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Breitbart Columnist Censors Wolpe’s DNC Prayer

Falsely accuses rabbi of leaving Jerusalem out of benediction

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Andrew Breitbart(AFP/Getty)

Readers who have been following our convention coverage know that last night in his benediction, Rabbi David Wolpe pointedly rebuked the Democratic National Convention for its waffling on including reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the party platform. In his prayer, Wolpe name-checked “that golden and capital city of Jerusalem,” placing verbal emphasis on the key word.

But readers of columnist Ben Shapiro at the conservative outlet Breitbart woke up to a very different story. “Tonight, Rabbi David Wolpe gave the closing benediction,” wrote Shapiro. “And he missed two key references: Jerusalem, and the State of Israel. He focused instead on the false leftist definition of tikkun olam, fixing the world.”

This is quite a remarkable accusation, given that Wolpe’s prayer never once mentioned tikkun olam, and explicitly referenced Jerusalem. How does Shapiro support his claim? By posting a bowdlerized version of Wolpe’s prayer without the part about Jerusalem—and hoping his readers don’t notice.

Here’s a helpful comparison between the key passage of Shapiro’s censored version and Wolpe’s actual version:

SHAPIRO: Each of these changes touches us all, for you have taught us that we must count on each other, that our country is strong through community and that the children of Israel, on the way to that sanctified and cherished land, did not walk through the wilderness alone.

WOLPE: Each of these changes touches all of us: for you have taught us that we must count on one another; that our country is strong through community, and that the children of Israel on the way to that sanctified and cherished land, and ultimately to that golden and capital city of Jerusalem, that those children of Israel did not walk through the wilderness alone.

Now, to be charitable, it’s possible that Shapiro got his hands on an early draft of the prayer that was written before the platform fiasco, and then never watched the actual benediction (or read the prepared version that was posted by Wolpe at the Los Angeles Jewish Journal). But whether his post is the result of deliberate deception or extreme negligence, it is certainly an instance of journalistic malpractice.

Shapiro concludes his post by asserting, “This is the Jewish appeal of Obamaism. And it has nothing to do with Judaism or Israel.” I could be missing an obscure Talmudic citation on this one, but to the best of my knowledge, misrepresenting the words of respected rabbis doesn’t have much to do with Judaism either.

DNC Rabbi’s Closing Benediction: No Israel Mention [Breitbart]
A Benediction for the Democratic National Convention [Jewish Journal]
Earlier: Rabbi Takes Stand for Jerusalem in DNC Prayer

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Beatrix17 says:

Shapiro obviously had an earlier version of Rabbi Wolpe’s prayer. I would call him on this only if he doesn’t apologize. After the Democrat’s behavior, you can’t blame the Republicans for being a little cynical. And you can’t blame us Jews for being a little cynical for the way we’re being used by both parties.

    Pam Green says:

    It was inexcusable for Shapiro to refer to a draft of the speech. On the other hand, where would he have been able to listen to the actual speech, unless he was at the convention, hanging on through the wee hours of the night, with only the cleaning crew to keep him company in the deserted room?

    Rabbi Wolpe was scheduled to deliver his prayer right after Clinton’s speech, but in another of the day’s shocking reversals, humiliating to Jews, Wolpe was bumped! Instead of the benediction, the DNC began the interminable, boring process of counting delegate votes for the nomination, and no one stayed for that! Can you blame them? It went on forever.

    Poor Rabbi! Flying all the way across the country to accept the invitation to speak to the DNC, only to be treated with profound and intentional disrespect. And where was the outcry? Debbie Wasserman Schultz must have approved the decision, but have you heard a call for her resignation?

    Did you see Debbie Wasserman Schultz in that echo chamber? I didn’t. Did Schumer stay to lend moral support to the Rabbi, speaking to empty chairs? Certainly, the DNC has now confirmed the brilliance of Clint Eastwood – using not just one, but an entire stadium of empty chairs, to symbolize their party!

