What exactly did occur in the latest episode of the Kavanaugh Confirmation Fiasco?

By Jerome S. Kaufman

October 1, 2018

As predicted in the Israel Commentary article of Sep 23, 2018:

“Republican Party about to go down the tube with wuss, Sen.Grassley, mis-managing phony witness fiasco.”

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The Republican Party is indeed going “down the tube”. Sean Hannity of Fox News,in disgust, said immediately after the Kavanaugh/Christine Ford hearings that the Republican Party had “‘caved” — actually collapsed and fell right into the trap the Democrats had so cleverly set demanding yet another FBI investigation.

The Wall Street Journal of Sep 20, 2018 points out in their editorial, Politicizing the FBI, that the Democrats want the FBI to investigate an alleged assault from 35-36 years ago and provide commentary and issue judgments. That is not the FBI role. The Senate Judicial Committee has that unique role and does not have the right to relinquish the role to anyone.

Totally ignored was the Senate Justice Committee’s oft-repeated indisputable fact that the FBI had completed at least 6 previous thorough investigations of Judge Kavanaugh and found exactly nothing. No mention of any teen-age sex party or previous contact with accuser Dr. Christine Basey Ford whatever.

Furthermore, there was no creditable witness confirming Christine’s charges. The Wall Street Journal of Sep 25, 2018 describes these charges as:

“those of a dimly recalled incident from 35 years ago, when Mr. Kavanaugh may or may not have been present, which alleged eye witnesses deny attending, and about which the corroboration is second hand and unspecific.” Christine Ford’s charge is nevertheless conveniently submitted as fact by the Democratic Party with malice aforethought.

The next inexplicable mistake was that the Republican chaired Senate Judiciary Committee allowed this lady, conveniently brought out by the Democrats from the woodwork of 35 years ago, to publicly address the Committee before a nation-wide TV audience despite the lack of any confirming evidence whatever. Is this to be the norm wherein anyone making a claim, without any substantiating evidence is given a Senate Judicial Committee hearing and a world-wide TV audience?

The second error was to allow a neutral professional interrogator, Rachel Mitchell, to question Christine Ford before the world-wide cameras.

She did so in a calculated soft and un-alarming, virtually therapeutic manner. The witness was allowed to drone on for endless minutes plaintively describing in great detail the episode of 35 years ago without one interruption from the “interrogator” other than a therapeutic,”OK”

(Since this was originally written, Ms. Mitchell has announced her final findings and conclusions. She found no evidence whatever of Judge Kavanaugh’s presence in the incident Christine Ford described. She also stated that there were several inconsistencies in Dr. Ford’s testimony, the story would never hold up in court and no ethical prosecutor would ever bring the case to court. It does not hold water.)

A review of the Judicial Committee hearing was made shortly afterward by Yahoo News under the declared auspices of Katie Couric and the Yahoo News Staff.

Great exception was taken to the so-called facts presented in the Yahoo review and an additional Fact-Check was conducted.


FACT-CHECK Yahoo!News.

1. True. Dr Christine Blasey Ford is a Professor at Palo Alto University. However Yahoo!News forgot to mention that Palo Alto University is known as a very liberal university.

2. True. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a registered Democrat. And an activist that has participated in multiple Anti-Trump functions. Perhaps her monetary donations were small – $80 (compared to big donors) but she donated none the less.

What Yahoo!News fails to mention:

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford spoke with #MeToo activists for advice as to how to approach spreading her story.

She also “selected” a Democratic activist as an attorney, a partner in a firm that has donated major money to the Democratic Party and is Vice Chair for an organization funded by none other than George Soros!

By the way, who is paying Dr Ford’s legal bills?

(George Soros incidentally is a politically hyperactive billionaire who has contributed over $25 million to various Liberal and Democrat Party groups working to defeat in 2004 then President George W. Bush and has continued massive contributions to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton).

He has been advancing a world-wide radical agenda back to 1979 via his Open Society Foundation. His history goes back much further when he, although born a Jew, was directly involved by the Nazis as a teen-ager to ferret out hidden Jews for execution. Soros proudly declares he enjoyed his work for the Nazis as a high point of his youth.)

4). True. The claim that Kavanaugh’s Mom was a judge in a case that involved a foreclosure of Dr Ford’s parents back in late 1990s is true. However she ruled in favor of Dr Ford’s parents and allowed the mortgage company to drop the foreclosure. This myth was cleared up weeks ago and not really a myth.

Now, the FACTS, not mentioned in this Yahoo!News article.

1). FACT. Dr. Ford sent a confidential letter to her US Representative informing her of a sexual encounter 35+ years ago with Brett Kavanaugh at a party. In the letter, she stated that the “party” involved her and four others.

2). FACT. Dr Ford received and provided notes from a couple counseling session that stated that Dr Ford had discussed a sexual incident back in high school with four boys in the room. No names were provided nor reported.

3). FACT. Dr Ford claims that the psychologist’s notes were incorrect, that there were only two boys in the room with her, Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge.

4). FACT. Brett Kavanaugh adamantly denied any involvement, and Mark Judge adamantly denied being present at any such party, and although he was a friend of Brett Kavanaugh, he never saw Brett Kavanaugh act as described.

Who were the other two boys at the party? Dr Ford named a third boy, someone called PJ, who was identified as Patrick J Smyth who also denied being at any party as described by Dr Ford. That’s 3 for 3 against Dr Ford’s claims.

5). FACT. Later in a TV interview, Dr Ford’s attorney claimed that there was another girl at the party but did name her. Who was the other girl? Who was the fourth boy? Who was really at this “party”? Was it Dr Ford and four boys, or was it Dr Ford, another girl and four boys, or was it Dr Ford, three boys and another girl? Who were the other participants? The 4 or 5 other participants are the only first hand witnesses that can verify Dr Ford’s claims.

6). FACT. The “party” supposedly at a residential home in the Georgetown area but Dr Ford hasn’t provided a location or who’s home it was. None the less, the “party” apparently involved 4, 5, or 6 underaged teenagers drinking at someone’s home.

Summary:

So, where are we after all this. We are to have one more week of yet another FBI unwarranted “investigation. This is an obvious successful attempt by the Democrats, thanks to the Republicans, to delay the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Democrat Senatorial Leader Chuck Schumer, within a few minutes of Judge Kavanaugh’s original nomination, declared that he would do every thing possible to upend the confirmation. He has since done a great job of trying to eliminate one of the most qualified man we have ever had for Supreme Court Justice.

