By Elliot Pasik
It’s a provocative headline, and I wrote it. I’ll explain.
A rabbi answers the door to his study. A familiar man presents himself.
“Rabbi,” the man says, “can you please arrange for a get? I want to divorce my wife.”
Remarkably, the rabbi is nonchalant, despite knowing that this fellow has been married for quite some years and has a large family. The rabbi does not even ask him the obvious: Why? The rabbi simply says, “Yes, I will draft the bill of divorce, and arrange for the beis din, the court, but please understand that there is a fee involved.”
The fellow quickly says, “Rabbi, I shall pay your fee, and I deeply apologize for not offering first and that you had to ask for it. Rabbi, as you well know, I am a man of some means; just name your fee, and I shall pay it without hesitation.”
The rabbi replies, “The fee is not money. The fee is your silver Kiddush cup that I have admired for years. Please bring it to me, and I shall draft the get.”
With this, the man turns pale and sputters out, “Rabbi, my Kiddush cup is a priceless heirloom. It has been in my family for centuries. Please, I beg of you, don’t make me part from it. Name your price and I will promptly deliver the funds, but let me keep my Kiddush cup!”
The rabbi nonchalantly rolls a stray piece of paper on his desk into a ball, and heaves it into the man’s nose. “Hedyot (idiot)!” the rabbi calls him. You value a mere cup more than your wife? The wife of your youth? The wife who bore you children, cooks your meals, stood by you in the lean years? And now you cast her aside like yesterday’s crumpled newspaper? Take back your request for a get, or you shall never see my face again.”
The man is an idiot, but he is no fool. “Request for a get withdrawn,” he whispers, and shuffles home to his dear, beloved wife.
For four years, President Trump has been a loyal and faithful leader, partner, and friend.
Yet, mere days after the November 3 election, while Trump’s lawyers were just beginning to collect data on fraud in the battleground states, multiple Jewish organizations unceremoniously tossed our president under the bus by congratulating “President-Elect Biden.”
The Jewish organizations divorced President Trump.
Between November 7 and November 9, statements congratulating “President-Elect Biden” were issued by Agudath Israel, AIPAC, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Hadassah, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish Women’s International, National Conference of Jewish Women, Orthodox Union, and Rabbinical Council of America, among others.
On the Facebook page of the modern-centrist Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America, I politely protested: “This is a disputed election, which shall be determined by a court … The media do not declare the identity of the president-elect. That will be done by either the judicial branch or the Electoral College on December 14 … Particularly given all of the positive accomplishments of President Trump, domestically and in foreign affairs, it is inappropriate for an organized group of rabbis to take sides and attempt to declare the winner.”
In a few hours, my polite protest was erased by the RCA censors! Chutzpah!
The Jewish organizations anointed Joe Biden with the president-elect title that he had not yet earned. They may have taken their cue from media outlets like CNN and MSNBC which declared Biden the winner on November 7. But media do not decide disputed elections. Disputed elections are resolved by the rule of law, not by cable news networks.
On November 5, at his first post-election news conference, President Trump announced that he would be challenging certain battleground state results in court. See the progress of those challenges here.
The Electoral College does not vote until December 14, 2020, and the U.S. Congress does not tabulate the electoral votes until January 6, 2021.
Either on December 14 or January 6, that is when, legally, in a disputed election, it is fair to identify the president-elect.
This is no small matter. The public is now hopelessly confused as to whether Joe Biden is actually the president-elect. The Biden camp says he is, and calls itself “Office of the President-Elect.” The Trump camp says, “No, he’s not, and let’s await the final results of the court cases.” Such confusion generates disrespect for the rule of law and breeds chaos.
In prematurely wishing mazal tov to Joe Biden, the Jewish organizations shattered a bond of trust with the president. They have divorced the president.
Let’s look at a sample of issues that are near and dear to the Jewish American community, where the president has accomplished greatly:
- Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the placement of the U.S. Embassy there, and recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan
- Withdrawal from the dangerous Iran deal
- Enactment of the Taylor Force Act, ending U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until they stop their longtime practice of paying money to terrorists and their families.
- Closing the PLO mission in Washington, D.C.
- Rejection of pro-BDS groups
- Brokered peace agreements between Israel and Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Kosovo.
- Establishment of the Religious Liberty Task Force within the Justice Department, which successfully protects the constitutional religious rights of all Americans.
- Support for school choice, an issue especially dear to Orthodox hearts, which the president has declared “the civil rights issue of all time in this country.”
- An executive order fighting antisemitism on U.S. college campuses
- Support for deeming houses of worship “essential”
Particularly disappointing are the Joe Biden mazal tovs issued by the Orthodox organizations — Agudath Israel, Orthodox Union, and RCA. A poll commissioned by the Ami magazine in mid-October had Orthodox support for Trump at a whopping 83%, compared to only 13% for Biden.
Mishpacha magazine reported in its November 11 issue that Boro Park voted 82% for Trump. Monsey was 5,562 for Trump and 144 for Biden. New Square, Kiryas Joel, and Kaiser-Vizhnitz reported similar Trump landslides.
It seems that the Orthodox organizations delivered their “get” to President Trump without the authority and permission of their constituents.
Did the organizations forget that in June, 13 prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbis issued a well-publicized letter thanking President Trump for leadership on religious liberty issues? The president acknowledged the letter in October, tweeting: “Thank you, rabbis!”
A presidential acknowledgement is no small thing, but in reply, the rabbis delivered their “get,” a bill of divorce, in the form of a mazal tov to Joe Biden. Chutzpah!
So, as part of the Trump Orthodox landslide, I am speaking up. The Jewish organizations did not speak for me.
Yasher koach, Mr. President; may you go from strength to strength — and that includes your inauguration on January 20!
Elliot B. Pasik is a graduate of Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University, J.D.; Clark University, Worcester, Mass., BA; and Bronx HS of Science. He is a practicing civil litigation attorney in Cedarhurst and resides in Long Beach with his wife and children. He may be reached at email@example.com.