April 11, 2017

I think the obvious answer is no, but "Is It Okay to Make Your Seder About Trump?"...

... seems to be an issue worth examining to Jonathan Chait.

Is this just another variation on the perennial Thanksgiving columns about sitting down to dinner with your right-wing uncle? Well, it's not just the standard problem of sitting down to dinner with relatives, because "the sitting president [bears] such an uncanny resemblance to a villain from a traditional Jewish narrative."
Like the Pharaoh, Trump is a builder fond of exploitative labor practices and an arch-nationalist, with a nasty habit of making deals then welching on his side of the bargain. To be sure, Trump bears an even stronger resemblance to Purim’s vain, sexually entitled, easily manipulated King Achashverosh.

Both Passover and Purim lend themselves easily to Trump-bashing because they revolve around a common theme deeper than the particulars of their stories: They celebrate a minority group’s survival against persecution, and contain larger warnings about the kinds of conditions that give rise to such persecution....
By the way, speaking of minority groups... is it "welching" — as Chait has it — or "welshing." My research shows both spellings — going all the way back to the 1860s. I'm looking at the (unlinkable OED), which says the word is "Sometimes considered offensive in view of the conjectured connection with Welsh people." But the etymology is "uncertain" and only possibly based on the "alleged dishonesty of Welsh people."

I had thought that "welsh" was the correct spelling and those those who used "welch" were trying to cover up the insult to the Welsh, but now I think "welch" should be preferred, because it's a good, pithy, meaningful word and the ethnic slur origin isn't established and shouldn't be encouraged.

Also, I've read all the quotes at OED, and my favorite one — from Hunter S. Thompson — spells it with the c: "You're 100% right in saying I've ‘fucked up’, but a little ridiculous in implying that I'm welching."

ADDED: If you accept the analogy that Trump is equivalent to the Pharaoh, you are saying that  ordinary working Americans are the equivalent of slaves. That is disrespectful to the suffering of slaves — and there are many slaves in the world even now — and should be anathema.

IN THE COMMENTS: Ambrose said:
Isn't Passover about a large number of undocumented people LEAVING a country? Didn't the Pharaoh want them to STAY AND KEEP WORKING FOE SLAVE WAGES? I think that makes the Pharaoh the complete opposite of Trump. No two people in history have ever been less alike.

85 comments:

Roy Jacobsen said...

Sometimes, about all you can do is shake your head and hope that someone in the family will get him the help he needs.

Bob Ellison said...

It's an uncommon word. Where I grew up in the desert southwest, it was "welch". Maybe it had a pronunciation connection to "filch" and "belch". That's as far as is appropriate to go on a family-friendly blog.

hiawatha biscayne said...

The Welch Regiment (or "The Welch", an archaic spelling of "Welsh") was an infantry regiment of the line of the British Army in existence from 1881 until 1969.

Michael K said...

Trump and his Jewish grandchildren live rent free in the heads of New Yorkers.

Will they ever get over it?

Sebastian said...

Right, the president with the orthodox son-in-law and Jewish-convert daughter is just like the villain in this old stories.

Of course, Trump owes his election to the discontent of a few "persecuted" minorities.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is It Okay to Make Your Seder About Trump?

I have come to realize how exhausting and narcissistic and ultimately boring this whole dynamic is...

Bad Lieutenant said...

Take it from me the answer is no. There was zero appetite for this within even a predominantly liberal Jewish family (with conservative dissenters to be sure). A couple of random sallies were groaned down.

It's as if people like Chait weren't human in their responses and reactions. Who would destroy their Passover, who would destroy their Easter or Christmas, over this? If politics are more important to you than people and more important to you than your own people then I think that says something very sorry about you.

buwaya said...

Chait is paid to write what he writes.
What he thinks we may never know.
Never assume sincerity.

rehajm said...

Sorry Jonathan. Peggy Noonan just won the Pulitzer for creative whining about Trump.

Maybe next year.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Curious, without wanting to make trouble, I wonder what the Trumps and Kushners and other extended family all did for their Seder/s? That would be cute if they had it in the White House, or if they took the motorcade or Air Force One over to Ivanka's place. Passover is late this year. It can be hard to schedule things.

traditionalguy said...

The Prince of Wales will never be caught at a Passover seder. He is all Muslim all the time. He is drawn by the oil loot that his family covets.

Bob Boyd said...

For Progressives,Trump becoming President is like a Baptist becoming Pope.

Big Mike said...

Trump is driving the Washington-area Jews insane. On the one hand they're supposed to hate him because he's a Republican. On the other hand his daughter and son-in-law are almost certainly more observant than they are and he has more -- and more observant -- Jewish grandchildren. Of course this only makes them hate him more.

Danno said...

Taking this even further, Trump probably was guilty of "jewing" someone down to a ridiculous price, and then "welshing" on that amount.

Etienne said...

Anything that Obama started would be foolish to follow. It's a descent into hell, no matter how much those affected want it.

Fuck 'em. Make em stand in line with the rest of the peasants.

Rae said...

I don't recommend making any religious observance about a political figure of the day.

What is the left going to do when you get someone "worse" than Trump? (From a lefty viewpoint.) He's been compared to Hitler, and now Pharoah. How do you top that?

I suppose they will have to start comparing him to fictional dictators, like Supreme Leader Snoke or Lord Voldemort.

JPS said...

Bad Lieutenant, 9:40:

"If politics are more important to you than people and more important to you than your own people then I think that says something very sorry about you."

Very well put.

Chait apparently didn't learn anything about perspective from the epic smack Bethany Mandel gave him on Twitter right after the election:

Chait: "This is the worst thing that has happened in my life. But eventually we will triumph. [link to article]"
Mandel: "I took my mom off life support at 16 & dad hanged himself 3 yrs later. I'm sorry this election was so hard for you."

Luke Lea said...

Interestingly orthodox Jews actually prefer Trump.

Achilles said...

buwaya said...
"Chait is paid to write what he writes.
What he thinks we may never know.
Never assume sincerity."

I think he is a willing tool.

He isn't smart enough to know what is going on. They are given directions on where to go and they go with enthusiasm or they are replaced.

rhhardin said...

There are so many Jewish holidays why not make one about Trump too.

If you want to have your holiday taken seriously, start by giving neat gifts.

Rick said...

Who would destroy their Passover, who would destroy their Easter or Christmas, over this?

People like Chait wouldn't perceive any destruction. He admits indirectly [Obviously, Jews from politically mixed families might choose to steer clear of Trump, for reasons of comity and simple courtesy] his family is 100% left. As such their mythology and hatreds are community-affirming rather than contentious.

Ambrose said...

Isn't Passover about a large number of undocumented people LEAVING a country? Didn't the Pharaoh want them to STAY AND KEEP WORKING FOE SLAVE WAGES? I think that makes the Pharaoh the complete opposite of Trump. No two people in history have ever been less alike.

Henry said...

Like the Pharaoh, Trump is at his most wicked in an ahistorical fantasy.

Bad Lieutenant said...

No, Rick, you see, it's the law of small differences. They magnify.

Granting a one hundred percent Trump hating family.

Trump!

He's terrible!

He should be hanged!

No, he should be burned alive!

Hanged!

Burnt!

Decapitated!

You shut up Grandpa!

Maybe we could just impeach him?

I HAVE NO SON!!!

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"If politics are more important to you than people and more important to you than your own people then I think that says something very sorry about you."

Does it say that you come from a group of people who've been seriously F-ed by politics dominated by others? And, does this work in the reverse, i.e. does being a birthright member of the F-er group make a person less bothered by or concerned w/ the problems re being one of the F-ed?

Just sayin'

Nonapod said...

If there's one thing I know about the planet Earth in 2017, it's that everything will always be all about Trump at all times, whether we like it or not. It's futile to pretend otherwise.

