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Spengler

Israel at a Point of No Return – In the Right Direction

February 12th, 2014 - 7:25 am

The Israeli Left, with its soggy vision of univeralist utopianism, may be at a point of no return. It is becoming marginalized and irrelevant. The Europeans, whose experience of nationalism has been uniformly horrific, are equally aghast. Liberal Christians who abhor the Election of Israel because they abhor Christian orthodoxy cannot suppress their rage. And “progressive” American Jews, who have been running away from Judaism for the past three generations, are upset that Israel has embraced the normative Judaism they worked so hard to suppress. American “progressive” and unaffiliated Jews, one should remember, have the lowest fertility rate of any identifiable minority in the United States. Even if most of them did not intermarry (and the intermarriage rate in the past ten years approaches 70% according to the October 2013 Pew study) their infertility would finish them off in a few generations. Meanwhile 74% of all Jewish children in the New York area live in Orthodox families. The center of gravity of Judaism will shift decisively to Israel in the next generation, and the segment of American Jewry that most identifies with Israel–the Orthodox–will set the tone for American Judaism and eventually become the majority in a much smaller American Jewish population.

It is up to the Israelis, to be sure, to draw out the implications of these trends. But I am encouraged by the perceptions of religious leaders like Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth, who perceive this revival in their daily work.

This is good news for Christians as well as Jews. The secularization thesis is refuted: a country with the world’s greatest record of high-tech innovation is also becoming the industrial world’s most religious country. It is devastating news for Lennonists as well as Leninists. The “Imagine” world turns out to be imaginary. Israel, as Franz Rosenzweig said of the Jewish people, is there to be “the paragon and exemplar of a nation.” For all its flaws, the State of Israel stands as a beacon to people of faith around the world. It is honored by its list of self-appointed enemies. Will Israel prevail against the unholy coalition against it? As we say, b’ezrat Hashem.

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There is no contradiction between Judaism and science. In fact the more scientifically advanced we become the more corroboration we are given for the narrative of The Jews. The Hubble has confirmed the universe is expanding. Oceanographers have recreated the parting of the Reed Sea based upon the topography of the sea floor. Geneticists have confirmed that the priestly class of The Jews ( the Kohanim ) are the descendants of a single male progenitor who lived than four thousand years ago. Archeologist make new discoveries constantly that conform to the Torah . I could go on in almost every scientific field and provide similar data. And of course, against all odds, and after perhaps the most blood thirsty attempt at mass murder and religious hatred in history , a world wide conspiracy that in many ways is still ongoing, The Almighty in His Mercy and The Jews in our determination, courage and strength, live once again in a sovereign state of our own.

Do we still have problems? Of course. But we Jews are used to overcoming them.

Our enemies would do well to fear us. And our friends will have our everlasting gratitude for their support.

The answer to all questions resides in the streets of Jerusalem where our grandchildren laugh and play every day. Where we wake and pray at daybreak. In everlasting gratitude.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The world of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” where there are no countries and no religions, is about to dissipate like last night’s marijuana fumes."

John Lennon’s “Imagine” is severely out of date. I will bring it much more up to date at no charge.

Imagine there's no Islam
It's hard but you can try
No suicide hijackers coming down at us
Above us only free sky
Imagine all those people
Still alive today...

Imagine there's no Islamic countries
It's hard but you can try
No Mohammad for them to kill or die for
And no Imams too
Imagine all the Christians, Jews and Infidels
Living life without them...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday all dhimmis will join us
And the non-Islamic world will be as one

Imagine no Burkhas and no stonings
I wonder if you can
No need for Medina or Meca
A brotherhood of non-Islamic woman and man
Imagine all the people
Living without Shariha...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday all dhimmis will join us
And the non-Islamic world will be as one
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"perhaps you are wrong" qualifies for submission as the understatement of the year.
"Hard Science" exists only because the Judeo-Christian tradition, with it's rational God, gave people a worldview free of superstition, and a world that could be studied in a rational manner. The majority of the great scientists of the past, for example Issac Newton, were deeply religious. The great universities of Europe were founded by the Catholic Church. Copernicus came from a deeply religious family and developed his heliocentric theory while at a Catholic university.
There is no hostility towards science from religion, however there is today a hostility towards religion from some scientists. Not surprisingly, science has now lost its reputation for integrity, as can be seen in the hype over "global warming".
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (119)
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I suspect the point has already been made but - the Torah teaches us that in the days of Moshiach, the the Children will lead their Fathers back to the Ways of G-d.
I have seen this to be true in my own life; the lives of the members of our community; and the lives of many, many Jews that I know in this world.
This is good. Or, as Moishe Murray would say, Life is beautiful all the time.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
“it is our children who bring us to faith”

