Anti-Semitism: to fight it we must teach Judeo-Christian morality
US House overwhelmingly passes Holocaust education act aimed to fight anti-Semitism. The bipartisan bill allocates $10 million dollars for the expansion of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s education programming. However, that is not enough.
The only effective way to fight the anti-Semitism is to begin teaching in schools, colleges and in other public (and of course, religious) institutions the course on Judeo-Christian morality and its crucial role in creating the Western Civilization. Unfortunately, although major Jewish and Christian religious leaders understood it, they are afraid of it since it may force them to reexamine some of their cherished religious tenets.
Here are the major thoughts the teaching of the Judeo-Christian morality should be based upon – best of all, in the framework of teaching the US Constitution or the history of Western Civilization.
The morality is what distinguish the humans from everything else
The morality distinguishes the humans from everything else what surrounds the humans in this world. The morality guides the humans to define what is GOOD and should be supported, and what is BAD and should be suppressed. The humans are grouped into nations distinguished by their unique morality versions, and the moralities’ clash creates either peaceful creative competition or disastrous wars.
The source of human morality named God
Until the (our) God’s overhaul of human morality, the morality was pagan (with numerous false gods) at the core of which was the belief that a lot of GOOD might be in the neighboring tribe, and the best way to get it is to militarily defeat this tribe and capture all available GOOD stuff.
Then, God intervened, and the process began of changing the pagan morality to what is called nowadays in America the Judeo-Christian morality.
What is God
For this discussion, God should be defined not as many orthodox religions define it but simply as the Supreme Power above us the humans that – in some already scientifically proven or still mysterious ways – forces us to follow its guidance.
What is God’s moral guidance
In short, the Golden Rule – do not do to the others what you do not want to be done to you.
In the first written form – the Ten Commandments.
In the detailed spiritual form – the Torah/Bible.
In “the image and likeness of God” – be unique creative individual.
In the form of social collective organization – individual freedoms and responsibilities over government authoritarianism.
In the simple human attitudes – the feelings of spiritual and economic happiness for everybody.
The Jews as the chosen by God to propagate the God’s moral guidance to the others
At the time of God’s delivery of the morality guidance there were many pagan tribes, and one tribe, which is nowadays the Jewish nation, was chosen to propagate God’s moral guidance to other tribes. Why? – Most probable, because this tribe was the best to understand the God’s morality guidance and the best to propagate it.
God first spoke with Abraham of the Jewish tribe (19 century BC), and then delivered the written Ten Commandment to Moses at the Mount Sinai (13 century BC).
From the Torah: As the Children of Israel waited to cross into the Promised Land, Moses leaves them with the following simple instruction, “… Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deut 30:19). – Not death as was with the pagan morality, and this was the beginning of spiritual travel to the Golden Rule!
The God’s selection of the Jews to be the Chosen does not preclude the possibility that in the other parts of the world, let’s say in China or India, another tribe might be selected to be the Chosen for that part of the world.
The non-Jews as the recipients of the God’s morality guidance
After a long period of learning how to live along the lines of God’s morality guidance, the Jews began propagating the God’s morality guidance to the others, and the teachings of Rabbi Joshua for the non-Jews created a version of the God’s morality tailored to the life circumstances and traditions of the non-Jews.
Until this point in time, there was the God’s morality for the Jews – there were no organized institutions of religion – organized to enforce the God’s morality for the Jews! There was no organized religion of Judaism.
However, about two thousand years ago the life under the God’s morality changed. Two things had changed at that time – the Jews were expelled from their native land (the Promised Land) and dispersed all around the world, and the God’s morality for the non-Jews began its own non-Jewish life.
At this time in the history, the organized religions became shaping up – the organized religions of Judaism and Christianity.
In the Exile, the small Jewish communities created the institute of Synagogues and Rabbis to preserve and enforce the God’s morality as well as to tailor the God’s morality guidance to completely new life conditions – that was the beginning of the religion of Judaism.
At the same time the non-Jews used the teaching of Rabbi Joshua to create the institute of Priests and Churches to enforce the God’s morality for their own non-Jewish historic traditions – Rabbi Joshua became Jesus Christ and the non-Jewish organized religion became Christianity.
