If 1000 Twittering Rabbis Swear ...:
I was wrong, so wrong to entertain
even mild doubts about Ben Smith's report
that Obama had told a group of rabbis "We are God's partners in matters of life and death." Smith has now followed up
with several of the rabbis. They deny the statement was grandiose, calling it either "mainstream" or "inspirational" or "pablum." But they don't dispute that Obama said it. ... Rabbi Josh Yuter says, "My guess is he didn't really mean it in the way it came out." ... Rabbi David Saperstein translates
it as "we are God's partners in preserving life and delaying death," which does take the sting out of it! ... Words to inscribe over the door of the
. ... ..
P.S.: Smith didn't talk to any of the notorious twittering rabbis , who--according to Saperstein--broke an off-the-record stricture.** ...
P.P.S.: Even the Obama-skeptical rabbis Smith interviews seem to bend over backwards to get Obama off the hook on the "partners" quote. Perhaps they were lulled into cooperating by the soothing melody of "Deutschland Uber Alles," which played while Obama's audience was on hold. ... That was one of the rabbinically twittered details that made the whole account seem too good to check . But it was checked, and it's still good! ... [ stolen from Sheffner ]
**--Saperstein is not a master of brevity . Twitter gains fresh appeal. ...
Update: Rabbi Yuter, whose substantive post-call blog post is here , emails to say, "I did not recall President Obama making the statement. When asked by a Washington Post reporter for confirmation of the quote, I had to defer. I do not deny that he said it but I've trained myself to ignore such statements." ... Of course, last week Press Secretary Gibbs mentioned that there was a transcript of the call and said he'd have to check it. If Obama didn't say what the twitterer said he said, and what even his defenders seem to assume he said, you'd think Gibbs' office would have pointed to the transcript by now, no? ... 11:24 P.M.