Gimme a lightIf you’re in Jerusalem, tonight is the Interfaith Chanukah Celebration with the Abrahamic Reunion at the Van Leer Institute. The Abrahamic Reunion is a group of Muslim, Christian, Druze, and Jewish religious and spiritual leaders, and they have invited everyone to an interfaith
celebration of the fifth candle of Hannukah on tonight at 5:00 PM.

Rav Ari Smadja, the Chief Rabbi of Ramat Shlomo will give teachings in the spirit of Hannukah. There will be music and piyutim for Hannukah and food (vegetarian but no hechsher). The Hanukah candles will be kindled with blessings for peace by Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze religious leaders from the Abrahamic Reunion. Yeah, it’s a little kumbaya-esque, but who can take offense to peace?

Invited participants include Druze Sheikh Hussein Abu Rukkun, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, Ibtisam Mahamid, Jiries Mansour, Reverend Abuna Abu Hatoum, Ibrahim Abuelhawa, Elias Jabbour, Imam Khalil Albaz, Elana Roszenman, Rabbi Zion Cohen and other special guests.

Sadly, I will not be able to attend because I am in New York. But had I been in Jerusalem I totally would have gone. I actually enjoy these interfaith things. Well, I actually enjoy meeting the Arab participants – they really remind me of my own family with the hard working parents, the shy kids etc. Most of the Jewish participants however, I totally cannot relate to and I often wonder, whilst shrouded in a patchouli scented mist, what exactly it is some of these people uh… you know, do for a living. Maybe you can go, find out and then tell me…

When: Tuesday Dec. 19th, 5:00-7:30 PM, the 5th candle
Where: at the Van Leer Institute, Rehov Hanasi, in the Talbieh neighborhood, Jerusalem
For more info contact Eliyahu at 02-563-7578 and 050-569-1697.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

91 Comments

  • As for Islamic interfaith groups, the vast majority of them are fakirs, with other objectives on their agendas. As an example, read Jews for Jihad? How the American Jewish Committee abets Islamists.

    So before being so inquisitive about the Jewish participants to such conferences, ask yourslef if your really know what’s flying with the backers of the Islamic representatives that show up.

    We’ll all be at the annual Manhigut Yehudit convention in Binyanei Ha’Uma. Jews for a Jewish Israel, come on down!

  • Argh! Manhigut is convening this year at the Jerusalem Renaisance Hotel. Good this the Mrs. was looking over my shoulder.

  • Actually Shy Guy, from what I have read about Islam, and the admittedly few Muslims I have met, frankly Islam is WAY CLOSER theologically to Judaism than Christianity is.
    One example is this- according to halacha, one is Not permitted to enter a church, however one IS permitted to enter a mosque.
    I realize what I have said is not applicable to the Islamists, but as you know the Islamists also fight and kill regular Muslims, not just Jews. I realize that doesn’t make it any better.
    However, as I am sure CK is trying to say, there aren’t going to be any Islamists (as opposed to moderate Muslims) at the interfaith Hannukah celebration he is referring to.
    The difference between the Muslims and the Christians is basically most Muslims are against the state of Israel for political reasons, but they aren’t anti-Jewish for religious reasons. However evangelist Christians would love to see all of us Jews convert to Christianity.
    As they say “you pays your money and you takes your choice”.
    I think that political disagreements can Eventually be resolved, but theological arguments will never end.

  • Dave, over the long term Judaism and Islam will get ever closer, not only religiously, but culturally. Israel’s a Middle Eastern state, after all, and if we ever see peace, it will be deeply influenced by its surrounding Arab neighbors. (Of course, many Israelis have longtime cultural roots in Arab lands.) The Israeli approach to religious observance will prevail (we can see this presaged on this site– e.g. the Ortho v. C v. R rhetoric.).

    Meanwhile, Christianity will increasingly be associated with Europe, the Americas, and portions of Africa and Asia. Judaism will become increasingly less Western culturally, and we Christians will have to see it as a distinctively oriental civilization.

  • Dave: the religious viewpoints of Islm and J-ism are utterly, utterly, completely, totally, totally, totally different. But I don’t want to go into it. That was true long, long, long before politics every came into it, at all, at all.

    It’s not the same deity.

    But I don’t want to go into it.

  • Tom, I agree with many of your points.
    Actually, I did say “evangelist” Christians would love it if all Jews converted to Christianity.
    Frankly, as a Sephardic Jew, I would say that Judaism has always been an oriental religion, but due to it’s tiny numbers, has been forced to be at least theoretically more tolerant. Sadly however, factions of Orthodoxy- not all- seem to exhibit the theocratic side of Middle Eastern civilization, and do not show it’s more tolerant side, which really did exist believe it or not.
    Furthermore, most of the more radically conservative groups in Orthodox Judaism which now exist were originally based in eastern Europe and not in the Middle East.
    There have been what I would call traditionalist yet dissident groups in Judaism eg. Karaites, Samaritans, etc. Sadly however they have been marginalized or booted out of Judaism. They still exist, but are a miniscule in number, and therefore have lost their power to influence.
    They would have had a lot to contribute and would have certainly moderated/ reduced the split which is now occurring between C. & R., and Ortho.
    Personally if I have to choose between C., R., and Ortho, I will very reluctantly choose Orthodoxy, because I feel that Orthodox Judaism more strongly articulates my faith in G-d’s total supremacy ( none of that wishy washy theory of Rabbi Kushner that G-d is somehow a limited being- totally anathema to me) and insists on (for want of a better word) traditional values.
    However, a couple of points are worth mentioning:
    1. Rabbinic Judaism believes that the entire Tanach- the Old Testament PLUS the Oral Law (Mishna & Talmud) is divinely given.
    2. Karaite Judaism believes that the entire Tanach is divinely given, but that the Oral Law is merely tradition and the work of men.
    3. Samaritan Israelites believe that the Torah- the 5 books of Moses are divinely given, but the rest is the work of men.

    I personally believe that all ie. the Tanach, Mishna, and Talmud are holy, but only the ethical commandments are divinely given.
    The ritual commandments are the work of divinely inspired humans, working through prayer and under G-d’s guidance.
    Therefore the ritual commandments are required to be kept by Jews because they act in such a way as to structure and enforce the divinely given ethical commandments.
    However, if a Jew violates a divinely given commandment in order to supposedly fulfil a ritual commandment, they have basically missed the point.

    However, I am basically a heretic according to Orthodox Judaism (and the other groups I’ve mentioned), because each group above insists on their own “party line”, not very different basically from the Communist party kind of behaviour- ie. one cannot deviate to the right or to the left.

    Other human beings, provided they keep the divinely given ethical commandments, which are universal, are totally acceptable to G-d as righteous people. They have no need to follow Judaism.

    Sorry, end of speech.

  • Your last paragraph refers to the Noahide laws. Yes, Judaism considers everybody in the world good, and worthy of paradise, if they follow the Nohide laws.

  • Would you say that the Noahide laws require that the person believe that G-d is a Unity?
    I think this is so, and that is my interpretation of the Noahide laws and that is what I hope for humanity.

  • Reb Dave: if a licensed electrician signs off on electrical work done by his non-licensed helper, it is exactly as if he had done the work with his own hands. Therefore, if authentically divinely inspired people enact ritual laws, it is exactly as if G-d had enacted them. There is no problem

    Ritual connects man to G-d, then, religioius practices protect ritual, with a very necessary “fence around the law”.

    OF COURSE nobody should violate ethics to keep a ritual practice. NO rabbi would ever advocate that. Ask one.

    Ask your study partner. To get a study partner, call 1800- STUDY- 4- 2. (That’s Partners In Torah. It is free.)

  • For the time being I am studying the Torah on my own. I am a disorganized Jew and I am happy with my life that way.

  • If you are able to separate the individual from the political ethos then you can enjoy yourself meeting nice people in one of these things but at the end of the day, the Arab people have been co-opted by the radicals in this region.

