Jewish People in the Spotlight

  • President Biden has chosen several Jews to be part of staff.
  • Charles Schumer is the highest ranking Jew in American politics.
  • Orthodox religious values often conflict with secular in America and Israel.

The Jewish world is filled with diversity.  In Israel the nation is divided into many coalitions each coalition represents another approach toward Jewish life. Likud the largest party in Israel in which Netanyahu is the leader represents a portion of the Israeli Jews estimated to be 30 mandates out of 120 mandates of the entire Knesset. This is only one quarter of the Jewish nation. Likud is called center right party. The right side besides Likud consists of religious Zionists and Ultra- Orthodox Zionists.  Likud is not a religious party but accepting the authenticity and importance of Judaism.

Chassidic people in Israel clash with police over closing of their schools.

In the left side are completely secular Jews against the old tradition and secular Zionists. The nation is being run by secular Zionists from both sides. Israel is today in a lockdown. The mortality rate due to Corona is the highest since the beginning of the Pandemic. Nevertheless, the Ultra-Orthodox refuse to accept all the decrees of the leadership of secular Zionists mostly which limit religious practices. Jewish day schools are closed. About closing these schools in the religious community there is a conflict which has led even to violence.

Jews are respected throughout the world. Moderna vaccine and Pfizer are both run by Jews.  Charles Schumer is the highest ranking Jew in American politics the Senator of New York. Besides Charles Schumer Jews have a strong representation in the new Administration of Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s two children are married to Jews. Kamela Harris is married to Doug Emhoff a Jew. Joe Biden has chosen several Jews to be part of his new administration. Abraham was told by God your seed will be a blessing to the whole world.

Here is a rundown of Jewish names in the new Biden Administration:

  • Anthony Blinken Secretary of State: Blinken is the stepson of a holocaust survivor. He holds mainstream democratic views about Israel. He has said that he wants the US to re-enter the Iranian nuclear deal and will consult with Israel on these issues.
  • David Cohen CIA Deputy Director – He held this job under the Obama administration
  • Merrick Garland Attorney General – In his speech before being nominated he credited his grandparents who fled anti-Semitism in Europe before coming to America.
  • Avril Haines Director of National Intelligence – She was deputy director of the CIA during the Obama administration. Her mother was a Jewish painter.
  • A secret wedding held in Brooklyn by Chassidic sect.

    Ronald Klain Chief of Staff – he was previous chief of staff to Biden and to Al Gore. He maintains his connection to Judaism through his childhood synagogue in Indianapolis.

  • Eric Lander Office of Science and Technology Policy Director
  • Rachel Levine deputy health director – She was born from a conservative Jewish home in Massachusetts. She is the first transgender person to be nominated for a position that demands Senate confirmation.
  • Alejandro Mayorkas Secretary of Homeland security.
  • Anne Neuberger National Security Agency of Cybersecurity director – She is an orthodox Jews originally from Brooklyn. She grew up in Orthodox schools.
  • Wendy Sherman Deputy Secretary of State
  • Janet Yellen Treasury Secretary – She made history as the first woman chair in the Federal Reserve. She is the first female Treasury secretary.

The same diversity of Jewish life which is seen in America is also seen in Israel. In America especially in New York State is large Orthodox communities. Also in these communities they are having difficulties accepting all the decrees of the Ministry of Health regarding lockdown from Corona. Recently a wedding was secretly held in Brooklyn from the leadership of Bobov Chassidism in Boro Park Brooklyn. The conflict between Orthodox religion and secular life is their concepts of reality. Secular life and science look only at the reality which can be seen visually through scientific testing. The Ultra-Orthodox will not accept science completely but recognize life as being the will of God the creator of the Universe.

Orthodox Judaism is less idealistic than Christianity and more concerned about practical issues like Family and Child education. It is devoted to maintaining strong family purity to maintain the lineage of their ancestors. The ancestors had precious genes which needed to be continually watered through Torah religious practice. Christianity and Buddhism also consider the life of a celibate monk important. Even though many Jews have left Orthodox Judaism assimilated into conservative and reformed Judaism, they have the blessing of these precious genes which Judaism has given world leadership.

The Bible and all religions teach to love your neighbor. One of the Ten Commandments is not to be jealous of your neighbor. A great part of anti-Semitism and racism comes from jealousy. All people are created equal. All people are not equal in intelligence and other qualities which God has given to man. Success in life is not placed on the table; but demands devotion which means hard work.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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