New York – Reporter: Sarah Palin’s Appeal Is Same As Chabad’s

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    Gov. Palin shmozzes with Rabbi Shemtov at the republican convention. Photo Credit: COLNew York – I’m getting a hunch the Republicans just might win for one reason alone, and it makes no sense, just like Chabad makes no sense to the Jewish elite.

    That one reason is Sarah Palin. She reminds me of about a thousand different Chabad shluchot (the rebbe’s women representatives). She’s seems friendly, sexy (forgive me) in an Orthodox way, with that magnetism, optimism, and accessibility that has made Chabad shluchot successful in 5,000 different locales, even though they are almost always considerably more right-wing — religiously and politically — than their congregants and financial supporters.

    Reform, Conservative and other Orthodox Jews don’t get it. How is Chabad is so successful in places where there are no Chasidim? Why do liberal Jews on the Upper West Side want to send their kids to Chabad pre-schools? Why do many hundreds of non-Chasidic, even non-Orthodox students at Harvard and SUNY Binghamton want to spend Friday night meals with these Chabad Sarah Palins rather than the more mainstream, liberal Jews down the road? It makes no sense.

    Don’t get it, do you?

    Who would you rather have a cup of coffee with on a bungalow porch, a cup that can turn into a three-hour conversation, Sarah Palin or Nancy Pelosi?

    Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton come across like the Queen of Spades of a nanny state; school marms of a school you don’t want to go to. Pelosi, in particular, seems like one of those Sisterhood program chairs from a suburban temple whose calls you don’t want to answer.

    Sarah Palin seems like one of those Chabad women who don’t have enough chairs at her table for all the non-Chabad women who’d take a plane or a subway to attend the next shluchot convention in Crown Heights.

    Something’s happening and you don’t know what it is, do you, Nancy Pelosi?

    And another thing: There are plenty of logical, rational reasons to abort America’s relationship with Israel, the far left tells us, but Chabad doesn’t abort and evangelicals (such as Palin) don’t either.

    Rabbis who can’t stop quoting Heschel or Soloveitchik don’t get it.

    Americans and Jews don’t need another genius. We don’t need another Herr Rabbi Doctor. We have enough “scholars,” believe it or not.

    We don’t have enough human beings who’d rather rock a Down Syndrome baby to sleep than abort it; human beings who can relate to a flunking child or the stuffiness of the sophisticates, parents who don’t give a damn who’s in the top shiur or who made law review.

    We have too many of the best and the brightest, the wise and the brilliant, who can’t communicate (and who, in the end, maybe aren’t really the best or all that brilliant.)

    The genius of Chabad is delivering their message in a down-home way, much as Sarah Palin did at the convention.

    There are others outside of Chabad who know how to do it, too. Blu Greenberg, for one, the godmother of Orthodox feminism, is as smart and wise as anyone I’ve ever met, but like a Chabad woman she doesn’t enter a room like she wants you to know what she got on her SATs (or BJEs). Her voice and manner are gentle, her visions for Judaism are prophetic and compelling, all the more so because her Judaism is poetic (she’s a published poet, after all), not like Judaism’s angry left whose religion has all the appeal of a term paper, all about “J,” “P,” Deutero-Isaiah; the kind who can’t look at any biblical verse with being “troubled” by it.

    Chabad women know what really troubles people, and it ain’t Deutero-Isaiah.

    In 1950, all American Jews heard of liberal Judaism (that’s Conservatives, too) but almost no one heard of Chabad. Chabad seemed a relic of history. Liberal Judaism was ascendent, inevitable. The rebbe’s Chabad was as fringe religiously as Sarah Palin’s conservative anscestors were then on the fringe politically.

    Who would have figured that in 2008, liberal pews in most of America would be emptier than their rabbis would like, while everyone has now heard of Chabad? Men and women from Chabad are all over the continent, all over the planet, raising fortunes (without charging shul membership fees), getting men to put on tefillin, getting women to go to mikvah — men and women who, if not for Chabad, wouldn’t. It makes no sense.

    Chabad women, like Sarah Palin, don’t look at Judaism, or the United States, and then look at the world to worry “why do they hate us?” They don’t blame Judaism or America first. They are happy warriors. They don’t think “bitterness” is what motivates religious people, as Obama said with condescension. You come away feeling that these kind of women understand religion, they love America and religion like they love their kids, troubles and all, feeling blessed every step of the way.

    The high-salaried great scholars of the other denominations, none of whom went to the University of Idaho, are very good at conducting studies, at going on high-priced retreats, at developing goalposts that can be moved to allow past failures to score.

    Chabad women don’t conduct studies. They cook a chicken (or, Sarah Palin, a moose) and invite you over on Friday night. And college students, middle-class families, international businessmen want to be there.

    At the beginning of these successful relationships between Chabad and their guests, theology and politics having little or nothing to do with it. A lot of Palin’s appeal has nothing to do with her theology or politics either.

    The other party and denominations are trying to figure it out. Maybe if they could get a grant. Maybe if they could find someone with whom they can dialogue.

    Chabad women and Sarah Palin don’t dialogue. They talk. And they don’t talk down.

    They win. Makes no sense, does it?

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    46 COMMENTS

    1. I wont comment about this whole analogy between SARA PALIN and CHABAD WOMEN. I’m sure there will be plenty of posts about that.

      What i WILL comment about, is SARAH. Today all you have to say is the nmae SARAH and (almost) everyone knows who you’re refering to.

      It’s AMAZING what she has done to this Republican campaign. What a dull candidate Mcain was before PALIN was introduced to America.

      She has energized and excited soooo many people out there and put this whole campain back on the map.

      She has poise, confidence, energy and charisma that few people have. And above all she is SINCERE and for REAL.

      I dont even give John Mcain all the credit for picking her as his running mate because i believe that he made the move more out of desperation than by knowing how talented she is. I’m sure he knew that she’s talented but i dont think he knew to what extent.

      Boy has he hit a GRAND SLAM by choosing her.

      “mer mazel vi sechel” as they say.

      Either way they’re getting my vote!!!!

    2. What about the stories all over the internet that she’s anti-semitic? That she agrees with her pastor that the Israeli Jews deserve the deadly terrorist attacks because they didn’t accept Yoshka. What about the Youtube video? Are all of these stories just made up by the “liberal, communist Jews”?

    3. looking in the past how many vp’s were influential after the election nobody hears or sees them so yes please compare apples to apples Mcain will be running this country just like obama will not joe biden

    4. thats somthing you could tell on any candidate, every one is promesing to do things and by the time they get in the office everything changes.

      and after all a few things he will have to do, he can`t just do noting, mCcain is not offering 0

    5. What about the stories all over the internet that she’s anti-semitic? That she agrees with her pastor that the Israeli Jews deserve the deadly terrorist attacks because they didn’t accept Yoshka. What about the Youtube video? Are all of these stories just made up by the “liberal, communist Jews”?

      09-09-2008 – 3:55 PM

      ————————————————-

      Can you please give us the link to these fabricated stories????

      I dont believe a single one of them!! and YES these stories ARE being fabricated by the sick liberals out there….

    6. whats going to be with all jewish newspapers that are not putting in pictures of women? dont tell me they wont do it for a single time in the next 8 years if she becomes vp?!?!?!?

    7. What about the fact that her church twice sponsored a guest speaker and fundraiser for Jews for Yoshka? Has she disassociated herself from his comments? I found the tape of his sermon quite disturbing and anti Semetic. Hre referred to “the men in the black hats and coats”. I wonder what those people in that little Alaskan town who probably never met a Jew think of us after hearing this speaker at Mrs. Palin’s church

    8. jews never cease to fascinate me. here is a woman who keeps an israeli flag in her office,(not a syrian or belgian or brazilian flag ). she didnt just put it there. its been there for a while and that shows where her sympathies lie. history has shown us that overwhelmingly, republicans have been better for israel and jews. she’s an excellent choice for america, israel and jews.

      as far as having j4j’s in her church, big deal! there are temples (shuls?) that have been host to groups just as bad or worse. dont hold that against her.

      its time jews started thinking logically.

      ask yourself, who would the arabs rather see as president of the usa, barak obama or john mccain. mccain is not the perfect choice but certainly the better one.

    9. Thought provoking.

      End of he story is that noone really knows that much about her. A bit here and a bit there… We got to believe and we got to know that Hashem has plans and whatever they are we hope we see the good in them. Interesting perspective on why her personality is rather appealing and why a guy like Mccain makes it difficult to follow even a sentence or two of his. Myself and many believe he is good and maybe “eye candy” or a smooth talking down to earth exitement was the answer.

