By hand...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

By hand...

Updated 08/09/2008 - 6:51 pm

A letter nearly identical to one served upon the Village and Hampton Synagogue over the sig­nature of attorney Mark Williams, is being de­livered directly to area residents this week­end... including placing them on the wind shields of vehicles of those attending 5:00 Mass at Immaculate Conception this afternoon.

There are two significant differences however.

  1. Mr. Williams' signature is no where in evidence.

    For that matter, no responsible in­divid­ual is identified anywhere on the two-sided sheet.
  2. The only identifying information is that it is from "The Alliance for the Separa­tion of Church and State for the Greater Westhampton Area, Inc.¹"

    Aside from a 11978 post office box, no additional contact information is pro­vided in the way of a telephone number or E-dress.

This, in my never-quite-humble-enough-opinion, is a strategic error.

Not only does it raise a certain amount of sus­picion and distrust on the part of those all-important "undecideds," but it leaves the com­munity with the impression that the faces of the "Alliance" are nutburger Irene Barrett and the more recently higher profile Cynthia "I'll cut the wires" DiLonardo.

But hey!, 's all right with you, 's all right with me.

Conflicting Meetings

As it stands, come Wednesday next, Rabbi Marc Schneier will be holding his "Eruv Infor­mational Meeting" at Hampton Synagogue at 8:00 pm.

The Alliance has reserved the use of the larger, "neutral" High School Auditorium and invited the Rabbi to hold his "educational" effort there.

At this writing, the Rabbi has not responded to the invitation to switch to the alternate venue, and the smart money is saying he won't enter­tain the notion.

Of course, if Rabbi Schneier was genuine in his desire to "educate" and enlighten... and had the cojones... he'd go, like Daniel to the lions' den, to the high school and beard the most trenchant of the anti-eruvians.

And of course, if the Alliance leadership was genuine in its desire for "a fair opportunity for both supporters and opponents of the eruv to explain their positions and better understand the issues," they would have dispatched an emissary to the Rabbi to work out the venue and format of the meeting long before any­thing was formally announced.

I suspect that the shriller, more antag­onistic voices within the Alliance have held sway from the start, and such an initiative was never considered.

And the Rabbi's well-identified ego is highly unlikely to brook any sort of cooption of "his show."

As blog reader Frank Wheeler, who also posts to, last week noted in an apparent reference to a Bob Dylan song of the early '60s:

"There's a battle right here and it's raging, but the times they aren't a-changing!"

The more relevant lyric might be:

"Please heed the call. Don't stand in the doorway. Don't block up the hall."

Unfortunately, the time for the following is long passed:

"Don't criticize what you can't understand."

The question now is, who, if anyone, is going to blink?


¹.- This is a reworking of the ad hoc group's original name, one which was taken from them by another group which supports the proposed eruv.


1. Hampton West said...

O, Dean - can this really be the end? To be stuck inside of an eruv in Westhampton Beach again...

Now the Rabbi looked so baffled
When I asked him why he dressed,
With twenty pounds of headlines
Stapled to his chest.
– Dean

2. Matlynn Carville said...

Dylan LIVES!

O yeah!, though he's looking more and more like the late Richard Boone in recent years.

3. Frank Wheeler said...

I thought that you were on top of all this stuff... how'd you miss the fact that this past Friday night's "guest Rabbi" was from the Lawrence Synagogue?!?

And what do you infer from this startling news?

4. Gordie Howe said...

Frank Wheeler is correct; the Rabbi is from a Lawrence Synagogue - as a recovering Lawrencian, I have to add - he is from Temple Israel, which would hardly be recognized as a Lawrence Synagogue - quite honestly, it is Jew-lite as my brother would say. Very reform, closer to RC.

Keep up the good work Dean. Keep em honest - the Cup and a Pulitzer would be a great year for you!

Thanks for the clarification, ye who evokes the name of the great #9!

The Cup we've already hoisted... the Pulitzer? Eccch.
– Dean

5. Hampton West said...

Great retort, Dean!

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