Will GOP Try To Block Jack Lew?

In Many Ways, Orthodox Jew Is the Anti-Joe Lieberman

Will They or Won’t They: Jack Lew has been nominated as the next treasury secretary. Will he survive the Republicans’ culture of no?
getty images
Will They or Won’t They: Jack Lew has been nominated as the next treasury secretary. Will he survive the Republicans’ culture of no?

By JTA

Published January 10, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

“Jack Lew does not only seek rabbinical advice, he sometimes helps dispense it,” Shemtov said.

Shemtov recalled having to consider a request from a congregant who was called in to government work urgently on a religious holiday. Lew happened to be in synagogue, and Shemtov was able to consult with someone familiar both with governance and halachah, or Jewish law.

“He’s able to give an inside view of the scale of urgency in a way that that can help rabbis and even communal leaders understand things more practically,” he said.

Jewish audiences thrill to such insights. Clevelanders attending a pre-election debate between Troy and Lew enjoyed their back and forth on Israel and domestic policy, but especially lit up when the two recalled their gentle explanations of observance to non-Jewish colleagues. Lew drew laughs when he recalled having to explain to congressional leaders that there was no need to suspend sessions for Chanukah – it was not a holiday requiring an absence from work.

“It was a policy debate, and it was important and it was serious,” said Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, who moderated the debate. “The closing discussion about his role as a Sabbath-observant Jew in the highest levels of government was both insightful and inspiring.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.