Imperfect people and high office

Shmuley Boteach , THE JERUSALEM POST

Last week I spent time at the Christian Broadcasting Network headquarters in Virginia with Pat Robertson, who, amid some understandable disagreements on important issues, is not only a friend but, I believe, one of the best friends Israel has in the entire United States.

In discussing the US presidential race, we focused on Rudy Giuliani, who is extremely popular in the Jewish community for his stalwart support of Israel and hard line on Islamic fundamentalism – but somewhat less so among Evangelicals, given his two divorces. Indeed, many Christians have written to me that they cannot vote for Rudy for president because of their wish to uphold family values. They wish for me to concur.

I cannot.

In looking at how the two communities approach a candidate like Giuliani, we can discern important differences between Judaism and Christianity.

When Rudy, as mayor of New York, announced his separation from his wife, Donna Hanover, at a hastily summoned press conference without first informing her, I wrote a column stating that, as a child of divorce, I had to protest the way the announcement was handled.

Couples sometimes have to split up. But decisions as to the future of a marriage should be taken between husband and wife in concert, and with the children being informed before anyone else.

And yet, my criticism of Rudy’s actions as a husband had no bearing on my strong endorsement of his leadership as mayor. Here is why.

JUDAISM believes two things.

First, that people are flawed, and that what is important, therefore, is struggle rather than perfection (hence, the name Israel which translates as “he who wrestles with God”).

My Christian brothers and sisters believe that because people are sinful they must therefore accept the grace of Christ for salvation. But Jews believe that because people are imperfect they must therefore define their own righteousness by their willingness to struggle to do the right thing amid a predilection for doing otherwise. Inevitably, we will sometimes come up short. But wrestle we must.

Second, Judaism believes that we flawed people must still devote ourselves to the public good and that the idea that our mistakes should keep us from positions of leadership is not only ludicrous, but deeply sinful.

Should a philanthropist who cheats on his wife not feed the poor? Should a woman who is mean to her cleaning lady not be a doctor who can heal the sick? Yes, it would be wonderful if we were all more consistent. But we must strive to do good in one area even when we fall short in others.

WHEREAS CHRISTIANITY focuses on personal salvation, Judaism focuses instead on world redemption. In Judaism, the question of personal righteousness is always subordinate to that of communal improvement. In Judaism our goodness is defined not by faith, meditation and reflection, but by good deeds. The focus is on the community rather than on ourselves.

The contribution one makes to the lives of others is much more important than how perfect one is in one’s own life.

My Christian brothers and sisters, amid their stellar record of charity and social services throughout the world, are still often fixated on the question of whether or not they are going to heaven. In Judaism such questions, rarely, if ever, come up. The real question is: Have you left the world in a better condition than you found it?

The Talmud relates the famous story of how, as Rabbi Yochanan lay on his death bed, he cried out, “I don’t know where I am going (to heaven or hell).” Now, how could such a righteous man not be sure as to whether he had earned a place in eternity? The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that his confusion was due to having never once focused on himself. What he focused on throughout his life was on doing good deeds for others, and not whether he had become personally righteous in the process.

THE OTHER reason that the Jewish community has no real issue with Giuliani’s divorces are the biblical heroes to whom we look up. Christians venerate Jesus, who is portrayed as perfect in the New Testament. When Christians ask, “What would Jesus do?” they are holding up a model of flawlessness which they seek to emulate.

But in the Hebrew Bible our heroes are righteous men rather than perfect gods. They struggled to the do the right thing, but being men, they did not always succeed. Abraham is faulted for his parenting with regard to Ishmael. Jacob favored Joseph over his other children. Moses, the greatest of prophets, is punished with not being allowed to enter the promised land because he failed to sanctify God to the Jewish people at a critical moment in their history.

Indeed, the fact that these men were not perfect is what makes them the perfect model for emulation. Like us, they struggled to do the right thing amid an inclination do otherwise. And it was in the context of their herculean efforts to act righteously when it didn’t always come naturally to them that they became role models.

