spencer and his message was and is troubling to me,” he said. “We can’t normalize hate speech.”

Rosenberg also told the Forward he did not an anticipate a repeat on his campus of Tuesday’s events.

“I really do hope and think that this is a one-off for Texas A&M,” he said. “It’s a philo-Semitic campus, where people appreciate Jewish culture and Judaism.”

Despite his concerns about giving attention to hatemongers, Rosenberg handed the white supremacist the spotlight Tuesday when he asked Spencer that night to study Torah with him.

“You come here with a message of radical exclusion. My tradition teaches a message of radical inclusion, as embodied by Torah,” said Rosenberg, who attended the media event at the urging of one of his colleagues. “Would you sit down and study Torah with me and learn love?”

Spencer shot back by comparing Israel’s vision as a homeland for Jews with his own goals for a state for whites.

“Do you really want radical inclusion into the State of Israel?” Spencer responded, as Rosenberg said nothing. “Jews exist precisely because you did not assimilate to the gentiles… I respect that about you. I want my people to have that same sense of themselves.”

Rosenberg refused to respond, effectively leaving unchallenged Spencer’s assertion about Jews and Israel.

So when the Talmud pictures Jesus in a pot of boiling excrement, is that hate speech?

So when the Torah calls for genocide against the Canaanites, is that hate speech? Asking for a friend.

Halacah (Jewish law) makes no provision for non-Jewish citizenship in a Torah state of Israel. Is that hateful?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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