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"The story I’m about to share with you about Joe Biden is special — in fact, I’m fairly certain I’m the only living person left who actually witnessed it firsthand.

It was about 16 years ago, and I was a young rabbi, brand-new to Delaware, on my way to lead a shiva minyan — a worship service following the death of a Jewish person. I was from California. Back then, I didn’t know Claymont, Delaware from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

A quick bit of background: When someone passes away in the Jewish faith, we observe seven days of mourning, called shiva. We gather a group of ten Jewish adults together — a minyan — to say the Mourners’ Kaddish.

It usually happens in a person’s home — somewhere intimate.

In this case, the deceased individual — her name was Mrs. Greenhouse, of blessed memory — had not been a person of means. She had lived in rent-controlled senior housing in a tall high-rise building off of Namaans Road. Her apartment had been too small to fit everyone into, so we conducted our worship service in the building’s communal laundry room, in the basement of the high-rise.

We assembled the ten elders together, and it was in this most humble of places that I began to lead the kaddish.

Toward the end of the service, a door at the back of the laundry room opened, and who walks in but Senator Joe Biden, his head lowered, all by himself.

I nearly dropped my prayer book in shock.

Senator Biden stood quietly in the back of the room for the duration of the service.

At the close of the kaddish, I walked over to him and asked the same question that must have been on everyone else’s mind: “Senator Biden — what are you doing here?”

And he said to me: “Listen, back in 1972, when I first ran for Senate, Mrs. Greenhouse gave $18 to my first campaign. Because that’s what she could afford. And every six years, when I’d run for reelection, she’d give another $18. She did it her whole life. I’m here to show my respect and gratitude.”

Now, the number 18 is significant in the Jewish faith — its numbers spell out the Hebrew word chai, as in “to life, to life, l’chayim!”

But it’s also a humble amount. Joe Biden knew that. And he respected that.

There were no news outlets at our service that day — no Jewish reporters or important dignitaries.

Just a few elderly mourners in a basement laundry room.

Joe Biden didn’t come to that service for political gain. He came to that service because he has character. He came to that service because he’s a mensch.

And if we need anything right now when it comes to the leadership of our country — we need a mensch.

I know this is such a simple, small story. But I tell it to as many people as will listen to me.

Because I think that, in their heart of hearts, when people are trying to think about the decision they’ll make this year — this is the kind of story that matters.

Joe Biden is a mensch. We need a mensch.

Thanks for reading.

— Rabbi Michael Beals of Delaware

bobwjr 9 June 28
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36 comments

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13

Too bad he gave up small dollar donations from constituents to become a Corporate shill.

If this were still his policy, he might not need to worry about the Black voters that are feeling taken advantage of and the progressive votes that think he's nothing but a Republican in less offensive packaging. (Oh, and his crime bill and his unwillingness to change his deplorable stance on crime.)

🙄

Black voters tired of being the help
[politico.com]

He's doing that in conjunction with Obama

"think he's nothing but a Republican in less offensive packaging." Right on, him and his predecessor.

I think you nailed it. "Lunch Pail Joe" is part of the image he cultivates, but the reality is far different.

We must choose the lesser of two evils. The less divisive step in the right direction.

11

He’s made some boo boos Over the course of his career, but he has seemed to be a kind, caring human being. Unlike the current occupant of the White House who isn’t even human.

lazylee Level 5 June 28, 2020

Kumbaya and warm fuzzy feelings are nice, but let's not lose sight of the facts.

11

After reading some of the comments I see quite a few have strong criticism for Biden. That's OK, freedom of speech, etc. But we need him to beat Trump. I'd rather have Reagan as President again than trump...even dead he'd still be better.

Ray13 Level 8 June 28, 2020
11

Anyone who has a severe stuttering problem & chooses a life of public spacing has Gumption!

He does

10

It is extremely sad that if a politician shows genuine empathy that is seen as a rare moment and applauded. It should be considered normal human behaviour, of no consequence. Not worth a special mention.

powder Level 8 June 28, 2020

Exactly.