FEW IN the Jewish community believe that Bill Clinton’s personal failures made him unqualified for the public position of president. His betrayal, with Monica Lewinsky, of his marriage did not mean that he could not do a great deal of good for the country. On the contrary, the principal Jewish criticism of Clinton was that he did nothing to prevent the genocide in Rwanda, when, as the most powerful man in the world, there were many remedies available to him to stop the indiscriminate slaughter of defenseless Africans.

Finally, my Christian brothers and sisters define a hypocrite as someone who says one thing and practices another. But Judaism argues that this is not hypocrisy, but inconsistency. The hypocrite is he who says something and does not believe it even as he says it.

Few of us, thankfully, are in that category. What we are, however, is inconsistent, believing strongly in family values, but not always being strong enough to live in accordance with those values.

The writer is about to launch ‘The Jewish Values Network,’ dedicated to the dissemination of Jewish values in the mainstream media.

August 26, 2007 | 7 Comments »

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  1. Is Peres a Mason?

    Palestinian state outline ‘coming by November’
    Plan drafted by veteran politician would forfeit strategic West Bank
    Posted: August 26, 2007
    6:27 p.m. Eastern

    By Aaron Klein
    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

    JAFFA, Israel – Newly installed Israeli President Shimon Peres hopes to achieve the outline of a final status deal with the Palestinians before an international conference in November, the veteran politician said.

    Israeli diplomatic sources told WND earlier this month Peres quietly drafted a plan for the Jewish state to evacuate and transfer to the Palestinians nearly the entire West Bank and several Arab Israeli cities located within territory that undisputedly is Israel’s according to the international community.

    The official role of president here is limited largely to ceremonial matters; the president is not allowed to lead foreign policy.

    The diplomatic sources also said earlier this U.S.-brokered month biweekly meetings between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are being utilized to draft the outline of a permanent status deal ultimately yielding a Palestinian state scheduled to be aired in public at the November summit, which is being organized by the U.S. …click for the rest

  2. Teshuvah hits the nail squarely on the head with the observation “How like Muslims”!

    I often wondered why Arafat was being protected like a holy cow. Then I found the answer in the book, “Babylon Mystery Religions” – I have published a comprehensive summary of the book at one of my websites.
    In this book it is shown that the top levels of Freemasonry are Arabic and the oath is taken on the Koran.

    It explains a lot of things apart from the reason for Arafat’s “protectia,” viz. Churchill setting up a state for his pals the Hashemites.

    Another tie between Babylon based groupings, is the fertility sign, the obelisk as in Washington DC, the Vatican, etc. and the Islamic phallic minaret. I’ve explained the tie-up in a blog article, http://zionsake.multiply.com/journal/item/65

  3. >>>IS HE A FREEMASON? If he is, his basic philosophy will be, “the END justifies the means!” “You are allowed to lie, cheat, murder, as long as you achieve your goals!”

    How like Muslims. No wonder the globalists support Islam and not Judaism and Christianity.

  4. The most basic connection between man and God the Creator, who later identified himself as the God of Israel, has always been through blood. He states clearly and unequivocally in His Book, the Bible, that redemption is through blood, viz. “When I see the blood I’ll ‘pass over'” (and not kill your first born).

    From relating to Him by means of the blood sacrifice followed a relationship with his Spirit. We see it clearly from king David’s plea after he had sinned and knew he was going to be punished, “whatever you do to me, don’t take your Spirit from me!”

    There is evidence that the Jews still had a relationship with the Spirit during the Second Temple period and that they prayed in the Spirit, as against having to recite prayers compiled for them since the destruction of the Temple.

    It caused the Jews to need to find another way to relate to their God after the destruction of the Temple. It lead to their tying themselves up in legalism, that their God permitted because it kept them Jewish these last two thousand years.

