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A Call for Jewish Renaissance
Hope, Not Fear (cover detail)

Jewish leader and philanthropist Edgar Bronfman has a message for the Jewish community of North America.

After centuries of building identity on fear of anti-Semitism and persecution, he says, it’s time for a new way. Time for a Jewish life built — in his words — on “hope, not fear.”

Bronfman is heir to the Seagram liquor fortune and was longtime president of the World Jewish Congress. He knows many Jews are worried about interfaith marriage and declining identification with the faith.

Open the doors, he says. Don’t close them.

This hour, On Point: A call for hope, not fear, and a Jewish renaissance.

You can join the conversation. At just two percent of the U.S. population, can the Jewish community afford to open its doors and welcome all comers? Can it afford not to? Share your thoughts.

Guests:

Joining us from New York is Edgar Bronfman, prominent Jewish philanthropist and leader, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Born and raised in his native Canada, he was CEO of Seagram Company for 23 years, and president of the World Jewish Congress until last year. His new book, written with Beth Zasloff, is “Hope, Not Fear: A Path to Jewish Renaissance.” You can read an excerpt from the book at Amazon.com

Joining us from Newton, Massachusetts, is Sylvia Fishman, professor of Contemporary Jewry and American Jewish Sociology at Brandeis University and author of “Double or Nothing? Jewish Families and Mixed Marriage” (2004) and “The Way Into the Varieties of Jewishness” (2008).

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  • Aaron

    Did Mr. Bronfman just say that anti-Semitic bigotry is dead in the US? Did I hear him right?

    If so, he is smoking crack! I’m Jewish and I hear bigotry all the time.

  • Jonathan Supnik

    As an intermarried Jew planning to raise his children Jewish, I can tell you the chief barriers to creating a welcoming community for non-Jews because I’ve seen what my wife has to endure. They’re the same as any other small, closed community’s:

    -Arrogance. The Jewish community assumes that our non-Jewish partners think that Judaism is the best thing since sliced bread. They don’t– if they did, they’d convert. The Jewish community needs to understand that intermarried partners are not extensions of their spouses, are people on their own with their own beliefs.

    -Ignorance. The Jewish community assumes all intermarried spouses are Christians. Mine’s an atheist. The panelist said, “We all worship the same God” and that’s simply not true. The “all religious people are the same” argument is nonsense and makes those who are genuinely different (and I feel most intermarried spouses feel they are different) feel less included, not more.

    Until these barriers are lowered, the Jewish community can lower open its doors all it wants, but no one will come into the synagogue.

    Jonathan in Medford, Massachusetts

  • Clinton

    I’m sorry, but close mindedness is close mindedness. It doesn’t matter your religion.

  • Peter Nelson

    I wanted to call your listeners’ attention to a wonderful website that focusses on contemporary Jewish culture : NextBook (http://nextbook.org)

    They feature book reviews, interviews, and commentary about the diverse range of people and values and backgrounds in the Jewish community today. They have an extensive downloadable MP3 archive of interviews and lectures which I love to listen-to on my iPod.

  • Kelly

    I’m a Christian so forgive me if I’m missing something, but I don’t hear any discussion of what God wants of Jews… I hear “look at the facts”.

    Isn’t that what Abraham did by having a child with Sarah’s handmaiden? Looked at the facts… Sarah’s old, there has been no child… I guess I must take things into my own hands.

    Just wondering…

  • Kelly

    Again… I don’t hear GOD mentioned… what am I missing?

    Why don’t I hear, “because we are God’s Choosen” is this no longer the point… I keep hearing Jewish “Culture” but not being God’s people? I am just asking as a confused person who has very little exposure to any Jewish families so I don’t have a chance to learn this from friends. If I offend please excuse.

  • irvin

    I am surprised that being jewish has been discussed as only a religion. I feel that being jewish can be both religion and culture. I am not religiously jew yet I am proud to call myself culturally jewish.

  • James

    Great question toward the end…
    “Why should Judaism survive?”

    I heard nothing in the answers that is or should be unique to Judaism. Shouldn’t all people stand up for justice and against genocide, and all people teach their children the same?

  • Nathalie

    My experience as a Catolic married to a reform jew can give you some insite about why so many mixed mariage do not produce jewish children. When our daughter was born we wanted to raise her jewish. Unfortunatly my husband’s family rabbie did not want to have a jewish naming ceremonie because she felt I was “unclean” as a non-jew and “polluted” my daughter. As a result, we had my daughter baptise in my family church since they didn’t mind If my husband was Catolic or not. It’s very painfull to be rejected base on the purity of you bloodline.

  • andy

    hi all,
    For thousands of years religions of all denomination have had a stranglehold on the people they subjugate. in the past 100 years churches of all denominations have lost followers mostly because in a modern world with a greater understanding of science and the human condition the teachings and rules are outmoded and indeed in some cases ridiculous at their face. The jews as a people deffine themselves through their own suffering. injustices of the past have been the glue that has held the faith together. On many occasions i have heard people of jewish faith refer to themselves as the chosen people, even the guests on the show spoke of their fear of dilluting the jewish faith by including “outsiders”. This all seeems like a bigoted and elitest group doing anything in their power to keep their own faith from fading into oblivion. it’s no different from the way the catholics tryed to recover from the devestation to their faith caused by the widespread child abuse charges. If a faith has something to offer it remains if it doesn’t it fades. changing the rules of the faith in order to overt trouble only proves that religions are man made organisms that will do anything in their power to stay alive. Maybee its time people learned to develope their own morals based on what is best for society instead of a book written thousands of years ago that outlines how and why to beat your wife and children and the propper way to keep your slaves in line.

  • Nancy E. Brown

    I am not Jewish, but I believe Jewish Americans are often counted among the most scholarly, gifted and philanthropic members of our society. On the other hand, my family lost the friendship of another family who began a Jewish synagogue where there had been none, then decided they only desired the company of other Jews. Does this have to happen when the decision is made to preserve Jewish culture? Is a cloistered community the answer?

  • Shalom

    As a religious Jew I thought it interesting that the God was not mentioned (at least not in the portion that I heard). Judaism without believe and adherence to the core values does not last. Cultural and assimilated Jews tend to be one generational. Judaism has only survived and been passed on by those adhering faithfully and religiously to the laws given to us. Also what was not discussed was the spiritually aspect of Judaism. Why practice Judaism? Because we believe that,that all we do as Jews makes us better individually and also affects the world on a metaphysical level. In other words that by following the words of God we improve the world in our own little way.

