We Religious Jews Must Not Have a Right Wing

Rav Samson R. Hirsch Was Right: We Religious Jews Must Not Have a Right Wing

If a teacher or staff member had been accused of the behavior toward women that Donald Trump has been accused toward at least a dozen women, the school would have fired the individual and likely he would face prosecution. In Donald Trump’s case, he is now President-elect of the United States.

That is America’s shame and problem and will remain America’s shame irrespective of how Trump acts in the White House. Presumably, he will be a lot more restrained, but restraint cannot remove the stain of America electing a president who engaged in the kind of public behavior that he engaged in.

As I have said, this is America’s problem. For me, the far greater concern is the outpouring of Orthodox Jewish support for Trump. It is reliably reported that seventy percent of the voters in Lakewood supported him and there are statements in the names of leading Roshei Yeshiva supporting him.

Doubtlessly, I am missing something when I write that I cannot understand this support. There is so much that is obscene in Trump’s behavior and actions. I imagine that there are frum Jews who are not aware of much of the Trump record, of the vulgarity – physical and verbal – regarding women. But they are aware of much of Trump’s behavior during the campaign, his vulgarity toward a woman reporter who questioned him, his disgusting words regarding Senator McCain’s suffering as a prisoner of war, his despicable words regarding parents whose son was killed while a soldier in the U.S. Army, his vile language toward his opponents in the Republican primary and much, much more, including his grotesque physical caricaturing of handicapped persons.

There needs to be an explanation as to why a people who are commanded, Kedoshim Tih’yu, embraced a person who just about in every way possible has been the antithesis of sanctity.

It is no answer or explanation that Hillary Clinton was badly flawed. We had the option of voting for no candidate, as millions of Americans did, or to vote for the Libertarian candidate as millions of Americans did. Overwhelmingly, we voted for a man who in language, deed and thought violates what we are taught to believe in.

This is our shame and will remain our shame. What adds, I believe, to the shame and to the pain is one underlying factor that needs to be addressed. The truth is that too many of us have embraced a far right ideology, without fully understanding what this ideology stands for, especially regarding Jews. We have not understood, as leading conservatives in the U.S. have understood, that there is a huge difference between being conservative, which is certainly quite compatible with our hashkafa, and being right wing. We are, in short, in bed with those who detest us.

Marvin Schick

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81 Responses

  1. joel rich says:

    It is no answer or explanation that Hillary Clinton was badly flawed. We had the option of voting for no candidate, as millions of Americans did, or to vote for the Libertarian candidate as millions of Americans did. Overwhelmingly, we voted for a man who in language, deed and thought violates what we are taught to believe in.


    This IMHO is only true if you believe that one should not vote for what they think is the least worst choice with a likely chance of winning . Real question is are you a consequentialist or a deontologist.


    • David Ohsie says:

      With the electoral college, it also depends on what state you live in.  There was no way that Trump was going to win NY or NJ.  You could also factor in the improbability of your vote making a difference.

  2. Rob says:

    I suspect that few of us frum “right wing” people have simply chosen to simply overlook Trump’s personal behavior and words. We established our our personal calculus to determine the lesser of evils instead of, as you seem to imply, voting for Trump out of blind allegiance to something dark. For many of us, nothing Clinton has ever done or said would indicate a change to the march down the leftist/liberal/progressive/Democratic path of anti-religious and anti-Israel policy and legislation that many of us consider to be a greater danger in the long term.

    Trump might, or might not change the direction along that path (praying that he does!) but he is not a Jew, nor was he elected to lead a Jewish state or kingdom guided by Torah. He is not obligated for mitzvot that we keep but perhaps the Noachide laws can guide our expectations and evaluation of personal qualities of a non-Jewish candidate or President. If Noachide laws are applied to him, I roughly estimate his moral failings no worse than those of  Clinton, Inc. (you remember “Two for the price of one” , don’t you?). At least the son-in-law and daughter who advise Trump are frum Jews, and hopefully a better influence on his comporting with Jewish values, unlike Marc (non-frum) and Chelsea (non-Jewish) Mezvinsky (his father a convicted criminal, and her father being a former President who was impeached for lying to Congress about one of his many marital infidelities).

    • Steve brizel says:

      Excellent post.I think that we all realize or should realize that we don’t vote for or against candidates  because of or in protest of their moral stances and behavior but rather on their stances that affect Am Yisrael

      The assault by the left on religious liberty and the free exercise of religion which would have accelerated by a liberal left administration and Congress and judges and the indefensible Iran treaty and singling out of Israel IMO explain the cited polls.

    • Charles Hall says:

      Jared Kushner’s Jewish father is also a convicted felon.

      And Trump’s business ethics probably violate Noachide laws even if his licentiousness does not.

      • Steve brizel says:

        Wholly irrelevant as to the realpolitik considerations that led to the poll numbers under discussion

      • Charles Hall says:

        You called a comment mentioning that Clinton’s daughter’s father in law is a crook “excellent” but one mentioning that Trump’s daughter’s father in law is also a crook “irrelevant”.


