Beyond the Cusp

June 17, 2011

World Sending Mixed Messages to Jews

On one side, we do not have to search the news too deeply to find a cornucopia of proclamations demanding measures to isolate Israel or other measures all designed to remove Israel from among the nations of the world. The excuses do not vary much with most boiling down to the refusal of allowing Jews owning land for a country of their own or any other reasons. Forbidding Jews from property rights is far from a new idea. Such decrees were made by the Babylonians, the Seleucid Empire (Syrian Greeks), the Romans, virtually every country in Europe took a turn at such exclusions throughout the Middle Ages into the modern times, throughout the Arab and Muslim Worlds in the Middle Eastern and North African lands in turns by whim of each ruler, the Russians under both the Czars and the Communists, and in recent history by the Nazis in occupied Europe and North Africa. The calls today being shouted from every corner of the world are simply a continuation of a recurring theme against the Jews as a people, when they were a nation, and oft due simply to religious persecution. –The three main groups of sufficient size calling for the destruction or simple dissolution of Israel as a Jewish State are the Muslim World, Progressives occupying the extreme left of the political spectrum and the Pale-Conservatives who are to the extreme right of the political spectrum. The extreme leftists have taken the path of allying their efforts with the Muslim anti-Israel and anti-Zionist people. When inspected a little more deeply, much of the hatred from all of these groups boils down to being driven by the ever-present anti-Semitism.

On the other end of the messages are those people who are applying their talents and efforts to outlaw many traditions and Covenant Practices demanded by Torah. One such example currently in the news is the Dutch Parliament discussion to enact ordinance that would outlaw Shechita, the ritual method of slaughter required to allow meats to be considered Kosher. The attempt is done through duplicitous means by requiring animals be stunned before slaughter which is not allowed under the rules of Shechita. Driving this argument is Marianne Thieme, leader of the small Party for the Animals in the Dutch Parliament. Another equally underhanded attack on Jewish rituals and religious life comes from San Francisco in the form of a referendum placing a ban on circumcision worded as Male Genital Mutilation. Such a ban is an old measure used throughout history against the Jewish people first recorded as being an edict by the Seleucid Empire (Syrian Greeks) under the rule of King Antiochus. Once again, in modern times the Communists in Russia outlawed circumcision that forced Jews to carry out the commandment at great risk in secret, while others ended up asking to undergo circumcisions as adults once Communism fell and they made Aliyah to Israel. The original argument made by the people behind the anti-circumcision referendum was they were protecting male children from brutality perpetrated against their will in the form of unnecessary genital mutilation. They listed a number of studies which proclaimed the potential consequences and complications caused by circumcision while downplaying the medical advantages which have led to the majority of male children to be circumcised in the hospital before release. They denied any possible tie to anti-Semitism or anti-Semitic motivations behind their efforts; it was purely for the children. Since this became known, some further investigations have uncovered a cartoon style set of pamphlets produced by the sponsors of this referendum. The comic’s hero was “Foreskin Man” whose villain he had to save young male children from was “Monster Mohel” who had to be prevented from performing the Brit Mila ceremony (aka Briss), the Jewish rite of circumcision performed when a male child reaches eight days after birth. Below is a picture from the pamphlet which pretty much removes any denial of anti-Semitic origins of their efforts.

What can be concluded from these two seemingly opposite views? Obviously, outside Israel country after country, city after city, at any level of governance, there exists a drive to remove the right of Jews to their rituals, customs, and mitzvahs commanded by Torah. Jews are being legislated out of society on such a broad level that the only seeming solution for Jews who wish to continue to practice Judaism would be to move to Israel. Meanwhile, much of the same peoples and forces are behind efforts to delegitimize and destroy Israel and forcing Israeli Jews to return to living in exile as part of the Diaspora. Critically looking at this set of circumstances, there is but one logical and necessary solution for the Jewish People. Since it is being made obvious that there are sufficient numbers throughout the world, in some countries they make up a vast majority while in others they are simply a sizeable minority, who will stop at nothing to remove all vestiges of Jewish practices, traditions, and religious observance from their society. Seemingly, these people wish to allow Jews to remain in their presence as long as they are not particularly Jewish. The message is simply, if you wish to be a practicing Jew on any measurable level, then get yourself to Israel as you are no longer welcome anywhere else. But this brings out the other side of the coin, the desire to eradicate Israel, and for many also the Jews living within. Israel is being constantly castigated for existing and having the audacity to take measures in order to assure Israel’s continued existence. The simple conclusion is that the world is going towards pushing as many Jews as possible to go to Israel and no longer “pollute” their lands while also doing everything in their power to bring to fruition the destruction of Israel and her Jews. We Jews have seen such conditions before, usually right before terrible consequences befell the Jewish people, the Jewish nation. We saw it in Egypt, then later Babylonia, followed by the Seleucid Empire, the Roman Empire, the expansion of Islam in the later years of the first millennium, and on through to the pogroms of Europe and Russia and the dhimmitude classification within the world of Islam, the Holocaust of the Nazis (Shoah), and all of the growing perils that are becoming more obvious as the acceptance of Jew-hatred once again is losing its stigmas and becoming acceptable in “polite society” and even the halls of governance. The sole piece of advice Jews should heed is to make Aliyah and work to protect our Promised Land and become good stewards of the lands the L-rd our G-d promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to us as their seed as long as we live the Covenant we have sworn to by our acceptance of Torah. Israel and Torah are the only viable future for the Jewish faith, the Jewish people, and the Jewish nation, and this might be the final chance we will have to live Torah in the Land of the L-rd thus making us worthy of living in His lands. No matter what our efforts, the Diaspora will wither and die in the near future, there will not be any other option for the Jews than Israel.