In other parts of the world, different organized religions were created.
The Judeo-Christian morality as the spiritual foundation of Western Civilization and Judeo-Christian America
The organized religions of Judaism and Christianity played a crucial role in strengthening the God’s morality guidance and tailoring it to various unique human life conditions.
Such tailoring brought the spiritual divisions and numerous streams of Judaism and Christianity were created frequently fighting each other.
However, despite many centuries of hostility between the Jews and the Christians the combined Judeo-Christian unifying national morality was beginning to crystallize, and this morality created the Western Civilization with its unique variety in the Judeo-Christian America.
Unfortunate modern tendency to disregard the role of organized religions of Judaism and Christianity in creating our national morality
The fear of naming our national morality the Judeo-Christian one is unjustified! For many years from the very beginning the Judaism and Christianity were strengthening our morality, and we must respect it even if we can explain nowadays many things better scientifically and philosophically. We must respect our religions in the same way as we respect the wisdom of our forefathers although we know much more.
The USA as any other nation must have its own morality that is its unique identity. Without a unique national identity/morality a nation perishes.
This identity for the USA is the unique American Judeo-Christian morality which is at the foundation of both the American Nation and the religious institutions of Judaism and Christianity.
Other religions and ideologies may function in the nation, but they should function at the community level without harming the national Judeo-Christian morality and the governing system based on this morality.
The Jewish contribution in creating the Western Civilization and Judeo-Christian America
The Jewish contribution in creating the Western civilization and Judeo-Christian America are great indeed in both the national identities/moralities of the nations of Western Judeo-Christian civilization, and in the material wellbeing of these nations that result in the happiness of the great majority. The people of the Judeo-Christian Western civilization live much better than the people in other civilizations and the Judeo-Christian Western world is therefore the immigration magnet for the people from other civilizations.
The anti-Semitism as the ignorance about Jewish contribution in creating the Judeo-Christian America and Western Civilization
The anti-Semitism is rooted in the acknowledgement that the Jews are different and what is different might be frightening for many. The anti-Semites believe that much of their unhappiness is caused by the actions of these different and “all-powerful” Jews. However, the anti-Semites are not aware that what they are happy with in their life is due to a great degree to the efforts of these different and “all-powerful” people. Thus, the education about Jewish contribution to the happiness of the people in the Western Judeo-Christian civilization should be the major tool in fighting the anti-Semitism.
From the news media:
Krauthammer: Dispute Between POTUS, Mueller, and Congress Could be A ‘Threat’ to ‘Constitutional Stability’
The first half of my life I had lived in the Former Soviet Union. I lives there with clear understanding that, in spite of the Soviet Constitution with its three equal branches of the government (Soviet Parliament, Soviet Government and Soviet Judiciary system) all of them working under spiritual guidance of the Communist Party, there was only one real power in the country and that was KGB.
The common feeling was we the people in the Soviet Union were guilty of something what only KGB knew and therefore we could be GULAG-ed anytime by KGB.
About 40 years ago, my family and I immigrated to the USA and spiritually joined this nation – spiritually, since we loved American individual-freedom-based traditions. We are Jewish and for us the Judeo-Christian spirituality of this country where the Jews constitute a minority was very important (the Judeo-Christian spirituality was on the KGB list of serious crimes).
Now, almost 40 years later, the news media reminds me, here in the US, of those terrifying Soviet KGB-guided times when the news media describe the power of the Mueller Brigade.
In accordance with the US Constitution, we have three equal branches of government (Legislative the Congress, Executive the Government and Judicial the Supreme Court), which have to work together and manage everything what is going on in the country. However, nowadays those three branches are afraid to control the Mueller Brigade. We have Department of Justice with Attorney General who constitutionally is obligated to control everything in his department including the Mueller Brigade. However, Attorney General is scared of the Mueller Brigade. We have the Supreme Court, whose constitutional duty is to make sure everybody in the country works along the lines of the Constitution. However, the Supreme Court is scared of the Mueller Brigade as well.