Well, yes and no…..depending on what your definition of “faith” is

In the WEST….where the Judeo-Christian tradition is so deeply entrenched (regardless of what secularists say, all of our liberal “freedom and peaceful co-existence ideas”” come from that belief system)….. then yes, the birth of our children does trigger an avalanche of “religious emotion”….

Love and wonder, hope and realization, repentence, commitment and obligation…Attending Midnight Mass with a very pregnant wife can do that to you….

For Islamic Countries?

Anyone who follows that dysfunctional tyrant/murderer they call the “perfect man” is immediately suspect in the “human character” and “mental stability” department…. and a simple statistical analysis of which “faith” commits the most heinous/criminal/insanely evil acts of brutality, exclusively in the name OF their Faith, will bear this out.

So, for every one of those "smart and eager" headscarved students doing so well at the Universities in Israel, this is bedrock fact: They will use the schools, the out-reach, the education and the careers to enrich their lives and that of THEIR eventual children, so they may enjoy the Physical Comfort and Modernity the West has to offer…

But when SOMEONE ELSES son or daughter is used as a suicide bomber anywhere in Israel, it will be silently “praised” as a Just and Necessary Act against “the infidels” . These “good muslims” wont do it themselves. They wont strap bombs to THEIR kids, they’re “civilized”…

But when Israel has a smoldering, radioactive crater in the middle of Tel Aviv, if they survive they will kiss their children with joy that Allah’s will has been fulfilled.

The same goes for every “secular” muslim driving a cab, waiting tables, or performing Brain Surgery in America, too.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am Orthodox Catholic to the bone and it seems pretty obvious to me that without the Torah there would be no Civilization. Of course people would have continued to live in groups but without the organizing principle of a joined God and human community, perpetual war and conquest would have been the only alternative. The contemporary human condition is proof enough that History as progress is bunkum. Civil society exists only under obedience to the organizing principle. Time cannot displace reality.

I am especially attuned to Spengler's observation that even self-identified secular Jews are drawn to ritual and liturgy. The supra-intellectual appeal of Orthodox Catholicism is immersed in the Divine Liturgy which was formalized in the 4th Century from 1st Century practice and tradition of per-Christian Temple Worship. Maybe it's a small world after all.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Permit me to clarify: Jewish status is conferred by birth or conversion, not observance. Just as the RCC considers anyone baptized Catholic to be Catholic irrespective of belief, Jews consider anyone born Jewish or properly converted to be Jewisih irrespective of observance. In Israel, secular Jews are drawn to observance; in America, more Jews are becoming secular.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"This is a crucial, counterintuitive story: Israel is swimming against the secular current, becoming more observant as the rest of the world becomes more secular" Not the only country in the world becoming more religious. Russia too is beginning to slowly swim against the secularist tide. That's not to say that there isn't quite a large number of people who only attend Church, like their Israeli Jewish counterparts, on the 'high Holidays' eg Easter or Christmas. There are even 10% or so of the population who identify themselves as Orthodox atheists, which I suppose might produce a similar number of 'Jewish atheists' in Israel since Israel is an ethnically based Jewish State and by the logic of David's comment below, being a Jewish atheist seems less of a contradiction in terms than being an Orthodox 'Christian' atheist.

Nonetheless, at some point the eternal anti-Russia lobby in D.C.'s talking points and that of the die hard Cold Warriors is going to have to contend with the reality that many Russians might actually be sincere in their rejection of an increasingly decadent set of Western cultural values, and greater adherence to Orthodoxy isn't just a plot thought up by the KGB to revive the old Soviet Union under the banner of the Cross. I believe both Ronald Reagan and George Kennan would have been delighted with the revival underway in Russia now. But then again, they were not anti-Russians who hid their Russophobia under a veneer of anti-Communism, they were genuine anti-Communists who nonetheless in Kennan's case understood that the Soviet system was an attempt to replace the old godly icons with man-made ones.

