Other Women in My Life

Although I am not 100% decided, I will probably vote for Hillary Clinton in the Connecticut Democratic Presidential Primary.

If I do, it will only be because I dislike her as a candidate less than I dislike Bernie Sanders.

Because I have written that I am not eager to see Ms Clinton become President of the United States, some have accused me of being sexist.

I would not like her any better if she were a man.

If anything, I would favor her because she is a woman. During a trip to Israel in 1984, I’d learned that the late Geraldine Ferraro would be running for Vice-President. I considered it a cause for celebration.

Looking back over my career as a rabbi, I believe I have done my part to advance the status of women as Jewish clergy.  I am proud to have played a pivotal role in bringing:

  • The first female rabbi to Columbia, Maryland
  • The first female Cantor to Columbia, Maryland
  • The first female rabbi to Nashville, Tennessee
  • The first female Cantor to West Hartford, Connecticut
  • The first lesbian rabbi to West Hartford, Connecticut

I wonder if any of those calling me the “S” word can make such claims. All of those initiatives met resistance, and I did not make these hires unilaterally. But because I was the Senior Rabbi of the congregation in each case, none would have occurred had I not pushed for them. In each case I’m glad I did.

Because of my track record, I bridle when people say that I don’t like Hillary Clinton because she is a woman. My wife says I am jealous that nobody will pay me $250,000 to give a 45-minute speech to Wall Street bigwigs. She is right.

But like Mr. Sanders, I wonder what great wisdom Ms Clinton could impart to warrant such munificent compensation.

Yes, I believe those fees are unseemly to say the least, but I am equally disturbed by Whitewater and Ms. Clinton’s quick turn of profit in the commodities market.

There are other things about Ms Clinton that displease me, but the time has come for me to overlook them. She is not only my likely preferred Democratic candidate, but she is the one with the far better chance of defeating Mr. Trump in the general election.

That to me is job one.

As for the fact that Ms Clinton is a woman … that is the best thing she has going for her.