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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Obama mentor: Barack has a 'yiddishe nishama'

Born in Wisconsin, Mikva went to the University of Chicago's Law School and served in the Illinois House of Representatives and in the US Congress from 1969 until 1979. He resigning his seat when president Jimmy Carter appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where he served until 1994. He then was White House counsel under president Bill Clinton until 1995.

Mikva was something of a mentor to Obama as the Illinois state senator made his first move into national politics in 2000 in a failed bid for Congress. They became close friends several years earlier when they met on the University of Chicago campus where they were both teaching at the law school.

Regarding concern in Israel about an Obama presidency, Mikva said that "Barack will be the first Jewish president in the US."

"He has a yiddeshe nishama," Mikva said. "He is committed to Israel and its security concerns and understands that democratization does not happen by force but by example, and there is no better example in the Middle East than Israel."

On Tuesday, Hyde Park was buzzing with activity. Police were blocking off streets and were deployed on every corner and alleyway around the Obama home, which is located right across the street from the KAM Isaiah Israel Temple, the oldest synagogue in the Windy City. Unusually long voting lines were recorded across Chicago.

"After meeting him for the first time, I was immediately impressed by how smart and thoughtful Barack was," Mikva said.

The two grew closer in 2000 when Mikva campaigned on Obama's behalf throughout Chicago. Obama failed to make it into Congress and Mikva said that one reason was that Obama didn't know how to speak to black audiences on the South Side.

"He got clobbered in the black areas since he came across as a Harvard Law professor," he recalled, noting that by Obama's senate bid four years later, the state senator had come a long way as an orator. "When he spoke to black audiences in 2004 he had the rhythm and knew how to speak. He could have taught a thing or two to Dr. [Martin Luther] King."

Mikva stayed in touch with Obama after he entered the Senate, serving as an informal adviser on his 2008 presidential campaign as well as on its finance committee.

"As an older mentor to Obama, I always tried to transmit to him not to change his message and to be consistent," Mikva said. "Obama has stuck to this and is always consistent." - Jerusalem Post.

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Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 120

"Bukan orang Yahudi, ataupun Nasrani yang akan menerimamu, melainkan jika kamu mengikut agama mereka. Katakan,"Hanya petunjuk Allah sahaja yang benar" Jika kamu menyetujui kehendak mereka, setelah kamu menerima ilmu pengetahuan, kamu akan dapati tidak ada satu perjanjian ataupun penyokong dapat menolongmu dari Allah."

Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 216

"Kamu diwajibkan berperang (untuk menentang pencerobohan) sedang peperangan itu ialah perkara yang kamu benci; dan boleh jadi kamu benci kepada sesuatu padahal ia baik bagi kamu, dan boleh jadi kamu suka kepada sesuatu padahal ia buruk bagi kamu. Dan (ingatlah), Allah jualah Yang mengetahui (semuanya itu), sedang kamu tidak mengetahuinya."

Surah Al-Imran, Ayat 28

"Janganlah orang-orang yang beriman mengambil orang- orang kafir menjadi teman rapat dengan meninggalkan orang-orang yang beriman. Dan sesiapa yang melakukan (larangan) yang demikian maka tiadalah ia (mendapat perlindungan) dari Allah dalam sesuatu apapun, kecuali kamu hendak menjaga diri daripada sesuatu bahaya yang ditakuti dari pihak mereka (yang kafir itu). Dan Allah perintahkan supaya kamu beringat-ingat terhadap kekuasaan diriNya (menyeksa kamu). Dan kepada Allah jualah tempat kembali."

Surah Al-An'aam, Ayat 67

"Tiap-tiap khabar berita mempunyai masa yang menentukannya (yang membuktikan benarnya atau dustanya); dan kamu akan mengetahuinya."

Surah Ar-Ra'd, Ayat 11

"Bagi tiap-tiap seorang ada malaikat penjaganya silih berganti dari hadapannya dan dari belakangnya, yang mengawas dan menjaganya (dari sesuatu bahaya) dengan perintah Allah. Sesungguhnya Allah tidak mengubah apa yang ada pada sesuatu kaum sehingga mereka mengubah apa yang ada pada diri mereka sendiri. Dan apabila Allah menghendaki untuk menimpakan kepada sesuatu kaum bala bencana (disebabkan kesalahan mereka sendiri), maka tiada sesiapapun yang dapat menolak atau menahan apa yang ditetapkanNya itu, dan tidak ada sesiapapun yang dapat menolong dan melindungi mereka selain daripadaNya."

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