Friday, November 14, 2008

I Haven't Disappeared...

... And I've got lots to say, including, but not limited to, my shame at much of the Orthodox community at large for their attitude toward Barack Obama (I find the behavior despicable and plan on writing a letter to the President-Elect apologizing, though not making excuses for, my wayward brethren who seem to hate this person whose greatest desire is to fix this country), financial issues (not good AT ALL, but maybe some hope on the horizon), my fast-approaching surgery, being shrunk, Judaism, Chareidism, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Most of this stuff is just a memoir for myself, a personal log, not meant to convince, convert, or otherwise subvert. Whoever DOES read this, I appreciate it.

Stay tuned...


Kylopod said...

What bothers you exactly about the frum community's lack of support for Obama? Is it because you see it as a byproduct of racism? Or do you just wish you shared the same political beliefs as your religious brethren?

I've been having this discussion on another blog recently. Undoubtedly, the racists in the frum community have to be factored into any explanation of why frum people voted the way they did this year. (Quick note of caution: I haven't actually seen a scientific poll on how they voted.)

But that isn't the only reason. Orthodox Jews have always tended to be politically conservative. Kerry didn't get much of the frum vote, and he wasn't black. (He was partly of Jewish descent, actually.) I'm also sure that some frum people have sincere (if misguided) doubts about Obama due to Rev. Wright and other associations. And McCain's centrist past may have attracted some politically moderate Orthodox Jews.

I'm not trying to make excuses, I'm just explaining why I'm not necessarily ashamed of the fact that my fellow Orthodox Jews voted differently than I did, even though the racism (overt and covert) does bother me a lot.

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

I find much of it IS racism. One "shining" example is my idiot brother-in-law yelling at me for "voting for the Schwartze." That's just one of many. Another is hearing kids at my son's school proclaiming it will no longer be the "White" House. And not saying it in a positive way.

Do I wish I shared the same political beliefs? Absolutely not. I find their beliefs abhorrent.

And Jews, of ALL people, should be the LAST to be racist, considering out own history, don't you think? I find it disgusting that Jew would be guilty of the same things he's had done to HIM. It's the exact opposite of being Torah observant Jew.

Miriam said...

You got "shrunked"?

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

As in "seeing a shrink." Shrunk! :)

cool yiddishe mama said...


Not to sound revisionist but "everyone" (among the yidden) voted Democrat in the "good old days", unless you were a true Socialist/Communist.

I believe Barak is pointing to a general shift in the Orthodox community, particularly with charedim. More and more, I'm seeing charedim justify taking on Christian fundamentalist ideas and wrapping them in a mantle of "halakhah" when it's minhag or chumra at best.

Example: in this last election, someone frum (who eventually ended up voting for Obama based on energy policy) was worried about Obama's stance on abortion, citing it's against halakhah. Last I checked, halakhah supports abortion under pikuach nefesh and "pro-lifers" are against abortion no matter what. (Pro-lifers want abortion made illegal, even if it were pikuach nefesh.) When I pointed out the stance on abortion in halakhah, he changed his tune.

That was the best example I could come up with at 6am to show that many charedim are spouting off remarks that have nothing to do with halakhah but calling it such.

Kylopod said...

As I never tire in pointing out, the demographics of the parties shift over time. Until about half a century ago, Democrats were the party of white Southerners. I'm not saying their defection from the party mirrored that of Orthodox Jews. For one thing, though I have no hard data, I would surmise that most Orthodox Jews supported the civil rights movement. But in broad terms, the Republican Party became more inviting to, shall we say, religious conservatives. Just about the only religiously conservative demographic to remain reliably Democratic is blacks.

As for abortion, it is not accurate to say that the pro-life movement is against abortion to save the life of the mother. That is the position of the Catholic Church, but not all pro-lifers. Even Palin allows for that exception. What's more relevant is that many respected poskim have allowed abortion in non-life-threatening situations, such as for Tay-Sachs babies. That position is far from universal (R' Moshe was against it), but it raises the question of why we should be having civil law interfere with a rabbinic dispute.