Some politicians kiss babies. Some visit people who are grieving. Some do both. Why the need to assess character from such scant evidence?

10

Well I’ll never say that he’s never been a good person but it still doesn’t outweigh the bad that he did as a senator.
And yes he’s better than trump ( no shit ) but we still deserve better as a nation and hopefully we will be given that opportunity again in 2024.

All politicians have to compromise to get some of what they want, or WE end up with what we have now, which is gridlock......

I'd take whatever you can at this point mate, any alternative is better than an utter imbecile!

So is that assuming Trump wins re-election, or that Biden dies in office and his VP pick doesn't get the nod from the DNC??

@JeffMurray Nope just that Nina Turner isn’t running until 2024 and then we’ll have someone who’s actually about the damn people and not their petty corrupt ass party.

@48thRonin I mean, what I said was likely the only two options...

@JeffMurray I guess what I should’ve said was that once again in 2020 we’re being funneled into the these are our choices pick one political system that we’ve been conditioned to accept.

But thanks to everyone involved in the 2016 election the door has been opened and it’s allowed those who want to see that our system in nothing more than a duopoly that gives the impression that we actually have political representatives but in reality we only have politicians that create falsehoods of freedom and self control.

And since our original leader in this cause has once again given in to the system. We have to wait until 2024 for Nina which has been the real fighter in our cause and she has the tools and persona necessary for us to actually get our place in this country’s future.

And that’s what I meant when I said that we deserve better.

@48thRonin What is it you are expecting her to do in 2024?

@JeffMurray She’s running for President.
Her base is greater than what will expected by the party’s and if she’s blacked out by the mainstream media she will force the others to defeat her.

@48thRonin As an Independent?

@JeffMurray Yes she’s going with Movement for a people’s party. I know a lot of greens that want her to come over but their party didn’t do the same so...

@48thRonin Super cool. So even if Biden wins he'll only get 4 years.

@JeffMurray That’s the goal

@48thRonin The goal of giving the Executive Branch back to the Republicans? Duverger's Law tells us a third party will never hold a plurality, so any time a third party candidate runs, all they do is hurt the party that actually had a shot at winning that most closely resembles their own. Assuming Biden wins, Nina Turner is going to lose horribly in the general, I can guarantee that now, and she will almost certainly cost the Democrat that gets the nomination (Biden) the election. This, in turn, will make Democrats hate her fucking guts and it will be political suicide. If Trump wins, then she has a shot at the Democratic ticket (even though no one knows who the fuck she is right now). If she doesn't get the nod, the same rules as above apply.

9

I’m not American and like @Fernapple am reluctant to comment on your internal political rivalries, but I think this little story of Mr Biden quietly attending the deceased lady’s funeral without fuss or for political capital speaks volumes to his character. I’m sure like all politicians he has his flaws, which one doesn’t, but I ask you...if it is a straight choice between Trump and Biden, which of them has more character and moral principle?

Not the first time he's done that

@bobwjr Good to know...politicians get such a bad press for wrongdoing, it’s only fair to highlight when they do something that is right.

More? The former has none so it's a slam dunk question.

9

I'm hoping he uses that humanity to help push Medicare for All (NOT a public option) legislation, criminal justice reform, humane immigration issues, The Green New Deal, and many other progressive justice-for-all issues. I'm not holding my breath.

He wil will listen to advisors including Bernie

I'm very concerned that he will listen more closely to his corporate donors. I'm sure he is a kind man, but he is also a corporate Democrat.

He will NEVER be on board for Medicare For All. NEVER. His mind only has room for one thought on healthcare:. Obamacare 2.0.

He's insurance and big pharma's dream come true. And behind them, he's law enforcement's safety net.

Let's not forget, he wants to turn things over to the likes of Pete Buttigeige. 😒😒😒 It really doesn't get much more discouraging. But, until the DCCC is no longer the only vote that counts ... it is what it is. Sadly. 😒

@seenoevil9620

Make no mistake, Biden is only slightly better than Trump on the idea of healthcare. And the truth about what he would really do? That is a mystery.

