I am back. This weekend we were in Boca Raton for the Bar Mitzvah of my grandson, Steven. A wonderful celebration that exceeded all expectations, as my daughter Julie has a special talent for making outstanding parties.

But like all huge undertakings there was one glitch, which occurred in the synagogue during the Saturday morning services. Steven did a great job, but I cannot say the same for his rabbi.

Good and evilHere’s what happened: At the finale, the rabbi spoke from the pulpit and gave the congregation a bible story telling about community leaders in ancient Israel who had to take an oath of non-involvement when a citizen was murdered. It all sounded too far-fetched to begin with, but then he dropped his bomb on us and related the story to hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans. He denounced the incompetence of our officials, the police, the mayor, the governor, the president and never mentioning unexplainable acts of God, or the cruelties and terrible forces of the weather and Mother Nature. Aren’t religious leaders supposed to uplift us spiritually and help us to be better human beings? Isn’t that their main function?

Sadly, this rabbi may even have been correct in his assessment, but using the pulpit to vent his political views was unacceptable. Celebrities like Tom Cruise and Jane Fonda tried using their fame to shape our thinking, but they soiled their reputations. Why do our respected religious leaders trespass in politics, when it is constitutionally illegal for politics to trespass on religions? We even went to extremes to uphold the constitution; I am sure you all recall, the recent controversy over using the word, God, in our Pledge of Allegiance or displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools.

As for the rabbi…shocking. shameful, embarrassing, out of place are just a few things that come to mind.

It was Jesus who said. ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ etc. Which reinforces my point… keep God and Caesar separate.”

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