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May 09, 2011

Are Eric Cantor's Values Jewish Values?

Eric Cantor Shmuley Boteach 5-8-11 Rabbi Shmuley Boteach launches a new institute to promote Jewish values and has House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as an honored guest at the launch. But Cantor wants to cut taxes for the rich and cut services like Welfare for the poor to pay for them. Could Eric Cantor's punish the poor outlook really be Jewish?

  Boteach Group Launch Mansion 5-8-11

At a 25,000 square foot mansion in New Jersey on Sunday, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach launched a new organization, The National Institute of Jewish Values. It will train young rabbis from Chabad-Lubavitch, Yeshiva University and other Orthodox groups to "advance Jewish values" in mainstream culture.

Boteach was surrounded by the rich and powerful, by rabbis like Chabad's leader, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, and the CEO of OU Kosher, Rabbi Menachem Genack.

Eric Cantor Shmuley Boteach 5-8-11 Among the powerful in attendance was US Congressman Eric Cantor (R - VA), the House Majority Leader. Cantor, who supports privatizing Medicare and making large cuts in social programs meant to help the poor, was an honored guest.

Does that mean cutting welfare programs and casting seniors into a private insurance market that not so long ago refused to insure many seniors are Jewish values?

Or does it mean that power and money trumps the Jewish values Boteach's new institute is meant to promote?

Cutting welfare and related Cantor policies are certainly not Jewish values; in fact, Cantor's policies are antithetical to Jewish values. They are everything Jewish values are not.

Eric Cantor Shmuley Boteach 2 5-8-11 Cantor abandons the poor, the sick, the unemployed and the underemployed. He cuts taxes for the rich and well-to-do and then cuts services for everyone else to pay for it.

Judaism mandates that the community and each of its members take care of those who are in need. That means supporting them at the pre-poverty level of their existence and doing so with dignity and respect, including providing housing, jobs, food, clothing, medical care and other assistance – all areas Cantor has voted to cut or supports cutting.

Make no mistake about it – Eric Cantor's values are not Jewish values.

I hope Boteach and his new "Jewish values" organization, funded by what one presumes are supporters of Cantor, remembers that.

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Cantor,

what it view on gay marriage, and other such issues that are very important to some in the frum Jewish society

I'm all for cuting health and welfare benefits to scam cities like Kiryas Joel and its fellow travelers-I'd like to see a reporter ask Rep Cantor how he feels about cities where the average house price is $300k but have the highest use of food stamps in the county.

Currently, there are approx 30,000 Kollel Yungerliet who are living on Govt programs.

Food Stamps, Sec 8, Vouchers, Medicaid, HEAP, Earned Income Credit, WIC, Welfare, Etc, add up to about $40,000 annually.

That enables these fathers of many children, to continue to learn peacefully, and with a Geshmak.

Currently, there are approx 30,000 Kollel Yungerliet who are living on Govt programs.

Food Stamps, Sec 8, Vouchers, Medicaid, HEAP, Earned Income Credit, WIC, Welfare, Etc, add up to about $40,000 annually.

That enables these fathers of many children, to continue to learn peacefully, and with a Geshmak.

Posted by: Rav A.J. | May 09, 2011 at 08:09 AM

I hope you are being sarcastic

Well, I was hoping that the writer of the article was sarcastic, when he admires Democrats for giving our money, to young healthy people, without even questioning, "Why don't you have a propper earnings? Why aren't you taking a job?".

these pictures are a source of major embarassment to Chabad and its shluchim ( for many reasons too difficult to get into without writing a megillah). I understand the position Krinsky may have found himself to be in but that's what differentiates the real people from the weaklings who make money their god.
Krinsky is a farce and a fake and is bringing down the high chasidic standards of this organization. As he said the last time he opened up his trap - gone with the wind - should be the motto of Chabad - get rid of this imbecile who should go back to being a taxi driver.