And I am asking myself a question:
Is it possible that the Mueller Brigade is an army of some hidden all-powerful dictatorial force inside of all three US governing branches, and this force has been creating an authoritative dictatorial-style governing system for the US? Is it possible this hidden all-powerful dictatorial force aims at securing the power of both political parties and their multiple associates, including the mass stream media – for the sole purpose of redistributing the wealth from us, We the People, to them whoever they are?
From the news media:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office rejected accusations of corruption contained in a court document accidentally revealed to the public. On Thursday, a document submitted by the police to the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court revealed that police are investigating Netanyahu on suspicion of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
It looks like Israel may have its own Mueller brigade.
I am working on a book (“In intellectual search for spiritual Torah-based union between Jews and Christians”) and I am discussing various ideas I am exploring in the book with my friends and colleagues.
Many my friends and colleagues have expressed their uneasiness with one of the ideas of the book that we can fight successfully anti-Semitism only if we reestablish the spiritual closeness of Jews and Christians. Many of my friends and colleagues are uncomfortable with this idea because of historic Jewish dislike of Christianity as a source of anti-Semitism.
That is true – many Jews consider Christianity as the chief source of anti-Semitism, and I am writing this book precisely to address this dislike.
Every day we the Jews hear something about anti-Semitism in its “normal” everyday actions and its abnormal Holocaust explosion.
We are complaining and we are demanding from the government the laws that punish anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers.
However, these laws are making things worse – they are, in the minds of anti-Semites, the confirmation of the anti-Semites’ belief that the almighty Jews own the governments and the world and through the governments suppress – spiritually and economically – the others.
And we complaining, complaining and complaining … I have complained as well for long time, and, after I had become tired of complaining, I decided to look into the true historic roots of anti-Semitism – beyond believed to be “Christ killers”, “deceivers”, etc. I went back to the Torah, Bible, historic and contemporary Rabbinic and Priestly (Christian) teachings where I found the following.
• The Torah was given by the Almighty Power (whatever it might be) at Mount Sinai to everybody, let me say it again – to everybody, through the Jewish People, with the chief assignment for the Jewish people (the Chosen) to assist the non-Jewish people in transforming their lives from the pagan morals to the Torah-guided morals.
• The Torah guidance implies the transformation path is the spiritual and social competition among various human tribes each of them tailoring the Torah prescripts to their unique life conditions and randomly God-assigned genetic structure. There is no human uniformity in the Torah! Following the Torah guidance, the Jews created Talmud, numerous rabbinic rulings and various spiritual streams (Essenes, Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots, Nazarenes and other in the biblical past and Orthodox, Reform and Conservative with different sub-streams now). Then, the Jews laid out spiritual foundation for other non-Jewish tribes (Rabbi Joshua who after his death became Jesus Christ), and those non-Jewish tribes created their own Torah interpretations in the New Testaments with their own priestly rulings and spiritual streams (many-many dozens of them).
• At the beginning, the spiritual and social competition was mostly peaceful since people were trying to receive the guidance directly from God with little concern for the actions of the others. At that time, there was no basis for anti-Semitism, and anti-Semitism did not exist in the form as we define it now. Then step-by-step the authoritative humans (rabbis, priests) got into the spiritual picture – since the life was getting more sophisticated and complex. Those authoritative humans were needed for Torah-guidance tailoring and interpretation. And with the authoritative humans as Torah-guidance tailors and interpreters, the foundation for anti-Semitism was developed.
• The authoritative rabbis and priests in their administrative power (this power has nothing to do with the true spiritual power) began solidifying and strengthening their own administrative power, and they did it by following the ancient technique of “divide and conquer”. Those rabbis and the priests for the last two millenniums constructed an image of mortal enemy of each other betraying the God’s unifying Torah/Bible guidance.
• For the last three centuries with the formation, slowly step-by-step, the Western Judeo-Christian civilization, Jewish-Christian hostility has been reduced, and reduced sharply, in both Jewish and Christian camps, and the opportunity for finding the spiritual Torah-based unity between Jews and Christians, and therefore for reducing the anti-Semitism, has been created.