The pundits all know that the FBI information will not change one vote in either direction. Let us hope that Chairman Grassley does not allow the FBI one minute beyond the one week and not permit the Democrats to con him around once again.

To my mind he should demand the FBI report by Monday, present it to the Judicial Committee right then and have already scheduled the vote that day or the day later conforming right now to the 3 day notice requirement. Take the vote and let the chips fall where they may. If some Republicans are still ready to abandon their party and vote solely in their own misguided self interests, let them suffer the political and personal consequences the rest of their lives. I am sure Sen. Lindsay Graham will remember their actions forever.

We can only pray that despite the dedicated efforts of the Democrats and the sometimes feeble resistance of the Republicans, divine forces will intervene; Schumer will not succeed; justice will prevail and this great nation will reap the badly needed associated benefits.

Respectfully submitted,

Jerome S. Kaufman

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No! The Arabs are not out-birthing the Israelis. There is no Demographic Time Bomb

(No! They will not ever outnumber the Jews in Israeli unless the Israeli Supreme Court continues in their self-destruct mode and treats Israel’s G-d given land as some fictitious Arab entity created by Yasir Arafat in 1964!)

No Arab demographic time bomb

Redacted from a more detailed article by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Jewish Political Studies Review, Volume 29, Numbers 3-4, September 2018

Demographic reality defies conventional wisdom (or lack of) 

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Jewish State is not facing an Arab demographic time bomb; but, benefits from a robust Jewish demographic tailwind of births and net-immigration.  

For example, between 1995 and 2017, the number of Israeli Jewish births surged by 74%, from 80,400 to 140,000, while the number of Israeli Arab births grew by 19% during the same period – from 36,000 to 43,000 births.

Moreover, contrary to conventional wisdom, the trend of Israeli emigration has slowed down.  Thus, the number of Israelis staying abroad for over a year was expanded by 6,300 in 2016 (the lowest in ten years – a derivative of the growth of Israel’s economy), compared to 8,200 in 2015 and 14,200 additional emigrants in 1990. At the same time, Israel’s population surged from 4.8 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2018.

Since the end of the 19th century, the Jewish-Arab demographic balance has systematically defied the demographic establishment’s assessments and projections.   

For instance, in March 1898, Shimon Dubnov, a leading Jewish historian and demographer, projected 500,000 Jews in the Land of Israel by 1998, defining Theodore Herzl’s Zionist vision as “a messianic wishful thinking.”  However, Herzl was the ultimate realist and Dubnov was off by 5.5 million Jews!

In October 1944, the founder of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS), and the luminary of Israel’s demographic and statistical establishment, Prof. Roberto Bachi, projected 2.3 million Jews in Israel in 2001, a 34% minority. Bachi’s projection reflected the demographic establishment’s underwhelming assessment of Jewish fertility and immigration (Aliyah) and the overwhelming assessment of Arab fertility. In 2018, there are seven million Jews in Israel, a 65.5% majority in the combined area of pre-1967 Israel, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), enjoying an effective demographic tailwind.   

During the 1980s, the ICBS sustained its traditional, minimalist assessment of Aliyah, dismissing the potential of an Aliyah wave from the USSR. But, in defiance of the demographic and statistical establishments – and due to a most assertive, pro-active Aliyah policy by Prime Ministers Ben Gurion, Eshkol, Meir, Begin and Shamir – one million Soviet Jews immigrated to Israel.    

In 2000, consistent with demographic political correctness, the ICBS projected a gradual decline of Jewish fertility rate from 2.6 births per woman to 2.4 in 2025.  However, by 2017, the Jewish fertility rate was bolstered to 3.16 births per woman and 76.5% of all Israeli births were Jewish, compared to 69% in 1995.       
 
The Westernization of Arab demography

In 1969, Israel’s Arab fertility rate (nine births per woman) was six births higher than Israel’s Jewish fertility rate. However, that gap was erased by 2015 (3.11 births each), and in 2016/17 the Jewish fertility rate was higher than the Arab rate (3.16 births per woman and 3.3 when both Jewish spouses were Israeli-born). Moreover, the Arab fertility rate in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is 3 births per woman, compared to 5 in 2000.   In fact, in 2018, Israel’s Jewish fertility rate is equal to Jordan’s, while exceeding the fertility rates in all Arab countries other than Yemen, Iraq and Egypt.     

The rise of Jewish fertility reflects the enhanced optimism, patriotism, attachment to roots, communal responsibility and a substantial decline in the number of abortions.

Furthermore, while conventional wisdom assumes that the surge of Israel’s Jewish fertility rate was triggered by the Ultra-Orthodox community, reality documents a moderate decline of the Ultra-Orthodox fertility rate (due to the growing integration in the job-market and academia) – while a substantial increase of the fertility rate has been demonstrated by Israel’s secular sector, which is the largest sector of the population.
  
At the same time, the Westernization of Arab fertility (in Israel, Judea and Samaria and throughout the Middle East) is a derivative of the following phenomena:

*Intense urbanization has transformed the 70% rural Arab population in Judea and Samaria in 1967 to a 75% urban population in 2018;

*Most Arab women in Israel, Judea and Samaria have pursued dramatically enhanced education, increasingly completing high school and pursuing higher education;

*Rather than getting married at the age of 15 and beginning reproduction at 16 – as did their mothers and grandmothers – contemporary Arab women tend to delay and shorten that process;

*Arab women have improved their social status, seeking to advance their own careers, thus ending their reproductive period at the age of 45, rather than 55, resulting in less births;

*Rapidly declining teen-pregnancy; 

*Rapidly expanding family-planning;

*Youthful male emigration, among Judea and Samaria Arabs, has widened the gap between the number of Arab males and females there;

*Arab women in Israel, Judea and Samaria, just like Arab women throughout the Arab World have substantially expanded the use of contraceptives.

According to a June, 2012 study by the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB), 72% of 15-49 year old Palestinian married women prefer to avoid pregnancy, trailing Morocco (78%), ahead of Jordan (71%) and Egypt (69%).  A growing number are using contraception, as family planning services have expanded in the Arab region.
 
