Being a Jewish democrat

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    call me rabbi j

    I struggle to see how this can be, so can someone please explain how a Jew can be a democrat???


    The same way a Jew can be a Reform or a Conservative Jew.

    In fact, proportionally a Democrat Jew is more likely to be Reform/Conservative, whereas a Republican Jew is proportionally more likely to be Orthodox.


    Simple: Until the Republican party reverts to some level of sanity and rids itself of the narcissistic, racist, misogynist and increasingly antisemitic tropes of the guy who they worship, then normal Dems and Rhinos are preferable to MAGAmania.


    As for supporting someone centrist, like a Clinton Democrat of yore; that’s a different story. But there aren’t that many such people around nowadays, and they’re silenced by the vocal woke left.


    Gadol, do you think the Torah would favor candidates who are racist, misogynistic, and narcissistic, or politicians who are actively creating laws which fundamentally contravene the basic code of decency outlined for non jews to follow – i.e., abomination groups, gender ideology, etc..?

    Which do you think is a net gain for kovod shomayim?

    All minorities have it better in america than their home country; a black man even during segregation was far more prosperous and healthy than his African counterpart. A society which is at its worst, unequal, and gives less to some than others might be unjust, but has it violated any of the 7 mitzvos? Is racial and gender equality obligatory?


    Is creating a new, non-heteronormative society(their words) with pride in their sinfulness on full display, which celebrates baby murder and calls it health care, against the 7 mitzvos? You bet it is.

    Use your Jewish sense of right and wrong and put down the New York Times for a bit; you’d be surprised what thoughts start coming to you when all you expose yourself to is the blatt gemara for just a few weeks.


    Not a day goes by that I don’t learn of a democrat in any office who isn’t narcissistic, racist, misogynist and spouting increasingly antisemitic tropes. I wouldn’t learn of these peoples existance and ignore them if I didn’t learn of a new one daily.
    If it were one or two, or 3 or 4, but we’re up to dozens and dozens of these people in “the party” since 2020.


    There is no such thing for a frum Yid to be a Jewish Democrat or Jewish Republican.
    If an American Goyishe Political party defines your Yiddishkeit, then you are misunderstanding your purpose in life while living in golus .


    I agree with gadol


    AviraDeArah: I agree that the extreme left’s influence on the democratic party with the celebration/promotion of transgenders, for example, is problematic. But this is why I would be open to vote for a democrate as a frum Jew:
    I believe frum political conservatives aren’t in touch with how awful things were for our grandparents in the old world. Every country where a religious group imposes idealogy on others lacks stability. Think Syria, Iraq, Iran. And demanding US keeps the 7 Noahhide laws, for example, leads to the same type of prosecution of others that we sought to escape from. Of course there are laws that must be kept universally, and there’s always going to be a tension as to how to where and how to draw the line. I’d rather live with that imperfection, knowing that the tides are less likely to turn against us, lo aleinu.
    There have always been ‘alternative lifestyles.’ I don’t condone this and feel uncomfortable that politicians and media are trying to push this on us. But what caused all this? Republicans trying to motivate their base through fear. It started when they started passing laws against trans using bathrooms. How would anybody ever even know if a boy who looks exactly like a girl is sitting in a stall in the girls’ bathroom? Err on the side of live and if you care so much about these people, develop relationships with them and try to show them the way. I do miss the age of centrist democrats. But republicans clobbering others over the head with ideaology only incites (and someties creates) the “other side.”

    Menachem Shmei

    I think jackk said it perfectly!

    The democrat and republican parties were both not founded according to Torah (shebiksav, and certainly not shebaal peh) so they cannot be the perfect Jewish view.

    On the other hand, there are obviously various aspects of both parties that align with Torah (this can even be said of communism, totalitarianism, etc.), and its possible that at times one party will align more than the other.

    When the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe was being arrested in the USSR in 1937, the KGB asked his daughters which political party they affiliate themselves.

    They didn’t say democracy or capitalism. They said they belong to their father’s party, which is the party of Hashem and the Torah.

    If only all frum people would speak this way today.


    thank you Jack and Menachem Shmei. One additional point: I’ve seen many posts where people talk about how so many in the Republican Party like frum Jews. Though I’ve questioned this in the past, the more important point is I would rather live in an America where political parties DO NOT publicize how much they love us. Because they are publicly grouping us together, and these people love you until they hate you. Or like I said earlier, one party loving something makes the other party feel like they have to to hate it. America should be more ambivalent and lean toward defending the rights of any religion/ethnicity.