Certainly while I saw the sparkling new Orthodox Church onion dome on the grounds of the Lubyanka while passing it on the street, as well as at the military academy, I never saw anyone forced at gunpoint or mandated by their employer to attend services.

I appreciate David's presentation that the so-called chasm between the haredi and the secular hasn't appeared to be so wide after all. In Russia, so long as every man and woman is still free to make their own choice whether to return to the old Tsarist morality (which the great Russian authors of the 19th century revealed in all its glories and hypocrisies) I don't think there's a vast chasm between the newly religious and the secular either. In the end supporting neo-Bolshevik tactics like punk h--y s---t 'prayers' in Church or relentlessly hammering the gay, gay, gay point all the time to the annoyment of the local drag queens in Sochi is all backfiring and making Russians doubt the honesty of Western intentions more. Furthermore, it may also make the West look weak. If #SochiProblems was the best CIA or the NED, NRI and Western press corps could come up with to get back at 'Pootie Poo' for humiliating Washington in Syria and by giving asylum to Snowden, I'd say it's no contest Putin has to be laughing at America's effete elites.

What does this mean for Israel and the Jews? Well a more Orthodox Christian Russia, despite the history of some anti-Semitism among the Orthodox (and the neocons traditional loathing and inability to let go of this past which colors their view of Russia even now) is likely to become more friendly towards Israel, not less.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...a more Orthodox Christian Russia, despite the history of some anti-Semitism among the Orthodox ... is likely to become more friendly towards Israel, not less."
------------------------------
If Russia can overcome its traditional anti-Semitism, it'll be a miracle -- which I suppose is one way of phrasing your point. However, I must take some issue with your characterization of "some anti-Semitism" in Russia.

The single most depressing book I've *ever* read is the famous (and free): "History of the Jews in Russia and Poland" (I & II) by Simon Dubnow. It doesn't simply describe "some" anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and Russia. It describes an merciless and unending nightmare of "ukases," pogroms, extortion, virtual slavery, forced conversion and murder of Jews for centuries.

Certainly many were cooked up by the Tsars. But the ferocity with which they were implemented throughout a country as vast as Russia only shows that a hatred of Jews was deeply ingrained in the population.

For those interested, here is one of many available links:
http://tinyurl.com/dubnow2
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Frum Falafel,

You are correct that anti-Semitism just as often bubbled up from the envious and poorly educated bottom rungs of Russian society. It was also suppressed by the Tsars in the late 19th century as 'bad for business'/foreign investment if nothing (George Kennan's grandfather by the same name reported on the progroms and the Russian embassies were not blind to this negative image problem even the Tsarist Empire had). Anti-Semitism was not entirely a creation of the Okhrana, who indeed authored the Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery. It should be noted that a few of the Orthodox martyrs of the Bolshevik yoke denounced the Protocols as a malicious forgery that was also anti-Christian.

However, it is worth asking the question why so many Ashkenazim ended up within the borders of the Russian Empire in the first place. True the tolerance of the Catholic Polish Empire as compared to the medieval progroms in Germany at the time of the Crusades led to an eastward migration, and the Russian Empire later absorbed parts of Poland. But I cannot accept the entire history of the Jews in Russia as simply one long list of murder and persecution either.

Also Solzhenitysn's 200 Years Together was a very important book in rebuking the nominally Orthodox Christian nationalists of the 90s who proclaimed the old Nazi line that Bolshevism was a Jewish created ideology simply because Marx was a Jew. In reality, ALL of the minorities of the Russian Empire save for maybe the Turkic and Buryat/indigenous peoples of Siberia were overrepresented among the Bolsheviks, including Latvians and Caucasians (Stalin was a Georgian, while Mikoyan was Armenian). The anti-Semitism of the Whites was clearly a factor in their defeat during the Russian Civil War but had they been more philo-Semitic one wonders if they would've had much luck recruiting Ukrainians and Poles to fight alongside them against the Bolsheviks. What is clear is that as the Soviet regime established itself and time went on it became very anti-Semitic reflecting the paranoia and anti-Semitism of Big Brother no. 1, Iosif Vissiaronivich Dzughashvili aka Stalin.

