For the first time on my blog, I am going to discuss politics. The only reason why I am going to talk about politics is because I feel this certain issue involves all Jews no matter what their affiliation and it also can relate to many of the discussions on my blog.
For those of you who live in New York, on the cover of today's New York Post as well as many of the other papers has Sheldon Silver on the cover. Why was Sheldon Silver on the cover? Because of a decision him and all the rest of the politicians in Albany made to defy the new Governor Elliot Spitzer. Sheldon Silver is an orthodox Jew who lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and is the Speaker of the State Assembly which is one of the most powerful positions any politician in New York can have. Elliot Spitzer is Jewish as well just not Orthodox. I am not familiar with what his affiliation is so I will not say anything I am not familiar with.
The first problem with what went on in Albany yesterday is that it puts in the public spotlight Jew versus Jew. It also puts in public view of a Jewish Governor who is trying to end corruption in Albany which is a positive thing and a Speaker who is trying to continue with the corrupt ways of the State Assembly. I am not trying to challenge Silver's Jewish beliefs and affiliation but isn't Judaism especially Orthodox Judaism supposed to set an example of good ethics and anti-corruption?
The whole controversy started when Alan Hevesi, another well known Jew was caught in a cab scandal which he was using state money to chauffeur his wife around which ended up forcing him to resign after he won the election. After his resignation, Elliot Spitzer thought it was in the best interest to set up an independent group of former Comptrollers to narrow down a list of candidates to fill the position. When this group presented the three people they thought would be best for the job, the people up in Albany under the leadership of Sliver did not vote in any of the three people chosen and picked a fellow assemblyman from Long Island with no experience to take the position of Comptroller. The law states that it is up to the assembly to choose the replacement so there is nothing Spitzer can do about this. Spitzer was voted in to the position of Governor to end corruption by a huge mandate by the people of New York to end corruption and Silver keeps it going. This is a very big deal in New York and Spitzer is not going to let this go.
Because Spitzer is not going to let this go, just like he attacked Wall Street he is going to go after the Assembly and try and nail them on their corruption. What I fear is that because of this, any corruption is likely to have involvement of Silver because of his title and power and might cause a bigger Chilul Hashem than already occurred. I hope for the sake of the Jewish people Spitzer does not do this but you never know what a person is going to do as revenge.
This is not the only thing that has happened in the Jewish political world recently. Dov Hikind was being investigated for an ad campaign he put in Newspapers using tax payer money to for these ads trying to remove Olmert as Prime Minister of Israel. As a frum person shouldn't Hikind know that tax payer money should go to the community not a political campaign about an International issue that does not involve a local community which does not live in Israel? Those are the questions the secular news was jumping all over when this story came out.
We all know what has been going on with Jack Abramoff and the scandals he was involved in. When he showed up in court with a nice Borsalino hat it showed the whole country that once again an Orthodox Jew was involved in corruption. The blogosphere was all over this issue because of a Jewish Press editorial stating that it was because he didn't grow up frum that he acted this way.
Mark Green (another Jew) when he ran for mayor got caught up saying a few stupid things that ended up costing him any hope in winning the democratic primary. Yesterday, Jewish Congressman Gary Ackerman was caught saying something about gays and lesbians to Condeliza Rice which was all over the news causing further embarrassment to the Jewish communities. We had orthomom talking about the local school board politics in the 5 towns area when the Orthodox families don't even send their children there.
There are a few good Jewish politicians who have not yet embarrassed themselves by saying anything stupid or by showing signs of corruption but everyday is a new day in politics and you never know what is going to come out in the news. I believe our Great Rabbis have taught us that a Jew should not become involved in politics. Look at the result of what happened in Germany when the Jews were involved in that Government. Look at some the results of what is going on in American politics both Domestic and local. The Jews need to stay out of politics. It is important that the Jewish communities be represented so the Government provide us with what we need, but it is more important that we do not cause all of this Chillul Hashem which is going on currently. Secular through Orthodox, it does not erase the fact that you are a Jew and everyone knows that. Orthodox are held to higher standards but the Jewish people as a whole should all stick to the ethics we are taught from the Torah. Democrat , Republican, Independent or whatever you are stay out of the public eye and stop causing all of this Chillul Hashem.