        Double standard?

      • Steve Brizel says:

        There is no evidence that Trump, as opposed to either Clinton , may have very well engaged in conduct that would be considered obstruction of justice, while in office or during a campaign.

        The long campaign of the Clintons seeking to retaliate and deligitimize any and all critics is ancient history. However, acting in a Nixonesque manner during a Presidential campaign warrants a comment-even though I would support a pardon issued either by Obama and Trump in the same manner that Ford pardoned Nixon so we as a nation can get on with the important issues at hand.

        WADR, and IMO, If you think that the AG Loretta Lynch met Bill Clinton on a tarmac on an airport and they discussed their respective grandchildren or a similarly benign topic for 90 minutes, you are seriously naive and/or mistaken. AGs of the US are consiglieres of the President-excellent lawyers who are loyal to the President and who tend to do his dirty work-think of RFK, John Mitchell, etc. Elliot Richardson was an exception to the rule.  I think that a fairly strong case based on the Wikileak transcripts released to date  can be made that the DOJ tried  to slow down the FBI investigation as much as possible and almost succeeded but for a revolt within the FBI as documented by the WSJ and revelations that the wife of the agent in charge of the investigation was the recipient of a large donation to a political campaign in Virginia.  As the key source in Watergate told Woodward and Bernstein, the key is  and remains , in such cases,following the money.  That fact, regardless of the existence of a  private email server in which confidential information, was spread around in a reckless manner, would have provided ample ground for the appointment of a special prosecutor.

      • mycroft says:

        Both DJT and HRC have Jewish mechutanim who are convicted felons.

    • Andy Levy-Stevenson says:

      If you’re determined to bring their kids into this, and the conduct of the kids’ parents, then picking on the Mevzinskys is a bit odd …

      Jared’s father is also a convicted criminal. And Ivanka’s father is Donald Trump.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Noone said that either candidate was a paragon of morality. FW\IW, take a look at the background of Andrew Jackson and the way he was pilloried by the establishment media, such Senators as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster and how he triumphed over John Quincy Adams, who was seen as the heir apparent to the line of presidents from Washington through Madison, and rejected by the American People.

  3. Gershon Seif says:

    A voice of reason.

    For the record this is why, when I voted, I chose to not select any candidate for president.

  4. Joe Hill says:

    If Hitler was running against Fidel Castro, would Mr. Schick be opposed to voting for a demagogue like Castro – even if the lack of vote provided Hitler his margin of victory?

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Actually, R E Wasserman Hashem Yimkam Damo ZL discussed the threats posed by Nazism and Communism in a similar way-with the Nazis representing the threat posed by Haman of physical eradication of the Jewish People RL and Communism representing the threat posed by Hellenism of spiritual assimilation. Ask yourself which represents the greater threat to the existence of Am Yisrael

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The title of DR Schick’s piece implies that we must support candidates and live our lives according to the dictates of the NY Times , its editorial and op ed pages and far left political agenda and advocacy of lifestyles that cannot be rationalized at all with a Torah observant way of life.

  5. AZ says:

    Why is Marvin Schick only now commenting?  Did he not know that the “yeshivish-velt” was endorsing and intending to vote for Trump?  Did he not know that certain roshei yeshivas had informed their followers to vote for Trump?  Everyone else seems to have known.  (See http://matzav.com/rav-edelstein-vote-like-rav-shmuel-kamenetsky/)  Mr. Schick is a regular contributor to this site, he should have stood up for his beliefs earlier.  Was he just hoping that Trump would lose and the matter would go away on its own?  IMHO, this is too little too late.  Next time, please be stronger in your convictions.

  6. DF says:

    Rabbi Schick is right – he is “missing something”, and it’s pretty obvious what that is. Knowing Rabbi Schick’s background and vintage, I am virtually certain his chief source of information, and probably his only source, is the New York Times. If so, it is perfectly understandable why he thinks the way he does. If he wants to understand why not only the large majority of Orthodox Jews voted for Trump, but why the country did as well, he needs to realize how discredited that and like-minded sources have become. He needs to look, extensively, at different sources. Unless and until that happens, Rabbi Schick will remain mystified.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      I think that the electorate that voted for trump rejected the notion of “Islamophobia” as unfounded. Take a look at the following annexed statistics re hate crime. https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2015/topic-pages/victims_final I wonder what Dr Schick thinks of Senator Schumer supporting the candidacy of a far left Islamic congressman who refused to condemn Farrakhan as the new chairman of the DNC

  7. Josh K says:

    Hear hear.  The Orange One is a little Esav without the charm.  It’s amazing to me how little daas the community has shown on this.  The whole thing is clearly min hashamayim, but it’s a BDE not a BH.

  8. Jack says:

    In a contest between a menuval and a rasha, I will vote for the menuval every time… That said, I don’t think Clinton is any more respectable or classier than trump. It is well known that she curses like a drunken sailor and has been personally involved in hushing up many a scandal from her husband.  Her coziness with the Arab world and positions on Israel are downright frightening.