John said...

Like the Pharaoh, Trump is a builder fond of exploitative labor practices

I kept hearing how DJT used to screw contractors though, with one exception, nobody could actually name any. And the one exception, a cabinetmaker, continued to do work for Trump anyway.

I don't remember hearing about "exploitative labor practices" Can someone bring me up to speed?

John Henry

AJ Lynch said...

Liberals are insane.

tcrosse said...

Does it say that you come from a group of people who've been seriously F-ed by politics dominated by others?
You mean the Progressives who were seriously f-ed over by the DNC, dominated by the economic royalists of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood, who sacrificed the Progressive Agenda on the altar of Hillary's sense of personal entitlement ? Those f-ers ?
Just askin'

Infinite Monkeys said...

Should I make my Easter all about how the political establishment is like the Pharisees, "full of greed and wickedness"?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

John,

DJT has never been sued for nonpayment, he didn't use contractors w/ illegals as employees, he doesn't import foreigners to avoid paying American wages to Americans, and he doesn't use foreign sweatshops to manufacture stuff instead of paying American wages to Americans to make stuff here.

Other than your one example, DJT never benefits by exploitation of others.



Carry on.

Nonapod said...

John said...
I don't remember hearing about "exploitative labor practices" Can someone bring me up to speed?


The article linked to some story about 200 "undocumented" Polish workers who cleared the site for Trump tower wayyy back in like 1980 or something. They were paid $5 an hour (which technically was well about minimum wage in 1980) and they worked 12 hours a day for 7 days a week. A labor Union sued Trump over it I guess.

tim in vermont said...

As an annual attendee of at least one sedee, I can tell you that no "right-wing uncles" are expected.

TosaGuy said...

"I kept hearing how DJT used to screw contractors though, with one exception, nobody could actually name any. And the one exception, a cabinetmaker, continued to do work for Trump anyway."

Most people have an experience where they were ripped off by a contractor. For many, Trump ripping off contractors is not a negative, but a positive.

In general, the pundits, critics and journalists who bring that issue up the most typically are of the ilk that informs plenty of people that Trump has the right enemies.

Dave D said...

"I suppose they will have to start comparing him to fictional dictators, like Supreme Leader Snoke or Lord Voldemort."

They already blew through that fictional comparison with Darth Cheney, no?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Both Passover and Purim lend themselves easily to Trump-bashing...

Dumb. Make the more general case: "X lends itself easily to Trump-bashing" for all X when Trump-bashing is what you like to do, what you want to do, what you need to do. When all you have is a hammer...

tim in vermont said...

And Peanut Butter would never countenance a candidate who actively depressed the wages of American programmers by manipulating the visa process to benefit billionaire donors... Oh wait... Carry on.

tim in vermont said...

I wonder how my phone came up with "sedee"?

Mike Sylwester said...

Jonathan Chait

To me, discussing a parable of universality and openness to the stranger without invoking the ethno-nationalist man-child in the White House would make as much sense as saying nothing while frogs drop from the sky.

Someone explain to me how Seder is a parable of universality and openness to the stranger.

How is the Seder story told in the Chait family?

madAsHell said...

Like the Pharaoh, Trump is a builder fond of exploitative labor practices and an arch-nationalist, with a nasty habit of making deals then welching on his side of the bargain.

Wow! In less than 100 days!!

Mike Sylwester said...

When the Chait family told the Seder story among themselves, who is "the stranger"?

In the Chait family's Seder story, how was "openness" provided to "the stranger"?

In this Chait story of the Seder, how is "universality" expressed?

tim in vermont said...

An "arch-nationalist" is a person who believes that duly elected representatives of the people have a right to regulate our sovereign borders.

tim in vermont said...

I heard that "stranger =refugees" crap last night and asked how you weed out the terrorists and why can't Saudi Arabia take them so they feel more at home where they are free to stone gays and beat their wives according to their book.

