This is a fascinating story about a rabbi’s relationship with a very serious enemy, and, unlike the fear mongering that dominates the establishment organizations, this rabbi proceeds differently. He is part of a noble American tradition pioneered by black preachers. I am fascinated by friendships between enemies, the subject of my next book, and this is a great example to be studied.
Here’s an excerpt from Rebecca Dube’s article in The Jewish Daily Forward, titled “He Conquered the KKK — Now on to Flushing”:
When he was a cantor in Lincoln, Neb., [Rabbi Michael] Weisser confronted diehard Ku Klux Klan leader Larry Trapp, befriended him and eventually inspired the life-long racist to renounce hatred and speak out publicly against bigotry.
Three months before his death from diabetes-related kidney disease in September 1992, Trapp converted to Judaism under Weisser’s guidance, in the very synagogue that he’d once plotted to blow up.
“The truth is, human nature is good, not bad,” Weisser said in a recent interview.
Read the full article here.© Marc Gopin