Auditing, rather than echoing, the official Palestinian data

In contrast to the Israeli and global demographic establishment, this essay audits – rather than reverberate/amplify – the official data of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). The essay examines the records of the PCBS against the data published by the Palestinian Departments of Health, Education and Interior, the Palestinian Election Commission, The World Bank, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel’s Authority of International Passages, etc.

Unlike the demographic establishment, this essay does not indulge in projections, which are subjective by definition, impacted by a litany of unpredictable domestic and international social, economic and geo-political factors. Instead, this essay focuses only on well-documented and verifiable birth, death and migration data.

In 2018, Israel is the only Western democracy and advanced economy, endowed with a relatively-high rate of fertility, which facilitates the sustained growth of the economy, as well as a potential expansion of the military ranks – if necessary – while boosting the level of national optimism.  

Against the backdrop of the aforementioned demographic documentation, the suggestion that the Jewish State is facing an Arab demographic time bomb, is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.  Or both….
 
Yoram Ettinger

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Republican Party about to go down the tube with wuss, Sen.Grassley, mis-managing phony witness fiasco.

Article One: In the Eye of the Kavanaugh Storm – WSJ Sep 20, 2018

Article Two: Kavanaugh defeat would demoralize Republican base, not energize it. WSJ Sep 21, 2018

Article One: Republican Party about to go down the tube with wuss, Sen.Grassley, mis-managing phony witness fiasco.

Redacted from an article by Tunku Varadarajan
Wall Street Journal
Sept. 22, 2018

Chuck Grassley, chairman,Senate Judiciary Committee, talks about the prospects of confirmation, the effort to give the accuser a hearing, and the #MeToo movement.

The tale of Brett Kavanaugh turned, in a few venomous hours, from being about a hitherto unblemished man —pitch-perfect to Republicans, anathema to many Democrats—into a narrative of sexual assault when he was a teenage boy 36 years ago! (Huh?)

Another man in the scorching public glare alongside Judge Kavanaugh is Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Grassley is a politician of overwhelming experience and calm, and there are few in this company town of incurable politicians who’d argue that he isn’t notably equipped for this scrutiny. (Count me in as one of those – jsk). He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980, where he has sat on the Judiciary Committee every year since.

The Kavanaugh hearings took place over a seemingly interminable week after Labor Day. The hearings had the appearance of a circus at times, with screaming spectators hostile to Judge Kavanaugh ejected periodically by police.

“The demonstrators,” Mr. Grassley tells me (Varadarajan), “were exercising the constitutional right to expression of free speech, in a very unconventional way.” (Huh?)

Democratic senators—notably New Jersey’s Cory Booker and California’s Kamala Harris—resorted to a range of tactics to prolong the hearings and delay a vote to send the nomination to the Senate floor. As is now customary, the matter was destined to be decided along party lines. There are 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats on the committee.

On Sept. 12, the day before the committee vote was to be scheduled, THE INTERCEPT —a self-styled “adversarial” publication, with exquisite political disruptive timing, ran allegations of a sexual assault that Judge Kavanaugh might have committed as a 17-year-old against a girl of 15! (Huh?)

Within hours, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, committee’s ranking Democrat, confirmed she’d passed on to the FBI a confidential letter from the alleged victim—a letter Mrs. Feinstein has had since July 30. Four days later, the Washington Post published interview with Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser and identified her as Christine Blasey Ford, now a professor in Northern California.


In response, Mr. Grassley—who has appeared unfazed—announced that a vote on Judge Kavanaugh would be postponed until his committee had a chance to talk to Ms. Ford. Through her lawyer, Ms. Ford issued a series of demands, including an FBI investigation and will not show up for the scheduled meeting.

Senator Grassley responded as culled from two interviews Sep. 13-19

“We’ve got to accommodate her,” His face is scrunched with emphasis, and he looks around at his virtually teen-age aides for affirmation! There are five in the room with combined ages barely exceeding Mr. Grassley’s 85 years. (Huh?)

“I’m thinking about contacting her lawyer,” he continues, “and letting her talk to me directly, if the lawyer will advise her to do that. Because I think I can conduct a fair and thorough—and respectful—meeting.”

As of Wednesday, Ms. Ford has stated publicly that she will not attend the hearings scheduled for five days later. But Mr. Grassley appears eager to cut her as much slack as he can.” At some point, he says, he’ll have to call off the meeting if she isn’t coming. And we’re going to give every opportunity we can for her to come.””

Ms. Ford is represented by Debra Katz, a prominent Washington lawyer whose specialties include sexual harassment, and who is close to the Democratic Party.

What would Sen. Grassley say to Ms. Ford if he did, perchance, get her on the telephone? “I’d say that “I have a reputation in an open session of running a committee that’s fair.”

None of the six female Republican senators sits on the Judiciary Committee, and Mr. Grassley acknowledges it may not look good for Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser to receive skeptical questions only from male senators. (Huh?)

Our conversation turns to the other woman in the Kavanaugh drama, Sen. Feinstein, with whom Mr. Grassley has enjoyed, by the standards of contemporary Washington, a remarkably smooth working relationship

Six days later, I asked Mr. Grassley if the manner in which Mrs. Feinstein handled the Ford letter—concealing it from him and other Judiciary Committee Republicans since June 30, 2018 and handing it to the FBI instead—made him lose trust in her.?

Mr. Grassley talks also about the senatorial math of the Kavanaugh nomination. A straight party-line vote, 51-49, would be sufficient to confirm Judge Kavanaugh but Mr. Grassley would like at least a few Democratic votes— for insurance, but also to add a dash of bipartisanship. But, there is a growing belief that the cloud now cleverly created by Democrats over Judge Kavanaugh minimizes this Party cross over.

Mr. Grassley doesn’t share that view. A judge, Mr. Grassley says, is “supposed to interpret law, interpret the Constitution, not try to change everything. (Yeah, Yeah. Tell that to the Dems and Chuck Schumer)

President Trump, at first receptive to Dr. Ford, changed his tune with her on-going limitless demands. On Friday Pres. Trump tweeted that “if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.” (Why that had not occurred to wuss, Grassley remains an obvious mystery and disappointment).

Mr. Grassley, by contrast, recognizes that times have changed. “How America has come around in the last few years has affected this case,” Mr. Grassley says. “There’s “more appreciation of the charges of sexual misconduct, and treatment of women, and not giving women enough attention to their—to what happened to them.” Is that good for the country?

