Rabbi Steven Pruzansky Taking Heat From Mispallelim For Criticizing Obama

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rabbi-steven-pruzanskyRabbi Steven Pruzansky is facing flack from his mispallelim at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey, for a blog post titled “The Decline and Fall of the American Empire,” where he the rabbi blasts Barack Obama as an “affirmative action president” and refers to Obama’s reelection as a “nightmare.”

“One might reasonably object that not every Obama supporter could be unintelligent. But they must then rationally explain how the agenda can be paid for, aside from racking up multi-trillion dollar deficits,” wrote Rabbi Pruzansky.

Pruzansky backed Mitt Romney for president, as his post makes clear.

“The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo – for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation, and avoidance of responsibility,” stated Rabbi Pruzansky, explaining that Romney lost because “the electorate is dumb – ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters – the clear majority – are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.”

The blog no longer includes these words, as they have been replaced by a quote from Winston Churchill.

Obama’s victory, says Rabbi Pruzansky, is due to changing demographics, in which “whites will soon be a minority in America (they’re already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the third world and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.”

Obama voters are looking for “free stuff,” he says.

“Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: …those who – courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books when collecting their windfall)…

“This election should be a wake-up call to Jews,” he says. “There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile…. We have about a decade, perhaps 15 years, to leave with dignity and without stress.”

In response to Rabbi Pruzansky’s article, five members of Bnai Yeshurun signed their names to an email that was widely circulated among the shul members.

The email stated, “We do not question [Rabbi Pruzansky’s] or anyone’s right to freedom of speech…[or] the merits of a rabbi having a blog or how its content may or may not reflect on our shul. However, we are concerned when a blog post insults and denigrates members of our community and beyond… At least one of the signatories listed below has attempted to engage the rabbi over the last two months to persuade him to soften the tone and stridency of his comments. While the rabbi responded respectfully, nothing has really changed, as evidenced by the quotes above… Ridiculing Obama supporters, which of course includes some CBY members, is offensive, exclusionary, and counterproductive to what we are trying to create in our shul – an atmosphere of shalom v’re’ut (peace and friendship), where all Jews are warmly welcomed.”

Rabbi Pruzansky, in response to the petition by his mispallelim, didn’t back down.

“Unfortunately, you are making a mountain out what is not even a molehill,” he said. “A handful of members took personally what was a generic statement, in line with today’s American cultural norm of taking offense easily, repeatedly and quickly. In a shul of 2,000 people, this type of disagreement is not really uncommon. In fact, I’m surprised it is not more common. But I respect their right of free speech and am not in the least disturbed by their letter.”

{Andy Heller-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Rabbi Pruzansky it’s time for you to start your own shul, apparently these people do not deserve you as their Rav. You have all the right to say what you want on your blog and from the pulpit. This is the typical liberal attitude, they say what they want but they don’t respect other people’s opinion.

  2. “In response to Rabbi Pruzansky’s article, five members of Bnai Yeshurun signed their names…”
    That is exactly a quarter of a percent of his 2000 member shul.
    Very unimpressive!

  3. “This election should be a wake-up call to Jews,” he says. “There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile…. We have about a decade, perhaps 15 years, to leave with dignity and without stress.”

    Rabbi, your prophetic words should be taken to heart. Unfortunately, many naive Jews trying to desperately rationalize what transpired on election day cannot or refuse to fathom the change to come represented in this seminal event in U.S. and world history.

  4. i agree with him & can just say one message about the future that awaits us ahead.

    i’m watching as the situation & economy gets worse & worse. And the craziest part about it is, that it doesn’t surprise me or shock me this entire country is about to collapse slowly but surely. The world is run by Hashem & nobody else (not obama or the gedolim etc…)

    you can save yourself now from losing everything, by stopping on depending on the government & depend on Hashem alone & then you will not lack anything & actually have a smooth & happy life.

    be prepared for all your rights & freedoms to be taken away slowly but surely-not in one shot-& soon WE will not be able to live in the USA as frum yidden. all our rights & freedoms are being taken from us one at a time & the USA is about to become what used to be communist russia.

    pack your bags NOW & head for Eretz Yisroel, while the pressure is not so hard & before america is attacked by iran. for then it will be too late & everyone will be leaving in
    poverty, wishing they had left-now-when they were told.

  5. Although i 100% agree with the Rabbis remarks,we all must remember that at the end of the day it’s the votes that count, and unfortunately our side did not get enough votes. I wonder how many “undecided” voters were put off by this kind of rhetoric. The only way we can be effective is to work on our “hasbara”. If the democrats could win just by “sweet talk” (at least that’s how we see it,imagine what we can do if the truth (as wee see it) was given over in a more palatable form.

  6. After my mom forwarded the original text, I had to go to the web and finad out about the Rabbi. As a devout and practicing Catholic I can only say I wish the leadership of the Catholic church would get off their pontifical chairs and start telling all their hispanic parishionors the truth and openly help eliminate the continuation of this cycle of dependency. Many already figured out how to milk our system and they have milked it almost dry. If the hard working hispanic community joins this “free lunch” program we’re all doomed. Thank you Rabbi for telling the truth. If the truth hurts, too bad!

  7. I was very impressed by the Rabbi’s INITIAL blog. I don’t feel that he should have changed one word, as the truth, while possibly hurtful, is better than living in delusion; or worse, living in TYRANNY.
    I agree 100% with him and have used his words to substantiate my own.
    It’s just too bad that some were offended—no one is worried about Obama offending the Constitution, which is immensely more important.

  8. Rabbi is right on! I am old enough that I may not see the next election but you can bet it will be a doozy if it even happens. That is unless it all collapses before then. What will the freeloaders be voting for then?


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