Dear President Trump

Openly gay Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Senior Rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation, Washington, D.C., wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump, using his name as a metaphor of hate towards minorities.

Dear President Trump,

As a Jew, as a rabbi, as a gay man, I have something to say to you: you don’t know me, but I know you. We have met, in fact, many times. We have met in this lifetime, and across countless generations. In my lifetime, I have heard your hateful words and felt your contempt in the expressions of bullies and mean-spirited children who taunted me and beat me and called me “faggot” in the hallways and classrooms of my junior high school. The day after you won the election, your spirit was in the man who approached my partner and me as we walked down the street holding hands, as he pantomimed gunning us down with a semi-automatic weapon.

My Jewish people know you so very well. In fact, we tell the story of you at our Passover seders. In the Haggadah, we read how you rise up in each and every generation — either to destroy us literally, or to destroy everything that we stand for. And what is it that we stand for? “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him…You shall not ill-treat any widow or orphan…” (Exodus 22:21-22). The stranger, the widow, the orphan — these represent all the people in society who are vulnerable, who do not have privilege. In our time, that list extends to black people, to LGBTQ people, to Muslims and to immigrants, to Jews, to women, to the disabled.

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