An Open Letter To Ramaz Students

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Dear Ramaz Students,

Last week, over 830 of you signed a petition to Ramaz dean and spiritual leader Rabbi Haskel Lookstein to protest his decision to give the invocation at the Republican convention. In the petition, you accuse Donald trump of every social ill on the face of the earth: racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, and, for good measure, chillul Hashem. As a result of your petition, Rabbi Lookstein was forced to back out of attending the convention.

My questions to you are: As a Torah organization, if you are truly concerned about chillul Hashem, how about the chillul Hashem of publicly humiliating a rabbi – your rabbi – in public? What about the chillul Hashem of a massive rebuke to someone who could be the next president of the United States?

What about the mitzvah of “Va’ahavtem es hager… You must love the convert”?  Don’t you think your actions were a public scorn of Ivanka, the Jewish daughter of the “anti-Semite” Donald Trump?

If you are so concerned about the anti-Semitism of Mr. Trump, will you express the same concern about the Democratic convention, which will feature the virulently anti-Semitic Cornel West and James Zogby, with Mr. Zogby serving on the Resolutions Committee?

Just wondering.

Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld

This letter first appeared in the Queens Jewish Link.

{ / Photo: Arutz-7}


  1. Well said. I am not sure why Rabbi Lookstein caved to them and just went to the RNC. By him caving he gave them the limelight.

  2. Amazing how its truly a generation of “Chutzpah Yasgi”, how the influence of the media prevails over their mentor and teacher for years!
    If Rabbi Lookstein is their mentor (as they have indeed expressed so in the petition comments) they should’ve TRUSTED his very conscience and decision, that obviously Trump is NOT what the media portrays him to be….and certainly not an Antisemite!

  3. Most of the people who wrote the letter probably never heard of Rabbi Schoenfeld, and probably don’t care what a mainline Orthodox rabbi has to say. They only care what they, themselves, think about Judaism, and to a lesser extent, what modern O rabbis think. To some extent, Rabbi Lookstein is the victim of a hashkafah gone wrong that his school helped to cultivate.

  4. Grand Design.

    Torah grows. Ignorance dies. Fools have no fate and G-d continues the universe.

    Still, the letter is average, the claim limited and the world can see more of the first petition being the mood that one might have addressed to play it further into politics.

    This is the way that the woken mood can see fewer better years.

    Stand by your candidate if you must but who really cares to say that a Torah organization is “denying” the greatest candidate a “chance” to rule tomorrow in Washington. The Ramaz students probably had a right. Maybe they fear for G-d that the enemy is Trump. One sees the concern.

    Bite off no more power struggles.

  5. It is a sad commentary on our times that a Rabbi/Mechanech has to justify his actions to young students let alone cave in to their pressure. One of the comments of Rashi on the Anshei Sdom was that when they came to Lot house the young pushed the old! Why doesn’t anyone sit down with these young people and actually compare Democrat vs Republican so they can actually be told the truth instead of the liberal media mush they constantly hear!?

  6. Very nicely written. This reminds us of the inspiring Invocation address that Rabbi Schonfeld’s father, Rav Fabian Schonfeld shlita, gave at the 1984 Republican National Convention towards Ronald Reagan’s second term. And if you listen to that address (, Mr. Trump echoes many of the values Rabbi Schonfeld expressed then.


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