I promised myself never to write about this guy again, Michael Chabon, but then this came up – Hebrew Union College, LA campus, invited him to speak to its graduating class of Reform rabbis.
Whatever they paid him, they could have gotten the same speech for free from Hamas.
What else could possibly go wrong?
In case you don’t know, Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Jewish writer, though you may doubt his being Jewish as I doubt his being a writer.
Tolstoy he isn’t and even I’d be willing to take him on novel for novel.
I wrote about him previously in a column titled “Why the wicked have all the luck.” But let’s get back to the latest…
First let’s spell out the exact title of the university that so honored Chabon. This is important. Tells what sort of rabbis are being let loose…and exactly how Chabon fits in.
So it goes like this: “Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.”
Sounds impressive until we realize that this particular commencement speaker denies that the Exodus from Egypt ever took place. The event is a mainstay of the Hebrew Bible.
So the word “Hebrew” means nothing to Chabon, and so we don’t know if it means anything to the people who invited him. (Mahmoud Abbas wasn’t available?)
Then the word “Jewish” in the title. Only this – Chabon calls himself an atheist. The two don’t mix. Then this – he’s against “obligatory Jewish rituals.”
So scratch “Religion” so far as Chabon is concerned and thus we have a university (and emerging Reform rabbis) dubiously Hebrew, Jewish or Religious.
Therefore, a commencement address that could have been given at any diner or truck stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Or West Hollywood where they just gave the keys to the city to porn star Stormy Daniels in gratitude for her “leadership in the Resist Trump Movement.”
He is no casual hater of Israel, this Chabon. For him it’s a full-time business.
He hates Trump, too. In fact, Chabon resisted Trump before anybody else, though on Israel it’s not the timing, it’s the uncommon hatred that comes from we don’t know where.
He is no casual hater of Israel, this Chabon. For him it’s a full-time business. He invites other writers to join him, and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, in demonizing the Jewish State.
What did his mother ever do to him, and what did they see in him, those who run the university, that made him so emblematic for the Reform Movement?
Perhaps they heard that he is best friends with “Breaking the Silence” contrarians, or maybe they read him in The Forward, where he said about the Jewish State –
“It is the most grievous injustice I’ve seen in my life.”
That was the theme of his commencement address.
For one graduate, Morin Zaray, it was a rant too much. In a blog titled, “How My Graduation Was Ambushed,” she writes –
“As I heard Chabon’s simplified takedown of my country [Israel], the room began to spin…I felt ashamed for being part of this gathering, ashamed that many in the audience were just nodding at this reductionist view of a multilayered and complicated country…I was nearly brought to tears as I heard the crowd of Jews give Chabon a thunderous applause.”
Coming to a Temple near you.
New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.
He is the author of the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal” and most recently the two inside journalism thrillers “The Bathsheba Deadline” and “News Anchor Sweetheart, Hollywood Edition.” Engelhard is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: www.jackengelhard.com