    So if this sort of gap depressed you then you wouldn’t be accomplishing much going to one of these shindigs.

    There’s a sense amongst the Jews in Israel that all that is to say, each and every Arab person hates all Jews. But we have seen examples where an Individual Arab person was very helpful to Jews, so how can the former view be true?

  • Steves, let me paraphrase your own words and let’s go back about 60 years in time:

    “There’s a sense amongst the Jews in Europe that all that is to say, each and every German person hates all Jews. But we have seen examples where an Individual German person was very helpful to Jews, so how can the former view be true?”

    Not every German hated Jews. Not every Arab hates Jews. Who here said so, BTW? Do you feel better and safer now? Problem resolved?

    Tom, I have come to the conclusion that you don’t know Judaism very well at all. Jewish Mother sure does.

  • Wow, do some have a misunderstanding of xtianity and Islam. The worst the xtians want to do is convert us to xtianity – while that pisses me off, it doesn’t bother me because those who know their religion aren’t going to change. Muslims on the other hand, if extreme, wnat to convert us (and xtians) to their religion by force; and the rest (to the extent they are observant) want to relegate Jews and xtians to a second class dhimmitude status. There’s a reason there are fewer xtains each year in muslim dominated coutnries – they are murdered or are being driven out by the muslims. KNOW YOUR ENEMY

  • Good simple summary, Steven. For accuracy’s sake, I would just replace the word “Muslims” with “Islam” in your post. Also, saying that Muslims who are extreme are the ones who wish to subjugate the rest of us in Dar Al Islam is incorrect. They are simply practicing Islam according to Islamic law. In that sense, they are not extreme – they are simply adhering to their religion. And that’s a very relevant point when discussing Islam.

  • Steven Paul, you have never lived in a Muslim country, as far as I know, and neither has any of your family ever lived in a Muslim country.
    My family did live in a Muslim country.
    I am not saying that Muslims are wonderful.
    All I am saying is that at least they believe in the Unity of G-d, which is a far better base to build lasting agreement.
    Right now the situation in the Middle East is very bad. But I am certain it will not last forever.
    I can repeat until I am blue in the face, but our main problem is with the Arabs is a Political problem. Therefore in time, the problem will disappear, when there will be peace, which I am certain will be in our lifetimes.
    Our main disagreement with Christianity is Theological. Many Christians think that we are wrong, and they are right.
    Theological arguments can last forever.
    Political arguments will not last forever.
    When peace comes, Jews and Arabs will be able to at least live in the same region.

  • Dave, I don’t understand your point that our argument with Xtains is religious while our argument with Islam is political – the facts just don’t bear that out. Muslims believe that only they possess the true religion, that somehow magically their religion predates both ours and Xtainity, and that Judaism is a corrupt form Islam. A large portion of them believe they are entitled to kill us if we do not choose to become Muslim. An even larger portion believe we are consigned to hell if we don’t become Muslim. I believe you are confused on the issue because many Jews consider it verbotten to step into a Xtian church on the basis that Xtians are heretical because they believe that J is G-d, but we can set foot in a mosque because Muslims consider Mohammed merely a prophet, therefor muslims are not as heretical as xtians. Whatever your take on the “stepping into” issue, it doesn’t obviate the religious differences between Jew and Muslim – tlhere still is a profound theological difference between Judaism and islam, and it is the muslims who constitute the current physical threat to Jews based on their religious beliefs. I haven’t read of any current xtain groups trying to murder us for being Jews; the Muslim groups trying to murder us are everywhere. The Xtain problem is pretty much resolved, the Islam problem is getting worse every day.

  • Where the hell does an idiot like Dave come from? Hitler loved naive stupid Jews like you because in the end they were so much easier to kill. You might as well convert to Islam kapo jerk.

  • Michelle, I agree with you. I rarely look at this Web site because of the patent ignorance of so many here.

    Here are the facts on the myth of Arab tolerance:

    Both Jewish and Arab writers, in different times and for different reasons, have contributed to the myth about the interfaith utopia between Jews and Arabs under Islam. In the nineteenth century, among Jewish authors, this reflected frustration over the failures of European emancipation, and in the twentieth century it figured in Arab accusations that Zionism and Israel had spoiled hundreds of years of pleasant coexistence. Specifically, the myth of Arab tolerance is used to deny the allegations that Jews were expelled from Arab states or faced threats and persecution there. Arab and Palestinian leaders have claimed that the Jews who left those countries can return and resume their peaceful lives.

    The historical record of Jewish life under Arab rule, however, is mixed and much less encouraging. Maimonides, the greatest Jewish scholar of the Middle Ages, was close to power in Islamic society and conversant in the Arab language and culture. In his classic “Epistle to the Jews of Yemen” (1172), which he wrote to bolster the Yemenite Jews in the face of oppression and attempts at forced conversion, he wrote:

    You know, my brethren, that on account of our sins God has cast us into the midst of this people, the nation of Ishmael, who persecute us severely, and who devise ways to harm us and to debase us. This is as the Exalted had warned us: “Even our enemies themselves being judges” (Deut. 32:31). No nation has ever done more harm to Israel. None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us. None has been able to reduce us as they have.

    For Maimonides, who knew about the Crusaders’ depredations against the Jews of Europe, this was an emphatic historical judgment. It may reflect his own family’s experience of fleeing Spain after the deterioration in the Jews’ conditions there and the death threats they faced from Muslim extremists, or it could be a great thinker’s religiocultural assessment and anticipation of the future Muslim-Jewish confrontation.

    The particular myth about the Golden Age and interfaith utopia in Spain was popular in Jewish historiography in the nineteenth century. The Jews’ traumatic expulsion from Catholic Spain in 1492 and the fact that they found refuge in Muslim Turkey reinforced the longing for the better periods when Jews were somewhat economically and culturally integrated in Muslim Spain. Moreover, nineteenth-century Jewish historians were frustrated by their people’s tortuously slow acceptance by European society in what was supposed to be a liberal age. As the greatest of these scholars, Heinrich Graetz, put it in his History of the Jews:

    Wearied with contemplating the miserable plight of the Jews in their ancient home and in the countries of Europe, and fatigued by the constant sight of fanatical oppression in Christendom, the eyes of the observer rest with gladness upon their situation in the Arabian Peninsula. Here the sons of Judah were free to raise their heads, and did not need to look around them with fear and humiliation….Here they…were allowed to develop their powers in the midst of a free, simple and talented people, to show their manly courage, to compete for the gifts of fame, and with practiced hand to measure swords with their antagonists….

    The height of culture…was reached by the Jews of Spain in their most flourishing period.

    Bernard Lewis, however, offers a more balanced assessment of the fourteen centuries of Jewish life under Islamic rule:

    The Jews were never free from discrimination, but only rarely subject to persecution;…their situation was never as bad as in Christendom at its worst, nor ever as good as in Christendom at its best. There is nothing in Islamic history to parallel the Spanish expulsion and Inquisition, the Russian pogroms, or the Nazi Holocaust; there is also nothing to compare with the progressive emancipation and acceptance accorded to Jews in the democratic West during the last three centuries.

    Unlike Christianity, Islam had no tradition of deicide and Muslims did not blame Jews for the demise of their prophet Mohammed, who died a natural death. However, Muslims’ attitudes toward contemporary Jews were influenced by biographical accounts of Mohammed and by hadith concerning Jewish attempts on the Prophet’s life, and when the Islamic world was threatened from within or without, its leaders became harsher toward the other religions leading to discrimination and violent persecution.

    Since the late nineteenth century both theological and racist European anti-Semitism, including the innovations of the Nazis, have been internalized in the Muslim world. This includes themes centering on Jewish “chosenness,” with wide dissemination of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Lewis observes that hatred of Israel is the only grievance that can be freely and safely expressed in the Arab totalitarian societies; Israel serves to deflect anger about economic conditions and lack of political freedom.