  • Jeremy

    I married a “recovering catholic” and we have a beautiful 9-yr-old girl who prides herself in ALL facets of her cultural heritage. She was very confused and angry when I told her that some people would not consider her Jewish just because her mother is not.

    I never had a barmitzva, my family celebrated Xmas and Hanukkah (the latter only because we kids wanted to). We didn’t go to Hebrew school and we’re not Zionists. But I always has a strong sense of my “Jewishness.” Not only because I felt excluded by the Christmas mania every year, but because of the time I spent with my extended family. That being said, a family that identified itself as Jewish still didn’t see the need to exclude anyone. My great uncle was married three times, all to Christian women of color; my aunt also married gentiles, as did others in my family.

    My feeling is that the lesson from the Holocaust should not be that Jews need to fight and stick together to maintain their existence and identity, but simply, that racism in any form is BAD. Exclusiveness, even in the name of preserving the culture, is still exclusion, and it’s what we Jews had to deal with for centuries. Maybe we should take a page out of Jesus’ book (God forbid) and “do unto others…”

  • Jeremy

    Oh, and by the way, it’s great to believe whatever you want about spiritual matters, but I don’t understand how people in the modern world insist on maintaining beliefs that are essentially backwards and based on a series of myths. All religions are pretty funny, when you step outside of them, and the fact people choose who to hang with because of their religious heritage is pretty funny too.

  • Shalom

    We can certainly argue why I believe and practice what I do and why you conduct your life according to your beliefs but why is my practice backwards and full of myths and yours isn’t ? In other words why can you be so steadfast in your way of life and I cannot in this “modern world “

  • Joelle

    James, I agree, the critical question is “Why should Judaism survive?”. Andy, I agree with your point “If a faith has something to offer it remains, if it doesn’t it fades.” I heard Mr. Bronfman say that Judaism is not a religion of faith but of the text; interesting! Perhaps this is the problem: if Jews are not encouraged to have and grow a personal faith but are merely expected to follow the text, than how is Judaism relevant to one’s life? Isn’t faith the core of religion, and God the core of faith….? Perhaps Judaism is missing something. There is alot more to the biblical text than just the words. Jews who are leaving the faith are spiritually starved. Attempting to fill them with band-aid improvements for the purpose of self-preservation amounts to, as Andy said, man-made changes, and underscores a fundamental flaw of many “religions”. If I was a Jewish leader I would seek God via prayer and the scriptures for answers to this problem, beginning with 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name would humble themselves and pray and seek my face, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

  • Joelle

    Oops, forgot a key part of 2 Chronicles 7:14:

    “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

  • Peter Nelson

    I’m often suprised at the number of Jews who are unfamilair with their own religious traditions. I’m the non-Jewish half of a mixed-marriage but I’ve sometimes found myself in the odd position of explaining Jewish religious practices and beliefs to Jews!

    Whether or not you believe in God or the Bible is is completely irrelevant! I have no personal religious beliefs at all. But the important thing is to know history – to understand the basis of things, the history of thought and philosophy, why things are the way they are, what words or various practices mean, etc. You can’t be a “cultural Jew” unless you know the roots of your culture.

    Just as I think every one of us with Western cultural roots should know basic western civ. Roman and Greek history, a little Latin, etc, because we live in a world and speak a language, that’s shaped by these influences, I think that people who claim Jewish cultural affiliation would better be able to appreciate that culture if they understood its religious roots. Otherwise you reduce an extremely rich, complex, and vibrant culture to a few Yiddish expressions and some holiday recipes.

    I personally find Jewish culture deep, satisfying and fascinating, and it’s made huge contributions to world civilization in general, but there would be no way for me to understand it deeply without understanding Jewish religious traditions and beliefs, regardless of whether I agree with them.

  • Charlie McNamee

    All religions take a reality antecedent to time and 3-dimensions and proclaim that reality necessarily using concepts (words, images,sounds etc..)which can only be derived from temporal and 3-dimensional experiences and which are thus utterly incapable of defining the core reality. Moses had that “experience” on a mountain, Mohammed in a cave, Jesus in prayer and all other legitimate religious leaders in similar fashion.
    By expressing that interior experience to others, we set up rules and laws and rituals by which they are to be institutuionally “remembered”.
    The Eucharist is a memorial meal, the Passover is a memorialized event, the “Cava” is a remembered conversion event. The sad fact is that the celebrations of these memorials is now what sets us all apart from each other, and failure to celebrate “correctly” generates fear of excommunication.
    Let us instead strive to “celebrate memories” to bring us all together in love, which “casts out fear.”

  • Frederic C.

    Within the points of tension between professors Bronfman and Fishman is a path to a universe of knowledge. Questions that are as alive, albeit modified, today as they were millennia ago.

  • shriber

    “Did Mr. Bronfman just say that anti-Semitic bigotry is dead in the US? Did I hear him right?

    If so, he is smoking crack! I’m Jewish and I hear bigotry all the time.”
    Aaron

    I do too, Aaron. If you are as rich as he is you are insulated from the insults of daily life.

  • shriber

    “I’m a Christian so forgive me if I’m missing something, but I don’t hear any discussion of what God wants of Jews… I hear “look at the facts”.

    Isn’t that what Abraham did by having a child with Sarah’s handmaiden? Looked at the facts… Sarah’s old, there has been no child… I guess I must take things into my own hands. Kelly

    This is a theological issue and I would be happy to discuss it with you, however, the program was about the impediments of Jewish survival in America which is different topic.

  • shriber

    “I am surprised that being jewish has been discussed as only a religion. I feel that being jewish can be both religion and culture. I am not religiously jew yet I am proud to call myself culturally jewish.” irvin,

    Yes, it is both. There is a rich istorical and cultural tradition with its own literature and language(s) as well as a rich religious tradition.

    (Perhaps I should say multiple cultural and religious tradtions all of which have their origins in the Torah.

  • shriber

    “I am not Jewish, but I believe Jewish Americans are often counted among the most scholarly, gifted and philanthropic members of our society. On the other hand, my family lost the friendship of another family who began a Jewish synagogue where there had been none, then decided they only desired the company of other Jews. Does this have to happen when the decision is made to preserve Jewish culture? Is a cloistered community the answer?”
    Nancy E. Brown

    Great post, Nancy.

