Chicago Rabbi Expresses Regret To Congregants Over Michele Bachmann Incident On Yom Kippur
10/04/12
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Congregants at a Chicago synagogue walked out of Yom Kippur services when the rabbi acknowledged the presence of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

"I am aware of the fact that our congregation's policy in regards to public officials clearly caused pain to some members of our community on the most precious day of reconciliation on the Jewish calendar," Anshe Emet Rabbi Michael Siegel told the Chicago Tribune. "That we regret deeply."

Siegel had greeted Bachmann (R-Minn.) during the service last week, citing what he said was a custom of the Lakeview synagogue to recognize public officials. The synagogue is affiliated with Judaism's Conservative movement.

A number of congregants walked out and one, Gary Sircus, contributed to the campaign of Bachmann's opponent, Jim Graves.

"Even though I do not vote in Minnesota, please do everything in your power to take away this evil woman's soapbox," Sircus wrote to Graves.

Bachmann, who was a candidate in the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, is stridently pro-Israel but deeply conservative on social and economic issues, making a focus her opposition to gay marriage.

Graves, a hotel magnate, has proven unexpectedly competitive in the congressional race.

It's not clear why Bachmann was at Anshe Emet.

Last Update:

10/10/2012 - 18:51

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Wow...Gary Sircus obviously is a bigot and hatemonger that is against the US Constitutional right of free speech...Michelle Bachman is a highly accomplished tax attorney, business person and congressional representative. Anyone who watched her in the Republican primaries cannot argue that she is not intelligent and well spoken. Really, the synagogue should be ashamed of Sircus and should send an apology to Rep. Bachman

Or, perhaps, he's completely within his right to reject her as a candidate. Some of us believe that she has lost her mind in the way that she goes overboard to prove that she is ultra-conservative. He shouldn't apologize. My reaction, as a Christian, would be the same. I would walk out and be outraged at the leadership of my church for giving special treatment to a politician during the course of our worship; even if it was a politician for whom I planned to vote.

Politics has no place in the worship. Let's deal with worldly things when we leave the worship and godly while worshipping God.

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