Jewish Textual Interpretation FAIL

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 20, 2009

Um . . . no. The High Holy Day prayer in question makes it perfectly clear that the decision as to who shall live and who shall die belongs to God. Additionally, much of the rabbinic tradition makes clear that what is being discussed is not whether people will be condemned to a physical death, but rather, whether they will be condemned to a spiritual one.

Oh, and as was pointed out in the comments to Ben Smith’s post, imagine what the reaction would have been if George W. Bush said something like this.

UPDATE: More on this issue from Tevi Troy. I suppose that one can say that for the President to commune better with Jewish audiences, he is going to have to unleash his inner Baruch Obama, but that would be going for the cheap laugh, wouldn’t it?

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