Beyond the Cusp

3 Comments »

  1. //There is a movement of Jews who are questioning circumcision, and working to end this abuse of children. The movement ranges from the Orthodox to the secular, and includes mothers, fathers, scholars, historians, medical professionals, activists, and intellectuals.

    * Jews Against Circumcision http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/
    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1
    http://intactnews.org/node/105/1311886372/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-1

    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 2
    http://intactnews.org/node/105/1311886372/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-2

    * Jews Speak Out in Favor of Banning Circumcision on Minors
    http://intactnews.org/node/103/1311885181/jews-speak-out-favor-banning-circumcision-minors

    * Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D. http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html

    Like

    Comment by A Jewish Male Opposing Circumcision — August 4, 2011 @ 9:37 PM | Reply

    • Thank you for your response to our article, “World Sending Mixed Messages to Jews” and the links supporting the side of Jews who have a position against Circumcision. Our usual policy is to simply post all comments that are presentable to our audience which is presented in polite language and leave it for our readers to discern their own responses. This will obviously be one of the exceptions. I simply would like to reply with a few points and not necessitate a running discourse.
      Firstly, I would be considered a fallen Jew attempting to earn my way to return fully to the fold. Secondly, I am still struggling with my efforts, a personal though sometimes difficult affair. My training is limited in Judaism and most of my views have been formed purely from the meanings I have found reading Bible and some small amounts of commentary as well as obviously a good amount of reading of news on Israel, Judaism and the world in general. With that in mind, here are my feelings on Circumcision in particular and the Covenants and six hundred thirteen Commandments generally.

      Circumcision, like Kashrut and Shechita, have been found to be generally supported by medical and other experts to have their merits as far as health is concerned though some claim their importance has diminished in light of many modern advances and newer methods. For both Shechita and Circumcision, it has been proven that when performed properly they are some of the most humane and least distressful methods known even in these modern times of accomplishing the task at hand. How this was known to the Sages intimates the information that the male child is least sensitive on their eighth day after birth, and thus that is the most merciful time to perform Circumcision, had come from a higher and more knowledgeable source. These are the weakest of arguments favoring Jewish custom but do bear mention.

      Kashrut, Shechita, Circumcision, and many of the Commandments seem to have no rhyme or reason that is yet discernable by mankind with our limited knowledge. One of my favorite examples is the Commandment not to mix linen and wool or other mixing of kinds of cloth and animal hides and woven cloths from animal fleece. This seems at best an odd and peculiar Commandment that can only be a test of faith, or is there more? Another thought is that many of these types of Commandments, not mixing milk products and meat in meals is another, is that they make us differentiate between the different parts and classifications of things in nature. Between dairy and flesh being produced by animal versus the actual meat of the animal, the cloths derived from plants and those derived from animals or their hides, and other such differentiations are examples of Commandments having no understandable rooting in science as we know it. For all we know, the sensitizing of our day to day lives to these little peculiarities Commanded for observance may simply be in order to make us differentiate the nature of things and appreciate Creation all that much more deeply. Honestly, I do not know and am bewildered and searching for the truth rooted in these Laws as anybody, but they must have a true purpose as everything under G-d’s domains do.

      The rest depends a lot on your views of Judaism, the Commandments, the Covenant, and the Divine. Circumcision was not intended as a health measure but as a sign of the Jews and their Covenant with G-d. It was a covenant made with Avram upon which he became Avraham and the father of the Jewish peoples. This covenant is written as a covenant for all time. That does kind of imply that it is not a choice but something done to be a representation of our acceptance of G-d and His rule over all of His Creation, and in particular ourselves as a part of His Creations. Surely it is difficult to explain why we perform Circumcisions to one who questions and demands a purely scientific argument, especially if they make it rely on something beyond the belief on G-d and the Sanctity of all that He is. And if one chooses not to believe in the existence of G-d and thus rejects Circumcision and the Covenant, which is their choice, but are they then still Jewish? Being Jewish is more than a right of birth, it is a right through Covenant and the Covenant begins with Circumcision. That is the choice each must make for themselves. I, for one choose to obey and commit to the covenant that is a sign of my devotion and faith in G-d, what you and others choose is yours to and theirs to decide.

      Thank you again for your information,
      Go with G-d,

      BTC

      Like

      Comment by qwertster — August 5, 2011 @ 5:31 AM | Reply

  2. There are many Jews who feel differently than you do, and some are even calling to make circumcision against the law.

    These are perspectives that deserve an equal place in the Jewish conversation.

    Interview with Jewish Intactivist Miriam Pollack
    http://www.beyondthebris.com/2011/07/defying-convention-interview-with_27.html

    Brit B’lee Milah (Covenant Without Cutting) Ceremony
    http://www.nocirc.org/religion/Naming_ceremony.php

    A Case for Bris without Milah.
    http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish.html

    Israeli Association Against Genital Mutilation (in Hebrew)
    http://www.britmila.org.il

    Kahal: Giving Up Brit Milah (in Hebrew and English)
    http://www.kahal.org

    Like

    Comment by A Jewish Male Opposing Circumcision — August 8, 2011 @ 5:08 PM | Reply


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