Passover has become little more than an act of communal hypocrisy

US Politics
on 134 Comments

“Delegitimization” is the favorite attack word used by defenders of Israel’s unique (mis)understanding of democracy.

It’s usually deployed to accuse human rights campaigners of wanting to “wipe the Jewish State off the face of the earth” for daring to suggest an alternative and fairer way of running the country. The apocalyptic rhetoric is designed to close down a debate about institutional discrimination and portray the call for Palestinian rights as the most poisonous act of antisemitism since the Holocaust.

It often works.

In fact most of our political leaders have wholeheartedly bought into the linguistic scam of “delegitimization.”

But there’s another “delegitimization” taking place, one that should be of far more concern for anyone that cares about the past and the future of Jews and Judaism. This delegitimization works by gnawing away, year by year, at our right to uphold the most universal values of our Jewish heritage.

Communal hypocrisy

Passover is the most popular and well observed of all Jewish festivals.  This year’s eight day celebration of redemption, liberation and religious and political freedom begins on Monday 10th April. But long ago our uncritical commitment to the project of Jewish nationalism began to undermine it. So much so, that Passover today has become little more than an annual act of communal hypocrisy. And in this year of bitter anniversaries (Balfour, the UN partition plan, the Occupation of the West Bank, the siege of Gaza) we’ll be taking that hypocrisy to depressingly new heights.

Zionism, which set out to create a modern redemption of the Jewish People, has slowly and surely destroyed the integrity of our Passover remembrance. The ongoing persecution of the Palestinian people in the service of a misguided notion of Jewish national self-determination has delegitimised our right to proclaim our foundational story of religious and political freedom. Why would anyone take seriously our right to speak out as Jews on the great moral issues of the day when we fail to face into the moral catastrophe of our own making?

In good times and bad

For centuries our retelling of the Exodus story served a vital purpose. It bound us together in a narrative that put religious and political liberation at the centre of Jewish consciousness.

We told ourselves this story in good times and bad.

The medieval Jewish philosophers of Andalusia told it in Spain under the benign rule of Islam. The Jewish fisherman of Salonica told it in 16th century Greece. The sweatshop tailors of Whitechapel and the Lower East Side told it. We told it, as best we could, just before the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943. We even told it in the concentration camps.

As a minority people living beside sometimes welcoming but often hostile neighbours, Passover was a sustaining act of solidarity and a celebration of our Jewish values. It’s hardly surprising that it’s remained so popular.

The impossibility of Passover

But for those with eyes to see, ears to hear and the heart to learn, celebrating Passover in the 21st century has become a near impossibility.

We can pretend that it’s okay to separate our religious tradition from the politics of the day. But in truth we’ve never done that.

In the words of our Seder night liturgy, in every generation new Pharaohs have risen up against us. And at Passover they were always at the front of our minds, the unwelcome guest at our table.

We looked at our surroundings and read into our storytelling our present condition. Yes, we ended our meal with the words “Next year in Jerusalem” but few made the effort to actually get there. In practice “Jerusalem” was an expression of the ideals of liberation and justice rather than a physical destination.

What’s different in this generation is that we have become the Pharaoh, we have become the oppressor and destroyer of others. But unlike those previous generations we don’t allow our present condition to intrude at our Passover table. That would make things far too awkward and uncomfortable.

Life in the “narrow place”

For those Jews who recognise the seriousness of our present condition, we find ourselves in a very ‘narrow place’ this Passover. But perhaps that’s the one aspect of the festival that hasn’t been delegitimised.

In Hebrew we call Ancient Egypt “Mitzrayim.” Our rabbis have made great play with the root meanings of this word creating a strong theological theme that underpins our annual retelling of the Exodus.

The word Mitzrayim, can be understood as meaning to border, to shut or to limit. It can mean to bind, to tie up, to be restricted. It can mean scant, tight or cramped. But most commonly you hear Mitzrayim talked of as “the narrow place.”

This Passover, being Jewish and calling for equal rights for all who live in Israel/Palestine is a very narrow place to be.

I posted this in my Facebook page last month reflecting on how cramped and constricted life had become for dissenting Jews over the last twelve months.

Thanks to a series of increasingly absurd decisions, by people with apparently only a glancing acquaintance with Jewish history, religion and basic humanity, I now find myself portrayed as a dangerous radical. Here’s how it happened:

First, the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis said I wasn’t Jewish because I’m not a Zionist.

Then, Prime Minister Theresa May said I’m antisemitic because I question Zionism’s notion of Jewish national self-determination.

And now, the Israel Knesset has decided I’m a would be terrorist because I support non violent protest in support of human rights.

Did I go mad. Or did the world?

Plenty of Facebook friends assured me my sanity was not in question. But where does that leave the world? And if Passover has lost all legitimacy what should a dissenting Jew do with their time during this key religious festival?

Abandon your Haggadah

There are alternative Passover gatherings if you live in the right cities around the world, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. There are Seder night “supplements” written to provide thought provoking content to add to the liturgy of the traditional Haggadah service book. But I have another suggestion this year.

This Passover abandon the traditional Haggadah. Set aside the alternative Haggadahs too. Leave the supplements alone.

Instead adopt an entirely different religious text.

My proposed liturgical replacement also tells the story of slaves and of a Pharaoh. It also describes oppression and it shows a route to liberation. It represents all that makes Passover delegitimised and, simultaneously, exactly how it can be made legitimate once again. It was published last month on the 15th March.

My recommended reading for your Passover celebration is the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report on Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid. Its authors are Professor Richard Falk, a former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University; and Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University.

Their report is not a rant or a “hate fest” against Israel. It’s measured in tone and scholarly in the presentation and analysis of international law. It even anticipates and addresses the main objections to its findings.

Its conclusions are well argued: In different ways, Israel operates policies, with clear purpose and intent, that create an apartheid situation for Palestinians in Israel itself; in annexed East Jerusalem; in the Occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza; and for Palestinian refugees.

The outrage from the Trump and Netanyahu administrations was so instantaneous that they clearly hadn’t had time to read the report they were condemning. But putting the words “Israeli” and “Apartheid” in the same sentence was more than enough.  Two days later on the 17th March the report was removed from the ESCWA website at the insistence of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Rima Khalaf, the head of ESCWA, resigned her position saying: “… it is my duty not to conceal a clear crime, and I stand by all the conclusions of the report.”

Once again, the truth is too painful, too difficult, too political to face.

But the report is a worthy Passover text for this year. If we read it, carefully and faithfully, if we pay attention to its descriptions and analysis, it can free both Jews and Palestinians from our joint (but very differently experienced) modern slavery to Zionism. And, if enough others join this movement of liberation, then we Jews may even find a way back to a legitimate Jewish Passover.

This post was originally published on the Patheos site, in Robert Cohen’s series, Writing from the Edge: Rescuing the Hebrew Covenant One Blogpost at a Time, last week.  

 

About Robert Cohen

Cohen is a British writer. He blogs at Micah's Paradigm Shift. http://micahsparadigmshift.blogspot.co.uk/

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134 Responses

  1. JeffB
    April 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    The passover story is a story about freedom from bondage. There is haroset on the plate as much as maror.

    Zionism, which set out to create a modern redemption of the Jewish People, has slowly and surely destroyed the integrity of our Passover remembrance.

