By now, two things are almost scientifically proven: (1) the human behavior, which defines human moral principles, is steered by individual genes’ combination, and (2) the great majority of Jews have common genes’ combination, which steers their behavior along the moral lines defined as Judaism. This statement does not contradict the basic belief in Judaism: the spiritual principles of human life were presented at Mount Sinai by the Supreme Power called God to the human tribe called the Jews since this tribe were genetically prepared best to understand the principles, follow them and help the other tribes to do so.
Now after over three millenniums of Jewish spiritual Torah-guided development, the Jews are visibly divided into two spiritual groups: (1) the Jews by reason and (2) the Jews by prayer.
The Jews by prayer
From the news media:
Satmar Rebbe Rails Against Secular Education Bill.
A powerful Hasidic leader has slammed a bill in the New York State legislature that would enforce laws that require religious schools to teach secular subjects.
Some Hasidic schools for boys routinely flout the existing laws, offering minimal time for English, history and math, or skipping the subjects altogether. The new bills that would give regulators new tools to enforce those laws come amid increased statewide attention on the lack of secular education in some Hasidic yeshivas.
The leader of the Kiryas Joel-based segment of the Satmar Hasidic sect, Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, said, “We should pray every day that these evil doers [those who insist on secular subjects in Jewish education] should not lay their hands on the Jewish children here in America.”
“The worldview taught in public school, it’s hard to even bring it to my mouth,” Teitelbaum said.
So, Satmar Rebbe does not want any secular education for the Jews. The reason is clear. He is one of the leaders of the strictly orthodox religious streams who believe that a better world for everybody should be built by God and God will do so only if the Jews will be asking Him endlessly by Torah-inspired prayers. If it is so, no secular education that is necessary for building a better spiritual and material world for Jews and Gentiles is needed – in the view of the Rebbe and his followers. That is Judaism by prayer.
The Jews by reason
The reason is clearly defined in the Torah: since the humans are created in the “image and likeness of God” the Creator, the Jews as the Chosen have to help the other human tribes continue the God’s creative work to build a spiritual and material better world for all humans. God does not need our prayers – God needs our creative work “in His image and likeness”. Prayers are needed for us to figure out what and how God wants us to create but the prayers are not the ultimate goal. To figure out all that and then work on implementation, the secular education is needed – without such education, the prayers become the ultimate goal, and that is not what unites and identifies all Jews.
The Jews by reason and the Jews by prayer should be spiritual Torah-guided friends, and the rabbis should be working on creating such spiritual friendship. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Cherishing special relations with God, the Jews have to nurture special relations with the Christians
Yes, Christians did not treat the Jews nicely or fairly in the historic past. We the Jews remember the calamities of our Christian-led expulsion from many countries such as Spain, Portugal, England, and France. We remember our Christian-led pogroms in the Tsarist Russia. We have survived all those calamities with the hope that someday the Christians would understand and appreciate the role of Jews in helping them understand the God’s guidance on creating a true God’s world for all the humans on this earth.
It looks like now the hope has been realized – more and more Christians are coming to understanding of the true role of Jews and Judaism in creating the Christianity.
However, this understanding is mostly at the level of ritual canons. And we need more than the mutual ritual canons. We need the joint actions aimed at strengthening and defending the Judeo-Christian characteristics of the entire world we live in, first of course in the USA. Those joint actions are urgently needed to resist the forces, which are hostile to the Judeo-Christian vision of the just world for everybody. Those hostile forces are of two different virtues. One of them is of religious nature, and that is Islam; the other one is of secular nature, and that is the Big Government playing the role of a human god.
We hear often that Islam is a religion of peace. Unfortunately, although there are many peaceful Muslims, religion of Islam is not religion of peace, and it is easy to prove.
Judaism and Christianity are truly peaceful religions since they welcome the people of other faiths in the Jewish and Christian holy places – in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Tiberius, Nazareth, or anywhere around the world. Contrary to this welcoming and peaceful approach, Islam prohibits the people of other faiths, the “infidels”, to visit its holiest places in Mecca and Medina. If a religion is not willing to share its holy places with the “strangers”, this religion is not a religion of peace. The majority of Israelis understand it, and some Americans have begun to understand it as well – thanks to Donald Trump.