Finally, to bring things back to the present, one must ask why Israelis seem more willing to forgive and keep relations with Russia in the present than the neoconservatives in Washington who pretend to be Israel's best friends. Just as the Syrian Civil War exposed a gap between neocons and the IDF/IAF/Mossad/Israeli elites.

The neocons including gentile neocons like John McCain wanted the U.S. to intervene, both to spite Putin and Iran as well as to help supposedly 'moderate' Sunni Islamists overthrow the Iranian puppet Assad and install a pro-Western government in Damascus that would supposedly make peace with Israel. The Israelis themselves at the highest levels understood that this was hopelessly naive and the best Israel could hope for was to watch its Sunni jihadist and Shi'a enemies slaughter eachother in an updated sectarian version of the Iran-Iraq War. Even Bibi Netanyahu's embrace of a U.S./NATO assault on Syria was half-hearted and too late to make any difference in Congress. I doubt if you surveyed the writers and editors of the Weekly Standard, Natonal Review, or the Forward one in a dozen could tell you that Israel has visa free travel with Russia and has had it for several years now!
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27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
TEF - - Thanks to you and FF for an interesting exchange in comments. IMHO, you overdo it more than a bit with allusions to the omnipotence of "neo-cons" and their desire and ability to generate an irrational hatred of Mother Russia.

Regarding the posture the US should adopt to Russia, I'm generally sympathetic to Russia (great military marches, matryoshka dolls and literature (I especially love reading the parts in War and Peace with Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn;-)). I also admire the current Russian government’s attempts to claw its way out of the demographic death spiral and articulate (albeit a bit roughly) a social conservative counterpoint to Western materialist –hedonism. But, I think their support of Iran/Assad/Hezbollah makes them a geopolitical pyromaniac and oppose them on that basis.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
You bring up many interesting points EquisF. I'll only respond to one at the moment though. The reason Israel may appear more enlightened from your perspective (you didn't say that, I'm reading that into your comments) in that they, "seem more willing to forgive and keep relations with Russia in the present than the neoconservatives in Washington" -- is at least in part due to the fact that they quite recently absorbed 1 Million Russians!

It's the ultimate in "Realpolitik" that a country which has just become what, 1/8th Russian virtually overnight is going to quickly locate Russia on the map and begin to take her very *very* seriously.

Nevertheless, even before this huge occurrence, one must recall the phenomenally small size of Israel in relation to her mention in news reports. The fact is, we never talk about Jamaica's stance towards Russia. We don't because nobody give much of a sh*t about Jamaica's foreign policy, period.

Ultimately though, Israel knows that she could be swatted off the map like a fly by Russia (I'm assuming this is true, perhaps I'm wrong?). Because of that, she's simply not in a spot such that she has the "luxury" to consider and act upon Russia's behavior decades ago. There are far too many modern day issues in which Russia has a huge influence to do otherwise (read Iran, Syria).

In short, given that Israel has long ago "made up" with Germany, Israel most *certainly* can and should interact with Russia in the same "professional" (read: unemotional) manner. No?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well said.

Another example, Polish-Israeli relations are said to be very close, even thoigh the history of Jews in Poland was a mixed bag.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's hard to find data on religious revival in Russia. I'd be interested in any information sources on this topic.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Certainly will post links if I can find them. Any Western research surveying agencies like Pew would likely have to partner with the Levada Center to uncover the depth of religious sentiment, as opposed to Russians merely answering yes to a belief in God or defining themselves as culturally Orthodox.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
God is not done with either the Promised Land nor the Chosen People. God blesses those who reach out to him. And the opposite is also true.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Liberal Christians..."

