Some questions for Yaron

Yaron Gottlieb is my cousin. We get on well, so  don’t read this as some attack. His wife, Alex is currently editing Galus Australis, and we share mutual respect and admiration. [ Every time I hear the term Galus, I wonder why anyone would want to have it as a heading on a web site: Galus is the worst situation to be in … such a depressing word … why would one want to be reminded, but I digress.]

Yaron found that Michael Danby had two different how to vote cards. One of these was tailored towards his (largely Orthodox) Jewish constituency. If his constituency was different, he might even have had three. Nu.

Question 1: Is this a sin, Yaron?
My Answer: No. It’s a suggestion on how to vote. Would it be better that he suggests, for example, that Orthodox voters choose the anti-zionist Greens? [Okay, it’s a straw man] I’m not sure who is worse, Bob Carr or the Greens. Perhaps, Yaron or Alex would prefer a green vote for the Jewish How to Votes, but crikey, it’s Michael’s call. If you want to get into politics yourselves, go for it, but there is no rule or ethic that says one can’t tailor suggestions.

Question 2: Is it a sin for Michael to suggest that a second best vote would be for Danny Nallah’s “Rise up Australia Party”?
My Answer: No. We all know this party is an ultra-conservative Xtian party. That means, they aren’t afraid to note that the homosexual act is against the Torah (Bible) and is described as an abomination. You agree with that, I expect, Yaron? Make sure Barney in the Age doesn’t know, otherwise you’ll be his next headline. I hope you can see that this viewpoint would resonate with any Jew who believes that the Torah is the word of God. Does that make you homophobic? (that was your word). We all know that Rise up are Climate Change skeptics/deniers. They are not alone; that’s not a matter of “belief” by the way. Let’s assume that they are opposed to approaches that attempt to better the climate. I don’t think anyone would say that damaging the climate prospects of the world is a pro-Torah stance, but the matter is often seen as one which requires a consistent world approach, and as such, it might well be Halachically more relevant to lobby the major polluters of our World, than Michael’s how to vote suggestion. The party is described as anti-Islam. Guess what? I’m anti-extremist Islam. I’m opposed to streams of Islam that think I should be under Shariah law. Did you ever read about dhimma? I’m assuming, and I am happy to be corrected, that the said party isn’t against any form of Islam which doesn’t seek to dominate the world and is happy to treat those of other religions (or no religion for that matter) with respect and equanimity. They aren’t my idea of an ideal party, and some of their views are over the top and loopy. Those who vote solely based on how to vote cards, however, aren’t going to change their approach because of your revelation.

Politics is politics. Things are never black or white. In the case of green, we’ve seen that tree-huggers and marxists are mostly also virulent anti-zionists. I see them at Uni all the time. They are the ones who join extreme Muslims who protest about Israel, demonise the USA, and never say a word about the slaughter of Arabs or the oppression in North Korea, let alone the Russians. They are also some of the most ignorant people I’ve ever engaged with.

Is there a single party whose stance on each and every matter we can agree with? Nope. It’s a best fit proposition tempered by clever but obvious number games on how to vote cards.

Ho hum. What a storm in a tea cup.

Jews who vote for Michael will do so because they are either:

  • Labor supporters
  • People who recognise his efforts on behalf of our community and Israel

I can’t see how either of those two categories of people will change their vote because of this revelation.

A Git Yur.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

11 thoughts on “Some questions for Yaron”

  1. You say: “Galus is the worst situation to be in … such a depressing word … why would one want to be reminded”
    You can terminate your GALUT status quite easy – go and settle in the land that G-d promised Avraham.
    By doing so you will become a part of קהל ישראל. As you know, you are not a part of the קהל living abroad. See: רמבם הלכות שגגות פרק יג הלכה ב where he says: “ואין משגיחין על יושבי חוצה לארץ שאין קרוי קהל אלא בני ארץ ישראל”.


      1. Dear PITPUTIM,

        You would be right if I would have said it, but it is the RAMBAM, who was in the GALUT, who said it.
        By saying it he excluded also himself from the KAHAL.
        I did not get the meaning of what you wanted to say by writing about YEKUM PURKAN and later about MIPNE CHATOENU. It is probably much too deep for me. Can you explain yourself? How is it connected to the topic?

        We say in our prayers גלינו מארצנו ונתרחקנו מעל אדמתנו the GALUT is from our land, and no connection with GEULA. You can terminate the GALUT even before the GEULA. They are not connected.
        About ELIYAHU announcing the coming of the Mashiach. As you know, Rabbi AKIVA thought that BAR-KOCHBA was the MASHIACH, also without a prior announcement by ELIYAHU. Others believe that their Rabbi is the Mashiach, also without prior announcement by ELIYAHU, and even bringing the Geula to a foreign country.

        Wishing you all חג סוכות שמח.


        1. Kvodo,
          Yekum Purkan with the Musheberach talks about Kahal Hakodosh
          Does that mean the Rambam didn’t say the Misheberach … or perhaps its one if those things where he was in Mitzrayim like Rav Ovadya and that was shelo Kedin?

          Wishing you a good succos too …


          1. Dear Pilpulim,
            In ordinary day to day talk KAHAL is a gathering of people. We would, for instance, say in Hebrew: “Kahal of thousands were attending the marathon.” This KAHAL includes many that are BNE BRIT and others that are not BNE BRIT.
            The Jewish congregations everywhere called themselves KHILA KDOSHA and the Rabanim of the congregations wrote חופקק = CHONE PO KEHILA KEDOSHA and the township. You can bless any KAHAL or KHILOT HAKODESH, whether in Eretz Israel or in Babylon (or anywhere else).
            The Rambam that was quoted deals with “who has a vote” when we are looking for a majority, and defines it by KAHAL = the ones in Eretz Israel only. We can compare it with the MITZVOT HATLUYOT BA’ARETZ, that are not applied in the Diaspora.
            As for the Rambam, unfortunately I have not met him, and I do not know if he said Yekum Purkan at all, or did he say both of them or only one.
            All the same, I am sending my blessing to you and to your entire KAHAL – Kehila, for the coming Moadim.
            Happy CHAG SUCCOT.


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