At least it stopped the discussion.

Yancey Ward said...

Ignorance is Bliss wrote...

I have come to realize how exhausting and narcissistic and ultimately boring this whole dynamic is...

Bravo!

MaxedOutMama said...

Everyone has the right to their own seder with its own inflection of meaning, but IMO this is about the worst possible. It's almost a mockery of the traditional meaning! I'm getting a bit of the Black Mass type of vibe.

But Chait has a reputation for running off the rails, so this might be sort of understated self-collected behavior for him. Besonnenheit, in German. There are some words that don't exist in English that should.

Fernandinande said...

"Is It Okay to Make Your Seder About Trump?"

Ask God. After you don't get an answer, ask your rabbit.

Mark Jones said...

My ex-wife stopped attending services (and supporting the synagogue) years ago, here in Portlandia, because she tired of the inescapable politics that had crept into every service. She's liberal, though not a progressive, and even so it annoyed her so much that she dropped out. No surprise to me that lots of people just can't NOT get political anywhere and everywhere.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Hmmm... another possible analogy, still sticking to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.

King Solomon, according to Wikipedia:

"a fabulously wealthy and wise king of Israel and a son of David, the previous king of Israel"--OK, not that good a fit; many people would question "wise."

"The Hebrew Bible credits him as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem.[4] It portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power beyond any of the previous kings of the country, but ultimately as a human king who sinned. His sins included idolatry, marrying foreign women, and ultimately turning away from Yahweh, and led to the kingdom's being torn in two during the reign of his son Rehoboam.[6] Solomon is the subject of many other later references and legends, most notably in the 1st-century apocryphal work known as the Testament of Solomon. In later years, in mostly non-biblical circles, Solomon also came to be known as a magician and an exorcist, with numerous amulets and medallion seals dating from the Hellenistic period invoking his name.[7]"

Not a perfect fit. Many would say Trump's presidential campaign was a demonstration of magic.

Darrell said...

This year, the theme of my Seder is "Hillary Clinton will never be President of the United States." The main course come to the table with a fork stuck in it.

Danno said...

tcrosse said..."Those f-ers ? Just askin'"

I thought that also. Maybe that is good, since who would want to be in 3rd_rate_PB's head?

exiledonmainstreet said...

PB wrote: Does it say that you come from a group of people who've been seriously F-ed by politics dominated by others?"

Gee, PB it seems to me you've taken great delight in the sufferings of blue collar people who have been seriously f-ed by politics dominated by others - others that you support. You have exhibited very little compassion for those people.

That's how you got Trump.

C R Krieger said...

Robert Graves, in his autobiographical remembrance of WWI (The Great War), Goodbye to All That early on touches on the proper spelling, re Welch vs Welsh.

Regards  —  Cliff

sean said...

As a New York real estate lawyer, I have news for Jonathan Chait: Trump's business methods and behavior aren't out of the norm for New York developers. Of course, most of them are Jewish, so he would give them a pass.

Big Mike said...

I had thought that "welsh" was the correct spelling and those those who used "welch" were trying to cover up the insult to the Welsh, but now I think "welch" should be preferred, because it's a good, pithy, meaningful word and the ethnic slur origin isn't established and shouldn't be encouraged.

Noble sentiments, Althouse, but Damon Runyon wrote about how wrong it is to welsh on your bookmaker, and he would have known the correct term.

YoungHegelian said...

I've got second-night Seder tonight & it's a room full of liberals, including one especially smug lawyer. If we can just stick to the Haggadah text, we'll be fine. If not, oy!

Before I go, I'll light a votive candle at the shrine of St. Simeon Stylites, the patron saint of avoiding stupid conversations.

Amy said...

I think another theme of the seder is a contrast of liberalism and dependency on big government vs the risks/rewards of freedom.
When the israelites escaped Pharoah's army, many of them immediately started whining about wishing they were back in Egypt where at least they had steady meals (Num 11:5) no doubt bought with the EBT cards.
But that didn't get mentioned at our seder last night.