    Er, would you likewise say that mechias amalek shouldn’t be done because of how much we’ve suffered? There is a time for compulsion, and it is clear that we are supposed to support the forcing of non jews to keep their mitzvos, and at the very least to support those who advocate for keeping them nationally.


    I agree with jackk
    There are plenty of people in both parties that really hate us and I believe it’s wrong to identify with any non-Jewish party. That being said, I vote based on which issues I believe will most help my family and most help Am Yisroel. The spiritual wellbeing of non-Yidden is way down on my list of concerns.


    Sadly, BOTH parties are currently pathetic relics of what once were two reasonably sane political movements that disagreed on policy issues but were able to coalesce around bipartisan themes for the good of the country. …just my personal view that the Republicans have so twisted themselves to support the abomination that formerly occupied the oval office that I find great optimism with the moderate Dems.


    Would you rather support Netanyahu, the leader of a party that has repeatedly allowed Jews to be mechalel Shabbos and eat tarfus?

    Both parties are bad. You have to pick which candidate is best for the Jews. And unlike Yiddishkeit, you are allowed to be a Salad Bar Democrat/Republican. Pick the policies and ideas you like, and discard the rest.


    Avira, thanks for seeing my post. In other words, I think you are saying, ‘who cares if our efforts to get goyim to keep the 7 creates upheavel against us, it’s our job to advocate this at any cost.’
    I am not a rabbi nor a historian, but I don’t believe that to be our mesorah. We’ve always fought for the ability for Jews to keep mitzvos and learn Torah, but when have we ever risked ourselves to ensure goyim keep their mitzvos? By “risks” I mean either risk of prosceution or increased antisemitism by those we offend.
    Even without any risks, is there any time in history when we’ve been preocccupied with prosthyletizing or advocating for new-Jews? And why is this the time for compulsion compared to, say, when things were going well for Jews in Spain before the inquisition?
    Additionally, I believe laws have not been persuassive in changing social attitudes, so the more effective way would be to befriend these people – at your own risk versus creating risk to your fellow Jews who don’t share your “mesorah.”


    *meant non-Jews


    I don’t hide the fact that I have been a registered Democrat for more than 50 years. I have held local elected office, been on my Democratic Town Committee (which chooses candidates), been a delegate to the State Convention for 30+ years and been a delegate to the National Convention about half a dozen times.
    I don’t support every candidate who runs under the D banner and I have crossed party lines to vote. That said: CT is a CLOSED primary state. If you want a say and vote in choosing who will be on the November Ballot; you must be affiliated with the party to vote in the Primary. As the old American Express ads said: Membership has its privilege.
    By being active in the party at the local levels I have been able to affect change that benefited Jews (such as closing the public schools on RH and YK…Mom was a public school teacher and this benefited staff as well as students). The former R administration in my town was quite corrupt and the Ds have cleaned things up, while the D with a 100% stranglehold on Bridgeport and New Haven have destroyed the cities.
    Those of us who choose to live OOT in small towns and cities value involvement in local government that affects our lives every day.

    America is not Europe or Israel. No one who registers to vote (and I have been the D Asst Registrar of Voters for the past decade) is a ‘card carrying member’ of a party. Our newspapers are not organs of the parties. We do not vote a Party List, but individual candidates. I doubt most Ds or Rs even know what is in their State of National Party Platform adopted for a particular year , or care what it says.
    All politics is local. I choose to work in a party that was/is open and welcoming to minorities and in my Town that means D. The local Rs are very Anti-Semitic, have shifted way to the right and believe America should be a Christian Country and Jews and other minorities should do things their way, not have rights protected.
    I have never advocated that others join my party, instead I have worked to elect specific candidates.


    Er, you raise some good questions.

    When we are in power in eretz yisroel, we definitely would judge goyim under halacha; same thing goes when moshiach comes and rules the entire world.

    But do we have to risk ourselves to make goyim keep the 7 mitzvos?

    We definitely have a responsibility on some level to prevent averos, as per lifnei iver applying to goyim(i can get sources for you on this, but poskim say it regarding doing things which make goyim sin, such as gezel), and supporting those who are declared enemies of Hashem through their abominations would be not nust lifnei iver, but actively helping them commit their atrocities.

    But it’s not just for their sake; it’s lesaken olam bemalchus Shakai, creating a world which is as close to ratzon Hashem as possible, which applies to the entire world.

    Not only that, but what goyim around us do affects us deeply. We’re influenced by our environment, especially jews who need to work among goyim and who need to go to school, or who are less educated and/or competent in learning Torah; these people will and do fall prey to goyishe society, and they definitely are our responsibility regardless of goyim.

