The Israeli situation is worse than that in Northern Ireland. Irish people are mostly confined to their province; very few live in England. Israeli Arabs heavily encroach on Jewish towns. Wherever Arabs rent an apartment, Jewish families move out of the building. More Arab families move in, taking the towns block-by-block. Americans familiar with their inner cities would recognize this situation.
Worse than Hispanics in the United States, Israel Arabs have political associations with their homeland. Mexican-Americans are distinct from other Americans, but at least they have honestly renounced their old motherland and want neither to return there, nor for it to conquer the United States. Israeli Arabs also don’t want a bi-national state from Jordan to the Mediterranean; they don’t want an influx of their poor brethren who would deprive them of jobs. Palestine, however, remains a rallying cry for them, at least in theory. And it fans their national ambitions, consolidating their votes for Arab anti-Jewish parties.
Israeli Arabs have the advantage of a territorial base. Off-limits to Jewish law enforcement, Israeli Arab towns host all kinds of subversive organizations engaged in incitement against the Jewish state. They provide a place for Arabs to openly and fearlessly talk against Jews, a place where Judophobia is politically correct.
Israel lacks the common European advantage of an established culture. Muslim immigrants to France know what they are choosing in terms of culture. They respect and often admire French culture, which is both distinctive and attractive. The Zionist state did away with traditional Jewish culture, and has none of its own. Instead of imposing her culture on her minorities, Israel assimilated Arab culture to a large extent. To be sure, Jewish culture would not make things any better: Muslim immigrants to France can become French, but Israeli Arabs cannot become Jewish. Israel inherently lacks a religion-neutral culture. Israeli Arabs could never identify themselves with the Jewish state the way French Muslims identify themselves with France. Druze are no exception: they identify with Israel only as along as she does not require any identification. Druze live in their closed communities, completely isolated from Israeli influence. They have no problem fighting the hated Sunnis in the IDF’s ranks, but their cooperation with the Jewish state largely ends there.
Third-generation Muslim immigrants don’t make France any less French; Arabs make Israel completely un-Jewish.]]>
Israeli Left defended a state which is both Jewish and ethnic-blind by noting that Arabs are too few to affect the state’s Jewishness democratically. Their position is factually incorrect: in a fragmented political spectrum, a coherent group of voters exerts disproportional influence. Arabs need not become a majority; at 20–30% they can control the Knesset. Jewish religious parties act as a lynchpin with only a 10-12% constituency.
The government avoids political apocalypse by bribing the Arabs with municipal subsidies so they vote for the ruling Jewish parties. As Arabs stream into previously Jewish towns, centralized voter-buying through Arab municipalities no longer works, and Arabs increasingly support their own parties.
Allowing a minority democratic rights as long as it is too small to exercise them is hypocritical. Though not necessarily evil, hypocrisy is counterproductive because it misinforms the majority. People brought up to believe in minority rights and ethnic-blind states demand such policies. The Israeli Left professed high-flown values and conducted harshly anti-Arab policies until the early 1970s. After the Right came to power, the Left had to follow up on its own rhetoric in order to distinguish itself from hardcore nationalists. A new generation of leftist Jews brainwashed with liberal values came to the polls and demanded honestly ethnic-blind policies. Centrist governments, accordingly, had to adopt an increasingly pro-Arab stance, even to the point of affirmative action. The State’s hypocrisy, as Machiavelli rightly noted, is an art suitable to exceptional rulers only, a temporary measure to realize one’s true goals.
Democracy in itself is not a problem. Classical Athenian democracy excluded newcomers and reserved political rights to the descendants of the core settlers. Rather, the problem lies in false liberalism. Proponents of textbook liberalism, such as Hume, would not imagine the right of an alien group to subvert a state’s character. Though not anti-Semitic, Hume was critical of Jews, and would hardly agree, say, to Jews imposing their values on England. American settlers—those liberals par excellence—fought Native Indians and expelled the Spanish. Ukrainian anarchists like Nestor Makhno—liberalism as fringe as it gets—killed off their ideological opponents. False liberalism declares a blank-slate society where all values are equal because none are official. In this framework, no values exist on a societal level. As such, fringe liberalism morphs into nihilism. Worse than nihilists, fringe liberals impose arbitrary values on society: one can criticize Israel but not Palestine, Judaism but not Islam, America but not Cuba.
