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Iran Chief Rabbi Visits US
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday November 3, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Iran’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yaakov Gerami, paid a visit to the United States.
Rabbi Gerami was received with mixed emotions and mixed greetings.

While many Persian Jews living in Brooklyn and in LA were livid and extremely upset that Gerami was visiting their Jewish communities, other invited him in and received him like a hero.

The Chabad conference of “shluchim” (Chabad emissaries from communities around the US and around the world) danced around him. He was invited into their schools and met with their students.

But there was significant dissent from the general Jewish community.

Gerami is a frequent Israel-basher in both the international press and in the Iranian media. Even worse, was his condolence visit to the family of Qasem Soleimani after Soleimani was assassinated by the United States in January 2020.
To jog your memory, Soleimani was commander of the al Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard. He was the mastermind behind almost every significant attack perpetrated on Western targets outside Iran.

Gerami has to make, what I call, choiceless choices. His home and his rabbinate are in Iran. He needs to bow to Iranian Shiite leadership to protect himself and his community. He needs to say and do things that are totally against what we would think to be correct. We, who do not live under that oppression, cannot possibly imagine what that is like.

The closest historical parallel to Gerami’s predicament is the Judenrate, Jewish leaders who ran the ghettoes during the Holocaust.

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7 November 2021 12:23 PM in Thoughts

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