Rabbi with Obamaka gets a rousing “Amen”


Rabbi Fred Guttman, sitting next to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), shows off his Obamaka.

The "Obamaka" got cheers at the Democratic National Convention interfaith panel and the rabbi wearing one got a standing ovation.

Rabbi Fred Guttman delivered the first talk at the session Monday, a day before the Charlotte convention formally opens.

As another participant later noted, these were more "sermons" than talks, and Guttman, the rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Greensboro, N.C., made it a rousing one. 

Guttman started by noting that he’s a proud "Rabbi for Obama" (cheers) and then showed off his "Obama Yarmulke" — or "Obamaka" he said to laughter, lamenting only that it was an 08 model. (There appears to be a 2012 version.)

He delivered a fiery account of why he believes Jewish values line up more with a vote for Obama than for Mitt Romney: Honoring one’s parents (elderly care), protecting the stranger (immigration). He lamented that Democrats tend to give up religious ground to Republicans. "As Democrats we can no longer afford to cede the religious conversation, we can no longer afford to cede the faith conversation to the Republicans," he said.

There were murmurs of "all right!" and "yes" from the room. 

"How about an amen!" he said, using the Christian pronunciation (Ay-men.).

He got a huge "Amen" and then quipped: "I always wanted to be a Baptist," which got probably the biggest laugh of the session.

He finished with a flourish of those of us made in God’s image (men, women, blacks, whites, Jews, Christians, Muslims, even the "folically challenged" — a tweak of the several bald ministers in the room.)

This got him a standing ovation, to which he said "Amen."

Pronounced Ah-men.

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