Reverse Peristalsis from an E-mail

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Reverse Peristalsis from an E-mail

"I may vomit!" Sheridan Whiteside

...a sensibility I shared with the celebrated character inspired by Alexander Woollcott when I read yesterday's nauseating encomium authored by Hampton Synagogue "Honorary President" Morris Tuchman.

Occasioned by the decision by the Village of Quogue to cede their fight against an eruv in their municipality, took the opportunity to blow voluminous clouds of smoke up Rabbi Marc Schneier's fundamental orifice, to wit:

"Rabbi Schneier was willing to, and actually did, 'let go' personal friends, supporters and benefactors who insisted that he abandon the Eruv project. He absorbed vicious abuse and ridicule, silently, from vociferous, disrespectful, Eruv opponents.

He secured our pro bono counsel without which this battle could not be fought, enlisted political leverage garnered over decades in the rabbinate, struggled with obtaining financial support to permit the fight to be funded (where pro bono counsel was, for instance, unavailable), and even agreed to 'step back' if that advanced the cause.

He never wavered, not once, from the struggle even when he noted, in amazement, that people who initially voiced strong support to him for the Eruv, and urged him to pursue it with promises of all sorts of support, 'folded their tents' and cowered at the first sign of op­po­sition. Rabbi Schneier regarded this as a commun­ity effort that, as its rabbi, he could not compromise on."

All of which ignores several facts:

  • "The fight" was one of Schneier's own making, from the time of his arrival in Westhampton Beach in 1990 through the disastrously pugilistic "infor­ma­tional meeting" he called on August 13, 2008.

    (The principal speaker at that meeting, Syna­gogue member Joel Cohen, at least had the good graces to leave the area afterward.)

  • For the bulk of the ensuing "fight," the Rabbi was gallivanting about the world with wives and gal pals, generating embarrassing headlines in the New York tabloids which led to his expulsion from the Rabbinical Council of America for "Behavior Unacceptable For A Rabbi."

The question now remains, what about Westhampton Beach?

The one lawsuit which has concluded and did not redound to the advantage of the Village, was ineptly prosecuted by Arnie Sheiffer's Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv (JPOE) with an attorney purportedly foist upon them by former Village Trustee Joan Levan.

The JPOE action didn't just lose, it seriously undercut an independent action by Westhampton Beach's own legal team, so that remains to be resolved.

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