Eric Cantor the "fiscally responsible deficit hawk" voted for a trillion $ in tax cuts with no way to pay for the lost revenue except by increasing the deficit. Also voted for 2 wars with no way to pay for them except through deficits. But, if we get rid of Medicare it will all be OK. And don't forget his party to ban all abortion, contraception. That's what he stands for....besides his own career.

Yeah, let's give even more $$ to the poor - in fact let's triple what we give them? No, because there's line drawing between helping out and going bankrupt? So maybe a responsible Jew can draw that line? But clearly not the author of this article.

Stop regurgitating the dems talking pont!

Since when did you become an authority on Jewish values?
This is one of the most pathetic political cheap shots you've taken, and that's no small thing.
Either argue with the man's views, or ignore them, but don't act like you're the posek ha-dor, and that you've pronounced them incompatible with a religion you no longer even pretend to practice.

since torah values regarding helping your fellow man mostly apply only to fellow jews, it is completely in keeping with these values to cut from all the programs intended to help the poor while ensuring that exceptions are made for predominately haredi enclaves in return for bloc- votes.
so....yes...this would be in keeping with torah values. however since most jews thankfully reject these torah values and tend to be more compassionate to non-jews than is required by the torah, and historically voted democratic, this would NOT be in keeping with 'jewish' values.

Krinsky is a farce and a fake and is bringing down the high chasidic standards of this organization.

Seriously? What "high chasidic standards"?

Stop regurgitating the dems talking pont!

Since when did you become an authority on Jewish values?
This is one of the most pathetic political cheap shots you've taken, and that's no small thing.

No, Shmarya is absolutely correct. Care for the poor and downtrodden used to be one of our core values. There was a time at which most of us understood that. Once Reagan got in, everything changed. The economy was artificially inflated for several years, and everyone made money hand over fist. Those of modest means became wealthy; those who were already rich became obscenely so. Suddenly, generations of immigrant experience, of identifying with the disenfranchised, went right out the window.

Cantor certainly does NOT embody Jewish values - unless we're going to redefine "Jewish values" to mean screwing the poor, cozying up to the Christian Right and hanging out with a self-promoting, self-appointed "expert" on ethics and morality.

Do people know that the Democrats just passed a sixty million dollar bill to fund the yeshivos for Higher Education.

The funds will be spent to teach students how to prepare a red cow to cleanse a person who is not pure.
Some funds will be used to teach all details of animal sacifices, and exactly which sounds one should make with the Shofar.

Dov Hikind call this a victory for EDUCATION.

The American Tax-Payers really have many Mitzvohs.

A flat tax - everyone should pay 10% - sounds Jewish to me.

Do social programs help the poor or perpetuate the poor? There is lots of evidence for the latter.

A flat tax - everyone should pay 10% - sounds Jewish to me.

Posted by: itchiemayer | May 09, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Itchiemeyer:

What about the fact that we are currently fighting a war on three fronts. Two of those fronts President Bush got us into. If the war is worth fighting, then why isn't it worth paying for. Why is it that the ony people that are sacrificing for the war are the guys fighting it?

The failure of Communism and the Kibbutz movement bear out the fact that, not working hard - for yourself - to make a profit, is counterproductive.
In that vein there should be no difference between the able bodied bum or the Kollel guy waiting for his taxpayer sponsored (government coerced) handout.
A flat tax in the 10% range seems fair. That should cover national and internal security, other essential communal needs, as well as basic staples for the truly needy.
Shmarya,
Would the above be an accurate Torah view?

Oh please. It is a Jewish duty to help the poor but there is no Jewish "value" that says the government must charge high taxes and soak the rich to do it.
If the government cuts taxes, thereby encouraging the rich to create jobs and, at the same time makes being on welfare less lucrative than entry level jobs thereby encouraging the poor to seek out work more aggressively then it is reflecting Jewish values.

Where are the jobs that the rich have created?

So Shmarya, do you think that the Israeli government taking money from the rich and giving it to poor Charedi families sitting in kollel is a Jewish value? I certainly don't think it is. But I guess that you only think it's a Jewish value when the American government forcibly takes money from the rich people in this country and gives it to people to whom it does not belong with the message of "your'e entitled to it", enabling them to engage in the productive activity of sitting at home and watching the morons on "The View".

