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.
From the news media:
The Canadian House of Commons has passed motion M103, which singles out the criticism of Islam as a form of “Islamophobia”. Iqra Khalid, a Muslim member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, tabled motion M103. It states the government must “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination”.
So what is religion of Islam in the contemporary Judeo-Christian civilization – religion of peace we should joyfully coexist with, or religion of violence that should be feared and restricted in our own “Judeo-Christian home”?
Any religion has two critical components.
One of them is the belief in the existence of Almighty Super Power called God who created us the humans (and of course, everything else), guides us in our lives, rewards us if we obey and discipline us if we misbehave. Our religious institutions (synagogues and churches) are the deliverers of God’s guidance.
This critical religious component – the belief in the existence of Almighty Super Power called God – does not require any test for Muslim immigration into the Judeo-Christian America since our nation was created as a nation blessed by God. Indeed, the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. Our Constitution had been written with necessary provisions for forcing our political institutions to secure those God-given unalienable Rights.
However, the other critical component of any religion affects, and affects intensely, the functioning of a nation, and this is a religious ideology. Like a secular ideology, this ideology defines what is Good and what is Bad in human behavior, and how to support Good and suppress Bad through the government legislative work. Although the religious leaders declare what is Good and what id Bad in the name of God, their declarations are not the word of God – their declarations are their human interpretation of what may or may not be the true God’s guidance.
That is why in the area of religious ideology various religions are differing significantly. Some of them are comparable with our founding Judeo-Christian religious ideology while some are adversarial.
If the founding national ideology is infected by an adversarial ideology, a nation is on the way to very destructive disturbances. That is why the religious immigration test for this religious component is not just necessary but is the matter of national destiny.
The ideological religious test should be based on the Judeo-Christian founding ideological ideas something like the following.
· Do you believe the government should provide you with comfortable level of living, or you believe you have to provide a comfortable level of living for yourself and your family through your own work?
· Do you believe you have to resolve your disputes with the others in the nation’s legal institutions, or you believe your traditional courts (sharia courts for example) are the way for you?
· Do you believe all religions are equally important, or you believe in the superiority of your religion?
· Are you familiar with the ideological Judeo-Christian foundation of our country and do believe you can follow it, or you believe you should preserve your old traditions in the new country?
· If the reality proves, you cannot do all in the above, would you agree to return to your native country?
We have to apply the religious ideological test to all immigrants to prevent our ideological adversaries from becoming citizens of our country – to prevent people with dangerous ideologies to come to our country and harm our way of life
From the news media:
A former Labour Party foreign minister has implied the government of Tony Blair was wrong to ignore the religious roots of Islamist terror, urging authorities to ‘take on’ the ideology to defeat terror. Kim Howells, who oversaw the work of MI5 and MI6 during the Blair and Brown years, said Islamist violence is distinct from other forms of terror and Western values such as democracy must be defended.
Yes, it is true. The Islamic religious ideology is indeed looks as incompatible with the American and Western religious Judeo-Christian ideology and therefore has to be subjected to an immigration-related “religious test”.