However, there was a mention of the Pharoah who enslaved the Israelites initially making Joseph an overseer after he interpreted Pharoah's dream - being like Steve Bannon, but I didn't quite get the parallel.

Sigh.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

Well, the universality comes from the part about the chosen people, on account of reasons.

traditionalguy said...

If the Hebrews test him, DJT will take Air Force One to Jerusalem, and redesign the Wolman Temple Mount to include the new US Embassy where he and Bibi will have Seder dinners on live TV.

cubanbob said...

Chait being a progressive looks at things from the Communist perspective. Communist build walls to keep people in; just like Pharaoh. Must be an interesting Seder when looked at from the Pharaoh's perspective.

Bob Boyd said...

Progs see themselves as leading the people out of bondage to the promised land.
And by leading they mean prodding them with bayonets.

buwaya puti said...

On BART today we had an enraged madman loudly railing about all the people about him, slapping his chest and emitting a stream of "f... you m...f....s" and cursing especially ni...ers.

I expect the BART police eventually collected him.

Chait and co. sound rather like that, and thats how most of this stuff would sound, in person, but are obviously doing it as directed, because they arent quite that insane.

Brando said...

Better question--is everything about Trump? Are we beyond the period of making politics about politics and not letting it seep into everything? Of course we can find Trump in everything ("clearly that Pepsi commercial is a sign of what Trump has done...") but that's like seeing shapes in the clouds.

We're in month 3 of this. I don't see how the left will make it to the end of one term, let alone two.

Mike Sylwester said...

I am guessing that in the Chait version of the Seder story, "the stranger" is the Hebrews in Egypt. Who else could "the stranger" possibly be?

I am guess further that Chait thinks that Pharaoh was punished by God for not being fair to these Hebrew "strangers".

However, the reason why the Hebrews were living in Egypt was that one Hebrew, Joseph, became a high-ranking official in the Egyptian Government, and he invited the Hebrews to come live in Egypt. Furthermore, Joseph arranged for the Pharaoh himself to personally welcome the Hebrews to live in Egypt. (Genesis 47: 1-47)

So, the Hebrews were legal immigrants -- not illegal aliens -- in Egypt.

Pharaoh favored Joseph because Joseph had enabled Pharaoh to enslave the Egyptian farmers by collecting high taxes. Basically, the immigrant Joseph had agreed to do an unpleasant job -- tax collection -- that the Egyptians themselves had refused to do for the Pharaoh.

Pharaoh rewarded Joseph by granting Joseph the right of "chain immigration" of all Joseph's immediate relatives who were living abroad.

Probably Joseph put his immigrant relatives to work helping him to collect taxes from the Egyptians.

Generations later, however, there was a populist revolt among the Eyptian masses, who overthrew the Hebrew tax collectors and then subjected the Hebrews themselves to slavery.

From the time of the Hebrews' immigration into Egypt until the Seder story -- until the Exodus -- more than two centuries passed. Having lived now in Egypt for more than two centuries, the Hebrews no longer were "strangers" there at the time of the Seder story.

The Egyptians did not deport the Hebrews from Egypt. Rather, the Hebrews left voluntarily by means of "self-deportation".

Mike Sylwester said...

I suppose that the Egyptians despised the Hebrews originally because they had benefited from a "chain migration" into Egypt to help their big-shot Hebrew relative Joseph collect taxes from Egyptian farmers.

Later, however, the Hebrew tax collectors were overthrown and were reduced to doing construction work for only slave-labor wages. In these circumstances, the Hebrews effectively were depressing wages for native-Egyptian construction workers.

After the Hebrews emigrated voluntarily by means of "self deportation", I suppose that employment and wages for native-Egyptian construction workers rose greatly.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Brando said...
Better question--is everything about Trump?"

This is the end result of "the personal is political" credo. In the end, everything becomes political.

Which is hell on earth.

Brando said...