False liberalism dictates multiculturalism despite the minorities’ inability to enforce it democratically. Israel could make Hebrew its only official language just like every European country does, ban the keffiyah just like France bans the hijjab, and prohibit the Naqba Day just like most countries ban separatist expression.
The cross on the Swedish flag reflects the culture of the country’s founders rather than that of the Muslim newcomers, though in absolute numbers the newcomers are more numerous than the descendants of the founders. Citizens of Muslim descent have fewer rights to imprint their culture on the state’s symbols than the descendants of the original citizens. In the real world, citizens are not equal politically, even in model democracies.
Israeli advances toward her Arabs are not democratically motivated, but premised entirely on a twisted understanding of liberalism.]]>
The requirement of mikvah after menstruation is a rabbinical invention which evolved into an unhealthy rite. Two thousand years ago a requirement of monthly washing was perhaps practical, but asking modern women to immerse themselves in barely warm water—which, moreover, is not treated against bacteria—is absurd. The Torah elaborates on niddah rites, but says nothing about post-menstrual washing for women. Men are required to wash after touching a menstruating woman, but nothing is said about mikvah. Any thorough washing, which is what is meant by the Hebrew root rhtz, would do. The Torah is not a hygiene manual. There are plenty of useful habits not detailed in the book. The Torah deals with ritual, symbolic purity. Rabbis are wrong to elevate useful rites to the rank of commandments. They arbitrarily invent strictures, like the obligation of mikvah. And on the other hand, rabbis released important proscriptions, such as that of a menstruating woman’s seat. The Torah states unequivocally that anything which a menstruating woman uses for a seat is rendered impure. That created an inconvenience for synagogue attendance, and rabbis abrogated the commandment. Their reasoning reduces the Torah to a hygienic manual: in antiquity, menstruating women left bloody traces, while now they don’t. The reasoning behind the prohibition was not hygienic, but ritual; it was a matter of symbolic impurity—to which Tampax is irrelevant.]]>
The quest to make the rules stricter is fundamentally wrong. The Torah intends to make Jewish life not ascetic, but pure. To do that, the Torah eliminates impurities. Impurity is a matter of boundaries: we are allowed sexual experimentation but not homosexuality; to kill animals for food but not to hunt them to extinction; to perform actions on Shabbat but not exhausting work. An approach of eliminating boundary-crossing abominations rather than changing the lifestyle makes Judaism practical.
Talmud says, “Are there not enough prohibitions in the Torah, that you must invent new ones?” Talmudic sages were liberal: they simplified observance and adapted their religion to changing circumstances. Later rabbis, on the other hand, made Judaism consistently stricter, inventing new rules and prohibitions out of thin air.
Rabbis claim additional prohibitions show one’s love to God, the readiness to go an extra mile (yes, a Christian concept, Matthew 5:41). Suppose your lovely wife asked you to buy eight chairs for your house; would she be happy if you bought sixteen? The legal speed limit is 65 miles per hour; would the police praise you for driving at 5 miles an hour on the highway? More is not necessarily better, certainly not when it comes to prohibitions. The beauty of Jewish law consists in keeping the number of prohibitions to the bare minimum necessary for functioning of comfortable society. The Jewish legal system is complex, but balanced; one-sided attempts to boost prohibitions impede the smooth functioning of the system, robbing it of credibility and sense, until it is no longer trusted.
God gave human beings life to enjoy. All opportunities in life are given by God; if he wished to reduce the available options, he would have done so.
The Torah mandates cleansing the Temple vessels and booty taken from pagans in order to rid them of ritual impurities. The first case aims at restoring the highest purity, the second deals with cleansing the lowest impurity. Even so, the Temple vessels are generally cleansed with water, and all types of booty are cleansed. The Torah disallows cleansing cheap earthenware and allows cleansing then-expensive wooden items. Rabbis created a plethora of cleansing rites in direct contradiction of the Torah. They demand the cleansing of household items, something the Torah is unconcerned with; face it, a Jewish house is not the Temple. But rabbis invented much stricter cleansing rituals for household items than was required for the Temple. They “cleanse” dishware with brazing torches and immerse it in ritual mikvah pools. They refuse to cleanse expensive painted dishware and cutlery with plastic parts for no scriptural reason whatsoever. They invented a ridiculous doctrine of metal pots retaining a taste of the food: in their imagination, a pot used to boil milk retains its taste and—even after washing—passes that taste onto meat boiled in that pot; thus the rabbis require two sets of kitchenware. The Jews would have burned Moses at the stake had he proposed that superstitious nonsense.
Many Talmudic prohibitions are not a wall around the Shabbat commandment, guarding it against negligent violations, but a heap of trash that buries the commandment. Rabbis call their superfluous rules “a wall around a wall”—but that’s a prison. Excessive civil legislation causes people to circumvent it, and similarly in religion. Ugly hypocrisy arises, such as the Jews praying loudly in front of Gentiles for someone to turn on the light.
God created during the daytime. In Judaism, “day” is only daytime, not a calendar day. Only daytime work is prohibited on the Sabbath.
Many leniencies are unwarranted. Jews eat caviar despite the prohibitions against killing a mother bird to take the eggs from the nest or boiling a kid in its mother’s milk.
Mishnaic sages creatively interpreted—or rather twisted—the Torah to suit their current needs. Modern Jews have good arguments for relaxing the trifling prohibitions. It is permitted to use on Sabbath a fire that was started before it. If turning a lamp on represents starting a fire, then consider that similar “fire” is always burning at power generation plants and always present in power wires. By pushing a light switch, we only reveal the existing fire; the action amounts to taking a cover off the lamp.
A standard rabbinical rejoinder to complaints about obscenely detailed observance is the story of a man who made a minor mistake in writing an address and his letter was not delivered; their moral is, minor things matter. In our case, the postman is omniscient and ignores honest mistakes.
Superfluous religious regulation is not just inconvenient, but directly contradicts the Torah. The lawgiver meant for the Jews to do away with pagan taboos and superstitions. Jews were enjoined to come to the Temple and worship only thrice annually, that’s it. No home altars, no hilltop altars, no extra-Temple worship, prayers, or sacrifices. Jews received simple laws of ritual cleanness which freed them from the superstitious fear that permeated pagan societies. Jews did not associate every strange event with divine threat, every odd object with ritual defilement, or every funny-shaped stone with the divine. The lawgiver deliberately minimized the degree of religiosity in Jewish religious life; Judaism is about building a comfortable, just, moral society. Taboos and superstitions re-entered rabbinical Judaism with a vengeance. No pagan religion has more taboos than rabbinical Judaism. Keep two sinks to wash milk and meat dishes separately, or they will be contaminated with the opposite taste (!) and bring down divine wrath. Observe antiquated modesty laws with no basis in the Torah, or you’re not a good Jew. Don’t take a stroll on Sabbath even if that’s your only holiday. Set a timer to turn off the lights on Sabbath. Blow kisses to mezuzot, kiss Torah scrolls. Many reasonable Jews uncritically accept rabbinical declarations to the effect that their superstitious nonsense is Judaism—and run from such Judaism. Jews who can observe every tenet of the Torah disregard the book because they think it to be of the same standing as Shulchan Aruch. Jews who can surely abstain from melaha—exhausting work—the only kind of activity the Torah prohibits on Sabbath, disregard Sabbath entirely because they know nothing about the ban on melaha, but rather associate Sabbath with absurd rabbinical prohibitions on strolls, driving, shopping, watching TV, turning on electricity, talking on the phone, opening umbrellas, tearing toilet paper, and thousands of others.
