Oh, shut up, Yoffie - Zioncon
Oh, shut up, Yoffie - INN
27 Adar Bet 5768, 4/3/2008
I think we should hold a contest for the most imaginative ways to shut up
"Rabbi" Eric Yoffie, the leader of the American Reform synagogue's
political SWAT team, the "Union for Reform Judaism." It is a political
movement that seems to want to replace the Torah with Tikkun Magazine.
You know the the sort, Jews who consider Palestinian statehood and gay
"marriage" to be the highest priorities for Judaism. Yoffie evidently
wants the Ten Commandments to be replaced with Barack Obama's campaign
"Rabbi" Yoffie is a leading theological practitioner of Political
Liberalism as Judaism, a form of pseudo-Judaism and "liberation theology."
Yoffie has a long track record of issuing anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian
pronouncements. This past week he is calling for a Jewish jihad against
Christian evangelists, because the latter are guilty of supporting Israel.
Who does not need to be criticized, according to Yoffie? Islamofascists,
of course. Last year, "Rabbi" Yoffie sucked up to them at the Islamic Society of North America's 44th annual convention in Chicago, IL. While still president, Moshe Katsav made a point out of refusing to call Yoffie a Rabbi.
So imaginative suggestions for ways to shut Yoffie up are being solicited.
So far we have:
1. Stick the stockings from a Reconstructionist Christmas tree into his
2. Borrow a giant reefer for him from Arthur Waskow.
3. How many Kafiyas can he swallow in an hour?
4. Get him the seafood platter from a progressive egalitarian California
Reform "temple" we know about.
5. Two words: fur balls.
6. Get him to recite fatwas from the Religious Action Center of David
Saperstein at the speed of an old 45 record being played at 78.
7. Make him give all his liberal speeches in Hebrew. (Or Aramaic)
8. Make him give a class on the Daf Yomi before any political speech he
plans to give.
9. Get him to a dentist who was admitted to dental school via affirmative
10. Let him drink every day as if it were Purim.
# posted by Steven Plaut : 9:49 AM
All Jews would like to think of their Rabbis as being thoughtful, inspiring, and learned. They want them to be able to listen and respond in a meaningful manner as an halachic guide and adviser answering our questions in good times or G-d forbid the bad times. I wonder what it is that Reformist Jews see in Eric Yoffie? I can't picture him as an adviser, guide, teacher and most certainly not a pulpit Rabbi. Granted my observations are based upon primarily print media and the Internet, but what I have seen and heard leaves me quite confused. The Shalom TV interview which I referred to in a previous post left me even more confused. Yoffie is soooo "un-Rabbi" like. APRPEH has made references to Yoffie's essentially illogical and uninformed positions many times.
An example can be found here with Yoffie being quoted as saying in regards to John Hagee:
"In expressing contempt for other religions and rejecting territorial compromise under any and all circumstances, their views run against the American grain."
In other words, Yoffie by equating 'contempt for religions' and 'territorial compromise' if I may be permitted to read between the lines, believes that Hagee doesn't like Yoffie's religion since it takes the arabist position calling for a judenrein Yosh.
Setting aside the "contempt for other religions" (which would seem to already be a subjective observation given Hagee's non-contempt for Jews - although Catholics might see it differently) it is Yoffie who is mistaken in terms of what is American sentiment for Israel and the need for "territorial compromise". Yoffie is clearly expressing his view and that expressed by the Reformist party/movement that Israel should engage in what he calls "territorial compromise" and meaning it in the fullest sense of the word.
As Gallup polls demonstrate, Americans favor Israel in the dispute with the palis and do so year after year. The Gallup polls also show that Americans want more pressure exerted on the palis than Israel by the American government in negotiations (not that there should be any pressure on Israel to acquiesce before barbarians). While polls also do show support for a pali state, it is presumed they mean the peaceful, non-belligerent, non-terrorist, non-bloodthirsty, non-antiJew state of the Foggy Bottom propaganda machinations. Could it be that Yoffie's understanding of "territorial compromise" and the understanding of the Americans polled is different? Could he actually be wrong? What do Americans believe in terms of a pali state in Judea and Samaria?
Palestinian-Israeli Dispute Engenders American Sympathy for Israelis
Americans Likely Welcome Arab-Israeli Peace Summit
Mixed Reviews for Bush Administration’s Mideast Peace Push
And how is this fictitious contiguous pali state in the West Bank to come into existence? Polling before the Gaza disengagement commissioned by the ZOA and conducted by McLaughlin and Associates on this question resulted in overwhelming American opposition to the removal of Jews from their "homes and businesses":
Respondents, by a margin of 4 to 1 (63% to 16%) opposed "Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from a section of Gaza and northern Samaria and forcing 10,000 Israeli Jews from their homes and businesses" and by a margin of 2.5 to 1 (53% to 21)%, agreed with the statement that "this Gaza Plan sends a message that Arab terrorism is being rewarded". Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. Based upon these results one must conclude that it is Yoffie's views which run against the American grain. How would Americans poll on the need for more Israeli withdrawals after having watched the disturbing and heart breaking videos of the previous disengagements? Would Americans be more or less favorable toward forcing "Jews from their homes and businesses"?
Returning to the idea of thoughtful rabbis, maybe it is within the interpretation of poll results where a diagnoses of Yoffie and reformism can be found. For the record, I do not particularly care what results the polls reflect when Jewish life and security are at stake. Even if the polls were overwhelmingly supportive of the palis and anti-Israel it wouldn't matter. I also believe that to be the case with many Jews. When it comes to Yoffie and his supporters, I must conclude the opposite. His use of public opinion polls to justify his callousness in terms of the security of Israel is informative of his lack of thoughtfulness and lack of real rabbinic status. And yet he speaks from both sides of his mouth.
Reform Jewry Head Calls PLO Movement Ugly and Stupid
Yoffie senses that the palis use of terror reflects stupid politics. At least that is how I interpret his comments. Again, this interpretation, if true reflects his very arabist thinking. In other words, the palis have taken actions which damage their cause, not that the lives of Jews matters so much. Yoffie is saying, the state could have been yours if you killed and maimed fewer Jews. This logic, to those who read the words expressed by the palis is Abu Mazen logic.
Maybe, it is this very ability to deny reality and side with the enemy which is indicative of how Reformism thinks about Judaism. In Chassidus there is an idea that all Jews really wish to be Tzadikim and come close to Hashem. But, they are held back by their gashmius (physicality) which allows their physical selves to dominate their actions. (Where Chassidus teaches how to harmonize the soul and body in a spiritual bond). This weakness drives the person further away from holiness and eventually shields him from seeing the difference between right and wrong. The effect of the yetzer hara is that reason becomes a vehicle for confusion. The origin of this confusion stems from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
When there is a question of what is the good and what is the evil, the human mind tries to make distinctions which leads to compromising. Good becomes some good and a little bad and bad becomes a little bad with some good and the human mind, left alone without proper Torah guidance becomes confused. This is where in my humble opinion reformism and its followers have descended to. And this is where Eric Yoffie resides as the one who believes he can make the proper decisions. After all, the palis have some good and bad and the Jews have some good and bad. They are not all wrong and the Jews are not all right, etc etc etc...
It is this inability to see clearly which hides the truth. Yoffie and all Jews must unite to say clearly without reservation that mission number 1 is the need to preserve Jewish life and to acknowledge once and for all that HaShem, the King of Kings has established from the time before creation that the Jews have been assigned the land of Israel. This idea is amongst Rashi's first comments in his Chumash commentary and well worth remembering.
Here is a good place to start learning about your soul.