(You can see this and other posts with colorful pictures at http://www.intellectualjudaismjewishidentityincontemporaryjudeochristian.world/)
From the news media: Addressing a New York think tank, Netanyahu explained Russia’s desire to cooperate with Israel in the war against Islamic terror.
Addressing the Hudson Institute’s annual gala at New York’s Plaza Hotel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Moscow’s determination to protect Russia from the threat of Radical Islam.
“I think Russia has variegated interests. The first interest is to make sure militant Islam does not penetrate and destabilize Russia.”
“There are many, many millions of Muslims in Russia, including in greater Moscow, I think it’s up to two million. And the concern that Russia has, which many countries have is that these populations would be radicalized… First thing is, block militant Islam at its source, especially the Daesh [Islamic State] phenomenon. For that they make strange alliances,” he added.
The Israeli leader visited Moscow in June, where he was given full honors upon arrival. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country will expand cooperation with the Jewish state in the fight against Islamic terror.
Netanyahu is right – Putin clearly sees the dictatorial Islam as something alien and hostile to the dictatorial Russia, and he is containing it (like in Chechnya or Tatar region of Russia) or fighting it (like in ISIS’ Middle East) to defend his country.
The Obama’s understanding of Islam is completely different.
From the news media: Addressing to various Islamic and non-Islamic audiences, Obama described his spiritual connections to Islam.
Obama said, “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”.
If that is the case, Obama cannot fight Islamic terrorism in principle. Indeed, the “sweetest” Muslim call for prayer comes from the mosques – when you love “sweetest sounds” of Islamic prayers, you have to love the mosques. However, the mosques are supporting spiritually Islamic terrorism as a religious duty. Thus, more mosques bring more “sweetest sounds” and more Islamic terrorism.
Obama said, “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”
That is true, Islamic faith has done much to shape the world over the centuries. However, this “shaping” was not positive and peaceful to the developing Western Judeo-Christian civilization. Here are just a few reminders. The Islamic faith warriors, after they peacefully increased their presence in Spain and Portugal in the period of eight-10th centuries, tried to convert forcefully these Christian countries into Islamic ones. The Islamic faith warriors, after they peacefully increased their presence in the Middle East in the period of 10-11th centuries, defeated the Eastern Christian empire with the center in Constantinople, converted there all churches to mosques and renamed Constantinople into Istanbul. In 16-19th centuries, the Islamic Ottoman Empire captured much of the Christian Eastern Europe. That is why now Spain, Portugal and many countries of Eastern Europe are against any Islamic immigration into their countries.
Obama said, “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”
Tolerance to the Jews, Christians, Buddhists and other non-Muslims? –That is not true since the Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims are disappearing in all Islamic countries. Tolerance to the laws of Western democratic countries where Islamic immigration-based presence is getting stronger? – That is not true since Islam is creating there its own legal Sharia-based enclaves fighting the laws of the Western Judeo-Christian countries. Tolerance to other religions? – That is not true as well since all authoritative Islamic theologians strongly believe that the non-Muslim religions are anti-Allah formations and finally have to disappear.
Obama said, “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”
There numerous military conflicts doing on in the world these days, and most of them are Muslims fighting Muslims or Muslims overthrowing non-Muslims – in Syria, in Iraq, in Iran, in Egypt, in Libya, in Somali, in Yemen …. It looks like in the Islamic world there is nobody who promotes the peace – the peace in the Western Judeo-Christian definition of this word.
Thus, Obama is not fighting and cannot fight Islamic terrorism because, contrary to everything what is going on in Islamic world and its actions harmful to the Western Judeo-Christian civilization, he strongly believes in the superiority of Islam.
If Judaism and science do not go hand-in-hand, we are in spiritual trouble
Yes, that is true – if Judaism and science do not go hand-in-hand, we are in spiritual trouble. Judaism and science have to go hand-in-hand, and that is a message from the Torah: Judaism defines what to do and the science defines how to do it. In this regard, the latest directives from Israel’s Education Minister Bennett are confusing.
You can read the entire post at http://www.intellectualjudaismjewishidentityincontemporaryjudeochristian.world/
In my last post “Spiritually Jewish and non-Jewish Globalization”, I wrote:
The current blacks-against-whites rebellion in the USA is the result of this “non-Jewish” internal US globalization: the mighty US government is forcing some citizens who are happened to be racially black to follow “globalization rules” which are foreign to them. This rebellion has nothing to do with race relations. Those blacks who are guided in their lives by American-type Judeo-Christian moral rules, and there are many of them, live happily in America. The rebels are those, and there are many of them as well, who hate the American-type Judeo-Christian moral rules. Unfortunately, politically correct politicians are afraid of recognizing this, or using this to their advantage.