    Yehuda Bauer notes that the study of Islam is important for Holocaust scholars because the same patterns and threats have arisen and a second Holocaust is perfectly possible: “In radical Islam there are forces which are mentally prepared – given the power – to carry out genocide against others.” Whereas in the past traditional Islamic sects like the Saudi Wahabists did not focus on Jews, they now speak explicitly of eradicating them: “Their language is a mixture of that of the Nazis and the Qur’an.”

  • Whoa Michelle and Lance, while clearly David is wrong, ain’t no way to speak to/of a fellow Jew; there are an awful lot of Jews out there suffering from a Stockholm syndrom reaction to being beaten up for being a Jew, by the media, academics and the left in general; calm reasoning is most likely to get them to see the light, not bashing them in the head. I save my hatred and scorn (and even here I’m probably not being Jewishly correct) for the Norman Finkelsteins and Noam Chompskeys of the world, Jews who knowlingly lie in order to do damage to Jews and Israel.

  • Thanks for a good comment Lance. We’ll try to be less ignorant in the future. But I really do have to commendd you on a well-written, reasoned, nuanced and balanced comment. It was a refreshing read. Please feel free to comment more!!

  • Well, Michelle, your comment above was very rude and hurtful.
    I must say I am sorry for fellow Jews that love to think that every one hates them 24 hours per day.
    Steven Paul, I do not have a Stockholm syndrome.
    I have suggested several times in other places on this website that Judaism should be promoted in the 3rd world. You may disagree with that idea, but it shows you that I am not a shrinking violet, nor do I have a Stockholm syndrome. Of course most of you would disagree with it, because it doesn’t confirm the circle-the-wagons ideology which sadly seems to permeate much of Jewish thought nowadays (never mind that at one time centuries ago in Alexandria synagogues were open to anyone to come and discuss, not just to Jews)
    About a year ago I also posted on this website about my views promoting a stronger commitment to lasting marriages, and I was basically laughed at.
    I am really sad and sorry that most of you on this site you do not seem to be able to tolerate any one who does not have your western-centric, my way or the highway views.
    I am sad and sorry, but I promise you one thing. I shall never post on this site ever again. Be happy and enjoy debating amongst yourselves.
    I for one will hopefully marry my Chinese girlfriend, work hard, and study Torah in my own disorganized heretical but still Jewish way.
    Good-bye.

  • Holy shit! Why the hell would you leave if some person attacks you viciously instead of fighting back?

    I haven’t a clue who Michelle is and don’t know that she’s ever posted here before. Who the hell cares what she says? Your comments are interesting and valuable. Are you letting some crazed extremist dictate to you that you shouldn’t have a voice here? On the contrary, let her know that she is an irrelevant bitch and keep posting your opinion.

    I, for one, do not wish to see you leave, and will regret your departure, Dave.

  • You know, we have a fucking Kahanist posting here as if his philosophy is normal. We have some dude who posts here who thinks that everyone except for him is confused and there are only about 5 real Jews in the entire world. However, we also have a bunch of other posters who are reasonable and provide reasoned analyses and creative and interesting ideas. Why let the extremist element push you out?

  • Dave,

    You said:

    I am really sad and sorry that most of you on this site you do not seem to be able to tolerate any one who does not have your western-centric, my way or the highway views.

    Though I can certainly understand your frustration, I think it’s terribly unfortunate if you permit the abuse and hostility of a few sneering fanatics to cause you cease commenting on the site altogether. First, I think your analysis of the conflicting values and perspectives of the various Jewish denominations is profoundly insightful (though, based on the same premises, my own preference is for Conservative Judaism). Moreover, I think your assertions about the similarity of Islam and Judaism are not only entirely correct, but obviously so. Islam is not only far closer to Judaism than any other religion, but is – from a theological perspective – barely distinguishable. As you point out, both religions assert the unique and indivisible nature of God’s divinity, and are equally scrupulous in their respective condemnation of any practices or depictions remotely suggestive of idol worship. Of course, we live in an age in which cultural and political conflicts are far more consequential than theological differences. Moreover, the entirety of a religion consists of a great deal more than its theology. Nonetheless, I haven’t seen anyone who claims the existence of some vast theological gulf between Islam and Judaism explain the nature of their ostensible differences. Finally, you have to realize that the bizarre personal invective of people like Michelle is a necessary component of their ideological and political fanaticism. Frankly, such people are the constituents of a lunatic fringe, and they have to accuse mainstream Jews of treason, appeasement, etc., etc. etc, in order to bolster the ludicrous claim that theirs is the real Jewish perspective. Examples of such fanaticism? Well, Lance supports the murder of unarmed Palestinian civilians; Joeschmo advocates the ethnic cleansing of Israel’s Arab population; and Shlomo Weinstein – last working his considerable charm some months ago as “CactusJack” – claims that Conservative and Reform Judaism are actually variants of Christianity. Collectively, such views are a form of Cult Judaism, one that essentially has the same relationship with mainstream Judaism that the Westboro Baptist Church has with, say, the Episcopal Church Yes, the Episcopalians are in the midst of their own dispute over gay clergy, but they would never go anywhere near the rabid bigotry of Westboro Baptist with a ten-foot pole. Similarly, there is simply no reason for those who believe in traditional Jewish values to concern themselves with the ravings of these Jewish fanatics.

  • Hi The Middle and David Smith,
    Thanks for your kind words.
    I may post again later on, in a few weeks.
    Happy Hannukah.

  • Smith, you ask for some theological difference between Judaism and Islam, ok:

    Jews believe all good people of whatever faith get to heaven, Muslims believe only they go to heaven

    Jews believe that all peoples should be treated equally before the civil law, Muslims believe that FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS non Muslims should have an inferior role to Muslims

    Muslims believe FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS that women are inferior to men, we obviously don’t

    Muslims believe that they have the right FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS to forecabley convert non – Muslims to their faith; Jews obviously do not

    Are the above enough to make you doubt that we and the Muslims are close theologically?

  • SP:

    You asked: Are the above enough to make you doubt that we and the Muslims are close theologically?

    Well, actually, no. My reference to theology was not casual shorthand for “religion,” but specifically to an understanding of the nature of God’s divinity. As I noted, theology is no longer a matter of particular consequence in our world, but there was a time when wars as murder and persecution were all justified – even if not actually caused by – such disputes. And while theological disputes may no longer have the impact they once did, it’s also true that the theological compatibility of Islam and Judaism is an important area of common ground between them. All the points you raise pertain to non-theological differences of doctrine and practice.

    As a separate matter, it seems to me the points you raise by no means suggest the degree of difference you believe exists. So, Jews believe in equal treatment before the civil law, while Muslims believe in the (presumably legal) inferiority of non-Muslims? Well, there’s a rather wide range of belief among Jews on that point, isn’t there? Many Orthodox women who have tried to obtain a get might strongly disagree with the proposition that Judaism recognizes the supremacy of the civil law. As to the notion that women occupy an inferior position in Islam, but “obviously” do not in Judaism, that seems ridiculous. While I’d agree that the culture of Judaism results in the more equitable treatment of even very Orthodox women than their Muslim counterparts, it strikes me as equally clear that said difference does not reflect a fundamental distinction in religious doctrine.

  • This website is a joke. It’s run by a bunch of assimilated Waspy phony Jews. I’m not surprised that Dave’s girlfriend is a gentile. He isn’t even remotely Jewish. The idiot who calls himself/herself “the middle” probably has a shiska mother.
    This site should be re-named gentilelicious. The only reason Waspy half-Jews pretend to one of the chosen people is because of the money they receive from Jewish foundations.
    Don’t bother to respond to me because I won’t be be back to this disgusting phony Jewish website.

  • Yea, and and bottle of dilaudid for whoever’s around when she signs off the computer at night.

