Beyond the Cusp

August 12, 2018

The Big Question Most Heard

 

That question coming from Sabras (Native Israelis), Russians, Europeans and the other sundry Jews from the world over is, why don’t the American Jews move to Israel or make Aliyah. The answer often given is that they will come in good time. Unfortunately, that is probably the truth and the shame is that for the American Jews this will prove to be unfortunate. This may prove to be the most difficult article to write while not making many people very upset with what we write. Some may want to get upset and scream that this is not me; I want to live in Israel, but with my work and my home and everything, in time it will become easier. That is not really true as we waited until we were retired and it was still difficult choosing what to keep, what to sell and what, despite our attachment, to simply throw out. We were fortunate and sold our entire beer brewing system and bar equipment and limited our stuff needing a moving company to at most one container. Whatever the reason, this is a great time to make Aliyah as the building of apartments and residences have been being built at a fairly rapid pace which had lowered prices. That is as much of the advice we can offer.

 

Akko is the Oldest City in Israel Seen Overlooking Mediterranean Port Wall

Akko is the Oldest City in Israel Seen Overlooking Mediterranean Port Wall

 

How to answer why most American Jews are not making Aliyah and also answering the other main questions is difficult for one to be able to explain while remaining positive. This gets particularly difficult when the added question is to explain the reasoning behind the antics and demands of the Open Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and other branches in American Judaism for accepting new definitions for Halachic Law. Not every Jew is overly observant and even fewer attend all three services each day, but a large share of the population we have met are religious and attend services on some form of regular basis. They attend for yahrzeits, almost every holiday, and try to make Shabbat morning prayers every week. From what we remember, we probably have more people attending our Synagogue daily morning prayers than we often had on Shabbat morning prayers in the Synagogue we last attended in the United States. But very few question the definitions of Halachic Law. The Torah says exactly what it says and cannot be twisted to say otherwise. The Written traditions in Talmud and other commentaries are also quite definitive in their final decisions. On the necessity for adopting a new Oral Tradition to partly replace Talmud is accepted as something of a work in progress, but it is in progress by going through Talmudic principles and adding or questioning ideas and concepts within the structure which already exists. Very few desire throwing the entire system into the trashcan and defining all to fit every whim and societal idiosyncrasy existing today in European or American society. Judaism is supposed to offer alternatives from a tried and true history guided by Torah and our history, not a cult turning on every whim and being redefined to fit some leftist ideology. This has been the case of the demands by Rabbis from the ranks of Open Orthodoxy. We found an article which explains the problem likely better than we ever could in probably one of the most liberal media sources in Israel in Haaretz. Will some of the changes made in America eventually become accepted in Israeli Orthodox, probably. They are already accepted in many of the Conservative and Reform communities in Israel and these do exist but are a lesser offshoot than the more traditional Orthodox, which also have their flavors from Hassidic to Religious Zionist and everything inbetween, but all are governed by the Rabbinate.

 

The truth as most see it from many of the Americans already having made Aliyah is not as pretty as most might prefer. They see things differently than many in the United States see things, and perhaps that comes partly from the fact that being religious in Israel is far more readily attainable than it is in the United States. If one could only afford to reside over ten miles from the Synagogue in their city, they could not be expected to walk to Shabbat Services as at some distances one would need almost a full day to walk both directions. Such would not be resting on the Sabbath. But the problems go deeper than that. Many American Jews have replaced Halachic Law with the standards and positions of their leftist political positions. Such things then become “traditionally Jewish” as same sex marriage, inter-faith marriage, women rabbis, mixed seating for prayer (though this may change over time) and other modernisms. There is another problem in that many Americanized Jews no longer believe that the Torah is historically accurate and that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Queen Esther and the others from Biblical history and most of the Torah and Old Testament are fables to reveal a code of law whose people are imagined and never lived. Come and see the history for real here in Israel where discoveries, especially in the area known to have been the City of David and Cave of Machpelah and these people are very real and the history of Torah and Bible are also found to be accurate and as described. There is a reason why the Waqf has carried away truck loads of crushed rock from their “digging to replace old water pipes and to modernize the facilities” on the Temple Mount always digging in places which are described well in the Bible. Below is a montage of a few of the rubble piles and shown at the lower end are the efforts by the Israeli Antiquities Institute which took up with assisting the efforts when proof of their viability for actually producing artifacts, though dating them has posed a challenge as it is often difficult to discern at what depth and period some artifacts represent. Many Israelis offer their time to assist with this painstaking labors of love and dedication to preserving whatever historical remains can be found. These siftings have produced a small collection of the pomegranate-shaped bells that the Levites and Kohanim wore on their priestly robes (pictured below montage). Unfortunately, there have been far less large objects for after finding an intact column block the Waqf began their crushing of all larger stones to assure nothing of consequence might be found.

