Lieberman is neither the only senator who is faithful to his wife nor the only one with deep-seated religious beliefs. But because his religion demands from him daily sacrifices - or at least what appear as such to outsiders - and not just protestations of faith, there is no suspicion that he might be an Elmer Gantry or Jimmy Swaggart.
In the aftermath of his speech, the national media was filled with admiring stories about his daily Torah study and prayer, of how he walks seven kilometers from Capitol Hill to his Georgetown home on Shabbat when he must be present in the Senate on Friday night, and of how, when they served together in the Senate, Vice President Al Gore offered him his nearby apartment on Friday night and served as his Shabbes goy.
ONCE Jews exemplified dedication to God, and won the grudging admiration even of their most rabid enemies. Of late, however, American Jews have come to perceive themselves, and to be perceived by others, as a largely godless people. Sen. Lieberman - like the Yale Five and last year's Siyum HaShas - has once again reminded Americans that Judaism is a religion, not an adjunct of Americans for Democratic Action or Greenpeace.
From The Jerusalem Post October 6, 1998. Aliza Marcus writes:
Sir, - Jonathan Rosenblum's columns rarely fail to offend my sensibilities as a Jew, but I generally find his arguments well-reasoned and intelligent. However, his September 18 piece on Orthodox Jewish US Senator Joseph Lieberman showed the ugly side of Rosenblum, that side of him that refuses to see the reality of the world because he is so sure he is right.
Rosenblum writes that Lieberman is a moral man because "his religion demands from him daily sacrifices... and not just protestations of faith." Rosenblum also writes that it is the very fact Lieberman is Orthodox which makes him "immune" to accusations that he might have committed some indiscretion.
Being Orthodox, or even ultra-Orthodox, is not proof positive that someone is an upright person. Unless Rosenblum does not deign to read the paper that publishes him, I would assume he knows this.
A few months ago an Israeli court found guilty an ultra-Orthodox man (son of a famous rabbi) who sexually molested his niece for a period of years starting when she was a young teen. That upright community that Rosenblum lauds threw the girl out because she went to the police - despite her previous failed attempts to get help from rabbis in the community.
And has Rosenblum heard of domestic violence? It also occurs among the ultra-Orthodox - just ask any women's organization dealing with the issue. Prostitution? Hang around some of the seedier parks late at night and one can see ultra-Orthodox men who are not there for prayer.
If Rosenblum still has some doubts, he should stop by the magazine store/cafe off Jaffa Road near Zion Square and look at the ultra-Orthodox men leafing through the pornographic magazines. Don't tell me they are just reading the articles.