I am trying to judge everything based on the Jewish moral principles rooted in the Jewish history. My Jewish moral principles have moved me to proclaim the following four items, although loved by the news media, as the false indicators of the failure of Trump’s presidency.
#1. The “Trump is incompetent” declaration is a false indicator of the Trump’s presidency failure. Those who would be described nowadays as “incompetent people” since they rejected the traditional way of doing politics were the creators of Judaism. One of them was an “incompetent” Abraham who, in spite of the lack of any experience as an acknowledged spiritual leader, found One God for everybody.
#2. The “Trump is illegitimate president” declaration is a false indicator of the Trump’s presidency failure. Those who would be described nowadays as “illegitimate leaders” since they did not receive the majority votes made our world a better place for everybody. One of them was an “illegitimate leader” Moses who, in spite of the lack of any experience as an acknowledged political leader, brought a million Jews out of Egypt slavery to become a free nation.
#3. The “Trump is destroying the established order” declaration is a false indicator of the Trump’s presidency failure. Those who would be described nowadays as assaulters on the “established order” since they tried to change the malfunctioning established order earned the praise of future generations. One of them was a “rabbi-destroyer” Joshua (who soon after his death to be called Jesus Christ) who, in spite of the prohibition to teach the Torah to the non-Jews, began teaching the Torah to the non-Jews who had become the Christians.
#4. The “Trump owns his victory to Russians” declaration is a false indicator of the Trump’s presidency failure. Nothing is wrong with the Russians spying on the US and trying to influence everything to benefit the Russian policies. We in the US are doing the same – we are spying on Russia and we are trying to do everything there to benefit our own policies. And our own Jewish Esther spied on the Court of King Artaxerxes (the Story of Purim) to influence the King’s policies and save the Jewish people.
So what are the true indicators of success of Trump’s presidency? I believe there are four such indicators.
#1. Significant improvements in the restoration of economy good enough to create well-paid jobs for everybody of the pre-retirement age that creates the near full employment and reduces significantly the welfare/unemployed population.
#2. Significant improvements in the restoration of Judeo-Christian legal foundation of the nation that manifests by a decisive spiritual contribution of priests and rabbis in legislating at all levels of government.
#3. Significant improvements in the restoration of US leading role in international affairs that reduces the probability of large-scale military confrontations.
#4. Significant improvements in American-Russian relations that develops the truly mutually beneficial collaboration in the fight against Islamic terrorism and in other areas of mutual interests.
If Trump succeeds in all that, he will be reelected for the second term and the history will remember him as one of the greatest US presidents. If he fails, the next time the people will elect somebody else and the history will treat him as a president who was defeated by powerful political swamp, which by the time of his presidency had become an All-Mighty one.
It seems to me, something is missing in this sermon.
From a sermon by Rabbi Sacks:
Judaism identified three distinct moral sensibilities each of which has its own voice and vocabulary. They are  the ethics of the king,  the ethics of the priest and fundamentally,  the ethics of the prophet.
Jeremiah and Ezekiel talk about their distinctive sensibilities:
For the teaching of the law [Torah] by the priest will not cease,
nor will counsel [etzah] from the wise [chakham],
nor the word [davar] from the prophets. (Jer. 18:18)
They will go searching for a vision [chazon] from the prophet, priestly instruction in the law [Torah] will cease, the counsel [etzah] of the elders will come to an end. (Ez. 7:26)
Priests think in terms of Torah. Prophets have “the word” or “a vision.” Elders and the wise have “etzah”. What does this mean? … Kings and their courts are associated in Judaism with wisdom – chokhmah, etzah and their synonyms. … The prophetic voice is quite different, impassioned, vivid, radical in its critique of the misuse of power and the exploitative pursuit of wealth. … The ethic of the priest, and of holiness generally, is different again. The key activities of the priest are lehavdil – to discriminate, distinguish and divide – and lehorot – to instruct people in the law, both generally as teachers and in specific instances as judges.
I am not a rabbi, I am just a thinking Jew as the majority of Jews are, and I feel we are missed in this triangle. I feel we are the fourth cornerstone of Judaism – we the individual humans of Judaism whose ethics are distinct moral sensibilities as well. We are not teaching the Jewish spirituality; we are not counseling any formal congregation of people; and we are not instructing anybody on any Talmudic rules. We have, at least most of us have, Jewish ethics in our genes clarified and enhanced by our families, education and our encounters with many in the triangle above.
What we are doing is modifying and tailoring the “three distinct moral sensibilities” to our distinctive and unique Jewish lives. We are trying, with the help of rabbis or without such help, to figure out how to be the Chosen and how to build together with our Christian human brothers and sisters a better Torah-guided world for everybody. Below are a few example.
As a scientist and as a socially active person. One of the areas of my professional involvement was American-Russian relationships, and one of the challenges was whether we had to influence their “perestroika” after the dissolution of the Soviet Union – if they are “made in the image of God” as we are, may be it is better to let them find their own way without our forceful interference.
My friend Naum L. was trying hard to strengthen Jewishness of his extensive and politically active family and one of the challenges was to decide what is closer to being Jewish – being politically conservative or liberal.
Another my friend Matus S. was involved in shaping up Holocaust exhibitions – should they demonstrate the survival of Jewish nation spiritually or just the massacres.
