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From Jewish militancy to Judaism

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On March 9, 2010 @ 9:05 am In Jewish isolation | 113 Comments

Jews cannot survive in an open society. Judaism isn’t very hard, but it’s hard to be different—even a little bit different. It is still harder to proclaim your difference to your Gentile neighbors. It is inconvenient to be different. People need strength, and attachments to a strong mob. The Gentile mob is larger and stronger than the Jewish mob.

Religious difference, such as Judaism, can be a source of tremendous pride, but such pride requires tremendous knowledge. Unless one is pushed to study from childhood, why would he suddenly start learning something that seems irrelevant? A few would learn, but most wouldn’t.

For most of history, Jews were pressed into being different. The very early, almost forced education, social pressures, low mobility, and universal hostility precluded them from baptizing and assimilating. When the hostility was absent, as in India, Jewish communities assimilated.

Ancient Jews were notoriously un-Jewish, and consistently provoked the prophets who lashed out against their iniquities. They bowed to idols and surely didn’t keep anything resembling the vast rabbinical law. Jews survived then by being a political entity, having their own country.

In the Exile, rabbinical law and Christian hostility preserved Jewish nation. Today, however, we cannot survive as a strictly religious entity. Christianity has already dissolved into myriad sects, and lost its significance for self-identification for most people. Jewish assimilation is not unique, but follows the Christian model. In a time of religious cynicism, religious identity cannot survive.

Our only choice is the ancient choice: a militant, highly unusual, recognizable state. Jews need a clear political identity, and this requires a clearly Jewish state with no Arabs. After becoming zealous patriots, Jews would seek to rationalize their nationalism, and adopt Judaism as the national religion. This is a sure way to preserve Jewish identity for the foreseeable future. It requires a very strong political entity.

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