Mr. Varadarajan (with tongue in cheek?) “Oh, absolutely.” (Huh?)

Mr. Varadarajan is executive editor at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Article Two: The GOP Can’t Win for Losing

Excerpted From article by Kimberley A. Strassel,
(confirming our worst fears) jsk

Kavanaugh defeat would demoralize the Republican base, not energize it.

Wall Street Journal Sept. 21, 2018

As the battle over Brett Kavanaugh rages on, pundits continue to speculate about what an unproven sexual-misconduct claim might mean for the future makeup of the Supreme Court, for subsequent nominations and for the credibility of the #MeToo movement.

In the halls of Capitol Hill, the question centers on a much more immediate and political question: the fate of the Republican Party. The overwhelming verdict—on right and left—is that if Judge Kavanaugh goes down, so too does the GOP in the upcoming midterms.

For now, the distinguished circuit-court judge is on track for confirmation. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has handled Christine Blasey Ford’s 36-year-old accusation with enormous accommodation, inviting her to give evidence in any manner of her choosing—a public or private hearing, in Washington or California, in person or over the phone. Her decision to join with partisan Democratic calls for an FBI investigation, and her refusal to provide testimony in any form for a Monday hearing, has troubled Republican senators who insisted she be heard.

Tennessee’s Bob Corker put the point clearly in a tweet on Monday: “Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.” Even undecided Republican senators understand the Democratic playbook and appreciate how unjust it would be to allow a vague, uncorroborated claim to derail Judge Kavanaugh’s career and reputation—especially if his accuser won’t even put her claims in the Senate record.

But with Democrats and their media allies stopping at nothing to derail this nomination, even confident Republicans have been forced to consider the prospect of a defeat.

Wiser Republicans note there’s a reason Spartacus & Co. are working so hard to defeat this nomination. It’s partly because they despise Judge Kavanaugh’s philosophy and fear a fifth conservative on the high court. It’s partly because they want to spare their red-state colleagues a difficult choice before the midterms. But it is mostly because it is a fabulous issue with the Democratic base. Nothing would more energize that part of the electorate than a Kavanaugh scalp.

Republican voters? Oh yes, the base is furious over the Democratic treatment of Judge Kavanaugh. They are angry over the theatrical and uncivil hearings. They are riled up over this late and dirty Democratic hit, the releasing of an accuser’s letter months after it was first obtained.

But listen to those base voters on Twitter , on radio, in public forums. They are prepared to release most of their rage over any Kavanaugh defeat on the Republican Party. One of their abiding complaints is that GOP politicians too easily succumb to liberal tactics. unprovable claim, and a partisan smear designed to deny a duly elected president his Supreme Court pick.

A newly minted Justice Kavanaugh is a crucial part of any winning 2018 message. His confirmation would be proof Republicans are willing to fight for and fulfill promises. It won’t guarantee that they’ll win the midterms and retain their majorities. But it will guard against the drubbing they’d receive from their own voters if they bow now to Chuck Schumer’s underhanded tactics.

Write to kim@wsj.com.

Compiled by Jerome S. Kaufman

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Rejecting the character assassination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

On Spartacus and Crucifixion, Democrats and Kavanaugh

Redacted from an article by RABBI DOV FISCHER

Wall Street Journal
September 17, 2018

I find myself so upset now over the viciousness of the Democrats these past several weeks, trying in every imaginable way to character-assassinate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, that I have to write.

www.israel-commentary.org

Kavanaugh is a good man. Beyond being a great legal scholar, a published author of profound legal consequence, a graduate of Yale Law School, a law professor at Harvard Law School invited at the behest of then-dean Elena Kagan, he clerked in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, then clerked in the Ninth Circuit, and thereafter for Justice Anthony Kennedy in the United States Supreme Court.

He has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, often regarded as the second most important court in the land. From that bench others have risen to the United States Supreme Court, including but not limited to present-day Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Chief Justice Roberts.

From the moment that this fine man — an honored husband, devoted father, children’s basketball coach, church lector who has tutored inner-city children and personally has served meals to the homeless — was nominated to the seat held by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, Brett Kavanaugh has been subjected to nonstop oral brutality and vicious verbal assault.

In contrast to the way that Republicans have encountered and even opposed Democrat Supreme Court nominees like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, this man has been “Borked” from the moment he was named. It is back to the character assassination at which Democrats shamelessly excel. It is a return to the high-tech lynching of Clarence Thomas.

I never believed Anita Hill. A few years later, when I served as Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, I received a manuscript submission from her, a law article for our editorial consideration. Our entire articles editorial team unanimously agreed that it was so sub-par that it was not publishable. But well before I had come to see the quality of her academic scholarship for what it was, I agreed with Clarence Thomas as he condemned Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, charging that they were politically lynching a Black man.

In the world of Democrat liberalism and diversity, there is no room for an African American who is conservative. It is the Progressive Credo of Diversity: Black conservatives must be destroyed. They must be politically lynched. Destroy Herman Cain. Try to destroy Dr. Ben Carson. I personally heard a graduation speech denouncing Condoleezza Rice, attacking her in part for being a Black woman in the Bush White House.

At the Barnard College graduation of one of my daughters, the keynote speaker laid into Rice, leveling that attack among others. Disgusted, I finally stood up in the middle of the speech, centered amid a crowd of many hundred parents at graduation, and I turned my back to that woman. I stood that way, with my back to her, for the last ten minutes of her speech. She saw only my yarmulka, the back of my head. Democrat liberals have no room in their world for Black conservatives.

I never went to another Barnard graduation for either of my other two daughters. I never again donated another penny to Barnard nor to my undergraduate alma mater, Columbia University. I will not support those who support the political lynchings and character assassinations of good people.

The Democrats, led by Ted Kennedy, lynched Bork in an era when there was no conservative talk radio, nor online conservative media, nor Fox News to defend him. So that good and decent man went down in flames, assassinated by the one political Kennedy brother who had not been assassinated. It hardly seems sufficient to note that Judge Bork continued the rest of his life to live and teach and write with dignity and honor, while his character assassin ultimately would leave his own name and reputation drenched by the waters of Chappaquiddick.

And now these same “Progressives” would character-assassinate Judge Kavanaugh.