    But we Jews are used to degradation, right? We’re used to being the doormats of the Democratic Party. We’ll allow the DNC to treat a rabbi disgracefully, and broadcast the insult to the entire world! Right? Right, Jewish Democrats?

      Beatrix17 says:

      Wonderful post! I didn’t know about any of that.

        Pam Green says:

        Thank you, Beatrix! Here are a few videos I just found, if you haven’t seen them. Very relevant to the leftists we’ve been battling on these Tablet threads!

          Beatrix17 says:

          These are terrific videos. I agree with them completely, yet when I talk about Islam, I moderate my comments because it’s a religion, and I can’t bring myself to be too critical of anyone’s beliefs. And I have met Muslims who seemed to be wonderful people. If we were talking about Fascism, it would be different.
          Oddly, these critics are English, people who don’t usually seem sympathetic to either the Israelis or the Jews. If Israel found a substitute for oil, this discussion would be over,

          Pam Green says:

          I agree that there are wonderful Muslims who do not ascribe to the extremist views of the Islamists, and in fact are often the victims of the radicals. Unfortunately, Obama has not supported the moderate Muslims! He has supported the radical extremists since the day he took office! Case in point: the protests of moderate Muslims of Iran in 2009, the largest protests since 1979. See
          Also see the video at
          where the moderate Muslim Iranians actually call out specifically to Obama, “Are you with us or against us?” and Obama did nothing. Nothing! And all American news outlets will confirm this, from Fox to CNN to the NY Times. Obama said nothing for weeks, and when he finally was pressured to take a stand, as hundreds of thousands of moderate Muslims were being slaughtered, Obama took the side the the Ahmadinejad regime!

          Beatrix17 says:

          The videos are wonderful and I am absolutely
          not suspicious of the people making them, just delightfully
          surprised that out of that cauldron. of English bile, can come
          some admirable people. There are others, Melanie Philips for
          Israel and Iran were once allies. And
          sometimes when I’m posting pro-Israel posts on line, Iranian
          dissidents will remind us that they need support, too. The
          left supports them but they support their oppressors, as well.

          Beatrix17 says:

          BTW, did you see the one about Obama on Condell’s web site? Shocking.

…and using an unflattering picture of the late Andrew Breitbart, may G0d watch over his family, instead of Shapiro is fair?

We go to Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and were excited to have Rabbi Wolpe giving the closing benediction – and he did a wonderful job. As an Obama supporter I have to say I was a bit shocked at the lack of respect the DNC showed by bumping Rabbi Wolpe, especially in light of all the Jewish Kowtowing going on this election season. All of those other speakers and all of those benedictions yet they put the Rabbi on to speak before cleaning crew and empty seats… he was probably competing with the noise of the vacuum cleaners. As far as Shapiro’s article is concerned, journalism long ago sunk to depths heretofore reserved for politicians… which as Woody Allen once said, “are just a notch above child molesters.” How do conservatives interpret Tikkun Olam?

    Pam Green says:

    The vacuum cleaners – brilliant observation! Thank you. When I first saw the video here on Tablet yesterday morning, the sight of Rabbi Wolpe speaking to that empty room in the middle of the night nearly gave me a heart attack. And the Tablet article didn’t even refer to it, nor did some of the early commenters. This was an outrage! Wasserman Schultz should lose her job. Obama should publicly apologize. And mainstream media should run the video of the prayer in prime time.

    Beatrix17 says:

    We interpret Tikkun Olam the same as liberals. As I’ve said before, our morals come from our religious beliefs not our political beliefs; we merely apply our religion to our politics.

mikegre says:

@Yair Rosenberg…It is your headline that is false and misleading. You don’t get it, do you? All of us can do our own fact checking now and, when we do and find people like you deliberately trying to malign people who disagree with you, you lose all your credibility. Oh, and Shapiro has updated his site. When will you?

Fred Campbell says:

A hit piece.


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Breitbart Columnist Censors Wolpe’s DNC Prayer

Falsely accuses rabbi of leaving Jerusalem out of benediction

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