Thursday, September 26, 2019

  • Thursday, September 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Recently I wrote about the galut mentality that Jews have had drummed into them during centuries of living in the Diaspora.  This mentality is one where the Jews know that they not truly a full member of society. They are like guests in someone else's house, and the host can choose to kick them out if they become too demanding.

The most famous joke about this mentality is: Two Jews are before a Russian firing squad, both offered blindfolds. One accepts, the other scornfully refuses. His friend urges him: “‘Shh . . . don’t make trouble.’”

This mentality is a difficult thing to get rid of. But it is worse when you embrace it.

One of Judith Butler's anti-Zionist arguments is that Jews are inherently diasporic. Basing her arguments on obscure Jewish thinkers or unknown kabbalistic interpretations, she believes that the Jew in the diaspora can be the model for how people should act, and specifically "The tradition of Jews living with non-Jews in the diaspora might well serve as a model for thinking about possibilities of co-habitation in Israel/Palestine."

To Butler, the Jews - and seemingly only the Jews - must always be subservient, undemanding of their own rights. Other peoples - devout Muslims, First Peoples, Chinese - can proudly celebrate their own culture and beliefs in front of the world, but the Jew must be quiet and deferential. This self-censorship is not considered a necessary evil, as the Disapora has long been regarded, but as an ideal.

It is notable that Judith Butler's review of Bari Weiss' book refers to her growing up in a Cleveland "shtetl."

I was thinking about this as I read the writings of professor Alan Singer, who I discussed yesterday. All of the things he dislikes about Jews are when they "make waves." He seems to believe that if only a small number of religious Jews from Poland hadn't moved to Germany, the Germans would not have slaughtered even the good assimilated Jews - like his relatives - in the Holocaust. Wearing black coats and shtreimels qualifies as "making trouble" for Jews who don't want their Jewishness to be so obvious.

For assimilated leftist Jews, proud Jewish Zionists and unapologetic Orthodox Jews are two sides of the same coin: people whose Judaism is front and center. This causes discomfort to the Diaspora Jew, and the discomfort translates into hate.

Some of them fetishize disapora Jewish culture. The foremost group keeping Yiddish alive (outside the Hasidic community) is the staunchly secular, socialist Workman's Circle. There is a restaurant in Brooklyn that serves traditional Jewish food along with shellfish and pork, that calls itself "Traif." All of these examples cultural Judaism are like a shirt that can be worn among others who share the same paper-thin affinity for their people, but that can be replaced when among the non-Jews who are the real ones that need to be impressed.

That diaspora version of Judaism is doomed. There is no reason for the cultural Jews' kids to want to care about matzoh ball soup and Seinfeld. But they do teach the next generation the mentality of "maybe if I try harder to assimilate the goyim will accept me as a true equal." Let's embrace liberal causes and call them Tikun Olam, to universalize Judaism so the assimilation can be complete with a minimum of the also-hereditary Jewish guilt.

The twin rules of the assimilated, leftist Jew is to dilute Judaism to the minimum possible and to not tolerate any Jew who actually stands up for specifically Jewish rights. The IfNotNow folks who want to march with immigrants would never be caught dead going to Brooklyn to show solidarity with the black-clad Jews that their own great-grandparents often resembled. But they use their Judaism to tell the non-Jewish world, see, there are Jews who are just like you, and even more so. We agree with you that the other type of Jew - whether religious or Zionist or, God forbid, settlers - is not to be tolerated. When there is a conflict between Israel and other countries, we will never side with Israel. If there are news reports blaming chasidim for overdevelopment or not vaccinating their children, we won't bother to find out if the reports are correct - those types of Jews are assumed guilty, because we can't stand them either.

The religious and the Zionists remind the assimilated diaspora Jews that they have abandoned what their ancestors gave their lives for.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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