"This is the end result of "the personal is political" credo. In the end, everything becomes political."

Leninist in a way. Consumes everything because everything is about the revolution.

Angel-Dyne said...

MaxedOutMama: But Chait has a reputation for running off the rails...

Don't you have to be on the rails in order to run off them? Was there ever a time/topic when/where Chait was chugging along sanely on the rails?

Sigivald said...

They celebrate a minority group’s survival against persecution, and contain larger warnings about the kinds of conditions that give rise to such persecution

As much as I find President Trump personally distasteful ... can you show me this persecution, Mr. Chait?

Or is it eternally just over the horizon, or nothing to do even with the President's "inspiring" bad people?

(c.f. the Jewish Community Center bomb hoaxes and other acts, none of which seem to have been real - or at least the number of "real" ones seems identical to the Obama Administration's count by year.

But we were continually assured it was Because Of The President, somehow.

Also, seen on Facebook - car in Alberta, that is to say, Canada, gets covered with anti-Arab graffiti.

People. Blame. Trump.

Because that makes perfect godd@mn sense, right?)

Wilbur said...

"Bob Ellison said...
It's an uncommon word. Where I grew up in the desert southwest, it was "welch". Maybe it had a pronunciation connection to "filch" and "belch". That's as far as is appropriate to go on a family-friendly blog."

I got your reference - or more properly, your lack of reference - to that word, and it got me to wondering how many people generally have heard it or know its meaning.
I think we can assume Laslo and Titus have.

Wilbur said...

My wife's daughter is married to a non-observant Jew, but every year his family has a Passover Seder, to which we are invited and attend. His mother is a left-wing nut and it wouldn't surprise me if she tries to bring up Trump in the festivities, especially if she saw this Chait op-ed.

At Christmas she tried to grill me on who I voted for. It didn't end well for her.

Mike Sylwester said...

When I was growing up in a Nebraska small town that had no Jews, the expression "to jew down" was a common expression that meant to bargain about a purchase. I understood the connotation to be that Jews are good bargainers.

mockturtle said...

The church I last attended celebrated Passover Seder. It was followed and sung to the letter with every course [our assistant pastor had a beautiful and powerful voice]. My sister and her husband, who are Jewish, never observe the tradition any more. In fact, most of the Jews I know personally are non-believing Jews. Would they be properly called JINOs?

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Sylwester said...

Chait:

To me, discussing a parable of universality and openness to the stranger without invoking the ethno-nationalist man-child in the White House would make as much sense as saying nothing while frogs drop from the sky.

Does Chait's family call the Seder story a parable?

That word does not appear in Jewish scriptures. Rather it appears in Christian scriptures, as the New Testament mentions repeatedly that Jesus spoke in "parables".

A parable is a very short fiction about a trivial event that communicates a symbolic truth in a somewhat puzzling manner. An example of a parable told by Jesus is that a farmer cast some seeds, and some of the seeds fell into stones or weeds, but some fell onto good soil and eventually grew into a grain crop.

I suspect that Chait is confusing the Jewish Seder story with Christian parable of "The Good Samaritan". That parable, told by Jesus, indeed did communicate the themes of "universality" and "openness to the stranger".

William Chadwick said...

Do Jewish "liberals" (and by "liberals" I mean of course "tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping State fellators" toast, "Next year in Havana"? Just wondering.

Mike Sylwester said...

Chait:

To me, discussing a parable of universality and openness to the stranger without invoking the ethno-nationalist man-child in the White House would make as much sense as saying nothing while frogs drop from the sky.

Chait's seems to compare:

* Seder celebrants not saying anything about Trump

* Egyptians not saying anything about frogs dropping from the sky.

Chait's idea seems to be that Moses was subjecting Egypt to various plagues (e.g. frogs dropping from the sky), but normal Egyptians were afraid to mention the plagues. Mentioning them would imply criticism of the Pharaoh, whose unfair policies against the Hebrew "strangers" should be blamed for the plagues.