    A lot of Jews, (Shemites) as well as descendants of Japheth and Ham have opted to adopt belief systems and practices that are rooted in Babylonian (satanic) mystery religions – like Roman Catholicism and the Jesuits and Illuminized Freemasonry that sprang from it. The latter has become the driving force behind globalism and one-world rule – financed by the Arab’s oil.

    The members of the CFR, European Royalty, business leaders, members of leading Jewish organizations like the Labor Zionists, going back to before Herzl, Shas, Likud leaders, the Jewish Agency, the Bronfmans, etc. are all Freemasons.

    The litmus test for Giuliani’s real agenda is therefore, IS HE A FREEMASON? If he is, his basic philosophy will be, “the END justifies the means!” “You are allowed to lie, cheat, murder, as long as you achieve your goals!” It is extremely doubtful that Guiliani could have become the major of New York without being a Freemason.

  5. I have read many of Shmuley Boteach’s articles in the past and hoped I could say I would enjoy this one.

    I cannot.

    He has created a rabbit trail about what Jews believe versus what Christians believe. The point is Giuliani is neither Jew nor Christian although for politics sake he may lie and call himself one as Bush does. Giuliani is an occultist, a globalist and just another Republican committed to a New World Order which means the destruction of America and Israel and which is socialist (communistic) totalitarianism. He is also a cross dresser. Hopefully he and his ex can sort out the undies as they went their separate ways. As such he is base.

    Daniel 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it ***the basest of men***.

    The candidates being pushed by the lying media are all globalists. Ron Paul who has the best ideas for recovering the country from them is ignored.

    World Affairs Brief November 10, 2006. Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief.

    Excerpt:

    In continuing breaking news this week, political pundit Jack Maher announced that there are many closet homosexuals in the Republican leadership. He even named names, like the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman.

    As WND.com reported, Political pundit Bill Maher last night accused the head of the Republican National Committee of being a closet gay. He told WND.com that “RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman is a homosexual and that he has “never denied” it. Maher added that he plans to out at least three other closeted Republican officials – including “chiefs of staff” – on his HBO political show Friday night to show their hypocrisy in supporting traditional family values.” He said the Mark Foley scandal hurt Republicans. Foley revealed his homosexuality last month after resigning his Florida seat over sexually graphic emails in which he allegedly solicited male pages. Foley’s former chief of staff Kirk Fordham was recently outed by the Los Angeles Times. The FBI is investigating reports that another “gay” Republican lawmaker, Jim Kolbe of Arizona, engaged in improper behavior with male pages during a camping trip to the Grand Canyon.

    ***Maher joked that GOP voters yesterday wanted to vote a straight Republican ticket but ***”Nobody could find a straight Republican.”***

    >>>>IN the Jewish community believe that Bill Clinton’s personal failures made him unqualified for the public position of president. His betrayal, with Monica Lewinsky, of his marriage did not mean that he could not do a great deal of good for the country. On the contrary, the principal Jewish criticism of Clinton was that he did nothing to prevent the genocide in Rwanda, when, as the most powerful man in the world, there were many remedies available to him to stop the indiscriminate slaughter of defenseless Africans.

    Clinton betrayed the country and gave it to the Chinese. He is a trained-in-Moscow Marxist committed to the same globalist agenda as George I and George II…and Hillary.

    A Christian concept of note is this: “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

    Mt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    Know who by their fruits? The false who are “ravening wolves.”

    These are the bad fruits:

    Galations 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Here are the good fruits.

    Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    Which list best represents each candidate? Don’t vote for the lesser of two evils because both are evil. Look to G-d for a good man with good principles. Moses asked, “Who’s on the L-rd’s side?” Vote for a good man or don’t vote at all. Read I See Brain Dead People. Observing presidential politics is watching the Hegelian Dialectic in action.
    Look at the account about Samuel and Saul which directly relates in principal to the worship of government and man.
    1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
    5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
    6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
    7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: ***for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.***
    8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

    9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

    10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.

