They Just Don’t Get IT!

INTRODUCTION:  JTA reported today (1/21/09) that the Rabbinical Council of America had condemned  Rabbi Haskel Lookstein for participating in the National Prayer Service on the morning of President Obama’s inauguration.



It never fails to amaze me how Orthodox rabbis inevitably miss the forest for the trees when it comes to setting priorities and criticizing the behavior of people.  In spite of countless reports and warnings, the OU rabbanim told us for years that Rubashkin meat was kosher even though its production process was a Chillul HaShem!  Spiritual leaders of good will gather together at a special moment in as American history to celebrate and ask for God’s love and blessings and the RCA has no better response then condemn one of their most esteemed members for participating?  Duh!!! The word halacha doesn’t mean “the goal,” it means the way!  Nonsense like this reminds us that regardless of where they live or what knowledge they now have access to some people have never intellectually left the shtetel..  Judaism in general and the RCA in particular would be better served by Rabbis who know that holiness is not limited to the Jewish people and that every path to HaShem is sacred and worthy of our respect.


About Mitchell S. Gilbert

Mitch Gilbert is a social worker, writer, and religious educator. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he has done community development work in Washington DC, Cleveland, Akron, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Mitch earned a BA at Brooklyn College (CUNY), a Master of Science in Social Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University. In addition, Mitch has done graduate studies in Jewish tradition, history, and culture at New York University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Mitch serves as a volunteer Jewish chaplain in a state prison and a senior adult residential community. In addition to writing/blogging, he an avid volunteer and political activist.
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