    Historically as in Spain when Jews stopped being Jewish (because of persecution in this case) the first and sometimes the second generation benefited from their Jewish tradtions and made terrific contributions to Spanish literature, religion and other cultural areas.

    However, by the third and fourth generations the descendants of these Jews had assimilated and lost their Jewishness.

    By the mid 17th century Spanish culture entered a period of decline.

    I don’t know if America will enter a period of decline but third and fourth generation Jews who have assimilated are not contributing to American culture in the same way their grandparent did.

    American Jewish literature is pathetically mediocre and the films being made in Hollywood these day is worse than mediocre.

  • shriber

    This is my last post.

    I just wanted to say how much a liked this comment:

    “Just as I think every one of us with Western cultural roots should know basic western civ. Roman and Greek history, a little Latin, etc, because we live in a world and speak a language, that’s shaped by these influences, I think that people who claim Jewish cultural affiliation would better be able to appreciate that culture if they understood its religious roots. Otherwise you reduce an extremely rich, complex, and vibrant culture to a few Yiddish expressions and some holiday recipes.”

    Thanks, Peter Nelson.

  • Johnny G.

    Would you expect a Catholic kid to have ANYTHING to do with that church if they were currently treating Latin American natives NOW as they did in the past?

    I find it abhorrent that you could run through an entire discussion without mentioning the Other side of your religion – - until you BEGIN WITH, and REPUDIATE that abhorrent side of Judaism, your Zionist Gestapo, how can you possibly expect your children not to have a visceral revulsion that they must ignore in order to embrace your religion?

    There was a time before the invasion that Jews and Palestinians were peaceful neighbors.

    You have created a Gulag.

    You have much to atone for. Until you face up to the disgusting prison you continue to support, actively OR passively, YOUR KIDS are going to look at you with contempt.

    LIVE your religion, or watch your children turn away.

  • IMK

    Peter Nelson – yes! So true.

  • toby

    Johnny G whoever you be, you have no religion. You are just a Jew hating piece of filth who would like to destory to Jewish people.

    You are the Gestapo of today.

    Like your predecesors you use lies and distortions for only one reason: the destruction of the Jewish people.

    Go away and take your lies with you.

  • Mark S.

    Speaking as a Jewish American, who grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, some Jews agree with Israeli policies, and some don’t, but no one has ever left the religion for that reason that I have met.

    One other thing. this conversation is supposed to be about people leaving the Jewish religion, not middle eastern politics, so I will give my viewpoint only as it relates to my leaving the religion. Up until about 2000, I did not care about Jewish issues.

    I then realized that Israel was being held to a different standard, then all other nations. Since 2000, about 2000 Israeli’s and 5000 Palistineans have been killed. I read that there have been more UN resolutions against israel than all other nations combined. Maybe that figure is not quite right, but it is close.

    Out of 1,000,000 Chechneans, bombing raids, etc. have killed 300,000. There were no resolutions against Russian that I know of. Women are treated like slaves in Saudi Arabia, there were no resolutions that I know of.

    It is posts like Johnny G.’s that have made me decide that my religion needs me, and that I will do all I can to help them.

    Mark S.

  • Mark S.

    One more thing, there are many Israeli polices that I strongly disagree with. (The settlements, the wall, etc.)

    Mark S.

  • Jay

    I believe that the last caller in the program, Eva from Montpelier, VT asks an important question. “Why should Judaism continue to survive?”

    A possible restatement of the question could be – “What value does Judaism offer its adherents and/or society?”

    Judaism provides different things to different people. For me it provides a comprehensive framework for spiritual, intellectual, and emotional development. Judaism also provides specific guidelines for repairing the world. In a world where chaos seems rampant, and problems often seem to overwhelming to solve, Judaism’s teachings offer us fundamental truths that can provide the world with profound insights, to solve our most complex, intractable societal and individual problems.

    The preservation of a religion and system of thought that offers such valuable insights becomes critical because it is one of the few tools that our world has to solve some of our most challenging problems.

    To Johnny G.’s comment -

    All religions including Judaism have its small percentage of adherents that violate the fundamental principles of the religion. To judge an entire religion based on the extreme actions of a few, whether it be Catholic priests sexually abusing its young adherents, or Jewish fundamentalists killing innocent people, is polarizing and fails to recognize the majority of people within a religion who are doing things to make the world a better place.

    I would ask that you give consideration to separating the actions of the few, whether it be the sexually abusive priests, or the Jewish Zionist fundamentalists from the rest of the religious adherents. Or we may never be able to move to a more understanding and peaceful world.

  • shriber

    “One other thing. this conversation is supposed to be about people leaving the Jewish religion,…”

    It is and the percentage of Jews intermarrying is no greater than that of people of other religions more specifically that of other Christian denominations.

    This has nothing to do with being pro or contra Zionism.

    I consider myself pro Zionist and the hateful description above about Zionism is no accurate.

    Calling Jews Nazis is like calling Blacks KKK members, it’s meant to insult.

    Too often antiZionist are the modern day Nazis. It’s not surprising that people like David Duke have embraced “the rights of the Palestinians” as a way to justify his Jew hatred.

  • shriber

    “Or we may never be able to move to a more understanding and peaceful world. Posted by Jay

    I am all for peace and understanding. I am also for a two State solution to the conflict. However, to be for peace for its own sake is very naive and can be very dangerous.

  • Mark S.

    I think Joelle may have hit the nail on the head. If the Jewish faith had more of an emphasis on “god watching over you at all times, going to heaven when you die, etc.,” it would be more appealing to people in our complex rapidly changing world.

    - Mark

  • shriber

    ” If the Jewish faith had more of an emphasis on “god watching over you at all times, going to heaven when you die, etc.,” it would be more appealing to people in our complex rapidly changing world.” Mark

    Perhaps, but then it would become a fairy tale and not a religion for grownups.

    As the Yiddish saying has it: “Tis shver tzu zein a Yid” (It’s difficult being a Jew) which means in part that the Jewish religion is demanding.

    You have to learn Hebrew to read the Torah, you have to follow its instructions, you become involved in a culture.

    Judaism isn’t just a “religion” it’s a way of living, it’s a culture as well as a faith. This is why Judaism will never be a religion of billions of adherents.

    And if Jews don’t set up schools of instruction then American Judaism will shrink even more.

