Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz added more than two dozen endorsements Friday, this time from the Jewish community.
Coinciding with Hanukkah, the group of influential rabbis released a letter in support of Cruz. In the letter, they noted his commitment to the Judeo-Christian ethic, human freedom and the futures of Israel and the United States.
Yaakov Rosenblatt, a leader of the coalition, is a rabbi and businessman in Dallas, Texas. The coalition represents a range of leaders, from the ultra-Orthodox Haredi to Modern Orthodox leaders, who have influence over more than 10,000 Jewish Americans across the U.S.
"Rabbis generally avoid political affiliation or endorsement," Rosenblatt told the Jewish World Review. "[But] with the Middle East and Europe unraveling and the United States stepping back from its role as a check against the expansion of evil, rabbis from coast to coast are sensing the need to weigh in on the issues of the day, including choosing a man they feel is most articulate and consistent in expressing the core values they hold dear."
The statement of endorsement reads:
"Once stable and predictable, the world has become chaotic and dangerous. The Middle East is aflame, Europe is adrift, and the United States is unsure of its moral mission. ... Pushing back against destructive cultural trends and reversing them, takes a very special leader. The individual must be fearless, articulate, a person of faith who understands the premise and promise of America. He must be someone who understands the threat of radical Islam, and capable of inspiring the masses to return to spirit and purpose.
"Not representing any religious institution but wholeheartedly representing the values to which we have dedicated our lives, we the undersigned rabbis have reviewed the field of candidates and endorse Senator Ted Cruz for President of the United States. He is the most articulate and passionate delegate of the values we hold dear; he is fearless and unwavering in these core beliefs. He is resolute toward defending our values and has consistently displayed the courage of his convictions.
"In the spirit of Hanukkah, when a small group inspired a tired populace to combat and defeat tyranny, we pray that his voice finds resonance, his spirit finds strength and that the people of this great, moral nation once again feel great, become great and spread the light of liberty, the message of morality throughout the world."
Those who signed the letter, endorsing Cruz, were:
Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt - Dallas, Texas
Rabbi Michael Friedman - Dallas, Texas
Rabbi Elchanan Aisenstark - Oak Park, Mich.
Rabbi Ahron Dov Barkany - Miami Beach, Florida
Rabbi Yaakov Berger - Lakewood, New Jersey
Rabbi Abraham Bloch - University City, Missouri
Rabbi Michael Bodeheimer - Dallas, Texas
Rabbi Zeev (William) Brown - Far Rockaway, New York
Rabbi Benzion Buchman - Brooklyn, New York
Rabbi Jeremy Cassius - Dallas, Texas
Rabbi David Ceder - Staten Island, New York
Rabbi Yosef Chazanow - Los Angeles, California
Rabbi Samuel Chazanow - Los Angeles, California
Rabbi Nosson Dubin - Houston, Texas
Rabbi Yerachmiel Fried - Dallas, Texas
Rabbi Yisrael Gruman - Chicago, Illinois
Rabbi Avrohom Jurkowitz - Kew Gardens, New York
Rabbi Yekusiel Kalmenson - Los Angeles, California
Rabbi Herzel Kranz - Silver Spring, Maryland
Rabbi Simcha Merkin - Silver Spring, New York
Rabbi Menachem Rabenstein - St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Rabbi David Shanik - Lakewood, New Jersey
Rabbi Maximo Shechet - Omaha, Nebraska
Rabbi Joseph E. Skaist - Dallas, Texas
Rabbi Yisrael Weiss - Edison, New Jersey
"I am honored to have the support of these leaders from the Jewish community," Cruz said. "Today, religious faith and liberty are under attack across the world, and innocent people suffer at the hands of violent extremists. No one knows the dangers of ambitious dictators and of terrorism more vividly than the Jewish people. During Chanukah, as we commemorate the Maccabees' historic stand against oppression, we must also accept the call to fight evil and oppression in our own times. I am proud to stand with the Jewish people both at home and abroad in defending the Judeo-Christian ethic and holding up the light of faith and liberty."
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