A wall between Jews

Joseph Aaron

Great. Just what we need. Paul Ryan.

As if we don’t have enough tzuris with well-known Jews as it is. Harvey Weinstein got the ball rolling about a year ago and it’s been one Jewish name after another caught up in the whole #metoo sex perv scandal and one Jewish name after another caught up in the whole Trump collusion insane behavior mess.

And it’s now only going to get worse since it appears that Trump’s longtime personal fixer with the very Jewish name of Michael Cohen has flipped and is cooperating with the Mueller investigation. Oh, the stories he’s going to tell of disgusting behavior. And something tells me some of the stories Michael Cohen will be telling will involve those other high profile Jews, namely Princess Ivanka and Prince Jared. My hunch is that Jared is very deep in a whole lot of really ugly stuff involving funds from the Russians and the gulf Arabs, shady dealings and other crimes. And so it will be headlines and news shows filled with the names of Cohen and Kushner.

And in the midst of it all, we get the news that Paul Ryan is one of us. At least a little bit, but more than we need. Seems that the Speaker of the House was part of the PBS series “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.,” in which famous people learn about their family histories.

And what the Harvard historian found out is that Ryan has Ashkenazi Jewish roots, is in fact 3 percent Jewish. “We don’t know who that Jewish person was,” Gates said, “but we know it was on his mother’s German line, which makes sense. So somebody who was a Christian German slept with a Jewish German person and that’s where that came from.”

Ryan seemed excited about the news. He shared a photo of himself raising a glass of beer on Twitter captioned, “Guess I need to start saying ‘L’Chaim’ now, too!”

L’chaim is not the word that comes to my mind. I think Ryan is one of the most despicable politicians of our time and that is really saying something. Not only has this boy scout from Wisconsin not said one peep about the vile ugly language Trump continually uses, his undermining of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, his temper bullying tantrums, but Ryan on his own has done all he could to destroy Medicare and Social Security.

That’s not how a Jew behaves, that’s not what Judaism stands for. Yes I know he’s only 3 percent Jewish but he seems to be enjoying being Jewish and a Jewish Paul Ryan is the very last thing we need right now.

After all, not only do we have Michael Cohen and Jared Kushner, but we have perhaps the most evil Jew of our times, namely Stephen Miller, White House senior advisor and the guy who writes all those disgusting speeches Trump gives that defame immigrants, both legal and illegal.

How a Jew could be so against immigration when so many Jews have benefited by immigrating to America is truly beyond belief and beyond words. In fact it is so nauseating that no less than Miller’s own uncle recently felt compelled to speak out.

Miller’s maternal uncle David Glosser accused his nephew of being an “immigration hypocrite” who supports policies that would have condemned his own Jewish family to death if they had been enacted a century ago.

He described how Miller’s great-great-grandfather Wolf-Leib Glosser fled the Belarusian shtetl of Antopol, arriving in the United States in 1903 “with $8 to his name.” “In the span of some 80 years and five decades, this family emerged from poverty in a hostile country to become a prosperous, educated clan of merchants, scholars, professionals, and, most important, American citizens,” wrote Glosser.

Miller has been instrumental in the administration’s crackdown on immigrants, including the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border. He was said to be behind a Trump administration proposal that would make it more difficult for legal immigrants to obtain a green card or become citizens if they have used public welfare programs.

“I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses … been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom. The Glossers came to the U.S. just a few years before the fear and prejudice of the ‘America First’ nativists of the day closed U.S. borders to Jewish refugees. Had Wolf-Leib waited, his family would likely have been murdered by the Nazis along with all but seven of the 2,000 Jews who remained in Antopol. I would encourage Stephen to ask himself if the chanting, torch-bearing Nazis of Charlottesville, whose support his boss seems to court so cavalierly, do not envision a similar fate for him.”

While Stephen Miller in the White House is a Jew not making us proud, his uncle, in speaking up, has made us very proud.

