Saturday, July 13, 2024
Saturday, July 13, 2024
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The Self-delusion of Secular Jews

David Mamet
Unherd, Dec. 7, 2023

“Western Jews have traditionally voted for liberalism, … We support the United Nations, a Potemkin village of remittance men hired to denounce Israel, and we elect politicians who kowtow to murderous antisemites. We send our children to elite universities, which teach antisemitism and support anti-Jewish demonstrations, and then advise them to “stay safe”. Can you name another group which behaves similarly?”

What can we Jews not accomplish? There were three years between the ovens of Auschwitz and the foundation of the Jewish State. And then the Israelis transformed the wasteland between the River and the Sea into an agricultural phenomenon, supplying much of Europe’s produce. Jews even wrote the world’s greatest Christmas songs: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” by Mendelssohn, a converted Jew (a “Jew”), and “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin.

One of Berlin’s first hits was the 1911 “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, whose lyrics were rewritten during the Vietnam War. I recall, similarly, how the lyrics of the old Ashkenazi melody about Hanukkah — “One [candle] for each night, they remind us of fights” — were updated for delicate baby-boomer ears: “One for each night, they shed a sweet light”. Hanukkah, however, is a commemoration of the Jewish martial victory, in 168 BCE, over the Syrian armies of Antiochus Epiphanes, who desecrated the Temple.

In 1883, the Hebrew Union College, the first Reform Seminary in America, graduated its first class of Reform Rabbis. The ceremonies concluded with a banquet of lobster, shrimp and pork: the famous Trefa Banquet. What were the Rabbis celebrating? A commencement, we know, means the beginning of a new thing. The new thing here was not the commencement of a life of service to the Jews — but of freedom from Judaism’s constraints.

The Reform Movement began in 19th-century Germany among those members of the despised race who were honoured by their admittance, and intent on maintaining the exemption. What is it that Jews cannot do? We can’t stop passing for white.

 … [To read the full article, click here]

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