At one New Jersey synagogue, God had to make way for Ginsburg
Leftists often claim to be religious. However, you quickly discover that it is not the Bible that informs their values. Instead, their core values come from leftist orthodoxy, which they then use to retrofit their religious doctrines. That's why it was to be expected that a Reform synagogue skipped the traditional New Year reading from the Bible in favor of reading Justice Ginsburg's words. For leftist Jews, the word of God is out; the word of Ginsburg is in.
We are in the midst of the most important religious cycle in the Jewish calendar, ten days often referred to as the High Holy Days. The first holy day is Rosh Hashanah, which welcomes the Jewish New Year (it's the Hebrew year 5781). The second is Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement.
During the first night of the Rosh Hashanah service, the "haftorah," or biblical reading, comes from 1 Samuel 1:1-2:10. This describes how Chanah, the mother of the prophet Samuel, prayed to God to bless her with a son, whom she later entrusted to Eli, the high priest. The haftorah ends with Chanah's prayer thanking God and prophesying a Messianic redemption.
The Jewish tradition holds that the Torah (i.e., the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) is a divine document Moses received while he was on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments. Modern biblical scholarship attributes the Bible to multiple authors for centuries, but it is still viewed as a divinely inspired document. The bottom line for religious Jews is that, one way or another, the Torah is God's book.
That belief about the Torah's divine origin is what makes noteworthy the choice that Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, New Jersey, made on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. Instead of reading from the Book of Samuel, the rabbi and cantor read from Ruth Bader Ginsburg's speeches and decisions. In this video, you can see the rabbi and his cantor, using the intonation associated with prayer, welcoming in the Jewish New Year with the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
If you do not want to or cannot watch the video, here are the important bits:
The rabbi said that those people who wanted a traditional Haftorah — that is, those who want God's words to see in the New Year — could go and find it elsewhere. He believes it's more important to these allegedly religious people to advance Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a "modern-day prophet." Thus, the rabbi states:
The goal of the haftorah isn't just to add an extra section from the Bible in it. It is also, more than anything else, to acknowledge that there are people two thousand, three thousand years ago who were speaking out for justice. And we who are blessed to have prophets in our world today, prophets like Martin Luther King, prophets like Gandhi and, yes, prophets like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
I know many of you feel broken over her death for what she stood for, for what she did, and so the best way that we can honor her memory is to use her words. And so, in a moment we are going to chant the blessing before the haftorah . . . and then I'll invite you to listen as, in the traditional melody of the haftorah, we read a few key teachings in Ruth Bader Ginsburg's own words as a way to bring out her memory and to pay homage to her. I hope you'll take these into your heart and use them for inspiration as each of you seek to make this world a better place.
I'm not a devout person, but I find it both disturbing and offensive to hear the haftorah melody applies to Ginsburg's banalities about being a better person or about feminism — especially because the feminist language pretends the battle for equal rights and equality under the law wasn't won decades ago.
Ginsburg would probably have approved. If she were a religious Jew, having died on Friday, she should have been buried on Monday. Instead, her body will lie in state in the Capitol a week after her death. It is a rare honor and one she does not deserve.
The only reason for the left's slavish devotion to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a government employee with a penchant for squirrely legal decisions, is that she was a bulwark against reversing Roe v. Wade. She was the court's abortion avatar. And so we have this spectacle: to honor Ginsburg's staunch defense of killing babies — the Baal practice that the Bible fought against — a rabbi and a cantor stood side by side and, in a grotesque mockery of an ancient religious service, recited, not the word of God, but the word of Ginsburg.
Image: Ner Tamid rabbi and cantor, reciting the word of Ginsburg. YouTube screen grab.