New York - "Ezra Friedlander: I’m Voting For Christine Quinn For Mayor, And So Should You"
Elections are about determining the future of our city and our ability to enjoy the quality of life and whether our children ask us how come our mayor was talking about her "wife" when she visited their school, however we choose to live. Elections for mayor should be based on whoever best fits the criteria as outlined in the city charter. I will cast my ballot for NYC Council Speaker Chris Quinn and I urge the members of our community to do the same.
The dialogue so far in our community has not concentrated enough on the issues that truly matter. We should focus on choosing a mayor who possesses the following attributes: I'm sure many Nazis has these qualities smart, sensible, stable, strong, and sensitive. Christine Quinn is just the candidate who has these qualities is talking about her "wife" in front of a Orthodox Jewish crowd being sensitive to the concerns of the Orthodox community? of an ideal New York City mayor. If she's doing that before she becomes mayor imagine what she will Chas Veshalom do if she is elected.
For me, the turning point in deciding to write this op-ed was precisely when Speaker Quinn decried the pandering of the other candidatesI guess pandering to the gay "community" is fine. It was precisely what she was not promising that convinced me that when she does make a commitment, you can bank on it. I have known Quinn since her earliest days in the New York City Council prior to her becoming speaker and her record exhibits that she is sincere and dependable.
What should be most important to you as a voter, is a mayor who empathizes with the constituents. Christine Quinn’s record of public service you mean like going after Chick Fil A and not her personal life demonstrates that she has the unique insights to understand the challenges and particular needs of the Orthodox Jewish Community like when she had no objection to the gay pride parade allowing anti Bris Milah people to march in it, or her understanding the Jewish communities concerns about .
|paper the lesbian Christine Quinn sent to force Chick-Fil-A out of NYC for being against toevah "marriage"|
There is a notion that those in public life need to mirror their constituents. This belief is a fallacy of the highest magnitude. Many people before me have made the argument that it is in the community’s best interest not to have a member of our community in the oval office (or for that matter, city hall) but rather one who can best govern in a way that addresses the real concerns like YU being forced to allow lesbians in their dormitory of our community. One may argue the pros and cons of this approach, but my point is that you don’t have to be a card carrying member of our community or subscribe to our tenets to represent us well A mayor whether we like it or not is a role model and her as a mayor will effect our children when they ask us how come she talked about her "wife".
Let me be clear. Torah values must be part and parcel of our daily existence. It is the only map a religious Jew must call upon to navigate the complexities of daily life . Torah values belong in our home and in our interactions with one another. Torah values belong in the way we conduct business as prescribed in the highest ethos of Jewish Law; and in the way we want to educate and raise our children. And yes, Torah values should play a central role in how we present ourselves to secular society every day and on every issue. So the Torah belongs everywhere except in politics?
However, in that same secular society, it is unrealistic and frankly short-sighted to expect those in government to live by those same high Torah standards 50 years ago it would be almost impossible to find anybody (Jew or Non-Jew) who would agree with voting for Quinn we as religious people set for ourselves toevah is one of the 7 mitvos B'nai Noach and toevah "marriage" is one of the reason why God allowed the Mabul (Bereishis Rabbah). Those who want to raise the banner of Torah values in a political context ultimately dilute Torah values please explain to what Torah your talking about? and the ability for our community to engage effectively in the political world.
|Ezra please explain to me this Radak? Does it not clearly say we're supposed to help the world follow the Sheva Mitvos?|
You may hear a radically different perspective from those with their own agenda but as one who deals with elected officials every single day for over two decades and gets paid very well to promote them no matter how bad they are, voters who care about their community and the many challenges facing us, would be wise to at least consider a different opinion. like when we voted for Bloomberg?
Politics is not the Bais Medrash So we're only supposed to follow the Torah in the bais Medrash. None of the serious mayoral candidates reflect our lifestyle If Erick Salgado would get as much money from the Orthodox community as Quinn got he would be one, nor do they have to, in order be effective advocates for our community you mean like how Quinn was an advocate for Chick-Fil-A.
To all those trying to inject Torah values into this campaign or any political campaign, recent history shows, though you may have the community’s best interests at heart, your efforts are counter-productive and damaging. How? Recent history has shown when you vote for pro toeivah candidate they push worse legislation on the Jewish community like Bloomberg with MBP!
Historically, the vast majority of American rabbinical leadership did not inject religion or express the opinion that secular public officials in a democratic society adopt a Torah position or platform that's because historically there was no movement to legalize, endorse and solemnize the violation of the sheva mitzvos. Nor did the rabbinic leadership personally raise the issue of religion and politics even when they interacted with those running for or sitting in elected office Rav Moshe Feinstein urged all Jews to protest Koch's gay rights bill. It is only a relatively new phenomenon that only started after the toevah movement started that grew as rabbaniem found out about the movement and grew even more when they realized how far they wanted to go that we use a moral or religious litmus test before considering a candidate for office.
Once we fuse religion and politics and use religion as the only litmus test to support or oppose a particular candidate, it could lead to a dangerous downward spiral that completely closes government’s door to our needs and concerns. our main concern is the Torah everything else is secondary Don’t believe it? It’s already happening. Proof? Bloomberg's attack on religious stores in Williamsburg is the single biggest attack on freedom of religion in this cities history. Williamsburg is the Jewish community which unfortunately votes the least based on Torah Values and the most based on money, yet they were the ones that were targeted.