  • Michelle is right in her characterization of most of the people who post here.

    Michelle, I’d like to speak to you.

  • I don’t even care that Michelle doesn’t want to come back to this website.
    However I should point to the rest of my fellow posters the following:
    1. I am Jewish.
    2. 3 of my great grandfathers were rabbis in Iraq (one was the chief rabbi of Baghdad in the 1920’s)
    3. I tried for years to date only Jewish women- I went to almost every Jewish dance from the age of 19 to 31, and I did date many Jewish women, up to my turning 45 (when I got married)
    4. I married a Jewish woman, who sadly turned out to be a paranoid schizophrenic
    5. As a result of 4. my marriage was brief and childless. I gave her a “get” as soon as possible, and I am also divorced under civil law.
    6. I found that many or most Jewish women
    whom I dated before my brief marriage found me too culturally different from them.
    7. As a result of 6. In the last 2 years since my divorce I have tended to date Chinese women.
    8. In my experience Chinese women tend to be secular, and are very tolerant of my Judaism, unlike Christians of European origin.
    9. I try to at least pray shacharit, and sometimes minha and maariv.
    10. I study the Torah almost every day.
    11. I am now 48. For the last 2 years I have been willing to date women who already have children or are willing to adopt at least one child.
    12. In my experience, even before I got
    married, from about the time I turned 40, I found that fewer and fewer women who I met and were interested in meeting me- fewer and fewer of these women had any interest in having children/ having another child/ adopting a child. This trend has continued and intensified. This goes for Jewish and non-Jewish women.
    13. However most Chinese women I have met, even if in their early ’40’s, are still interested in having a family, even if that means adopting.
    14. I would like to have my future child converted by an Orthodox or Conservative rabbi. However, if my future child is Chinese, I very much fear that they may discriminated against by my fellow Jews.
    This is my story.
    However, people such as Michelle, who think in terms of groups and ethnic politics and not individual beings, would dismiss it.
    Well, I am happy with my life as it is, and I am not going to change. I do not need Michelle’s approval nor the approval of her fellow travellers.

  • David Smith, you’re posting nr.32 is exactly correct. You are right on !
    You have basically understood correctly the essence of Judaism- 2 things- 1.ethical behaviour 2. faith in G-d, the Supreme Being, indivisible, omniscient and omnipotent,
    and kind and merciful.

  • Dave – very interesting and thanks for putting that out there. For one, nice to know I’m not the oldest one here (you got me by just a few years). I’m happy you found someone and moreso admire your commitment to having a family and your hope it will live in Jewish tradition. Reading your comment (#12) about having a hard time finding Jewish women who may find your age a disincentive to having children, I’m glad you’re open-minded enough that your love interest is a person rather than faith. But would it be rude for me to say I could’ve so set you up. I’m no yenta, but I had just the gals for you.

    As far as your fear that converting a child of Chinese descent would provoke discrimination, times may have changed, or they’re at least changing. Maybe it depends on where you live or what denomination or shul you attend, but I can say from experience, knowing friends and family who have adopted from Asia – including a relative who just returned from China with a daughter who will be raised Jewish – that by the time your child would begin studying Torah and for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, he or she will not be alone in looking different than the European children. Look around Reform and Conservative shuls today and you’ll see this is already happening.

  • I don’t want to appear insensitive, but such miscegenation, as proposed by Dave, is damaging to the Jewish People; who are a Holy Nation and the G-d of Israel’s Chosen People. These are fundamental postulates of Jewish existence; and dismissing them as “racism”,” as I’m reasonably certain will follow this post, is additional evidence of the patent ignorance of so many that post comments at this Web site.

    It is a form of child abuse to impose such confusion on children; who will be neither accepted by Am Yisrael nor the MSG crowd, or any goyim for that matter. Michelle’s speculation, therefore, that the confusion so prevalent at this Web site may be due to a failure to honor Jewish traditions; that likely stems from being born from a shiksa; and, accordingly, not being Jewish.

    That Dave claims Rabbinic descent in Iraq makes it all the more reprehensible that he has failed in life to find an appropriate wife; he thereby dishonors his ancestors. But why is he unmarried and childless at such an advanced age?

    I, personally, would only marry and a raise a family from my own background: Ashkenaz Jewish, (the authentic inheritors of ancient Israel); not tainted by conversion or miscegenation. And I’ll be sure to do so while I am sufficiently youthful; and may Ha-Shem bless me in all of my endeavors. Amem.

  • Oh my god. Just oh my god.

    The comments on this site just seem to get progressively more ridiculous every time I check it.

  • Balaam, I don’t know about all of the comments, but I admit that this particular discussion has left my mouth agape a number of times. I feel, however, that this indicates a good diversity among our readers. It reminds me of the diversity among Americans that one can clearly see when watching Borat, the movie. 😉

  • Tom Morrissey said:

    Is Shy Guy single?

    Pass that girl a heavily-spiked eggnog.

    Eggnog?! Definitely a Goylicious drink! 😉

    My wife and I are happily married with children of marriageable age, whom we’re working on getting hitched to nice fellow Jews.

    While Michelle might be crude and rude, she’s often correct for the most part.

    Mr. Donkey, unlike you who states that this site is “progressively more ridiculous”, I would say it’s “ridiculously more progressive.” The difference is subtle but not complimentary.

    However, I must say that I find the last paragraph of Lance’s last post to be repugnant – no less.

    To Dave, if one of the essences of Judaism is, and I quote, “faith in G-d”, then you should try putting your faith in G-d’s commandments and tenets. Non-kosher Chinese take-out isn’t one of them.

  • Lance and Shy Guy,
    I explained in great detail how I tried very very hard to meet and marry a Jewish girl.
    Read my above post again slowly.
    Instead of sympathizing with me, you seem to be almost blaming me. You don’t seem to realize people are of flesh and blood not some sort of pawns or social units to be studied or controlled.

  • Heaven forbid, Dave. I know where you’re coming from and you have my greatest sympathy for all the anquish you’ve entailed, as you described it.

    I’m only pointing out the blatant contradiction in your own words. I wish you success in finding your tue Zivug, not falling down the path you’ve stumbled upon as an alternative.

    Being contradictory doesn’t define you as a hypocrite. It indeed shows that people are a bundle of flesh and blood and emotions and nerves. I would never think otherwise and I don’t believe that Lance would argue on this point, either.

    But G-d gave all of us trials. Yours is different than some I went through. Apples and oranges.

    G-d doesn’t promise us anything, but prayer is the medium through which our personal requests are registered, so to speak.

    Try adding Mincha and Ma’ariv. But more than that, every once in a while go out somewhere away from it all and have a 1-on-1 with Hashem. I speak from experience.

    קַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה: חֲזַק, וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ; וְקַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה

  • I mean, I just have to ask, though.

    My whole family is ashkenaz, but we got Rav Yoseph Karo up in our family tree somewhere. By Lance’s standards, does that mean I’m, and I’ll quote:

    “tainted by miscegenation”?

    I mean, cuz rav Yosek was sephardic, and I guess that means there could pretty much be anything in my bloodline…..

    Ewww! I have tainted blood! Call the barber!

    (That’s an old-timey blood-letting joke for all you non-americans out there).

  • Oh for god’s sake Shy Guy, cut it out already. The guy is in his late forties and has tried your way. It hasn’t worked and this adult has determined that the way he can live and find a mate is by changing directions. You would have him remain alone, in pain and struggling against some rules that, say, Moses didn’t have to accept.

    You must have been thrilled by someone like Nice Jewish Girl who got to her mid-thirties alone and without ever having touched a man because of the rules of shemirat negiah. After all, what’s a life to you if it is ruined and shattered because of some mythical “trial” that you’d have the person suffer for YOUR beliefs? I can assure you that when she finally caved in because she couldn’t take it any more, she felt much better. I’m sure she also wondered to herself why she had paid such a price for this abstract idea – tangible to you and to her at the time – that became her sole preoccupation for years.

