Who shall come?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who shall come?

Updated 08/13/2008 - 11:48 am

And what, if anything, shall be accomplished by the eruv educational meeting tonight at the Synagogue?

Reprising yesterday's concluding assertion:

"While the original iteration of the 'Alli­ance...' is gone, its successor, The Alli­ance for the Separation of Church and State for the Greater Westhampton Area, Inc., not only endures, but grows."

And does it ever!

An inspection, under a FOIL request, of the "petition" delivered to the Village on August 1st by the newer ad hoc entity, supports attorney Mark Williams' assertion that there are in excess of 300 Westhampton Beach residents who filed...

"...comments in opposition to The Hampton Synagogue's Petition for approval of an eruv."

Yes, some were from without the Village, and others were from seasonal residents, but 300 voters would be enough of a bloc to elect any­one to Village Government who wasn't running against Toni-Jo Birk.

And, yes, there were names there from some from whom, over the decades, I've heard utter the words "kike" and "the G-wddamned Jews."

But Mayor Conrad Teller, having abetted Rabbi Marc Schneier in taking a back page paragraph and turning it into a page one headline, prob­ably isn't completely off-base with his assess­ment expressed on 27East.com last evening:

"I don’t think it’s bigotry. They are property owners and they pay a lot of taxes here. They just don’t want an area declared an Orthodox Jewish enclave. That’s what they think. [most of those who oppose the eruv are] level-headed, reasonable people."

(I'm fighting the cynicism which fairly shouts out that the Mayor is playing to a re-emerging constituency of bigots.)

The Village is in an uproar on this issue, and the view here is that as much as the eruv is symbolic to the congregants of one thing, so too is it symbolic to the opposition of another.

Sure, there is the back-lash of against the perceived "pushiness" of the Jewish populace, but then... and I hate to hark back to the Civil Rights struggles... Rosa Parks was con­sid­ered "pushy" for wanting to sit in the front of the bus.

(Not quite sure precisely how that "Jewish pushiness" manifests itself, but I'm con­fident that any of the 300+ subscribers of the petition, have some strongly-held views on the matter.)

The view here, consistent since the issue arose in February, is that it's squarely on the Rabbi.

He's engineered the conflicts, made the preen­ing and odious self-congratulatory statements, and spoken out of both sides of his mouth.

It will be instructive to learn what might be accomplished on his "home turf" this evening, and how many of the "300+" in opposition will attend and make themselves heard.

They might have had it been held at the school or Village Hall.

Local custom shows us that they're far more liable to stay at home this evening and the underlying issue will continue to bubble and fester, as it always does in Westhampton Beach, over the back fence.


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