THE FALLOUT: Lessons for the Frum Community from Today’s White House Debacle

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People who are easily identified as religious Jews have added responsibilities. They represent us. They represent Yiddishkeit. They represent Torah. They represent Hashem.

When they act foolishly, they commit a chillul Hashem.

And they put the well-being of our community at risk.

When they act foolishly in front of the entire country and the global media, they don’t only embarrass themselves, they embarrass us.

And when they tick off the leader of the free world, the president of the United States, they don’t only earn enmity for themselves, but jeopardize the relationship with a new president who wants to do the right thing for Jews and for Israel.

There is a good reason that Klal Yisroel has always been exceedingly careful about who is appointed to represent our people at the highest levels of government. This has always been the case.

Today, at the White House, a question was asked that provoked the ire of President Trump. Of course, the intent of the question may not have been the way it came across, but that merely magnifies the importance of having the proper sensitivity, tact and intelligence when operating in such a milieu. In this type of environment, there aren’t always second chances and often very little opportunity for clarification. It is for that reason that every word must be weighed.

And it is for that reason that such a position is not for everyone.

The way we appear, the way we act, the way we talk, indeed every word we utter in such situations, has far-reaching ramifications that impact our community and the world around us.

Chachomim hizaharu bedivreichem.

{Matzav.com}

45 COMMENTS

  1. this guy is an embarrassment and always was. why do we give him the platform to continue this? this is all about turx and nothing about the greater good.

  2. Agree 100%.
    Yesterday when this Israeli idiot [I think from Wahllah] asked the same questions everyone saw how Trump and Netanyahu were disturbed by it. I didn’t dream that any normal Jew would asked this question.
    So even if Turx didn’t mean anything he shouldn’t have asked it one day afterward.

    • Exactly. I was thinking the exact same thing. This crazy link of Trump – to an increase in Anti Semitism, is so ludicrous, it is a waste of time to discuss it. It was the strategy Team Hillary/media was using during the run up to the elections. It failed and Hillary/media lost. As Goebbels ym”s learned, repeat a lie often enough and it eventually becomes the truth.
      Thank you Matzav for reporting and exposing this and not falling prey to the cover-up/lashon hara/hush hush crowd.
      I only hope we as a frum community can repair our relationship with the greatest friend in the White House that we’ve had in a long time.
      I find it interesting that these people/magazines never asked Obama the exact same question.

  3. Everyone can see it for what it really is and that is the president doing what does best i.e. “flying off the handle.” He brings it on himself.

  4. the President is an egomaniac. he’s worse than Nixon in this regard and if you compare how Nixon handled very tough questions versus how this President handled a relatively simple question, you will see what I mean. He’s not fit to occupy the Oval Office. We are in for a rough 4 years which will make the Obama years seem like paradise by comparison.

    • I believe the AGudah and others need to meet about this and make sure that we don’t have such guys running around Washington and misrepesenting us like this.

  5. Yossi–I’d say it’s working out well so far. Maybe not for Trump himself, but for the rest of us. He’s certainly put the Arabs and illegal immigrants in their place. Now we’re on top and they’re running scared.

  6. The editor is 100%%%%%% right!
    It is obvious though that this guy is looking to advance himself as opposed to the pple he needs to advance and advocate for. The cry about anti semitism cannot be overused and overabused.. cus it is something that is too serious to just be thrown around like that.

  7. Yidden in golus should keep a low profile, as gedolei Yisroel have taught us.

    That means stay out of the public eye. America is a medina shel chesed, the ‘goldene medina’, but it is still golus.

    There are people in Washington, in NY, identifiable Jews, Chasidim, that are going in a high profile manner where they have not gone before, going to seudas Achashveirosh, forgetting that they are in golus. Is it an absolute necessity to have Hasidic reporters and lobbyists in DC, with them tweeting and publicizing what they are doing? Let us not forget about the great Torah value of tzniyus.

    If they don’t wake up themselves, they can be subject to a rude awakening like this.

    I think Turx was misunderstood, however, if someone is in environment that is not welcoming, sometimes they just need to realize that they don’t belong there.

    • I agree! The problem, sadly, is that many frum yidden feel overly comfortable in this bitter golus, and actually feel at home here – so they make themselves as Bnei Bayyis in places (or actions/speach) where our ancestors would never have dreamed of (even) wanting to be there.