Would seem to be an oxy-moron. If by liberal, you mean modern liberal i.e. leftist, then the principles of Christianity and the principles of leftism are entirely opposed to one another. How can I love my neighbor if I am busy oppressing him (or devising ways to oppress him or allowing him to be oppressed) or criticizing him and resenting him because of his success and other blessings that God has given him? The problem with "liberal Christians" as you call them is that they have perverted the virtues of sharing and tolerance until they become a pestilence. Many of them mean well, and think they are wise, but their ignorance is a stumbling block, and they better be careful if they claim to speak in the name of the Lord.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly true. Leftism meets any reasonable definition of a religion in its own right; those who profess to be "Liberal Christians" are in fact practitioners of Leftism, which tacitly espouses its own version of taqiyya, the Islamic dispensation that allows and urges lying to those not of the faith when necessary to further the faith. Leftists will claim to be Christian, but will deny any precept of Christianity when doing so furthers Leftist goals.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Secular Jews in the West are not Jews, they are just progressives. They do not speak for Israel. During the NATO war on the Serbs they fell in line behind Ruder-Finns agitprop and disinformation while Jews in Israel were never fooled.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
They are Jews by Jewish definition: a Jew is a person born to a Jewish mother or converted to Judaism by a competent rabbinical court. Observance has nothing to do with Jewish status.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
...and nothing to do with their "deserving" to die in a suicide bombing either...secular or not "all jews are jews" to those committed to kill them...

Hitler allowed no "conversion" or "mercy" for those who "never attended synagogue" either

Something these "secular progressive" american liberal jews should recognize, but dont....

How such educated people can be so STUPID I just dont know, but it IS
mentioned in the Bible, go figure.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
besides the energy independence that the natural gas in the tamar field is bringing--Israel also enjoys water independence now.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.570374
Over and drought: Why the end of Israel's water shortage is a secret
Remember all the years of being told to conserve 'every drop?' Well, times have changed: Today, Israel has so much affordable water, it can offer to export it. So why is this achievement being kept so secret?

In ancient times and even during the years of the British Mandate (1917-1948), the shortage of water in Palestine, as well as among its neighbors in the Middle East, had a decisive influence not only on the area’s economic development, but also on the political strife between Jews and Arabs. Technology has changed all this. Now, the ability to produce all the water that's needed, whether for human consumption or for agriculture, may soon change our way of life and perhaps even, if our neighbors agree, bring peace closer.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
bring peace closer.
.............
I disagree with this part. It won't bring peace closer. The Israelis offered the Jordanians help with water desalination. The Israelis run neck and neck with Singapore at getting the lowest cost desalinized water. The Jordanians chose to go with a European company. I forget which one.

The israelis use brown water from their cities to irrigate their crops. This is something that California might do.

The most important metric in the world today--the one that will bring just about the biggest technological revolution in history before space colonization crushes everything--will be the day water desalination and transport become cheap enough for agriculture. That's the day it becomes possible to turn all the world's deserts green and double the size of the habitable earth. That day is not far off. 1-3 decades.

The Israelis are now players in that great game.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
For the most popular form of desalination: Reverse Osmosis RO (and the nascent forward osmosis FO)--There are roughly four elements to collapsing the cost of water desalination.
1.) The most important is killing the cost of energy. The most promising candidate for this is thorium lftr nuclear generators which promises to cut the cost of electricity by 1/4-1/10 current lowest cost coal/natural gas. The buzz on these generators has been growing worldwide for the last several years. Last fall a big thorium lftr conference was held at CERN and the center left economist and center right forbes have written favorably about the technology. the chinese have already stolen the tech and are working on a multimillion dollar program of their own. They claim they'll have a demo model by 2021. a half a dozen other countries or so including the USA Canada UK Norway Russia, India and Japan are in various stages of considerations for thorium tech. imho Likely within the next two years or so a very public worldwide competition to develop the first thorium lftr reactor (since 1970) will break out. The USA currently has three companies involved in this Flibe.com, Transatomic power, and Bill Gates Terrapower has recently shown interest in this area.

2The second most important element to collapsing desal costs is membrane costs for RO (and even the more recent forward osmosis FO tech). Currently membranes are so inefficient that giant pumps have to mash salt water against the membrane to force fresh water through while leaving behind salt. The membranes themselves go bad after a time. Ideally you want membranes that allow fresh water to pass through them leaving behind the salt. And you want the membranes to last for as long as possible before they go bad.
There are number of start ups and big companies working on this problem. And the pace of development is accelerating. But we're still talking decades instead of 18 months for each iteration of computer chips.

