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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Obama's Attitude versus Jewish Vidui, Confessions

United States President Barack Hussein Obama doesn't go for past-President harry Truman's motto:
"The Buck Stops Here!"

When Obama was campaigning four years ago, it was pretty easy for him to blame all of America's problems on Republican President Bush, claiming that he'll make everything better for America if elected. After three and a half years in office, Obama still manages to blame others for America's problems.  Now he's claiming that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens' death wasn't his foreign policies' fault.  He blames the anti-Islam movie and intolerance, even though evidence shows a much more complex cause.

Here in Israel we're already home from a full day at the synagogue after Yom Kippur and have already eaten.  The words and tunes of the prayers are still ringing in my head.  The prayers revolve around the Vidu'i, a systematic confessions of sins. It's a very long list and we repeat it quite a few times throughout the day. Now, you may wonder why we need to confess so many sins. Are we really such awful people, always sinning?

The clue is here:

"For the sin we committed before You.." (davka from Wikipedia)
The emphasis by making the word "we" bold is the hint.  Our confessions are in the plural.  We are praying as a group, a people a nation, the Jewish People/Nation.  G-d treats us as a group, even though we are individuals.  We can't say "reward me, because I'm good and perfect.  The others are guilty, but I'm not."  

We're all in this together.  It's forbidden to throw the blame on others.
 
Modern psychology teaches that the only person we can change is ourself.  To make others better, we must make ourselves better.  No, that doesn't mean that we should accept bad behavior from others.  We have to make it clear that we don't accept it.  We must be firm, strong and not be "enablers," providing others with excuses for their bad behavior aka sinning in the theological sense.
] A common theme of enabling in this latter sense is that third parties take responsibility, blame, or make accommodations for a person's harmful conduct (often with the best of intentions, or from fear or insecurity which inhibits action). The practical effect is that the person himself or herself does not have to do so, and is shielded from awareness of the harm it may do, and the need or pressure to change.
By confessing in the plural we make it clear that we're all dependent on each other.  We can't blame others.  We must work together.

Yes, of course Barack Hussein Obama isn't Jewish.  I didn't say he was.  I just think that his general attitude is dangerous. 

2 comments:

Shy Guy said...

Speaking of Harry Truman and Yom Kippur...

Note my talkback there.

Batya said...

Shy, as you know, I've written many times that I don't think that facts support Truman as pro-Jewish state. It's one of those lies the American Jewish community likes to believe to keep their ridiculous support for the Democratic party strong.