Hillary Clinton generates media buzz with town hall response to rabbi

Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett of the Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, New Hampshire poses a question about humility to Hillary Clinton during Wednesday's Town Hall on CNN. Credit: Screenshot from YouTube.

(JNS.org) Pundits and the general public were abuzz about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's response to a question from a New Hampshire rabbi during Wednesday night’s CNN town hall forum.

Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett of Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, N.H., quoted an 18th-century Hasidic Rabbi in a question about how Clinton manages to balance the ego that is necessary for a presidential candidate with humility during her campaign.

“I think about this a lot....I feel very fortunate that I am a person of faith…It's that balance that I keep to try to find in my life that I want to see back in our country…I get a scripture lesson every morning from a minister that I have a really close personal relationship with. And, you know, it just gets me grounded...I have friends who are rabbis who send me notes, give me readings that are going to be discussed in services. So I really appreciate all that incoming…So regardless of how hard the days are, how difficult the decisions are, be grateful. Be grateful for being a human being, being part of the universe. Be grateful for your limitations,” Clinton responded.

Some of the notable tweets reacting to Clinton’s answer, as compiled by Jewish Insider, included those of CNBC’s John Harwood, who tweeted, “Terrific questions from voters at this CNN town hall. Rabbi’s on ego/humility balance so apt/smart;" Bloomberg View’s Jonathan Bernstein, who tweeted, “Can’t believe that rabbi asked Hillary about shiksa appeal;" and Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin, who tweeted, “On Wednesday, the rabbi asked about pockets.”

Politico’s Roger Simon tweeted, “that rabbi came from central casting,” while Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere tweeted, “The kiddush after the CNN town hall will be served in the multipurpose room.”

The Orthodox Union’s director of public policy, Nathan Diament, tweeted a Wikipedia link providing historical information on Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, who was mentioned by Rabbi Spira-Savett in his question.

Jason Horowitz, a writer for the New York Times, tweeted that at the end of the town hall, “Hillary actually just said this! 'Thank you guys. I want to meet the rabbi.'"

In CNN's New Hampshire Democratic Town Hall, Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett of the Conservative synagogue Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua made headlines with his question to Hillary Clinton. Quoting Rabbi Simcha Bunem, he asked the Democratic presidential candidate about humility.

Posted on February 5, 2016 .