Who said this and when did s/he say it?
"For thousands of years, Jews lived by two rules: Welcome the strangers and don't exploit the worker,'" said…
… Vic Rosenthal, executive director of Jewish Community Action, based in St. Paul, [at yesterday's rally in Postville, Iowa.]
I'm not sure what Rosenthal is talking about, but one thing should be clear – I'll lay you a dollar to a dime Rosenthal has no credible source for that statement.
There are two rules one could say Jews lived by for thousands of years – at least in theory, and if "thousands" is taken to mean two thousand. Here they are:
1. Hillel's aphorism which, in slightly altered form has become the Golden Rule – "That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."
2. "Sh'ma Yisrael, A-donoi E-lohaynu, A-donoi Echad," "Hear O Israel, The Lord Is Our God, The Lord Is One!"
The Rubashkin family and the Chabad-Lubavitch movement to which it belongs seem to have great difficulty with both of these.
Rosenthal's statement is a textbook example of projection. Rosenthal projects his social values on Judaism and makes those values not only Jewish, but the two most important "rules" Jews have to live by.
This is exactly the type of thing that puts off Orthodox Jews. It does not further the cause of reforming Agriprocessors and it does not help advocates plead the workers' case to that community. It hurts.
And that is something the Jewish left will have to deal with, perhaps for a very long time.