Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Thank you Torah U’Mesorah For Doing the Right Thing


by Yaakov M (VIN News)

Kudos to Torah U’Mesorah for allowing President Trump to address its recent conference.

Even if he were not the most pro-Jewish president in history and a staunch Israel supporter, it is basic decency and respect to have him speak.

A true no-brainer.

The multiple sustained standing ovations he received by virtually the entire crowd of Rabbanim, Chinuch leaders, and askanim, prove unquestionably that our community remains staunchly supportive of the former president.

With that said, it is absurd that we even need to say that it is “okay” to host the former president of the USA.

The recent buzz among some frum Jews that Trump should be thrown under the bus over his meeting with Kanye West and NIck Fuentes is quintessential Trump-Derangement Syndrome (TDS).

Yeshiva World News, published a letter entitled “Torah U’Mesorah is being used by Trump.”

The letter says: “I understand the importance of being on good terms with influential leaders, but…”

There really is no “but” in my opinion. Throughout history, Jews have pandered and patronized every powerful leader, if for no other reason than our own survival. Right or left, socialist or fascist, gracious or cruel.

It was not a popularity contest, and we were not being “used”. We are a pragmatic bunch, and we follow Chazal who tell us to be wary of politicians yet take advantage of our connection with them for our benefit.

However, when it comes to Trump, our connection goes way deeper. As Rabbi Dov Fischer eloquently observed (in the article Trump quoted extensively), Trump is a Philosemite, and we are infinitely indebted to him.

The letter went on: “There are questions to be asked about Trump’s allegiances nowadays; how could we not, seeing that he refuses to condemn horrific antisemites? As Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel noted at the Agudah Convention about Trump, sometimes people who were once our best friends could become our worst enemies. And now, despite Trump’s unwillingness to call out antisemites, his defense of the meeting, and his recent attacks on “Jewish leaders” for not supporting him enough, Torah U’Mesorah will sit there and listen to a speech from him? Is it not obvious that Trump wants to address Torah U’Mesorah to sanitize his reputation?”

I respectfully disagree.

There is no question of Trump’s allegiance, he is not our enemy, and his attacks on “Jewish leaders” have never included the orthodox who resoundingly support him,

There is a colossal difference between trying to repair damage, show remorse, and make amends…vs. “sanitizing a reputation”.

If Trump had funded Palestinian terror, helped Iran develop a nuke, refused to release Shalom Rubashkin, and treated Netanyahu like a janitor (all of which Obama did), perhaps his speech at the TU conference would be “sanitizing his reputation.”

However Trump did everything right for 6+ years. We could not have wished for more. Then he committed one misstep, a hiccup, and dined with antisemites, to satisfy his ego, whom he should never have met.

He followed that with a speech in which he reaffirmed his deep love and support for the Jews.

That is not sanitizing anything, it is reversing the ill-will and controversy created by what can be construed as poor judgment.

In an interview following the speech, he categorically denounced Fuentes and claimed that he was not aware of Kanye’s views prior to the meeting.

(Although some are skeptical of the last claim, it is mostly inconsequential. Even if Trump was aware that Kanye hates Jews, that was clearly not the topic of the meeting. What matters is that Trump is not condoning Kanye or agreeing with him, he is clearly stating that Kanye is wrong and he in no way accepts his antisemitic hate. And to those who are upset that Trump never apologized, I have news for you. He does not apologize. You can call it a character flaw, but it is in no way connected to this issue. It is not connected to Trump’s feelings toward Jews, it is simply in his DNA and you need to accept it and move on.)

If you are upset that many frum Jews still accept Trump, ask yourself this: Before the Kanye dinner, were you supportive of Trump? Did you flip overnight from being a Trumpophile to a Trumpophobe?

I suspect that you already were upset about Jan 6th, the nasty tweets, the claims of election fraud…maybe even Charlottesville? Or more accurately, you were upset simply because Trump is Trump.

Trump’s antics and controversial behavior are a convenient scapegoat for those who suffer from TDS. It’s okay to admit it, the first step is to confront the problem, no matter how irrational.

But that is what it is, and it’s time to stop denying it.

Those who supported Trump all these years and appreciated his many many gifts to the Jews would never abandon him over some silly dinner.

Does that mean that Trump is a better choice than Ron deSantis or Mike Pence or Nikki Haley? Not necessarily. They have all been firmly supportive of our causes.

But we must recognize that he is our friend, and the most reliable supporter we had in the White House in many decades.

We need to know who our friends are, especially now that our enemies are more vicious and outspoken than they’ve been in decades.

Thank you Torah U’Mesorah for recognizing that Trump is our true friend, and giving him the respect he has rightfully earned .

Yaakov M studied in Kollel for 14 years, was a Bais Medrash Rebbi over a decade, taught eleventh grade bekius, and obtained smicha from a top Rosh Yeshiva.


Anonymous said...

You mentioned "the entire crowd of Rabbanim, Chinuch leaders, and askanim". What about the rich tut zachs and Harrys that were all there to mingle and show off. Did they not applaud Trump ?

DrMike said...

Trump is not a philoSemite. Trump is a philoTrumpist. You could find the leaders of Torah U'Mesorah sitting next to neoNazis at a Trump rally. he doesn't care who you are or what you believe, just that you support him.

Anonymous said...

What’s must disturbing about this article is that a person who “studied in Kollel for 14 years… and obtained smicha from a top Rosh Yeshiva” has such little original thought to offer beyond what can be read from any right-wing goy. Everyone is entitled to like or support Trump or not-whatever, but to simply ignore the numerous more subtle issues that I think a frum Jew with basic derech eretz should consider, and instead just blabber about TDS etc is an utter embarrassment for a Rabbi to write.