3. The third most important thing that needs to be done is for a whole range of industrial uses for NaCl salt to be developed besides making table salt. So that salt disposal becomes a profit center rather than a cost center. There are currently a few uses for NaCl salt being developed in the USA and Australia by small companies that I know about. But no big plants in the USA have such salt disposal systems worked into their programs.

4. The fourth most important thing is for ever cheaper and more corrosion free materials be developed so that maintenance and capital costs are squeezed out of desalination plants. There is currently an unsung materials research revolution going on in the USA and elsewhere and likely 3d printing will eventually (1-2 decades) bring down the costs of pipelines and desalination plants. I have seen demos of 3d printed pipelines already. As well surface science is moving rapidly for such qualities as self healing materials and surfaces that moves water along their surfaces.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have to say I find Judaism claims of election very racist. If they are true then their god has nothing for the rest of the world. All it offers is self-righteous arrogance and alibis for all occasions.

Personally, based on my experiences in Jewish homes with Jewish friends, there is nothing in that life I would want for myself: it is only self reflection. My friends knew it, but finally gave way and fell into line: what freedom and joy is there in that?

As to Rosenzweig, it seems that he is obscure because he is rightfully ignored. His vision of the good life cocooned in a totalitarian identity is totally not what the world want. American is the anti-thesis of Judaism because people create a new life to their own liking.

On the other hand Judaism started with the murder of a man gathering twigs on Sunday. One is freedom, the other began with murder to coerce.

Am I anti-Semitic? No. I don't want it for myself, but if you want it, fine, but just don't tell me I should want it too. It is sort of like believing in a flat earth: it makes no difference in what we do.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think youre missing the message to be gleaned from listening to the whole of the story...

from the first light to ressurection, its a long journey to understand God, Man and yourself....its not easy, and it cannot BE easy...that you are still questioning things that dont make sense or seem desireable is a good sign though, I am constanly trying to reconcile the "contradictions" too
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Got links?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gathering twigs on Sunday?? Denver Bob, is the legalization of dope in Colorado affecting your life??
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
On the contrary: Israel claims to be God's first love, not his exclusive love. See
http://www.firstthings.com/?permalink=article&entry_permalink=2009/11/gods-first-love-the-theology-of-michael-wyschogrod
Your characterization is entirely false. And from what you write of Rosenzweig, I doubt you have read a word he has written.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a Christian I see my Jewish friends as brothers in the human race, just as I see all people, all made in the image of God, and all now equally loved by God. Jesus was a Jew, and we Christians believe he was God in the flesh, chosen to be a sacrificial lamb for the whole world, so that all people could be reconciled to their Creator. Christians are thus reformed Jews (theologically and morally), and should, in my view, see Jews as "elder brothers" who in the end will have Jesus Christ as their advocate in eternity, even if not publicly accepted during earthly life. My Christian understanding of Jewish chosenness boils down to accepting that the Jewish people were exclusively chosen by God to bring His Biblical Word into the world, and chosen to be the exclusively suitable civilization for bringing Jesus into the world. With Jesus in the picture all men can now be seen as equally chosen in the long view of eternity, because all now possess the means, through Jesus, to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I suppose it is possible that God still has some present or future tasks which are exclusively reserved for His Jewish people, but the main task has already been accomplished - equal access for all to attain eternal life.


27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
FF - I agree with you, but would add that, the Jews view our being chosen to study and practice the commandments of the Torah as a "crown", a "tree of life", and our technique to serve as a "light unto the nations", as well as a "yoke".