Rabbis imagine 613 commandments, deriving most of them by elevating historical precedents into rules. Rabbis strip precedents of important circumstances and generalize them unreasonably. One example is masturbation, which the rabbis claim is a deadly sin—much to the ridicule of secular people. God slew Onan not for masturbation, however, but for refusing to carry out the commandment of levirate marriage.
Expanding the commandments is doctrinally wrong since it limits the scope of available actions and diminishes enjoyment of life. Legal theory postulates that whatever is not specifically proscribed is permitted. A similar approach is applicable to religion. Expanded interpretation of the commandments infringes on free will and life opportunities. The Torah incorporates hundreds of rules. If the lawgiver meant to expand them, he had every opportunity to write down the expanded versions. Since he did not, the rabbis should not take the divine office for themselves and invent new restrictions for Jews. Rabbis don’t do well playing God and making new rules for Jews. Even if the rabbis think they are protecting the Torah with a mass of new rules, that’s a wrong approach. It is enough that people refrain from murder; well-wishers cannot take away firearms or baseball bats or mandate guards for everyone or force every person—a potential murderer—to stay at home. No legal system punishes for trivial offenses; driving a half-mile per hour above a speed limit is not punishable. Even if rabbis believe that kindling fire is prohibited per se rather than as an exhausting work (as it was in antiquity), turning electric lights on is such a trifle that it cannot incur guilt.
Rabbis allege their authority from the Torah’s commandments to “heed a prophet like Moses” and to bring disputes before the town’s elders or Levites (Deutereonomy 15). That rabbis are not like Moses need not be disputed. The Levites’ authority in this case was purely judicial: they didn’t decide religious matters or invent new rules, but decided over especially difficult matters of civil law, “between blood and blood.” That’s besides the fact that rabbis didn’t exist at the time when the Torah was written down. Tanakh passes to us information on pupils of prophets, with no implication of yeshiva-like activities whatsoever.
Rabbinical Judaism, especially Chasidism, is very close to Christianity. The Torah is diluted with a huge body of interpretation. Talmud, and especially later halacha, is essentially a Jewish new testament, reinterpreting the Torah to the point of superceding it. God-Shchinah-Torah parallels the Christian trinity. Rabbinical Jews have a doctrine of afterlife, demonology, and apocalypse. Rabbinical Judaism differs from Christianity only in rituals, not in theology or ethics. The Chassidic doctrine of the divine presence abiding in humans is a direct parallel to the Holy Spirit who ostensibly entered Jesus. The Torah is explicit on this matter: before the Creation, the divine spirit moved above the primordial waters; God is distinct from things of nature and does not abide in humans. Similarly, the Chassidic emphasis on forgiveness copies Christianity and runs contrary to Judaism, which insists on unrelenting justice in pursuit of society’s purity. Judaism lacks the distinction between sentencing and condemnation; morality and the law are the same thing. Rabbinical Judaism, however, criticizes the attitude which condemns someone before walking a mile in his shoes.
The Ten Commandments are given in the second person singular: God addresses the entire nation as a single being. Prophets condemned all Jews for the misdeeds of some. Rabbis concentrate on the ostensible personal improvement of individual Jewish believers rather than on national issues.
Orthodox rabbis accuse Reformists of abandoning the commandments, but liberal Talmudic sages also abandoned many commandments. In a stroke, Mishna abrogates most commandments for women with the absurd doctrine that women are not subject to time-fixed commandments. The idea was liberal: women cannot always abandon their house duties to perform religious duties, and so the housework takes precedence. Though liberal, the notion is atheistic: for the sake of convenience, rabbis abrogated divine commandments which, addressed to the entire Israel, doubtlessly apply to women as well as to men. Just like medieval poets, rabbis ostensibly exalted women while in fact denigrating them. Women don’t have to pray, Maimonides explains, because they are sufficiently close to the divine realm. Oh, yeah? Then how come Moses, Joshua, David, and the prophets prayed? Were the high priests more removed from God than housewives? Rabbis declared that women don’t even have to wear tfillin, claiming it to be a time-fixed obligation. How so? Even according to the rabbinical logic, tfillin is worn at flexible times: waking up, going to sleep, on the road. Nothing precludes women from waking up five minutes earlier and going to sleep sfive minutes later to both fulfill the commandment and do their household work. It is well known that Rashi’s daughters wore tfillin, but modern rabbis chuckle at the suggestion of women putting on tfillin. Rabbis even declared tzitzit a time-fixed commandment. How could a commandment to wear fringes on any clothes all the time be time-fixed? Women are bound to perform all the commandments just like men.
