Jim Geraghty says that with John Kerry’s “full release” of his military records, including his five “D” academic record, it is time to “MoveOn”:
It was a long, thrilling ride, but it's time to put aside his French looks, his thin legislative record, his windy, droning speeches, his voting for bills before he votes against them, his windsurfing, his constant references to the 1960s, his ability to answer any question with Vietnam, his comparisons of U.S. troops to "Jen-Jis Khan"...
And of course: his Middle East “staff mistakes,” his “100 percent” record of supporting Israel (not!), his mangling of JFK and Isaiah, his trifecta of misinformation about Taba, his self-proclaimed boldness in “co-sponsoring” a bill on Syria (along with 81 other senatorial “co-sponsors”), his non-answer on whether he supported Israel’s strike against Yassin, his global test, his . . . well perhaps we should move on.
But before we do . . . one can’t help -- in light of Kerry refusing, month after month, to release his military records, even in response to the damaging Swift Boat charges -- recalling one of Sholem Aleichem’s greatest stories: "The Yom Kippur Scandal." Here's my brief synopsis:
It is Yom Kippur, and the entire village -- a town so poor there is nothing to steal and no one to steal it from -- is praying in shul, observing the day-long fast. There is an out-of-town stranger with them -- a rich visitor, and generous one too: he donates to the rabbi, the cantor, the shul, and the most poor of the town.
So it is particularly shocking when, near the end of the service, the visitor suddenly discovers that the rest of the money he had with him has been stolen! And on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, the day of repentance -- and obviously from someone in the shul, since the entire village is there.
The rabbi immediately orders the doors locked and demands that everyone empty their pockets to prove they are not the thief. Everyone does -- except one: Lazer Yossel. He is a mysterious young man who was an authority on world affairs, knew a thousand pages of the Talmud and the entire Bible by heart, but who some thought was a little too good to be true. Yossel adamantly denies he is the thief, but he adamantly refuses to empty his pockets.
The rabbi renews the demand; and Yossel keeps refusing, while swearing even more vigorously he is not the thief. But finally the pressure is simply too great. He has to empty his pocket. And so -- to his great shame -- he is forced to display the contents . . . a couple chicken bones and some moist plum pits.
Poor Kerry: to reveal an academic record showing he was dumber than George W. Bush was about as shameful as admitting to the whole town you were eating on Yom Kippur.
As we approach MoveOn Shabbat, you might enjoy listening to “The Yom Kippur Scandal,” read nicely by Jerry Stiller (scroll down to program No. 9 -- "The Search") or reading Ruth Wisse's masterful analysis of the story. Shabbat Shalom.