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Friday, March 12, 2010

Sean Penn is Allowed To Desecrate a Sacred Place

Almost every Synagogue ,I've ever entered has these Hebrew words somewhere in its sanctuary, Dah Lifnei Mi Atah Ohmed, they are usually on top of the Ark which houses the holy scroll of the Torah. It means "Know Before Whom You Stand." It's a signal to remember that where ever you go, you stand before God. It's also a signal that the Synagogue is a Holy Place, and you need to be careful what you do, say and bring into this holy building.

Yesterday Rabbi Lustig of the Washington Hebrew Congregation, forgot the meaning of that Hebrew phrase, when he allowed serial hater Sean Penn to use his Shul for a publicity stunt.

Granted, the reason for Penn to be in his House of Worship was a fundraiser for the victims of the horrible Haiti earthquake, but I can't recall one place in the Torah where the ends justify the means. If the Rabbi had tried to find a different "name" he could have.

Penn is a bully, having been convicted of assault twice (and has one more on the way). He has visited and befriended murderous tyrants such as Sadaam Hussein, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, thus giving legitimacy to their murderous acts.

In Judaism we are taught not to wish evil upon our enemies, we are to pray that they change their ways. This is what Sean Penn wishes upon his enemies "Do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer? Yeah

In truth, Penn's presence in the Washington Congregation is what Jews call a Chilul HaShem, a desecration of God's name. And the incident at the Synagogue made things worse.
Members of the media were invited to a gala hosted at the Washington Hebrew Congregation and were allowed to ask one question each of the actor in a closed-door news briefing.
When the Yeas & Nays reporter asked, "How have you seen your critics change since you mentioned that they should die of rectal cancer?" publicity coordinator C.J. Jordan interrupted to say the reporter was only allowed to talk about the Haitian benefit.
"You know, I think that you are investing in a culture that I am not interested in. And you should go your way," Penn said to the reporter, when she said her question was related to his involvement in Haiti.
Jordan ended the interview, and publicly scolded the reporter outside of the media room. Jordan told the reporter that to keep her job, she needed to write a letter of apology to the Haitian ambassador. The publicity coordinator then threatened to have the reporter escorted out of the building by the police.

"You desecrated this sacred place," Jordan said.
No Ms Jordan by inviting Penn to a Shul, the Rabbi desecrated the sacred place.
The congregation's Rabbi Bruce Lustig attempted to take the reporter's recording device and delete the material. The reporter was approached by police and threatened to be escorted out, even though she responded calmly and exited quickly.
But Rabbi Lustig, Abraham questioned God, so did Moses. Now you are telling us that reporters aren't allowed to question Sean Penn? Hogwash. I am very sorry for the members of your Congregation that you invited this controversy upon your Synagogue. But then again it should be expected. There is an Old Jewish saying that says, "If you sleep with dogs you are going to get fleas." Unfortunately it is your congregation that has to scratch.

A video of the incident is below:


sophomorecritic said...

I'm moderately disgusted by your vides:

i'm jewish too:
1. What about lashon ha rah?
2. what about how Hillel says we judge a man by what he does and not what he says.

Sean Penn helps lots of people worldwide and gets a lot of crap for it. You have no idea how committed Sean Penn is to his good deeds. I think there's a humongous double-standard: There are some guys like George Clooney or Don Cheadle who we lavish so much praise on and Sean Penn does the same thing and we say horrible things about him.

"Penn is a bully, having been convicted of assault twice (and has one more on the way). He has visited and befriended murderous tyrants such as Sadaam Hussein, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, thus giving legitimacy to their murderous acts."

This sounds like lashon ha-rah to me: You're besmirching his name and deligitamizing him as a person and I feel you're fearmongering.

For example, Dick Cheney met with Saddam Hussein early in the 90's, that doesn't give legitimacy to his acts. Hugo Chavez denies his people freedoms but he hasn't committed more murders than Agosto Pinochet, a dictator who the American CIA propped into power in Chile. His main crimes are corrupting government by rewriting the constitution to give himself more power, but many people in our own government on both parties have tried to enhance their own personal power. He has also unpopular among conservatives because he has a model for national development that is not very business-friendly.

Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate, a longer life span, and less homeless people than the United States and who do they have to thank for that: Fidel Castro. Look up the dictator (a U.S.-backed lacky by the name of Batista who funnelled the personal taxes of the people to build his yacht) who ruled Cuba before and maybe you'll understand why they people of Cuba put Castro into power in the first place.

These are complex topics (I've studied the history of Latin America extensively) to which you are free to disagree with me on and I respect those disagreements. I respect you using a blog to denounce the actions of Castro, Chavez, and Hussein.

I do not respect you denouncing Sean Penn as unworthy of entering a synagogue because of his views on Castro, Chavez, and Hussein: That to me, is more reminiscent of Stalinist Communism than anything Sean Penn has done. It's also hippocritical of you to feel as if Sean Penn's good deeds are cancelled out by his short-temper and mean-spirited comments when your entire blog post is dedicated to the like.

Furthermore, I am disgusted that you are using my religion as a way to justify this condemnation of Sean Penn or act as if all Jews feel this way.

Unknown said...

Well thank God you are only moderately disgusted. You are right I do not thing that a man who wishes people to suffer from "Screaming Ass Cancer" should be invited into a synagogue for an event.

I am disgusted that you use my religion to justify your condemnation. Oh and I never suggested that all Jews felt that way, I am a subscriber to the theory that if you put two Jews in a room you get 3 opinions