Rabbis abrogated many commandments for all Jews. There is a major commandment to wear fringes with blue thread. The commandment was deemed so important that it was declared equal to the sum of all others. Jews were commanded to wear a slightly but conspicuously distinct royal blue dress at every moment in our lives. Rabbis first replaced fringes with long tassels, which made the Jews look like imbeciles and provoked a verbal attack on the “long fringes of Pharisees” from the famous reformer. Then the rabbis abrogated blue thread ostensibly for the difficulty of procuring it, and suitably invented an absurd story of Hebrew crowds in Sinai coloring their fringes with shellfish dye, which was available in minuscule quantities, rather than similar and widely available indigo dye. When the Roman restrictions on trade in blue dye vanished along with the Romans, Ashkenazi rabbis refused to reinstate this major commandment. They heeded the opinion of the ancient sages who had temporarily abrogated the requirement of blue thread more than the commandment of God; rabbis went along with sages rather than with God.
Rabbis responded to the absence of capital crime jurisdiction in the Diaspora by inventing an unworkable due process which precluded sentencing criminals and deviants to death. The rabbis rationalized their temporary inability to punish the offenders by inventing an Oral Law which made sentencing impossible. In modern Israel, rabbis refuse to reinstate Sanhedrin on a flimsy theological pretext; the Second Temple Sanhedrin equally lacked theological basis, but dispensed punishments nonetheless. The absence of capital punishment allows thousands of Jewish and Arab criminals to live happily in Israeli jails.
Most rabbis are atheists who fear government rather than God, and prefer political correctness to divine service. They exiled God to synagogues, and offend him even there by sitting Jewish thugs in the front row, kissing the best Torah scrolls that dirty donations can buy in the way Orthodox Christians kiss their icons, and selling the right to dance with Torah scrolls the way aborigines ritually dance around fires. Most shamefully, rabbis instituted seated prayer. David and the high priests kneeled at prayers, but Orthodox Jews deem it below their dignity to kneel before the God of mass-printed prayer books.
The original rabbinical view, espoused by Shimon ben Gamliel and supported by Rambam, was that a Jew should not say something like, “I hate pork,” but rather, “I’d love to eat pork, but what can I do, since my Father in Heaven forbade me?” A person who abstains from pork because he detests it doesn’t violate the commandment, but neither does he fulfill it. That’s sort of a rich person abstaining from robbery because he doesn’t need to rob: he is not fulfilling the commandment; it is moot for him. Rav Shimon’s position emphasized loving the commandment: a person who has strong evil impulses but abstains from evil is doing so because of the commandment, and thus shows it the utmost respect. The stronger is his evil inclination, the stronger must be his love of the commandment. Later, when Jews moved to the Diaspora, distancing from pagan habits became more important than showing off one’s submission to God. Rabbis, therefore, switched the emphasis. In order to avoid praising Gentile habits, they prohibited publicly wishing for pork or similar banned products and activities. Theirs is also a valid concern. Thus we see the rabbinical law adapting to changing circumstances rather than rigidly heaping on new prohibitions, as has been the fashion for the last century. The over-rigid Essenes died out even though they were reportedly the oldest and the largest sect, with a documented history of about a thousand years. Pharisaic rabbis survived because of their flexibility, their willingness to adapt the law. It would be good for them not to lose their flexibility now.]]>
Fifty years ago, European countries were closed to immigration. The process ballooned. First Western Europe admitted a small number of foreign workers. Once the Europeans got a taste of dumping undesired jobs on immigrants, their flow increased. Then came the “guilt migrants.” France allowed large numbers of Muslims and Asians in after its atrocious campaigns in Algeria and Indochina. The immigrants bred, acquired citizenship through anchor babies, and brought in scores of their relatives—who in turn proceeded to bring their kin. The immigrant population exploded. In just over two decades, immigrant citizens became important European constituencies and changed the cultural layout of many European cities on the scale unseen since the last jihad.
A similar fate awaits Israel. Her immigrant citizens unrelated to Jews now constitute about 5% of the population. As always, an iceberg is below the surface: close to a million foreign workers live in Israel, 20% of the Jewish population. They cannot be eradicated easily: their children go to Israeli schools, and they intermarry heavily with Israelis and acquire citizenship through other channels. There is every indication that a large number of them will eventually be naturalized. Though Israel lacks formal legislation for family reunions—largely to avoid swarms of Arabs—the Supreme Court will certainly dictate such legislation to the Knesset in response to human rights petitions. A million foreigners from poor countries, if entitled to bring in their relatives, will definitely do so, inundating Israel with pagans.
Of course the process could be stopped , but it certainly won’t be. Arab countries admit a lot of foreign workers, but don’t allow their naturalization in whatever generation. Israeli Arabs, a normal people, would drive out the immigrant hordes, including the West Bank Palestinians, if only the police allowed them.
Even in a legally minded but patriotic country, migrant workers need not pose a threat. There is no human right to a family reunion in Israel; let the newlyweds move to the other spouse’s homeland in Bangkok or Ramallah.
At the same time that Israel is granting citizenship to children of foreign workers, most countries have abandoned anchor-baby policies. A person does not become naturalized merely by being born in the country; he has to have significant connections to it.
Migrant workers are allowed in for a reason: because they are cheaper than locals and take the unwanted jobs. When we start providing them with medical treatment, social security benefits, and schools for their children, they are no longer cheaper than locals. Moreover, their children often take the jobs that Jews of the lower classes desperately need. In a sense, migrants can be compared to contractors rather than to hired workers: their employer country has no responsibility for them. They come, they work for a fixed term, and they go, taking their offspring with them. Good luck, our thanks, and best wishes in your old homeland.
Even this formula shows the skewed perception of the migrants. We need not feel gratitude to them: they have been compensated adequately. On the contrary, they must be grateful to us for providing them with a profitable labor franchise. We owe them nothing. It is a delusion of the leftist intelligentsia that laborers do all the work for us and we are indebted to them morally no matter their salaries. They work, we pay; it is a fair bargain, and no cuddling is necessary. Foreign laborers are not pets in need of compassion and protection, as the leftists imagine them to be. Like contract workers, they made an entrepreneurial choice to journey into a foreign country for a higher income. We paid them much more than they could have earned in Thailand or the West Bank, and so we can bid them farewell, with no remorse.
In relation to the West Bank Arabs, leftists’ pro-labor policies border on treason. Jews do not have to care about our enemies’ incomes. By accepting Palestinian laborers, Jews keep Palestinian society on life support. In the absence of Israeli employment, a lot of the West Bank Arabs would have emigrated. Israel has a major interest in depopulating the West Bank, and the emigration of young and productive Arabs is the best way to achieve that objective. Early Zionists, no less socialist than the current generation of the Labor Party, had the common sense and patriotism to refuse employment to Arabs on the pretext of encouraging Jewish labor. Call it what you will, but don’t hire the Arabs. Hiring West Bank Palestinians amounts to murdering Jews; not only because their wages support terrorist organizations, but more importantly because the income our enemies derive from Israel perpetuates their society, which otherwise would die out from emigration. No people with a modicum of self-respect would hire from a nation that claims their land and attacks them on a daily basis.
