web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘assimilation’

Religious Mailmen Complain They Have to Deliver Missionary Propaganda

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Religiously observant mailmen in Ashkelon are pleading with the Yad L’Achim  anti-missionary organization to intercede on their behalf so that they don’t have to deliver missionary material to tens of thousands of homes.

The mailmen had asked their employer, Israel Post, to be excused from the task on the grounds that it offends their religious sensibilities, but their request fell on deaf ears.

Yad L’Achim appealed directly to Israel Post to order that delivery of the offensive material, produced by a local Baptist cult, be immediately suspended. One of its legal advisers, Moshe Morgenstern, clarified that distribution of the flyers, in Hebrew and Russian, was a violation of the law banning attempts to entice minors to convert.

Morgenstern stressed that children, who arrive home from school before their parents and collect the mail, are the first to be exposed to the material.

Yad L’Achim launched a counteroffensive and distributed flyers to the city’s 35,000 households warning of the dangerous material in their mailboxes and calling on them to throw it out.

Israel Post told Israel Radio that the subject was “under investigation.”

Yad L’Achim stated:

It is encouraging to see how the Jewish heart is awake, as seen by the initiative taken by the mailmen in contacting us, and in the many Ashkelon residents who were shocked to see missionary material in their mailboxes and immediately called  us to express their pain.

On the other hand, it hurts to see time and again how the Israeli authorities to turn a blind eye to the missionary programs that continue unabated.

Israeli law does not forbid missionary activity among adults, and the law against proselytizing minors is not strictly enforced.

Missionaries have claimed that “more Jews have converted to Christianity than in the 1,900 years before that.”

Jews in the Diaspora also are under the constant zeal of missionaries, some of whom fanned out at the Celebrate Israel Festival in Los Angeles last week.

Jews for Judaism Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz wrote in the Los Angeles  Jewish Journal:

Dozens of missionaries descended on —– or invaded — the Celebrate Israel Festival in ways that I never thought possible….

Jews for Jesus distributed literature inside the park…. [A] second group of burly men.…could be described as bikers or former inmates who have accepted Jesus. Their T-shirts were…inflammatory, with statements that you must accept Jesus or go to hell. …

Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue, which professes belief in Jesus as the Messiah and God, officially had a booth at the festival. I believe its members’ presence violates Jewish law and a long-standing understanding of The Jewish Federation and board of rabbis banning their inclusion in Jewish events….

Contrary to what some people say, the threat of missionaries targeting Jews for conversion has not disappeared. In fact, it is more prevalent than ever.

Rabbi Kravitz added that Israel’s Channel 2 recently reported that there are more than 20,000 “Messianic believers in Jesus” in Israel.

Wasserman-Schultz Puts Stamp of Approval on Intermarriage

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has done somersaults after making a comment noting the “the problem of intermarriage” in the Jewish community and then insisting she does not oppose it.

It is a bit bewildering that Wasserman Schultz, who also is head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), felt the need to retract a comment that should not have raised too many eyebrows.

Her remarks were made at a Jewish Federation event, in which she said:

We have the problem of assimilation. We have the problem of intermarriage. We have the problem that too many generations of Jews don’t realize the importance of our institutions strengthening our community—particularly with the rise of anti-Semitism and global intolerance.

The playback must have sounded too committed to her and anyone, mostly in the Reform Movement, whose idea of “commitment” is not to be committed to anything, such as the Torah, that interferes with the individual as the judge and jury of what is wrong and right.

Here is how she backtracked:

At an annual Jewish community event in my congressional district, I spoke about my personal connection to Judaism and in a larger context about the loss of Jewish identity and the importance of connecting younger generations to the institutions and values that make up our community. I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it.

Is it guilt that was behind her repentance? Does she feel guilty for saying intermarriage is a “problem” when members of her family are a “product of intermarriage”?

Is it forbidden to say that intermarriage is a problem?

Apparently so.

Wasserman Schultz has implicitly put her stamp of approval on the “problem” of assimilation, which is estimated at 60 percent in the United States.