Biden may SEEM better than Trump at this moment in time. That however, remains to be seen.

He's certainly MUCH worse than Trump on prison reform. That's the ONE thing Trump did do. Biden wouldn't even consider.

100% fucked up versus 98% fucked up . . . . they are both right-wing corporate and Zionist ass-kissers.

@seenoevil9620 - the DNC saddled us with a shitty nominee for a reason. They needed to kneecap the progressive ascendance.

Well said and seconded!

@WilliamCharles I'm glad someone else is seeing this.

@M4Amama He may be decent in his personal life, but as a politician he is a corporate sellout and that's what actually matters in how he would govern. That is why we progressives hate him and see him as a hypocrite, not matter how he is in his personal life. It all comes down to who you side with when it comes to issues of money and power.

Medicare for all sounds like the easiest and most wonderful plan. Unfortunately if we get it there will still be people screaming about the mandate part because they will have to pay for medicare.

Remember Obamacare would have worked a lot better if the the Neanderthals of our country had not screamed and yelled about having to pay for it.

@SeaGreenEyez Never say never.
You don't know what will happen.
Biden will do more than you think.

@SeaGreenEyez Biden is ten times better than Trump, in every way.
In
every
way.

@SeaGreenEyez Prison reform? So a bill reaches his desk, likely through no action on his part, and his signing it makes him some champion of prison reform? The fucking guy who puts kids in cages? Sorry, I've never heard Trump speak about prison reform as one of his causes. The motherfucker that got his racist, sexist followers to incessantly chant "Lock her up" about his political rivals? The guy that wants 10 year prison sentences for people who deface Confederate monuments? Give me a fucking break.

@Lorajay The term "Medicare for all" doesn't mean the Medicare system that's already in place in America, per se.

It should be noted, Universal Healthcare is what Progressives are fighting for and there is NO out of pocket/mandate/premium for such.
The cost is simply paid for by the government (tax income and other revenues.)

[thebalance.com]
Universal health care is a system that provides quality medical services to all citizens. The federal government offers it to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. The sheer cost of providing quality health care makes universal health care a large expense for governments.

@JeffMurray
I think you're about to be embarrassed. And if you aren't? You should be. I'm gonna prove your emotional outburst above ... WRONG.

Prison reform. Under Trump. Signed into law in December, 2018. Bi-partisan bill called the First Step Act
As I stated above, Trump signed a prison reform bill into law. The First Step Act. It's THE MOST PROGRESSIVE prison reform act in history, it's THE ONLY relief since Biden's DISGUSTING 1994 Crime Bill.

Bureau of Prisons, The First Step Act
[bop.gov]

(In case you aren't aware ... procedurally, that's how bills become law. Someone puts it on the president's desk and he signs it. That's how it works.)

I have NO clue what your comment about kids in cages has to do with anything I said, but let's get one thing clear: the cages? Those are an Obama era thing.

In case you missed that, too, let me help you:

Did the Obama Administration build and put immigrant children in cages?
[snopes.com]

House Democrats Use Obama Era Photos To Promote Kids In Cages Hearing
[nypost.com]

Now ... how 'bout you give me a fucking break!!!!

Knee jerk reactions. 😒😒😒 Never a good idea, those often lead to someone looking foolish. #justsayin

@bigjac You're entitled to your opinion. I'm entitled to disagree.

In
Every
Way

@SeaGreenEyez
My comment wasn't emotional, and nothing you said or linked proved anything I said wrong. All you did was show the other side did it too. (But I wasn't the one talking about my side being so progressive on prison reform, so my side also being guilty is irrelevant.)

