Why let antisemites define Jewishness?

WSJ Freelink Jewishness 

Posted without comment because it is something I did not know about and thought Mr Green might find it interesting. 

27 thoughts on “Why let antisemites define Jewishness?

  1. Thanks or sharing the post. The story is well-known in Judaism as it is 1) a holiday with historical background, and 2) It is taught prominently in Sunday school. (At least when I was a youngster).

    It also is a better known holiday in the secular world because it tends to occur at the same time of year as Christmas. The dates it is celebrated changes because the Jewish calendar is lunar. For example, this year it starts at sundown on December 18th. Last year it began on November 28th and next year will begin on December 7th. It is ALWAYS the 25th of Kislev. And like ALL Jewish holidays (and Holy Days) beings at sunset.

    This part of the piece caught my eye, in particular. “In the 1990s, the Israeli academic Ze’ev Maghen, then a student at Columbia, argued that chronicling the sins of the anti-Semite was ineffective. The only way to fight anti-Semitism, he wrote, was to “promote that which the antisemite wants to crush: Jewish vitality.””

    But what is not defined by Mr. Maghen is the vitality. IMO, it is the ability to be who we are, pray how and where we choose and live our lives in the best manner possible while keeping alive the traditions and history of our people.

    The Jews have been scapegoats for others’ problems for centuries. Because we tend to try to live quietly among the populous without causing a great uproar, but are different because we don’t pray to Jesus as G-d, we are sometimes referred to as heathens, or imperfect and therefore, easy to blame. Interestingly, the idea of a scapegoat comes from the book of Leviticus. The OLD TESTAMENT. Yet it has been used against Jews for as long as history can remember.

    The modern anti-Semite isn’t even sure of WHY they hate Jews. They try to explain it by things like, control of the media. Hollywood. Banks. The Rothschilds. etc.

    The best way to crush anti-Semitism is through education. That, and Jews living their best lives with vitality.

    Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. Happy Holidays to everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Not even a little bit.

            The Jewish community is not asking for special treatment nor excuses for failings, they have succeeded on merit alone in spite of discrimination.

            Almost libertarian of them.


          2. Then you prove that only YOUR definition of “woke” is correct.

            Understanding the perils of others and having empathy for them is actual wokeness. Not the right-wing, fear mongering BS definition.


  2. I dont know much about what being Jewish is but i have never though poorly of Jews and had great experiences with those i came in contact with especially in Israel. That said, the crux of rhis story fits neatly into the broader woke and easily offended culture as well. Why are we allowing a bunch of far left wing ninnies to daily redefine history, what we are supposed to think and be allowed to say and then use their supposed “culture”, supposed shame and violence to push a supposed “pure” existence narrative? So just like anti-semites trying to define Jews, anti-Americans are trying to redefine Americans.


      1. What is your definition of traditional American values?

        If nothing else, the woke movement probably adhere closer to what our values are. But, the caveat is that liberals would like to see American values apply to everyone. Those that are scorned or excluded are Americans just like 330 million others. Dismiss the “give me your tired, you’re poor…”, as conservatives are wont to do, and you dismiss American values. We are the most successful nation because we are an immigrant nation. Yet MAGA treats non-Northern European people as pariahs. Trump essentially said so when he was caught denigrating “shithole countries” in favor of more Norwegians. You don’t think that has an affect on our national character?

        Do you really believe there is a mass movement to convert, “groom”, children to change their sexual identity? Or is the reality that a few educators have crossed some line and the right is making political hay from that?

        Or do you really believe that there was no impact from 350 years of apartheid that just ended a few decades back? Really? That perhaps a good look at our policies regarding why our minorities are still effectively “segregated” in housing, lending, education and healthcare.

        We just barely passed a bill that codifies marriage for gays and interracial unions. A day ago. Think about that in the context of our history.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t see what offends you.

        If it is best to leave the Jewish community to define what it means to be Jewish, then why should we allow the Woke Coastal Elite to redefine the people in this country that actually do the work that makes their easy life possible?


  3. “…why should we allow the Woke Coastal Elite to redefine the people in this country that actually do the work that makes their easy life possible?”

    What does that mean? What Coastal Elites and why are they redefining the illegal immigrants? It is those workers who actually make everyone’s life less costly and easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Illegal immigrants are an important part of the work force, but mostly at low skill levels.

      But they don’t own the farms and ranches, and small businesses or make up the majority of those workforces.

      But you are deflecting from the point.

      Why should we allow the Coastal Elites to define the Heartland in media and entertainment? Their disdain for flyover country is palpable. Why is that right and antisemites defining Jewishness wrong? (matters of degree notwithstanding)


      1. You are obsessed with the idea that conservatives are persecuted. That they get no respect. Just like rural folks denigrating “city slickers” or “urban elite”, only we try not to let it bother us too much.

        That is the kind of thinking that ruins the mind.

        Americans are dependent upon each other economically. We are also interdependent politically.

        The farmer needs markets, ships, trains, trucks and software. The tech designer needs food, gas, electricity.

        Political balance is much better than political monopolies since that is how solutions are arrived at without fiat or civil war.

        Unfortunately, we may be acting more like unruly school children than adults seeking consensus.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thers is big difference.

          Country folk may snicker at city slickers, but we don’t try to manipulate their choices by pricing their necessities.

          People who have never been a mile from concrete in their lives tell farmers how to farm, tell us what kind of boat or truck we can use for our work and recreation by artificially raising the cost of fuel.

          Fishing and hunting are part of country life, but they are under constant attack.

          They don’t just think they know better than we do how we should live, they use their numbers to force their point of view on us.


          1. You did manage to make carrying pistols in
            crowded urban areas because you know better than the residents.

            You are claiming victim status and that is destructive to your psyche after a while. I know plenty of avid fishermen and hunters and none of them have ever cried the blues like you are doing. Mainly, they like to discuss successful ventures or trophy sizes. A really good friend owns 80 acres near Farmville. He hobby farms, leases a few acres and hunts on the rest. I have never heard him complain about the mean ole techies in CA or NY.

            An ex-assistant lives in Zuni and rescues dogs through her own 501c. Her biggest complaints are about hunters dogs on her land and the ones that are abandoned after hunting season. No big problem with responsible hunters, however.

            You must know the wrong people.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. The Compound borders on a Gentrified subdivision inhabited by people who bought a house in the country but never left their city mindset.

            The call the cops regularly when we are shooting at the range or burning off cut trash trees, normal country activities.

            I’m tempted to buy a rooster.


          3. Don, you live in a city called Cheapeake. It is not really rural or country living except for the fact that housing is a bit thin for now.

            The “problem” with city living is that one has to be more accommodating to others and reach consensus on behavior than you would if you lived In Wyoming’s high desert.

            Instead of a rooster, get hens and offer eggs to the neighbors. 😎

            Liked by 1 person

  4. If the cities expand to suburbs and exurbs the country is no longer country. But there is so much empty space in the huge Midwest plains and West high deserts and mountains.

    A rooster is probably not the best way to ameliorate tensions between you and the new locals.

    IMO of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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