    We’re not voting for chief rabbi, we are voting for the person we feel will best lead the country and will best represent our goals, morality and ideology in that office. Trump may be a coarse sexist pig in his personal life but his policies line up very much with our agenda and he will be responsible for appointing at least one if not several Supreme Court Justices that can literally change the very moral fabric of the US and stop us from destroying what little morality and traditional values are left in this country. His election will allow the Republican Congress to undo much of the damage that Obama has done in the past 8 years. Not voting will not accomplish that, nor will voting for the Libertarian candidate. So as much as I dislike Trump he was clearly the lesser of all evils in this election and there has NEVER been more at stake.

  9. Charles Hall says:

    Teaneck voted 76 to 21 for Clinton over Trump and Riverdale was about the same. (My own election district in Riverdale voted 85 to 12 for Clinton over Trump.) And one exit poll had orthodox Jews voting for Clinton over Trump nationwide by 56 to 39.

    • Steve brizel says:

      That is to be expected given the fact that in many sectors of MO modernity dictates the level of comittment not just to the letter of halacha but in viewing “social justice and global responsibility” as desirable goals for the next generation as opposed to lives rooted in and oriented to the goals of Torah   Chupah and maasim tovim

      • mycroft says:

        Social justice is one of many desire able goals that the Torah teaches. See Orthodox Forum volume on Tikkun Olam. Tikkun Olam is far from the sum of Torah but it is a goal.

      • Steve brizel says:

        A gross misstatement of a passage in Aleinu . In that context Tikun Olam means recognizing Malchus HaShem nothing more nothing less

      • mycroft says:

        the term is used by many Orthodox figures in the context that the Orthodox Forum uses it. Do you believe or not that Yahadus has a duty to attempt to improve the whole world?


      • Steve brizel says:

        Tikun Olam should never be confused with any platform of either the Democratic or Republican party

      • Richard says:

        I guess modern orthodox Jews don’t care about our non-Jewish American neighbors and want to flood our country with non-Americans to take their jobs and livelihood (Clinton’s “private” policy as revealed by Wikileaks.)

        I chose to stand up for Americans, and proudly voted Trump. What should I do, I love America and its citizens and Trump is the only one who can stop the illegal immigration.

        As for Trump and his women, I frankly don’t care. Perhaps I don’t really believe it all, and chalk it up to the dishonest media portraying Trump in every negative light imaginable. In fact, this election was about sticking it to the biased liberal media as mush as it was sticking it to Jeb and the rest of the establishment in both parties.

        It was also about jobs, national security, terrorism, and of course, the future of the Supreme Court.

        Bill Clinton and Donald Trump’s women were an entertaining sideshowt.

      • Charles Hall says:

        Trumps entire personal and business life has until now been a demonstration of what the Torah teaches us NOT to be and do. Hopefully his election will cause him to change.

      • mycroft says:

        Do you. Not believe that one of the goals of Torah is to improve.   The world. We do have a responsibility to improve the world- all mankind has that responsibility.

        The question is what is included in the goals of Torah.

        it certainly included learning Torah but it also includes attempting to live ones life in a way that one believesGod would require it. See eg RAL on an ethic independent of Halacha. Or the Rav Halacha is the floor of proper behavior ,not the ceiling.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Who determines what is “improvement”- socialists, communists , the latest junk science, the latest changes in what society deems socially acceptable, New Deal style liberals or laisseze faire conservatives? What about the overwhelming majority of people who basically have a job or a profession that is rooted in making money and are relatively sucessful and are wonderful spouses Baalei Chesed and are Kovea Itim LaTorah? The Torah provides no such guidance on a societal level-I remain unconvinced that Tikun Olam has any meaning beyond the context of its being part of Aleinu as part of recognizing Malchus HaShem and fighting evil. WADR. RYBS ( as did the CI) viewed any and all discussions of “the Jewish view” on any issue as first and foremost rooted in Halacha. What you are saying as you have said in many other contexts, and which we have disagreed on, was your claim that RYBS viewed Halacha without consideration of what constituted Lchatchilah, Bdieved and Shas Hachak, as well as that which was beyond the pale, which a review of any of RYBS’s printed shiurim and drashos , cannot withstand serious scrutiny unless one views RYBS’s primary focus as Brookline and Boston as opposed to RYBS’s role as a RY and ultimate address for the issues of halacha and hashkafa in RZ and MO in the US. That dispute has nothing to do with whether Tikun Olam as advanced by the heterodox movements, has any relevance to Halacha or Taryag Mitzvos. As far as RAL ZL’s theory, which I have read, one could suggest that the same can be found in a Mishnah in Gittin, but the same clearly does not have the same importance or priority as living a life devoted to Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim , which was also emphasized by RAL ZL in his writings, and transmitting the same to the next generation who we pray and hope will be zoche to a life of Torah Chupah and Maasim Tovim first and foremost as opposed to the decidedly vague  and ill defined notions of social justice and global responsibility.

