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Is Obama Speaking to Rabbis to Influence Their Sermons?

We have an election coming up in just a few weeks in which President Obama’s legacy is at stake. Jews, who tend to vote in large numbers, could help tip the balance crucial states like Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.

Strangely, Obama has scheduled for late Monday morning what the White House is calling “a conference call with rabbis for Rosh Hashanah.”

Now, what could that be about? Obama is not doing much in the way of policy anymore. Relations with Israel are kind of on hold, although there is talk Obama could back a UN resolution declaring Israel an “occupier” of Palestinian lands, and it’s possible Obama wants to talk to them about that. But he would never make such a declaration before the elections, and it’s not Obama’s style to consult too much about his decisions, particularly with parties that will be adversely affected.

What makes sense is a suggestion by one of our readers, Sadie, that he will be providing them with a few talking points for their sermons. That he hopes to inject some politics into the synagogue this holiday season to ensure Jews back Hillary in November.

This could be done subtly. Since my fellow Jews are overwhelmingly Democrats, all he needs to do is ask the rabbis to talk about the civic duty of everyone to engage in the process by voting, even if they aren’t thrilled with the choices. One of Democrats’ most paralyzing fears is that their people, disgusted with the election, simply won’t show up to vote. So a pro-Democratic message from the Jewish pulpit need only be couched as a patriotic call to participate in democracy.

Obama Jewish leaders
Obama meets with Jewish leaders at the White House in 2011

The rabbis will be very receptive to this message. I’ve been a member of both Conservative — a term referring to religious, and not political practices — and Reform temples, and if I’ve ever heard a sermon that had a politically conservative theme to it, I can’t remember it. But I’ve heard plenty that sounded liberal, even if the rabbi might have just thought they were expounding on “social justice” or other themes everyone — of course! — would agree with.

Orthodox Jews tend to be less liberal, but I don’t know what Orthodox rabbis talk about.

Christians may not understand the power of the Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur sermon, but certainly, Obama’s Jewish aides do. Jews who belong to Reform and even Conservative temples tend to be pretty secular and not attend weekly Shabbat services. But on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, attendance at synagogue goes up exponentially. Everyone, it seems, feels the need to at least affirm their religion once a year.

And this year, whether they know it or not, they may be getting a message from Obama.

Obama is not above a little High Holy Day politics. In his Rosh Hashanah greeting last year, he stealthily dropped an anti-GOP message. Obama noted that we are obligated to atone for past sins, a theme of the holidays. But with Trump suddenly a threat in the GOP primaries, advocating a wall with Mexico — and his rivals also taking a hard line on illegal immigration — Obama threw in that we are required to “avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, and to love the stranger, and treat him as we would want to be treated.”

22 Responses to Is Obama Speaking to Rabbis to Influence Their Sermons?

    • And the cast of “The Birth of a Nation” has a Get Out The Vote video to show before the movie, along with on-site voter registration. (Wonder how many Trump voters won’t be registered at those shows).

    • What do you expect from a low-life sadist, always injecting his ugly self into everything to try and control EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING! He gets a thrill trying to control everything because he was a nothing in his youth. He has the mentality of a teen-age boy and has more NERVE THAN BRAINS. He is the most stupid, dumbest, most viscious “president” we ever had. I wish him the worst rest of his life ever! Everything he does is illegal and immoral. But he thinks he is so great, I feel sorry for his daughters, they will have to grow up with some of their father’s angst and sadism.

  1. It’s well known that MrTrump’s daughter and son-in-law are Jews and that could be the impetus for a call to the Rabbis. Thinking that the congregation might lean toward a Jewish family and not support the lying, greedy, criminal MrsClinton, a word otherwise might change some minds.
    MrObama might as well have a phone conference with some Catholic Priests or Bishops asking them to convince their congregations that an abortion loving candidate who scammed private companies and certain nations for money is the better candidate.

    • The more desperate the Clinton crowd (and by proxy, Obama) become over this race, the more they flail around and become irrational in their tactics. In the Hillary campaign office, they are collecting flop sweat by the bucketful.

    • Every time something like this happens, whether it is in Sweden, Germany or the U. S., it strengthens Trumps candidacy.
      Why does Hillary scream that she does not know why she is not 50 points ahead? Because Americans feel unsafe. Because Obama has let an American Caliphate form. We are desperate for a leader who can bring change.

  2. Jews would do well to remember their neighbors in and around Israel want to wipe them from the Earth. Why would they want to treat their enemies with kindness? I’m all for forgiving past sins, but not those enemies who wish me death. Obama is no friend of either Jews or Christians.

    • Yeah, but some of them vote democrat no matter what, is it a death wish with them to vote for those mongoloid democrats?Because if they vote for Clinton, more of them will get their wish.

    • I am not Jewish. I am Christian.
      This I know is true.
      Christians are friends with the Jews.
      We believe they are God’s chosen people.
      Muslims are not friends with the Jews.
      They believe in Allah. They do not believe in the God of our shared Biblical fathers.
      It’s that simple.
      Someone asked me if, after the election, BHO would admit he is Muslim. Interesting question for which I had no answer.

  3. Thanks Keith for running with my gut instincts.

    The Jewish vote that went to Obama is not going to Hillary in the same numbers. There’s another element: HRC is in favor of a two-state solution. Trump is in favor of acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital, which negates a two-state and horrible solution.

    Orthodox Rabbis tend to stick to the importance of the holiday. My last rabbi was a conservative and never spoke politics at all. I have no idea what liberal rabbis speaks about.

  4. It’s very hard to hide the hate I have for him and his family and all the people that should be helping the American Taxpayers !!!

    May They Rot In Hell !!