Israel now has more Arab migrant workers than any potential number of Palestinian refugees who might seek resettlement in Israel. They will stay here through the use of fictitious marriages and outright illegally. We must deport the migrants immediately or they will become naturalized and increase to a large proportion of the population.]]>
Jewish law absolutely prohibits a Jew to risk his life saving another Jew, let alone gentiles. Rabbinical law lauds gentiles who save Jews on the assumption that such actions increase the amount of God worship in the world by Jews. In other words, the point is to save a subject who would observe the commandments and praise God with his life. That was not the case with the saved Jews: by far, most of them were assimilated atheists.
It was therefore morally wrong for the Jews to accept the gentiles’ efforts to save them at the risk of their own lives. In Russia and Ukraine, the Germans executed many of the families of righteous gentiles, sometimes in horrendous fashion. In Western Europe the punishment was usually limited to imprisonment in forced labor camps, so the risk was moderate, and Jews might not have been wrong to ask for help.
The saving efforts are justified on the grounds that they really amounted to the mitigation of damage. Nations are judged as a whole, like Sodom. When many Ukrainians persecuted Jews, it was appropriate for a few to try rectifying the wrong. But it might have been shameful for Jews to accept salvation at grave risk to their saviors.]]>
Jewish liberals share with anti-Semites the agenda of eviscerating real Judaism, making it into a conformist, submissive copycat of a typical constitution. They don’t even realize that states promulgate nice constitutions after forming themselves in very illiberal, unconstitutional way. To embrace the impractical restrictions of universal human rights and brotherhood means abrogating the right to statehood: borders are the quintessence of xenophobia; if we don’t delineate between ourselves and other peoples, why make borders? Allow Mexicans to swarm the United States, allow Arabs to reside in Israel.
A liberal constitution is a peacetime document for an established state, but one that is being urged on Israel, who is still trying to shape her borders.
Humans, Jews especially, have no obligation to help outsiders. Zero. Did the world help us during WWII? The Americans did not bomb the death camps, the Arabs sided with Nazis, and the Africans didn’t care. Does any African nation supplies Israel with free uranium? Does any Arab country aid Jews with oil shipments? Why should we care about others? There are seven billion Gentiles on earth; let them help each other. Our foremost obligation is to our brothers and sisters. In practical terms, our only obligation is to them, because we can never help them enough.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews are not spongers who live on Israel’s handouts. They have a black market economy of their own. State subsidies are a tiny proportion of their budgets. Private donations vastly exceed subsidization by the state.
Ultra-Orthodoxes receive much less in the way of subsidies than Arabs, who also don’t serve in the army and also engage in a black market economy—and hate Jews.
The Israeli state and the leftists are the last people who can accuse religious Jews of living on handouts. Zionism has been subsidized since its inception. Until now, the state of Israel has begged for US government aid and private Jewish donations. Religious Jews provided legitimacy for Israel, and today they provide much of the clout required to receive the aid.
On other hand, the Talmud (Brachot, Pirkei Avot, etc.) scolds the Torah scholars who don’t work for living.]]>
European states’ preference for their core ethnicity cannot be justified by the fact that their Muslims are newcomers and accepted the host state’s symbolism by immigration, whereas in Israel Muslims are natives. All citizens, regardless of their descent, have equal rights, including the right to identify with the state’s symbols. The act of immigration does not signal the Muslims’ acceptance of Christian symbols on a host country’s flag. Similarly, marriage does not signal that the groom accepts his bride as perfect; rather, he thinks that her advantages outweigh her blemishes, and hopes that her blemishes will go away—or at least opposes them passively. Muslim immigrants see many advantages to living in Norway, but the cross on its flag and the official status of Christianity is not one of them.
