Matzav.com Newscenter announces that it is endorsing Republican Bob Turner in the race to replace Queens Rep. Anthony Weiner. Turner’s opponent is Democrat David Weprin, currently a New York State assemblyman formerly a member of the New York City Council where he served as chairman of its finance committee.
In explaining our decision to endorse Mr. Turner, we present the following thoughts written by Dovid Z. Schwartz, director of the Community Guardians Group, a grassroots voters organization based in Queens that promotes the eternal values of the Torah in the public forum:
Chazal tell us that Hashem created the world “bereishis,” on account of what’s considered first, which is the Jewish people. We have a mitzvah to love our fellow Jews as ourselves, and to judge our fellow Jews favorably.
Doesn’t it stand to reason that we should do everything in our power to help out a fellow Jew who’s seeking to lift himself to high elected office, who, in turn, stands to help out our communities along with him?
There are a number of people, however, who have voiced opposition to the congressional candidacy of Assemblyman David Weprin based upon his vote on one single matter. They say that regardless of his religious affiliation, his mentchlichkeit, and all the support he has already given to our communities, based on this one single issue, he deserves to lose the election.
As you may know, Mr. Weprin voted in favor of “marriage equality,” the recently passed law in New York State. He did so knowing that the Torah prohibits such unions, even for non-Jews. Mr. Weprin sponsored the bill. He gave a speech in favor of the bill on the floor of the state assembly. In that speech, he declared that he was an Orthodox Jew and that he was voting in favor of marriage equality.
Mr. Weprin publicly explained his actions by stating later, “It’s not a religious issue. It’s about civil marriage.” To explain his argument, Mr. Weprin might mean that we may personally believe in the moral truth of the Torah, as private citizens, but in a secular society like America that does not allow one religious system to define the values of the country, we are obligated to respect the different, and sometimes objectionable, moral beliefs of others.
The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim (Part I, Ch. 2) states that, initially, Adam Harishon saw the world through intellect alone, distinguishing between truth and falsity, emes and sheker. After he disobeyed and inclined towards his desires, he became absorbed in judging things in relative, conventional terms, called good and bad, tov and rah.
A different explanation of this says that Adam Harishon came to see a mixture of good and bad. He saw the good in the bad and the bad in the good. That’s to say, sometimes, it’s bad to be too good, and to be a little bad, sometimes, is good. This corrupt philosophy is better known by the phrase, “I put aside my own personal sense of morality when it comes to matters of the state.”
People with blemished thinking call this wisdom. They dismiss people who insist on moral truth as naïve and call themselves practical. They say this is the only way to get money for our institutions. I say this is a mitzvah that comes from an aveirah.
Last Sunday, the U.S. government was planning a series of events to celebrate the dedication of a multi-million dollar statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A non-denominational prayer service to honor Dr. King that was scheduled to be held at the U. S. National Cathedral had to be relocated, however, after several of its stone spires and angels came crashing down in that week’s earthquake. I’m not making this up. The tip of the Washington Monument also cracked. And the dedication of the statue of Dr. King planned for that Sunday had to be pushed off to a later date by Hurricane Irene.
I would suggest that the concept of “equality” that Dr. King stood for has literally become an idol. When we find people telling us that we must put aside our Torah values and support some other thing that guarantees our safety, it sounds a lot like avodah zara to me. To support such an argument – that this is a modern, secular society and we cannot expect to impose our personal religious values on all the non-Jews – at the very least paints Yiddishkeit as an embarrassing, backwards and primitive tradition from the past.
But, in truth, this is not a failing of the Constitution itself, but a corruption of it. This great nation gives the power to vote – the power to define the moral values and the direction of the country – to each one of us. With our votes, and our voices, we are given the responsibility to participate, share, and instruct our neighbors about what is truly in the best interest of America.
In a few short weeks, on Rosh Hashanah, we will stand in shul and say the pesukim of “Malchios,” declaring Hashem to be our King. Our brother, David Weprin, has lost his way and he must be stopped from making much greater errors and embarrassments in the future. Our success and our protection come only from honoring our Father in Heaven through His Torah. Stand up for Torah and vote against David Weprin.