Yeah, I read The First Step Act before I posted, which is why I said, "So a bill reaches his desk, likely through no action on his part, and his signing it makes him some champion of prison reform?" But him signing it doesn't mean he had anything to do with it getting there, or that he necessarily even agrees with it. (Politicians sign/sign on to stuff they don't agree with all the time for many different reasons.) The fact that he wants to send his political rivals to prison, send reporters to prison, send vandals to prison for TEN YEARS, and puts kids in cages (even if the other political party did it too) speaks volumes to me and hopefully everyone else about how progressive this asshole is regarding prison reform.

@WilliamCharles "the DNC saddled us with a shitty nominee for a reason. They needed to kneecap the progressive ascendance." I agree, however, it is what it is now. Trump must go and Biden will at least get us on the road to recovering from all the damage that mango man has done. I predict that the republican party is dying and the so-called "Lincoln repubs" will join the democractic party and progressives will break away to The People's Party. It will still be a two party system, but Dems vs. TPP and the Republican gone.

9

Biden 2020. 🙂

Not believing in God shouldn't make you a hate monger.

What did I say was untrue? What word would you use to describe thousands of homeless immigrants in California's big cities. You should at least support you statement with an example of what you're claiming.

@Aristippus What is hateful about "Biden 2020"? What am I "claiming"? What does it have to do with "homeless immigrants"?

@BestWithoutGods In demographics, the average American family produces less than two offspring. So the problem is poor Latinos from Central America feel they have the right to fill in the deficits. On average most countries are producing over 4, as in the Muslims in Europe. Soon they will be the majority and native cultures will be smothered. Many demographers predict the U.S. population will have a Latino majority.

Comedian George Lopez predicts some day a WASPy looking white man will knock on his door asking if he needs his lawn cut. And the sad truth is they will gain this hegemony purely by force of their reproductive superiority.

@Aristippus What does this have to do with my posting "Biden 2020"?

@BestWithoutGods I'll try to be more clear. Joe Biden is expected to be much more soft on immigration than President Trump. This may result in increased immigration from Latin America.

Frisco was once the pride of the nation in terms of quality of life.

[bing.com]

@Aristippus What's wrong with immigration? Most of my ancestors immigrated from Europe. We should be kind to our Latin American immigrants, not imprison their children in cages, as Donald Chump did.

@Aristippus:

Careful, your fear of brown people is showing.

@Kaiser_Soze What that some sort of threat? My position has nothing to do with racism. I'm a retired biology and am trying to explain science. There are too many humans for the Earth to handle. Gaia is at her carrying capacity right now.

Study demographics and you'll see what I'm concerned about.

7

EXCELLLENT story! I have heard similar about Biden over the years. Yes, he has great character. Yes, he steps on his tongue every now and then but they are honest mistakes... Usually made when he is excited about something. I just hope he makes a wise Veep choice!

Apparently you never heard about his plagerism.

"Biden pulled out of the race because his campaign was “overwhelmed” (in Biden’s words) by allegations that 'he had used extensive quotes from other politicians without attributing them, had failed a law school course after failing to attribute a long quotation in a paper he wrote, and had inaccurately and angrily boasted about his academic record during a campaign appearance in New Hampshire,' the Tribune reported.

The announcement came 10 days after the New York Times‘ Maureen Dowd reported that Biden had “lifted” parts of a speech by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock, “with phrases, gestures and lyrical Welsh syntax intact,” for use in a 23 August 1987 debate at the Iowa State Fair. It wasn’t the first time Biden had used elements of Kinnock’s speech, Dowd noted, but on other occasions he had cited Kinnock as their source:

'At various campaign appearances, the Senator talked admiringly about Mr. Kinnock’s themes and incorporated phrases and concepts after first crediting the Briton. But, in his closing remarks at the Iowa State Fair forum, he did not mention the Labor leader, nor did he some days later in an interview when he recounted the positive response.' "-[snopes.com]

@MyTVC15 To that I say.... So what? I could care less. He is still a kind and decent man by the stories I have heard. Any politician, or human for that matter, who is 77 years old is going to have a few skeletons in their closet. Who we have as POTUS now is the most, vile, lying, corrupt, thieving conman who has ever walked the face of the Earth. I'd vote for a houseplant before I voted for Trump! Biden was not my first pick but will do for me for this election.