  • Mark S.

    Here is a question I have of people who are more knowledgeable than me.

    I understand that reform, conservative, and orthodox consider being jewish a religion, but also a race. That is why there is such an emphasis on the mother being Jewish, etc.

    I have heard that reconstuctionism takes a different view, and considers the religion, just a religion, and is more welcoming to converts.

    Is this accurate?

  • Mark S.

    Perhaps, but then it would become a fairy tale and not a religion for grownups.

    What’s wrong with keeping the way of life, but also putting in a little feeling of being watched over, going to heaven, etc. These are questions that no one has an answer to, so it could be true that god watches over you, and you go to heaven.

    I do agree though that Jewish schools are very important, and teaching the culture, and maybe having different brands for different people would be a good idea.

    Not everyone wants to be a talmudic scholar.

    Best,

    Mark

  • shriber

    “I understand that reform, conservative, and orthodox consider being jewish a religion, but also a race. That is why there is such an emphasis on the mother being Jewish, etc.”

    Not a race, Mark S. The idea that the mother determines the Jewishness of the child originates with the prophet Ezra (post Babylonian Exile) and it came late in Jewish history. It has always been a controversial idea and the Biblical book of Ruth was probably written in apposition to this notion.

    If Jews thought of themselves as a race then only those born of two Jewish parents would be counted as Jewish. The idea of the mother as the true bearer of Jewishness may point to the matrilineal nature of Jewish society in antiquity but it was definitely a useful tool in exilic times since life was uncertain violence omnipresent and father often travelled on business for months and sometimes years.

    Today it doesn’t seem to have the same practical urgency which is why so many Jews regard it as burdensome. However, institutions especially religious ones are very slow to change.

    However, often children with a Jewish father and a non Jewish mother who are brought up Jewish go through a brief ceremony in order to become Jewish.

    “I have heard that reconstuctionism takes a different view, and considers the religion, just a religion, and is more welcoming to converts.”

    Well, actually Orthodox Judaism is very welcoming but you would have to spend some time studying the texts and get examined by a board of three Rabbis in order to become Jewish. The difference between Orthodox and say Reconstuctionism is the length of time it takes to become a Jew.

    You have similar differences between Catholics were you have to take instruction and some Fundamentalist sects were all you have to do is declare your love for Christ and undergo a brief baptism ceremony. The emphasis in Christianity is on faith while in Orthodox Judaism it is on mindful observance.

    Reconstuctionism since it doesn’t put much emphasis on an all powerful divine is something like Unitarianism.

    The other Jewish denominations are somewhere in between.

  • shriber

    “What’s wrong with keeping the way of life, but also putting in a little feeling of being watched over, going to heaven, etc. These are questions that no one has an answer to, so it could be true that god watches over you, and you go to heaven.”

    No, not every one wants to be a Talmudic scholar which is why god invented Chasidism.

    Chasidism’s emphasis is on enthusiasm and on the miraculous. This is one reason it was opposed by more traditional orthodox Jews in Europe. They had abandoned the scholarly tradition.

    The debates and fights were so bitter that in many East European Jewish communities Chasids were not allowed to spend the night in non Chasidic towns.

    In any case, both Judaism and Christianity had trouble with the superstition (read Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas who was influenced by him) which in our scientific age it’s hard to understand since we view all religion as a form of superstition.

  • Mark S.

    Shriber,

    You are a wealth of knowledge. If I understand you, then, what you mean by mindful observance is following rituals. For example, observing the sabbath, keeping Kosher, not eating on Yom Kipper, etc.

    Thanks for you educating me.

    I am Jewish, and know some stuff, but not as much as I would like.

    Best,

    Mark

  • shriber

    “If I understand you, then, what you mean by mindful observance is following rituals. For example, observing the sabbath, keeping Kosher, not eating on Yom Kipper, etc.”

    By mindful observance I don’t just mean keeping kosher, etc.

    I mean it as the opposite of mechanical observance.

    Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote a beautiful little book called The Sabbath” were he looks at that phenomenon from a religious as well as a philosophical point of view.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sabbath-Abraham-Joshua-Heschel/dp/0374529752/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222567933&sr=8-1

    Mechanical observance would mean something like uttering often mumbling some memorized prayers half understood and doing what is commanded to do on that day but not paying attention to its meaning.

    Mindful observance means using the Sabbath to think about differences, between the workaday world and this specific day: depending on ones’ education one can meditate on the nature of leisure in society in nature (is there such a thing), other kinds of differences, etc.

    The same with Yom Kippur and other moments of Jewish observance.

    Mindful observance is to a certain degree philosophical, but not in any organized way, and it can yield deep insights into the mysteries of life, nature, and if you are a real believer (which I am not) God.

    Any way, I don’t have a lot of time to explicate these notions but there a number of books both religious and not which look at Jewish observance from a philosophical point of view and that is very appealing to me.

    Another such book is Leon Wieseltier’s “Kaddish:”

    http://www.amazon.com/Kaddish-Leon-Wieseltier/dp/0375703624/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222568543&sr=8-1

    which is on the Jewish ritual of mourning. It’s a fascinating philosophical meditation which is accessible to most intelligent readers.

  • http://outsourcing.yuku.com/ Frank the Underemployed Professional

    To Johnny G: For a better understanding of the Palestinian situation, I suggest that you read the excellent novel “The Haj” by Leon Uris.

  • http://outsourcing.yuku.com/ Frank the Underemployed Professional

    I am an atheist Jew. However, even though I am a staunch advocate of atheism and reason, I hope that Judiasm as a culture survives because I regard Judiasm as being the least irrational of all of the religions and one that tends to promote a rational culture. As I see it, secular Judiasm inflicts far less religious nonsense and baggage on children than do the other secular variants of the major religions.

  • RacerX

    Every Jew should read Bondage of the Mind by Gold, before they automatically assume that the transmission of the more fundamental flavors of Judaism is a good thing. As far a I can discern we would all be better off without all the fundamentalists. Everybody knows that many American Jews identify so strongly with the state of Israel that they have managed to further corrupt our political system with their influence. We as humans have such a propensity to project our own denied “dark side” onto the other that any blind faith of whatever stripe that dissuades free and impartial inquiry into these very real human blind-spots must be portrayed as what they really are–point blank. People must be enlightened as to the same old same divideNconquer fairy tales. Judaism is based on proven lies, and the mythos is reflective of a primitivism that is best forgotten entirely along with the Aztecs, and other archaic reflections of a horrendous and carnivorous and bestial god–that never existed anywhere but in the attempt of the injured psyche of a brutalized humankind attempting to come to grips with the terror of its circumstance. It is time to expose the horrendous results of the brainwashing of the young with what will take them half a lifetime and extreme effort and talent to every really overcome the negative repercussions of.