    What is worst of all, all you zealots, is that you have become so exclusionary that you don’t see how you push away so many people even from the center and certainly among potential Jews. After all, Dave’s next wife could have a very good reason to convert: Judaism has a rich culture and heritage that traverses numerous cultures, countries and communities over a period of 30 centuries; a great deal of empathy and support for the downtrodden and weak; a clear sense of justice and right and wrong; a society that deeply values study and learning; and of course a faith and system of faith that can provide emotional and spiritual sustenance to the soul. Instead, she has to confront fanatics who reject her, reject her husband and his choices, view everything from an extremist POV, have an agenda to exclude anybody who isn’t exactly like them, and who will have no tolerance for her unless she converts with one of their rabbis and then lives exclusively in a manner that many Jews by birth reject. Feh.

  • TM, I fully understood David. All I said was ends do not justify means.

    What rule is it exactly that Moshe rabeinu didn’t have to accept? Let’s play.

    Without getting into the Halachic complications, the example you gave of NJG, a case of premarital relations, is a far cry from Dave’s case.

    Part of life are the tests we’re all given. Some tests are far more difficult than others.

    Don’t believe that everything’s Beyedei Shamayim, TM? Good for you. You don’t believe in Judaism. You’ve made your decisions. You’ll enjoy your life to the max, most likely. Then you’ll have to deal with the next one.

    Pitying someone and showing kindness and mercy does not mean doing away with the Torah to make your problems disappear.

    This is Judaism 101. Call it zealotry or extremism if you wish but I wish people like you would stop stealing the name of our religion and repackaging and reshaping it as if it’s made out of silly putty of your enjoyment and pleasure.

    Feh yourself.

  • TM, thank you very very much for your kind words. I agree with much of what you have said. I read “The Bamboo Cradle” (about a Jewish couple who adopted a Taiwanese orphan girl in the 1970’s, and the couple’s increasing religiosity, and how the Taiwanese daughter had to face a lot of prejudice). I fear putting my future child through all she went through. However, since I am Jewish and I am not going to change (see my post as to my religious practices), I guess I’ll worry about that bridge when I get to it.
    Shy Guy, I absolutely do believe that everything is in G-d’s power. However, I may have been too fussy in the past, and now I am facing the consequences for it.
    However, I did meet many Jewish girls who found my culture too different from them.
    I also believe that G-d helps those who help themselves.

  • Dave said:

    I also believe that G-d helps those who help themselves.

    That’s true when you help yourself by doing the right thing. “Habah le’Taher, Mesay’im Oto”, meaning one who comes to purify himself through following Hashem’s commandments, will indeed receive divine assistance.

    Not so when outrightly and intentionally transgressing Hashem’s will. “Baderech she’Adam rotzeh lelech, kach molichim oto.” Meaning a person will get some level of Divine assistance whichever path he choses, good or bad, he will be led in that direction. If you chose to intentionally go the wrong way down a one way street, the assistance you receive would not be described as “helpful.”

    BTW, did you find any passage in the Bamboo Cradle where the Schwartzbaum parents considered violating Judaism to make matters easier? Or where Devorah Schwartzbaum herself caved in at some point and did similar? I don’t recall that, though I last read the book some 15 years or so ago. BTW, I understand that Devorah is a very happily married woman. Also, there are horrible problems with a lot of converts not being correctly accepted in various religious circles. I don’t see that this is more noticeable by Asian converts than by any others.

  • Shy Guy,

    I went to so many Jewish dances it isn’t funny.
    I was on Jdate from 1998 until 2003.
    I met several women from Jdate.
    I married one of them (Jewish) and I divorced her, because she turned out to be a paranoid schizophrenic.
    You have not met anyone like me in the sense that I have tried more than anyone I know to meet and marry a Jewish woman and have children. I did NOT feel made welcome by almost all the Orthodox people I have met.
    I have given up. I have not met a Jewish women who is sane and accepts me.
    Now I have found in the last few years that the Jewish women I have met or corresponded with in the last few years either are too old to biologically have children, do not want to have any children,
    do not want to adopt children, etc.
    Simply put, either they think I am too old, or think that I am not in their cultural comfort zone, etc.
    It is not for lack of trying.
    I have recently met a Chinese women whom I am dating. She has clearly said that if she meets the right guy, she definitely wants to have a family. So, I am continuing to date her.
    What is the point in my breaking my head by going where I am not wanted?

  • Middle,

    Superbly said.

    The only thing I’d add is that this thread is fascinating, as it discloses a great deal about the chasm that separates Cult Judaism from mainstream Judaism. Frankly, Cult Jews represent a barely perceptible proportion of practicing Jews worldwide, but are present in discussions like this one to an absurdly exaggerated degree, simply because of their obsession of discrediting every conception of Judaism but their own.

    Cult Judaism consists of a number of distinctive attributes, but there are several that are most salient. Perhaps most of all, Cult Jews are obsessed with claiming that their notion of how Judaism should be practiced is the only legitimate one, and that all other doctrines and practices are not merely erroneous, but heretical and fraudulent. Thus, the utterly typical: “I wish people like you would stop stealing the name of our religion and repackaging and reshaping it as if it’s made out of silly putty of your enjoyment and pleasure.” In this, the Cult Jew has about the same relationship to mainstream Judaism as the Black Israelites, who – not at all coincidentally – also insist that they’re the only “real” Jews (or, as Lance claims, “the authentic inheritors of ancient Israel”), while all the Passover Seders and High Holiday services are packed with imposters. As an essential part of their effort, Cult Jews try to appropriate the label of “Orthodox” Judaism. While it’s true that Cult Jews are Orthodox, it’s equally true – Baruch Hashem – that only a small portion of Orthodox Jews subscribe to Cult Judaism.

    No one but a Cult Jew would ever subscribe to the laughable idiocy of applying the term “miscegenation” to Jews. Laughable and obscene, but instructive, for while mainstream Jews regard Judaism as a combination of a nationality and a creed, Cult Judaism is based on some kind of fanatical blood-and-soil ideology, one in which racial purity (and thus “miscegenation”) is an essential component. For the same reasons, Cult Jews subscribe fully to the Animal Husbandry school of Judaism. To wit: while a substantial portion of practicing Jews care about Jewish continuity and raising a Jewish family, it’s primarily Cult Jews who believe that personal and spiritual fulfillment are irrelevant to the selection of a job and spouse. The only objective that counts is spawning new Jews for the good of the Cult. Kind of like the Borg. Additionally, of course Orthodox Jews believe they’re conception of Jewish doctrine is correct, and that non-Orthodox denominations are inconsistent with halacha. That is an entirely different proposition, however, from the Cult Jew claim that Reform and Conservative Jews do not practice Judaism at all. This is what accounts for the blathering of Michelle (“I’m not surprised that Dave’s girlfriend is a gentile. He isn’t even remotely Jewish. The idiot who calls himself/herself “the middle” probably has a shiska mother”), Shlomo Weinbach/CactusJack (“The Middle, you still don’t understand your Conservative religion is completely different than Judaism”), and Shy Guy (“Jon C., it’s not just Shlomo and it’s not just me. You are what you are but that isn’t Jewish”).

    Another minor oddity of the Cult Jew is how frequently they seem to be filled with an inexplicable mirth. Like the village idiots of Judaism. Thus, the following quotes from the above-referenced Shlomo Weinbach:

    LOL. I think you need to trade in your starwars for some Torah!
    Hahah it’s not bs at all TM… I really wish you had the experience to learn some Torah;
    Very nice! I see it stuck ! LOL;
    LOL again and the middle, his Hebrew was off, my translation was perfect Nice try though;
    LOL the middle. his Non-Orthodox Rabbi doesnt qualify to be in a Beit Din;
    LOL The Middle you still dont understand. your Conservative religion is completely different than Judaism;
    The Middle. LOL, go look at what a conversion really is.