      • mycroft says:

        If one says that one should have ones life dedicated to  gemilas Chassidim- I have no problem, but then it is not merely Amelus Batorah.

        Once one accepts Gemilus Chassadim one accepts responsibility for the world and man is not an island.

        If one wants to know what one believed Halacha lemaaseh see what they did. It is much more accurate than chakiras given in shiur or chakiras discussed in private conversation. If one is interested in ones shiurim which are important read accounts of shiurim, if one wants to follow what someone did follow the actions of the person.


      • Steve Brizel says:

        The Baalei Chasidus and Baalei Musar , to an extent based on the famous comment of Ramban at the beginning of Parshas Kedoshim also spoke about an ethic independent of halacha in how one lives his or her life  as an individual member of Klal Yisrael. The Talmidim of the Maharam Me Rottenburg also popularized the idea of being Yotezei Lchol HaDeos in a similar vein. If you learn the classical sugyos in BM in Elu Metzios, there is a tremendous concern for Chillul HaShem when the same is not necessarily warranted MeIkar haDin.  It is contended by many Rishonim and Acharonim that the ethic of chumros and hiddurim of going beyond MeIkar haDin is rooted to a degree in the Halacha of Hiddur Mitzvah.

        When you are talking about improving the world, the same Torah that is so protective of private property imposes penalties for injuries , etc. The same Torah that views Piryah vRivyah as a Mitzvah also is counterbalanced by Hilcos Niddah. Shemitta is balanced by Yovel.  The same Torah that prescribed the death penalty clearly made the implementation of the same almost impossible and a matter of debate as to whether the same is desirable at all. Using the Torah as a means of furthering one’s own political POV is a decidedly risky proposition.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Mycroft wrote:

        “it certainly included learning Torah but it also includes attempting to live ones life in a way that one believes God would require it”

        in the absence of Nevuah,  and in the absence of any proof that the goals of Torah necessaarily include improvement of the world, however one chooses to define improvement, and a concept that flies in the face of so many sources that celebrate Ameilus BaToragh and Torah Lishmah ( See Nefesh HaChaim especially) one must first and foremost act look to how any proposed social and political change will affect the status of Am Yisrael in this Malchus Shel Chesed-as opposed to displaying and advocating in  a Pavlovian manner to please either liberals or conservatives.

      • mycroft says:

        I must be misinterpreting you but are you saying that all that one must do to satisfy the borehole Olam is to study Torah yo am valeilah even at the expense of letting people starve to death if you could prevent it. Saving lives in your opinion is not a requirement that should be another goal besides learning yomam valeilah.

      • Steve brizel says:

        Learning Torah Lishmah inherently means the study of many sugyos that seemingly have no “practical” application whatsoever.

  10. BCY says:

    “It is reliably reported that seventy percent of the voters in Lakewood supported him and there are statements in the names of leading Roshei Yeshiva supporting him.”

    Watching the Yeshivish world’s enthusiastic embrace of a candidate demonstrating such vile behavior was very painful for me. Can anyone imagine R’ Yaakov Kaminetzky and R’ Moshe Feinstein issuing unqualified statements supporting him? Even if they would have considered Mr. Trump to be the “lesser of two evils”, would they have been so forthright in endorsing him without expressing pained reluctance at being forced to do so?

    I believe that the chareidi press is responsible. Many Lakewood families, (and yes, I suspect even many Roshei Yeshiva,) depend on their weekly newspaper as their sole source of news. I can personally attest that the weekly overwhelmingly considered to be the “most yeshivish”, presented it’s news in a very lopsided manner, exaggerating  and outrightly distorting facts relating to Hillary Clinton’s faults, while regularly failing to report Mr. Trump’s ongoing disgusting behavior and obscene comments. Small wonder that Lakewood felt that they were creating the greatest “kiddush hashem” by dutifully and proudly lining up behind Mr. Trump!

    Has the Yeshiva world’s seemingly noble attempt at limiting secular influence by creating their own press resulted in a mind-controlled environment, lacking in basic decency and requisite sensitivity?

    • Meir Bulman says:

      Agreed. I highly doubt Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky or many of the Lakewood voters were even aware of the “Access Hollywood” files story. At one point in the summer there was a story about Mrs. Trump that was beneath my standards, and I turned off the radio and resolved to stop following the campaign completely. I’m far less frum than the stereotypical Lakewood denizen, so judging from my own reaction it’s likely others haven’t turned on the radio for news since Bill Clinton’s infidelity broke the airwaves. It’s a shame the “yeshivish” media were pulling for Trump and downplayed his vulgarity. I didn’t vote for either candidate.

    • Sarah Elias says:

      It can’t be any worse than the mainstream media’s velvet-gloved handling of Hillary Clinton.  Plenty of people weren’t fooled by the msm’s one-sided reporting and I’d be inclined to give the frum community the same compliment of assuming they were not taken in by one-sided reporting favoring Trump.  Not that I personally saw any of that:  Hamodia and Mishpacha, to name the two news organs I follow, were no more favorable to Trump than to Clinton.