  8. So let me get this straight Obama can be criticized and vilified as an antisemite etc.
    when Trump hides liek a child from an easy question, we have to be careful not to hurt his feelings
    got it

    • you got it ! Obama can be called an anti-semite. He can be accused of not being American, of being a dictator. He can be accused of every crime there is including the Lincoln assassination and that’s OK. But say something Trump does not like and the Frummies fall over each other to cover for him.

      • Obama is and was always level-headed and cool as POTUS. Criticise him, mock him, skewer him, whatever, It’s not like he or his followers were ever going to retaliate in any form.

        Our current POTUS, OTOH…

        I know it, You know it, and -ironically- all of Trump’s blind chasidim know it.

  9. The story is told of a Satmar chassid who unfortunately overstepped certain legalities in his business and the police came to arrest him. He asked for a moment to use the restroom where he shaved off his beard and peyos before being taken out to be booked and paraded before reporters. When told of this mans concern to avoid making a chilul Hashem, the Rebbe declared that he is jealous of his olam haba.

    Yes I know the guy should have thought more about chilul Hashem when he was playing it loose and easy with whatever regulations he chose to ignore. But the point is this: A yid stops being a private individual sometimes and becomes the public face of yiddishkeit. It adds a level of achrayus that few can handle.

    The stark raving lunatic who parades about Washington in Chasidic garb and thinks he is the same American reporter as any other correspondent walking around with a microphone and cameraman, was a chilul Hashem waiting to happen. I call upon our community to let the publication which sponsors him know that we demand responsibility. If you are out there speaking for our community, you had better reflect our sensitivities or find your magazine left behind on the newsstand.

  10. There’s a reason that Chazal allowed those Jews who interacted with Malchus Romi (the Roman Empire) on behalf of the Jewish nation to learn chochmas yivonis and wear a “bluryis” hair style, both of which are issurim. Someone who wants to represent Klal Yisrael in that capacity MUST have the ability to clearly articulate his positions and interact with the political class in a refined way. He must be able to accurately take into account the context, the nature of the person being questioned, the various associations a word or phrase may mistakenly convey, and numerous other calculations. Let this be a hard lesson learned. This is not a game or a way to drum up a little sensation for a magazine. It is in fact a dangerous game to play at the expense of world Jewry. The fact that the question was clearly misunderstood is not an excuse it is a part of the problem.

  11. It us not his fault that The President doesn’t seem to understand English he was clearly asking about the rise in antisemitism in general.

  12. It is not his fault that the presidentof the united states does not seem to understand simple English. He was clearly asking about the rise in antisemitism in general

    • Except for the fact that there has been no rise in anti-semetism in the U.S. One idiot calling in threats to 48 J.C.C.’s is not considered a rise in anti-semetism. That is a false narrative that the anti-Trump media have been pushing.

  13. Matzav,

    Please get out of the “I decide what is Chilul Hashem ” business
    You are not the Judge or judge of what is or isn’t chilul hashem.

    If you were, you would censor yourself much more.

  14. It will make perfect sense that this guy is part of their network. I really hope he apologizes or if the jewish leaders do. I just watched it and it was embarrassing and disrespectful.

  15. The anti Semitic rise is on the college campuses coming from Islamic radicals and left wingers. They are the ones Trump opposes. Don’t make it sound like Trump caused anti Semitism. It’s Obama who allowed in the masses of Jew haters into America.

  16. I think this post and many of the comments are disgusting. It is obvious that the president clearly misunderstood what the reporter was asking. Hard to imagine where this rishus comes from.

  17. Of course he didn’t mean to do any harm with the question he clearly was overwhelmed and nervous which caused him to fumble the question.

    Lets be real the situation was out of his league

    Do not be so long winded in questions and articles and don’t put funny letters on your yamulka

    You will recover and be fine

    The world is not ending

    Its called on the job learning

    You have talents and can be entertaining

    Don’t get caught up in all the silly nonsense

  18. WELL GOOD FOR YOU!
    He was unruly. I think Trump might have indicated quite a lot of ahavas yisrael by not nuking him. Possibly the shmiggegga just has a tad of personality disfunction. Or lack of exposure to an excellent mashgiakh-rukhny.
    I didn’t catch the identification of his organization. Their good fortune.

  19. To repair the tremendous damage that was done to the Jewish community by this so called reporter. I think we all have to insist that action be taken.
    This will send a strong message to President Trump that he in no way was representing the Views of the Jewish community.

