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What Palin Did Friday Night

She celebrated the Jewish Sabbath.

9:27 AM, Aug 31, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Where was Sarah Palin last Friday night, before coming to Washington to speak at the Glenn Beck gathering Saturday?

She was a guest speaker at a Jewish "Shabbaton"—a Sabbath gathering for prayer, meals, songs, study and conversation—in Hershey, PA. Benyamin Korn's account of it in the New York Sun is a must read. Here are a few highlights:

By evening, the halls of the Hershey Lodge were filled with the aroma of chulent, the traditional Sabbath stew....My colleague Sheya, director of PalinTV, presented Mrs. Palin with the ArtScroll edition of Perek Shira, a commentary on the song of celebration sung by Jewish women during the exodus from Egypt. Mrs. Palin received the Hebrew volume with obvious delight; she has used the biblical Book of Esther as bedtime reading material for her eight-year-old daughter, Piper. She wants Willow to emulate Esther, Jewish history’s great heroine, who risked everything to save the Jewish people from Haman's plan for genocide.... On her lapel, she wore a pin showing the American and Israeli flags intertwined.... As we enjoyed our Shabbat meal, we listened to Mrs. Palin’s references to "Judeo-Christian values"—a concept well understood by the deeply religious Christian audience with whom we shared the evening, including more than a few Amish ladies wearing their traditional bonnets....

So evangelical Christian Sarah Palin spent Friday night with (mostly) observant Jews, along with various Christians, including some Amish. Then on Saturday she spoke at a rally hosted by a Mormon who went out of his way in his remarks to refer to the important role of "churches, synagogues and mosques" in American life.

Early Monday morning, as it happened, I received an e-mail from (Catholic convert) Newt Gingrich from Rome, asking for contact information for a (Jewish) scholar whose book on certain (not very religious) enlightenment thinkers he was reading.

Welcome to today's intolerant, divisive, close-minded, and just plain scary American conservatism.

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