  • Moderate Y

    What a stupid, uninformed Jew hating rant, RacerX.

  • RacerX

    That’s funny because I don’t know any Jews I don’t like.

  • toby

    I have read the book quoted above whose full title is: “Bondage of the Mind: How Old Testament Fundamentalism Shackles the Mind and Enslaves the Spirit”

    The book is flawed when it comes to Judaism because there is no such thing as “Old Testament fundamentalism.”

    “Old testament” is a Christian invention and Jews read the Torah through the Talmud which is to say allegorically.

    Besides Judaism and Jews have never opposed science as the list of Jewish NObel prize winners show as well as the many Rabbi physicians who have been around since antiquity.

  • Moderate Y

    Racer X says he doesn’t know any Jews he doesn’t like.

    He only hates Judaism and the Jews who practice it.

  • RacerX

    Because there are Jewish scientist and doctors Jews do not oppose free inquiry. (Really, well maybe so and maybe not, but it certainly does not follow.)

    Of course Jews would have to read the Torah allegorically, consider the alternative.

    Although allegory and metaphor are useful devises they also allow any story, no matter how fatally flawed, no matter how naive regarding the need of humans to be self-deceptive in order to be happy and successful, to seem like profound understanding. Except for the slight inconvenience that all actions flowing from such a position contain the elements of their own destruction. It is time for humans to put aside the fairytales of distinction and realize and celebrate the fullness of humanness and try to figure out a way to not destroy ourselves because of it. There are no Jews. Just as there are no Christians or Moslems or anything–it all amounts to a costume party that people kill each other over. Divide and conquer. The only distinction is personal individual distinction.

  • toby

    RacerX, I wasn’t going to answer you because you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Firstly, you are not Jewish and have no first hand acquaintance with Jewish culture.

    Secondly, The Hebrew Bible is not the same as the Christian Bible and especially not the Koran and for any one to insist that they are is already saying something fanciful.

    Christianity puts its emphasis on the Gospels and the Koran reject the Torah as an untrue version of the “true revelation found in the Koran.”

    Finally, the kind of reason you are trying to peddle has been responsible for more murders in the 20th century than all the killings in the religious wars since antiquity.

    Marxists alone killed more than a hundred million people and the Nazis also people who rejected the “Old Testament” killed between twenty five and thirty million including the systematic murder using “rational means of execution” through the assistance of modern methods of technology between five and six million Jews.

    Moreover the Muslim Jihadists have been as influenced by Nazi Jew hatred as by the Koran. The whole Middle East has been infected by Nazi and Communist doctrine going back to the 1920’s.

    Trying doing some research on the topic before you start spouting nonsense. Religion may be fanciful, but it less deadly than modern totalitarian systems based on “reason.”

    The rational utopian fairy tales they are trying to impose on the world are just as imaginary as the religious ones except that they make on room for individual conscience and are ready to use murder as a means to achieving their goals.

    In the Jihadists are more like the secular totalitarians than like traditional Muslims.

    As for your idea that “there are no Jews” this is really offensive. I suppose the millions of Jews killed by Hitler were not Jews they were just dressed in Jewish costumes.

    You are indeed a bigot and a stupid one at that.

    Now go away.

  • Mark S.

    I am Jewish, and do not take offence to what Racerx says. I don’t think he is anti-semitic. I think that he believes that religion creates an us versus them mentality that leads to conflict.

    - Mark

  • toby

    “I think that he believes that religion creates an us versus them mentality that leads to conflict.”

    I don’t know what he believes. All I have to go on are his words.

    He says that reason without defining it is opposed to religion, and that religion leads to hatred of other people.

    He evidently doesn’t know how much non religious people have used reason to justify their hatreds.

    He should read Freud on this issue. He too hated religion but didn’t fool himself that reason will save us from out darker forces.

  • Moderate Y

    Mark and Toby it doesn’t matter what racerx thinks. If he thinks all religion is bad then let him attack Christianity and Islam. There billions of them in the world and only a few million Jews. it takes little courage to attack a handful of Jews while attacking Muslims might get you killed.

    Racer is doing what Jew haters have done for centuries, they pick on the weak and vulnerable Jews because the can’t go after the more powerful forces that is oppressing them.

    Any way, Mark, tell me how racerx’s comment is not antisemitic?

    “Everybody knows that many American Jews identify so strongly with the state of Israel that they have managed to further corrupt our political system with their influence.” Posted by RacerX, on September 28th, 2008 at 4:27 pm EDT

    All the classic antisemitic ideas are here.

  • Peter Nelson

    “One other thing. this conversation is supposed to be about people leaving the Jewish religion,…”

    It is and the percentage of Jews intermarrying is no greater than that of people of other religions more specifically that of other Christian denominations.

    I think you’re defining “intermarriage” rather oddly. Either that or your statistics are wrong.

    About 50% of Jews marry non-Jews. I’d be VERY surprised in anything approaching 50% of Christians marry non-Christians. And I don’t think that a Presbyterian, say, marrying a Methodist, would be considered an “intermarriage” by most people.

  • RacerX

    I see — oppose the suffering caused by the projection of what humans can’t accept about themselves onto the other, and you become a supporter of Stalin or Hitler. Aren’t you the slightest bit ashamed of such posturing?

    Freud was (despite his muddy insights) a failed human being. And if I am not mistaken the whole idea of a scapegoat is a Jewish concept. Some of you have even attempted to make a scapegoat of me. It’s funny. I know Jews always harken back to the Nazi attempt to murder European Jews by industrial methods to attack anyone finding real fault with their fantasies. They have no other resort since their beliefs are so ridiculous and untrue (along with all of the other established religions.) This slaughter differs from what the Jews themselves claimed they did in ancient times only in that they utilized industrial methods. I believe the old Israelites took pride in murdering not only all the people, man woman and child of some they conquered but also their animals. These were probably only dreams of revenge, though most believers now take them as historical fact.

