Friday, July 13, 2012


CEO Jerry stepped in for the Rabbinic Cabinet in the June 24 Mekor Chaim from JFNA. Preaching about the message of the red heifer, CEO Jerry obsessed and ranted about "impurity" -- by which one can only assume he meant "impure thoughts." CEO Jerry seems to know a great deal about "impure thoughts" (or "impurity" as he puts it): everything, that is, except the definition.

In pertinent part, CEO Jerry wrote:

"In contemporary society, we are challenged each day to maintain our purity, in both our individual relationships and our collective actions. The opportunities for impurity are vast, especially with a wide array of technology at our fingertips. With the stroke of a key, our impure thoughts become words on a screen. With the click of a mouse, those impure words can be shared far and wide, in the span of just a few seconds. 

As leaders in today’s Jewish community, we have tremendous influence. No longer are our sermons confined to the congregations to which they were first spoken. (does CEO Jerry have smicha?) Our speeches have legs far beyond the stages from which we preach. As we address the challenges that face the Jewish people, or advise our communities on ways to make a difference in the world, we must choose our words wisely.

There is no shortage of opinions in the Jewish community, and we are fortunate to have so many diverse views and so much thoughtful dialogue. But there is a difference between the purity of creating debate and the impurity of casting stones. Debate solves problems and moves us forward. Casting stones divides us as a Jewish people and sets us back"

Here's the deal: as CEO Jerry never reads the Blog, he must be writing about one of you -- has any reader ever criticized JFNA for its leaderless, purposeless meandering?  Or maybe you have expressed some constructive criticism that might make JFNA purposeful, focused on federation needs? Whatever, it is as as clear as day that it is for CEO Jerry to unilaterally determine the "impure" and declare it to be so. (As an aside, since when is the CEO/President of a Jewish organization cloaked in Rabbinic garb [unless one is a Rabbi] and writing about "our sermons?" Or is this rant an example of "something borrowed?")

This reality creates a conundrum. I am reminded of a revered Chicago area Rabbi who condemned an "R"-rated movie playing near our town -- "blasphemy" he cried out from the pulpit; "close this theatre down." Later, he admitted that he hadn't seen the movie, nor would he. He and CEO Jerry have a lot in common. "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" -- then we can just go on with our work because any criticism is per se impure if I, CEO Jerry, deem it to be so. Sure.

And, CEO Jerry, just wanted you to know that your "sermon" inspired those "impure thoughts in me. 



Anonymous said...

"Damn the Internet! Haredim know how to control their folks. And who invented writing anyway? Isn't there a reason our sages began their work as an oral tradition? Maybe I should go work for some large State University who could use an image upgrade..."

Anonymous said...

Maybe this power is going to his head, you think?

Anonymous said...

CEOs don't read blogs. They also don't write their own speeches (or eJP articles).