    • Sarah Elias says:

      It can’t be any worse than the mainstream media’s velvet-gloved handling of Hillary Clinton.  Plenty of people weren’t fooled by the msm’s one-sided reporting and I’d be inclined to give the frum community the same compliment of assuming they were not taken in by one-sided reporting favoring Trump.  Not that I personally saw any of that:  Hamodia and Mishpacha, to name the two news organs I follow, were no more favorable to Trump than to Clinton.

  11. Yossi says:

    I agree wth him very much. I didn’t vote for either candidate- and I did vote- but my personal slant was that how can I vote for a person whose brought vulgarity, boorishness, sexism, and all sorts of other crazy things out into the open and made them a part of the discourse? To me, it didn’t seem like Hilary was more destructive to society than he is, and while we want to pick someone who is good for Jews and Israel, I couldn’t imagine how we were getting behind someone who might have been good for Jews but isn’t good for humanity? Does the Jewish community align with the guy who wants to build a wall, and deport people, whether he actually does it or not?

    I have no problem with someone saying they both stink, I’ll hold my nose and vote for him bc the gedolim said we can’t win (even though I don’t get it like I said).

    But what I don’t understand is the triumphalism, excitement, magical powers, gematrias of Moshiach, and all sorts of together things going around in some of the frummest segments of the community. Remember, this is a guy who was on Howard Stern 30 times.

    It’s this that made me realize that a lot of the frum world aligns themselves with right wing culture and politics, and basically, we go where Rush Limbaugh goes and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Torah values.  That’s very scary.

  12. Daniel says:

    “We are, in short, in bed with those who detest us.”

    It’s a bit ironic that you criticize the president-elect for being crass, while yourself using sex as an idiom.

  13. Rick says:

    It was the message, not the messenger. Trump’s ideas on national security, health care, immigration AND Israel resonated with voters more than Hilary’s tired vacuous secular liberal platitudes.

  14. Natan Thaler says:

    Normally I hate to nitpick but when a prominent columnist says the majority of frum Jews are either dumb or crass, I feel obligated to respond.

    1. Almost no political person would meet the standard of behavior we expect of ourselves and our educators, and frum Jews long ago made peace with that reality.

    2. While I am sure any educator would be fired if he did what Trump was accused of, I also hope that if the accusations were as highly suspicious as the Trump accusations, he would keep his job. Remember, these accusations appeared magically out of thin air exactly when the Clinton campaign needed them even though there was no record of prior accusations.

    3. I saw Trump’s frequent reprehensible comments as the off-hand remarks of someone who does not believe words matter that much, so they did not reveal much about what he really believes and thinks. Compared to someone whose whole campaign was based on the unspoken assumption that words matter but actions don’t, (so let’s overlook corruption, deceit, mishandling and destroying classified documents, etc. etc. ad nauseam) Trump is a much better person and presidential choice.

    4. This is a relatively minor point, but those who receive their news solely from “yeshivish” publications would not be aware of Trump’s vulgarity because the “yeshivish” publications would naturally only hint at that stuff in a round-about, over-the-kids’-heads way.

    5. While we can choose to not vote, we can’t choose to not live with the results of the election. When we see the Left getting ready to use the gay-marriage issue to strangle the religious right while granting nuclear weapons to the Holocaust-denying, Hitler-admiring mullahs of Iran, it is clearly incumbent on all of us to do whatever we can to stop them.



  15. david z says:

    The issue isn’t voting for trump over Clinton. That’s a rational choice even for our especially for an orthodox Jew. The issue is SUPPORT. ENTHUSIASM. to say we have no choice sadly he’s the lesser of two evils is far different than saying yay trump!

  16. Eli Julian says:

    Where does Rav S.R. Hirsch write that we must not have a right wing?

  17. Leibel Black says:

    The idea that one particular candidate is more flawed morally than any other candidate is one that rests primarily on the assumption that the media has treated each candidate fairly. Being that we know that this is not the case, it is fair to assume that all candidates are equally flawed.

    The reason that Orthodox Jews voted for Trump, is because he, of all the candidates, most closely represented their philosophy and outlook. Jewish support of gentiles, has always depended on their policy, rather than personality. Jews have traditionally made a point of not delving into the private lives of their patrons.

  18. Jonathan says:

    Please explain to me when voting for president was about the candidate’s character. Obama may be a great guy – but many people are upset at where he’s lead us these past 8 years. Trump’s public image certainly is tainted – and people can be rightfully disgusted by him – but he may very well be the best man for the job right now.

    This mode of thinking is no different than wondering how secular zionists could have lead the return to Israel. And that actually has religious significance (and a good lesson in the end). Here, we’re talking about secular America! It’s a sad reality that we can’t find any good role models in our own leaders that we look to the president of the United States to be some type of bastion of morality.

