I wanted to write a letter to Rabbi Alysa Stanton, the first female African American rabbi who recently lost her position as rabbi of Congregation Bayt Shalom of Greenville, NC.
But in reading the comments on the Jewish Daily Forward Sisterhood blog, I can’t help but change my mind. I don’t want to write a letter to Rabbi Stanton. She has (hopefully) gotten plenty of positive feedback and well wishes from the Jewish community in the past few days. No, I want to instead repost the nasty comments that were made about Rabbi Stanton for the world to see:
First the reform movement allows non-Jewish board members, usually non-Jewish spouses. Then they recognize gentiles as Jews (children of “patrilineal” descent). Now their “Rabbis” aren’t even Jewish. (Reform Conversion). When will the Jewish world understand that anything invented by man (Reform and Conservative Judaim) just does not work. Obviously this position in Greenville did not work. Maybe it’s message from above?
She’s not even Jewish! If you’re a Jew, even a reformed Jew, you don’t want a goy pretending to be a rabbi
Back in the early 70’s, when the Conservative movement was discussing the ordination of women as rabbis, a very prominent Conservative rabbi (large ‘c’ and small ‘c’) made the prediction that “conservative seminaries will ordain women when the reform seminaries ordain gentiles.” Both predictions have come to pass in our lifetime. Ain’t life wonderful, or what?
Really? It’s 2011, people. I know the internet gives you guts of steel, but get a life.
One of the great joys about being Jewish is that we do not know who moshiach (the messiah) will be. And as our history has taught us, those who start off with the least impressive backgrounds (Moses the stuttering shepherd, Esther the crypto-Jew, Ruth the convert) often end up becoming the most powerful figures of our tradition. We have to treat everyone with the upmost respect, because at the very least, you could end up committing lashon hara against the future leader of the Jewish People.
So Rabbi Stanton, I hope all’s well that ends well and that if you ever want to lead a prayer service or class at OneShul, we’d love to have you as a community member.