  20. Seriously. Does Mr. Turx stay up nights, petrified about growing Anti Semitism, from the comfort of his bed in Lakewood? I mean, seriously? Is that the most pressing issue facing the Frum community? Do you see everyone coming to Shul with haggard, long looking faces because they are so fearful of stepping out of their homes and take a chance of being a victim of anti semitism? Really? As they embark on yet another midwinter vacation? As they prepare for another Pesach extravaganza?
    He fell right in for the leftwing Liberal talking points. President Trump rightfully got upset with such a boorish question.

  21. Yidden!!! We are in GOLUS, remember????? Feeling ‘heimish’ enough in a host country to cast caution and hatzneyah leyches to the wind is a recipe for disaster…

  22. I believe you are one hundred percent right, I only wish Matzav would have read this article before reporting the way they did on the Obama administration.

  23. In my opinion he embarrassed all of us And he should be embarrassed of himself and I understand 100% the president of the United States he has A lot of pressure that he’s too good to the juice instead of standing up and support him for all the good things that he does for us you rip him down that’s is not acceptable and shameful

  24. As pointed out by many, Turk was wrong and he should apologize!!

    He surly knows this question was asked by a lefty from Israel, and Trump did not like it. Why repeat the same stupid question based on the liberals narrative???

  25. Why is anyone surprised? This has been his magazine’s style since they began publishing. The NY Times of the heimeshe. They think they are avant-garde.

  26. I just realized that no matter what in the world poor Turx would have asked, thousands of bored folks would have had a problem with it. “What does the President plan on doing with the “wall”? Oh! How dare he! Questioning a sitting president! “Will the President be attending any Shabbos Seudos?” Oh my! What a stupid question to ask! Oh. Wait! We ELECTED this president, guys! HE works for the United States of America. We can ask him WHATEVER occurs to us. Its up to him how he chooses to respond. Yes, we are entitled, even in Galus, to ask questions. Did you ever ask a doctor a stupid question? Sure you did. But he was too classy to tell you how stupid you sounded. Instead, he responded politely. Like all of us are obligated to respond. Without ridicule. Trump has his own way of dealing with what he perceives as a threat. This is not about Turx. This is not about Trump. This is about Jewish people on a public forum ridiculing other Jewish people. Is that your goal today, Matzav? Lets ridicule each other? Congrats. You succeeded. Now grow up. Dont be scared of Trump or his reaction. Be scared of G-d, and His reaction.

  27. I know that “Kol Yisroel areivim zeh lozeh”, is 100% true because I turned so red after watching this. Even if the president misunderstood, Turx should never have asked any question whatsoever related to anti semitism.

    1. Anti semitism is not the pressing issue in the US. I’m not saying it is not a problem, rather nothing has really changed on that front, so don’t make a story out of it.

    2. If you would have asked a complimentary question (which the President made clear he was looking for and you reassured him at the onset that you would do so) then you would have created wonderful future goodwill and gotten 50 more questions in the future. Now you will be shunned (rightfully so) , but sadly, others wearing yarmulkas might also be because of your actions.

    3. You clearly want this to be about you, rather than using this as an opportunity to better the matzav for frum people.

    4. Growing up we were told that when you go to shul, you have to dress as if you would be standing in front of a king or President. Mr Turx, when you visit your Rebbe or daven in shul on shabbos, is that how you present yourself? I’m not saying you needed to wear a hat, but you looked like you were coming out of the mikveh. You are representing all of us.

    5. You could of asked about school vouchers or even a “chanifa” question such as “how do we get the message out that you are in your job only 1 month, which you’ve done so much already, yet you need some more time to implement your fantastic agenda that you promised in your campaign. You would have gained so much more…. What a shame…

    6. You are on the the world stage, representing us frum people, we are scrutinized extra. Please don’t treat your job as if you’re covering the latest pizza toppings offered at Amnon’s Pizza for Country Yossi Magazine (for the record, all wonderful establishments). The White House has been generous in giving press passes to the smaller news outlets, and you got one. Don’t squander it.

    You had your one chance with the “king”, and you blew it!
    I hope you can get to Sean Spicer and explain and apologize.

  28. I hear both sides. It was definitely a misunderstanding but maybe the guy should have been clearer. but not only that. Bringing up how the president is going to deal with antisemitism at that time, only reminded me how black reps and reporters only want to talk about racism all day long. It’s just enough already. We hate it when they do it so why we doing it?

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