Reform Judaism does not officially oppose or favor intermarriage, although there is a clear trend of its clergy to officiate at weddings between a Jew and a non-Jew.

Polls show that only 25 percent of children of intermarried couples identify themselves as Jewish, and the term “Jewish” can be understood in its widest and most liberal interpretation that gives a person the self-satisfaction of calling himself a Jew while wolfing down a cheeseburger on Yom Kippur.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted Ira M. Sheskin, of Cooper City, director of the University of Miami’s Jewish Demography Project, as saying, “There’s no question that there’s significant concern in the Jewish community over the percentage of people who are choosing not to marry Jews… From the point of view of a community that wants to see itself around in the next 100 years, it’s not a good trend.”

Wasserman Schultz’ Conservative synagogue Rabbi Adam Watstein told the Florida newspaper that “intermarriage is a feature of the reality of the Jewish community in the United States.”

That is true if the Jewish community accepts intermarriage. It is not true if it does not.

Prof. Sheskin mentioned that there is intermarriage in his own family, but that didn’t stop him from forecasting the obvious result of intermarriage for Judaism.

Wasserman Schultz couldn’t go that far, and her justification of what she admits is a “problem” is one more alarm siren for what remains of American Jewry.

Police Raid Homes of Anti-Assimilation Volunteers

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Police raided homes in Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, and central Israel on Sunday in a crackdown on the anti-assimilation group Lehava. Four members of the group were arrested.

Last week, police arrested 10 Lehava activists, including the group’s leader, Bentzi Gopstein. They were released on Friday, but police warned that they would face charges.

Lehava fights intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews in Israel, and in particular, marriage between Jewish women and Arab men. The group argues that Arab men are marrying Jewish women as part of a “silent Holocaust” in which Jewish identity is erased, and the next generation is raised as Muslim.

An estimated tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish women are in relationships with Arab Muslim men, anti-assimilation activists say. In contrast, marriages between Muslim women and Jewish men are virtually unheard-of, due in no small part to violent opposition to such marriages within the Muslim community.

Lehava came under scrutiny after several young activists were involved in violent attacks. Three Lehava activists were recently arrested for setting fire to a classroom in a mixed Jewish-Arab school. A short time later, a teenager who had volunteered with the group attacked his teacher during a class.

Police swooped in to detain members of the group. They are expected to face charges of incitement to commit acts of racially-motivated violence.

Chelsea Clinton Gives Birth to (Non-Jewish) Baby Girl

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Chelsea Clinton gave birth to a baby girl on Friday night.

Chelsea, and her husband Marc Mezvinsky, named the baby Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.

Chelsea tweeted a few hours after the birth:

Marc and I are full of love, awe and gratitude as we celebrate the birth of our daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.

The baby’s famous and very excited grandparents are, of course, former President Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Congratulations on giving birth to a healthy baby.

 

When she announced he pregnancy, Clinton, who heads an interfaith society had previous said, “With all candor, because my husband is Jewish and I’m Christian, and we’re both practicing, it’s something that’s quite close to home.”

Chelsea used a very loose definition of “practicing”.

As Rabbi Stav, the head of the moderate, Israeli Orthodox organization, Tzohar, said in November 2013,

“The problem of assimilation among American Jews is not only an American problem, it’s our problem, too. There’s an ocean of ceremonies and an ocean of people eager to conduct ceremonies. Chelsea Clinton married a Jewish guy. I’m not arguing the legitimacy of it, you’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew? You want me to recognize the rabbi who officiated at her wedding as a rabbi? Are you trying to push intermarriage through my back door?”

Assimilation is rampant among non-Orthodox Jews in America and is even worse in Europe.

According to Jewish law, a person is only considered Jewish if their mother is Jewish, or they underwent a proper conversion. Simply calling yourself Jewish, when you’re not, does not make one Jewish.

Charlotte will of course be able to properly convert to Judaism when she gets older, if she wants to become a Jew.

Judaism does not discriminate against anyone who wants to sincerely take upon themselves the obligations and laws of the Torah, and join the Jewish nation.

