Shabbat Goy: Political husband, I

After four long years in Israel, I have finally found my true metier – and worked out how to get an iPad at the same time.

MK Einat Wilf cartoon 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
MK Einat Wilf cartoon 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Remember how I said, a while ago, that I’ve been banned from buying myself electronic toys until I secure gainful employment? Well, I’ve solved the problem.
After four long years in Israel, I have finally found my true metier – and worked out how to get an iPad at the same time.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have decided to become a political husband.
Allow me to explain: Einat Wilf, member of Knesset.
I didn’t know very much about her until recently, other than the fact that she was a representative of that new party. You know, the one currently in the process of writing the most detailed political suicide note in history. But that’s besides the point.
As politicians go, Ms. Wilf seems, on paper, to be no more and no less equipped to represent her constituency than most of her colleagues. A doctorate from Harvard. Policy experience. One presumes from her background that she is capable of stringing a couple of coherent sentences together – which is perhaps the most one can ask of a politician these days.
But Wilf has a dark secret, it seems. She is married to a goy. A German goy, at that.
Oy vey! How do I know this? Thanks to a call by Rabbi Israel Rosen for a “complete ban” on all of Wilf’s public activities.
Rosen heads the Tzomet Institute, a non-profit that works to devise practical, technological solutions for observant Jews. Shabbat timers, motorized scooters for the physically disabled that do not desecrate the day of rest, stuff like that. Useful stuff, in short.
BUT NONE of this explains why Rosen is so riled by Wilf and her choice of life partner. In a Shabbat newsletter outlining his call for the total obliteration of Wilf’s public status, Rosen says his main objection is her position as part of a mixed marriage.
“It is just too much for me. Especially when this is touted under the name of Israeli ‘Independence’ (the name of Wilf’s political party), or when the individual involved is slated to head a committee on such subjects as education, immigration or absorption.”
Forgive me, but I’m not buying it. For one thing, Rosen states earlier in his newsletter that he does not make the call on religious, nationalistic or cultural grounds. (He observes that he is sure there are greater sinners and traitors than Wilf – a statement I am sure she finds very comforting.) More to the point, as someone concerned with the role that science can play in religious life, I’m pretty certain he must be – on some level – familiar with the challenges posed by the secular world.
And then I discover what I suspect to be the crux of the matter. A little further on in his missive, Rosen mentions that Wilf’s husband – a TV journalist – was one of the first people to lay hands on the original iPad.
“How can we forget that he was the very first customer to receive the iPad, because of the determination he showed by standing in line in New York for 10 hours!” Aha. This is no political or cultural issue – is it, Rabbi Rosen? It’s simply a “boys and their toys” thing.
No one’s given Rosen an iPad to play about with yet… I sympathize. I’d say the same thing if I thought that anyone would listen to me. But this doesn’t explain why I’ve decided to be a political husband.
Well, judging from the very mixed response to Rosen’s tirade, I rather suspect that Wilf’s status as part of a mixed marriage may actually work to her advantage.
You know, with the tree-hugging, Kumbayasinging, Israel-delegitimizing sector of society.
“She’s, like, intermarried! Cool, I’ll vote for her,” etc., etc. And that’s where Mrs. Goy comes into the equation.
True, Mrs. Goy has no discernibly coherent political views. But this hasn’t stopped a whole generation of politicians in the past. That aside, Mrs.
Goy’s an academic, like Wilf; I’m assuming she’s capable of putting together the occasionally coherent sentence.
More importantly, she has an important electoral asset, in the person of moi, interloper goy and creator of mixed marriages. I’ll happy follow her on the campaign trail, mumble in broken Hebrew and generally upset people like Rabbi Rosen, who can’t quite deal with the fact that, occasionally, marriages do occur between two human beings of different backgrounds.
Mrs. Goy could be a contender, if she plays her cards right. All she needs to do is buy me an iPad first.