(Brooklyn, New York — April 22, 2016) – As Jews across the world prepare to start the celebration of Passover this evening, some can only wonder in amazement at the recognition of the holiday by presidential candidate John Kasich (R-OH).
And hopefully, upon recounting his holiday commentary, they won’t throw up in their matzoh ball soup.
Kasich, a Roman Catholic-turned-Anglican, visited the Shmurah Matzoh Bakery in the ultra-Orthodox section of Borough Park, Brooklyn on April 12. The visit and photo-op leading up to last Tuesday’s New York primary – which he lost badly – quickly blew up in in his face, as it became clear that the more he talked, the more those surrounding him and listening realized he had no idea what the hell he was talking about.
Kasich began by randomly throwing out Biblical names from the Old Testament. Joshua, Jacob, and Elijah were unlucky enough to be included in the governor’s ramblings.
And then he mentioned Joseph.
“Which Joseph?” asked an observer afterwards, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Our Joseph from the Book of Genesis? Or Jesus Christ’s father? He never fully explained. He must have been on medication. I doubt even he knew which one he was talking about.”
If Kasich hadn’t buried himself by now, his next batch of ramblings certainly did him in:
- “The Jews were instructed to take the blood of the lamb, and to put the blood of the lamb over the lampposts, over the doorposts, so when the Angel of Death came and saw the blood of the lamb, the Angel of Death would pass over their homes.”
- “The great link between the blood that was put above the lamppost, the blood of the lamb, is Jesus Christ is known as the Lamb of God,” he continued. “And the great link is, it was the blood of the lamb that saved the Jewish people, and in Christianity, it was the blood of the Lamb of God that saves all of us.”
“First of all, Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt under Pharaoh by God,” said a local rabbi, speaking on condition of anonymity. “This event took place 1,300 years before Christ’s coming.
“Second, this was thousands of years ago. There were no lampposts in ancient Egypt. And the Haggadah [a prayer book used during the Passover Seder, a service which commemorates the Jews’ exodus from Egypt] makes no mention of either Christ or lampposts.
Some have called Kasich’s interjection of Jesus with Passover an act of anti-Semitism, but not everyone agrees.
“I don’t think he’s an anti-Semite,” said an ultra-Orthodox observer, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I think he’s stupid. Or maybe ignorant. But not an anti-Semite.”
However, Kasich has had a lasting impression on the holiday, as a song titled “A John Kasich Pesach” has been written and will be added to future Passover Seders.