That is not the Western Wall crisis – that is a crisis of Jewish identity


From the news media:
Instead of the promised visible and permanent pluralistic prayer pavilion under their control at Jerusalem’s Western Wall — passed as a government decision in January 2016 — non-Orthodox Jewry is again to be shunted to second-class prayer status on a slim platform in the corner of an archaeological park creating a Western Wall crisis.
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However, that is not a Western Wall crisis – it is much worse, it is a crisis of Jewish identity. This crisis relates to the Jewish identity in the following way.
The Jews are identified collectively and individually but the Western wall is a place where God identifies a Jew (or a Christian) individually
Leaders of Reform and Conservative Jewry should know and no doubt, they know that the Western Wall is place for individuals spiritually connecting themselves with God. All individuals are welcome, and they may be orthodox, non-orthodox and atheist Jews or even non-Jews. Nothing what might be a distraction for individuals trying to connect themselves to God is welcome. Collective events and presence of the opposite sex are natural distractions.
The individual mono-sexual Jewish prayers at the Western Wall are part of the Jewish identity. However, the leaders of Reform and Conservative Jewry demand precisely the collective prayers with both sexes present – that is their political identity, not the Jewish identity.
The identity of Israeli Jews is different from the identity of American Jews and it is frequently misunderstood
It looks like leaders of Reform and Conservative Jewry have a vision of Israel as a Little America with the Western Wall. As an American globalist-kind political vision, it might be a good one but it is wrong from the viewpoint of Jewish identity. The Torah-guided Jewish identity should differentiate between the Jewish ways of life in the Promised Land, the State of Israel, and in the “diaspora”.
In the State of Israel, where the Jews are governing majority, it is up to them to tailor the Torah guidance to their multiple visions of fair and honest society – from ultra-orthodox to atheistic.
In the USA, where the Christianity-minded people are governing majority, the Jewish spiritual obligation is to support the Christian understanding of the Torah-guided fair and honest society – not to fight against it as is often observed, assuming that the Christian understanding is in the framework of commonly acknowledged Judeo-Christian Torah-based morality.
The Israeli citizenship and the Jewish identity are two different things
A dangerous cold civil war currently in play in the USA is a result of neglecting the difference between US citizenship and US identity.
The US identity was defined by the Declaration of Independence. This document explicitly states that the God revealed in nature is the giver of a moral law between peoples. This document gives God the ultimate moral authority making the deity the clear source of morality. This Judeo-Christian morality was given by God in the Torah on Mount Sinai and tailored for the Christians in the New Testament.
At the beginning, when the US immigrants were receiving US citizenship, it was understood they were going to have their public social and political life in agreement with the Judeo-Christian morality of the country.
For the last half-century, the US citizenship has been disconnected – step-by-step – from the US “inauguration” Judeo-Christian identity. Nowadays the US immigration policy is based on many different things such as social justice, human rights, fighting inequality, religious persecution, LGBT status … but not on the honest desire to follow the Judeo-Christian morality. The result: a dangerous cold civil war currently in play in the USA. Something similar is going on in Europe as well.
Israel is not immune from this destructive political process. That is why Israeli government has to provide Israeli citizenship only to those Jews and non-Jews who agree to live along the lines of Israeli Jewish morality – to be defined with participation of Orthodox community but not exclusively by it.

About Vladimir Minkov

Vladimir Minkov Ph.D. is a nuclear scientist, published author and writer. He is the co-author of "Nuclear Shadow Boxing", a scientific history of the nuclear confrontation between the Soviet Union and USA during the cold war and is the author of "The Jews and Their Role in Our World", which explores his personal journey to discovering Jewish identity. Having lost much of his family in the Holocaust and finding his search for spiritual development stifled in the Soviet Union, Vladimir migrated to the United States in the late 1970s.

Posted on July 15, 2017, in English-language posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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