Our Jewishness forced my friends and myself to look for spiritual answers to all challenges in the above – probably as the fourth cornerstone of Judaism.
I tried to find an answer to a question of why our rabbis are not a significant help to us, and what I found is discomforting for the rabbis and myself.
The rabbis are trained to teach everything what Judaism created for the last three millenniums, and it was enough when the Jewish majority was isolated from the rest of the “native” people where the Jewish majority lived. For the last two centuries, this situation has changed drastically. Now the Jewish majority lives peacefully together with the non-Jewish population and is building a better world together with Gentiles. Now the Jewish majority lives in the democratic societies where all problems are being resolved by listening to each other and finding a consensus with the others. However, our rabbis are not trained to do that – they are trained to indoctrinate. And the Jewish majority is figuring out, on their own, what to do – how to stay the Chosen and how to build a better world with the others.
From the news media:
The study, released by the Pew Research Center, which surveyed the residents of 18 countries, found that only 80 percent of respondents would accept Jews as fellow citizens.
Thus, the 20% of the Gentiles would not accept the Jews as fellow citizens. May it be that this 20% are the Gentiles reside nearby the strictly orthodox Jewish enclaves and observe the unwillingness of these Jews to find a consensus on how to follow common society rules and build a better world for everybody.
Let us first define Judaism as rabbinical profession and Judaism as Jewish way of life.
Judaism as rabbinical profession has, like any other profession, its higher education institutions the yeshivas with their curriculums, accreditations, alumni-type associations, publications, and of course the spiritual competition among them.
Like in any other profession, there are sages and authorities (rabbinical authorities) such as for example Rambam, Hillel or Lubavicher Rabbi Schneerson – they are the greatest in the profession who earned the trust of their pupils the Jewish majority.
At the core of this profession is the Jewish understanding of God’s guidance in the Torah on the human morality and the rituals in support of this morality.
The professionals in this profession, the Rabbis, have been teaching all that to their pupils in the synagogues and other places of Jewish education.
Judaism as Jewish way of life is the application of the rabbis’ teachings to the day-by-day life of Jewish families – at home, at work, in politics, etc. in the variety of places where Jews may live – how to do the Jewish rituals and how to live morally Jewish.
In the historic Jewish past, there was no misapprehension between Judaism as rabbinical profession and Judaism as Jewish way of life. Judaism as rabbinical profession provided complete guidance on Jewish way of life. That was so since the Jewish communities were separated from the “natives” in countries of Jewish residence and the haredim orthodox rabbis were the ultimate legal authorities on the rituals and the morality in segregated Jewish communities from the birth to the death. The rabbis’ teachings and instructions had no competing forces – it was a sort of spiritual guiding dictatorship.
In the contemporary Jewish life, everything is different – now most of the Jews are exposed to numerous competing spiritual guiding ideas. Only about 20% of Jews are under the old-style haredim orthodox rabbinical guidance. The rest of the Jews are under competing influences of non-haredim Jewish spiritual streams (Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist) and various non-Jewish spiritual streams.
Pew Survey of U.S. Jews shows that less than one-third of American Jews belong to a synagogue. Among them, only twenty-three percent attend synagogue on a regular basis. It looks like only about 20% of the Jews in America have a rabbi as a personal spiritual adviser on the Jewish way of life. The great Jewish majority in America is “under influence” of many non-rabbinical authoritative forces which are shaping their morality – the government, the employment, the neighborhood, the Gentile news media, the Christian and Atheistic realms, the Gentile social circles, etc.
However, and that is very important, in the Jewish families, as Pew Survey of U.S. Jews shows, 96 percent are trying to raise their children as Jews. It means the Jewish majority is eager to preserve their Jewish way of life through their own understanding of Judaism for contemporary diversified life conditions.
That means that nowadays the Judaism as rabbinical profession is separated from the Judaism as Jewish way of life for about 80% of American Jews.
Nowadays no traditional rabbinical authority is directly guiding the Jewish majority in many morality decisions. Here are just a few examples.
Orthodox Judaism maintains the historical understanding of Jewish identity. A Jew is someone who was born to a Jewish mother, or who converts to Judaism in accordance with Jewish law and tradition. However, that is not the case anymore. Many Jews are marrying Christians not to abandon Judaism as way if life but rather to include the newcomers to the Jewish family in the Jewish way of life. They would like to get traditional rabbinical guidance on that but they do not get it. For the traditional rabbinical community the adherence to professional doctrines is more important than helping the intermarried Jewish families preserve their Jewishness in a sort of renovated form. This pushes many Jewish families to the non-traditional rabbinical authorities (Reform, Conservative) and then out of the rabbinical guidance at all.
The politically correct directives of US government on what is Good and what is Bad for the society are changing and challenging the Judeo-Christian definitions on what is Good and Bad. However, there is no traditional rabbinical guidance on all that and the Jews are making their moral decisions here being influenced not by traditional rabbinical authorities but rather by anti-Judeo-Christian forces.
What to do? The answer is obvious: for all Jewish spiritual authorities – traditional and non-traditional, religious and non-religious, pro-Judeo-Christian and anti-Judeo-Christian, political and non-political – get together and propose a set of Jewish morality guidance for the Jews living happily in Judeo-Christian civilization. Could it be done?