Obama sees the American Jewish history as a universal fight for human rights and dignity.
David Litt said former U.S. President Barack Obama was the “most Jewish president ever.” In comparison, he called the current president, Donald Trump, the least Jewish. He joins prolific journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in doing so. Goldberg had given Obama the same title back in 2013.
Litt, in his article, said whenever he was speaking to the American Jewish Community, Obama often spoke of how the Exodus was an inspiration for many oppressed people to fight for their freedom. Even though he never asked him directly, Litt believed that the 44th President of the United States saw the American Jewish history as a universal fight for human rights and dignity.
Many immigrants’ stories, especially those of the Jews, are proof of the achievability of the American dream that you can get ahead with hard work. Obama has always been a firm believer that how we choose to live and where we go, not what we were born into, are what makes people great. Litt wrote that this part of Jewish history is what really resonated with Obama’s vision of America.
Moreover, the ideals of the Jewish tradition of Yom Kippur or atonement day – that a person can redeem himself of his sins through good deeds, a strong faith, accepting that everyone is equal and by being humble before God – echoed frequently in many of Obama’s speeches. His view of America as a country is strikingly similar with the Jewish belief that even though we all fall short of perfection, we constantly strive for redemption. In other words, the America in Obama’s vision has no place for racism, xenophobia or anti-Semitism.
Standard fare, especially during Obama’s term. The most Jewish president ever.?
— Rick Smol (@RickSmol) September 21, 2017
On the contrary, the current president, Donald Trump has totally different beliefs. He even replied that he sees no reason to repent or ask for forgiveness if he is not making mistakes, when he was asked if he had asked for God’s forgiveness. This makes it quite clear that Trump’s world view is divided into good and bad. There is no need for atonement when he is always the good guy no matter what he does.
With the U.S. going in a direction far from Obama’s dream, Litt said it has increasingly become more important to accept our shortcomings. Even though Trumpism is an attractive view to adopt, it will not let Americans accept that they are not perfect. And accepting their imperfection is the only way to hope for return.