Oi, a shkandal!
When rabbis go bad:
Yesterday’s Senate hearing into superlobbyist Jack Abramoff’s alleged defrauding of Indian tribes had something for everyone. There was the yoga instructor who took the Fifth. There was the lifeguard selected to run a think tank from a beach house at Rehoboth. And there was Exhibit 31, an e-mail from Abramoff to a rabbi friend.
“I hate to ask you for your help with something so silly but I’ve been nominated for membership in the Cosmos Club, which is a very distinguished club in Washington, DC, comprised of Nobel Prize winners, etc.,” Abramoff wrote. “Problem for me is that most prospective members have received awards and I have received none. I was wondering if you thought it possible that I could put that I have received an award from Toward Tradition with a sufficiently academic title, perhaps something like Scholar of Talmudic Studies?”
There were titters in the audience as Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) read aloud the e-mail, then outright laughter as he continued reading: “Indeed, it would be even better if it were possible that I received these in years past, if you know what I mean.”
The rabbi, conservative radio host Daniel Lapin, gave his blessing. “I just need to know what needs to be produced,” he wrote. “Letters? Plaques?”
This would be Rabbi Lapin.
Prior to his immigration to the United States from South Africa in 1973 Rabbi Daniel Lapin studied theology, physics, economics, and mathematics in London and Jerusalem . He is the founding Rabbi of the Pacific Jewish Center, a now legendary Orthodox synagogue in Venice , California . He and his family relocated to Washington State in 1991 to develop Toward Tradition and host a nationally syndicated weekly radio show. Rabbi Lapin has written for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Commentary, the American Enterprise, and the Washington Times, and has taught at the Christian Coalition, U.S. Army, Harvard Law School , and the Family Research Council. He is also the author of Americaâ€™s Real War, Buried Treasure and most recently Thou Shall Prosper. He also serves on the board of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington , DC, and was recently appointed to a U.S. presidential commission.
Whose organization, Toward Tradition:
… is a non-profit (501.c.3), educational organization working to advance our nation toward the traditional Judeo-Christian values that defined Americaâ€™s creation and became the blueprint for her greatness. We believe that only a new alliance of concerned citizens can re-identify and dramatically strengthen the core values necessary for America to maintain that greatness and moral leadership. These values are: faith-based American principles of constitutional and limited government; the rule of law; representative democracy; free markets; a strong military; and, a moral public culture.
…and if you need a little help with fraud, a little this, a little that…you came to the right place, bubee.