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Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Just The Right Word

כג) שִׂמְחָה לָאִישׁ בְּמַעֲנֵה פִיו וְדָבָר בְּעִתּוֹ מַה טּוֹב)

A man takes pleasure in his own speech, but how good is the right word at the right time!

(Mishlei 15-23)

Just the right word at the right time; what a great thing is understanding, a mastery of speech, and a sense of timing so that everything comes together at the right time. Not too many people have it. Cicero was a great orator of ancient Rome, but he saw fit to edit his orations in order to smooth out the rough edges, and to insert better turns of phrase; in short, to try to find the right word at the right time.

Similarly in reading of Tanakh study [the study of the Jewish Bible] in Kol Hamevaser:
Editor’s Thoughts: Reflections of an Unrepentant Tanakh Enthusiast
By Dovi Nadel | Published: May 13, 2015
R. Simeon b. Eleazar testified on the authority of R. Simeon b. Hanina: He who reads a verse at its proper time brings good to the world, as it is written, “And a word spoken in its proper time, how good is it.” 

 Irving Amen Woodcut

Yet, as we read further afield in Forward:

Some Jewish Groups Waffle on Donald Trump Anti-Muslim Push
Josh Nathan-KazisDec 8, 2015
... Zionist Organization of America national president Mort Klein said banning all Muslims from entering the country was “going too far.” But he went on to rationalize Trump’s position: “Few people would oppose Hindus or Buddhists, or Christians coming to America, but Hindus or Buddhists or Christians are not saying or doing things that threaten people’s lives,” Klein said. “Muslims are.”

Klein said that the ZOA’s board recently voted unanimously to oppose “Syrian Muslims coming to America.”

Congressman Lee Zeldin, the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, did not answer directly when asked what he thought of Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the country.

Instead, he too focused on the issue of Syrians.

“Focus at the moment should be on improving the visa waiver program, stopping the influx of Syrian refugees due to current vulnerabilities in the vetting process, and defeating ISIS altogether,” Zeldin wrote in a statement.

The Orthodox Union, meanwhile, a large centrist Orthodox umbrella group, said that it had “no position” on Trump’s Muslim ban. The group and its advocacy arm are often vocal on foreign affairs issues, and rallied loudly on Capitol Hill against the Iran deal.

The Rabbinical Council of America, a Modern Orthodox group, did not respond to a request for comment about Trump’s plan. The group has made statements in recent months on terror attacks in Israel and Paris, and on the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Groups that did condemn Trump include the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, J Street, and the Israel Policy Forum, according to a JTA report.

Blogger and activist Pamela Geller, who the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead,” told the Forward that Trump’s proposal doesn’t go far enough.

“Trump didn’t call for a complete ban, but only a temporary one,” Geller wrote in an email.

No, not a complete ban. It is a step-wise process, first step, second step, and so on. We are all familiar with the tedious Martin Niemöller, are we not, with his obsessive step-by-step description of trifles? Step by bloody step:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller

Reminds you of the comic film What About Bob?, right ?  Reminds you of Dr. Leo Marvin's book, Baby Steps.

Isn't this all a black comedy? Isn't History being wound backwards, and then being reset, just for laughs? And we are all going to baby step or goose step through it again?

Was there not a time when there was a boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany? Did it not begin in spring 1933?
The boycott was largely unsuccessful,  but it revealed the course the future would take.

The Future...  unless we can manage to speak the right words at the right time!


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