We near often that a Big Government that is playing the role of a human god is a required prescription for peaceful coexistence of all diverse social groups. Unfortunately, although a limited government is needed for maintaining the order in a society, a Big Government is splitting the society into hostile social groups. This split is essential for a Big Government to seize the power and preserve it for its own material benefits.
Here are examples of the split created by an American Big Government by manufacturing the socially preferred groups and providing them with legal and financial preferences over competitors:
blacks against whites,
police against citizens,
poor against rich,
secular against religious,
natives against europeans,
one group of immigrants against other groups,
traditional families against LGHT “families”,
children against parents,
boys against girls in school bathrooms,
The preferred groups are voting for the Big Government to preserve their preferential treatment and welfare-type benefits they are rewarded with while the non-preferred groups are being legally robbed to support the scheme (it is called the wealth redistribution).
The time has come to translate the Judeo-Christian mutual understanding into the joint actions aimed at strengthening the Judeo-Christian parameters of the world we live in, and at resisting the forces, which are hostile to the Judeo-Christian vision of the just world for everybody. That means eliminating all preferences to selected social groups and treating them as equals – the equal opportunities for everybody to reach an individual God-guided maximum of results.
The Jews have been the originators of many social movements that created the foundation of the contemporary Western Judeo-Christian world – they have to begin nurturing the new relationships with the Christians, which are aimed at restoring and strengthening the Judeo-Christian parameters of the USA and the entire world we live in. It would mitigate the anti-Semitism and bring the Torah/Bible closer to the people.
Recently I have addressed this subject in a post “The rabbi is wrong on the roots of anti-Semitism”. However, the newly revealed acts of anti-Semitism in Europe moved me to address this subject again.
From the news media:
Writing in The Telegraph on 3rd May, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis addresses the problem of anti-Semitism on the hard left of British politics. The Rabbi says: ‘To those who so eagerly reach for a vicious Holocaust reference in order to exact the maximum amount of pain and offence upon “Zionists”, I say: You are spreading that ancient and insidious virus of anti-Semitism. Look around you’.
From the news media:
In his May 4, 2016 article “This cannot be, it must not be our Europe!” the first vice-president of European Commission Frans Timmermans says:
Anyone who knows anything about our history knows that anti-Semitism is Europe’s most pernicious disease. It is the red line that we must never, ever cross.
A well-respected European religious leader, the UK Chief Rabbi, and a well-respected European political leader, the Vice-President of European Commission, described the anti-Semitism as a sort of recognized social illness. If it is so, the anti-Semitism has to be dealt with as we do with all recognized illnesses – by medications, in this case by social medications such as anti-hate-crime laws.
However, if we incarcerate the anti-Semites, in the jail they would not become the “pro-Semites” – contrary to this, many more potential anti-Semites will take their place under the banner of freedom of speech and of resistance to some mystical Jewish cabal around the world and in Israel. Below are just a few examples of that.
A UK prominent anti-Semitic politician Ken Livingstone: Creation of Israel was ‘a great catastrophe”.
London is electing first Muslim mayor – over a Jewish contender!
Finally, the time has come to realize we have wrongly diagnosed the roots of anti-Semitism and therefore our treatment is counterproductive. The anti-Semitism is not an illness and therefore cannot be treated as an illness by social medicines.
The anti-Semitism is a sincere spiritual believe among many gentiles that the Jews are moving the gentile world into wrong, destructive direction.
The anti-Semitism has to be dealt with by creating a sort of “Semitic”, Judeo-Christian spiritual movement led mostly by Christian leaders of various Christian religious streams with the goal of proving to the gentile communities that the Jewish ideas are moving the gentile world into right, God-guided direction. This spiritual Judeo-Christian movement has to be created by Rabbis working together with Priests.
Some prominent rabbis are already working with the Christians on strengthening the mutual “belief-foundation” of Judaism and Christianity where the Jews are respected and honored as the elder spiritual brothers.
