Misreading the danger to Jews
In response to “Diaspora Jews, start thinking about aliyah" (Mor Altshuler, Opinion, Nov. 13).
Ms Altshuler is scared. She is frightened, according to her, by the joining of hands between leftist and rightist anti-Semites and Muslims in Europe. Her fear, though, is the fear of the newly blind who is so helpless as to try to scare everyone around her. Only a politically blind and highly biased person can fail to see who are joining hands in Europe. Israel is joining hands with the worst of the so-called old anti-Semites in Europe, and Jews and Muslims are the intended victims of this hatred. She fears that even the United States is not immune to the spread of left-right anti-Semitism, yet she fails to see the warm-hearted embrace of Israel by wild, messianic evangelicals, who are supporters of Donald Trump and Jew-haters to the core. Ms Altshuler‘s Zionism poses a real danger to Jews everywhere. It is an ideology that celebrates anti-Semitism, since without it, it loses its raison d’etre.
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Whose statements are anti-Semitic, Corbyn’s or Sacks’?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the essence of Zionism is exactly what Mor Altshuler is advocating, and this would relate to all Jews throughout the world no matter what country they’re in. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone that when she claims Jews have a “homeland” to go to, it actually means that all Jews who are defined as such are not in their homeland unless they’re in Israel. Since the author brings up former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and his thoughts on Jeremy Corbyn, why not focus on Sacks’ remarks, which if spoken by Corbyn would be claimed to be most “anti-Semitic.” It was Rabbi Sacks who wrote the article “Israel: The Heart of Judaism.” which means that Israel has become the religion and we can throw Judaism out the window if there are Jews who don’t feel that way, which would include members of my own family. If Israel is indeed the “heart of Judaism,” as he wrote in his article, then it is Rabbi Sacks who has made a grave insult against the Jewish religion because what he’s saying is that being supreme and being the oppressor of other people is in accordance with Judaism. Tell me if that should not be considered “anti-Semitic” or, in its proper terminology, “anti-Jewish”? But the most damning anti-Jewish statements is when he wrote in his article, “The sages said, ‘Whoever lives outside Israel is as if he had no God,” “Without a land and state, Judaism is a shadow of itself,” “Israel is the only place where Jews have been able to live Judaism in anything other than an edited edition, continuing the story their ancestors began.” Outrageous statements because his message is that Jews collectively cannot be real Jews in Britain, or anywhere else except Israel. So in other words, if all the real Jews are in Israel, then all who are not in Israel are obviously “fake” Jews because their loyalties should be to Israel in order to have a God. Yet, Rabbi Sacks, like too many other people, have the audacity to condemn Jeremy Corbyn and nitpick at any statement he has made to accuse him of “anti-Semitism.” when his own statement would be “anti-Jewish” to the core if it were said by Corbyn. If there is any moral to the story, it is: If you don’t support Israel regardless of what it does, then you are “anti-Semitic” or a “self-hating Jew.” Otherwise, no problem.
That’s Reform, not Conservative
In response to ‘Nobody is going to tell me that I’m a traitor’ (Nov. 18).
In the interesting and candid interview with Dr. David Myers, there is one statement that requires correction. He is quoted as saying, “For example, I am not thrilled with Conservative rabbis performing a Jewish wedding ceremony for interfaith couples.” As a prominent historian and new head of the New Israel Fund, surely Dr. Myers should know that Conservative rabbis are not permitted to perform interfaith marriages and, if they do, they are immediately subject to expulsion from the Rabbinical Assembly, the organization of Conservative rabbis. This policy has been in force for many years and was recently reviewed by a special commission of the Rabbinical Assembly. It was reaffirmed by the commission and by the Committee of Jewish Law and Standards of the R.A.
As a former international president of the Rabbinical Assembly and a current member of its Law Committee, I can assure Dr. Meyers that the few rabbis who have not adhered to this ruling have either resigned or been expelled by the organization. Perhaps Dr. Myers intended to mention Reform rabbis since they are permitted to do that and do so. That is one of the main differences between Reform and Conservative Judaism.
Rabbi Reuven Hammer
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