Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld in the Queens Jewish Link: What Is Your Universe?
June 26, 2024

by Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld in the Queens Jewish Link

I was recently sent an Instagram under the name Carlasesenco, in which a young Jewish woman with watery red eyes pitifully expresses how abandoned she feels as a Progressive Jew, which had been her world. As she states. “It is an incredibly sad and confusing time” for Progressive Jews.

She cannot believe that all those in whom she believed and trusted have said nothing to speak out against anti-Semitism. “What is so hard about the left speaking out against the hatred of Jews?” she sighed.

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“But there is no universe in which I will vote for a Republican or Donald Trump whom we in New York have always known is garbage [sic],” she bellowed.

Okay… So, allow me to ask you, Ms. Sesenco, if that is your name. What is your universe? The Progressive Left?

When was the last time you saw that progressivism included caring for Jews? From the Congressional “Squad” of AOC, Jamaal Bowman, Rashida Tlaib, or Ilhan Omar, et al? Bernie Sanders? George Soros? Susan Sarandon?

Do you recall anyone from your leftist friends calling them out for their unabashed hatred of Israel? How about your sanitary current president of this country? I do know that he recently held a joint press conference with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, chief spokesperson for the hateful progressives, to talk about climate change. He also advised people to listen to this “smart woman.” Zilch on Ilhan Omar, Tlaib, or all the other haters. He has huge donors such as George Clooney and his wife, who have worked tirelessly to get Israel to be accused of war crimes. Look who hangs around with garbage!

Didn’t you get the hint years ago when the LGBTQ community in Chicago refused to allow any members supportive of Israel into their march?

Hunter College professors failed students for the sin of mentioning anything pro-Israel in their reports. Did that not tell you something? Did you not get it when CUNY featured graduation speakers who promoted hatred against Israel and Zionism?

Did it not bother you that diversity on college campuses included special sensitivities for all ethnicities except Jews? When you saw the call for diversity, didn’t you realize that spelled trouble for Jews?

When the #MeToo movement’s credo was believing women when they claim abuse, did you believe them? Did you believe they meant all women? How long after October 7 did it take for you to realize “all women” did not include Jewish victims?

Didn’t the ultra-progressive Black Lives Matter movement give you pause when they tied their struggle to the Palestinian cause, way before October 7? When they scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on synagogues throughout the country, didn’t that tell you something?

When some of the great civil rights movements such as the NAACP, who owe so much historically to the Jewish people, call for the Biden administration to halt arms shipments to Israel (6/4/24), does that not let you know how all those you thought your liberal Jewish heart was engendering friendship, just kicked you firmly in the teeth?

Don’t you realize that you and your progressive Jewish friends have been duped all along? Don’t you realize that progressivism is at the core a collection of empty virtue signaling that means absolutely nothing for those who don’t fit their sharply defined profile?

Is your universe the one in which violent murderers and molesters can enter this country with impunity? The one that robbed the innocence of Kissena Park, my childhood favorite in Queens, with that unspeakable incident involving the violation of two children last week?

Is that your universe?

Is your universe the one in which, after four years of peace in the Mideast, it found itself embroiled in a forgotten missile war with Hamas within three months of replacing the universe of “garbage”? Is your universe the one that coddled Iran, thus embroiling the Mideast in conflict today? Is your universe the one in which the United States abandoned Afghanistan, leaving 13 Americans dead with no apologies to follow?

Is your universe the one in which it has become standard to weaponize the legal system in an effort to bring down a political opponent? Is your universe the one in which its progressive District Attorney in Manhattan refuses to indict the vicious and violent anti-Semitic protesters on college campuses? Is your universe the one that promoted unlimited Islamic entry into our country and around the globe? How is that working out for Jews?

You ask why is it so hard to condemn anti-Semitism? Why not ask Elise Stefanik, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Johnson, Mike Huckabee, or Lindsey Graham how they do it.

I understand how disillusioned you must feel to realize that your belief system was a fraud.

See Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch on B’reishis (Genesis 27:1) how earthshattering it was for Isaac to realize that everything he held about his son Esau was wrong. One of the hardest things to do in life is to deal with a reality that lets you know your lifelong conception was a tragic deception.

Rashi, in his commentary on B’reishis (26:13) states that people would comment, concerning Isaac’s prosperity, “The dung of Yitzchak’s mules is worth more than the silver and gold of Avimelech.” When calling someone “garbage,” perhaps it’s worth considering: compared to what?

Originally published in the Queens Jewish Link

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan

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