    Compare how many of these apply in principle to the “rulers” of America now.

    11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
    12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his
    chariots.
    13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
    14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
    15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
    16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
    17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
    18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
    19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
    20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
    21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.

    22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

    Read some articles by Chuck Baldwin. They are refreshing. Archive.

    We Need an American President.

  6. I have read many of Shmuley Boteach’s articles in the past and hoped I could say I would enjoy this one.

    I cannot.

    He has created a rabbit trail about what Jews believe versus what Christians believe. The point is Giuliani is neither Jew nor Christian although for politics sake he may lie and call himself something as Bush does. He is an occultist, a globalist and just another Republican committed to a New World Order which means the destruction of America and Israel and which is socialist (communistic) totalitarianism. He is also a cross dresser. Hopefully he and his ex can sort out the undies. As such he is base.

    Da 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it ***the basest of men***.

    The candidates being pushed by the lying media are all globalists. Ron Paul who has the best ideas for recovering the country from them is ignored.

    World Affairs Brief November 10, 2006. Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief.

    Excerpt:

    “In continuing breaking news this week, political pundit Jack Maher announced that there are many closet homosexuals in the Republican leadership. He even named names, like the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman.

    As WND.com reported, “Political pundit Bill Maher last night accused the head of the Republican National Committee of being a closet ‘gay.'” He told WND.com that “RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman is a homosexual and that he has ‘never denied’ it. Maher added that he plans to out at least three other closeted Republican officials – including ‘chiefs of staff’ – on his HBO political show Friday night to show their hypocrisy in supporting traditional family values. … He said the Mark Foley scandal hurt Republicans. Foley revealed his homosexuality last month after resigning his Florida seat over sexually graphic emails in which he allegedly solicited male pages. Foley’s former chief of staff Kirk Fordham was recently outed by the Los Angeles Times. The FBI is investigating reports that another ‘gay’ Republican lawmaker, Jim Kolbe of Arizona, engaged in improper behavior with male pages during a camping trip to the Grand Canyon. ***Maher joked that GOP voters yesterday wanted to vote a straight Republican ticket but ‘nobody could find a straight Republican.'””***

    >>>FEW IN the Jewish community believe that Bill Clinton’s personal failures made him unqualified for the public position of president. His betrayal, with Monica Lewinsky, of his marriage did not mean that he could not do a great deal of good for the country. On the contrary, the principal Jewish criticism of Clinton was that he did nothing to prevent the genocide in Rwanda, when, as the most powerful man in the world, there were many remedies available to him to stop the indiscriminate slaughter of defenseless Africans.

    Clinton betrayed the country and gave it to the Chinese. He is a trained-in-Moscow Marxist committed to the same globalist agenda as George I and George II…and Hillary.

    A Christian concept of note is this: “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

    Mt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    Know who by their fruits? The false who are “ravening wolves.”
    These are the bad fruits:

    Galations 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Here are the good fruits.

    Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    Which list best represents each candidate? Don’t vote for the least of two evils because both are evil. Look to G-d for a good man with good principles. Who’s on the L-rd’s side? Vote for a good man or don’t vote at all. Read “I See Brain Dead People.” Observing presidential politics is watching the Hegelian Dialectic in action.

    Look at the account about Samuel and Saul which directly relates in principal to the worship of government and man.

    1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
    5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
    6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
    7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: ***for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.***
    8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

    9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
    10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.

    Compare how many of these apply in principle to the “rulers” of America now.

    11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
    12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
    13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
    14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
    15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
    16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
    17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
    18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
    19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
    20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
    21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
    22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

    Read some articles by Chuck Baldwin. They are refreshing. Archive.

    We Need an American President.

  7. If the Evangelicals TRULY believe that everything goes according to the will of God, they will understand that Giuliani’s life events have been simply that.

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