The time has come to make the next step – to create the mutual Judeo-Christian, Bible-based foundation for the structure of a better world for everybody in our contemporary times for all crucial components of this structure such as rich vs. poor, individual freedoms vs. welfare, government vs. people, Supreme Power above us vs. supreme powers among us, etc.
This foundation has to demonstrate that the Judeo-Christian, Bible-based structure of the better world is superior over the Islamic, Communist/Socialist and many other structures at least in our “Western hemisphere”, and that the Jews should be recognized as the elder brothers in developing and promoting such structure.
This work would deliver to all potential anti-Semites the much-needed message: the Jews are moving the world in the right direction beneficial to you – they are not moving the world into the wrong direction contrary to your interests. This message has to be supported by demonstrating the Jewish achievements in creating the basics of contemporary Western Judeo-Christian civilization – in economics, science, social institutions and elsewhere. The most difficult part of this effort is to overcome the prevailing politically correct dogma that all religions and religion-like political/social movements are spiritually equal and our Judeo-Christian morality is not superior over the other moralities – of course, in our Western civilization.
In the contemporary world, the restoration of public Judeo-Christian morality/spirituality is the prerequisite for beginning the mitigation of the anti-Semitism. I believe Jewish leaders who are willing to begin this process exist.
To understand both the true nature of anti-Semitism and how to fight it, we have to get back to the Torah-based essence of Jewish mission of the Chosen. In the era of the politically correct equality of everything and everybody, we are trying to leave this subject to the history or to the internal Jewish religious rituals. In doing so, we deprive ourselves from the opportunity to find the true nature of anti-Semitism and how to fight it.
One of the contemporary very influential rabbis:
What then is anti-Semitism? It is not a coherent set of beliefs but a set of contradictions. Before the Holocaust, Jews were hated because they were poor and because they were rich; because they were communists and because they were capitalists; because they kept to themselves and because they infiltrated everywhere; because they clung tenaciously to ancient religious beliefs and because they were rootless cosmopolitans who believed nothing. Anti-Semitism is a virus that survives by mutating. In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the 19th and 20th centuries they were hated because of their race. Today they are hated because of their nation state, Israel. Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism.
The rabbi is wrong. Anti-Semitism is not a set of contradictions. It is the expression of adversary feelings toward the Jewish people for their invisible God-guided work of convincing the Gentiles to change their understanding of the essence of human existence – from whatever the Gentiles believed in to the Torah/Bible based understanding.
That is at the core of the Jewish mission of the Chosen for all Jews – from atheists to ultra-orthodox. The Jews as the Chosen are not on a mission to rule the world – they are on a mission to change the world without expecting the appreciation of the world. For the entire Jewish people, it is a possibly genetically driven mission impossible to stop.
The rabbi says that anti-Semitism is not a coherent set of beliefs but a set of contradictions, and that is wrong. In order to prove that is wrong, we have to get back to the essence of the Jewish mission of the Chosen. That is the mission of creating a God-guided better world for everybody.
The Torah did not specify the political and social framework for this better world but specified one crucial principle: all the humans are created in the image and likeness of God who is Free Creator not bounded by “too many rules”. Therefore, various groups of Jewish people have been competing from the very beginning and are competing now for a most suitable framework for a better world – the framework where the maximum possible conditions for a human individual to be free, creative and not bounded by “too many rules” – in the image and likeness of God – would be achieved.
Could a society of poor people not restrained by any material possessions be free and creative in the image of God that rabbi Joshua (future Jesus Christ) tested?
Could a society of rich people who have already everything be free and creative in the image of God that many mitzvah-driven Jews tested?
Could a Communist society with the equal distribution of collective wealth provide the creative freedom for everybody in the image of God that Karl Marx tested?
Could a Capitalist society with the equal distribution of individual opportunities provide the freedom for everybody in the image of God that Torah/Bible-guided American founders tested?
Should the Jews try all in the above alone in isolation before presenting their discoveries to the non-Jews as the orthodox Jews are doing, or the Jews have to incorporate themselves into the non-Jewish societies to work together with them as the reform Jews are doing?
