Every revolution has its Jewish moment, and Glenn Beck’s call to “restore honor” is no exception. Beck, who with Sarah Palin on Saturday drew a huge crowd to the Lincoln Memorial in the National Mall in Washington, focused his revival call on bringing back faith to America, and nothing says faith more than having a Jewish rabbi alongside Christian clergy on the stage.
On the night before his mass rally, which according to estimates was attended by more than 100,000 participants, Beck chose the nearby Kennedy Center for his preview event — “America’s Divine Destiny.” The event featured a long list of conservative Christian leaders, including Pastor John Hagee, who also leads the pro-Israel Christians United for Israel, and one rabbi — Daniel Lapin.
Lapin, who was described in a 2005 Washington Post profile as “the Republicans’ rabbi in arms,” is known for his close ties with the conservative branch of the Republican Party and has won national recognition because of another close friend of his — disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Lapin was not only a personal friend of Abramoff, he was also mentioned in numerous email exchanges in which the former lobbyists, who has just completed a three-and-a-half-year prison term for fraud, corruption and conspiracy, discussed using accounts belonging to Lapin’s foundation in order to hide funds received from clients.
At Beck’s event, Rabbi Lapin did not shy away from talking about money, or more specifically, about God and money. In fact, Lapin made the point that God views favorably those who make money. Or at least that is what people thought he said.
Because most of the participants at the event and all those watching the webcast at home did not get to hear what the rabbi had to say. What they saw, according to blog posts of participants, was a Jewish man with a beard standing on the stage waving his hands.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Glenn Beck Restores Faith With Abramoff-Linked Rabbi