    10. the point is she uphold a lot of jewish based values which is what jews should vote for. we dont belive in abortion for example. That at first appears a such a simple and irrelevant thing in the greater scheme of thing. yet it isnt it is the fact of putting other people before you caring about the whole putting yourself after the greater good. Thats is why people are comfortable around people like ths. you can tell they care.

    11. “and she is certenly not a secret muslim”

      That’s true. She wants the Jews to die in the name of Yoshka, not in the name of Allah. (And also not so secretly; do your homework.)

    12. ” Why do people feel the need to sling mud at this woman? ”

      And I’m wondering why people feel the need to make her into a superstar. Common, let’s admit it, everybody spins it the way they want it to be. If you’re voting Republican, she’s “a breath of fresh air”. If you’re voting Democrat, she’s a “rabid antisemite”. Everybody wants their team to win, regardless of what the FACTS are.

      Why can’t people analyze the facts, think for themselves, and just stop spinning? The herd mentality is sickening.

    13. Of course she supports J4J; she’s a Christian, what do you expect her to do? If you’re a Xian, why would you be against a group that spreads your religion? People who object to J4J seem to think that Xians don’t really believe in their religion, they’re just pretending, so they should have the goodness to leave us alone. If you believe that you have the truth, then of course you want to teach it to others, and give them its benefit, so they won’t die in ignorance and go to Hell!

      I don’t worry about Xians who want to convert me. I worry about the Xians who DON’T want to convert me; they’re the real antisemites, because they’re happy to see me go to Hell. Either that or they’re fakes who don’t really believe in their own religion, and who knows what else they’re lying about?

    14. How could anyone honestly claim that this woman is pro-Israel? It’s on the record that she fund-raised and supported the anti-semite Pat Buchanan. She supported his Shita that the Land of Israel is occupied territory.

      Be honest out there in internet land!

    15. Im thrilled to have such a future leader of our country as Sarah. As orthodox Jews we look foward in electing her. Obama the anti semite belongs to an anti semitic church all his life while Sarahs church ran pro Israel events. I just ordered 5000 bumper stickers for McCane and will pass it out to the frum yidden of Brooklyn. Also a special thanks to Jonathan Marks fo this beautiful article. I think you should take over the Jewish week with your incredible writing skills.

    16. You liberals listen up. If you would send your kids to yeshivas instead of public schools,than the missionaries would be no danger to your kids. You creeps oppose vouchers so you get what you deserve. Obamo and Biden will allow Iran to have nukes and that will destroy Israel and cause another holocaust of 6 million more. Biden met with top Israeli leaders and told them they will have to eccept a nuclear Iran. Well we Jews wont eccept another Hitler. VOTE McCANE AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, BECAUSE IT DOES.

    17. Anon 10:39 PM, you’re a liar. There is nothing more to be said, you are simply a liar. Palin never supported Buchanan, she never raised a cent for him, and you have a chutzpah calling for honesty. Shut your mouth before someone shuts it for you — ki yisocher pi dovrei shoker.

    18. Millhouse do your homework before you make such a fool of yourself. It’s all over the news and on video. There’s a video of Buchanan thanking her. VIN does not allow links. So google it.

    19. Very nice article.

      I watched all speeches from both conventions, Sara Palin’s was by far the best. She is a realists!

      Obama promised everything. From lowering taxes to increasing government funding for everyone. If you have any problem, Obama will solve all your troubles. Most of his speech was detailing troubles that people go through.

      He is going to go through the budget, and just make it better. If your paycheck is to little, he will give you more.

      If you believe half of that you should vote for Obama.

      Most americans are not that naive

    20. “I don’t worry about Xians who want to convert me. I worry about the Xians who DON’T want to convert me;”

      Hey do you worry about the Muslims who want to convert you or the the ones that don’t?

      It’s amazing how people twist themselves into a pretzel to argue for their cause.

    21. Anon 9:49 AM, repeating lies doesn’t make them true. There is no such video, because it never happened. She never endorsed him, she never supported him, she never raised a cent for him, and you know this very well, but you insist on telling lies. Yevoshu zedim ki sheker ivsuni.

      Anon 9:53 AM, I worry about the Moslems who want to kill me, not the ones who want to convert me (not that there are any).

    22. Pray for whoever is elected President in November and for his vice president too! We are voting for McCain and his running mate, Sa-Rah one who has wisdom to be a good helper to McCain.

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