How Assertive Should We Be?: Reflections On The National Prayer Breakfast

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6 Responses

  1. tzippi says:

    A difficult job for a nice Jewish boy; thank you for doing it.

    I have some thoughts on the possible problems for us posed by American moderate Muslims but don’t know if it’s a good idea to share them.

  2. mb says:

    I hope this excellent piece makes it beyond Cross-Currents!


  3. New Yorker says:

    For those interested in the President’s remarks, here is a link to the full transcript:

    People can judge for themselves whether 90% of the speech dealt with substantive issues.

    A more interesting question is whether the pro forma remarks delivered by every President for the past six decades have ever been considered meaningful.

  4. Raymond says:

    Such a fascinating article.  It sure held my interest throughout its entirety.   I hope he doesn’t mind me praising him like this, but I happen to think that all of the people present in that room at that event, were lucky to be in the presence of Rabbi Adlerstein.   I am reminded of that quote by President Kennedy, who famously said to a roomful of Nobel Prize winners, “I think that this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

    Onto the topic at hand, while I do think that spreading the teachings of Judaism to the whole world would do wonders in civilizing our world, that such an ambition is a very dangerous one.  I continue to believe that most of the world wishes to destroy us, based on how they have related to us throughout our history.  When they are not busy committing acts of unspeakable terror on us, they are busy trying to destroy us by more subtle means, through such means as the universities mocking the idea of a personal G-d, and through those who insist that they know our Torah better than we do, and that therefore we better adopt their false G-d if we want to avoid Eternal Damnation.  Still, not everybody hates us, and when any window of opportunity arises, such as when we sense that the gentile we are talking to really does not hate us nor seek to change us after all, that it would not be a bad idea at all to teach them something about Judaism.  To use a useful cliche, it is better to light a single candle, than it is to curse the darkness.

  5. caren says:

    FINALLY…..The theme of Orthodox isolation has been replaced by proper mingling l’kavod Shamayim.

    The question is: Are we ready? Prepared? Knowledgeable? Have the adequate set of skills?

    I’m not sure!

  6. David Ohsie says:

    First off, thank you to Rabbi Adlerstein both for participating and for reporting on this event.   This is really an important mission.   A couple of small comments:

    “He spoke truth to power, telling the President that neither he, nor Congress, not the Supreme Court controlled the fortunes of this country. Ultimately what mattered was only the Will of G-d.”

    As the Ran points out, the alternative to “כֹּחִי וְעֹצֶם יָדִי, עָשָׂה לִי אֶת-הַחַיִל הַזֶּה.” is not that what we do doesn’t matter, but that “וְזָכַרְתָּ, אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ–כִּי הוּא הַנֹּתֵן לְךָ כֹּחַ, לַעֲשׂוֹת חָיִל”.  God has empowered us to do a lot of good or bad and this president has the power to do a lot of bad along with the power to do a lot of good.

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