  19. Choch b'mah nishtaneh says:

    Where is the post about religious Jews not having a left wing?

    Trust me those are more dangerous to Yiddishkeit and humanity as a whole.

  20. JD Gershan says:

    How smug and superior. So I and other Orthodox Jews must feel shame and pain because we are too stupid to understand the far right. Were you a Clinton voter Mr. Schick? I notice so many of her supporters saying similar things about Trump voters: they’re just too thick to understand what they’ve done. Or: the Orthodox Jews voted on their concerns for Israel. Not so. I voted Republican not because I like Trump, and not because I like the Republican party and not because of Trump’s support for Israel, but because the Republican party platform is (slightly) more in line with the values of Orthodox Judaism. Vote the party, not the man or woman. As for “violates what we are taught to believe in”, really?! The Left openly promotes baby-killing as a means of contraception (and in chilling Orwellian doublespeak calls this “reproductive rights”) over 4000 babies are slaughtered in the USA every single day. That’s more than a 9-11 of babies every day. The Left openly promotes gay “marriage” and the normalization of many forms of immorality. The Left promotes confiscatory policies of taxation that are far beyond the levels allowed by Torah, the Left today promotes dependency ( in order to maintain a captive voter base) and is against a culture of personal responsibility. Morality and decency start with valuing the individual and individual property rights – these are enshrined in Judaism, but the Left today is Statist and becoming more so. (My vote had nothing at all to do with “who’s better for Israel” nor am I pinning any hopes on Trump,  but if you want to bring anti-Semitism into it, you will have to look high and low to find a more vile and vicious Jew hater than Hillary “Effing Jew bastards!” Clinton, except of course when it’s politically expedient…) and Mr. Schick, I don’t know who you are or why you feel entitled to lecture the Orthodox, but your tone is condescending, not far from how liberal Leftist media elites speak about poor benighted redneck Trump voters.

  21. R.B. says:

    I hope Dr. Schick realizes that Gary Johnson is a social liberal. Hardly somebody frum Jews should be voting for because the main candidates are terrible. At least Trump, the menuval, had policy positions on social issues that are more in line with our community than Clinton.

  22. Steve brizel says:

    Invariably the loser in a close presidential election calls for abolishing the electoral college . Such arguments show a lack of knowledge about the origins and purpose of the electoral college; namely the avoidance of elections for president being the result of the  elites residing in the most populous states thereby depriving residents of less populous states of their say on who should be elected president

    • mycroft says:

      Thus,you are agreeing that the US Constitution at its core is a non democratic instrument. The electoral college is also configured as part of the 3/5 compromise as how to treat slaves. Not exactly a model I hope for 5777.

      • Steve brizel says:

        The Constitution precisely because it restains the excesses associated with “pure democracy” that were a prominent feature of the French Revolution by means of the electoral college was and is an ingenious means of self governance. I refuse to

        judge today the moral values of those who provided for the 3/5 compromise but applaud their ensuring that political elites would not dictate public policy without consideration of the rights of the minority.

      • Steve brizel says:

        It is  a far better model than any other model for governance than any other model conceived of by man

      • Steve brizel says:

        The electoral college and two senators per state were designed to ensure that all Americans had an equal voice in determining issues of national import and electing their president as opposed to solely the residents of the most populous states. Slavery was not a relevant consideration. In any event name one other society where slavery was abolished after a protracted civil war and civil rights were enshrined and ultimately accepted peacefully.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Anyone who has ever studied the constitution and its adoption , and Articles I, II and III, and the Bill of Rights will tell you that there was never any intent by the Founding Fathers for a purely democratic form of government. The correct term is a representative and republican democracy. You are engaging in a retrospective PC view of history ala Howard Zinn. The Constitution was drafted with the intent of unifying the states while preserving the rights of each state to have equal representation in the Senate and to assure that the rights of the minority were not trampled by the majority and their POVs which were centered in the states with larger populations.

  23. Shmuel W. says:

    Many Orthodox Jews, myself included voted for Evan McMullin, an independent conservative who spoke to those who vound both major party candidates lacking for those who believe in the mandate of kedoshim tihyu. But i dont ascribe to all of what Mr. Schick wrote. Support for Trump in the frum community was far less solid than it was for Romney 4 years ago. Most ppl voted for him as a bide’eved and preferred Rubio or Cruz or Walker or Bush in the primary.

  24. B. Gordon says:

    The common argument for Orthodox Trump supporters is – the distinction between moral character and the ability to run a country. Our choice to support him as President is limited to our approval in his ability to guide the government out of its current dismal state. However, what is forgotten is the effect of Trump’s perceived moral positions on the general population.

    This is a problem even if one can advance the argument, for example, that Trump is not racist. If one will be open to carefully analyze his stance on immigration, one can possibly argue that he’s being practical in decisions for the best interests of the country and that he’s not saying, for example, that every single Muslim is evil. I’m sure he himself does not believe he is racist. However, whether or not the above is true, the problem is how the unsophisticated, general population perceive his views.