 

Temple Mount Destructive Arab Waqf Excavation Dumping Site and Reclamation Sifting Inspecting Seeking Remains of Artifacts not Completely Destroyed as Intended

Temple Mount Destructive Arab Waqf
Excavation Dumping Site and Reclamation
Sifting Inspecting Seeking Remains of Artifacts
not Completely Destroyed as Intended

 

 

Collection of Pomegranate Shaped Bells from Biblical Priestly Robes

Collection of Pomegranate Shaped Bells from Biblical Priestly Robes

 

The story of why American Jews are not arriving in Israel with the urgency some European Jews have shown is simple, they are not being targeted as Jews as of yet. The American Jews are not going to be that far different from other populations. The Ethiopian Jews were brought here after they became persecuted and required saving. The Arab countries expelled their Jews who were refused entrance in most nations other than Israel, so theirs was a case of limited options. The first mass Aliyah of European Jews is well remembered as they had been brutally persecuted and slaughtered across Europe. The Russian Jews were escaping Communism and persecution. The Jews in America live lives which are mostly free of any anti-Semitism and only hear of such in the news and they realize how insulated and safe their lives are. They live an almost fairytale existence lacking want or acceptance. They are not the Jews of Babylon, of ancient Egypt building their cities, of ancient Greece where circumcision was punished by death and teaching Torah treated the same, of the Roman Empire where they were dispersed throughout the Empire and some past the Empires borders in order to make them as extinct as the Carthaginians became, or even of Persia where they loved in relative peace until they were targeted by Hamas and their salvation was the Queen, Esther, whose uncle Mordechai gave her the task of intervening with the king to save her people, or the Jews of any other period as none until the United States the Jews have felt persecution, and even the United States is not perfect as General Grant’s General Order No. 11 of 1862 which displaced the Jews in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi before President Lincoln could countermand the order and return to General Grant with a turnaround of almost two months. But history is not a guarantee of the future as the Jews in Germany found out when they went from assimilated to hunted in a matter of under a decade. The other thing that history teaches is that no society is immune from drastic change when the wrong people take power.

 

The American Jews are largely in two communities, the very Orthodox and the varied but mostly assimilated. The main communities of the very Orthodox are found around New York City and a few other major cities and are largely closed communities who look out for one another and can be considered to be insular. The assimilated also seem to live largely in the suburbs or in high-end areas in some cities in communities such as Georgetown within Washington D.C. The assimilated have jobs in virtually every form of employment with the majority in professions which require advanced degrees. They also hold high positions within the government and political office. They are represented at far higher percentage then their percentage of the population in such professions as physicians, lawyers, engineering and college professors. This has made some fringe groups incited over this fact claiming that the Jews are attempting to control the society through these positions. Most of these people are largely ignored and make up an infinitesimal percentage of the population. The real challenge to the Jews in the United States comes from another direction, and they are largely blind to this coming threat.