Posted by: YEA | May 09, 2011 at 01:45 PM

You make no sense.

People who are legitimately poor should be helped.

People who choose not to work should not.

When it is unclear what a person is doing, choosing to be idle or really poor, that person must be helped.

The only thing I know is that I can't make progress saving for higher medicare premiums because Ben Bernanke is artificially depressing interest rates below the rate of inflation to keep the yield curve steep.

For those of you that will not accept higher taxes to pay for the war and Medicare Part D, get used to the decline inthe purchasing power of our currency. Inflation is a tax.

Yes, the government wastes money that goes to people who may not all deserve it. But, we now spend $2 billion a WEEK on the war in Afghanistan so that Karzai and his friends and family can all buy more property in Dubai at the expense of the American taxpayer. Would you prefer your money goes there instead of Medicare?

Shmarya, I the Torah does not specify how a society should be run on a national level. There are halachot that deal with issues on a municiple level or smaller. Anything greater than that is beyond the scope of specific halacha.

I've been reading this site for about an hour and 1/2. I stumbled on it through the articles about Der Tzitung "disappearing" Hilary Clinton in that photo about the Bin laden mission. Very interesting site, even though much (but less that you would think) is over my head. I find it very soothing, in the misery-loves-company sense. I am Roman Catholic, and oh, boy I feel your pain. While the average Catholic is probably not as knowledgeable about Catholicism/Christianity as the average Jew is about Judiasm, there are so darn many of us that we have blogs and blogs and websites and websites where we can argue and commiserate about our right-wing brethen. We have lots of articles and ads in the NYT we can gnash our teeth on. Catholicism is not fundamentalist (i.e., the world is 5000 years old) but has a long history of fighting with science. Actually has done pretty well compared to much of Christianity. Just like Jews wince when a Jew is in the public eye about some scandal or crime, Catholics wince in our situations. I guess my point is that these discussions seems to be part of the human condition as we wrestle with the nature of God and the world. My best wishes!

Cafeteria Catholic -

thanks for the post. its interesting to hear of parallels amongst religions and their adherents.

Shmarya, do you remember what we said several weeks ago about the character of the Jewish community and whether or not it would be advisable to simply allow it to self-destruct? The comments here by knee-jerk right-wingers comprise Exhibit A.

A flat tax in the 10% range seems fair. That should cover national and internal security, other essential communal needs, as well as basic staples for the truly needy.
Shmarya,
Would the above be an accurate Torah view?

Posted by: corn popper | May 09, 2011 at 01:21 PM


No.

In practice, a basic system like that was once used, I think, but it was regularly supplemented by special funding requests made to the rich and upper middle class. And it was also supplemented by tzedaka.

A more common system was a tax on all kosher meat supplemented by special appeals to the rich, community-wide fundraising drives, and tzedaka.

Cafeteria Catholic -

thanks for the post. its interesting to hear of parallels amongst religions and their adherents.

Posted by: ah-pee-chorus | May 09, 2011 at 06:59 PM

Seconded

Some of you sure have a lot of faith in the Government to spend your money wisely. It's funny how in '08 there was a report on how little charity the Gores and Obamas had given to charity over several years. The heck with charity, just let the Govt. take the money and dole it out to those they think need it, or to those that they think they can buy, or both.
There is nothing wrong with being idealistic, but it is not a practical way to run a successful country.
Frankly, I think this post on Eric Kantor is a little silly. I don't think the Torah deals with a Jew's supporting of illegal aliens and second, third, and fourth generation welfare families whether they be in the dangerous streets of Detroit and St. Louis, or the pure, holy streets of Kiryas Yoel.

Why not have Eric Cantor and the rest of congress, live just the way they want us o live. As a Jewish Senior, I'm frightened for my children, grandchildren and my husband and myself. Shame on him and the rest of the congressman who are NOT willing to compromise.

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