The attempts to define Jewishness are a leftist fiction. It is a typical leftist/sophist approach to redefine terms. Charity became welfare, justice—liberalism, democracy—nihilistic equality.

If the definition of Jewishness is changed, then Jews themselves are changed. Consequently, there would be no Jews (by the old definition) left. That’s exactly the Pauline Christian approach: Israel was a nation, but redefined to mean Christians. Jewish leftists have gone even further than Christians: their definition of the community of Israel is altogether non-religious. What is it? They are not sure. They advance some vague notions such as common history (Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews lacked common history for 500 years), culture (Jews have fully assimilated their Diaspora hosts’ cultures), heritage (which is undefined), or religion.

If the religion has kept Jews a nation through all the perils of centuries and persecutions, then it is a very strong trait. To change it for an unproven—indeed undefined—definition is to endanger the national existence.

What is the value of an arbitrary definition of Jewishness? There are many conflicting definitions even among the adherents of redefining Jewishness. Most, if not all of them, would fail, and drag down with them those Jews who embraced them. To other Jews, such ones would assimilate and cease to exist. Even if a new definition survives, the new Jews would no longer be Jews, as the Christian New Israel is not Israel.

People identify themselves with practical groups. Jews in ghettos interacted with other Jews and identified themselves as members of Jewish milieu. Jewish communities opened to the world and dissolved. Jews today interact mostly with Gentiles and identify themselves as members of Gentile groups, such as Americans. There is no way to fight against the assimilation other than restoring Jewish groups. In order to remain Jewish, Jews should interact predominantly with other Jews.

The most effective way to re-establish the Jewish milieu is to push the Jews out of their Gentile circles. Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and opposition to Israeli policies are our best friends. The biblical term for neighbor derives from the root evil. Neighbors are defined by common enemies—today, Arab enemies. Instead of teaching Jewish children tolerance and coexistence with Judeophobic elements, teach young Jews to hate their enemies. Teaching negative is easier than teaching positive. God first told Hebrews they are kodesh (sacred, separate from others), and only then gave them commandments. Jews, disliked by the others, would be forced to remain Jewish. The survival of the Jewish people is our first priority, and any means are good to that end: sponsoring Neo-Nazis is not a far-fetched option. Continuous scandals over the hapless Israeli US lobby, Jewish scamsters, and the oppression of the Palestinians remind the Jews of their identity.

Jewish identity should become economically profitable. Self-appointed Jewish leaders must be accessible for common Jews who seek business, employment, or assistance. Rabbis and Jewish community centers should more actively facilitate business contacts among the Jews, help the common Jews to meet their high-ranking brothers, and otherwise pull the strings. High-ranking Jews who somewhat depend on public opinion could be shamed into cooperation. Common Jews would opt for economic cooperation with other Jews rather than with the cheapest providers after an ideological boost.

Jewish identity should be a source of strength. Israel saw a surge of attachment after her victory of 1967. Jews would gather around a strong, victorious Israel, not a weakling that gives her lands away to Arabs. An expansionist policy is practical, if only because it cements Jewish communities.

Israeli strength need not be only military, but also ideological and economic. A schizophrenic ethnic-blind Jewish state deserves and receives no respect. A Jewish state pauperized by taxes and regulation is deplorable. Israel must shed the army and the associated costs, rely on our nuclear deterrent, and stringently adhere to the state’s Jewishness, all the way to the expulsion of the Israeli Arabs. The State of Israel sets an example for Jews: if Israel accepts a huge number of Muslims in her midst, why should common Jews refrain from assimilation? A nice and ethical Christian spouse is far better than one and a half million hostile Israeli Muslims. If Israel accepts the Muslim mob, why should a Jew refrain from marrying a Christian?

Finally—only finally—Jewish identity should be demonstrated as culturally attractive. Reform and Conservative movements destroy that identity by offering myriad contradicting interpretations and scaling the biblical ethics down to common morality and often below it. Orthodox rabbis, for their part, have to admit that Shulhan Aruh was written with a particular place and time in mind, and its rules cannot be straightforwardly applied to the current circumstances. Many Orthodox practices border on superstition and prohibited abstinence (e.g., Y.Nedarim 41b). Major Jewish organizations have to agree on an approach to Judaism that allows for firm values and remains practical. Logically, the Torah should be accepted as the unchangeable basis of Judaism, but the details of observance are open to interpretation. A Jew who does not tear the toilet paper in advance of Shabbat could be a good Jew, but one who goes to the office is not. Judaism should be recast as doable religion.

Jewish “educators” must stop screaming about tolerance and interfaith dialogue. Friendship with Christians is one thing, tolerance is another. Jews must know that the traditional Christianity is fundamentally incompatible with Judaism. Jews must remember the millennia-long persecutions we endured at the hands of Christians rather than glossing over them. Jews will be proud of Judaism only when we understand and trumpet our religious differences from other peoples.

There is no other definition of Jewishness besides the religious. The Holocaust annihilated whatever peculiarly Jewish culture had existed. Secular Jews could survive as Israeli nationalists if Israel is strong and ideologically charged. In order to wade through the periods of Jewish weakness, religious identity is sine qua non. Judaism was always a living organism, one that creatively adapted to the times. It is imperative to structure the Judaism acceptably to modern educated Jews; theism is fundamentally compatible with science.

Rabbis must understand that the Jewish masses are not religious. It is doubtful that most Jews were ever deeply religious. Ghettos and communal safety nets kept them from assimilation. Open societies and the government provision of welfare leave the assimilated Jews no reason to remain Jewish. Orthodox rabbis err at force-feeding the Jews with antiquated religious regulations, which are often illogical and bear not the slightest resemblance to the Torah. Reformist rabbis tailor their “Judaism” to their audience’s wishes. Orthodox Judaism is out of tune with the worldly reality, and atheist Jews reject it out of hand. Reform Judaism is so hypocritical its own flock don’t respect it. Children sense the discord acutely; when their rabbi prohibits pork, and their parents eat it, children grow cynical toward religion. Previous generations stuck to Judaism not due to some deep theological reasoning, but because Judaism was the ideology of their communities, their collective consciousness. Rabbis of the fifteenth century would have failed to draw atheist Jews to Judaism, and their modern colleagues fail now. Only the Jews who have firmly attached themselves to the Jewish nation will embrace a degree of Judaism as the national ideology. Jewish self-identification comes first, and Judaism rationalizes it later. In the absence of unquestionable authorities or miracles, religion only substantiates existing beliefs. Nationalist Jews will accept the religion, if only because the world urges them to accept atheism of the Christian variety; if only to oppose Christianity, which has pushed them to convert for generations. Before vainly attempting to draw atheist Jews to Judaism, first imbue them with Jewish nationalism. Let them know their enemies. Let them be strong. There are no better prospects for baal tshuva than an angry mob of Jews wielding their clubs at Arabs.