Monday, September 17, 2007

The ROOT of Jewish self hate

Carl in Jerusalem recently discussed the security fence in Israel, showing how in fact it is anti-security by its very nature. A commentator, Daniel, replied to this post basically saying how sick he was of liberal Jewry and their self loathing, placing the blame for Israel and the Jewish nation's cultural malaise on Reform/Conservative Judaism and a lack of Jewish pride. He stated that Jews did much during the Civil Rights movement for black people, but little to save Jews during the Holocaust. I wrote a response, and I think it is worth reading.


With all due respect, you have mischaracterized reform and conservative Judaism.

I believe most reform and conservative synagogues lack the passion and Jewish commitment of Orthodox synagogues, however, most are Zionist and most give Jews a connection to Judaism they otherwise would not have. The choice is not Orthodox or Reform. For many Jews, the choice is Reform of nothing at all. Given that, I would argue Reform synagogues are not a bad thing. Moreover, Reform synagogues are increasingly becoming more religious, anyway.

Now, as far as your argument about the Nazis; I have read about Rabbi Stephen Wise and the American Jewish community during WWII. Yes, there is more they could have done, in my opinion. But this all misses the broader problems in the world.

I believe that the problems Jews face are of more pressing significance than most ethnic/religious groups throughout the world. And so kapos and self hatred have a more immediate and disastrous effect on the Jewish nation than it does or would on most others. But self hatred is not limited to the Jews, and treason is not limited to the Jews.

Just look at Eurodhimmiland. It is a cesspool of self hate on a scale that I believe even outstrips Israel. Every opportunity is taken to bash the Judeo-christian Euro heritage. Even in the US, had the gaul to call General Petreaus a traitor for simply saying the US is making progress in Iraq...and this ad was not condemned by a single Democratic candidate for president. Not one. Why is this?

I would argue the root of the self hatred is in communism, and in fact the free world only just barely won the Cold War; academia and the social elite of Eurodhimmiland and the US are littered with communists and socialists. And I view this, not Jewish self hatred as the root of the problem.

In short, I see Israel's problems as very related to its socialist roots. The further it gets from these socialist roots, the more it will have to grasp some alternative ideology. We cannot forget that socialism/communism is an antisemitic philosophy at its core. Karl Marx was not a Jew (his parents converted to Christianity and raised him non-Jewish), and he wrote the antisemitic paper, On the Jewish Question. There is a reason why the USSR was so hostile to Jews, and why communist nations around the world are so virulently hostile to Jews. Once you read On the Jewish Question, perhaps you will have a better understanding as to what I am talking about.

To sum this all the extent that Jews might suffer particularly from self hate and self destructiveness, as opposed to Eurodhimmiland and the like, it is because of the large numbers of Jewish communists. The Jewish communists are not the recent immigrants from the former USSR, as most of those saw the destructiveness of communism and are now ardently anti-communist. No, the communists mostly are Red diaper babies whose parents and grandparents left the USSR and Eastern European and European states when communism was en vogue. Most of these Red diaper babies are assimilating, anyway. Witness the Adam Shapiro story. And thus, within the next few generations, I predict that the Jewish nation will only improve, if nothing else due to demographics of who is reproducing.

Daniel replied with the following:

I believe most reform and conservative synagogues lack the passion and Jewish commitment of Orthodox synagogues, however, most are Zionist and most give Jews a connection to Judaism they otherwise would not have. The choice is not Orthodox or Reform. For many Jews, the choice is Reform of nothing at all. Given that, I would argue Reform synagogues are not a bad thing. Moreover, Reform synagogues are increasingly becoming more religious, anyway.

I wish you were correct. I wish c&r's were becoming more observant, having large numbers of Jewish kids, visited Israel at a higher rate than xtians, and didn't intermarry. Yes, the local federation rags often profile a temple that added a few lines of hebrew. but this is like the MSM in the 70's profiling the successful black woman that was once on welfare.