    Oh, yes; every one of these quotes was from A SINGLE thread.

    Sadly, there are honorable, practicing Jews like Dave that seem to be affected and take seriously what the Cult Jews think. But Cult Jews simply couldn’t care less whether Dave is happy with his girlfriend or the circumstances of his life; he is sinning, and the only objective that matters is breeding. It’s only Cult Jews that support the murder of Arab civilians, as Lance does, or the wholesale ethnic cleansing of the Arab population from Israel through mass expulsion, as Joeschmo calls for. It’s only Cult Jews who believe they know the most spiritually meaningful way to pray to God, and, therefore, that everyone else needs to pray that way as well. A typical – and typically absurd – statement of the Cult Jew view of spirituality is the following:

    “My common sense would tell me that if you do indeed believe in God as you claim, then you would be interested in learning about God and the spiritual reality. Why is it so difficult for you to understand that if a spiritual reality exists, then it only exists one way, and the best way to learn about it is from those who have plumbed its depths?”

    There are numerous other illustrations; but these are enough to make plain that the only solution is to recognize that these people maintain a fundamentally alien conception of Judaism from that of mainstream Jews, and to relinquish the possibility of realizing any kind of compromise or understanding with them.

  • Shy guy, Exodus (Shemot) 2:16-21 he marries Zipporah the daughter of Yitro or Reuel who is a Midianite priest. Would that be like Dave marrying the daughter of a Baptist minister?

    In case we have doubts about Moshe’s predilection for foreign women, consider that in Numbers (BaMidbar) 12:1, Aaron and Miriam give their brother, Moses, grief over marrying a Cushite woman. Now you can claim that this is the same Zipporah, or else he marries yet another foreign woman.

    Which is it?

  • Same woman, TM. So much for Moshe’s predilection.

    Now go learn some Torah. In Bamidbar, it was referring to Moshe’s divorcing Tziporah. In Torah law there is no applicable Kiddushin with non-Jews and no relevance for a divorce either.

    So, Tziporah was defined as Jewish, via conversion before the giving of the Torah (See Shemot Rabba Aleph, I think paragraph 39, the Eitz Yosef there, that Moshe in fact converted Yitro and his entire family).

    I’ve said before, I have no problem applying the phrase “Lo Am Ha’aretz Chasid” to myself. If you don’t like my answers above, consult with a learned Rav for more accurate answers.

  • Did you actually write to me “Go and learn some Torah?” Isn’t that a little rude? I mean, what’s the problem exactly, Shy Guy? I say something, then provide the relevant verses which conclusively prove my point, and you have to go scrounging around for extra-Biblical sources to make your point. I’ll make it simple for you: the Torah says X and our tradition embellishes X by adding Y. There was a conversion of Yitro and his entire family? Fine. Why not, let’s make it up and say they did. You want to say that Zipporah converted? Fine, let’s make it up and say she did. We can say anything, can’t we, as long as it’s locked in by the 4th Century, right?

    In fact, I would argue that simply by virtue of leaving her father’s home and joining Moses’s home, Zipporah underwent a conversion automatically. This would have applied to Ruth as well, by the way, before her husband died. It was because her husband died as did his brother (and father) that there were no men left in Naomi’s or her daughter in laws’ lives and they could make a choice as to which traditions they kept. Of course once Boaz buys Ruth, she becomes Israelite because she has joined his household. Zipporah and Moses are no different. She joined his household and became an Israelite.

    Applied to today, however, we obviously have a long body and history of law pertaining to conversion. Some people, however, are adamant that these laws are etched in stone and incontestable. Some of these same people call those who are converted by others “non-converts” and those converting them incapable of converting or “destroyers of Judaism” (TM). It’s gotten absurd to the point where an Israeli chief rabbi decides to declare other Orthodox conversion invalid. Can you imagine?

    Let it go, Shy Guy, and be easy on a Jewish man seeking a mate. Maybe if you were as interested in showing off the beauty of our traditions instead of constantly declaring their exclusivity, you’d find that Dave not only remains a Jew, but brings his future wife into our fold as well. It’s nice to have converts join us because they love the traditions, right? After all, through whose line did we get King David?

  • Shyguy wrote “This is Judaism 101. Call it zealotry or extremism if you wish but I wish people like you would stop stealing the name of our religion and repackaging and reshaping it as if it’s made out of silly putty of your enjoyment and pleasure.”

    Good point Shyguy. You go practice Judaism 101, a movement I’ve had little experience with but seems to be based in zealotry and extremism. I promise you that us Jews from different backgrounds, from Hasidic Orthodox to Modern Orthodox to Chabad to Conservative and down the line won’t steal the name. I know there’s a few other 101ers commenting here and as the Jewlicious crew has mentioned in the past all are welcome. And now that Joe Strummer’s left us I’m sure he won’t mind y’all using the name.

    If that sounded like a condescending and unfair play on your words, my apologies. Sometimes that’s how people like me can get every once in awhile when we make our points. I hate when I get like that. Especially when, unlike some other commenters who share your views, you go out of your way to avoid being rude. Forgive me.

    Yitro did indeed convert, as probably the whole family. Much like this modern day family of converts:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomo_Ben_Avraham_%22Ole%22_Brunell

  • TM you do not represent the beauty of our traditions. You represent their extinction. Many Jews have been there and done that.

    Your analysis is constantly shallow. If you wish to define yoruself as as Kaarite or a Tzeduki, by all means. Let’s call a spade a spade. Just remember, though: no hot chulent and Kishke for you on Shabbos.

    You’ve previously proven nothing in your repetitive links to the Book of Ruth in your arguments with Shlomo. You seem to be in a loop.

    Ramon, enjoy your 101 semantics hangup. Interestingly, and you know this, of all the groups you listed, only one of them is not accepted by the rest – Conservatives. You’ve actually highlighted my point and I thank you for that.

    Interesting Wiki article. I know of similar families.

  • Ramon! Shame on you! How dare you invoke Mr. Strummer? Surely the man who gave us “White Man in Hammersmith Palais” and (partly) “Spanish Bombs” and so much more deserves better than to have his good name sullied by association with this futile, self-righteous, endless circle jerk of a “conversation.”

    Let the dead rest!

  • Lance wrote:

    I don’t want to appear insensitive, but such miscegenation, as proposed by Dave, is damaging to the Jewish people; who are a Holy nation and the G-d of Israel’s Chosen people … I personally would only marry and raise a family from my own background: Ashkenaz Jewish, (the authentic inheritors of Ancient Israel); not tainted by conversion or miscegenation.

    Adolf Hitler similarly made claims of Aryan genetic superiority in “Mein Kampf”:

    In every mingling of Aryan blood with that of lower peoples the result was the end of the cultured people … The Germanic inhabitant … will remain the master as long as he does not fall a victim to defilement of the blood … To bring about such a development is, then, nothing else but to sin against the will of the eternal creator.

  • Shy Guy, the insults won’t help you a bit. I am not Karaite, although I admit their philosophy makes a great deal of sense, as does your exclusion of yet another Jewish group. I should also note that I didn’t claim that extra-Biblical sources are irrelevant. I merely pointed you to the actual story and provided some sociological perspective on how the story might be read.

    In other words, you didn’t see acrobatics like making a claim to which we have no proof…as you did. It is those acrobatics, by the way, which may be causing so many Jews to remove themselves from life as Jews. After all, if you offer hocus pocus and they don’t believe in hocus pocus, they will walk away. However, they might stay if you offer reasonable explanations, openness to others, a modern outlook on the world and life in general and a better understanding of the history of our people.

    All you offer is this hostile exclusivity and the hope that somebody will buy the hocus pocus. Try to find some balance. There’s always a middle ground.

    Here’s an article for you, Shy Guy. It’s all about Hellenistic Jews. It says they actually weren’t all that bad. Enjoy.