Cory Booker, while making a fool of himself for national view, described his “‘I am Spartacus’ moment” when, with false bravado, he stated that he defiantly would release embargoed documents that in fact already had been cleared for release. It happens to be that the Stanley Kubrick movie Spartacus was the most impactful movie in my youth.

When I began clerking for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit — who puts all his judicial clerkship applicants through one heck of a challenging questionnaire that is known, far and wide, both lovingly and fearfully, as “The Quiz” — I identified Spartacus to him as the movie that had changed my life. Kirk Douglas’s portrayal of the defiant gladiator who stood up to Rome inspired me for a lifetime. The Roman dictator, Marcus Licinius Crassus, had just subdued the mighty gladiator army whom he had prevented from escaping Italy, and now he wanted to crucify the leader of their revolt, Spartacus.

Facing his thousands of prisoners, Crassus offered the captured gladiators life, albeit a return to slavery, if they only would hand over Spartacus, their leader. If they would not, then they all would face crucifixion. And yet, one by one, each gladiator arose and said “I am Spartacus!” They all submitted themselves to crucifixion rather than hand over their leader.

But in our modern context, it is not Cory Booker who is the “I am Spartacus” hero and martyr. Rather, he found himself instead in the wrong movie, playing Navin R. Johnson — The Jerk. Instead, the hero facing crucifixion turns out to be Brett Kavanaugh. And now, the Democrat attempt unfolds to crucify this wonderful and decent man.

And now 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein of California — who is in the political battle of her life, facing a much younger opponent to her left in left-dominated California — desperately has emerged to submit a letter from a woman purporting to depict this fine and refined, righteous and restrained, dignified and kind man as having been a teenage Bill Clinton. Only Bill Clinton would proceed to live the unrepentant life of a rapist and serial sexual predator.

First, I do not believe the letter writer. She now has submitted her name publicly. She therefore now may expect to enjoy the “Omarosa Fifteen Minutes of Fame” treatment at CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of those slime-slingers. Perhaps she will get a book contract. But I do not believe her. Rather, I believe the 65 women who have signed their names to a letter affirming that they knew Brett Kavanaugh during that very same time frame as a gentleman who treated women with respect. I absolutely believe them.

That is what is happening here — and it is disgusting. I cannot hold my peace. I cannot be silent. I stand with Kavanaugh.

It is fundamental to our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage that people can and do grow, change, evolve, improve. That is why the Congress begins each day with a prayer from a religious figure. And — for the social humanists who reject religion — do they not advocate prison rehabilitation, drug or alcohol treatment, therapy and counseling? Of course people can and do change. And when a society creates a perverse social order that says, “If you did wrong at age 15, then you are branded for life as someone who never outgrew 15,” that society denies its population any motivation to improve.

For the sake of justice I cannot hold my peace, and for the sake of the future Justice I cannot remain silent. There has to come a point in time when Americans of all stripes band together and say, “Enough of the character assassination and social crucifixion! We do not want America to go any farther down this road. It has to stop — here and now.”

Rabbi Dov Fischer

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The Pseudo-Jewish Fetish with the concept Tikkun Olam (“Healing the World”)

As usual, we had one our heated family discussions over Judaism, its laws and their observance. This time the subject was Tikkun Olam. The debate reminded me of the excellent article below by Professor/Journalist/Political commentator, Steven Plaut, (obm) formerly of the University of Haifa, Haifa Israel


We miss him and his irrefutable, unerring logic. jsk

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The redacted article was published in Israel Commentary, Jan 10, 2014.

Subject: The Pseudo-Jewish Fetish with “Tikkun Olam”
 


Redacted from a badly needed epiphany by Professor Steven Plaut

“The central mitzvah or commandment for our era is the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam.   It is the defining mission of Jews to strive for the repair of the world by making society more just, fair, egalitarian, and sensitive.  Judaism demands that we repair the world by striving for social justice. It is the mission of Jews in the Divine Plan for the universe to repair the world by repairing man, by improving and advancing mankind.”
 


The above paragraph is a fair representation of what has become the defining raison d’être of Judaism as conveyed by non-Orthodox liberal Jewish organizations and synagogues in America.  It is not a direct citation from any, but is an accurate paraphrase of what has become the canon of non-Orthodox Jewish liberalism, in essence the orthodoxy of the non-Orthodox.  It is the “modernized” and contemporary “reinterpretation” of “Jewish ethics” as defined and inculcated by much of the Reform and Conservative movements. 

So just what are we to make of the above “Tikkun Olam” proclamation and manifest?
 
The most important thing that must be understood about the Tikkun Olam catechism of non-Orthodox Judaism in the United States is that each and every sentence in the above proclamation is false.

First of all, there is no such thing as a mitzvah or commandment of “Tikkun Olam.”   Jews are nowhere commanded to “repair the world.”  In all the authoritative or traditional compilations of the commandments of Judaism, none list “Tikkun Olam” as one of them. The expression itself does not appear anywhere in the Torah or in the entire Bible.

Those assimilationist liberals who insist that the entire “ethics of the Prophets” can be reduced to the pursuit of “Tikkun Olam” will have to explain why none of the Books of the Prophets use the term. “Tikkun Olam” is used sporadically in the Talmud, but as a technical term for resolution of certain judicial problems that arise before rabbinic courts. 

The only place where the expression appears in Jewish prayer is in the Aleinu and there it clearly has nothing at all to do with social justice.  In the “Aleinu,” Tikkun Olam is explicitly explained in the prayer text itself as the quest to eliminate pagan superstition and to see God’s rule of the universe implemented. In other words, it is a theological notion, not a social or political or environmental one.  In Judaism, the world does not get repaired by redistribution of income and wealth nor by cutting carbon emissions but by humans subordinating themselves to God’s will.  
 
Secondly, “Tikkun Olam” does not mean that Jews are obligated to strive to make the earth a more just, clean, fair and equal place.  Nowhere in Judaism are Jews commanded to restructure or re-engineer the societies of the nations.  Jews have a certain obligation to participate in the Jewish community and to assist other Jews, especially Jews living in hardship, including through Tzedaka or charity.
 
Even within the Jewish community, there is no religious imperative or justification for coerced schemes of income or wealth redistribution, aside from payments to the Levites and priests. And while there is no prohibition as such upon Jews using their resources to assist the downtrodden among the non-Jewish nations, there is also no Judaic imperative to do so and such generosity would be considered morally inferior to the assisting of other Jews.
 


The idea that it is somehow the religious duty of Jews to “repair mankind” is not only complete nonsense, but it is a manifestation of the ignorant megalomania of assimilationist Jewish liberals.  The simple fact of the matter is that in actual Judaism, it is none of the business of Jews to fix or repair humanity.  More generally, in Judaism it is the job of Jews to repair the Jews, not to repair the world. 

Non-Jews are not in need of being “repaired” by Jews, at least as long as they observe the seven “Noahide Commandments,” the rules of living that Jews interpret to be conferred upon all humans, all descendants of Noah, by God.  Beyond that, what the gentiles do and how they do it is none of the business of Jews, and Jews simply have no religious standing to interfere.  It is certainly not the job of Jews to instruct non-Jews about matters such as income and wealth distribution, abortion, environmentalism, health care provision, or discrimination. 

Jews are commanded to speak up only if they witness non-Jews tearing off limbs from live animals and eating them, and in a very small number of other cases.
 
Indeed, the very notion that Jews are so ethically superior that they are entitled to instruct non-Jews in ethnics is completely foreign to the Torah.

The self-image of Jews in the Torah/Bible is that of a group of people awash in their own moral failures and foibles, from the Golden Calf to the paganism of the era of the kings of Judah and Israel. The moral imperative of the Torah is for the Jews to improve and reevaluate their own behavior, not to pretend to have the moral superiority to preach to the entire non-Jewish world.
 


Jews are in general not obligated to oppose or reform unjust laws of the nations, at least as long as those laws do not require Jews to bow down to idols. It is the religious moral imperative of Jews to obey the law and that is all.   In democracies in which Jews may vote and express ideological positions, there is no Torah-based objection to their doing so.   

But at the same time there are generally no Torah-based ideological positions when it comes to the same policy questions. A Jew is free to favor or oppose Obamacare, shale oil extraction, and Quantitative Easing for any reason he or she sees fit. 

It would be a sacrilege and disrespectful to drag the Torah into the debate as the basis for the Jew’s opinion.   The Torah has more important matters on its theological plate.
 


As for the insistence by the “Eco-Judaism” groups that vegetarianism is the highest form of “Tikkun Olam,” the REAL position of the Torah on the subject needs to be mentioned.  The Torah completely prohibits vegetarianism at least once a year, on the evening of Passover, and, while it does not exactly prohibit it for other holidays, eating meat on those holidays is strongly recommended. 

As for the recruitment of “Tikkun Olam” as the moral basis for other trendy political positions, some of the clearest ethical positions in all of Judaism are the SUPPORT by the Torah for capital punishment and its strong OPPOSITION to homosexual relations.
  
 

The bottom line is that, at the hands of the assimilationist liberals, “Tikkun Olam” has become a nonsense mantra representing nothing more than the replacement of actual Judaism with a pseudo-theology consisting entirely of the pursuit of liberal political fads

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Rabbi Jonathan Sachs: “Corbyn is an existential Anti-Semite, II The Socialism of Fools

I Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn is a dedicated, dangerous Anti-Semite (Jew Hater)
Sep 2, 2018 Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) Sep 2 2018

II Jeremy Corbyn and the Socialism of Fools
By Walter Russell Mead Wall Street Journal Sep 11, 2018

I Former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, warned in an interview that Jewish people are making plans to leave Britain over fears of an anti-Semitic backlash precipitated by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Sacks said  Sunday on the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” that “when people hear the kind of language that has been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat.”

He also said: “Jews have been in Britain since 1656 — I know of no other occasion in these 362 years when Jews, the majority of our community, are worrying, ‘Is this country safe to bring up our children?’”

In an interview last week, Sacks labeled Corbyn an “anti-Semite” and called his rhetoric “dangerous.” He compared Corbyn’s speech from 2013 in which he said that “Zionists” were unable to understand British ways of thinking despite growing up in the country to the anti-immigration “Rivers of Blood” speech made in 1968 by Conservative British lawmaker Enoch Powell.

On Sunday, Sacks said he has not issued a party political statement in his 30 years in public life. “I had to issue a warning — anti-Semitism has returned to mainland Europe within living memory of the Holocaust,” the rabbi said.

“Anyone who befriends Hamas and Hezbollah, anyone who uses the term ‘Zionist’ loosely without great care, is in danger of engulfing Britain in the kind of flames of hatred that have reappeared throughout Europe and is massively irresponsible.”

II Jeremy Corbyn and the Socialism of Fools

At the root of his bigotry is a Marxist hatred of capitalist U.S. ‘imperialism.’

By Walter Russell Mead

Wall Street Journal Sept. 11, 2018

That Jeremy Corbyn, who hopes someday to occupy the office previously held by Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and William Pitt, is an anti-Semite seems no longer in question.

No anti-Israeli terrorist entity is too drenched in Jewish blood for him to cheer on. Hamas, Hezbollah, the mullahs of Iran—their sins against freedom of speech, against freedom of assembly, and against women and gays may be crimson, but if they hate the Jewish state enough, Labour has a leader who will wash them as white as snow.

But not all anti-Semites are alike. Different forms of anti-Semitism can have very different consequences. What kind does Jeremy Corbyn profess, and how does it relate to the rest of his worldview?

Mr. Corbyn and his colleagues in the hard-left Labour elite are, above all, modern. They don’t hate the Jews for killing Christ as medieval Christians did. They don’t think the Jews use the blood of gentile children to make matzoh. Whatever some of the less enlightened members of Mr. Corbyn’s base among the British Muslim community may think, the secular Labour elite doesn’t blame the Jews for rejecting Muhammed.

Nor is their hatred racial. Mr. Corbyn’s worldview is blinkered and sadly skewed, but he is neither wicked nor delusional enough to imagine that the Jewish “race” is competing with the “Aryan” Anglo-Saxons to dominate the world.

It is Zionism that drives Mr. Corbyn’s anti-Jewish passion. He is not anti-Israel because some or even many of Israel’s policies are wrong. He is existentially anti-Zionist. He does not believe that the Jewish people are a nation. From this point of view, the notorious U.N. Resolution 3379 of 1975 got it exactly right: Zionism is racism, and the Jewish state is racist to the core.

What elevates the Jewish state from an irritation to an obsession in the Corbynite world is Israel’s relationship with the U.S. The U.S. is the center of international capitalism. Destroying American capitalism and the imperialist system it imposes on the world is the overarching goal of the Marxist zealotry that drives Mr. Corbyn’s worldview and justifies his sympathy for otherwise dubious regimes.

The Iranian mullahs may hang homosexuals and stone the occasional adulteress, but in the all-important struggle against American imperialism and its Zionist sidekick, they are a natural and necessary part of the Resistance.

It’s a short step for hard-left Labour from hating Israel to finding “Zionist” conspiracies on every side. Marxism typically rejects liberal democracy as a sham. Rich and powerful capitalists make all the big decisions: They control the political parties, they control the press, and they use the facade of democratic politics to amuse, befuddle and ultimately control the masses. From this standpoint, conspiracy thinking isn’t a sign of ignorance or emotionalism; to the contrary, perceiving the hidden plots of our true rulers is a necessary and vital step in seeing through the myth of liberal democracy.

The hard-line Marxist and the classic anti-Semite agree that the world is really run by a cabal of greedy men behind closed doors. But where the Marxist sees capitalist string-pullers, some of whom may happen to be Jewish, the anti-Semite sees only Jews. This is the meaning behind the famous statement, once popular on the European left, that anti-Semitism is the “socialism of fools”: the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are too narrow and miss the real point.

But for Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour colleagues, the perceived special relationship between American imperialism and Zionism collapses the distinction between the socialism of fools and the “real” thing. The urban legend that “the Jews” control America’s Middle Eastern policy and that Jewish power forces the U.S. to march in lockstep with right-wing Israeli governments is also an organizing principle of the Corbynite worldview. The supposed control exerted by Zionist Jewish billionaires over American politics makes the fight against imperialism also a fight against a powerful Jewish conspiracy.

Those ideas, as any serious student of American politics or of the American Jewish community knows, are nonsensical. In every presidential election of the 21st century, (Uninformed, naive self-destructive) American Jews have given significantly more money and votes to Democratic than to Republican candidates. If the American Jewish community controlled American politics, President Trump would still be hosting a television show and there would be no U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Yet myths are no less powerful because they are false. Mr. Corbyn’s outlook will lead any government he forms into deep trouble and frustration, but that in itself won’t keep him out of Downing Street. Liberalism today may face its deepest crisis in the country that gave the liberal tradition to the world.

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Putting the Israel/Palestinian “Peace” Process out of its misery

Taking an Axe to the “Peace Process”

Shoshana Bryen • August 29, 2018 • American Thinker

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Under new American parameters, Palestinians have something to lose.

The Trump administration has restored the United States to the position of honest broker – emphasis on “honest” – and taken a hatchet to a series of fantasies underlying the notion of an Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” Twenty-five years after the Oslo Accords ushered in radical, despotic, kleptocratic Palestinian self-government, the Accords are dead. And that’s good.

The new construct is as follows:

The U.S. is not neutral between Israel, America’s democratic friend and ally, and the Palestinians, who are neither. Everybody has a “narrative,” a national story. Not everyone’s narrative is factual. The U.S. will insist that there are facts, and that history – both ancient and modern – is real and knowable.

The American government’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel is simply the acceptance of the truth of history. The city was the capital of the Jewish people and never, ever the seat of government for any other. In this assertion, the president was joined by many members of the U.S. House and Senate, irrespective of party – although some had more trouble saying so than others.

The U.S. will not pay for fraud, mismanagement, or support of terrorism by the Palestinians or the United Nations. Repeat the comment about congressional support.

Neither will we fund two Palestinian governments simply because it is easier than figuring out what to do with Hamas and Fatah, who are fighting a civil war and agree on little besides the need for Israel’s ultimate demise. Repeat the comment about congressional support.In the new game, the Palestinians have something to lose – the sine qua non of successful negotiations.

The Washington rumor mill believes that President Trump’s next move will be to change the definition of Palestinians as “refugees” in the American lexicon. Palestinians will cease to be the only population in the world in which refugee status is handed down generationally through one’s father, which ensures permanent geometric growth in the refugee population. Palestinians will become like every other group. If you lose your home and can’t go back – think Rohingya or Montagnard – you are a refugee. Settled in a country that will have you, you are no longer a refugee, nor will any of your future generations be. Think Vietnamese.

In tandem, then, comes the proposition that the descendants of refugees have no “right” to go and settle in places their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents claim to have lived. This, again, will make the Palestinians just like every other refugee population. Time moves forward only. Israel is here, Israel will remain, and Israel can determine who lives within its borders.

On the other hand, and there is always another hand, much of the discussion is driven by money. Although money is fungible, it isn’t always easily so, and contrary to the professional refugee-managers, the goal is not to punish Palestinians whose only crime is the misfortune of living under Hamas or the P.A.

The American Taylor Force Act – passed and signed – will have the United States withhold money from the P.A. in the amount of the stipends the P.A. pays to terrorists and their families. The Palestinian Authority paid out approximately $350 million in 2017. The knowledge that their families will be taken care of financially has, in fact, led to a number Palestinians choosing what we, in the U.S., call “suicide by cop.”

Palestinians who feel hopeless and for one or another reason figure that they can best provide for their families by killing Jews are encouraged by their own government. That’s an easy one. If P.A. strongman Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t spend the money on terror stipends, he can replace the American shortage and spend the money on other things.

The Trump administration has also announced that it will stop the flow of U.S. taxpayer funds to the U.N. Human Rights Council – a bastion of anti-Israel sentiment. “We’ll calculate 22 percent of the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner’s budget, and our remittances to the UN for this budget year will be less 22 percent of those costs – and we’ll say specifically that’s what we’re doing,” NSC adviser John Bolton said. “We expect that impact to occur on the Human Rights Council.” Again, not much of a problem. One might hope the UNHRC will produce 22 percent less hot air, but that is not certain.

Then comes a more difficult issue. The administration has cut $300 million from UNRWA, leading to the expected wails about starving babies. UNRWA has, for almost seven decades, been the prison guard of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria, as well as running shanty towns for Palestinians in Jordan, where many hold both citizenship and refugee status. It has also hired Hamas and Hezb’allah operatives and shielded their weapons in UNRWA schools.