 

This threat comes from the secular far left who see religion of any kind as threatening and rather than be agnostic or atheist they are secular humanist who believe that their natural and superior enlightenment means that they should dictate future politics and manage all legal and social regulations. Their real threat is that they have risen to numerous controlling positions in many, if not a majority, of the departments of the government. These are the people who control the machinations of the “Deep State” and thus influence regulations. These are the people who in the too near future will be producing legal systems which will make religious observance regulated to such a point that much of Torah and the Bible will have become legally prosecutable. Reading from numerous Bible passages would be considered to be a violation as hate speech. Some similar prosecutions have occurred in Canada as preaching the Bible has run up against legal regulations there. With the Constitutional guarantees, specifically the Bill of Rights, coming under attack from numerous NGOs and other organizations and political lobbying groups, who knows how long the religious protections in the First Amendment will survive. The Second Amendment is under extreme distress and the Tenth Amendment is all but dead as are much of the Eighth and Ninth Amendments. Once the Second Amendment falls, expect the First and then Fifth followed by the Fourth to follow within a decade.

 

What is coming in the near future in the United States will be considered shocking to the older generations but the youth have been indoctrinated to such an extent instead of instructed such that they no longer believe free speech cannot be abridged and any speech which is offensive to their peer groups should be illegal. They find that the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights to be too old to have meaning in our modern society and that the rules need to be changed to reflect their programming they received from their teachers and then their professors and believe that taxes must be raised and equaling income is a necessity. They also do not accept the concept of a Supreme Being and many believe that religion is a concept which is evil and the Bible is just some old book which is basically worthless. What is frightening is that many American Jews appear to believe the same things as the youth as they have joined the leftists and are members of the Secular Humanists. They have a completely new form of Judaism and demand that the Israelis adopt their interpretation of Torah. The difference between Israel with the acceptance of the Torah, Bible, Gomorra and Talmud as real and applicable as written and that the final two can be adapted, but only in reference to Torah and slowly and methodically while the American Jews (non-Traditional Orthodox) have adapted Torah to fit their beliefs completely throwing out the old commentaries as irrelevant to their modern society and in their stead placing the preachings of their new wave Rabbis whose ideas are more suitable to teaching a college philosophy class than to Torah commentary.

 

The immediate reply will most likely be that we have no idea about what we are speaking. Allow us to speak of the Rosh HaShana sermon given by our Rabbi of a Conservative Synagogue, a loveable and kind Rabbi who was a good person and likely his sermon was adapted in order to please the congregants, especially those who only come to the synagogue three or four times per year but also make very large and generous donations to make up for their lack of making it to Shabbat morning services. His sermon was about a same sex marriage he had recently officiated at our Synagogue and how beautiful the service and the loving couple were and the greatness that we, as a congregation, allowed such a celebration to be held and how our acceptance was indicative of our religious faith. This wedding was a great stride in healing the world from old prejudices and the making of a rich, new world filled of acceptances of all varieties of people and making inroads into wedding our faith with the other faiths proven by the inter-faith marriage he officiated at a church with the minister and the wonderful loving couple and how their children would be so rich having both religious beliefs. The sermon went on for close to thirty to forty-five minutes, maybe more; one of us kept nodding off for some wishful bliss. We have found out that our Synagogue was far from an exception of the new definition of Judaism and stretching of Torah to include the leftist ideologies where all forms of coupling are accepted and where sin has become a relative term with no absolutes beyond unacceptance of this new secular humanist theology. Yes, secular humanism is a religion complete with a dogma and its own sins, many of which are political in nature and any of the keeping of the old ways is one of the greatest of sins and now all religions must adopt the secular humanist diktats.

 

This difference has become a serious problem between Israeli Jews and American Jews. Now there are quite a few Israeli Jews who believe in the secular humanist philosophy and probably would not be too deterred should Israel become more akin to American Jewish thought, the non-Orthodox variety. But in Israel, they accept that the majority are religious and orthodox following Torah. The Rabbinate is a fact which in Israel the only change some wish to make is for there to be only one Chief Rabbi, not two. The big change coming in Israel, which will take far longer probably, not allowing us alive today to witness without assistance from Hashem, will be the unifying of the several sects into a single Judaism. There will inevitably come a merging of the Chabad, Hasidic, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Ethiopian, Bnei Menashe, Sabras and numerous smaller sects and there will be a single Judaism finally in Israel, that is our most immediate task. Much of this will take place simply by the most natural means, intermarriage. Whenever we see a mixed couple of Jews, we get a smile and feel that day approaching just that little bit faster. As far as Israel adopting the Secular Humanist views, that is highly unlikely and there are other differences which live in the political arena.

 

The political difference is also fairly stark. The assimilated, secular humanist, non-Orthodox, American Jews are sold on the idea of the Two State Solution because it has that fairness and equality theme they believe the world naturally uses to resolve differences, in their world that is. Even many of the most liberal Jews have surrendered the idea of the Two State Solution as impossible and as having been destroyed by Mahmoud Abbas. The American Jews looked at the recent Gaza border riots as a peaceful demonstration against the Israeli occupation and embargo and there were a small few who hijacked parts of the demonstration using violence and that it is time for Israel to loosen their embargo and end the occupation of Gaza. Israelis know that Israel finished their disengagement from Gaza that was enacted back in August 2005. Israelis also realize that any loosening of the embargo which is established simply to prevent Hamas and Islamic Jihad importing heavy weaponry is not workable and that the vast majority of goods are allowed in, especially aid goods, mostly passed on for Hamas to distribute the same day or the next day. Israelis know that Hamas uses the vast majority of these goods to raise funds charging the Gazans for the aid while keeping any building materials for the construction of underground bunkers for Hamas and Islamic Jihad members to be secured within along with interconnecting tunnels or to build infiltration tunnels into Israel in order to carry out attacks or to attempt kidnapping of Israelis. Many American Jews believe that Israel has no option and that the original idea was to make both an Arab and a Jewish state west of the Jordan River.

 

Israelis know that was simply one idea suggested by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 181 which was negated as soon as the Arab League voted to reject that idea as they refused to permit any Jewish State. The reality instead returned to the San Remo Conference and the related British Mandate agreements. These all made for an Arab State today known as Jordan and everything west of the Jordan River was reserved for the Jewish State. Israeli Jews realize that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority all agree that their goal is for no Jewish State to exist. They disagree on who gets to rule and Hamas also declares that they are to destroy Israel and then continue to kill Jews everywhere while they conquer the world for them to rule. Israeli Jews realize that the recent Gaza rioting had as its intent exactly what Sinwar, Hamas leader, stated, to break down the border fence, murder Jews tearing out their hearts and eating their livers as we have already reported repeatedly, and to replace Israel with a state ruled by Hamas. Had they succeeded, then it would have been not only the end of Israel, but the end of the Palestinian Authority as they would be the next target, as Hamas believes them to be apostates deserving of death. The world might have mourned the dead six and a half million Jews, but we would not expect many would honestly care and the few who did would mourn quietly after the initial solemn announcements which would end as quickly as possible as it would be a bother.

 

We could continue to list the ways Israeli Jews, in general, are different and separate from American Jews, in general. There is no reason to continue, as there are numerous articles written on the subject for those interested. Many are written from the American point of view but there are those from the Israeli view with many simply responses to those other articles. The two groups have taken very different paths and it will take something traumatic for them to forge a single people. As the two societies are, there can be no immediate merging of the American Jews with the Israeli Jews. We know this, as we were not an acceptable fit in our last congregation but once here in Israel found our fit was transformational, as finally we had found a Jewish group of communities where we fit in naturally. There were some in that last congregation with whom we fit and some requested we keep such our secret as they had hid their conservative beliefs and reached general acceptance and they did not desire their work to be undone. As we have told before, many in that Synagogue responded to our announcement of moving to Israel with almost the same words which were, “Why would you want to move to a place like that, they are so backwards.” Well, I guess we like backwards, though we believe that Torah and the Bible are eternal and the proper guide for life, and certain realities which measure the health of a society are proving this to be a valid statement.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — August 16, 2018 @ 7:18 AM | Reply


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