Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Senator Lieberman Answers ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

For Jewish reasons. In a Jewish way

Print Email
(Getty Images)

Senator Joe Lieberman is getting heaps of praise for spearheading repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. The former VP nominee apparently worked endlessly to whip the final votes for cloture. Howard Kurtzman asked him simply, “Why?”

When I asked Lieberman why he felt so strongly about the issue—he co-sponsored a gay rights bill as a Connecticut legislator in the 1970s—he went on for a bit quoting the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. But then he turned more personal:

“I’m a Jewish-American,” he said, “a member of a minority group raised from the earliest part of my life to be deeply grateful for all the rights and opportunities and freedom afforded Americans.”

(Emphasis mine)

Lieberman felt so strongly that although the vote took place on Shabbat, which he observes, he walked to the Senate from his home, “convinced he was serving his constituents on a national security issue. ‘It felt okay to be here,’ he said.”

Joe Lieberman, Civil Rights Hero, Ctd [Daily Dish]
Lieberman: Liberal Hero for Role in Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ [The Daily Beast]

Print Email

The Torah forbids homosexuality. That a Jewish politician would go out of his way, on the Sabbath, to work, which is also forbidden, to support something that is so un-Jewish, is beyond my comprehension as a fellow Jew.

Dan Klein says:

Hi BMG. My understanding is that Senator Lieberman feels this is a national security issue which of course has to do with saving lives–and is thus permissible on Sabbath.

What is really “So un-Jewish” is the comment by BMG. Discrimination against gay people is not in line with Jewish values. Senator Lieberman acted righteously.

Vikki S. says:

I’m with Rosa. Senator Lieberman’s decision reminds me why I, a very secular Jew, remain committed to my identity as a Jew. The tyranny of the majority can be brutal. Let’s work for causes that make it less so. That is part of my identity as a Jew.

Lillianf says:

BMG, as another “fellow Jew” I’ll remind you that Lieberman wasn’t elected to represent fundamentalist religious values; he was elected to represent American values, which, fortunately, are far more enlightened.

American politicians, regardless of their personal religious affiliation or beliefs, are bound to write laws that are for the good of the whole of the American people. The Torah specifically forbids Senator Lieberman from being with another man, since he is Jewish. Unless you want to extend all of the mitzvos to non-Jews, then arguing against a Jewish Senator sponsoring a bill respecting the rights of a minority of American citizens is a little self-defeating. I’m not sure which category of work he broke to vote on shabbos, but if he considered this a national security issue, then he may have been as right as a Jewish police officer, fire fighter, or doctor “working” on shabbos, even if he was not directly saving someone’s life.

There is a document that has been signed by rabbis across the spectrum.

Orientation is a given.

Action is BETWEEN the actor and HAMAKOM

I am with Lillianf – bravo !

Larry A. says:

BMG is quoting only that portion of the Torah which concerns homosexuality. How about Deut 21:18-21 which says that stubborn and rebellious sons should be stoned? Or Numbers 15:32-36 which says that Senator Lieberman should be executed for working on the Sabbath? Come on now. We don’t take everything in the Torah literally, do we? How about a little love for the Senator who is doing what he thinks is appropriate even though he is quite orthodox.

HollyMartins says:

I’m with you BMG. Holy Joe Liebermasn is a fake, phoney, fraud!!! When it’s to his advantage he plays Conservative. Was Holy Joe elected a populist? What are his real true values. He has shown more than a few times that he has NO core Jewish values.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Senator Lieberman Answers ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

For Jewish reasons. In a Jewish way

More on Tablet:

Is Schindler a Projection of Spielberg Himself?

By Gabriel Sanders — ‘Schindler’s List’ is a story of redemption—for both the film’s protagonist and its director