LC - Thank you for friendship for the Jews. Please know that it is reciprocated. Regarding, "equal access for all to attain eternal life", you may be interested to know that it is the predominant Jewish view that “the righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come”.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
As Michael Wyschogrod, the great Orthodox theologian, wrote, God is free to chose whomever he likes. He might choose the Christians. The Election of Israel is not exclusive for all time. Our job as Jews is to accept the implications of Election, that is, to be loyal to the commandments.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I appreciate your sentiment Liberty Clinger. But to be very clear about what being "the chosen people" means *specifically* in a Jewish context (after all, since we're the ones who say it, you may as well hear what our definition actually is): It means that G-d "chose" us to place upon us his "yoke" of laws -- his unique burden if you will. He chose us not because we are any "better" than anyone -- indeed, I don't think we claim to know why G-d chose us. All we know is that he did and all we know is what he chose us to do -- to carry this yoke and *in doing so* to then perhaps be a light unto the nations (while living in Israel as G-d did also choose to give us that land).

Certainly you are free to think G-d chose the Jews for other reasons as well (as you indicate). But Jews make no claims as to other reasons.

"Chose" is a poor word in the end for this, it should be "singled-out." It's been the single most misunderstood word relating to Jews in history.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
FF - As noted above, IMHO, your focus on Torah as only a "yoke", while ignoring the longstanding Jewish traditon of also viewing it as a blessing ("crown", "tree of life", etc.), is unbalanced.

Shabbat Shalom
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your point is well taken new MarcH. I was cutting corners and it served me poorly. Thank you for the correction.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
FF - more a supplement than a correction. I think you did well to articulate the essential, but perhaps counter-intuitive view of Torah as a "yoke".
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey Denver Bob - WOW. You must been blowing some really good stuff. Because nothing you have written makes any sense. And that's if the reader can knock aside the incoherence.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Denver Bob says:
"...but just don't tell me I should want it too" (among a myriad of other nonsense) -- where, pray tell did anyone tell you you should "want it too?" Nowhere. Nary a soul would do so. Jews do *not* proselytize. Thus, you're knee-jerk reaction say far more about a self-perceived onslaught of Jews "telling you" things. Sorry, but you definitely have a huge problem with Jews. And frankly, I wish you'd take yourself and your problem off of here -- you're adding nothing of value and merely being spiteful.

Goldman, Can we not kick this guy off? You wrote such a wonderful piece and this noodnick doesn't even know which way is up. A real dyed-in-the-wool Jew-hater he is.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been sparring with Denver Bob for years. I want to err on the side of free speech. He's no anti-Semite, if that's what you mean. He just hates the idea of Election, same as Reform Jews.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Then I stand corrected Goldman. I didn't realize he had such a "well-defined" criticism. He seemed to be fighting off hordes of Jews (in his mind) "telling him" this and that.

So, yes indeed, I did think him an anti-Semite. But I will certainly defer to your longer relationship with the gentleman. However my gut tells me that you're definitely reading him in the best possible light. Although, I suppose there's nothing wrong with that.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, don't do that. When you have a "glittering jewel of colossal ignorance" who proudly displays that he doesn't even know what day Jews observe the Sabbath, I'd say keeping him here performs a public service.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
We asked God to make in on Tuesday so we could go to ball games on Saturday afternoon, but nothing doing.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
As the joke goes, "Moses comes down from Mt. Sinai and starts by telling the Jews, 'the good news is, I got Him down to 10 ...'".
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a way, his ignorance is hilarious (what an idiot...)
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yours is the proper way 'wife.

And who knows, perhaps he'll decide to not hold back as he's clearly been doing and *really* tell us what he thinks about Jews and Judaism.

I always love the lines like this, "Am I anti-Semitic? No" --> to which I have always wanted to ask, "please please please tell us exactly what you think being 'anti-Semitic' entails? what does it mean? please define it?"

I suppose they'd say something like, "well I don't hunt Jews down and want to kill them -- that's antisemitism" -- making them civilized. I suppose they think antisemitism means killing Jews in concentration camps and nothing less.

To which, I will then reply, "you're right, you're not anti-Semitic, you just hate Jews."
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "Great Satan" (United States) and "Little Satan" (Israel), as the Islamists and Marxists would have it, are in reality both shining cities on the hill, because both are founded on the God-given equal natural rights of the individual (life, liberty, fruit of labor in creative pursuit of happiness). I pray that the religious/moral/social/intellectual/economic revival occurring in Israel will also re-blossom in the USA.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amen.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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