Posted on 30 June 2019.
By Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel
Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel
CHULA VISTA, California — One of the Democratic candidates running for President is Cory Booker, the former Newark mayor who later was elected to the U.S. Senate. Booker has had a long relationship with the Jewish community. He once headed Jewish student societies while a student at the University at Oxford and at Yale. He has close ties with pro-Israel groups.
This is a man who has given a sermon on the weekly parsha.
Once Jeffrey Goldberg retold a conversation between Booker and his daughter, who was then preparing for her bat mitzvah. He asked her, “What’s your parasha?” The young girl replied that it was “Parshat Vayera” from Genesis. Without missing a beat, Booker gave a drasha on the lessons we can learn from Abraham trying to save the two sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
When I first heard this story, I began paying attention to Booker.
I wanted to know more about him.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was once a good friend of his. How did he describe Booker? He said that the man is “Possessed of an insatiable spiritual curiosity utterly unexpected from a star who has risen through the rough-and-tumble of Jersey politics, Cory is a man permanently in search of inspiration, to both discover and dispense it.”
Booker appealed to many Jews, then something bad happened. In his quest to be a popular politician, he made the mistake of trying to be all things to all people. In fact, he reminds me of Paul the Apostle, who in a rare moment of honesty, admitted his aim in winning souls for Christ:
Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win over those under the Law. To those outside the Law I became like one outside the Law—though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ—to win over those outside the Law. To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it. Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.
Paul and Al Davis both believed in winning—regardless of what it took; the former owner of the Oakland Raiders became famous when he said, “Just win Baby.” I suspect that Cory Booker probably has a similar philosophy.
And in politics, the rule of political expediency is the only enduring life philosophy that matters
This means a good politician must sometimes make a deal with the devil himself.
But a man of principle and moral courage must never succumb to that temptation. Booker forgot that even Satan tempted Jesus, but he failed. That’s how a moral person deals with evil people. Just say, “NO!”
Boteach’s incisive words are worth quoting:
But then came the Iran nuclear agreement and Cory’s support of it and the beginning of a downward spiral in his support for Israel that undermined much of our friendship and the Jewish community’s admiration for him. Nearly every time I attend a public event, people walk over to me and ask, “Why did Cory oppose the Taylor Force Act – which stops the funding of Palestinian terrorists – in Senate committee?” “Why did Cory condemn the moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem?” And, “Why did Cory take a picture with BDS leaders who demand the removal of Israel’s wall that prevents suicide bombings?”
Booker’s loyalty to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party does not consider Israel an important ally; the power elite of the DNC expects Booker to tow the party line—even if it means going against the Jewish community; even if means going against the State of Israel.
Booker supported the Obama deal with Iran, despite Iran’s promise to wipe Israel off the map. And while I want to condemn Booker for a lack of courage, the Jewish Democrats who supported Obama’s dangerous gambit are even more guilty than Booker.
And as if these political compromises were not bad enough, Booker announced he was willing to meet with the infamous anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan—the leader of the Nation of Islam.
Perhaps Booker has forgotten about Farrakhan’s admiration of Hitler.
Perhaps Booker has forgotten about Farrakhan’s Jewish “Termite Problem.”
Farrakhan has called Jews “satanic” on several occasions; he praised Hitler as a “great man.” He believes that the Jews are out to “control” the world. He believes the Jews are responsible for the transatlantic slave trade.
Farrakhan is a fountain of anti-Semitism.
William J. H. Boetcker once wrote, “A man is judged by the company he keeps, and a company is judged by the men it keeps, and the people of Democratic nations are judged by the type and caliber of officers they elect.”
Cory Booker, I wish to offer these personal words of admonition: Your behavior has proven that you are a politically expedient man—a real politician.
Meeting with the enemies of the Jewish people, and state-sponsored terrorist governments against Israel has shown why you should never be elected to any office, much less the Presidency.
 1 Corinthians 9:19–24.
Rabbi Samuel is spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Chula Vista. He may be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org