The Rabbi and the Two Pockets

At Tuesday's town forum, Rabbi Spira-Savit, in asking Clinton a question, quoted what turns out to be a Hasidic story of two notes, one in each pocket: "How do you cultivate the ego, the ego that we all know you must have, a person must have to be the leader of the free world, and also the humility to recognize that we know that you can’t be expected to be wise about all the things that the president has to be responsible for?” His question to Hillary elicited a thoughtful answer about balancing ego and humility. It turns out that the rabbi is part of an interfaith clergy group that decided to engage the candidates about moral and spiritual questions. I wonder what they will ask Trump and Cruz. The Forward has an interview with the rabbi.

And speaking of clergy. At the same town-hall forum, there was a clergyman with a Roman collar (could have been Episcopal, but I don't think so). My guess is he was Catholic. He was not applauding when the cameras panned the audience and when Hillary got into her mantra about discrimination against women, workers, minorities, immigrants, and LGBTs [Correction: when Hillary got into her mantra about Planned Parenthood and abortion], he was shaking his head vigorously. I am guessing it was the last in that litany that he might have been objecting to, but since the Forward hasn't interviewed him, it's hard to know.

Finally, last night's debate was robust and got at some heretofore unvoiced issues. Did you notice what they were? The Times's print headline this morning: "Democrats Clash on Money's Role in Bitter Debate"; same story online "Democrats Duel...." Bitter? Not really. Duel? Yes. And a good one.

 

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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