Israel has a similar – Arabs-against-Jews – rebellion. However, Israel is much more successful in managing the danger of the rebellion since Israel has correctly diagnosed the roots of the danger while the USA politically correct establishment is scared of recognizing them.
From the news media:
The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile join the ongoing, devastating list of black men, women and children killed by police who did not have to take their lives. … These deaths, like the ones that came before them, communicate to black and brown people that their lives can be taken at whim by officers who have shown that they will not hesitate to do so … This systemic injustice and institutional violence should horrify everyone.
The news media repeats the politically correct but factually wrong diagnosis of the roots of the rebellion – they say that is a rebellion against white police racial brutality committed against innocent black people. That is an opinion of the politically correct establishment, which is far away from the true roots of the rebellion proclaimed by the rebels themselves.
Here how members of “Black Lives Matter” describe the goal of their movement:
We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement. We have a Black Radical Tradition to build on. Our tradition of militant fight back has been anchored in five ideological tendencies that are most often woven together in the thought and practice of any given individual, organization, or movement. These are: Black liberation theology, Pan-Africanism, Nationalism, Feminism, and Socialism.
The message is clear: we the rebels who happened to be mostly black have spiritually nothing in common with you the majority of US citizens who happened to be mostly white. We do not want to join you and have our lives governed and restricted by your American-style Judeo-Christian rules. We want to be independent within your country living under the rules of Black liberation theology, Pan-Africanism and Nationalism.
The same message is coming from the Arabs in Palestine concerning the State of Israel and Jews. Here is how the Hamas Charter is outlining the movement founding identity, stand, and aims:
The struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious and calls for the eventual creation of an Islamic state in Palestine, in place of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and the obliteration or dissolution of Israel. There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. Renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion of Islam.
The Hamas Covenant follows the ideology of the Palestinian National Charter, which says:
The Arab Palestinian people, expressing themselves by the armed Palestinian revolution, reject all solutions, which are substitutes for the total liberation of Palestine and reject all proposals aiming at the liquidation of the Palestinian problem, or its internationalization.
Here the message is clear as well: we the Arabs of Palestine have spiritually nothing in common with you the Jews of Palestine in the state of Israel. We do not want to join you and have our lives governed and restricted by your Jewish rules. We want to live without you the Jews under the Muslim rules of Sharia.
Thus in Israel and USA there are groups of people who are fighting for the right to be guided in their lives by their own rules, which are incompatible with the rules of the country great majority – in Israel, the rules of Judaism; in USA, the American-style Judeo-Christian rules. There is no way to force them to respect and follow the law of the countries where they reside.
It looks like now there is no solution that can satisfy both sides – the Jewish majority in Israel and its Arab rebels, and Judeo-Christian majority in USA and its Black rebels. If it is so, we, the majority in Israel and USA, have to wait patiently until an acceptable solution is born. What to do now?
Israel has developed a successful “waiting strategy”, which is to crash immediately any rebellion action, to prevent any hope that rebellion actions may work – with no time limits on the waiting. That is no negotiations with the rebels – let them first realize their rebellion has no chance to succeed and then to accept a limited internal independence suggested by Israel.
The US political establishment has not been able to acknowledge that all their actions for the last six decades to make various black rebellious movements respect and follow the American-style Judeo-Christian way of life, such as the affirmative actions, numerous welfare programs, “Obama’s money and phones”, and harsh police punishment for presumed harsh treatment of black law offenders, have failed. The rebellion mood in anti-American black movements (fortunately, many blacks are not in those movements) is growing. America has to pay attention to the Israel’s way to deal with internal rebellious groups and to elect a new government capable to learn and act.
When I visit the Western Wall for prayers and inspiration, I always observe here Jews, and even non-Jews, of different “colors” – in completely white/black uniforms and in just colorful t-shorts – trying to find here the meaning of their individual lives. Everything looks peaceful and inspiring.
Then I read in the news media:
Clash between Haredi and non-Orthodox Jews at Western Wall. The Western Wall plan continues to spark riots: Today, hundreds of Reform and Conservative Jews arrived at the Western Wall in order to hold an egalitarian prayer service in protest of the decision to delay the plan. At the holy site, they encountered dozens of Haredi Jews who shouted and whistled in order to disrupt their prayer service.
Women of the Wall have been fighting a 25-year long battle “to achieve the social and legal recognition of our right, as women, to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall.”
In what may have been his first words on the subject in Hebrew, Netanyahu said: “At a time when we are continuing in our efforts to reach a solution that will allow every Jew to feel at home at the Western Wall, there are those who would prefer to divide our people and even declare that other Jews are wicked or not Jews at all. We must reject these words and these inappropriate acts that are opposed to the fundamental spirit of the State of Israel.”
