Friday, August 29, 2008

Confirmation - Chareidi "Gedolim" Are Racist

Yes. That's correct. They're racist. Why? Well, I just spoke to a neighbor of mine who goes to one of the Lakewood yeshivas. He told me, very interestingly, that the Lakewood community at large, including their "Gedolim," were very much FOR Hillary Clinton. Which I found interesting for two reasons: First, she's a Democrat, not a Republican, and the Chareidi trend has been very much toward the Republicans. Second, she's a woman. But at least we know they're not completely sexist.

But they ARE racist. One of the interesting things of the primary season was that, in essence, Obama and Hillary agreed on about 95% of the issues. The only glaring one with which they did NOT agree was how to go about putting in place a universal healthcare plan.

Obama won. Hillary lost. Now the "Gedolim" and rabbonim of Lakewood are against Obama. It's either because they're stupid and believe he's a Muslim, or they're even dumber and are racists.

Or, they were following Rush Limbaugh's (YUCK!!!) plan to vote for Hillary because they knew the Republicans could beat Hillary, but not Obama. Either way, they're racist and anti-American, because as far as I'm concerned BEING a Republican Right Wing Nut Job (not talking about normal conservatives, here, just RWNJ Republicans) IS anti-American...

Either way, good job, "Gedolim." You're full of BS. Respectfully, I'm going to have to disagree with "Da'as Torah" (as if there really IS such a thing) and vote for Obama anyway. Why? Read this blog and figure it out. I don't vote for fascists.


Kylopod said...

You and I know that racism is common in the frum community, often overtly, sometimes more subtly. And considering that the majority of Orthodox Jews are right-wing, it's no surprise that many of them wouldn't warm up to a black liberal.

Still, I don't think race is the whole story. Rabbi Harry Maryles has never struck me as a racist, and in fact he has been outspoken against frum racism. His opposition to Obama is nowhere near as extreme as some of the crazier folks you and I have encountered, but it is tinged with a similar paranoia.

There's just something about Obama that invites hysteria among certain Jews, and I think there is more to it than the fact that he's black. The Muslim smears strike a chord with Jews because they play directly into fears that lie deep within our psyche. It's a combination of fear of Muslims and fear of another Hitler. Here you have this charismatic young presidential candidate who draws crowds, and you add to that the idea that he's a closet Muslim, and it's no wonder some Jews react the way we've seen. Harry no longer accepts the idea that Obama is a Muslim (or ex-Muslim), but he hinted to me that he once thought so. Even though he doesn't realize it, I think he has allowed traces of the paranoia to linger in his mind.

Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said...

Ok, I don't really consider Rabbi Maryles a "Gadol" (as I think that would be an insult to him). I have kind of stopped reading his blog, though. I've read several of his posts regarding Obama and, as you and I both know, I think he's WAY off target about Obama and is making a huge mistake by supporting McCain, expecially when many of his YU peers are supporting Obama (including Rabbi Blau).

What this really is is fear of the unknown. It's stupid, but there you have it...

Certainly race isn't the whole story. It's also about being completely uninformed, relying on one's "askanim" and "Kanaim" and not actually doing the research to figure out who's who and for whom to vote.

Anyway, I think with Palin as his Veep choice, McCain is on his way to losing, and when Obama's been president for four years and has made great strides in repairing this country, perhaps they'll change their minds about him. I hope.

One good thing: Since the vast majority of the right wing orthodox Jewish population is in "blue" states (NY, CA, NJ), their votes aren't really going to matter much because those states will go Democrat anyway. The only question will be Florida, which has the next largest Jewish population.

In other words, the RWNJ Jewish vote doesn't really matter. Thank God.

cool yiddishe mama said...


If I recall, wasn't that the strategy of a well-known black-hat rabbi of our community back in March when he said he voted for Hillary?

As I told someone over Shabbat, our generation does not have "gedolim". After the Rav and Reb Moshe's deaths, we have yet to see someone on par with either of them rise up and assume the mantel. [That's why there has been more divisiveness in Orthodoxy than at any other time in Jewish history. We have sheep looking for the longest beard, the blackest hat, the most chumras...WHATEVER!]

Like good sheep, some charedim will not (LITERALLY!) take a drink of water before making sure it's okay with their rav. One area of life that rabbeim need to stay out of: politics! Rabbeim (especially in Israel) should not publically endorse a specific candidate, let alone tell their talmidim how to vote.

In 2004, I got a call from a BY girl reminding me to register to vote as all the rabbeim HAVE to remind people to exercise their civic duty. She said I could come to the REPUBLICAN headquarters. I replied that I was already registered and that she should make sure to tell people that the local library (less than a block from the HQ) was also a valid place to register. Let's just say I never got calls from that office for the rest of the campaign...

Kylopod said...

I didn't mean to imply that R' Maryles was a "Gadol." I was simply using him as an example of someone who has this irrational reaction to Obama yet does not seem to be a racist.