web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘assimilation’

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.”

Avigdor Lieberman Warns US Jews ‘You Are Facing a Catastrophe’

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

American Jews are facing nothing less than a demographic catastrophe, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman asserted on Tuesday in a speech at the Jerusalem meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.

He quoted recent surveys that show that there are 6.1 million Jews in Israel and slightly less than 5.5 million in the United States, not including those who claim affiliation or identity with Judaism.

Lieberman emphasized that no Jew – whether in the Diaspora or in Israel and whether Reform Conservative or Orthodox – “is illegitimate and should be placed outside of the tent,” but he added. “There is a significant rise in those who have little or no Jewish content in their lives, marry outside the faith and are not raising their children Jewish.”

He pointed out, “The intermarriage rate has reached a high of 58% for all Jews, and 71% for non-Orthodox Jews, a huge change from before 1970 when only 17% of Jews intermarried.”

Attachment to Israel is markedly higher among older Jews, with only 32% of respondents under the age of 30 sharing the idea that “caring about Israel as an essential part of what being Jewish means to them.”

Lieberman then put the cards on the table and categorically stated they are stacked against the Diaspora.

“For many years, Israeli officials have called on our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, like many of you gathered here tonight, to donate your time, energies and funds to Israel,” he said. “However, I turn to you today and say that, while we are enormously and forever grateful for your assistance, we believe it is now time to concentrate on the challenges facing your own communities, especially those emanating from the dangerous trends in the Jewish community demonstrated in the recent survey.”

Lieberman was being kind. He could just as easily have said, “You American Jews sit as armchair generals for Israel, undermine our government’s struggle by deciding how we should deal with the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world while you don’t see that the ground in the Diaspora is crumbling under your feet.”

In more diplomatic language, he said, “Above all discussions on Iran and the Palestinians, your discussions with the Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency should be focused on saving future generations.”

Lieberman stated that education is the key to fighting “assimilation, intermarriage and disengagement” but that “Jewish children are being kept from the Jewish classrooms because of the exorbitant and prohibitive costs of Jewish education in the United States.”

“On my last visit to New York, I met with a Russian Jewish family in Brooklyn,” Lieberman told his audience. “They told me that for their three children to attend good Jewish schools it would cost them around $100,000. They simply could not endure such costs. They are not alone. This situation is being replicated across the Jewish world, whether in the United States, Russia, France, Argentina, or elsewhere. If this situation persists, we will lose another six million Jews in a generation or two.”

He said that most Israeli diplomats abroad shun local Jewish schools and instead send their children to learn at international schools because the standard is higher.

“Sadly this is also reflective of the general Jewish population in places like the United States, where only around 12% of Jewish children attend Jewish schools, and when the Orthodox children are removed from the equation; it drops down to no more than a few per cent,” he added.

Lieberman proposed the creation of a global network of Jewish schools with a superior standard, and he committed the Israeli government to budget $365 million a year in matching funds for the project.

He also is looking forward to massive aliyah “The creation of an international network of Jewish schools is only the first part of my vision,” Lieberman declared. “In addition, my goal is to bring an additional 3.5 million Jews from the Diaspora in the next ten years so that the Jewish population in Israel will exceed 10 million.”

Jews are undoubtedly a major influence in American life, but the number of Jews who are Jewish “in name only” spells a dismal future for the Diaspora.

One of the most self-serving ways to deny the future is to accept the definition of a Jew as anyone who considers himself Jewish. That kind of identity is temporary, at best.

Jewish institutions and organizations maybe boasting larger numbers, but the meaning of Jewish is becoming emptier.

What Lieberman essentially told the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem Tuesday was, “Wake up. It’s later than you think.”

Netanyahu Says His Son and Non-Jewish Girl only ‘Study Together’

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The son of Benjamin Netanyahu simply is only “studying” with his non-Jewish Norwegian girlfriend and is not dating her, sources in the Prime Minister’s office told the Shas Haredi party.

Earlier this year, a picture of Yair and Sandra Leikanger, 25, who both study at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, showed them together, and he recently visited her in Norway.

Prime Minister Netanyahu now denies the earlier report that he told the Norwegian Prime Minister in Davos last week about the relationship, which was headlined in Norway’s newspapers.

Aryeh Deri, head of the Shas party, told an Israeli radio station after the initial report, “I know friends of mine who invest tens of millions and more, hundreds of millions to fight assimilation in the world. If God forbid it’s true, woe to us…. It is no longer a personal matter — it is a symbol of the Jewish people.”

Whether Prime Minister Netanyahu has carried out damage control or the couple really has nothing going on between putting theirs together to study, the shock waves are enough to convince Yair to find another study partner, or, if h really s dating Sandra, to start her on the road to an Orthodox version.

JTA contributed to this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/netanyahu-says-his-son-and-non-jewish-girl-only-study-together/2014/01/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: