Yes Anthony Weiner’s New York City Mayoral campaign is pretty much dead, what with his 7% support. And that poll was taken prior to this video below, taken today in Boro Park, just before Rosh Hashanah:

The Washington Post declared that Weiner had hit “rock bottom” – “If you are arguing with voters, you are losing. Big time.” So what happened exactly? Saul Kessler, a visibly Orthodox real estate manager hailing from Far Rockaway called Weiner a “scumbag” as he was leaving a kosher bakery during a campaign stop. Conventional wisdom would dictate that one either ignores or politely respond to a heckler when one is campaigning. But isn’t there something innately dishonest about that? If someone were to call you a scumbag in public, wouldn’t it be human to want to smack them upside the head, let alone give them back a little of what they tried to dish out? In that respect, Weiner’s outburst is real, it’s human and frankly, it’s endearing. Who ever said that politicians have to be superhuman anyway? Isn’t that disconnect with the common man, that disconnect with genuine human emotion, that turns politicians from well meaning, perhaps even civic minded individuals into the arrogant and douchey automatons bereft of a single shred of sincere emotion that many, if not most, are.

And what of our friend Mr. Kessler? The man who expressed such concern for social norms that he felt compelled to call out Weiner in public and in front of multiple cameras? Of course it’s a free country – one can say what one likes, especially to a campaigning politician. But when one is visibly identified as a practicing Jew, one has a higher responsibility. This is where the concept of Chilul Hashem comes from – that when one acts publicly as a Jew, in a manner not befitting a Jew, one is profaning the name of God. I would imagine screaming “scumbag” might fall in to that category. Even if that is debatable however, Kessler is surely aware that the Talmud considers one who shames another in public as being akin to a murderer. That’s right. There’s a lot of discussion regarding this particular piece of Rabbinic knowledge, but whatever the case may be, the person doing the shaming is never very highly regarded. Even in the case where one rebukes another for a sin or a wrong that he has committed, if one does so in public and with the intent of causing shame, well… let’s just say Hashem does not love that so much. Saul Kessler might want to contemplate this during the 10 Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Also, given his stature, he may want to lay off the babkah or better yet, cut out carbs altogether.

Besides, what does Kessler care about Weiner’s New York Mayoral campaign? Is Far Rockaway even really New York City? (I know it is. I’m just being a brat!)

UPDATE: The Weiner campaign just released a longer video wereby Saul Kessler is heard to say “You’re a real scumbag Anthony… You’re married to an Arab.” Great. So now we have HD video of an Orthodox Jew making a racist statement. Pure chillul hashem. No wonder Weiner was so pissed. Besides, Huma Abedin, a long-time aide to Hillary Clinton, isn’t an Arab. She’s Muslim. Her Father was born in India and her Mother was born in Pakistan. And Weiner’s tweet on the issue?

About the author

wendy in furs

I live and blog anonymously from New York. If my boss knew this was me, I'd be fired in a nano-second. Ha ha! Screw you boss man!


  • Excellent editorial. Had wiener not been caught we all would still think he is a good and caring public servant. Texting a picture doesn’t change that for me

  • Great Neck? Kessler is from Far Rockaway and last time I checked, that is part of NYC, so yes, he should care!

    Granted, embarrassing a person in public is not righteous by any means, but Weiner’s behaviour certaily trumps anything Kessler has ever done. Keeping the Sabbath holy is up in the ten commandments and I’m sure Weiner breaks that law and Kessler doesn’t.

  • Far Rockaway is in Queens, not Long Island. Maybe you could have checked a map as you stalker googled Mr. Kessler. Anyhow, that isn’t the only thing “off” in your post. No matter how you spin it (Kessler akin to a “murderer”?), Weiner comes across looking like a weiner in that argument. In fact, he even picks the fight. He could have continued walking out of the bakery. Nope. He’s got to turn around and make an ass out of himself. Amazing that Weiner posted the video on Vimeo. Now we get to see the entire awkward visit to the bakery. Ugh. It’s painful to watch.

  • Far Rockaway is indeed part of NYC. Obviously you’re a blind Weiner supporter.

    Kudos to Mr. Kessler for having the nerve to say to Weiner’s face what most decent humans would love to have said.

    • Saul is the man, you are telling me most “decent” human beings would insult someone for marrying out of their faith or race. Kessler is a disgrace to all Jews and we as a community should make sure the islamophobic and racist elements of said community are shunned.

  • The heckler should be ashamed of himself. Weiner was right to get in his face.

    Oh and those arguments, “Stay out of the public eye” and “get a real job” are two of the stupidest things on the list of stupid things you can say, right behind “your wife is an Arab.”

  • Wendy was kind enough to post a link to the Jewish law on shaming someone in public – anyone that sees Saul Kessler as a paragon of virtue is not only demonstrating bad taste (the term “scumbag” followed by an inaccurate racial slur is how virtuous and heroic people communicate??) but also a complete ignorance of what the very well established Jewish law on the subject states. I’m not a supporter of intermarriage, nor am I a fan of sexting. But neither of those is as bad as what Saul Kessler did. He committed a Chilul Hashem and brought disgrace upon the Jewish people. At least Weiner wasn’t wearing Kippah when he did what he did. Yom Kippur is comin =g up Mr. Kessler. If I were in your shoes I would beg for Weiner’s forgiveness.

  • kessler… probably the same saul kessler who is president of ccw realty of flushing (dix hills for 25 yrs)… leasor of buildings around nyc, suxh as 2 east bway at chatham sq/chinatown

  • I missed this in the pre-Yom Tov hubbub. Sounds like this Mr. Kessler fellow was a huge jerk. But why the fat shaming, Jewlicious? What do his babka-consuming habits have to do with his racism and general jerkiness? (See: Waiting until A. Weiner had taken a bite of honey cake to call him a scumbag.)