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October 18, 2012

This week in power: Second debate, Fightfight averted, Silverman spat, Jewish Grindr

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A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:

Debate #2
"Jewiest debate ever," declared Gal Beckerman at The Jewish Dialy Forward, reflecting on the second presidential debate on Tuesday. "Thankfully the next debate is in Boca Raton, which is a relief, because I was worried only middle aged Jews would get a chance to make their voices heard this election cycle." How are the candidates holding up? "A president prepared to hypnotize so many Jews into promoting his campaign might have done better to invite back to the Oval Office the prime minister of the country they claim to be looking out for," said Ruth R. Wisse in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. But he still has his supporters: "our president is a man of vision and strong character, integrity and faith. His values are Jewish values. They’re American values. We need his values in the White House for four more years," said the "Rabbis for Obama" in The Jewish Week. Just a few weeks left before the election, can Romney convince them otherwise?

How's Israel factor in?
The pundits say that Romney stressed his major campaign points during the second debate, which includes his standing behind Israel. And then there's the issue of the meddling Israeli prime minister. "If Netanyahu's gamble doesn't pay off he's going to have to deal with a White House that already does not hold him in high regard and where his clumsy meddling in U.S. politics has done much damage to his influence in Washington, and that is bad for Israel," said Douglas Bloomfield at The Jewish Week. Some, like The Jewish Journal's Shmuel Rosner, are more critical. "Romney hasn’t yet done anything tangible for Israel other than make it harder for the country to remain a bipartisan cause – while Obama has a proven record of support that can’t be refuted."

Sherman vs. Berman
Rep. Brad Sherman and Rep. Howard Berman got into it at a debate last Thursday in California, but despite what some of media coverage implied no punches were actually thrown. Though it seemed possible, according to reports. "In an exceptionally heated moment near the end of a debate, Sherman placed his right arm around Berman’s shoulder and shouted at his senior colleague, 'Howard, you want to get into this?'" It centers on California’s 30th congressional race where the campaign has only grown more heated. “Howard’s kind of a small guy and Brad was right in his face grabbing him,” a Berman spokesman told the L.A. Daily News.

Letter to Silverman
Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt penned an open letter in The Jewish Week criticizing comedian Sarah Silverman for her vile comments about Mitt Romney and the election. In his letter, Rosenblatt argues that if Silverman had better values, and pursued a husband and kids, she wouldn't be as angry about her stake in life. Others have pointed out the contributions that Silverman has made to both the American people and to the Jewish community. "Just because you disagree with someone’s politics doesn’t mean you know their character, or have the right to demean it," said Rob Eshman in The Jewish Journal. Moreoever, Rosenblatt's letter sends the wrong message about Judaism and its tenets, argued a Heeb blogger. "It’s an absolutism of authenticity  in which orthodoxy is the sole model of a Jewish life. Any deviation, and you’re automatically in stark contrast to, what is in effect, Zero-Sum Judaism." That's not what we stand for.

How Jews meet Jews
Having a hard time finding a match? Look no further than a new iPhone app called Yenta. Similar to the popular app Grindr, this one brings Jews together. In its first month, 10,000 people reportedly signed up. "Considering it's free and easy to use, we'd be shocked if that number didn't go up soon—and hey, if it happens to encourage anyone to get unkosher and roll around in the proverbial bacon, that's all the better," said Ben Yakas at Gothamist. "However, seeing as how it’s been 20 minutes since I downloaded Yenta, and no one’s so much as offered me a bite of their knish, I’ll stick to striking out with the Jewesses the old-fashioned way: At synagogue," said a Heeb blogger.

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