Categorized | Cohen_Joel_H., Lighter Side

‘Just kidding’: Bannon converting to Judaism

By Joel H. Cohen

Joel H. Cohen

NEW YORK — Stephen Bannon, President Trump’s controversial Chief Strategist, is planning to convert to Judaism, Administration sources revealed today.

President Trump said he approved of Bannon’s decision, commenting, “Remember, Ivanka converted…and she’s delighted that she did. In fact, I’m encouraging her to make a deal for the synagogue store to carry her fashion brand.”

The President commented that Jews are “a wonderful, incredible people; to give you an idea ofjust how wonderful, some of my best staff members are Jewish.”

While Jews generally discourage conversion to Judaism, Trump noted, “they’ve got to be thrilled with someone like Steve wanting to join them; he’s a true believer, a bulldog, in anything he undertakes.”

President Trump contended that, while the conversion was not intended to change Bannon’s image as far-right extremist or to confront assertions that the strategist was an anti-Semitic racist and white supremacist, who loves to erect walls against specific groups of people, it would do a lot to combat those charges. “After all,” the President commented, “a Jew can’t be anti-Semitic, can he? There’s no such thing as Jewish self-hatred, right?”

Bannon’s anticipated conversion would have other benefits, President Trump continued, such as improving dealings with “Bibi” Netanyahu, who — “I’ll be honest with you — can sometimes be a loose cannon,” and by providing male companionship for son-in-law Jared both going to and from synagogue and at the services. “And at the post-services snack — food is a big deal in Judaism — while they’re eating lox or whatever, Jared and Steve could discuss and make decisions about political issues, such as what to do with Iran and North Korea.”

The President said he realized conversion to Judaism was not an automatically approved undertaking. Approval is required from a Beth Din (“I didn’t know who she was, maybe one of the contestants from my beauty pageants; then I found out the words were Hebrew for a rabbinical court.”). He insisted he’d be the one to appoint the three Beth Din rabbi members, “and I promise you they won’t be any so-called rabbis who make it so tough for someone to convert.”

As to the immersion required as part of the ceremony, “I’ll make sure the water is warm. Steve likes being in hot water.” (“And let me say this to the dishonest fake-news media, ready to scream it to the world: that’s just a joke.”)

Regarding the circumcision requirement, the President said “I don’t want to go there. I’ll just say, there are a lot of volunteers.”

Bannon confided that  “Converting to Judaism hasn’t been an easy decision to make, especially with some of its philosophy, like ‘You shall not wrong nor oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 22:20).’ But just wait until I get in there.”

The protest marches are already forming.

San Diego Jewish World reminds readers who are new to this column that it is all in fun, and nothing above should be taken seriously.  Cohen is a freelance writer based in New York.

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