    As the future leader of America and the ultimate single person of authority, Trump’s perceived moral stance has given license to terribly immoral behavior, including kids beating up minorities, hate speech, assault against women, divisive behavior, etc., all in the name of “Trump is in charge now, so get out of my country”. This eats away at the moral fiber of society, which historically does not fare well for maintaining a global superpower. Liberal agendas also introduced immoral stances into society. Trump has now legitimized a whole new aspect of hate, discrimination, and divisiveness, and that atmosphere is exceedingly uncomfortable for the Jewish minority in America.

    (No comment of what alternatives we had, or if this is the lesser of two evils. This is just to address the argument of separating out the moral character aspect in supporting him.)

  25. Wolf says:

    We Religious Jews Must Not Have a Right Wing

    The title says it all in relation to the authors biases. If the title was “We Religious Jews Must Not Vote For Trump”  and then go on to stress that religious Jews may only vote for someone who is principled and of good character I would understand.(Although I wouldn’t agree that HC meets that criteria)

    Constantly attacking Trump for his many defects isn’t a message that resonated with voters. Not even many frum ones.  I personally couldn’t bring myself to vote to either candidate but I definitely see how someone who isn’t interested in (e.g.)more laws promoting what the Torah calls Toevah voting for Trump.

    • mycroft says:

      As RAL and others have pointed out the Torah refers to dishonest business dealings as toevah

      • Steve brizel says:

        Courts can determine whether a business us in compliance with any law or regulation. Courts should not create “rights” in a way that usurpe the rights reserved to the legislative branch of government. The latter conduct in legalizing what every society for thousands of years considered a toevah and the relentless advancement of that agenda by courts was and remains a serious example of judicial overreach

      • Steve Brizel says:

        So is remarrying your former wife ( Devarim 24, Nidah 70a) and engaging in homosexual behavior. None are exactly lightweight Issurim-but Rambam includes only Issurei Biah and Maacalos Asuros in Sefer Kedusha of the Yad, because as RYBS explained, Kedusha, meaning that which separates Yisrael and the Umos HaOlam is contained therein. Like it or not, we are a Mamleches Kohanim v Goy Kadosh based upon our adherence to the Bris Sinai because Mitzvos that entail a Birkas Hamitzvah, as opposed to Mitzvos Bein Adam LChavero, are part and parcel of the covenant between HaShem and Am Yisrael. Concomitantly, one can be a secular humanist and a perfectly ethical individual and even support the liberal agenda of today, but those elements obviously fail the test of “why be Jewish” and cannot be viewed as a substitute for the Bris Sinai which is rooted in Kabalas HaTorah and Kabalas HaMitzvos and which we reaffirm every YK and Purim.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Mycroft wrote:

        “I must be misinterpreting you but are you saying that all that one must do to satisfy the borehole Olam is to study Torah yo am valeilah even at the expense of letting people starve to death if you could prevent it. Saving lives in your opinion is not a requirement that should be another goal besides learning yomam valeilah.”

        That is a mistatement. There is no mitzvah for everyone to become a doctor.  The mitzvah of Vahavta Leacha Kamocha tells all of us to help all in stress-but it does not command us to support any particular political agenda. However, all men are commanded to learn Torah as much as possible and to study the rejected and theoretical aspects of  Torah ( the have amenas, chakiros and sugyos that lack any “practical application” ( which RYBS noted were the subject of discussion by the Rishonim and Acharonim)  because that is seen as a great way of demonstrating Ahavas HaShem, a goal which should be a priority in one’s life. Obviously, the degree to which the study of Torah displaces other mitzvos  and is definitely debated in Menachos 98 and elsewhere . That being said, one cannot deny the views as to the critical nature of Limud HaToraha in this world as developed not just in Nefesh HaChaim but in many earlier sources as well.

      • mycroft says:

        There is no mitzvah for everyone to be a doctor but we are all charged by the boreh olam help perfect the world. Vchibshuha.

        It is certainly a mitzvah for every Jew to learn as much as possible. No one in the world is exempt, no one knows kol hatorah kula.

  26. Tal Benschar says:

    In addition to what has already been written here, what I find truly puzzling is the labelling of Trump’s vulgar and disgusting behavior as “right wing.”  Do left wing people never act or speak like a menuval?  Ever hear of Bill Clinton?  Or Jack Kennedy?

  27. Choch b'mah nishtaneh says:

    Thank you Charlie for demonstrating, rather better than I was able to, the point of my comment above.

  28. Rafael V Rabinovich says:

    Voting for “no candidate” is wasting a vote. Minority candidates that do no make the threshold in any state are basically as if the vote was wasted. We had two choices, neither was a tzaddik. We made our best choice from what was available. Now stop the crying for nothing. We don’t want HaShem to see us crying and then to give us reasons to cry. Donald Trump may be a rough character, but he is good for the Jews, good for Israel, good for the USA. What has happened is good. Instead of complaining, bench shehecheyanu.

