What kind of Jew is Bernie Sanders


This is the best, though admittedly still imperfect, explanation of Sanders’ religiosity that I have yet found.

Sanders reminds me of my stepfather, may he rest in peace, and his family, who grew up as part of the Workman’s Circle movement in New York. Non-religious, or even anti-religious, they grew up attending socialist summer camps and similar activities. For them the pursuit of social, economic and political progress took the place of religion, and especially identification with and support of the labor movement. Like almost all their neighbors, they came from and were part of the working class.

Soon after my mother married my step-father, the new couple hosted a family seder. This was the first seder that my stepfather and my new Aunt Frances had attended since they were youngsters. Everyone took turns reading the stilted English translation of the Maxwell House Haggadah that so many used in those days. Every time it was Aunt Francis’ turn to read, and she came across the phrase “the Eternal our God,” she would read instead “the External our God.” Talk about revealing Freudian slips!

I guess that my stepfather and my aunt would have immediately identified with Senator Sanders and understood completely his point of view. Whether the same will be true of America at large we will find out in the coming months. I’m not holding my breath. —Rabbi Kerry Baker

Referenced article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/31/what-kind-of-jew-is-bernie-sanders.html?via=twitter_page

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