A Tale of Two Rabbis

Two very different rabbis walk into two very different conventions.

Meet Lynn Gottleib. She calls herself a rabbi, and she’s at the top of President Obama’s “Rabbis for Obama” group – another cynical attempt by the Obama campaign to pretend that they have support from the religious Jewish community. Only one problem: Gottlieb is an anti-Israel radical who bears nothing but hatred for traditional Judaism. She’s supped with Iran’s genocidal president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and worked with Jewish Voice for Peace, a front group for Israel-haters. She has urged that America boycott, divest, and sanction Israel.

Gottlieb sounds a good deal like President Obama when it comes to her pie-in-the-sky view of Iranian nuclear weapons: “We've been living with a nuclear Israel which used conventional weapons on people. We've been living with nuclear India, with nuclear Pakistan, nuclear United States. Do we want to live with any government having nuclear power? I don't think so. I personally do not want to live in a world with nuclear weapons, period. It's unfortunate that we have been valuing militarism and war over diplomacy and peacemaking. It's a choice, a human choice. War is not inevitable. It is a choice. Are we doing everything we can to prevent war? I would like to see all our politicians act differently in this regard.”

And she’s insane when it comes to American Christian support for Israel, buying into every false stereotype about the rationale for that support. “I signed on to be a rabbi for Obama,” she recently wrote on her Facebook page. “There are no other clergy groups, such as Imams or Priests for Obama. Really, what Jewish person wants to vote for a (Christian Zionist) guy who believes all Jews should move to Israel so that we can all finally convert and bring the end of time and go to heaven or be burned up in the apocalypse?”

What exactly is she talking about? Nobody really knows, since nobody has expressed that opinion. But it helps her sleep at night while backing a man who hates Israel.

The question isn’t why Gottlieb would support Obama, though. It’s why the Democrats are so comfortable with an anti-Israel extremist like Gottlieb. The answer is clear: she’s one of the few “rabbis” they could find who would buy into their own anti-Israel agenda.

Now take a look at the Republican Party.

At the Republican National Convention, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik gave the opening invocation. He’s a member of the famed Soloveichik family, which gave American Jews one of their most famous rabbis, Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveichik. He founded the Yeshiva University philosophy, which merges Western philosophy with Jewish Talmudism. Meir is his grand nephew. And Meir has spoken out on political issues including abortion (anti), gay marriage (anti), and Obamacare (anti, thanks to its discrimination against religious institutions). Most of all, though, Rabbi Soloveichik is pro-Israel.

“Please join me in prayer,” Rabbi Soloveichik said in his invocation. “Ribono shel Olam, Almighty God, You commanded Moses many years ago: Ukratem dror ba'arets le-khol yoshveha, ‘Proclaim liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.’ Today, this biblical verse is emblazoned on the Liberty Bell, which embodies American independence.

“We Americans unite faith and freedom in asserting that our liberties are Your gift, God, not that of government, and that we are endowed with these rights by You, our Creator, not by mortal man.

“You have called us to be a beacon of freedom to the world, and an ally of free countries like the state of Israel, an island of liberty, democracy, and hope … help all of us as Americans renew our dedication to the principle of God-gifted liberty, so America can remain a beacon of faith and freedom for generations to come. Amen.”

Now, which of these rabbis sounds more authentically Jewish? Which sounds more authentically pro-Israel?

It’s obvious that the bipartisan support for Israel has begun to break down. Democrats are now relying on the cover of people like Gottlieb to try to fool Jews into backing them – but that’s false cover. The contrast between Gottlieb and Soloveichik couldn’t be more stark. Neither could the contrast between the parties they support.

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