And speaking of excluding Jews for ugly reasons, Jews doing damage to Jews for no reason, let us check in at what’s been going on at the Western Wall. Just a quick reminder that a group headed by that Jewish hero Natan Sharansky and including all segments of the Jewish population, including the Orthodox chief rabbi of the Wall, worked on a plan that would allow all Jews to feel welcome at the Wall, pray as they wish without upsetting other Jews or tradition.

Not an easy thing to do, but after literally years of discussion, a deal was arrived at that seemed sensible, fair and that should have made it possible for all Jews to feel at home at Judaism’s most sacred site. The area in front of the Western Wall would stay exactly as it is, with a separation between the sexes and Orthodox tradition observed. In addition, there would be the construction of a new and expanded egalitarian prayer area on the side of the Wall where Conservative and Reform Jews could feel free to pray as they wished, with no separation between the sexes and women allowed to participate in leading prayers.

Usually separate but equal has a negative connotation in this country, but in Israel it was the perfect answer. Each segment of Judaism having an area that provides them with what they are comfortable with and so allow all Jews to feel comfortable.

Perfect. Of course, in today’s Jewish world there is no such thing as compromise or accommodating all Jewish points of view or being sensible and sensitive and reasonable and giving a little to get a lot.

And so the plan so long worked on has been stymied. And in such a weasely way. Seems that three members of the Knesset ministerial committee, including the chairman, charged with deciding whether to approve the plan to upgrade the Western Wall’s egalitarian section resigned due to political pressure from the hareidi parties, thus preventing the committee from meeting.

And so instead of Jewish peace, we have Jewish war, instead of all Jews being able to pray together at the Western Wall, we have political games and stalemate and hurt feelings and ugliness and division and Jews feeling alienated, demeaned and dismissed, instead of accepted and welcomed and respected.

How low and disgusting the political games get were seen recently when the Western Wall issue was made into a political football when current events were used to justify and explain ugliness.

A Knesset lawmaker from the Sephardic Orthodox Shas party blamed a series of earthquakes in northern Israel on efforts by the liberal streams of Judaism to improve the egalitarian section at the Wall.

Yinon Azoulay at a Knesset debate also said that Reform Jews “are not Jews.”

The quakes, ranging from a 3.2 to 4.3 magnitude, jolted the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. “Today we heard there was some kind of earthquake. Maybe we should do some soul-searching that this earthquake was because someone is trying to harm that which is holy to us? Hear our pain, they are not Jews,” Azoulay said from the podium. “What do you have to do with the ancient stones of the Kotel?” he asked, addressing the liberal Jewish movements. “I suggest that you take the money you invest in the State of Israel and build yourselves a Western Wall in the U.S.”

Listen to those ugly words. What good do they accomplish, do they increase love of Torah, do they bring Jews closer together? Or is it someone exploiting earthquakes to dismiss Jews not like him?

And then we had an incident where a heavy stone fell out of the Western Wall and came crashing down on a platform set aside for egalitarian prayer. The stone fell hours after the area had been full of worshippers visiting the wall for Tisha b’Av, 25 hours of intense mourning for the destruction of the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem. A lone worshipper was praying at the site, when the stone fell. Daniella Goldberg, 79, was not injured, though she was shaken up a bit.

While Israeli archaeologist Zachi Dvira said the 2,000-year-old wall was badly in need of restoration, of course, those against giving a place for all Jews at the Wall found reason to use it to make their case. The deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Dov Kalmanovich blamed the activists who want women and non-Orthodox Jews to be able to pray as they wish at the Orthodox-controlled Wall. “The falling of one of the Western Wall stones, so close to Tisha b’Av, and exactly at the location of the controversial prayer area, should be a red light for us all,” he said. “I suggest that Reform leaders, Women of the Wall and the other quarrel-mongers examine themselves, and not the Wall.”

It seems clearer than ever why there are so many Jewish psychiatrists. It’s because Jews are nuts. We had a deal that would have brought Jewish unity to the Wall. Instead we have Jews claiming to read the mind of G-d to justify their hatred of other Jews, their desire to stop Jews from feeling at home at the Western Wall.

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