    In fact, and you are certainly welcome to check this, The first industrial scale death camps came about when one Mr. Frankel reported to Mr. Stalin that it would be a simple matter to turn the work camps he was in charge of into death camps by working the inmates to death and beating them and exposing them to the elements. A wonderful development for disposing of some 25 million human beings. Frankel was a Jew. Does that matter? I say it doesn’t because being a Jew is a fantasy. Every primitive religion claims that it is of the chosen people, even the only real human beings. Divide and conquer. You can argue the relative merits and faults of any subset of human being you care to–it will always be relative and always infinitely fungible, and no doubt you will feel that the side you happen to be on is right. It’s time to wake up from this childish and toxic fantasy. It was not the lack of Judaism that caused the murder of the 60 million or so in the 20ith century, and it wasn’t science that caused it either.

    The actual fact is that Jews are Arabs, except for those who converted like the Kazars (who I think were Turks) this can be traced through their mitochondria DNA. The fact is that the Jews are descendents of Cannites just like the Palestinians. Of course most Jews are of “mixed blood” (in itself a misnomer since the whole concept of race is dubious at best) much like the American blacks. I know the Jews think they are special–so does everyone else–that’s one of the things that makes everyone common as dirt–they’re special.

    There was a time in the Eastern Europe when there were many little German enclaves that lived amongst the different nations there. They largely retained German as a language and kept themselves mostly distinct and separate from the Latvians or whoever inhabited the country they were in. They held themselves as special and separate and as I understand it dealt differently with their own in business and socially than they did with the native populations. Guess what? From time to time the native populations rose up and slaughtered the Germans that lived separately among them. Even though they existed peacefully and worked industriously, and prospered economically perhaps more than the nationals. These are the people you see in those old war films who are weeping with joy as the Nazis marched in. Time to end the cycle even if it means some giving up their soothing fantasies of being special and having a partisan idiot for a god. In my opinion one of the worst things that ever happened to the “West” was the adoption of the Old Testament as gospel. They should have stuck with “Don’t do things to others you wouldn’t want to happen to you, and “God is Love.” At least then humans wouldn’t have to travel a hundred billion light years and enact the labors of Hercules just in order to get to the place where they would have started as far as enlightenment is concerned on any sane planet.

  • Moderate Y

    ” I see — oppose the suffering caused by the projection of what humans can’t accept about themselves onto the other, and you become a supporter of Stalin or Hitler. Aren’t you the slightest bit ashamed of such posturing?”

    No, you don’t see, and you don’t know much, racerx.

    No one said you supported the Nazis or the Communists (not just Hitler and Stalin –that would be too easy), I said that the Nazis and Communists and other like them were not religious ideologies and were responsible for many more murders than all the religious wars combined.

    However, since you don’t know much about history this will be lost on you.

    Your argument is bogus and based on nothing but your own Jew hatred.

    btw: the Jews did not invent the scapegoat, but like all ancient societies used it.

    Read “The Golden Baugh: A Study Of Magic And Religion” by J G Frazer

    Your are a hopeless malcontent, racer.

    Everything you said above is a bunch of malarkey.

  • RacerX

    Moderate Y wrote

    “I said that the Nazis and Communists and other like them were not religious ideologies and were responsible for many more murders than all the religious wars combined.”

    RacerX responds:

    The idea that a combined tally is anything other than a quantitative difference is childish and misleading. Not to mention that the final chapter may well not have been written in the case of deaths caused by “religiously” motivated wars.

    Only the outer form of the lies changed, the dynamics of motivating a person to slay another with which they have no personal grievance remain constant whether cloaked in the numinous or mundane. The first thing necessary is to distinguish them as the other, then as less than really human (in the sense that they the real humans {the chosen ones} are human.) Had they the population and the means I expect the same would have happened in religious wars in the past. The thing that separates them is the means to do so. For instance, the Jews could have been said to be a relatively peace-loving people while they had no other capability. Now–not so much, (turning a young American girl into dog food with a bulldozer because she was protesting their Palestinian policies, tsk tsk) Oh, but then you will just claim this never happened, or maybe the driver didn’t see her–right.)

    I may have played a little loose with the numbers of persons murdered last century but if you bother to do the research you will find the rest of what I wrote pretty sound.

    I also know that to respond to the accusations you made will only serve to lend validity to them to the bigoted mind–this is just a fact. Bigotry flow in all directions.

    My argument is not bogus at all, and has not resorted to personal aspersions as yours is forced to do.

    I was not sure about the scapegoat thing that’s why I used the word believe–meaning to guess–which is what beliefs are–guesses (mostly stupid guesses based on nonsense if you are talking about religion.) However my guess was not entirely incorrect– the scapegoat ritual was largely a middle easten thing, but so what, you chose the most irrelevant part of my expression because everything else is accurate–with the possible exception of the Kazars having been Turks which I noted I was not sure of but which was correct, everything else I have written can be verified.

    I know you would love to think that I hate Jews, because it would serve to perpetuate you delusions. Well rather than nostrificating your errors I leave you to them.

    I suggest you read War of the World by Ferguson for a little history lesson of your own, regarding what occurred in the past century.

  • Moderate Y

    “RacerX responds: “The idea that a combined tally is anything other than a quantitative difference is childish and misleading. Not to mention that the final chapter may well not have been written in the case of deaths caused by “religiously” motivated wars.”

    From now on all wars will be more catastrophic than in the past because the weapons used are more potent but that doesn’t change anything.

    Communism and Nazism both none religious ideologies had the idea that in order to build a society based on “scientific principles” they could destroy any and all people who stood in the way.

    Islamicism is deeply influenced by these ideologies.

    “My argument is not bogus at all, and has not resorted to personal aspersions as yours is forced to do.
    You reply is either ignorant or obfuscatory. You are a Jew hating bigot either that or unable to understand the drivel you compose.

    “I know you would love to think that I hate Jews, because it would serve to perpetuate you delusions. Well rather than nostrificating your errors I leave you to them.”
    Nostrificating is a term that doesn’t apply. In any case it isn’t much in the US which tells me you are either a Brit or a Canadian.
    Doesn’t matter it’s you writing that shows you to be a Jew hater, not I.

    I am familiar with War of the World by Ferguson and he doesn’t support your argument.

    Fergusson writes counterfactual history, sometime it is good and sometime is pretty farfetched.

