Rabbinic group commends VP Mike Pence for remarks on marriage

Pence termed "model example of conduct" by Orthodox rabbinic group, while others call him discriminatory against women.

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Mike Pence
Mike Pence
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The Coalition for Jewish Values issued a wholehearted commendation to Vice President Mike Pence last week for setting a model example of spousal conduct. The Vice President remarked that he does not dine alone with women other than his wife, and that he does not attend events at which alcohol is served unless his wife is with him. Astoundingly, this has been regarded as controversial in some circles, with multiple op-ed writers even describing it as discriminatory against women.

On the contrary, the practices articulated by Mr. Pence closely mirror the simple common-sense measures mandated by Jewish Law in order to promote virtuous and safe interactions between the genders.

CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer commented, "It is refreshing to read about a public personality who unabashedly advances family values, and whose personal conduct is a step above the average as well. We are inundated with news stories of infidelity and broken marriages of celebrities and politicians, yet the Vice President and his wife proudly buck the trend to affirm traditional and moral values."

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow elaborated:

"I remember the days when then-Congressman Mike Pence decided on his common sense and safe approach to public socializing and private meetings. There were scandals back then rocking Washington over the activities of certain politicians, some true and some manufactured by beltway opportunists. I think the Pence policy was and remains a wise one.

"There are certain detractors who wish to paint this as prudish or religious fundamentalist. It is not. It represents an often necessary and cautious approach to social relationships between the genders, a safeguarding of one's marriage, and a recognition of the valor and mindfulness needed by both men and women to be circumspect. It is not, as some political opponents maliciously assert, a "terror of men over women." No woman working for Mike Pence over the years has ever lost a job opportunity by being on his staff. In fact, they were afforded great respect and some that I knew rose to high staff positions.

"Best of all, the Mike Pence I've known since the Bush presidency years has had a deep and special marital bond with his wife. The Pences have it right."

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), a national organization representing over 100 rabbis serving the American Jewish community in congregations, academic institutions, and Jewish organizations across the United States and Canada, articulates an authentic Jewish perspective on current events, and promotes Jewish values through writing and teaching derived from traditional Jewish thought.