  • Yes, TM, you constantly point out lots of things that have no source in Jewish teachings or contradict them altogether.

    If someone doesn’t like Chazal’s explanations handed down through the generations, then by all means they can and likely will either go off and found the Neuvo Essenes Club or will drift away. That’s what Bechirach is all about.

    If you wish to compromise Judaism to make it more “palatable” to the skeptical crowd, then please state it clearly that this is a deviant form of Judaism and not the real McCoy.

    The only hocus pocus here is by people like yourself who would like half the Torah disappear, leaving behind only the smiley-feel-good part.

    What you’re looking for is Christianity.

    As for the JPost article, so what? There are Hellennists and there are Helennists. They came in several shades. But the “Mityavnim” that Macabees had to fight are describe in this article I already posted: 4 Warning Signs, by Elyakim Haetzni. These were not the “Hellenized Jews of Alexandria the JPost article is talking about.

    But there are some spot-on talbacks at the JPost on this article:

    11. So where are the accultured Jews?
    Chava
    12/24/2006 04:55

    So “accultured Jew” is the new euphemism for reformer, conservative, Hellenized Jew. This article smacks of Moses Mendelsohn ideology, an ideology leading to complete assimilation. By the way, since when is being a “Torah Jew” different from being a “civilized person?

    13. OH, REALLY?!?
    Pinny Meir
    12/24/2006 05:20

    If these Hellenized Jews did so well, where are they (i.e. their descendands) today??? Watered-down, “acculturated” hybrids of Judaism and foreign cultures may last for a few generations but they are doomed to disappear. Where there is no authenticity, there is no reason for future generations to stay loyal to their parents’ deviant form of practice.

    20. Tiberius Alexander
    Benjamin Reiser – Israel
    12/24/2006 08:48

    Tiberius Alexander the nephew of Philo and a product of Hellenized Judaism was a general in the Roman army and served as chief of staff to Titus when Jerusaelm was conquered and the Temple destroyed. Is this really the model we want to follow?

    24. You got it right – forgotten Jews
    moishe pipick
    12/24/2006 17:38

    As the author himself states, in reference to the “greatest” community of these so-called acculturated Jews, the Alexandrians: …”the forgotten Jews of Alexandria”. You know why they’re forgotten? Because you can’t be a fence-sitter. As Yehuda HaMaccabee said, “Mi L’Hashem Ailai!”, either you’re for God or against him, there’s no sitting on the fence. He wasn’t talking to the Hellenists, nor to the loyal Torah Jews, he was talking to the middle-of-the-roaders……

  • Another thing:

    Here’s an article for you, Shy Guy. It’s all about Hellenistic Jews. It says they actually weren’t all that bad. Enjoy.

    It’s one thing for me to say, and I again include myself in this generalization, that Jews who do not obey the Torah are doing something bad or wrong. It’s another thing to define the people themselves as “bad” because of it.

    I didn’t say anywhere here that someone was “that bad”, did I?

  • It is perhaps appropriate that on this most unholy of days—when the goyim engage in the worship of their corpse-god, a bleeding abomination nailed to wood, a purported son of Israel, no less—that a verminous comment raising the name of the evil-Hitler shall arise.

    Comparisons, such as those made by the verminous “not.an.anti-Semite,” are, for greater certainty, indeed, made exclusively by antisemites.

    Our time is rife with Mohammedan comparisons of Judaism and Nazism that while contemporaneously denying the Holocaust, adjure that the Jews deserved to be murdered. RobertWistrich, ( Hitler and the Holocust, 2001), recently explained the role of the concept of G-d’s Chosen People in Nazi ideology:

    The Nazi leaders (and especially Hitler) were obsessed with the doctrine of the “Chosen People” and its imagined secret power. They read into it aprefiguration of their own will to set the races apart under an iron law, until the end of time. The singularity of the Jews, and the mystery of their survival over thousands of years, was treated as if it were a vindication of the eternal truths of blood and race. Nazi racism can be seen as a blasphemous gloss on, or perhaps even a grotesque parody of, Judaic [C]hosenness. To put it bluntly, there could not be two [C]hosen [P]eoples. The character of Hitler’s messianic pretensions necessitated the removal of that very people who had chosenness for three millennia. The Jews were responsible (or rather guilty) in his eyes for having invented the very notion of a moral conscience, in defiance of all healthy, natural instincts.

    In its own perverse way, Nazism did indeed grasp something fundamental about Judaism and the Jews. For at the heart of Judaism stood the belief in a single, all-powerful [D]eity who had created the universe and installed mankind at its heart to uphold the moral law. The revelation of the Divine Law and the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai had made the [B]iblical Israelites into a [C]ovenanted [P]eople, [C]hosen by G-d for a distinctive ethical mission. They had been [C]hosen not to conquer an empire but to carry a [D]ivine [R]elevation which affirmed that man was created in the image of his Maker; that each human being carried a [D]ivine [S]park, and that each life was sacred. “Thou shalt not kill,” [or, more correctly, “Thou shalt not murder,” and not “Thou shalt not kill”], rang out as the clarion call for any civilised moral code of mankind (one that Nazism would exactly invert) along with universal injunctions against adultery, theft, blasphemy and the worship of false gods. In the Mosaic teaching, special attention was paid to the rights of the weak and oppressed, the orphan, the widowed, the enslaved, and the stranger within the gates. Judaism was in that respect the antithesis of the xenophobic racist nationalism espoused by fascists and Nazis. At the heart of the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) was the demand for “justice, and only justice.” Whenever the [B]iblical Israelites were in danger of backsliding and whoring after false gods, a prophet would arise to call them back to the straight path. The cry of Amos: “Let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream,” is the leitmotif of [B]iblical prophesy. The Amidah prayer of Rosh Ha-Shanah (the Jewish New Year) makes the fulfilment of G-d’s [K]ingdom in this world conditional on the disappearance of arrogance, injustice, and oppression from the face of the earth. In the Judaic conception it is that ideal which is the ultimate goal of humanhistory , [with the Jewish people at the center thereof], one wholly incompatible with the Nazi vision of the world. The Torah (completed by the Talmud and the [R]abbinical teachings through the centuries) became the constitution and “law of life” of the Jewish people, holding it together through twomillenia of dispersion. It was their “portable homeland” in the profound words of the German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine and also the mark of their vocation as a distinct people among the nations.

    Heinrich Heine, (1797-1856), in his famous poem, in part, wrote:

    There are two sorts of rat:
    The hungry and the fat

    Verminous “not.an.anti-Semite,” which sort are you?

  • Michael, your vile question made me come up with a vile answer that had me ROFL’ing.

    But I can’t tell ya. 🙂

    Lance, that’s all nice and dandy but try explaining to us why you think Ashkenazi Jews are “the authentic inheritors of ancient Israel”.

    Also explain how your statement “tainted by conversion” is not a violation of the commandment or the spirit of the commandment “But the foreigner who dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” (Vayikra 19:34)

  • Shy Guy, sorry, I can only provide you with Torah lessons. For an education about early Christians, you’ll have to go elsewhere. Hmmm, maybe some Rebbe followers – you know, the ones who sing that song every chance they get – can set the example you seek.

    Is Lance a troll or for real? If he’s for real, is this what happens to somebody who follows Shy Guy’s philosophy and beliefs to their logical conclusion?

  • Correction, TM. You can only provide us with literal Torah verse lessons and even then you’re teachings are often irrelevant.

    Considering what I’ve posted in opposition to Lance, your own conclusions aren’t very logical at all.

  • A Reply to Shy Guy’s Query:

    …try explaining to us why you think Ashkenazi Jews are “the authentic inheritors of ancient Israel.”