    Here is what the New Yorker Review said about his book:

    “Ferguson’s eight-hundred-page reevaluation of the Second World War presents itself as a grand theory about ethnic conflict, the end of empire, and the postwar triumph of the East. The exact contours of the theory, however, remain unclear. Ferguson argues that the central story of the twentieth century is “the descent of the West,” but he never really clarifies what “the West” means – Russia sometimes qualifies, sometimes not, depending upon what point Ferguson is trying to make. Ferguson is a skilled storyteller, and he offers many striking reflections on the bloodiest years of the past century, including a compelling analysis of appeasement. Unfortunately, the book as a whole is marred by sweeping judgments and jarring contradictions. A number of odd moves – such as the grouping of Hoovervilles with Soviet labor and German concentration camps – point up another conspicuous shortcoming: Ferguson’s failure to make sense of America’s power.

    His book on the history of Banking in Europe, on the other hand, is quote good.
    “Ferguson, Niall (1999). The house of Rothschild: the world’s banker, 1849-1999. New York, N.Y: Viking.”

    Finally you wrote, especially the bile, about Jewish history makes me think that you anything but a hideous bigot.

    Jews have been here for thousands of years and they will be here as long as there is a human species. Get used to it. You will sleep better.

  • toby

    RacerX “Freud was (despite his muddy insights) a failed human being. And if I am not mistaken the whole idea of a scapegoat is a Jewish concept. Some of you have even attempted to make a scapegoat of me.”

    I am with Moderate on this one.

    It’s funny that Racer who is scapegoating Jews thinks that he is being scapgoated.

    Also the idea of Freud being a failed human being is another ridiculous Racer notion.

    He wishes he would have accomplished one hundreth of what Freud accomplished.

    Methinks Racer is a terminally ill with jealousy. He is jealous of Jews, jealous of Freud and probably jealous of his own father and siblings if he has any.

    What a loser!

  • RacerX

    Moderate wrote: “Nostrificating is a term that doesn’t apply. In any case it isn’t much in the US which tells me you are either a Brit or a Canadian.”

    RacerX responds:

    You need to look it up in the EOD, the full version, and read the whole definition of the word.

    It most certainly applies exactly as I used it.

    Who cares what the New York Times review is, read the book and decide for yourself.

    I am not so much concerned with the themes and conclusions Ferguson comes to as the facts he brings to light concerning the ongoing pogroms in Eastern Europe and the decimation of the Ukrainians by the Bolsheviks. Also I was amazed to find the true terror experienced by the Armenians at the hands of the Turks. To me, this was the most horrible instance of genocide in history–because of what I must imagine was the subjective experience of the women who were dumped in the Syrian desert at the end of the railroad, after the men and boys had been murdered before their eyes and the pretty girls sold off to harems and pimps. What happened to these hundreds of thousands of women? Did some survive by eating rotting corpses? Did they all just die of exposure and attack by beasts? I guess no one really knows, but I can’t imagine it was any kind of quick death.

    I remember reading somewhere a statement by some Nazi official adulating the high moral character of the men in those death brigades that followed the Wehrmacht into Russia. Now I may have some factors wrong here but I am just attempting to point you at something that is not so easy to see, and it has very little to do with the actual specifics of the situation I describe. Anyhow these death brigades basically spent their days killing unarmed prisoners. Apparently they were commanded by men who had been doctors and professors and what not. This Nazi official was lauding the fact that men, men like these could spend all day in such an occupation then retire to their home and hearth where they where the most civilized and caring folk. He was extolling this virtue–these men had such faith in their own goodness and rightness–such purity–that they could commit any form of atrocity and remain a pure uncontaminated citizen of the Reich or whatever they were called.

    This is like a microcosm of the whole problem.

    Do you think the Nazis thought they were evil?

    I’m going to appear to change the subject for a moment:
    Recently I heard a radiolab recording about self-deceit. Toward the end of it is this little bit about these psychologists who developed a test to measure the degree to which one deceives oneself. This test is apparently made of questions that are true for everyone but somewhat embarrassing to acknowledge. Now I don’t know how they determined who was lying and who wasn’t but, disregarding that for the moment–because this is really not what we are talking about anyway–there seemed to be a direct correlation between the degree to which a person deceives themselves and their success in life and their happiness. That is: the more adept the individual at self-deception the more successful and happy they were.

    Now I am going to take a leap here (irony) and say that this is the same mechanism at work as the Nazi official was lauding as the proof of the unassailable virtue of these mass murderers.

    And how about this for far-out (more irony) it was exactly that he was very bad at self-deception that caused Freud to poison himself with negativity in his final days–even before the cancer of the jaw.

    Because not lying to oneself causes depression.
    Unless you have direct experience of a higher reality.
    Which Freud most certainly did not have.

    What can we say would characterize this higher reality, so you can tell it is the real thing? Obligatory compassion. You will, (along with a quantum leap in consciousness, and probably the inability to speak or think in words, be filled with a vast compassion for all mankind, including yourself up to the moment of your illumination–because you will be able to see directly the truly impoverish nature of your conscious awareness until that moment. Because in the real world all the little imaginary and trite distinctions you make between you and the other desolve in this compassion, and in this real world people are still to this day taken up alive into heaven–sort of shown around, and after that it’s too late–you won’t ever be able to take this life and death fear based paranoid us against them struggle crap seriously anymore. Which is not to say that for instance, some Roman aristocrat won’t decide to have you village burned because they fear you may someday attack Rome again.

    This is the only way I know of to be able to stop lying to yourself and not fall into negativity, and oddly enough, institutions that profess to have the same type of interest at heart, like religious organizations, and psychological, or pharmacological, or even codified spiritual movements, provide the opposite of access to these realms. If you want to enter the high security area of the prison your consciousness is already in just sign up for Zen, or Yoga, or Tantra, or Sufism or Kaballah or any organized pretenders to consciousness.

    Now how about a little more character assassination from the peanut gallery (this is how they always respond to this type of info–sure am glad I’m RacerX and not some guy named HeyZeus.) Do a little web search and come up with irrelevant data that has similar keywords, like you did with the word nostrificate. You guys who have made it their duty to respond to me do know that I am not writing for you don’t you?