The Jews have been trying to test all that by introducing their ideas to various Gentile communities from the very beginning. Some communities liked the ideas and tested them together with the Jews. However, the other communities resisted. They have resisted since the Jewish ideas have been changing their well-established traditions, which were based on much lesser individual freedoms. They believed it is not bad to have a human superior above them (dictator, business owner, religious leader, political guru, president, government, etc.) who is taking care of them and is making them not responsible for all bad things that may happen.
The result of this resistance? Yes, it is what we called anti-Semitism. Therefore, anti-Semitism is not something contradictory and difficult to understand – anti-Semitism is a normal reaction of a normal people to something what is trying to change their way of life. If it is so, a logical way to stop anti-Semitism is to stop changing the world. However, the Jews cannot do it – it is their God-designed, and probably genetically supported, destiny.
Nevertheless, there is a way to mitigate the force of anti-Semitism. This way is for the rabbis to work with the Gentiles to let them understand and accept the Jewish mission and work together on creating a God-guided better world for everybody.
From the UK news media:
Police said that a Scottish Muslim shopkeeper was murdered by a fellow Muslim hours after he posted a message on Facebook professing love for Christians and for Jesus and wishing them a happy Easter.
From the Canadian news media:
What do Algeria, America, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Britain, Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chad, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen have in common? Oh, and Canada, of course. All have been attacked by Islamist terrorists since 2010. Forty-six nations in barely five years and I’ve not even included the obvious trio of horrors, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. All of the terrorist acts were aimed to demonstrate the victory of Islam over the faiths of infidels among whom are even Muslims with not strict adherence to the “true” Quran and Sharia.
From the battle cries of Muslim terrorists:
“Allahu Akbar” that is “God (meaning Allah) is Great” that is the Allah’s order in the Quran to transform the entire world to the Sharia moral values.
From the political slogans of our political establishment:
- Ø Islam is a religion of peace and has nothing to do with the terrorism performed by some Muslims
- Ø The terrorists are the radicalized Muslims who are acting against moral principles of their religion
- Ø Or, the terrorists are the ideologues and their ideology has nothing to do with their religion.
To find out who is wrong and who is right, the following questions have to be answered:
- Who are the killers – radicalized Muslims who has acted against the moral prescripts of their own religion of Islam, or they are normal Quran-guided Muslims?
- What is the moving spiritual force behind the killings – the religion of the killers or some their ideology that has nothing to do with their religion?
- Do the killers act in good faith as their religion or ideology demands it, or they represent a small devilish minority that always exists in any religion and ideology?
What I have studied and experienced all my life, together with many other Jews and Christians of various spiritual streams – from orthodoxy to atheism, let me answer these questions in the following way.
Who are the killers – radicalized Muslims who has acted against the moral prescripts of their own religion of Islam, or they are normal Quran-guided Muslims?
The killers are not radicalized Muslims – they are normal Quran-guided Muslims.
Here is how Quran guides the Muslims:
Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. – Sura 2:98
On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. – Sura 2:161
Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – Sura 2:191
Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – Sura 2:216
What is the moving spiritual force behind the killings – the religion of the killers or some their ideology that has nothing to do with their religion?
The moving spiritual force is religion, not ideology. The Merriam-Webster defines ideology as a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture and a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture.
What is the source of the “systematic body of concepts about human life”? It is the religion, and it is religion everywhere – in Judaism, in Christianity and in Islam. For the last thirteen centuries the religion of Islam had created its own “systematic body of concepts about human life” quoted in the above from Quran.
Do the killers act as their religion or ideology demands it or they represent a small devilish minority that always exists in any religion and ideology?
Every religion has good and bad disciples and the entire religion – be it Islam, Christianity or Judaism – can be judged by assessing how the true spiritual leaders of a religion respond to actions of its bad (devilish) disciples.
While the Jewish and Christian leaders condemn any acts of violence committed by their bad disciples against the Muslims, no one – literally no one – of the leading Islamic authorities condemn any acts of Islamic terrorism. If it is so, the answer is clear – the Islamic terrorist acts are committed since their religion/ideology demands it.
Vatican and Jerusalem are not silent – they condemn any acts of Jewish and Christian acts of violence. Mecca is silent on Islamic terrorism and silent approvingly.
A street photo: