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Noted Israeli author and Israel Prize Laureate A.B. Yehoshua said that living outside Israel "is a very deep failure of the Jewish people," and lamented that immigration numbers from the United States are "minimal" and "embarrassing." He was equally acerbic regarding the large Israeli ex-patriot community.
While A.B. Yehoshua may be right about the problem, his recent harsh words in which he calls American Jews “partial Jews” for not living in Israel do not help much. There are no partial Jews, we are a family, a tribe, a nation, and we simply cannot allow our people to become disconnected. We should never talk down to Jews, we should talk up, inspire, and heal. To bring the family together, you need to talk in the language of love.
Republican US presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul will have to answer to pro-Israel supporters following a blog post by a former senior aide stating Paul wishes Israel “did not exist”.
No matter our stage in life, one is seldom comfortable feeling left out. Unfortunately, many American Jews experience exactly that feeling each year as Christmas approaches. The term “December Dilemma” is used to describe the tension many Jews feel sitting on the sidelines, unable to fully enjoy or participate in the distinctly Christian themes and activities occurring all around.
The recent kerfluffle over Israeli government video ads and billboard posters, designed to entice wayward yordim to return home, instead exposed the troubled psyche of American Jews.
Last week the Anti Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee circulated a proposed “unity pledge” for American Jews which, according to a press release, was designed “to encourage other national organizations, elected officials, religious leaders, community groups and individuals to rally around bipartisan support for Israel while preventing the Jewish state from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season.”
WASHINGTON - Call Joe Lieberman the unlikely evangelist. The Independent senator from Connecticut - and the best-known Orthodox Jew in American politics - is probably more cognizant than most of his Jewish congressional colleagues about rabbinical interdictions against encouraging non-Jews to mimic Jewish ritual.
Intermarriage is without doubt destroying the American Jewish community. There are approximately 5.6 million American Jews, some 2 million of whom live in households identified as non-Jewish. Better than half the Jewish children under the age of 18 are being raised as non-Jews or with no religion. Whereas before 1965 only 10 percent of American Jews who married did so outside the faith, that percentage has jumped over the past two-and-a-half decades to at least 52 percent.
"It's been a long time since American Jewry has been [so] shaken," declared the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in its July 9 Magazine cover story. Judging from the volume of chatter thundering across the upper firmament of the media heavens, this is no exaggeration.
A reader responding to last week's column concerning Commentary magazine's symposium on President Obama, Israel, and American Jews, cautioned that such endeavors be taken with more than the proverbial grain of salt, since even the brightest of minds can fail to see what lies ahead, particularly when the subject is as volatile and unpredictable as U.S. Mideast policy or the Arab-Israeli conflict in general.
"May we be worthy of our role." So ends the author's dedication of The Jewish Revolution (1971) to his son, Aryeh. Scholar, writer and active Zionist, Israel Eldad warned the Jewish People against relying upon others to defend them. Boldly asserting it was the consistent miscalculations of "Jewish diplomacy" that had hastened the genocidal fate of millions during the Holocaust, Eldad's great wisdom underscores the terrible folly of still-ongoing Israeli concessions for peace.