What’s really not accurate
As a patriotic, freedom-loving American Jew, I was outraged and deeply offended by Sonny Taragin’s (“Not accurate,” Oct. 2) characterization of the Charlottesville Unite the Right “Jews Will Not Replace Us” rally as just being about the removal or retention of “statues of controversial American heroes of the past.”
“Heroes”? Chob mir a break. These individuals, as Clifford Fishman noted (same issue, “After the Confederate statues, are Washington and Jefferson next?”), were traitors who took up arms against their country in the interests of preserving slavery.
Of course, President Trump would claim that there were “good people on both sides.” What do you expect from an individual who cheats when it comes to tzedakah?
This consideration alone should be dispositive as to why no Jew with a conscience could support his reelection.
As to President Trump’s so-called pro-Israel bent: Keep in mind, as has been publicly acknowledged (Aug. 18, Times of Israel), the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem was a ploy intended to appeal to his evangelical Christian base, rather than, say, being done out of any love for Jewish people.
Is the Talmud next?
There is a Jewish angle to Clifford Fishman’s cogent analysis of “After the Confederate Statues, are Washington and Jefferson next?” (Oct. 2).
1. Jews fared better under the Confederacy than they did in the Union. Judah B. Benjamin rose to become a very high-ranking official in Jefferson Davis’ cabinet; and it was Union General Grant who issued the infamous Order #11 (which President Lincoln overrode).
2. There were rabbis in the Talmud who were slave-owners; and, of course, the Tanach accepts slavery as a valid social institution (although, to be sure, “slavery” is not a monolithic enterprise, and the slavery of the Bible is more comparable to what in Anglo-Saxon law is known as indentured servitude than the chattel slavery of the antebellum American South) . As a matter of moral consistency: if slave-holding is an automatic disqualifier in the BLM era, what should be done about the Talmud? Tear out the pages where the rabbinic slavers are featured? Declare null and void the halachic rulings in which they participated? Of course not. Like Presidents Washington and Jefferson, in Fishman’s words, “we should celebrate their accomplishments” while acknowledging “their sins and their flaws, their mistakes and weaknesses and moral blindness.”