The Vestry Has Spoken...

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Vestry Has Spoken...

...and Rabbi Marc Schneier has been disin­vited to appear at Saint Marks Church on September 7th as he had announced at the WEEEF.

Following a meeting of the Vestry and Wardens after yesterday's services, the Very Reverend Christopher L. David was informed that the Rabbi was for the foreseeable future to be con­sid­ered persona non grata.

While it stemmed as much from confusion about exactly what he was being invited to do... be a part of the Sunday Episcopal service, or participate in an informal meet'n'greet with any parishioners interested in his "pitch" for the eruv... the Rabbi's intemperate state­ments about the issue seem to have caught up with him.

Example...Rabbi Schneier's contemporary statement to's Kelly Carroll:

"I was disappointed, you know, taken aback by people's conduct, their intolerance, their disrespect. This community prides itself, at least publicly, as a community that cham­pi­ons religious diversity. We have seen the ugly head of anti-semitism."

(Translation: either you see it my way, or you're an anti-Semite.)

Yet it is the Rabbi who, in the local community at least, publicly "extends the hand of friend­ship" while telling Jewish media that West­hampton Beach is reminiscent of "early Nazi Germany."

Formally, Rabbi Schneier's planned appearance has been "postponed," but sources close to the situation stated that they felt that he was be­ing more "manipulative" than genuine, and declined to have their church co-opted in such a manner.

Given the number of times the Rabbi has bro­ken faith with the Hamptons Interfaith Council over the past 14 years, it's not sur­pris­ing that one of its prominent members would finally stand and tell him "Not here, not this time."


1. Hampton West said...

Pyrrhic Victory - termed used after the King of Eperus defeated the Romans but with excessive loss; The Rabbi will get his eruv thru legal channels, but this dis-invite is the beginning of paying the price.

More importantly, since Rabbi Schneier is quite openly hanging his reversal of position ("[we don't wish] to win a pyrrhic victory.") on his support from the Interfaith Council, where does that leave him now.

As we shall see, the Rabbi has snubbed that body (nče Hampton Council of Churches) since they first "extended the hand of friendship" to him 14 years ago.

2. Marge Schab said...

Why not just give the observant Jew a map of the eruv? This is done in other communities. Then it is only an agreement between the Orthodox observer and Jewish law. The eruv map could be on the Synagogue's Web site in PDF format for printing to all those few who want it. Why mark up the town when a piece of paper will do?

Whew! Not afraid of the tough ones, are you, lady?
  • That would be too simple, and also not allow the Rabbi in the grand tradition of Rabbis for the past four thousand years, to puff himself up and tell his people that he has led them to a great victory over the barbarians without the gates.
  • Is it really? Where have you been for the past six months? Why haven't you contributed this to the dialogue?
  • "All those few," eh? A provocative construction, indeed!
  • Ignoring for the moment that we're talkin' "Village" here, and not "town," I don't think that some small pieces of PVC tubing will be all that conspicuous, do you?
Some good ideas, madame... unfortunately this is all about the Rabbi's all-consuming ego, and the obduracy of Trustees Joan Levan and Toni-Jo Birk. Mix in the failed leadership of Mayor Teller, and the storm clouds darken and appreciate in size.

3. David said...

The piece of paper to which you refer simply informs the users of the eruv's boundaries. It does not negate the need for the physical device.

Thank you, sir. It did seem a bit on the "too simple to be true" side.

4. Matlynn Carville said...

Well, if Marge is correct, this public passion play could have been averted. This has been very hurtful to all parties, a widely-painted smear of the Village, and an unnecessary call to "arms" for religious observers, including the clearly "Anti-Semetic" Jews!

Now do let's go back to sharing the playground without further fuss. We don't need Mom/Dad/OR a new Sheriff in town to make this right.

Play nice and no one gets hurt.

Unfortunately, if "David" is correct... and it's my experience that he knows his stuff in these matters... Ms. Schab might have misunderstood that a formal recognition had taken precedent.

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