The facts speak for themselves. r%c have intermarriga rates approaching 75% in some locales. 2007 National Survey of American Jews demonstrated how with each generation the non orthos have little concern for Israel and Judaism.

We can pretend that r& c are strongly committed , but for the vast majority are places for going twice a year and for treif bnai mitzvas.

Conservative "believes" in halacha, and you can probably find a minyan of shomer mitzva conservative jews, but I'd bet my left foot that less tah 1% of C's practice family purity and only5% would even know that they are supposed to.

100 years from know when historians write the history of American Jewry-at least of the wave that came at the beginning of the 20TH century- will be "they came , they prosperred , they intermarried, they ignored TWO HOLOCAUSTS, and they disappeared."

Nothing to be proud of.

p.s. notice that I intentionally excluded the refugees from hitler and stalin- They are the Maccabees of America

This brought the following reply by me:


I have to reiterate how you have the wrong perspective.

If the choice were between Orthodox Judaism and Reform Judaism, you would have a point, and maybe I would agree with you. That is not the choice.

The choice of most Jews would be between Reform Judaism and nothing, or even converting out of Judaism. So the correct comparison that should be made is not between Reform/Conservative Jews and Orthodox Jewry. The correct comparison should be between Reform/Conservative and nothing/atheism.

Given those are the choices, (and I can say for the most part, that is the reality) the real question should be whether Reform/Conservative Judaism is better than nothing at all. And the answer to that question, in my mind, is a clear yes.

There are real benefits offered in Reform/Conservative shuls. Firstly, technically speaking, Conservative shuls believe in Halacha, however, the synagogues are integrated by gender, and most of the congregants do not follow Halacha in their daily lives. How is it a negative if Jews in that category are exposed to what is authetic Judaism when they go to shul, which they otherwise would not do?

Then there are Reform congregations, which do not follow Halacha and do not necessarily believe in Halacha. I would argue that the validity of these synagogues is on a case by case basis. Some are basically churches with a few Hebrew words uttered; I see little value in that and no point in holding on to Judaism if that is all that is left. Other synagogues offer much more.

Your analysis is very black and white, whereas the world of Reform/Conservative Judaism is anything but that.

Finally, you have not addressed the rest of what I said, which I believe to be the bottom line basis for the self hate. I do not see this as a particularly theological Jewish struggle, except to the extent that Judaism is and can be used as an alternative to the destructiveness of communist self hate. I have atheist Jewish friends who are the biggest Zionists around. They identify with capitalism and secular humanism, and even vote for the religious parties in Israel, as they are also capitalist and anti-communist.

The root of the self hate in Israel is the same root found in Eurodhimmiland, the US, and the rest of the West. It is communism, which we know is linked with Islamofascism. It is that root which must be expunged, not Reform and Conservative Judaism.

P.S.: I never said that Reform or Conservative Jews are as committed as Orthodox Jews, because they are not. However, most congregations are much more committed to Israel and the Jewish nation than the general population of the US or Eurodhimmiland. Moreover, if any kid of a secular Jew is to make teshuva, they would come from the Reform/Conservative pool, NOT the pool of kids with atheist parents.

In summation: the logical and constructive path to take is to encourage and support Orthodox Jewry, while not denigrating Reform/Conservative congregations unless they fail to support the Jewish nation. (such as in Lerner's case) For every Lerner synagogue, there are 20 Zionist congregations that might not be as ardent as Orthodox congregations, but are definitely not anti-zionist. (and that said, the Satmar are Orthodox and anti-Zionist)

So what should be done? Work with the Reform/Conservative shuls. Have Zionist speakers come and educate the members of these shuls, and get out the facts, which are on our side. Hope is not lost, and the vast majority of Reform/Conservative synagogues are not the enemy.



Anonymous said...

The original poster made it an issue of Jewish leftsts/liberals not reform .

felix said...

Great responses Red Tulips. Maybe I'll join the discusion at Carl's site. Althought I don't think you will change Daniel's opinion.