When Yitzhak Rabin was murdered, his son attempted to read the Kaddish at his funeral. He was unable to say the words of the prayer, not out of grief but because he had never seen or read them before. The words of the kaddish are in Aramaic and somewhat difficult to read if you have never stepped foot inside of a synagogue service. From his performance at the funeral, it was obvious to all that Rabin’s son had never stepped foot in a synagogue service, had never said or heard the kaddish – whether the mourner’s version or any other. That the words meant nothing to him. It was obvious to the entire world that Rabin’s own son did not have the smallest acquaintance with Jewish tradition.
This past week Bibi Netanyahu was filmed lighting a Hanukah menorah on the 4th night of Hanukah. In what was almost as big a disgrace, it was obvious to anyone watching that Netanyahu does not know how to light a menorah, arranging the candles incorrectly and lighting them in the wrong order. Netanyahu is also well-known for eating cheeseburgers at non-kosher restaurants, perhaps part of his attempt to imitate Clinton. (He is a bit more discrete than Clinton in his skirt chasing.)
My children go to a secular Israeli school. Two years ago when the teacher of my son planned a Hanukah party, she asked if I would agree to do the candle lighting. When I asked how she had chosen me, she explained that I was the only father apparently of the kids in the class who knew the blessings on the candles, and I might also be the only father who owned a kipa….