  29. Moishe zichmir says:

    I have yet to hear of these policies of trump’s that are in line with orthodox values. Trickle down economics (otherwise known as the fund for hungry millionaires) is no closer to Judaism than Buddhism is. He will not repeal gay marriage, which IMHO is a nonissue anyway. Removing immigrants and restricting those that need help is mentioned in the Bible, actually in this weeks sedra, but not positively. Sedom did not really have such a positive ending….

    Basically, some Jewish education is in order in Lakewood.

    • YEA says:

      There is no such thing as “trickle down economics”. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367682/trickle-down-lie-thomas-sowell

      Some education definitely IS in order. Start with yourself. http://www.tsowell.com/images/Hoover%20Proof.pdf


    • Steve Brizel says:

      I think that Trump’s pressure on Carrier and the results are reminiscent of how JFK pressured Big Steel to lower their prices. Stay tuned for more.

  30. MidWestJoe says:

    We weren’t voting for a ceremonial position like the King of England. We were voting for someone who actually has a direct impact on the economy and safety of this country. Being President of the United States has not been about personal morality at least since the time of Ulysses Grant.

    That being said, the idea of taking the relative morality of Hillary Clinton of the table in the discussion is ridiculous. Did you right a similar article regarding Clinton Voters?

    Just for some insight. What I heard int eh name of one of the Rosh Yeshivas, who told people to vote for Trump was the following.

    He asked, why is it that King Shaul when he sinned, was punished by being stripped of his kingship, yet when King David sinned, he was not. He answered that King Shaul sinned while he was acting in the “office” of King, his sin affected action he had taken as a king, whereas King David’s sin, was a personal sin.

  31. God says:

    Jews who vote Trump must do tshuva.

  32. IB says:

    Thank you, Mr. Schick, for being a voice of reason.

  33. Bob Miller says:

    We’re renowned as a smart people, so let’s be a little objective and discard our political prejudices ingrained from childhood.    Comparing the Torah’s mandates for the Bnai Noach with the most recent positions and actions of the two major US parties, where do we find the greatest congruence with Torah values?    And if we Jews are supposed to take note of our own interests, how are we to understand Senator Schumer’s reluctance to oppose Keith Ellison’s elevation to DNC chairman?

  34. dr. bill says:

    in a world where difference of opinion on major issues is often understated, it is refreshing to see clear, unrestrained differences between dr. schick and rabbi adlerstein.  sadly for my country, they may both be right.  having just returned from israel with the opportunity to speak with a few intelligent observers, i wonder if that perhaps i should go back permanently.

  35. Charles Gregor says:

    Jack Kennedy was well known as a libertine back in 1960, while Nixon’s was never suspected of the slightest sexual impropriety.  Did Dr. Schick vote his Torah conscience that year?  Or did he think a lightning bolt from Heaven would strike him if he so much as touched the Republican lever?

  36. Yisroel L says:

    Dr. Schick, some of the concerns which led to a vote against the Democrats (including my own)

    1. The White House festooned in lavender lights to celebrate Obergefell

    2. Democrat fixation with gender identities; all three dozen of them

    3. Constant Democrat acquiescence to BLM and anti-cop attitudes; case in point; NYPD Chief Bratton’s resignation

    4. “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”

    5. The President’s eulogy at the Peres funeral (WADR Mr. President, Jewish law and morals are not a suicide pact)

    6. IRS non-profit policies

    7. Justice Sandra Sotomayor’s destructive interpretation of Title VII – re: Ricci v. New London

  37. Frank Stendahl says:

    To all of Rabbi Schick’s detractors. Enjoy your new president! I’m sure he will give you special dispensations and ‘safe areas’ where you can congregate, away from the hordes of Alt-Right goons who are now free to assume positions of power at every level. Hopefully when the forced exodus begins (first the Muslims, then the Mexicans, and then?) your specially colored stars will let you stay with your families. It should give you enough time to figure out on which side your bread was really buttered.

  38. Steve brizel says:

    Mycroft – take a look at today’s WSJ op ed page which has a column that dissects the Cuban health system and in particular the infant mortality rate as being predicated on forced abortions of any pregnancy with even a remote possibility of a child being born with such challenges as downs syndrome. Any medical system that denied a parent the right to give birth  raise and educate such children is engaged in producing Aryans at a tremendous social cost as documented in the article

    The article further mentions that when Castro had diverticulitis a surgeon from Spain was required because there were no such specialists in Cuba.

  39. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in the “quality of care” and the reason behind the much talked about infant mortality rate in Cuba, read the annexed link.http://www.wsj.com/articles/castro-and-human-dignity-1480886847.

  40. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in why Cuba has such a low “infant mortality system which is rooted in forced euthanasia and why Castro himself needed a Spanish surgeon due to the poor quality of medical care , take a look at the annexed article. Can’t wait for arguments ala Tom Friedman that the US should learn from mainland China, which remains a totalitarian Communist dictatorship that also suppresses human rights and prevents Chinese women from having more than one child in being more “efficient.”


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