    But does that mean we should support, for instance, a neo nazi party if the alternative is the abomination people? That would be likuach nefesh, so no. In such a case, there simply wouldn’t be anyone to support; one’s a spiritual danger and the other is physical – let Hashem decide, it’s shev ve’al taaseh.

    But in out case, even the most extreme republicans are not neo nazis. They might be nationalistic, which is never good for us, but there is just as much – if not more – antisemitism on the far left as there is on the far right…but the difference is that the lefties get away with it by dressing it up as antizionism.

    So i believe that the metzius is that both would put jews in danger, but even if im wrong, and the maga republicans would present some physical danger; our spiritual health and our mission to make the world in Hashem’s image would take priority. Because trading temporary safety for kovod shomayim is not a good deal.

    Now again, that doesn’t mean necessarily that we’d be obligated to fight the abomination people, unless they are making gezeros on us, and we might not be obligated to support the other side, But we definitely would not be able to support the left! That’s clear.

    As for historically not being too involved in kiruv, so to speak, there is a machlokes about this. Some say that we shouldn’t reach out to goyim, because we don’t want to give them zchusim, but in this case, when they are destroying society, we’re not giving them zchusim, we’re simply preventing destruction. Remember, no society in history allowed same sex marriage since the mabul, and the medrash rabba says that this was the final straw.

    Others, including rav hirsch, say that we are definitely obligated in the spiritual welfare of goyim, but our priority is jews, so until all jews are frum, it’s a moot point.

    But that’s regarding kiruv; no one’s saying to go around teaching them about the 7 mitzvos; what we’re saying is not to support those who are actively against those mitzvos.


    CTLawyer, great post.
    I am registered as a Democrat even though I tend to vote Republican. That’s because if you live in NY or NJ, having a vote in the primary is far more important than the general election in determining who will be the next representative.
    The best thing for the country as a whole would be to ban political parties, and institute term limits for members of Congress. That would go a long way towards stopping the extremism from creeping into the mainstream, as well as getting rid of a lot of the corruption.


    I agree with Jackk on a practical level but we know famously from Rav Miller Zatzal that he held voting Democrat is a Chilul Hashem. And we can’t make cheshbonos when it comes to chilul Hashem.

    If you can’t get yourself to vote for the idiot on the Republican ballot I fully understand. But then rather don’t vote at all.

    Menachem Shmei


    Great points about Sheva mitzvos and לתקן עולם

    Allow me to add the halacha ruled by the Rambam in hilchos melachim:
    וְכֵן צִוָּה משֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ מִפִּי הַגְּבוּרָה לָכֹף אֶת כָּל בָּאֵי הָעוֹלָם לְקַבֵּל מִצְוֹת שֶׁנִּצְטַוּוּ בְּנֵי נֹחַ

    To answer er,
    The reason this wasn’t practiced throughout the generations was because for most of history Yidden weren’t exactly on talking terms with goyim…


    There’s a frum community that had a direct hand in getting Hillary Clinton in power in a tit-for-tat trade when President Clinton was lame ducking. The oilom, by and large, called it a massive chillul Hashem, but I know of at least one major Jewish publication that held the opposite, and called it a kiddush Hashem. From their point of view, it doesn’t matter what policies Democrats hold of, as long as they can help Jews.


    Menachem > When the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe was being arrested in the USSR in 1937, the KGB asked his daughters which political party they affiliate themselves.

    This requires clarification – either the year or the loshon is off. There was just one party in 1937 USSR.


    Theoretically, there are multiple dimensions where one can be more conservative or progressive – economics, social issue, foreign policy, nationalism.

    In Israel, you have multiple parties that select different positions along these dimensions. For example, a religious party can be left-wing on economics (asking for support), foreign policy (“pro peace”), etc.

    In US, with 2 parties, there is a salad of different position that differ over time. Trump, for example, took over some populist positions from Dems.

    Personally, I am registered as I, and when asked who I vote for, I have to answer – I consider each election on merits, but never yet ended up voting for a D… I also see (mostly D) votes by specific recent developments, but I don’t think any of them ever voted for R before that.

    some of the D- positions are beyond my red lines: previously, sympathy to Soviets, and recently hate of Israel. “I don’t need my friends be public about it” is great – unless you actually need [ublic support.

    Also, despite R Avigdor Miller position, many observant communities want democratic economic policies – increase in welfare and other redistributions.


    Menachem, i didn’t know about that rambam; thanks for sharing, very appreciated.

