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THE MANY JEW VIEWS
The Jewish entity has been perceptible
for over well over 3500 years in legend, folk
lore and their imperishable Torah—the
Five Books of Moses. In all
this time it has beguiled, instructed, admonished, inspired, and exhorted—and even at times threatened--- us on the upward human path to mortal
holiness. Still only a very tiny aspect
of the human mass on Planet Earth. Now evidently only about two tenths of one percent of all sentient mortals with no enriching thoughts of obvious near
term growth. Indeed, strenuously still divided against their fellow avowed
other Jews into many disagreeing and
discordant sects and sub sects. In all
their long and still tenuous history, still agreeing only on two fundamental principles--- according to modern
Jewish sages---never again a horrendous atrocity such as the Holocaust, and the establishment of a national homeland
That postage stamp size entity mandated by the United Nations in l948,---the state of Israel--- no bigger than a tiny dot on a world map, even only most minuscule on a regional map of the middle east, has never been accepted by the neighboring Arab states, who still vow “to push the Jews into the sea” and thus void this last place of refuge and safety in the evidently enduring human bias against Jews.
And since its inception over 65 years ago the Jews of
Three direct wars, indeed, have been fomented by Arab arms, starting
with the l948 rejection of the United Nation declaration of the validity
of the new Jewish state, then the l967
and 1973(Yom Kippur War) attacks, both
successfully repelled by the new Jewish State.
A period of resigned, grudging acceptance followed, but true compliance
was never achieved. Instead the
insidious terror of individual suicide bombing began and the Jews, more or less in self defense, curtailed their nascent hiring of local
Arabs to fill the jobs their growing
enterprise was creating. Instead
creating hindering check points to screen possible terrorists from entering
Most important was the fact that in all the ensuing years after Israel’s victory and acclaimed statehood, won with battlefield approval by the United Nations, Arab intransigence diplomatically---by refusing to sign a peace treaty, left open their still festering wound and increasing sympathy for the Palestinians became more common. Now they gradually became the underdog, and the Jewish nation slowly became the ‘Nazi like Israeli state’. The idea of a Jewish State, and the central concept of Zionism, as in ancient times, became inverted to a racist concept, even though about 20% of the citizenry, with full voting privileges, are Israeli Arabs. And this anti Jewish feeling is again rather fashionable in higher social circles, as openly manifested—most embarrassingly--by a French high level diplomat as “that shitty little state” just a few years ago.
however, is the overriding still
That is why I have involuntarily and
perhaps inadvertantly become a card carrying member of that nameless but
persistent new Jewish sect that I now hereby officially dub as the Reconservadox Jew! Some of this of my own creative stumbling
forward, but mostly the interaction of compromise with what
swirling modernity brings about. And mostly in relation to the inner emotions of
sentient and impressionable children. And thus what both of my wives and my own
mature reflection now believe as viable loving doctrine for
comfortable and productive family interaction.
Essentially what that great and much quoted Hebrew prophet Isaiah
proclaimed----“and a child shall lead them.”
That is, I started out as an ordinary Jewish youth in
This relatively moderate mix of secular orthodox elements stood us in good stead throughout my young adult life, until our young children became a more important factor in our total family situation. I and my late wife had married relatively young, a not unusual phenomenon in those days, especially when both sets of parents respected our wishes and had the financial wherewithal to help support the embryonic dentist ---Myself--- then only a senior at New York University College of Dentistry. However those kind, loving and hopeful parents soon were rewarded with grandparenthood status with our first two children, a girl and a boy. And we, the youthful and striving parents that we were soon began to realize that we were doing what ancient Jews started doing 2500 years ago---then and even now. We were “a whoreing after strange gods.” As our ancient prophets such as Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, and many others have insisted, we were almost going overboard in our social conviviality to establish the “new young dentist” image in our new Long Island community, so we would have an important mental first in the minds of equally new earnest residents needing and seeking that important first dental visit for all that vital necessary and long term dental care.
much as we fervently hoped new
patients would eagerly materialize at my new offices in the growing suburbia of
. (In Reform theology the prime Sabbath service is Friday night. When a Bar Mitzva occurs then the Saturday morning service has precedence).
This routine became my infallible routine and and when looked around one Friday night a few years later I was the president and we had a new Rabbi! The young, charismatic prior one had lost some of his conviction and gone on to more alluring posts. But we continued for many years in the Reform ranks, perhaps with less of the zeal of new members but still dutiful dues paying fairly regular attendees. But then a marked, almost drastic disruption planned deliberately but still quite unsettling. We uprooted ourselves from the fairly placid retirement routine of Long Island and moved across the not so wide Hudson River to Princeton, New Jersey, where my second wife’s family lives, mostly in Conservative Judaism’s ranks. For a while we joined the large Reform temple not too far away, but found the Conservative Temple much closer and we knew some of the people from our brand new neighbor new neighborhood—plus,of course some of her family. But most important was the compatibility of the theology. Two sides of a reverent religious Jewish message not as stringent as the orthodoxy we perceived heretofore. To paraphrase Robert Browning “God’s in his heaven, All’s right with the world”.
there is one other crucial test of the validity of my Reconservadoxy. Another of my children has embraced Lubavitch Chassidism, one of the more dynamic outreach Jewish
religious sects, with world wide implications.
They believe strongly in urging
more Judaism on existing Jews. While I am inordinately proud of my other
splendid children when I see his seven children and grandchildren and my steadily accumulating
great grandchildren, in the face of almost
insurmountable hardships that he and his
valiant wife had to overcome with ensuing
birth defects, I am quite
grateful and proud. And I realize that
there quite different dress and way of life does not handicap our true familial
and religious ties. And Reconservadoxy
maybe be only an age old Jewish way of “touching all bases” as we all of faith,
in our own way, await the judgement of God and/or history.
But, of course, at the moment the Jew View is somewhat dire and while we certainly do not need a Red (Reed)Sea miracle,
it would be most reassuring if somehow
Ahmadinajab and his malevolent anti Israeli diatribes would somehow disappear. And
reconservadox Jews can then still find their most comfortable niche—myself
included!!-- in the usual broad spectrum
mentioned above, so that we and our fellow Jews gain momentum against
the inevitable inroads assimilation is making.
Not only is
Most somewhat feckless Jews--myself included--- are still standing hopefully in place waiting to keep the so called 614th Commandment
(there are 613 in the Torah). This latter edict is by Emil Fackenheim, noted Jewish theologian Emil Fackeneheim of the Holocaust. Essentially he “commands” that all Jews must not give Hitler his posthumous victory by forgetting their Jewish roots and identity.
But unfortunately nobody is saying Heil Hitler any more, but who’s Hitler?!