At the Western Wall, the Jews are expressing and strengthening their faith – they are not here because the Jewish law is compelling them to do so. At the Western Wall, the Jews are as inspired faithful individuals – not as an organized group led by a rabbi or somebody behaving like a rabbi.
However, sometimes a rabbi or somebody behaving like a rabbi lead to the Western Wall an organized group that disrupts the Western–Wall harmony of the faithful – with the goal of strengthening his/her religious group and membership and with clear knowledge that it disrupts the Western-Wall harmony of faithful. Those official and nonofficial rabbis put their business-based professional interests above the Jewish faith.
That is a well-observed troubling general trend in the “professional Judaism” – the rabbis of multiple different streams and sub-streams are interested more in emphasizing their difference to attract more members and money instead of searching for and strengthening the common foundation of Jewish faith which is the “design” of the God-guided better world for everybody.
Finally, I have understood why the rabbis are hesitant, or sometimes even afraid, to discuss how individual Jews may feel or sense their own Jewish faith. That is so because the rabbis are teachers of the Jewish law (including traditions and rituals) – not of the faith.
The faith is a strong belief or trust in someone or something, most importantly in the existence of God and His morality guidance on how to create a better world for everybody. The Jewish “tribe” has its own understanding of God-guided morality – the other “tribes” have their own understanding. The belief or trust in someone or something cannot be learnt – it is inherent at a sort of genetic level. If somebody in the tribe does not have the common faith of the tribe, no teacher is able to install it in this person. It looks like we are born with our faith. The Jewish faith-morality is presented in the Torah even for those who do not know of its existence (and never talked to a rabbi).
With the Jewish law (including rituals and tradition) everything is different. The Jewish law is a human codification of the Torah guidance on morality done mostly by the rabbis. Our rabbis have created the Jewish law, and the Jewish law continues to be developed. Since the Jewish law is of human development, it is a subject of human – in the Jewish case the rabbinical – competitiveness. That is why we have many competitive variations of the Jewish laws created by different rabbis at different times.
Below are the thoughts of two respectable rabbis in support of the above stated.
Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.
A rabbi is a teacher of Judaism qualified to render decisions in Jewish law. The term is derived from rav, meaning “great man” or “teacher;” Moses is called Moshe Rabbenu. (“Moses our teacher”).
In post-Talmudic times, the conventional title among Sephardi Jews was Hakham, “sage,” and this title is still used by the Sephardim. The Ashkenazim preferred the term “Rabbi” and developed a new form of ordination, in which a prominent scholar subjected a candidate for the rabbinate to an examination in order to determine his proficiency in Jewish law.
The professional rabbi was unknown before the fourteenth century. Scholars capable of rendering decisions in Jewish law performed this function without receiving any salary, following the Talmudic injunction against obtaining financial gain from the Torah, except that scholars were exempted from communal taxation and had the right to be served first when buying in the market-place, so as to enable them to devote more time to their studies.
Once the rabbinate became a profession, proper contracts of service were drawn up and these are discussed in the later [law] codes under the heading of general financial undertakings. This pattern was preserved among the Ashkenazim in Eastern European communities, as was the institution of the Hakham among the Sephardi and Oriental communities, and it is still the norm in the State of Israel and in the Diaspora communities of the older Orthodox type.
Thus, the rabbinate is a profession, and as any other professions rabbis have to compete with others in the field.
Rabbi Gordimer is a member of the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, and a member of the New York Bar. His writings on Jewish topics are published widely.
It is sometimes hard to believe what we are reading, as things are turned upside down in an effort to be politically correct and gain popular appeal. Orthodox Judaism has never sought to be politically correct – on the contrary, it has stood its guns no matter what direction the winds are blowing. Unfortunately, with the case of Modern Orthodox rabbis who have crossed the line into Open Orthodoxy, it has become almost commonplace to read the unbelievable, things that would never have been expressed were Rabbi Soloveitchik zt”l, the Torah luminary of American Modern Orthodoxy, still with us. Sometimes, shocking ideas are articulated in direct contravention of his views, with the excuse that “times have changed.” Since when has that wellworn excuse been used in Orthodoxy? This, much as it hurts to write it, seems to be the case when it comes to rabbinic superstar, Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin, who seems to be on a much publicized collision course with tradition.
Theologically, the Reform and Conservative (as well as the Reconstructionist) movements reject the Singular Divine Authorship of the Torah and the other Cardinal Principles of Faith, and they have disavowed the binding nature of halakha.
I am not a rabbi but feel strongly that this rabbi is wrong: the other rabbis, whom this rabbi maligns, do not reject “the Singular Divine Authorship of the Torah and the other Cardinal Principles of Faith”. The other rabbis are tailoring and applying “the Singular Divine Authorship of the Torah and the other Cardinal Principles of Faith” to different human life conditions that rabbi Gordimer has not met yet.