In Ancient Greece the problem was solved elegantly. The Athenians organized their city much like a gated community owned by its founders. Newcomers enjoyed all personal rights, but no political rights; they could not vote. The ancient model democracy was not a state of its residents, but of its core group. In such an arrangement it would be reasonable to charge an admittance fee whereby the immigrant joins national franchise and enjoys the infrastructure built by the ancestors of the others. The act of immigration signifies the acceptance of national symbols and political realities. Acting not only for himself but also on behalf of his children, the immigrant forfeits his right to political equality. In a sense, he is politically equal to the core group: he accepts the same symbols they do, and like them has no intention of changing those symbols. Both the core group and the immigrants are expected not to rebel against the state’s character. The difference is, the core group’s attitudes and intentions are long-established and predictable, whereas the society needs legal assurances from immigrants that they are content with their host country’s character.
Private apartment houses set their own rules. Tenants are welcome to accept them or choose another location. Immigrants exercise their liberal freedom by choosing a state acceptable to them and living there loyally. Once that free choice is exercised, they have no democratic right to subvert the host society. This can be likened to marriage: once a bride is chosen, the freedom of choice expires.
Not a few states continue the Athenian approach. The United Arab Emirates, a very liberal Muslim state and a major American ally, restricts citizenship to the descendants of local Bedouins only; Indians and Iranians who have lived there for generations are generally refused citizenship. Unlike Israel, the UAE has the guts to refuse citizenship even to those “aliens” who lived in its territory before the formation of the state. This highly restrictive policy causes no international outcry whatsoever, and there is no reason why Israel should provide citizenship to the Arabs who lived here before independence. The fact that those Arabs already have Israeli citizenship has little relevance. Jordan, another liberal Muslim country and American ally with a spotless record in the UN’s Human Rights Commission, stripped all Palestinians of Jordanian citizenship previously awarded them.
Even within democratic liberalism Israel has plenty of ways to attain her nationalistic goals, but she must act as normal countries do, rather than according to what marginal liberalism teaches.]]>
Jews lived, worked, married, danced, amassed wealth, and studied. They led the normal lives of happy people. Their rites and dress, antiquated today, were progressive at the time they were introduced. Common Jewish women never learned Shulhan Aruh, and observed only basic, simple, commonsense rituals.
The ancient Jews of the Diaspora communicated extensively with their pagan neighbors. Christians had so frequented the synagogues that Church authorities such as John Chrysostom spouted pages of condemnations. Pagans went to the famously honest Jewish courts for arbitration. Pagan politicians made gifts to synagogues to secure the support of Jewish communities, which were active in the political life of the Diaspora then as now. Court Jews, whether Samuel Oppenheimer in Vienna or Edgar Bronfman in America, assimilated and showed little loyalty to the Jewish people, but we have weathered that.
Jewish-American parents go to Reform temples of atheism but insist nevertheless on their children marrying Jews. It cannot be that millions of reasonable Jews are all wrong, but rather the orthodox rabbis refuse to hear the bell toll. Orthodox Judaism is hopelessly outdated. It was never meant to be such. From Hillel’s prozbul to Shlomo Ganzfried’s Kitzur Shulhan Aruch, rabbis ingeniously adapted the law to current needs. Hillel’s school prevailed over Shammai’s because Hillel offered a more liberal interpretation, but modern rabbis insist on strengthening the prohibitions, creating “a wall around the wall around the Talmud which interprets the commandments.”
Even the assimilated American Jews retain a sense of Jewish identity—but not the identity which the rabbis try to force on them. Being rejected by the proper rabbis as non-observant semi-apostates, the Jews abandon Judaism altogether or turn to the mockery of Reformism, which puts the “kosher Judaism” label on any kind of moderately ethical behavior. Conservative Judaism failed to dance the thin line between the Orthodox recognition of the Torah’s divinity and the Reformists’ “anything goes” strain of Judaism. Few Conservative rabbis have returned to the orthodoxy, while the majority drift toward Reformism. Hillel’s approach is as valuable now as it was twenty-three centuries ago: accept the Torah’s divinity and interpret it liberally.
Jews today are as good as at any time before. Jews today are no less religious than at any time before; the Maccabbee fundamentalists were a small minority, while the Jewish majority embraced Hellenistic reforms. Jews will continue to cling to the simple and doable law of the Torah—if only the Orthodox rabbis don’t push them away with demands of antiquated observance.]]>