Roger L. Simon

Can someone help me find a rabbi?

I’m talking about a specific rabbi – a woman, probably in or around Wilmington, Delaware.

It’s not usual that I would make a request like this and it’s not often that I am moved by an article as much as I was, but Jay Nordlinger’s piece on NRO – My Kingdom for a Safe Zone. It reached me deeply.  The article is about the difficult today’s liberals have in leaving their politics out of things where they don’t apply. Actually, “My Kingdom” is a series of reader responses to a post Nordlinger made on the The Corner, “The Conductor’s Podium as Political Platform.”

The last of these responses went like this:

Nordlinger: Well, I have saved the worst for last — this is about the worst thing I have ever read. That will not stop me from sharing it with you, however. I apologize in advance. This may leave you trembling with anger for a while. But it illustrates my point almost too well:

Hello, Jay:

Your item on the concert is right on target. A friend of ours was killed last winter (2007) when his twin-engine plane crashed on takeoff out of Wilmington, Dela. He was a good pilot, but no match for a combination of strong winds and a faulty flap mechanism. He was 40. We’d just gone to his birthday party a few weeks before. He had been married only two years and they had an 18-month-old baby girl.

So we’re at the service. He was Jewish, and the rabbi is presiding over this “celebration of life” for Dan. And she says something to the effect of, “At least he won’t be around to see more of Bush’s errors in judgment.” The audience tittered.

The thing is, I knew that Dan was pretty darn conservative and admired President Bush in many ways. We often spoke about it. The rabbi knew nothing about his politics. But she did know her audience — at least a majority of them. The rest of us didn’t count, I guess.

I have often thought of contacting this rabbi and telling her how inappropriate and just plain offensive her comments were. But I’m not Jewish and don’t even know her name. Like you, I believe that censure must come from the constituency of the speaker to make an impact.

The memory of that remark still saddens me.

Well, I am Jewish.  In fact, I was Bar Mitzvahed in a Reformed Jewish temple.  So I am part of the “constituency of the speaker”. (Since the rabbi is female, I am assume she is a reformed Jew.  Most are.) I would very much like to talk with her. I believe it would be an interesting conversation. Can someone help me locate her?

UPDATE:  Those of you who helped with this, thanks very much.  I have been doing jury service all day and will try to get into it tomorrow.