    Menachem Shmei


    This is from the Frierdiker Rebbe’s personal diary describing the arrest by the G.P.U. in Sivan 5687-1927 (רשימת המאסר):

    ראשונה הלכו לחדר בנותי מ’ חי’ מוסיא ושיינא יחיו, לבקר בשם וידרשו מאתם לאמר להם: מאיזה פּאַרטיע המה, ויענו כי הם בהפּאַרטיע של אביהם, בנות ישראל בעז­פּאַרטיינע [בלתי מפלגתית], מחבבי ארחות ישראל סבא, ממאסים בשאיפות החדשות. מפני מה? — נשמע קול נחמנ­סאָהן בשאלת תמהון — מפני מה — ענתה בתי שיינא תחי’ — מפני מה אינני מחויבת להשיב לכם, אתם שואלים איך היא השקפתי, ועל זה עניתי לכם ועל שאלת מפני מה אינני מחויבת לענות או לתת טעמים על
    השקפתי, כי הלא לא לשם דיסקוסיא באתם לבקר את כתביי ואגרותיי.

    They first went to search the room of my daughters Chaya Moussia and Shaina and asked them: “Which party do you belong to?”
    They answered that they were “members of our father’s party, apolitical Jewish women who hold dear Jewish traditions and despise the new trends.”


    Menachem, thanks, 1927 makes more sense. In 1937, there were no parties left there, and Soviet commies were already arresting each other, and Fridriker Rebbe already lived in Warsaw or Riga


    Such an interesting discussion!

    The confluence of religion and politics within the Jewish community is something I have been struggling with lately.
    I find people often confuse their political values and their religious values.

    The question of “how a Jew can be a democrat” reminds me a bit of the comment I once heard “real Jews don’t eat mayo.” Well if it’s kosher mayo what’s the problem? I personally like mayo! I certainly don’t think that makes me less Jewish.

    I’ve always been a proud Independent despite having to register with a party to vote in closed primaries (and in my opinion closed primaries are harmful and help drive parties to their extremes). I look at the issues and where the candidates stand and who the candidates are as people and often divide my ticket at the local level.
    To determine my stance on many issues I look to my Jewish values. But not every issue has a definitive answer based in Torah. And as mentioned in other replies, no American party aligns 100% with Jewish values. Just to throw out a few random examples; should we have a gas tax versus toll roads, trade laws, zoning permits, state employee labor union contracts, corn subsidies, tax rebates for solar panels, overnight street parking, should the town invest in a new swimming pool, etc. The minutiae of governing is often not a source of great religious controversy or debate.
    The national culture war issues make for great headlines and click bait but are unhealthy and divisive for our country and our people.
    As we can see from CR discussions there rarely is only one Jewish view on any topic and politics is no exception.

    Republicans in blue states sometimes hold positions that are more liberal then democrats in red states.

    Connecticut Gov. Lamont, a Democrat, went to Israel while in office.
    Connecticut Gov. Roland, a Republican, went to jail while in office.

    ER – well said about being skeptical of the comment the “Republican Party likes frum Jews.”
    Parties don’t like groups for who they are, they like voting blocks in swing states (Florida) and major donors. When the map changes or the donations dry up so will the support.

    So my personal struggle recently is realizing the Jewish community I grew in has moved so far left politically I feel I have no choice but to leave (and I generally vote D in national elections). While looking at other options it seems many religious institutions also moved far left politically while I was apparently asleep during the last decade.
    To say Jews only vote this way or that it pushes out of the community those who may hold different political views and that in my opinion is not right. We frequently welcome lively debates, but forcing allegiance to only one political party shuts that down.
    My whole life I’ve felt like a round peg in a square hole so I’m used to some level of discomfort but this has sadly become too much to bear. The positive side is it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone religiously and put me back on a path I had briefly found a long time ago.


    The authors at Just Security consolidated the seven-part conspiracy the House select committee set out into three essential prongs. They explained the first prong: “Trump knew he lost the election but did not want to give up power, so he worked with his lawyers on a wide variety of schemes to change the outcome. Those schemes included creating fraudulent electoral certificates that were submitted to Congress, implicating statutes such as 18 U.S.C. § 371, which prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States” and 18 U.S.C. §1001, which prohibits false statements to the government. Second, after the phony elector scheme failed, Trump tried to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to obstruct the joint session in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512. And third, when that too failed, “Trump went to his last resort: triggering an insurrection in the hope that it would throw Congress off course, delaying the transfer of power for the first time in American history. This implicated statutes such as 18 U.S.C. § 2383, which prohibits inciting an insurrection and giving aid or comfort to insurrectionists.”

    When Trump gets indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith remember this easy summary of why he belongs in jail and nowhere near any elected office.

    This is all separate from his other court cases that he will lose and send him to jail.

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