    Also explain how your statement “tainted by conversion” is not a violation of the commandment or the spirit of the commandment “But the foreigner who dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” (Vayikra 19:34)

    In the animated movie Ants, an insect, (significantly with Woody Allen’s voice), complains to an ant psychiatrist: “I feel so insignificant,” to which the ant psychiatrist replies: “That’s a breakthrough. You are insignificant.”

    The joke works particularly well because Allen, (a.k.a., Allan Stewart Konigsberg), is an Ashkenazi Jew; and far from “insignificant.” But, I’m sure you’d assert, the joke works because all people want to feel special and significant. But the hard cold truth is, as Emerson put it: “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” But it’s undeniable that Ashkenazi Jews have been extraordinarily significant to all aspects of human progress; and their “desperation,” is many things, but “quiet” is not one of them. The Jews, and Ashkenaz Jews in particular, have recorded every slight done to them, have inventoried every wrong inflicted on them, and every assault and insult endured has been carefully transcribed, to the great irritation of the goyim.

    Among the Jewish languages, apart from Hebrew–the only language spoken continuously for more than 3,000 years, and the Israelites/Ashkenazi-Jews are the only People who have come down intact through history–only Yiddish, (written in Hebrew characters), survives; notwithstanding the Holocaust resulted in the destruction of those who formed its language-base, and secular Zionism’s attack on it as a ghetto “jargon.” If present trends continue, French and German will be spoken only in hell 200 years from now; but even the non-Ashkenaz “Jews” in Israel are learning Yiddish according to a recent report in the Jerusalem Post.

    The Modern Nation of Israel is the result of the efforts of Ashkenaz Jews; the other pretenders that call themselves “Sephardim,” “Mizrachi,” or, if you’ve been reading Arutz Sheva the last couple of months, Asian and African “Jews,” who would never, could never, have pulled off a movement comparable to the Zionist movement. They lacked the National Conscience and the brilliance to do so.

    As far as conversions go, it is clear that the aforementioned “Jews” resemble the larger populations from which they purportedly were in Exile: in Africa they’re black; in Morocco they’re Arab/Berber, (note the opening blurb hereinabove: “I actually enjoy meeting the Arab participants – they really remind me of my own family”); and in Asia/India they’re Oriental. This fact, and secularism, weakens Israel in the genocidal war currently raging against it.

    In contradistinction to the foregoing, the late Jacob Katz, (Hebrew University history professor, Exclusiveness and Tolerance, 1961), tells us in respect of apostasies: “Their most striking feature is that they were isolated cases,” (p. 67). And whereas persecution in Spain created marranos, the Hebrew Chronicles of the First Crusade report Kiddush Ha-Shem, (including mothers martyring their babies), when confronted with forced conversion. Katz writes: “… the Ashkenazi Middle Ages outshine all other periods of Jewish history as an epoch of heroic steadfastness,” (p. 85).

    Finally, with respect to Leviticus 19:34, I shall reproduce the Jewish Publication Society (1985) translation:

    “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the L-RD am your G-d.”

    The translation you have tendered is clearly different, and, I would add, misleading. For an appropriate interpretation of this injunction, however, I refer you to a competent Rabbinic authority.

  • Shyguy wrote “You’ve actually highlighted my point and I thank you for that.”

    Glad to be of service. The Lubavitcher center in my hometown has a mission statement that reads:

    “Chabad does not recognize the false labels of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. “A Jew is a Jew is a Jew – Period.” We have gotten too carried away with the adjectives – the noun is universal – Jew. We have one Torah, we are one people, we have one G-d and one land. Chabad endeavors to bring unity among the Jewish community through our common bond of Jewish faith and observance.”

    “There are no prerequisites for getting involved with Chabad Lubavitch, whether you are affiliated or not, have much Jewish background or none, you are always welcome to try one or all of our programs. We are here to serve you and we will do our best to help you and your family. You do not have to be a member at Chabad, you do not even have to agree with everything Chabad says or does – you just have to be Jewish – and you automatically belong.”

    I like to think it’s sincere. But maybe it’s double talk. You tell me.

    Michael, don’t think I don’t feel dirty. Much dirtier than weighing in on Laya’s global orgasm post. But I was listening to “Radio Clash” while reading Shyguy’s comment about Judaism 101 and Strummer yells “Rebel Islanders 101 Home Guard (sic) 44” and Strummer’s band were the 101ers… I mean, that’s pretty karmic. Joe, forgive me. RIP James Brown.

  • Movie quotes! I’ll play!

    You quote “Ants”. I’ll quote from the “Black Knight” scene in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”:

    “You’re a loonie!”

    As for you referring me to a competent Rabbinic authority, Rashi will do, with the translation from the Judaica Press Tanach:

    “The stranger who sojourns with you shall be as a native from among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God.”

    RASHI: for you were strangers:Do not accuse your fellow man with your own defect. – [B.M. 59b]

    But surely, you had another Rabbinic authority in mind.

    Speaking of Rabbinic Authority, which Rabbi taught you about the perfect Jewish race?

  • Ramon, I like Chabad’s message no less than you. I’ve never argued that a Jew is not a Jew. Accuse me all you want. Nowhere did I say that.

    So, your point is what exactly?

  • Glad to hear you clarify, Shyguy. Because when you say things to another Jew like “I wish people like you would stop stealing the name of our religion…” or “Don’t believe that everything’s Beyedei Shamayim, TM? Good for you. You don’t believe in Judaism…” some of us may wrongly misconstrue that as saying those who don’t believe in Judaism the way you do aren’t Jewish. But now you’ve made it clear you’re not disowning other Jews rather than referring to them as non-practicing. Which sets you apart from, say, Lance. On that note, peace.

    So tell me if this is accurate: When you say Conservatives are not accepted by Orthodox you mean the Conservative practice isn’t accepted by Orthodox, correct? As opposed to Conservatives’ claim to Jewish birthright not being accepted? I’m hoping you’re saying the former. Slippery slope, isn’t it? Michael’s right – it’s the ol’ circle game.

    To continue the movie quote thing, how about “gabba gabba we accept you, one of us”? Which begs the question: Who’s the deviant?

  • Ramon said:

    You don’t believe in Judaism…” some of us may wrongly misconstrue that as saying those who don’t believe in Judaism the way you do aren’t Jewish

    I was obviously mistaken that no one would assume such a thing.

    But now you’ve made it clear you’re not disowning other Jews rather than referring to them as non-practicing.

    I had to confirm this on my first day of posting here. I don’t mind clarifying it again.

    Once again, with myself included, Chazal say “Yisrael, af al pi she’choteh, Yisrael Hu.” I could never think otherwise and never said otherwise.

    So tell me if this is accurate: When you say Conservatives are not accepted by Orthodox you mean the Conservative practice isn’t accepted by Orthodox, correct?

    That is what I would have meant had I said what you claim I said. Again, where did I use the words “Conservatives are not accepted by Orthodox”?

    As opposed to Conservatives’ claim to Jewish birthright not being accepted?

    Anyone born to a Halachically Jewish mother is Jewish. That applies to anyone.

    I’m hoping you’re saying the former. Slippery slope, isn’t it? Michael’s right – it’s the ol’ circle game.

    No circles, no games, no slopes. Just the Emmes.

    To continue the movie quote thing, how about “gabba gabba we accept you, one of us”?

    I’ll drink to that! 🙂

    Which begs the question: Who’s the deviant?

    Shorty. 😉

  • I’m getting tired and have a headache but here we go…

    Shyguy asked “Again, where did I use the words “Conservatives are not accepted by Orthodox”?

    Right here where you said:

    “…and you know this, of all the groups you listed, only one of them is not accepted by the rest – Conservatives.”

    The groups I listed being:

    “…Jews from different backgrounds, from Hasidic Orthodox to Modern Orthodox to Chabad to Conservative and down the line…”

    Or not. Anyways, how’d you know I’m short?

  • And – sincerely – fair enough on your end also. Except the shorty thing 🙂 which, as accurate as it is, still hurt just a bit.