Christmas Morning

I dreamt that Donald Trump woke up this morning after a Christmas Eve slumber like the one endured by Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

I dreamt that he woke up a changed man resolved to forsake the venality, shallowness, and self-centered hardhearted nature that has caused hurt and displacement to so many and brought shame upon the United States of America.

  • I dreamt that—just as Scrooge sent the young boy to the poulter to buy the prize turkey for his impoverished clark, Bob Cratchitt, Mr. Trump would donate a billion of his own dollars to help alleviate the problem of hunger in our world.
  •  I dreamed that just as Scrooge awoke determined that Tiny Tim receive the health care he deserves, that Mr. Trump would wake up and see that health care—the best money can buy–should be the right of all and not the privilege of the few.
  • I dreamt that like Scrooge Mr. Trump awoke this morning with zeal to right the many wrongs of his past.
  • He would start by remitting back payment with interest to all the contractors and other workers he stiffed or cheated over the years.
  • I dreamt that he would wake up not with a commitment to sending more miners into the depths the earth to die young from Black Lung Disease, but with a commitment to put, “America First,” in the development of clean solar energy and other environmental saving initiatives.
  • Yes, I dreamt that Mr. Trump woke up this morning not with a commitment to making America First in competition with other countries but first in its desire to fulfill the dream of its founders.
  • I dreamt that Mr. Trump woke up with the resolve to turn his massive pleasure palace at Mar A Lago into the official, “United States Refugee welcoming Center.” I dreamed Mar A Lago could become the place where, “the tired … poor huddled masses yearning to breath free,” of oppression violence and fear would find warm beds, healthy food, language and job training so that like so many immigrants before them they can assume productive positions in building what truly could become the greatest nation in history.

But I fear that before Trump wakes up a changed man like Scrooge, we are the ones who will have to wake up.

And when we do we will marvel at how we could elect a man like this to be our leader. Just as Germany looks back in shame at having elevated Adolf Hitler, America will look back in shame at placing Donald Trump in the oval office.

I have another dream this Christmas morning: that at the earliest opportunity, we shall oust this president from office and consign the disastrous policies he has pursued to the dustbin of history.

And then, let us begin to heal.



He Won the Election So Give the Guy a Chance

Many of my liberal friends will not like this essay, but I am disappointed with the attitude of so many.

Face it. Whether we like it or not, Donald Trump won the election. Like George Bush in 2000 he lost the popular vote but no matter. According to the laws that govern elections in the United States of America he won.

He won quite handily.

He won despite the fact that everyone predicted he would lose. He won despirte the fact that the mainstream media ganged up on him and transparently wanted Hillary Clinton to win.

From the day of the election to this, many have campaigned to overturn the results. Professors, pundits, ordinary citizens have protested. Some Congresspeople  will actually boycott the inauguration.

To me it is just sour grapes!

My background is in athletics as a high school, college and local tournament tennis player. I learned very early: You play as hard as you can. You do everything you can to win, but if you lose you don’t make excuses.

You shake your opponents hand, congratulate him and hope to do better next time.

That is exactly what we should do as Donald Trump becomes the President of the United States.

I actively campaigned against him. The essays I wrote detailing why I thought Mr. Trump was totally unfit to be the leader of the free world attracted many times more readers than any of the other  350 plus entries I have written on this blog.

Despite my best efforts and those of so many others he won.

To compound matters, since he won, he has made appointment after appointment that fill me with trepidation for our country’s future.

But he won, and he has the right—with the advice and consent of the United States Senate–to appoint anyone to whatever position he pleases.

 Give the guy a chance!

If we truly want what is best for our country, then we must stop being sore losers and give the president our support and well wishes as he embarks on the world’s most difficult leadership role.

There is nothing to gain by trying to thwart the man before he begins

Let’s give him 100 days and see what he has done!

At that time if I am unhappy with the direction of his leadership, count on me to raise my voice in whatever way I can to protest.

That is the American way, and that is the way I think is best for our country!


My Clinton Conundrum


Make no mistake! I will vote for Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States, and I will pray that she wins.

Of those with any chance of winning, she is by far the better candidate. It’s not even close.

In fact if I didn’t know how people laughed at Hitler and thought him a beer hall buffoon in the 1920’s I would not think Donald Trump had as ghost of a chance of being president.

But he does!

He effectively cleaned the clocks of a bevy of experienced Republican candidates to win the party’s nomination. That’s enough to scare me.

But what scares me even more is that the more outlandish things he says, the more some people rally to his support.

On one level I understand. People are hurting, and people are scared of the international terrorist threat the world faces. He talks tough and promises change. But his type of change violates every ideal of our democracy including but not limited to: Racial and religious equality, paying (and if you are a presidential candidate disclosing that you pay) your fair share of taxes, understanding that we are a country built by immigrants and doing what we can to help those escaping tyranny. The list is endless, and for more on why the election of Donald Trump would be disastrous, please do a search and read the previous essays in which I make this point on my webpage blog,

And that brings me to Hillary Clinton.

I have expressed my concerns about her character and past actions in a number of Facebook posts. I shall not rehearse them further.

It concerns me that people who love and care for me, and whom I love and care about, have expressed anger and dismay that I would dare say negative things about Ms Clinton.

It disturbs me that some would try to suppress what I consider legitimate criticism of Ms Clinton. It disturbs that think so highly of her that they completely ignore the entire stream of concerns about her that have surfaced in the last 25 years and consider any criticism of her out of bounds.

It disturbs me too that because the election of Trump would be an unmitigated disaster, some think that any criticism of Hillary Clinton should be entirely proscribed.

To my mind the uncritical support of any candidate is inimical to our American democracy and dangerous for our country.

As I often say, “We have all been expelled from the Garden of Eden.” There is no perfect candidate. No, I am not crazy about Ms Clinton, and I have expressed my reasons. Not to do so would be to betray my conception of what our country, freedom of expression and our democracy is all about.

Having said that, I consider Hillary Clinton the best candidate running for President of the United States.

I support her, and I will vote for her, and I urge all of you who care about the future of our country and our children and grandchildren, whose lives will be affected by this election, to vote for her as well.



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.