Babies won’t starve unless the Palestinians want them to for a photo op. (Don’t be huffy – it was Gaza leader Yaya Sinwar who praised “the sacrifice of” Palestinian children “as an offering for Jerusalem and the right of return.”) On the other hand, it behooves the United States to work closely with Israel – the Israelis being most acutely sensitive to the connection between money and terror – to manage the change in available funds for the short term. Otherwise, it is possible that Hamas and the P.A. can gin up even more unhappy souls to engage in terrorism.

If “peace” is a bridge too far, a long-term stabilization process is not out of reach based on President Trump’s new foundations for American policy. At a minimum, the United States can be sure that the policies that it pursues are consonant with American interests and American allies. President Trump has done well.

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A Beautiful Explanation of the Intended Sacrifice of Isaac to G-d by his father, Abraham

www.israel-commentar.org

Bound to God

By RABBI MEIR Y. SOLOVEICHIK
COMMENTARY magazine
AUG. 15, 2018

And he shall place his hands on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted as an atonement for him.
Leviticus 1:4

Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Genesis 22:4

One Friday morning in London, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks took Penelope Leach, one of Britain’s most prominent child psychologists, to visit a Jewish primary school. There she witnessed children playacting the rituals of the Shabbat meal to take place that evening:

Young boys blessed the wine, little girls kindled candles, songs were sung. Leach was struck by all she saw, including one very moving moment: the reenactment of a tradition in many Jewish homes, where before the Sabbath meal begins, the father extends his hands to cover the head of each of his children, and blesses them.

Leach, Rabbi Sacks reports, marveled as she witnessed “the five-year-old mother and father blessing the five-year-old children with the five-year-old grandparents looking on.” She left overcome by the centrality of family life to traditional Judaism.

The ritual of Jewish parents blessing their children is indeed moving, but it is easily misconstrued. Properly understood, it stresses first and foremost not the bond between parent and child, but rather between the child and God. The standard form of showing love to our children is through an embrace: The act is possessive in nature, drawing them close to us.
To bless our children by extending our hands is the opposite; rather than draw them close, we set them apart, indicating that they belong to someone other than ourselves. In the Bible, the one ritual comparable to the Jewish act of blessing is sacrificial in context.

The worshipper in the Temple placed his hands on an animal’s head before the ritual occurred, thereby renouncing his own claim to the offering and dedicating it to God. In a similar sense, to place one’s hands on a child is to recall the Temple and consecrate the child to divine service.

The parallel between biblical blessing and sacrifice is rarely considered. Few scriptural stories are as shocking as that known as the Sacrifice of Isaac, known to Jews as the Akeidah (Binding). The liturgy of Rosh Hashanah is dominated by the Bible’s most haunting words: “Take thy son, thy only son.” But the Akeidah is, in a sense, re-created every Friday evening in many Jewish homes all over the world, where parents place their hands on their children’s heads, as their ancestors did over offerings in Jerusalem millennia ago.

Can this be so? Have Jews, for generations untold, placed the reenactment of one of the most petrifying tales about parent and child at the heart of their most sacred familial experiences? They have indeed.

In the 1950s, in a spirit similar to Leach’s, a Roman Catholic priest was intrigued by a Jewish ritual involving parents and children: the pidyon ha-ben, in which the father of a firstborn son, a month following the baby’s birth, presents the child to a kohen, a descendant of Aaron. The parent then redeems the child by giving several silver coins to the kohen, and the child is returned to him. The priest wrote to Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik inquiring about the ritual. The Rav responded by linking Jewish parenthood to the agonizing Abrahamic tale.

At the heart of the religious worldview, he suggested, is the absolute ownership of the divine; man is merely “a guardian in whose care the works of God have been placed as a precious charge.” This is especially true for that of which we are most possessive. “Children are the greatest and most precious charge God has entrusted to man’s custody,” Rabbi Soloveitchik wrote, but the “irrevocable though bitter truth” is that they are not ours.

The Akeidah, he suggested, must be understood in this context. For Abraham to deserve fatherhood, he had to prove his acceptance of this theological truth and acknowledge that he was merely a custodian of the child for whom he had longed.

God’s intended result at the Akeidah was not Isaac’s death but Abraham’s recognition of the true nature of parenthood, and that is precisely what is recognized by Jewish parents throughout the generations in the ritual that so piqued the curiosity of the priest:

The ceremonial redemption of the first born son re-enacts the drama of Abraham offering Isaac to the  Lord, of the knight of faith (using Kierkegaard’s term) giving unreservedly away his son to God….The father of today, as Abraham of old, acknowledges the absolute ownership of the child by God. He renounces all his illusory rights and urgent claims to the child.…

When the Kohen returns the child to the father and accepts the five shekels, he presents him on behalf of God with a new child; something precious is re-entrusted to him. The dialectical drama of Mt. Moriah consisting in losing and finding a son is re-staged in all its magnificence. After receiving the child from the Kohen, the father must always remain aware that it was only through God’s infinite grace that this infant was returned to him in sacred trust.

For many modern Jews, the story of the Akeidah is an embarrassing anachronism, and the Torah’s descriptions of animal sacrifice are seen as utterly irrelevant to our lives. The haunting possibility, however, is that these passages are painfully relevant.

As Leon Kass has noted, “all fathers devote (that is ‘sacrifice’) their sons to some ‘god’ or other, to Mammon or Molech, to honor or money, pleasure or power, or, worse, to no god at all.” It is true, Kass concedes, that “they do so less visibly and less concentratedly, but they do so willy-nilly, through the things they teach and respect in their own homes; they intend that the entire life of the sons be spent in service to their own ideals or idols, and in this sense they do indeed spend the life of the children.”

A father who attempts to instill devotion in his son to godly ways must be willing “to part with his son as his son, recognizing him—as was Isaac, and as are indeed all children—as a gift and a blessing from God.”

More than any other, ours is an age that has lavished love on children; they are coddled, cherished, and protected, denied nothing. Yet as Ben Sasse has noted, this has produced a generation of Americans locked in perpetual adolescence, a result of the “creature comforts to which our children are accustomed, our reluctance to expose young people to the demand of real work, and the hostage-taking hold that computers and mobile devices have on adolescent attention.”

It is possible that what we need is less embracing and more blessing; less parental possession and more parental consecration. We must consider, in other words, whether our children are merely extensions of ourselves, or whether they were given to us in sacred trust. Every parent might prefer to ignore the Akeidah story. But especially today, and with Rosh Hashanah near, the Akeidah continues to call out to us.

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