-----

This analogy is confused.

** Not mentioning Trump is like not mentioning the dropping frogs

** Trump is like the frogs

-----

Here is a better analogy:

*** Moses sent the plagues (e.g. dropping frogs)

*** Trump is sending plagues (e.g. mean treatments of "the stranger")

*** Trump is like Moses.

tcrosse said...

The Seder must be a comfort to the millions who suffer under the yoke of Trump's oppression.

exiledonmainstreet said...

tcrosse said...
The Seder must be a comfort to the millions who suffer under the yoke of Trump's oppression.

4/11/17, 2:55 PM

I wish a New Moses would appear and lead them to the Promised Land, above the 49th parallel.

Daniel Jackson said...

I like Mike Sylwester's accounting. Insightful.

Chait, moreover, is misreading the text of Shemot (Exodus) let alone the Hagaddah. The Torah says that a New King came to rule, who did not know Joseph, and told his "people" to act wisely against them because they could aid and assist the New King's enemies.

For me, this recounts the rise of Obama who posed a mortal threat to the Children of Israel figuratively and literally. From this perspective, the Seder relates the truly miraculous deliverance from the hands of Obama and the clan Clinton. Signs and wonders abound to support such a reading too numerous to recount here. To paraphrase Psalm 91, Look and you shall surely see the retribution of the wicked.

Now, if one were to satirize Trump, the appropriate Jewish festival is Purim where the King is mercilessly teased; although there, a Jewish heroine speaks up to save the Children (of Israel) from slaughter.

I run a community seder in south France largely attended by non-Jews. The theme of universality is frankly evident to all. Instead of Egypt, we read MITZRAYIM, the Hebrew word for the place but also for "dire straits" with no reference to the group. We talk about the deliverance from difficulties and the burden of the tax collectors, which resonates completely with the French who pay their social security off the top rather than the net.

I think the article bespeaks of a man who wants to be an apikoros but is only an amharetz.

wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel Jackson said...

How is the Seder universal and open to all? From the outset, the Haggadah opens: "This is the bread of affliction our ancestors ate in the land of Mitzrayim. Let ALL who are hungry come and eat. Let ALL who are needy come and join in the celebration of the Passover. This year, we are here; next year may we be in Israel. This year we are slaves; next year may we be free people."

ALL means everyone, regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation. Or, even political orientation.

How do we know that it is okay to invite a "king?" From the story of Esther who invited both the king and the prime minister, neither Jews and one hell bent on the destruction of the Jews.

Where do we know the universal essence of the story of the Passover? From the song Dayenu which relates of the chain of events from the Passover night to the giving of the Torah at Sinai (and beyond). It is a fundamental tenet of Judaism that the Torah was given to the world.

Some argue that Mr. Trump is a peasant with a lack of understanding. In this case, he is in need of a proper education or that he is as wicked as the evil Haman in the Story of Esther. In that case, he would fall into the category of those to whom the introductory invitation is mandatory and denying him access to the Seder contradicts the very purpose of the festival.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

By the way, speaking of minority groups... is it "welching" — as Chait has it — or "welshing."

You're going to argue writing with Jonathan Chait? Seriously? Ok, you go and convince your "1860" audience of proper usage, then.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Isn't Passover about a large number of undocumented people LEAVING a country?

Not before a series of plagues were visited upon that country's leader. That's what it took for him to agree.

The issue here is a living wage. Do people here really believe that Trump will usher in a substantial raise in the average American's working wage?

All he's done so far is to write edicts to weaken pollution controls in dying sectors, and call it a jobs bill. Poisoning our kids with asbestos, chlorpyrifos, lead and whatever can be left in stream run-off.

It really is remarkable how many people are willing to buy into this charlatan's facade.

Jon Burack said...

Pharaoh is Trump? And here I always thought he was Yule Brynner. Anyway, I suspect very few of the Jews in Israel will be thinking about Trump that way this Passover.