DNC Rabbi's Closing Benediction: No Israel Mention; Update: Ad-Libs Support for Jerusalem
Update: In a departure from his text as provided to journalists, Wolpe ad-libbed a statement of support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel--an issue that had divided delegates on the convention floor.
Tonight, Rabbi David Wolpe gave the closing benediction. And he missed two key references: Jerusalem, and the State of Israel. He focused instead on the false leftist definition of tikkun olam, fixing the world. Tikkun olam is actually a kabbalistic concept that suggests that Jews have a responsibility to fulfill the commandments in order to rectify the cosmic cataclysm that occurred with creation. But leftists like to equate tikkun olam with the entire leftist program, no matter how many Jewish commandments that leftist program violates.
Here’s Wolpe's transcript:
Dear God, we are grateful that our nation is founded on the highest principles of freedom and resourcefulness and creativity and ever-renewed strength. And we understand that those worthy ideals stand alongside the commitment to compassion, to goodness, our sacred covenant to care for those who are bereaved and bereft, who are frightened, who are hungry, who are bewildered and lost, who seek shelter from the cold.
As your prophet taught us: “shiftu yatom, rivu almanah.” Defend the orphan and fight on behalf of the widow. We know that our lamp is lifted not only to illuminate our way but to serve as a beacon to others that here, this land, is a place where the dreams of a weary world flourish and endure.
Ours is a holy charge. A single moment, a touch, a glance, a word, can change a life. Our children look to us with aspirational eyes, with the hope that their world will be kinder, sweeter, smarter, than the one we have known.
Each of these changes touches us all, for you have taught us that we must count on each other, that our country is strong through community and that the children of Israel, on the way to that sanctified and cherished land, did not walk through the wilderness alone.
‘Rachmana,’ merciful God. May we be guided by your wisdom, and so become more understanding of the convictions of others. May our souls be enlarged by empathy and uplifted by leaders and thinkers and teachers who believe in strength of soul and wild, wonderful visions. So together, with right and left worshiping the same God, our nation – this strong, blessed nation, filled with spirit and called to noble cause – will become more passionate, more purposeful, more burnished and bright through the warmth of your embrace and the extraordinary power, dear God, of your love. Amen.
Notice anything missing? Any reference to the State of Israel, Jerusalem, or the Middle East. Nothing about Jews, except for an oblique reference to the “children of Israel” which he used as a metaphor for the American people more broadly.
This is the Jewish appeal of Obamaism. And it has nothing to do with Judaism or Israel.