  • toby

    “I am not so much concerned with the themes and conclusions Ferguson comes to as the facts he brings to light concerning the ongoing pogroms in Eastern Europe and the decimation of the Ukrainians by the Bolsheviks. Also I was amazed to find the true terror experienced by the Armenians at the hands of the Turks. To me, this was the most horrible instance of genocide in history–because of what I must imagine was the subjective experience of the women who were dumped in the Syrian desert at the end of the railroad, after the men and boys had been murdered before their eyes and the pretty girls sold off to harems and pimps. What happened to these hundreds of thousands of women? Did some survive by eating rotting corpses? Did they all just die of exposure and attack by beasts? I guess no one really knows, but I can’t imagine it was any kind of quick death.”

    Try reading baout the way the tortures the Romanian fascists inflicted on the Jews before they killed them.

    It’s pretty lame comparing degrees of agony.

    The point again is that human beings are killers and they will use whatever ideology they have if and when they have a mind to kill. Their excuse can be religon, reason, science or the creation of a better world. It doesn’t matter.

    The truth or falsity of its premises not withstanding, religion is hardly ever the primary cause of murder and in many cases religious priniciples can be the antidote.

  • toby

    “Do you think the Nazis thought they were evil?” Racer X

    More racer nonsense.

    Who cares what they thought? Does racerx think he is wrong? Of course, yet he is wrong.

    What people think about themselves is besides the point.

    There is nice Hebrew proverb on the subject:

    “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” King James translation

    Proverb 21:2

  • RacerX

    Just as suggestion Toby: Obviously I find some of the things you write at least worth comment in the sense that I can use it for a springboard. But I must tell you Toby–merely saying “You are wrong.” repeatedly, but not having any error to actually point out doesn’t deceive anybody. It’s superficial. Oh I guess there are a certain number of numskulls who will be effected if you merely repeat something often enough. Maybe you can get together and form some kind of association.

    It’s all just propaganda with you Toby: like your book reviews. Two significant works (Bondage of the Mind by Gold and The War of the World by Ferguson)–significant in the sense that they have the potential to free up some bondage of misunderstanding and harmful beliefs that afflict many of our species–in a way that is actually accessible to the average intelligent person. If someone went entirely by what you wrote, they probably wouldn’t even bother to take a look at these works. Of course if they bothered to take the slightest look-see they would see hundreds of positive reviews by a diverse number of sources, which quite contradict your hierarchical judgement, and misrepresentation of both their content and significance.

    I say look for yourself, you may benefit. I have enriched my own historic understanding greatly by these two books. (The Toby I have come to know will respond to this by some meaningless smart-alec remark that actually means nothing. Something that has the same relationship to real meaning as insult sitcoms have to real humor.)

    I will agree with you that comparing miseries is in most senses quite lame. I emphasis the genocidal attack on the Armenians because it has never really be acknowledged by the Turks (to my knowledge) in any official sense. One really doesn’t know how to feel about this issue because certainly none of the present-day Turks are responsible. And in a sense the recognition of the nature of these atrocities will have a not exactly salubrious effect on the dynamism of Turkish culture. I guess the real question is, “Is Turkey capable of similar actions presently?” With the advanced in world scrutiny I have hopes that Turkey will not be willing to display such a bestial aspect of itself to the civilized world. Perhaps the prospect of being a member of club-Europe will be enough to stifle any future crimes of this sort.

    There is no doubt that persons as well as nations lose a certain dynamism when they begin to see clearly though the lies they have been telling themselves. They tend to get depressed. Is it really a case, as Cox said that, “The examined life is not worth living”? (Of course he meant this in a truly esoteric sense entirely relative to the possibility of attaining not just knew knowledge by of actually enhancing or extending one’s conscious awareness through insight (or as some may think of it–the movement of a previously untapped energy into new neural territory.) Or rather, is it just such a realization and expansion that allows the lies to come to an end, without stress or neurotic knee-jerk defensive reactions–without the fear and clinging to the identity provided to one automatically by the circumstances of one’s life.

    This will be my last post on this thread, the people I wanted to read it have or are, and this is all I have to say in public for now. I wish you well and hope that you are soon unexpectedly delighted.

  • toby

    I have a hard time taking you serioulsy when you say things like:

    “Because there are Jewish scientist and doctors Jews do not oppose free inquiry. (Really, well maybe so and maybe not, but it certainly does not follow.)”

    This doesn’t make sense if I am a Jew and a scientist why doesn’t it follow that Judaism doesn’t limit scientific inquiry?

    Again, and here I’ll repeat what moderate said above:

    “Everybody knows that many American Jews identify so strongly with the state of Israel that they have managed to further corrupt our political system with their influence.” Posted by RacerX, on September 28th, 2008 at 4:27 pm EDT

    Say what you will this is antisemitism in its purest form. David Duke could have written this and has.

    I know that you think you have a “higher consciousness” which means you have your own private mystical religion.

    You attack other religions because they are different from your own. It’s a case of pot calling the kettle black with you.

    btw: try reading more than one book. Ferguson isn’t the only writer worth reading.

  • Ian

    Edgar Bronfman is reminiscent of the recent leaders of Israel, hounded by corruption. When one has money made legally like Bronfman, they can escape more diligent scrutiny because they have instant access to the media. Bronfman makes as much sense as Daffy Duck. Just another indication that money can’t buy you brains.
    The chosen people refers to the improvement of the Jewish religion over the pagan religions that practiced sacrifice and were polytheistic. It has nothing to do with seeing itself as superior. How could it if it is the foundation of the later religions. It is illogical. Can Judaism flourish in a multicultural world, or is it too exclusive to be part of such a world? Obviously, yes because it has always been. When other religions accept Judaism as legitimate, there is no problem. But to talk about being more open when the leader of the Persians is calling for a new genocide and no European country even cuts off business deals with the regime Bronfman is barking up the wrong tree and using politics to cover up his scandalous past.

  • lenilenape

    For those not in the know…Abraham (Avram) nor Sarah (Sarai) were Jews.

  • huh!

    Hey!
    I just skimmed/read through the “conversation”. Why does this need to devolve into name calling and reactivity. When it comes to that what’s the point of saying anything more. Once you call somebody a !@#$%^&* the converstation is over.

  • Deborah

    Why doesn’t Judaism have more to say about God watching over us and about going to heaven?

    I liked the answer that these are fairy tales and not part of a religion for adults. But there is more to it than that.

    These are simply not Jewish beliefs. Some Jews believe in heaven but it is not a central tenet in Judaism as it is in Christianity. Jews don’t believe in hell either.

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