@RiverRick In comparison to the choice we are being handed you are absolutely right, but I think there were serveral other candidates that had more character than what Biden is being given credit for. That being said, I cannot wait to cast my vote for Biden.

7

Wonder if the Rabbi is on board with Joe's unwavering support of Israeli apartheid?

7

Thank you. Now ask yourself, would what's-his-name have even dreamed of doing such a thing.
Way to go. Uncle Joe.

Only if he went round to collect the rent! 😀

7

I try not to bother with the US political stories on here too often, since its not really any of a Brits' business, and usually to an outsider they are a bit dull anyway. But that was well worth reading, nice story.

Are the Brits open to adopting? JUST kidding 🙂

I agree...I usually keep schtum too, but I thought was a very telling story to his character.

I'm an Anglo-Irish Welshman living in Portugal but that does not exclude me from an interest in world politics Fernapple, have your say, all opinions matter! 🙂

Unfortunately even if we are not American it is our business too, because what happens there affects the whole world.

@Jolanta Yes, so true.
I am living in the middle of the USA, Wichita, Kansas, and, since the USA is the most powerful country, since our secret agents and special forces and air strikes can help, or kill, just about anyone, anywhere on earth, because of that, what happens in elections and other power struggles, in the USA, is important to the whole world.

American foreign policy affects us all in some way. So far Trump has been no worse than previous presidents but his spat with Iran is a bit worrying and his support for Zionist Netanyahu and his annexation of the West Bank will probably kill the peace deal permanently

@Jolanta What happens everywhere is everyones business to some degree. As the man said "No man is an island. Therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee." But I just stay away because the site has a US majority, and I can not hope to understand the US as well as they do, so do they really want to be lectured by the ilinformed. ( Though of course the outside view can be useful. )

@Fernapple You know what, I have found that one can be way more informed of what is happening in someone els country than the inhabitants.

6

Joe Biden has many flawed aspects to his past life. It's nice to read about the other side. I think that he has always been well intentioned, but like all of us, his views evolve over time. His desire to do good, though, seems to be a constant in his political life. Thanks for your story.

6

Bob what a beautiful story. It brought me to tears. I had no idea.

me too but im a cry baby

Are you kidding? I am often slow when it comes to detect sarcasm.

6

Very touching and intimate narrative, thanks Bob!

5

Wow!

This unverified anecdote makes Joe Biden sound like a really great, compassionate guy!

Unfortunately for him, his voting record for his decades in government sharply contradicts any notion that he cares at all about the plight of the average citizen. Uncle Joe would rather listen to the sweet nothings being whispered in his hear from his corporate donors.

Buyer beware.

5

Thanks for sharing this. The good thing about Joe Biden is that he will give a damn about your healthcare, food, water, and other things that are being ignored in the present administration. This is the best reason I can think of to vote for him. He also is not likely to start a war.

Yeah his son served two tours in Iraq

5

Still see negitive comments, and I have to admit that does bother me a bit. Think of some if the radical things Trump's done , like shutting the government down because he couldn't get money for his precious wall, gasing protesters so he could get a photo shoot, etc. etc. I say he's had his chance and f'ed up, now let someone else try. Biden certainly isn't perfect. Actually, I'd like to see Joe Pesci run for president. He has a fine recommendation from George Carlin.

Ray13 Level 8 June 28, 2020
5

A truly touching account.

gearl Level 7 June 28, 2020
5

Thank you for sharing.

5

thanks for posting

4

Thank you for sharing this story. (I don't know what a mensch is, but it sounds like a compliment.) I really like the humility and gratitude shown by Biden.

A "Mensch" is an honest, warm, caring person, a "Man" who does not have to go around boasting about his...anything.

@BirdMan1 that's him

4

Thanks for sharing....... it’s good to hear something positive.

4

Great story.....

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