Once we mix religion and politics, every religious viewpoint will have a right to air their beliefs in the political discourse that's been happening for 100's of years already, Toevah movement is like a religion and they are targeting anybody who disagrees. This country has a very strict interpretation of separation of church and state like Bergen County still having Blue Laws banning working on sunday?. For us don't link me and you , the word Torah is warm, welcoming, and sacrosanct; but perhaps the viewpoint of other religions is not so welcoming or interested in our way of life. Hence, it is in our self-interest not to allow anyone to dictate their religious principles on others. the attacks on our freedom of religion in recent years have not come from religious groups but from the secular/atheist left (MBP, suing stores in Williamsburg, targeting mayiem shelanu in matzohs, YU's toeivah club, YU's being forced to allow lesbians in their dormitory etc.)
Our overriding concern should always be to protect our right to conduct our lives in the religious fashion which we hold dear. and what about the fact that the acceptance of homosexuality by society (which laws affect which are voted on by politicians that we vote for) has been destroying our communities, leading to "Orthodox rabbis" making gay weekends, having gays march in the Israeli Day Parade (which Rav Aaron Soloveitchik assured) plus a "Orthodox" newspaper agreed with, having a "orthodox rabbi" testifying in favor of toevah "marriage", and worst of all having toavah groups speaking in our Yeshivas It is the very reason our ancestors came to these safe shores Isn't Quinn the worst on MBP?. Furthermore, as an electoral minority, forcing our viewpoint upon others will only be counterproductive. It’s about the numbers and on a Citywide or statewide basis; we simply don’t have the numbers to dictate to anybody.didn't you also say that before Weprin's vs Turner's election?
The role of government in regards to religion is to allow us as individuals to raise our families in the religious tradition with which we wish to convey. To that extent we want government’s cooperation, nothing more. We also should not want to impose our religious beliefs on secular society. the toevah movement imposed their changes society but we can't try to change it back?
I am convinced that Christine Quinn as Mayor of New York City will not only be sympathetic to the unique challenges facing our community like MBP or telling Orthodox Jews about "when she married her "wife"?, but will surpass all expectations. you mean she'll try to ban Milah altogether like the Toevah parade marchers wants her to do? That is because a mayor who is strong and sensitive as Christine Quinn has proven herself to be understanding of the needs of our community and supportive of us when? rumor has it that she even withheld childcare voucher from our community because we were against toeivah. Her strong leadership in the City Council and her ability to work with Mayor Bloomberg is indicative of her ability to govern effectively. you mean like helping Bloomberg get a 3rd term which led to the biggest attacks on our freedom of religion in this cities history?
It is very easy to be a steadfast ideologue unwilling to compromise, and a hero to a very narrow constituent base. However, a real leader like Christine Quinn understands the need to be effective so that government can be a catalyst for good, even if imperfect. Christine Quinn also understands how to stand up for those who need a strong advocate. when has she ever stood up for the Orthodox Jewish community a minority within a minority?
I am convinced that Christine Quinn as Mayor of New York City will not only be sympathetic to the unique challenges facing our community, but will surpass all expectations. That is because a mayor who is strong and sensitive as Christine Quinn has proven herself to be understanding of the needs of our community and supportive of us. Her strong leadership in the City Council and her ability to work with Mayor Bloomberg is indicative of her ability to govern effectively. didn't you just say this?
It is very easy to be a steadfast ideologue unwilling to compromise, and a hero to a very narrow constituent base. However, a true leader like Christine Quinn understands the need to be effective so that government can be a catalyst for good Toeivah is good? please look up the pasuk yishaya 5-20 Woh to those people (this means you) who call good evil and evil good, even if imperfect.
Christine Quinn also understands how to stand up for those who need a strong advocate.
I am convinced that Christine Quinn will understand the struggles of a middle class Orthodox Jewish family in our community middle class possibly, Orthodox not at all. She can relate to a special needs child whose parents are fighting the bureaucracy and need to get their child approved in an appropriate school setting.
Christine Quinn will ensure that Yeshiva kids have their transportation needs taken care of, recognizing the safety concerns of a late dismissal. Christine Quinn demonstrates that she understands the challenges of the middle class by public stating that city fines should be a warning only for the first time with any financial consequences, providing that it is a non-emergency related.
Christine Quinn understands the importance of preserving communities communities include a way of life which to Jews means the Torah, she is against that and due to her experience as housing organizer. Christine Quinn understands the invaluable communal infrastructure that the Orthodox community has built in NYC and our commitment to this city what good is that infrastructure if we abandon the Torah. Her blueprints for creating affordable housing will help our community continue to flourish We can't flourish in a society that allows and approves of toevah "marriage" as we see in Rabbeinu Behaye and grow in New York City.
When it comes to politics, I always keep the following expression in mind, “Don’t be right, be smart.” I urge you to understand, don’t be right. Elections are not about being right on every issue; start thinking smart. Elections are about being able to deliver for our community, children, and continuity as people or Torah Jews?. Christine Quinn as mayor will achieve all those objectives except the Torah Jews part.
Ezra Friedlander is CEO of The Friedlander Group a NYC and Washington DC public policy consulting firm. This last line is Ezra's whole article, the rest of his article is just commentary!