Mahmud loves Moral

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The  big news item today is the  wedding of  Moral and Mahmud of Jaffa.

The mixed  couple ( actually Moral converted to Islam – surely convinced of it’s  superior theology over Judaism )  join a  growing trend in Israel as thousands of Jewish woman marry Arab men. (Arab women don’t marry Jewish men – there  could be fatal consequences).

Moral and  Mahmud’s   marriage  is a major news  item because the “Lehava” organization has made it a public item.

“Lehava” is dedicated  to “stopping assimilation” in Israel. They are alarmed at the  growing trend  They demonstrated tonight out side the  wedding hall causing a national furor.

I followed the media coverage of the  debate and it was  a great opportunity  for a look into the Israeli social fabric.

Very few public figures came  out strongly against the  marriage  or  agreed with the protest.  That  would  be  totally  not PC. Many said that they were  in principal against “assimilation / inter marriage” but stopped short of challenging the  right  of free choice of the young couple.

 This  is  a very basic issue that has been shoved under the carpet for a long time.

Jewish country? How  so?

 The president Reuven Rivlin, wished  them a mazal tov. Ms. Yael Germann,(Yesh Atid party) health minister, was happy that Israel was,” taking a step forward to a more tolerant and pluralistic society..”

The media was all  for it.  They dumped on the  “Lehava” people as extremist – racist and should mind their own business. One  radio personality said, it is  not like in the USA. Here it is only a  few thousand. Israel  can handle it”

 I don’t know. I shake my head and wonder what the idea of this Jewish country was  about in the first place? “Bernie loves Bridgett” I knew  in the old country.

It was  the death knell of  generations of Jews… Are  some of my  fellow Israelis so lacking in identity, so numb of soul.?

I was not born here. I  made “Aliyah”- adopted this Jewish country. Was I being naive or unsophisticated in my expectations?.

No, I don’t think so. I was  being true to those who dreamed for thousands of years of a Jewish state.

 One does not have to be a lawyer or an intellectual to explain what that means. A Jew  with a Jewish neshama knows what it is not. It is not Moral  loves Mahmud.

A Nation Destined To Dwell Alone (Part One)

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

The Torah teaches us that we are a people destined to dwell alone –a nation not counted among the nations of the world. From the very genesis of our nationhood, our destiny has been to be the lamb surrounded by seventy wolves.

This has been true throughout the centuries, in every generation and in every country of our sojourn. I personally experienced it as a young woman in Europe during the Holocaust.

Many of our secular brethren have difficulty dealing with this prophecy. Surely it cannot be, they insist; and if it is, it must be our own fault. We have, they say, focused on our exceptionalism rather than on our universal responsibility, our oneness with all mankind.

In every generation we’ve had Jews who feel we must dive into that universal melting pot and take caution not to be distinct – not to be different from the nations of the world. If we only did that, according to this way of thinking, all anti-Semitism would cease.

That is precisely why so many of our people have come to resent a Jew who looks identifiably Jewish: beard, yarmulke, hat, visible tzitzit, etc.

Such universalists look at Orthodox Jews and say to themselves – and to others: “Why do they call attention to how they’re dressed? Why can’t they be like everyone else? They’re an embarrassment!”

This was the outlook of many of our people prior to the Holocaust, especially in Germany where the Reform movement was born. But despite all their efforts, the nations of the world still would not accept us. And when Hitler’s fury descended on the Jews, few people cared.

We begged. We wept. We pleaded for the enlightened 20th century nations to hear us and extended a helping hand. It was all in vain. We stood alone once more. The nations of the world abetted the Nazi savages by closing their eyes and gates as we were consumed in the ovens and the gas chambers.

But the Jewish universalists who believe in the goodness of man will not accept such a reality. Basically, they say, all men are compassionate; basically, all nations have goodness in them and if we don’t see it or experience it, it must be our fault.

But despite the tireless efforts of our people to assimilate in pre-Holocaust Europe – and no matter how much we excelled in the finest universities and gave of our talent in medicine, in science, in art – the hatred and resentment remained.

Here we are in the 21st century and has anything changed? Look at what has just transpired in the Middle East. The response to the continuous barrage of missiles from Gaza into Israel was relatively muted. Yes, some countries voiced disapproval, but it seemed so formulaic, so perfunctory. Yet as soon as Israel hit back, demonstrators clogged the streets of Europe to denounce Israel in the vilest of terms and world leaders called for an immediate cease-fire.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves. Can it be that Hashem wants us to realize that we indeed are a nation destined to live alone? Can it be that Hashem wants us to turn to Him to acknowledge that He and only He is our shepherd who can protect and save us?

The moment we forget our Guardian above, G-d forbid, we will be rendered easy prey once again. Iron Domes are wonderful but they are only as strong as Hashem allows them to be. Nothing in this universe is invincible except He who is above us.

I vividly recall the days after the Six-Day War. Israel became like David, achieving the impossible and defeating the malevolent giant Goliath. The world had never witnessed such triumph – a war that lasted six days and yielded such one-sided results.

Dust Off The Windows (Part Three)

Monday, April 14th, 2014

In my previous column I continued to focus on the dusty windows that obscure our Jewish vision. I noted the inexplicable hatred and persecution that has plagued us throughout the centuries.

In every generation there are those among us who try to convince us it is our distinct Jewish appearance, customs and observances that have alienated us from our non-Jewish neighbors.

But how can these people explain the fact that Muslims, Hindus, monks, nuns, and priests who wear special garb do so generally undisturbed, even commanding respect?

Take a look at the yarmulkes worn by the pope and the cardinals of the Catholic Church. And the pope has a special hat, a mitre, which is quite similar to what was worn by the high priest of our holy Temple.

So how is it that we who introduced religious head coverings to the world should be treated with such disdain and brutality?

In our obsession to blend in with the nations we keep shedding more and more of our Jewishness but, paradoxically, the more we try the more we try to be like others, the more we are resented.

In vain did Ezekiel the prophet call out in days of yore that no matter how much we scheme in your hearts to be like all the other nations, we will never be considered the same as them. And he warned us of the terrible consequences of renouncing our heritage, our covenant.

Sadly, despite the admonishments not only of Ezekiel but of all our prophets, we have yet to learn our lesson. We continue to assimilate with fury – an assimilation compounded by our Jewish illiteracy. The great majority of our people have no knowledge of the Torah, the Prophets, or the Talmud. If you were to ask them just for the titles of our sacred books, not even a description of the contents, they would stare at you blankly.

Hashem, who knows the past, present and future, created in His infinite mercy windows for us. Windows through which we would be able to see what our minds reject and our eyes cannot envision. We have forgotten the message, yet it is easily accessible if we’d only look through the windows.

These windows prominently showcase the message of all our Yom Tovim but we refuse to look. In our pursuit of money, assimilation and good times we allow dust to settle on our windows until we can no longer see through them.

I started to write this series of columns between the weeks of Purim and Pesach. Even small children are aware of the magical story of Purim. Queen Esther was prepared to sacrifice her life to save her people from Haman. They know Mordechai was determined to awaken every Jew. But what really happened in that story?

Years before Haman’s ascent, King Achashveirosh called for a great celebration in honor of his marriage to the evil Vashti. All citizens of the empire were invited, including the Jews. Mordechai warned his brethren not to attend. The food would not be Jewish food. The atmosphere would be a desecration of G-d’s Name.

The people chose to ignore Mordechai’s warning. They had their own rationalizations to justify their participation. “It is not good for us to stay away…to refuse an invitation from the king. Persia is our host country. We have a good life over here. We have good relationships with the Persians.”

So they went and took part in a banquet that quickly became a nightmare of unspeakable drunkenness and debauchery.

Nine years down the line Haman was elevated to his position as second to the king. He convinced the king to annihilate all the Jews, pointing out that the Jews had forsaken their covenant. “It’s time to attack! When they abandon their G-d they become putty in our hands.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/dust-off-the-windows-part-three/2014/04/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: