Is President Obama trying to win the Jewish vote back by talking about  Rosh Hashanah as if it were universally  celebrated in the United States like Thanksgiving? Michael Medved’s commentary in The Daily Beast suggests exactly that. The wool can’t be pulled over our eyes quite so easily although you are a wonderful orator, Mr. President. I certainly can’t imagine Winston Churchill (whose bust you had removed from the White House) ever moving with such chameleon-like ease through his political and religious positions. It is what Medved calls “spiritual shape-shifting. He instinctively assumes different religious colorations depending on the occasion.”

This is the holiest time of the year for Jews. It is the time to drop all pretense, to get totally honest with ourselves, with others and with God. It is a time for authenticity, and for me personally, to continue to seek to be authentic each day, every day. It is the  time to make amends to family and friends for any wrongdoing, to admit sins of commission and sins of omission, to totally clean house spiritually and make right and pure our relationship with God. The intent is to not to make the same errors again next year. “I’m sorry” is not enough. It is by changing our actions that “I’m sorry” is demonstrated. That is true amends.

By the end of Yom Kippur, we are to have finished a full inventory of our own faults, both sins of commission and sins of omission against God and our fellow human beings. Over and over, we read lists of possible wrongful acts we have committed. We search our memories to admit anything we have done. We cannot repent without admitting our wrongs.

In the speech, Obama reaffirms the United States’ commitment to Israel. Well, I certainly hope this is not just words. What about his suggesting that Israel go back to 1967 borders, i.e., commit suicide? Have you taken a look at what going back to those borders would actually mean? I just do not understand what he was thinking when he said that. Does he truly want Israel to survive? Politics, politics.
–Linda Ciampoli


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