That is why I believe the reestablishing of Torah/Bible-guided spiritual unity between the Jews and the Christians is the key in fighting the anti-Semitism.
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.
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.
Your assessment of the future of American and Israeli Jewry depends on how you define the Jewish identity.
If you define it, as traditional rabbis are doing, by being born to a sort of halakhic Jewish family, the future is bleak. Indeed, the Jewish majority in America and Israel is increasingly being born to non-halakhic Jewish families.
However if you define it, as the Jewish majority is doing, by the results of a sort of Jewish genetic urge for intuitive Torah-guided actions aimed at making our world a much better place for everybody, the future is great. Indeed, our world is getting better through scientific discoveries, social progresses, economic innovations and technology advances, and Jewish people are the leaders here.
The assessment of Rabbi Efrem Goldberg of AISH community is bleak since he, like all traditional rabbis, defines Jewishness by being born to a “pure” Jewish family. He says: (http://www.aish.com/jw/s/American-Jewry-is-Disappearing.html?s=mm)
The recent Jewish People Policy Institute study found that outside of Orthodoxy, fewer Jews are getting married, those marrying are marrying later and having fewer children and intermarriage rates are increasing. The combination of these three factors raises the daunting question of the future of American non-Orthodox Jews. Among all non-Orthodox Jews in the 25-54 age group, just 15% are married to a Jewish spouse and have Jewish children. Intermarriage rates increase the younger the generation. Among those aged 40-44, 60% are intermarried. Among those aged 35-39, it is 73%, and 75% of those aged 30-34 have a non-Jewish spouse.
The assessment of Michael Steinhardt of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life is very much optimistic since, like a good Jewish intellectual, he defines Jewishness by Jewish actions. He says:
The last 300 years is the most enlightened — it is when Jews really shined. I would use the word superior, except people blanch when I use that word. But it’s really what I mean: Jews have accomplished so much, so inexplicably out of proportion to their numbers, in these 300 years, and it’s one of the great failures of Jewish education that that’s not focused on at all. The modern state of Israel is the Jewish miracle of the 20th century, but it’s the secular part of Israel that’s the miracle. It’s the extraordinary achievement, it’s the technology, the military, the development of a society out of nothing using Zionist ideals, taking people from terrible places and making them Israeli citizens. Israel has become, for me, the substitute for religion.
It looks like the non-halakhic majority of American Jewry is on the side of Michael Steinhardt, not on the site of Rabbi Efrem Goldberg. They are sure they are not disappearing – they are changing, flourishing, and advancing the better world for everybody. They are preserving their historic greatness.
However, many in the non-halakhic Jewish majority may disagree with Michael Steinhardt on the fundamental question of the source of Jewish historic greatness. It looks like Michael Steinhardt believes this source is the God/Torah-empty atheism. However, it is strongly believed the source is the in-build God/Torah-based guidance. This guidance is transferred from generation to generation genetically and educationally. Some Jews acknowledge it openly, and those Jews are called religious; the rabbis and synagogues guide them. However, many Jews prefer not to have rabbis and synagogues approving their actions – these are called atheists.
Many intellectual Jews are dreaming to see a friendly spiritual discussion between Rabbi Efrem Goldberg and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt with the sole purpose to find a common Jewish spiritual platform on the Jewish identity and Torah-guided actions in our Judeo-Christian civilization. The following two questions may be addressed at the discussion:
If so many Jews were not asking the rabbis for their advice, why the rabbis who are concerned with the future of Jewish Nation would not approach the Jews who call themselves atheists or non-religious with a convincing Jewish history-based message that says:
We the Jews have been successful because we have in-build spiritual GPS guiding us along the Jewish spiritual values received from our Jewish families and communities – with the help of rabbis and synagogues, if such help is needed, or without such help for those who feel they already know how to do it.
If intermarriage is a contemporary Jewish trend, why the rabbis who are concerned with the future of Jewish Nation would not approach the Jews who decided to intermarry with a convincing Torah-guided message that says:
Your families can be much stronger and purposeful if your families live along the lines of Jewish Torah-guided traditions and we the rabbis are happy to help you.