    How by fulfilling it? By restoring the Jews to Israel. Far be it from me to quote to a Rabbi but:

    וְהָיָה | בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יוֹסִיף אֲדֹנָי | שֵׁנִית יָדוֹ לִקְנוֹת אֶת שְׁאָר עַמּוֹ אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׁאֵר מֵאַשּׁוּר וּמִמִּצְרַיִם וּמִפַּתְרוֹס וּמִכּוּשׁ וּמֵעֵילָם וּמִשִּׁנְעָר וּמֵחֲמָת וּמֵאִיֵּי הַיָּם:
    יבוְנָשָֹא נֵס לַגּוֹיִם וְאָסַף נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּנְפֻצוֹת יְהוּדָה יְקַבֵּץ מֵאַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ:

    As for your “did I go mad” question. You went mad. The same way a 3rd century Rabbi preaching animal sacrifice as the central rite of Judaism would have been mad. You are looking backwards to a Judaism that no longer exists, designed to serve a Jewish people that no longer exist, in a political position that is no longer relevant.

    • Mooser
      April 11, 2017, 1:08 pm

      “JeffB” don’t get your ass in over your head.

      JeffB is too old to have gone on birthright. He also doesn’t speak Hebrew… It isn’t a viable option” http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments/#sthash.fOlN5PXB.dpuf

      “How by fulfilling it? By restoring the Jews to Israel.”

      What are the borders of the Israel God has restored to us?

      • JeffB
        April 11, 2017, 2:44 pm

        @Mooser

        — What are the borders of the Israel God has restored to us?

        In 2017 the former Mandate Palestine with the Jordan border adjustments, minus Gaza plus the Golan.

        — Yeah. And nobody will ever say that about Zionism. It serves the needs of the Jewish people everywhere!

        Not even getting the sarcasm here. My answer is yes it is.

      • Mooser
        April 11, 2017, 4:46 pm

        “My answer is yes it is.”

        Gee, and it can do all that from thousands of miles away. It’s like magic!

      • talknic
        April 11, 2017, 8:21 pm

        @ JeffB April 11, 2017, 2:44 pm

        // the borders of the Israel God has restored to us?//

        “In 2017 the former Mandate Palestine with the Jordan border adjustments, minus Gaza plus the Golan”

        Your God, who didn’t bother to show up for the Holocaust ( or maybe s/he did ), is completely irrelevant to International Laws that Israel the state in its own words and undertakings is obliged to uphold

        The territories you mention were actually acquired by war
        Your so called ‘God’ is war
        You and your so called God are the problem

        Thanks for helping make that clear JeffB

        Keep up th’ good work

      • Mooser
        April 11, 2017, 9:41 pm

        Didn’t “JeffB” tell us he is an “atheist”? Lemme see, maybe I can find out.

        “I’m a Zionist, a Jew, and an atheist. I don’t think there was a first temple in Jerusalem though a proto-Jewish shrine on Mount Gerizim dating back before the 6th century BCE is likely” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jeffb/?keyword=atheist#sthash.6ax110Ve.dpuf

        BTW I’m an atheist and not shomer shabbas but following God’s will is doing what God says not what I think he should have said. “ http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jeffb/?keyword=atheist#sthash.6ax110Ve.dpuf

        Uh, okay.

        “Dude, I’m an atheist Jew. My daughter’s boyfriend’s parents run their own little synagogue for about 200 people. While they would never call themselves this I think both of them are atheists:” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jeffb/?keyword=atheist#sthash.6ax110Ve.dpuf

        It’s a trend! Perhaps their fervent preaching will increase the atheism among their congregants.

        “Of course there are. It is a true tragedy for Palestinians that their society was destroyed to make room for Israel. God (I’m also an atheist, being metaphorical here) has a cruel sense of humor.” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jeffb/?keyword=atheist#sthash.6ax110Ve.dpuf

        Ha, ha, ha.

        “Abigail…. I’m an atheist.”

        “My atheist wife and atheist me had no problem getting an orthodox rabbi who was willing to marry us” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jeffb/?keyword=atheist#sthash.6ax110Ve.dpuf

        Looks like I have to give “JeffB” the last word:

        “I think at this point an orthodox Jew and not an atheist like me should be having this argument.” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jeffb/?keyword=atheist#sthash.6ax110Ve.dpuf

      • gamal
        April 12, 2017, 12:56 am

        “Looks like I have to give “JeffB” the last word:”

        no, no allow me, the atheism is all very well, where is your Red Rabbi, we can’t alliterate but have been remembering the Red Mujtahid, Hussayn Mroue (murruwah), we murdered him of course, thats what we are recalling, we even murdered the man, shukri bilid, who wrote the beautiful panygeric for him

        “Let Darkness have its time”

        http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/26064/remembering-husayn-muruwwah-the-%E2%80%98red-mujtahid%E2%80%99

      • Marnie
        April 12, 2017, 1:03 am

        “You are looking backwards to a Judaism that no longer exists, designed to serve a Jewish people that no longer exist, in a political position that is no longer relevant.’

        Okay then; there’s no need for holy days including, but not limited to pesach, yom kippur, shavuot, shabbat; kashrut, and all of its accoutrements including your fav – ‘jewish sinks’ or, most important of all, no need for a jewish state. What a relief! Glad that’s over with.

      • echinococcus
        April 12, 2017, 2:04 am

        Of course Mr Jeff is a proud atheist –he considers himself Jewish as a result of his racism, being born to a “Jewish” lady –I suppose that’s why several here are calling Zionism a “religion-supremacist” political movement. Oooh yes. Racism plays no role at all –we’re “Jewish” after all!

      • MHughes976
        April 12, 2017, 4:48 am

        There’s an interesting article in Tikkun Daily for May 8, 2013 ‘My Jewish Atheism’ by Dan Brook, followed by interesting, though slightly baffling, comments. It is headed by a quote, somewhat oblique to the subject, from the Talmud and by a reminder of Golda Meir’s mot, when asked whether she believed in God, ‘I believe in the Jewish people’. I see, from Mooser’s anthology, that I outdo Jeff in biblical credulity because I do think that there must have been a temple, or at any rate an operative cult centre, in Jerusalem pre-Nebuchadnezzar.

      • Talkback
        April 12, 2017, 11:20 am

        JeffB: “In 2017 …”

        Exactly. It is an ongoing crime against humanity. If that’s God work what is left for Satan?

      • Mooser
        April 12, 2017, 12:49 pm

        …beautiful panegyric…”

        Oooh! I like that one a lot. The opening lines (“Darkness, darkness, be my pillow…”) are haunting.

      • MHughes976
        April 12, 2017, 1:04 pm

        Brook quotes Sanhedrin 97b, where it is said that all the popular dates set for the arrival of the Messiah had gone by and that it is now all a matter of repentance and duties. This doesn’t seem to be very atheist in tone – it’s quite like the Christian discussion in 2 Peter 3, which has never been regarded as atheist inclined. Still, it is revealed that there is a network of Jewish Humanist synagogues these days, perhaps only in the United States.

      • Mooser
        April 12, 2017, 2:11 pm

        “from Mooser’s anthology, that I outdo Jeff in biblical credulity because I do think that there must have been a temple,”

        The latest excavation clearly show a one-stop store for wood-stoves, cook-stoves, fireplaces and barbecue grills, fuel and supplies.
        I wonder what it was called?

    • Mooser
      April 11, 2017, 1:11 pm

      “You are looking backwards to a Judaism that no longer exists, designed to serve a Jewish people that no longer exist, in a political position that is no longer relevant.”

      Yeah. And nobody will ever say that about Zionism. It serves the needs of the Jewish people everywhere!

    • lyn117
      April 11, 2017, 5:44 pm

      So religious advocacy of freedom from slavery for humans is more or less the same as preaching animal sacrifice, in the mind of a Zionist

  2. Parity
    April 11, 2017, 7:09 pm

    Daniel Shipiro wrote the speech that Obama gave to AIPAC when running for office the first time. http://powerbase.info/index.php/Daniel_B._Shapiro The speech said that all of Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel.

  3. JeffB
    April 11, 2017, 11:05 pm

    @Mooser

    I don’t see your point. The question of what Judaism teaches, what it is becoming, and the question of whether the Jewish God (or any other God) exists are distinct questions. Judaism is a religion of practice not belief. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rationaldoubt/2014/09/atheist-orthodox-rabbi-for-a-lifetime/

    • Talkback
      April 12, 2017, 11:25 am

      JeffB: “Judaism is a religion of practice not belief.”

      Says JeffB who claims that God has restored Israel. Oh the stupidity …

      • Marnie
        April 12, 2017, 12:06 pm

        ……it never ends with this one

    • Mooser
      April 12, 2017, 12:00 pm

      “Judaism is a religion of practice not belief.”

      Yeah, like mechanics, or chemistry.

      • Marnie
        April 12, 2017, 1:04 pm

        Or animal husbandry.

    • jon s
      April 12, 2017, 12:47 pm

      I agree with JeffB on this.
      Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do.

      • Marnie
        April 12, 2017, 1:02 pm

        “I agree with JeffB on this.”

        Hell just froze over. Pigs are flying.

      • eljay
        April 12, 2017, 1:13 pm

        || jon s: … Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do. ||

        Does Judaism emphasize that Jews should or should not deliberately and unapologetically do terrorism, land theft, military occupation, colonialism, oppression, torture, murder and supremacism?

      • Mooser
        April 12, 2017, 2:03 pm

        “I agree with JeffB on this.” “Jon s”

        “Hell just froze over. Pigs are flying.”

        Oh, those atheist Jews always club together with the Jewish atheists. Gets to the point you can’t tell ’em apart.
        They like to laugh at gullible Jewish believers.

      • talknic
        April 12, 2017, 6:53 pm

        Yes I agree with JeffB ‘ Do unto others etc …’

        Israeli Jews are deserving of occupation, dispossession, white phosphorus during the daylight hours in areas where there are no troops for it to hide.
        They are deserving of fletchettes piercing their bodies.
        They deserve having their territories illegally acquired, illegal annexation. They deserve having their orchards and villages destroyed and their children murdered as the play football on the beach.
        They deserve having their natural resources illegally exploited, their mothers tear gassed.
        They deserve shit spread on the walls of their homes and all the pleasantries so ably demonstrated by IDF morality

      • Marnie
        April 13, 2017, 12:14 am

        I just figured out the purpose of the haredim! They are not a cherished segment of israeli society, quite the opposite, but they should be. Yes, the haredim and holocaust survivors provide the much needed cover for the zionist enterprise. How? They are the face of israel (they and the IDF – but the IDF in tefillin praying on top of their tank at sunrise). They are the ones that are shown to the west as representative of the ‘chosen people’. How hard would it be to convince all them bible-thumpin’ israeli-chumpin’ evangelical christians in ‘merica and elsewhere to send every dime and dollar they can spare to the state of israel if they were shown it’s nothing but an atheist/hedonist Caligula’s Rome or Lot’s Gomorrah and not a land of holy rollers, such as they see themselves. Got it. ;^)

      • Marnie
        April 13, 2017, 12:33 am

        I think Jeffie used to be a rabbi with his own dysfunctional little congregation of the Practice Makes Belief Completely Unnecessary Temple , but went too far after claiming he was a deity his own self, and was defrocked and deflocked. How sad; just when everyone was getting used to the 6 hour streams of consciousness dripping like a leaky faucet from the bimah to the lucky folks with the front row seats Friday nights to the wee hours of Saturday morning.

      • Talkback
        April 13, 2017, 8:43 am

        Jon S: “Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do.”

        Yeah, right. Do you actually know what the word “mitzvah” means and what its origin is?

      • jon s
        April 13, 2017, 4:23 pm

        Wow, talknic, how bloodthirsty can you get?

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2017, 4:35 pm

        “Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do.”

        And most of all, who you do it to. That makes all the difference in the ‘transaction.’

        Besides, we have unlimited moral credit. The distance between what was supposed to happen to ‘the Jews’ and what did actually happen historically is so great the debt can never be repaid.

      • Marnie
        April 14, 2017, 12:16 am

        “Wow, talknic, how bloodthirsty can you get?”

        talknic took his post directly from the IDF playbook – how obtuse and morally bankrupt can you continue to be by completely ignoring the facts of what has and continues to be done in gaza and the treatment of palestinians in palestine and israel? Don’t like the do unto others scenario? Don’t tell talknic – take it straight to the perpetrators jon-jon.

      • talknic
        April 14, 2017, 12:44 am

        @ jon s April 13, 2017, 4:23 pm

        You should be asking the most moral army in the world.

      • jon s
        April 16, 2017, 12:48 am

        Talknic,
        I was just shocked by your bloodthirsty fantasy, especially regarding the murder of children.
        Maybe I should not have been.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 16, 2017, 7:35 am

        that’s twice you’ve called the recounting of idf actions bloodthirsty jon s. why apply that particular word to the actions they’ve carried out? or is it just the retelling you find bloodthirsty?

        especially regarding the murder of children.

        don’t you mean especially recalling the murder of children? or do you find the recalling more horrendous than their deaths? baker boys collateral damage? is that it? fog of war history written by the conquering settlers?

        who’s thirsting for blood jon, the victims and their defenders? the killers? you? strange divert anyway — thirsting for blood. easter morning ratcheting up the discourse.

      • jon s
        April 16, 2017, 9:08 am

        Annie,
        Talknic wrote that they (Israeli Jews) “deserve… to have their children murdered…”

        You don’t have a problem with his comment?
        You just have a problem with my calling it bloodthirsty?

      • Annie Robbins
        April 16, 2017, 10:33 am

        i have a problem with your hypocrisy jon. i don’t have a problem with his comment, no. because, in the context of the conversation/debate about the emphasis of judaism being what you do instead of what one believes brings to mind the natural extension of this thought, the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and the rejoinder, calling attention to what the army of the jewish state does, as a natural extension of those thoughts, is that those practicing judaism: “Whatever is hurtful to you, do not do to any other person” implies, it is not hurtful to those practicing judaism to main and kill (which i don’t believe is true btw).

        this is a rhetorical exercise jon. the challenge for you is to counter the logic behind this (somewhat logical) conclusion. instead, you characterize it (the logic) as “bloodthirsty” whereas the actions of killing, occupation, dispossession, white phosphorus during the daylight hours in areas where there are no troops for it to hide, fletchettes piercing bodies, territories illegally acquired, illegal annexation, orchards and villages destroyed and children murdered as the play football on the beach, natural resources illegally exploited, mothers tear gassed, shit spread on the walls of homes, pleasantries so ably demonstrated by IDF morality, you don’t similarly characterize as bloodthirsty.

        as a rhetorical crutch, it seems to me rather ad hominem in nature — the original “bloodthirsty” accusation that is.

        and by extension:

        You don’t have a problem with his comment?
        You just have a problem with my calling it bloodthirsty?

        appears to be a stance of bypassing the argument (rhetorical) in favor of extending the “bloodthirsty” trap/accusation to include those who understand, and agree with, the logic behind the argument. it’s not me who has a problem with the comment, it’s you. your problem being, it’s hard to counter argue. especially given you don’t label the actions themselves as bloodthirsty. but by merely expressing extending the application of those same actions to jewish-israeli children, the very thought of that application, is bloodthirsty. hmm.

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2017, 11:23 am

        “He brings an American sense of exceptionalism to Zionism. In terms of Passover breadstuffs, a cracker who decided it’s a matzoh too.” http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/passover-communal-hypocrisy/#comment-176446

      • oldgeezer
        April 16, 2017, 1:59 pm

        @jon s

        Nothing bloodthirsty about talknic’s comments. As this type of evil act is pepetrated on the Palestinian people repeatedly clearly it is an acceptable type of act by Israeli citizens.

        Don’t Israelis desrve to be treated the way they treat others. Both good and bad? I thought you would be on board with equality. Perhaps Israelis also want medics who will finish off the wounded?

      • jon s
        April 16, 2017, 3:58 pm

        No children deserve to be murdered.

        No matter what nationality, ethnicity, religion, race, whatever…

        No children deserve to be murdered.

        Not even Jewish children, talknic.
        Not even Israeli Jewish children, talknic and Annie and everyone.

        I can’t believe that what should be a universally accepted principle needs to be argued here.

      • talknic
        April 16, 2017, 7:42 pm

        @ jon s April 16, 2017, 12:48 am

        “I was just shocked by your bloodthirsty fantasy, especially regarding the murder of children.
        Maybe I should not have been”

        Save it for your collection of classic ZioDrivel ” jon s: … Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do” Do ( or do not ) unto others …

        The list I gave has been done to Palestinians by the Jewish State and its most moral army in the world on behalf of the Zionist Federations 120 years colonizing Palestine. If it’s done unto others it’s deserved in return

      • talknic
        April 16, 2017, 8:05 pm

        @ jon s April 16, 2017, 3:58 pm

        “No children deserve to be murdered.”

        I agree. The IDF doesn’t. Go whine to the Zionist Federation and the most moral army in the world

        “No matter what nationality, ethnicity, religion, race, whatever…”

        I agree. The IDF doesn’t. Go whine to the Zionist Federation and the most moral army in the world

        “No children deserve to be murdered.”

        Except it seems if they’re Palestinian children playing football in territory Israel covets.

        “Not even Jewish children”

        I agree. Go whine to your most moral army and the Zionist Federation for coveting other folks’ territory

        “Not even Israeli Jewish children,”

        I agree. Go whine to the Zionist Federation for coveting other folks’ territory and who decided to loan specifically poor Jews money specifically at interest to put themselves and their children specifically on the front lines in the colonization of Palestinian territory they covet

        “I can’t believe that what should be a universally accepted principle needs to be argued here.”

        Yet here you are. Trying to pin something on me by arguing against your own point “Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do.” Stealing, murdering and dispossessing because you covet other folks territory isn’t very wise

      • Annie Robbins
        April 16, 2017, 8:19 pm

        something tells me jon’s never referred to the idf, who have killed countless palestinian children, bloodthirsty. and yet he reserves the term for their critics. for people who express their outrage and displeasure with words instead of weapons. i find that odd. children literally dripping blood to their deaths, many bleeding out while israelis prevent ambulances from attending, and he doesn’t call them bloodthirsty, the killers. he doesn’t. he saves his condemnations for palestine supporters in comment sections. i find that odd.

        Not even Jewish children … Not even Israeli Jewish children …

        yes, we hear concern for jewish children. we hear the msm concern for jewish children. if a jewish child dies, israeli or not, it makes headlines, so yes we know how important they are because even in death they are privileged. don’t you mean not even palestinian children, or not even yemeni children, or not even syrian children or not even afghani children or iraqi children? for the most part, jewish children, unlike the others i’ve mentioned, are not being slaughtered by the 10’s or 100’s or 1000’s. they are some of the most protected children on the planet. we spend billions protecting some children, whereas we spend billions killing the others. it’s so unbalanced i don’t even know where to begin.

      • oldgeezer
        April 16, 2017, 9:39 pm

        @jon ‘s

        Universal? Not in Israel.

        You only get your knickers in a knot when you imagine turnabout.

        Whether a bullet in the back or the result of deprivation over the long term Palestinian are treated worse than livestock.

        Wipe away your crocodile tears and wait for the next man to be kicked to death by a mob for not having the right appearance. A foul foul state. Racist to the core.

      • talknic
        April 16, 2017, 11:44 pm

        @ jon s April 16, 2017, 9:08 am

        “Talknic wrote that they (Israeli Jews) “deserve… to have their children murdered…””

        Oh you poor poor simpleton. What I wrote is still there http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/passover-communal-hypocrisy/#comment-176446

      • Marnie
        April 17, 2017, 2:42 am

        jon s April 16, 2017, 12:48 am
        Talknic, I was just shocked by your bloodthirsty fantasy, especially regarding the murder of children. Maybe I should not have been. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/passover-communal-hypocrisy/#comment-876278

        You were shocked by the possibility of this bloodthirsty reality, which is regularly visited upon Palestinians, could ever be done to jews. It’s only bloodthirsty if jews are the target. So how does that actually work in your mind? You avoid answering the question by stating something you yourself don’t believe at all, that ‘no child deserves to be murdered’. Then curiously you add ‘not even Jewish children’. You just said ‘no child deserves to be murdered’. Didn’t you already include jewish children? I assumed ‘no child’ means all children. You sure fooled me for a half second! Why do you make jewish children exceptional? Because jewish children aren’t like other children, right? jewish blood is more precious, right? Spare us all your phony outrage and crocodile tears.

        “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

      • jon s
        April 17, 2017, 5:39 am

        Annie,
        I wrote quite clearly that no children deserve to be murdered, from whereever.
        I specifically wrote Jewish children because they are the ones who deserve to be murdered , according to talknic’s outrageous comment.
        I have always condemned the deliberate murder of innocent people, especially children. No matter where, when and by whom.

      • Maghlawatan
        April 17, 2017, 9:11 am

        “Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do. -”

        And Israel murders kids on an industrial scale every few years in Gaza. But there is a way of ignoring it. Heydrich would approve.

        jon s August 27, 2014 at 12:33 am with 7 replies In Israel the mood is, indeed, somber. We payed a terrible price, with 70 killed, injuries and economic damage. We love life and celebrate life, so we are mourning our dead, and we’re also sorry for the civilian deaths in Gaza, caused by Hamas. Hamas celebrate death, so they’re celebrating.

      • Marnie
        April 17, 2017, 9:59 am

        “I specifically wrote Jewish children because they are the ones who deserve to be murdered , according to talknic’s outrageous comment. I have always condemned the deliberate murder of innocent people, especially children. No matter where, when and by whom. ”

        Hey slick –
        it’s a real bitch trying to get your lie straight, as evidenced by your abject failure on these pages. You’re still trying to pin this all on talknic, whose comment is idf/GoI policy wrt children who aren’t jews, and you know it. You didn’t like having the same applied to jewish children, but don’t get so riled up about someone else’s children. Stop making excuses already. It’s very clear what type of children and people deserve to be murdered and they’re the one’s who are never ever innocent, isn’t that right Mr. Shaked?

      • Mooser
        April 17, 2017, 11:42 am

        “No matter what nationality, ethnicity, religion, race, whatever… “

        “Jon s” just cannot type the words “Palestinian children should not be murdered”!!

      • jon s
        April 17, 2017, 12:46 pm

        Marnie
        All children are innocent.
        No children deserve to be murdered.

        Who has a problem with that principle?
        (aside from talknic)

      • Marnie
        April 17, 2017, 1:42 pm

        You have a problem jon. Just you.

      • Mooser
        April 17, 2017, 1:58 pm

        “We love life and celebrate life, so we are mourning our dead, and we’re also sorry for the civilian deaths in Gaza, caused by Hamas. Hamas celebrate death, so they’re celebrating “Jon s”

        Off course! Let me guess, your Jewish “sense of belonging” told you that is the case.

        “Who has a problem with that principle? (aside from talknic)”

        “Jon s”, do you think telling outright lies will be good for the Jews?

      • Maghlawatan
        April 17, 2017, 2:31 pm

        Yes, Mooser

        In his book “Spiritual Radical,” Edward K. Kaplan tells a story about the Kopitzinitzer Rebbe. One day, a friend introduced the rebbe to a man whom he proudly declared to be shomer Shabbat, observant of the Sabbath rules. The rebbe looked at the man and asked, “Are you shomer hol?” He was asking him how he behaves during the week.

        One could indeed ask Israelis how they behave during turkey shoots

      • jon s
        April 17, 2017, 4:24 pm

        Marnie, I’m sure that we all have problems.
        What I can’t understand is how anyone can say that children deserve to be murdered.

      • Mooser
        April 17, 2017, 5:50 pm

        “What I can’t understand is how anyone can say that children deserve to be murdered”

        “Jon s” You better take that up with the IDF. Perhaps they are confusing Palestinian children with snakes.

      • Mooser
        April 17, 2017, 6:12 pm

        “I’m sure that we all have problems.”

        You seem to have a real problem with lying, “Jon s”. You can’t stop. And everybody can see what you are doing.

        Why are you doing this?

      • talknic
        April 17, 2017, 6:30 pm

        @ jon s April 17, 2017, 12:46 pm

        “Marnie
        All children are innocent.
        No children deserve to be murdered.”

        The entire argument thus far is still there for all to read jon s, including where I agreed

        “Who has a problem with that principle?
        (aside from talknic)”

        You’re falsely accusing someone jon s. Ir’s against the most basic of Judaic principles to lie. It’s also really stupid when the entire conversation is still there. I guess a propagandist doesn’t care if they look utterly stupid. It’s part of the job

        Who has a problem with that principle? The IDF does jon s, on behalf of the so called Jewish State. You support them. You appear to have no principles what so ever

        Israel and you seem to have forgotten that blowback for not observing the basic tenets of Judaism, is deserved. Do not murder. Do not covet other folk’s property. Do not falsely accuse or lie. Quite simple

        You’ve been caught falsely accusing someone hoping the sh*t you fling will stick.

        It has jon s and I must say it really does suit you

        Keep up th’ good work

      • jon s
        April 18, 2017, 5:06 am

        Talknic,
        You wrote that Israeli Jewish children deserve to be murdered.
        If you’re retracting, fine. But I didn’t lie.

      • Marnie
        April 18, 2017, 7:29 am

        jon s –
        you’re continued yammering on this non-topic makes me wonder wtf is in the drinking water in beersheva. Where are your handlers?

      • echinococcus
        April 18, 2017, 9:21 am

        John S,

        As a willing and proud accessory to tens of thousands of outright murders, you should talk.
        Also, if you don’t want accidents to happen to illegal occupiers just don’t move civilians to a war zone illegally. That simple.
        Also, if you want to protect yourself jump in the next plane and go back to the US. Our loss.

      • eljay
        April 18, 2017, 9:47 am

        || jon s: … What I can’t understand is how anyone can say that children deserve to be murdered. ||

        What I can’t understand is how anyone can say that children:
        – deserve to be driven from their homes and lands;
        – deserve to be barred from returning to their homes and lands; and
        – deserve to live as second-class citizens in a religion-supremacist state.

        How do you and your fellow Zionists do it?

      • Talkback
        April 18, 2017, 9:47 am

        Mooser: “Jon s” You better take that up with the IDF. Perhaps they are confusing Palestinian children with snakes.”

        It’s safe to say that they confuse Palestinians as such with “two legged animals”. But Israel’s average IQ is even lower than the US’ which is pretty low.

      • Mooser
        April 18, 2017, 11:22 am

        “Jon s”, our own Shomer Simpson.

      • talknic
        April 18, 2017, 11:40 am

        @ jon s April 18, 2017, 5:06 am

        “You wrote that Israeli Jewish children deserve to be murdered”

        You wrote “Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do”

        Do (or do not do) unto others dude, especially if you can’t handle the deserved blow back. Judaism’s basic tenets can be a bitch if you break ’em

        Go whine to the most moral army in the world who slaughtered Palestinian children playing football on a beach, who drop bombs on roof tops to warn people that they’re gonna drop bombs FFS

      • Mooser
        April 18, 2017, 11:48 pm

        “You wrote “Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do”

        “Talknic”,Don’t forget “belonging”,
        :
        “One concise formulation which I’ve heard is : “it’s not about believing, it’s about belonging”.“Jon s” http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/passover-communal-hypocrisy/#comment-176446

        Isn’t that a nice way to run a railroad: If you want the “belonging” you better do the “do”. Your beliefs are your own business, just don’t let them get in the way of religion.

      • RoHa
        April 20, 2017, 1:45 am

        I’m not sure what your appeal to history has to do with it.

        I suggested that rejection of the community was immoral. You asked what was immoral about it. I explained.

        (But then, I have explained several times that it is wrong to put a comma after a subject clause, and yet you still do it. Look at your third sentence.)

        As for Hermits, Maoris, and the Amish, we would have to look carefully at each case.

    • RoHa
      April 12, 2017, 7:37 pm

      What is the point of the practice if it is not supported by belief? Why not just give up the two handed cups and try to be a decent human being, as most of the rest of us do?

      • Mooser
        April 12, 2017, 11:40 pm

        “What is the point of the practice if it is not supported by belief”

        Ritual without belief is a common tactic in a battle of wills, for instance. If lack of belief makes you stop doing the rituals, you could lose the battle!

      • jon s
        April 13, 2017, 4:31 pm

        RoHa,
        Your question is a very serious one ,difficult to answer without resorting to a book-length essay.

        One concise formulation which I’ve heard is : “it’s not about believing, it’s about belonging”.

      • jon s
        April 13, 2017, 4:56 pm

        RoHa,
        On “belief” vs. deeds:
        Since it’s impossible to know what’s really going on between your ears, since no one knows whether you sincerely believe what you claim to believe, Judaism said never mind about endlessly declaring your belief. Instead, here’s a set of laws to live by and deeds to perform. Live according to those laws and you’ll be fine. You’ll find yourself living a good, moral, life, and you’ll belong to a community based on shared laws and traditions.

      • amigo
        April 13, 2017, 5:12 pm

        “Judaism said never mind about endlessly declaring your belief. Instead, here’s a set of laws to live by and deeds to perform. Live according to those laws and you’ll be fine. You’ll find yourself living a good, moral, life, and you’ll belong to a community based on shared laws and traditions. “Jon S.

        Another zinger from Jon S.

        Does Judaism allow you to covet (steal ) someone else,s property and still live good moral life.

        Nobody denies you will belong but , are you happy if that community is restricted to fellow thieves and robbers.

        Jon S is proof positive that the human mind knows no boundaries in it,s ability to self delude.I think you are mixing up the laws of Judaism with the laws of Zionism.

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2017, 5:36 pm

        “You’ll find yourself living a good, moral, life, and you’ll belong to a community based on shared laws and traditions.”

        Like communal shooting-and-beating murder of a dark-skinned stranger who appeared in Beersheba one day? A completely innocent man, but “shared laws and tradition” meant he gets killed, and everybody keeps silent.

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2017, 8:23 pm

        “,difficult to answer without resorting to a book-length essay.”

        Which you are fully qualified to write.

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2017, 9:21 pm

        “Jon S is proof positive that the human mind knows no boundaries in it,s ability to self delude”

        I agree. He brings an American sense of exceptionalism to Zionism. In terms of Passover breadstuffs, a cracker who decided it’s a matzoh too.

      • RoHa
        April 13, 2017, 9:46 pm

        “it’s not about believing, it’s about belonging”.

        Not really a religion, more a social club, then.

      • RoHa
        April 13, 2017, 11:53 pm

        “no one knows whether you sincerely believe what you claim to believe, Judaism said never mind about endlessly declaring your belief.”

        But the important thing is having the belief, regardless of whether anyone else knows that you have it, or whether you declare it or not.

        “Instead, here’s a set of laws to live by and deeds to perform. Live according to those laws and you’ll be fine. You’ll find yourself living a good, moral, life, and you’ll belong to a community based on shared laws and traditions.”

        That would be fine, if those laws actually did lead to a good, moral life and belonging to a community. But if those laws lead to an uncomfortable life, and an immoral rejection of the community you live in*, then the reasonable thing to do is to reject them.

        And if you don’t have the belief** that they are duties ordained by God, what reason do you have not to reject them?

        So it seems to me that the belief is necessary for Judaism.

        (*As, it seems to me, they do in the case of Judaism.)

        (**I notice that you seem to assume that beliefs are in the head. If they are nothing but brain states, then they are, but if there is more to them than that, then they might not be. But we have a few thousand years worth of philosophy on that issue, and no resolution yet.)

      • Maghlawatan
        April 14, 2017, 3:21 am

        Mooser – one of the things about Israel they used to say in the early days was that it had Jewish farmers, Jewish policemen, Jewish hairdressers etc. Now the set is truly complete with Jewish lynchers.

      • MHughes976
        April 14, 2017, 8:48 am

        The question of orthodoxy versus orthopraxy can indeed get complex but even if there is no belief in the rightness of this or that behaviour which marks belonging to the group there must be some belief in the merits – or perhaps in the grim inevitability – of belonging either somewhere or else belonging in the particular place. This belief seems to call for a lot of discussion, not to bring discussion to an end.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2017, 11:35 am

        “This belief seems to call for a lot of discussion, not to bring discussion to an end.”

        I can’t agree. It is an ultimatim delivered by a bluff. I think that belief most certainly indicates the end of the discussion, and the beginning of decision and action.

        Don’t worry, when we are frightened and down, we Jews will be eager to explain ourselves and how we are really just like you, and if you prick us we bleed, blah, blah, blah, and all our rituals are about loving life and God, and everybody is equal.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2017, 12:09 pm

        ” Now the set is truly complete with Jewish lynchers.”

        You mean Jews with Western military experience, and access to equipment? Oh, they were there from the start. The ‘lynchpin’ of the operation, you might say.

      • yonah fredman
        April 14, 2017, 8:44 pm

        Roha- “an immoral rejection of the community you live in” bespeaks a conformism that may be innocent, but probably not. Jews are allowed to keep the torah because their parents did or because they think “Jewish continuity” is a value. If the surrounding community feels rejected, that’s their problem. Nothing immoral here. Maybe not utopian, but what’s immoral here.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2017, 12:38 am

        . “Jews are allowed to keep the torah because their parents did or because they think “Jewish continuity” is a value. If the surrounding community feels rejected, that’s their problem.”

        You tell ’em “Yonah”. Screw the “surrounding community”. Have they ever been able to have the slightest impact on us?

        Heck no, we got em totally outnumbered and surrounded. We don’t have to explain ourselves to them! We’ll say what’s moral.

        Oh, here’s “Yonah’s” very practical formula for “Jewish continuity”

        “i think that antisemitism is a bit deeper than that and those who hate judaism are antisemites. which puts critics of judaism or those alienated from the strict observance of their parents wishing to water down judaism in the boat of being slightly antisemitic.”

        Why I can’t think of an attitude better calculated to assure continuity, and make Judaism rewarding.

      • RoHa
        April 15, 2017, 2:24 am

        “If the surrounding community feels rejected, that’s their problem. Nothing immoral here”

        Perhaps not when it feels rejected, but when it is rejected, there is a breach of morality.

      • Maghlawatan
        April 15, 2017, 4:04 am

        Yonah

        Jewish continuity is only possible if it is sustainable.
        I am all for Jewish continuity but it has to be reality based.
        “Fuck you” is not sustainable.
        Name one community operating “fuck you” that lasted more than 1 century.

      • yonah fredman
        April 15, 2017, 8:33 am

        Roha- my education has been paltry and maybe I don’t know your definition of morality. Where I come from there’s “Do unto others as you’d have done unto you.” Maintaining a separate society does not inherently offend anyone if laws are obeyed.

        Mooser- in fact politically the separatism implied in some religious Jewish practice will end up causing friction. This is an important political consideration. I do not consider it a moral consideration.

        Regarding my quote regarding rebellion against judaism as a form of antisemitism, I will not parse my words, but will react to the topic anew. Many jews go through phases of rejecting the religion of their parents in seeking autonomy and a separate identity. In many societies maintaining Jewish identity is a struggle for jews that requires some degree of stubbornness and when one casts off the holidays that will result in discontinuity. The attempt or wish to see some continuity to the Jewish enterprise can be seen as pro Jewish and apathy or animus towards that continuity can be seen as anti Jewish. Each jew when he/she chooses a path of conformity with tradition or instead chooses apathy towards tradition is choosing a direction. Human choices cannot be depicted purely by a set of vectors, but sometimes it simplifies matters to do so.

        There are many ways to express jewishness and so a vector that eats bacon and bread on the seder night may coincide with a personality that relishes studying and teaching torah or that combines a search for justice with a love of certain verses from amos, jeremiah and isaiah, and so there is a continuity lying beneath that contradicts the bacon and bread of the seder night. Nonetheless, the content of the frame of the shot of munching on that sandwich rather than matzo seemingly presents a vector opposed to Jewish continuity.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2017, 11:27 am

        “Not really a religion, more a social club, then.”

        Well, maybe, but at least it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get in to the club.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2017, 11:29 am

        “Maintaining a separate society does not inherently offend anyone if laws are obeyed.”

        Yup, when the Jewish Zionists came to Palestine, they sure maintained a “separate society” from the Palestinians. Wouldn’t have anything to do with them.

        So, tell me more about this “separate society” in America, “Yonah”!
        Do we maintain our own courts and police? So if a Jew is hurt by a non-Jew, we never ever go to court, but simply take private revenge? We won’t take a seat on the stock-exchange, and we reject all titles (Doctor, Lawyer) given by ‘the other society’

        “Yonah” stop making a fool of yourself. There is no, and has never been a “separate Jewish society”.

      • jon s
        April 15, 2017, 4:34 pm

        amigo,
        My comment contained a certain interpretation of traditional Judaism. It had absolutely nothing to do with Zionism.

      • jon s
        April 15, 2017, 4:44 pm

        RoHa,
        I don’t mean that there’s no belief involved. I was just pointing out the emphasis on what you do, not what you believe.
        And I agree that there’s no point in living according to the laws and upholding the traditions- if it does not lead to a moral life.
        Of course this is only one possible interpretation of Judaism.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2017, 4:45 pm

        “My comment contained a certain interpretation of traditional Judaism. It had absolutely nothing to do with Zionism.”

        Of course it didn’t, “Jon s”. You, and only you, can tell us what the relationship of Zionism to Judaism is, at any given time or subject!

        If anybody else tries to do that, you know what to do! You tell them how your judgement is disinterested and objective, and their judgement is biased.

      • jon s
        April 16, 2017, 12:41 am

        Yonah,
        I would be interested in your opinion on the issue of belief vs. deeds in Judaism.
        Hag Same’ah

      • yonah fredman
        April 16, 2017, 11:16 am

        Jon S- on the topic of practices versus beliefs, I’ll begin by quoting, “he who does the deed, but not in the name, will come to do in the name” (mi’toch she’lo lishma, ba lishma). Thus it is deeds accompanied by belief that is the ultimate goal, and practice without beliefs is incomplete but on the road to the ultimate goal.
        Since I quote y. Leibowitz on the topics of zionism (in favor) and the occupation (extremely opposed) I will mention him here as he emphasizes, almost to the point of exclusion, the deeds over the beliefs.
        Since the commandment here is one of eating matzo and bitter herbs on the night of the 15 th of nissan, if one by chance buys matzo and romaine lettuce and eats them to satisfy one’s hunger it seems obvious that the person is not fulfilling the command. If one eats these foods because God commanded it, then one does fulfill it to the max. If one eats them because it is the Jewish thing to do, because one wishes to be part of the chain of history from the past and part of the chain to the (posited) future, I think it is great and highly worthy. I think that the Jewish future is an important wager, particularly given our recent survival at the attempt to wipe us out, I feel a clear headed assessment of “which way, judaism?” is nigh impossible at this moment of history and thus continuity for continuity sake is worthwhile, so as to hand-off the decision of continuity to the future when a clear headed decision will be nearer to possible. If society at large were headed towards a better world , then if one lacked belief, one might see sense in discarding tradition. But in fact humanity and society’s future is hardly assured and thus tossing away tradition seems not only cruel and callous, but foolish. The tradition of matzo should not be discarded. It has been of use. It may be of use in the future. And it is those with animus towards the Jewish past present and possible future who advocate tossing it out.

        The primary Jewish issue of the day is Israel’s survival and the moral dangers involved in the military/settler occupations of the west bank, East Jerusalem and the impending violence against gaza. I accept Robert cohen’s frustration with the ability of jews to compartmentalize Jewish survival through deeds both military and culinary from the suffering of palestinians. But I dismiss his conclusion. Jews need to eat matzo on the 15th of nissan to keep the light of the torch continuing from year to year from generation to generation from century to century. Tossing out these traditions would be foolhardy, no matter the source of these traditions nor our current compartmentalization.
        If a clock is broken, as in, it is slow or fast (rather than stopped), you keep winding the clock, (partly because a little arithmetic and other clocks might make this clock useful in the short range, but mostly) because if the clock keeps moving , when the watchmaker/repairman arrives to fix it, if you kept winding it, the gears will be intact and the clock may be fixable. But if you don’t wind it, it will be useless for the future.
        Khag sameakh (yivo approved spelling).

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2017, 11:30 am

        “Yonah, I would be interested in your opinion on the issue of belief vs. deeds in Judaism.”

        “Jon s” ,Why don’t you express your beliefs by ordering some of my lovely “Jew sui generis ” buttons? Free shipping if you buy enough for the whole settlement.

        As a bonus, you get some “No trauma ‘long us!” bumper stickers!

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2017, 12:02 pm

        Gulp! Swallow! Mmmmmm! Take a couple of “Yonah’s” soporific pilpuls, and Zionism completely disappears!

        And the most important, the most consequential, thing about Judaism is purity of ritual. Ho-kay, “Yonah”

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2017, 12:32 pm

        “Jews need to eat matzo on the 15th of nissan to keep the light of the torch continuing from year to year from generation to generation from century to century.”

        Bad Jew: “I tell you, I can’t take it anymore. I can’t stand having my religion sublimated to a cruel colonial-settler project, I may look elsewhere for spiritual satisfaction, or at least get away from this Zionism drek

        “Yonah”: “Quick, catch him! Tie him to a chair. Wait, it’s Passover, use the sofa. Now, BJ, eat this matzoh go on, swallow it. Okay here’s some two-cents-plain to wash it down”

        BJ: “Sphluggg, cough”. (matzoh takes hold) “Move the Embassy to Jerusalem! Greater Israel or bust! The Palestinians are a made-up people! From Time Immemorial! I want my birthright. I want a 370z!” (It is after all, “the month of Nissan”)

      • jon s
        April 16, 2017, 4:08 pm

        Yonah,
        Thanks for your thoughtful response.
        I was also thinking of the late Prof. Leibovitz. And I recall a discussion with an active Orthodox rabbi (with a connection to Leibovitz) who said that more than believing in Hashem , he believes in “avodat Hashem”.

      • Talkback
        April 17, 2017, 8:06 am

        jons s: “And I recall a discussion with an active Orthodox rabbi (with a connection to Leibovitz) who said that more than believing in Hashem , he believes in “avodat Hashem

        Yeah, it’s like believing in doing good to others more than believing that they actually exist.

      • Mooser
        April 17, 2017, 12:16 pm

        “… Judaism puts the emphasis not on what you believe, or claim to believe, but on what you do” Do ( or do not ) unto others …” “Jon s”

        “One concise formulation which I’ve heard is : “it’s not about believing, it’s about belonging”. “Jon s”

        So “what you do” will be conditioned on “belonging”. Religion becomes a social judgement on what you are willing to “do”?

        Now there’s a formula for an everlasting, incorruptible Judaism.

      • Maghlawatan
        April 17, 2017, 2:38 pm

        Peter Beinart on “how did Orthodox Judaism produce an asshole like Jared Kushner ? ”

        http://forward.com/opinion/361826/how-could-modern-orthodox-judaism-produce-jared-kushner/

        The bigger question is how did Judaism spawn Israel.

      • eljay
        April 17, 2017, 3:44 pm

        || Maghlawatan: Peter Beinart on “how did Orthodox Judaism produce an asshole like Jared Kushner ? ”

        http://forward.com/opinion/361826/how-could-modern-orthodox-judaism-produce-jared-kushner/ … ||

        … the challenge for Jared Kushner, and everyone in our extraordinarily privileged generation, is to remember our ancestors’ suffering and honor their memories by defending the weak, vulnerable and oppressed today.

        How could Kushner — a Modern Orthodox golden boy — fail to internalize that? …

        Mr. Beinart should be asking how he – a “liberal Zionism” golden boy who believes in Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine – has failed to internalize that.

      • RoHa
        April 18, 2017, 2:25 am

        Yonah, 己所不欲 勿施于人 (do not impose on other what you yourself do not want) is a good start, but there is more to 恕 (reciprocity) than that. It also involves the duties that we have to support the society that sustains us. (And by that I mean the society of the people who grow most of the food we eat, and purify and pump the water we drink. The society that cleans our streets, teaches our children, provides our electricity, and performs the dozens of other services that keep us going.)

        Society works by general agreement to follow the rules and support the society. Those rules (禮) are more than the law, and they give rise to social duties. Merely obeying the law is not sufficient to fulfil those duties. The law just combines the minimal regulations to make a society bearable, regulations to promote the interests of the elite, and regulations to promote whatever crackpot nonsense is currently fashionable.

        A group which accepts the benefits of the society, but refuses to be part of it, rejects its values, and shuns the very people who create those benefits, is failing in its social duties. A group which prefers its own interests over the general interest, which discriminates in favour of its own members over the other members of society, is failing in that duty of support.

        Maintaining a separate society does not inherently offend anyone if laws are obeyed.

        Mooser- in fact politically the separatism implied in some religious Jewish practice will end up causing friction. This is an important political consideration. I do not consider it a moral consideration.

        You do not see friction in society as a moral issue? You do have a very limited grasp of morality.

      • yonah fredman
        April 18, 2017, 10:39 am

        Roha- despite your tone, you raise some interesting issues.
        I think you are confusing pursuit of the ideal with the world we inhabit. The perspective of society at large towards smaller groups/ separate societies that have coexisted in proximity but with distance, is a phenomenon with historical precedent plus historical cause and effect. It is good to posit a society with full participation. It is relevant to notice that other trends exist in humanity in history in fact.

        Is the hermit immoral? Are the Amish immoral? Are the Maori immoral?

      • Mooser
        April 18, 2017, 11:52 am

        “You do have a very limited grasp of morality.”

        Huh? “Yonah’s” grasp of the enormity of the wrongs done to us, and the amount we are owed, is practically universal!

      • Mooser
        April 18, 2017, 3:20 pm

        “The perspective of society at large towards smaller groups/ separate societies that have coexisted in proximity but with distance,”

        “Yonah” you are ridiculous. Please stop BSing (Amish! Maoris!) and tell me what a “separate society” for Jews in the US would look like.

        So far, I’ve seen at least two “separate societies” in the US. There were the African slaves, and the Native Americans. Is that what you want for Jews?

        Oh, BTW “Yonah” when has the Jewish community ever indicated, in any way shape or form, that it desired a “separate society” in the US?

        And what is the problem “Yonah”. Has Jewish worship or religious education ever been interfered with in the US?

        “Yonah” the only thing you are asking for is privilege you think is owed to us.

      • Sibiriak
        April 20, 2017, 8:21 am

        RoHa: I suggested that rejection of the community was immoral

        A group which accepts the benefits of the society…
        ——————–

        How are you defining those terms “the community” and “the society” for the purposes of this discussion, i.e. what are you assuming to be boundaries of “the community” / “society”?

        Is the extent of “the community” or “the society” determined by national (state) boundaries? Or can “the community” be something smaller– or larger– than a (nation) state?

      • Mooser
        April 20, 2017, 11:14 am

        Sib, we were examining the position of “separate societies” for Jews in the US.
        I suggested that the two (of several) we could use as examples are the African slaves, and African-Americans after Emancipation, and the Native Americans.

        I was wondering if that is what “Yonah” had in mind for “separate societies”?

      • RoHa
        April 21, 2017, 2:04 am

        I gave a rough, functional, definition, earlier.
        “the society that sustains us. (And by that I mean the society of the people who grow most of the food we eat, and purify and pump the water we drink. The society that cleans our streets, teaches our children, provides our electricity, and performs the dozens of other services that keep us going.)”
        But we should also add in the benefit of decent treatment by the people who live near us.
        This definition could be summed up as “the society with which we have a social contract”. (You remember signing that, don’t you?)
        In practice, this would correspond mostly to the society that is around us in a geographic sense, and the society of which we are members in a political sense, so it would correspond fairly closely to the nation state. This is not to deny that we have duties to humanity in general.
        Of course, there can be plenty of points to quibble over. (For some countries, the people who grow a lot of the food live in other countries on the other side of the world, but British people do not have the same duties to Argentina and NZ as they do to Britain.)

        Does that help?

  4. Citizen
    April 12, 2017, 5:58 am

    The Israeli occupation the world forgot: the Golan Heights https://972mag.com/the-israeli-occupation-the-world-forgot-the-golan-heights/31332/ via @972mag

  5. Citizen
    April 12, 2017, 6:40 am

    Why Israel Wants Assad Gone: It Wants To Keep Syria’s Golan Heights as Water Resource, oil resource, 4 settlement
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golan_Heights

    Every country in the world, including USA, says Golan is occupied territory under international law. Israel says it’s part of Israel. But only Israel recognizes its own de facto annexation of said land.

  6. JeffB
    April 12, 2017, 7:13 am

    @Marnie

    Okay then; there’s no need for holy days including, but not limited to pesach, yom kippur, shavuot, shabbat; kashrut, and all of its accoutrements including your fav – ‘jewish sinks’ or, most important of all, no need for a jewish state. What a relief! Glad that’s over with.

    Of course there is. Rich cultures have cultural holidays. The existence of the God associated with those holidays is irrelevant. For example in the USA we still celebrate New Years, which was the holiday of Vejovis the first God. I’ve never met an American who believes in Vejovis. Heck during the Roman Empire there is a lot of question whether the Romans themselves even believed in Vejovis anymore (or even remembered what their society had believed centuries earlier). He probably was too heavily associated with the pre-Greek religion of faeries and household deities for them to even relate to the religious meaning of the holiday they were celebrating.

    Marnie you are supposedly Israeli. Israel was founded by atheists and still has a strong Jewish atheist culture. Why do I have to explain this to you? You should have lived it for decades.

    ___

    @gamal

    Don’t know why you are attributing that quote to me. Don’t even know who those people are.

    • Marnie
      April 12, 2017, 12:05 pm

      Sorry Jeffie, but your diarrhea of the keyboard has not refuted what I wrote.

      And you’re telling me about new years in the u.s.? Fool, I was born there!

      I’m not an israeli, can’t be that at all. That’s what is says, but it’s not who I am. Have a problem with that?

      BTW , I didn’t ask you for an explanation Mr, Know-it-All. Strong jewish atheist culture? Why? Because there are a lot of atheists in israel that are heavily weaponized? You don’t live here and you base all of your crap on what? A visit to a shitty restaurant in israel where you saw magical jewish cups and got a hardon seeing the idf!? You’re are one sick MF and claim you’re a jew and an atheist? To me your an atheist, period, and are in no position at all to question whether I’m jewish or not – your ‘you are supposedly israeli’ doesn’t mean jackshit now – you called me a christian and, you know what, you’ve got a real talent for mislabeling every fucking thing and should really try to control that particular impulse, because all you do is sound like a jerk of all trades and master of none.

      • Mooser
        April 12, 2017, 12:41 pm

        Gee, I would think being a “Jewish atheist”, or, for that matter, an “atheist Jew” (or both!) a guy is pretty much released from any religious strictures or ethics which don’t pay off, in practice.

        It leaves “JeffB” to look at Judaism from a purely practical standpoint.
        And besides, wouldn’t an “atheist Jew” (or Jewish atheist, I make no distinction) have it all over those 200 gullible believing Jews in the congregation?

    • Marnie
      April 12, 2017, 12:27 pm

      I got so caught up in your BS I nearly missed this little pearl you injected into your insane paragraph describing your take on new years, the greeks and the romans. What a load of manure.

      “Israel was founded by atheists”. Hold the phone! ‘israel’ was Palestine for centuries jack and continued to be called Palestine until May ’48. It was full of muslims and christians and a few jews before the nakba so it was hardly the atheist disneyland you described.

      • MHughes976
        April 12, 2017, 1:25 pm

        But it is still true, is it not, that the 1948 Zionists were a strange group of Bible-thumping atheists, led by BG. Zionism had and had long had a wonderful talent for drawing support from across the religious spectrum, from fundamentalists like Cyrus Scofield to ultra-progressives, near atheists, like George Eliot. Likewise across the political spectrum. A remarkable achievement.

      • Marnie
        April 13, 2017, 3:07 am

        agree that the ‘1948 zionists were a strange group ‘. and their offspring are even stranger.

    • Mooser
      April 14, 2017, 12:11 pm

      “I’m not an israeli, can’t be that at all.”

      Anywhere I hang my head is home.

  7. AddictionMyth
    April 12, 2017, 8:56 am

    We must keep telling the story. Our children will understand, even if we’ve long since forgotten.

    • Mooser
      April 12, 2017, 12:36 pm

      “We must keep telling the story. Our children will understand, even if we’ve long since forgotten.”

      You said it, pal. It’s a matter of practice, not belief!

      • Marnie
        April 13, 2017, 3:09 am

        Practice makes praefectus.

  8. Maghlawatan
    April 13, 2017, 4:46 pm

    “The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt ” while running something similar in Gaza

    The seder features

    -salt water to remember the tears in exile
    -A matzo to represent the temple that was destroyed
    -Something else to represent poor quality food in the desert

    Passover in Israel today takes the piss given what Israel is doing right now in Gaza.

    • amigo
      April 13, 2017, 5:18 pm

      “The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt ” .

      I had forgotten about that myth. Must add it to my list right next to the one about , God giving Palestine to the Jews.

      • MHughes976
        April 14, 2017, 12:20 pm

        I think that Passover and Easter, the Christian version, are about the absolute supremacy of God, whether his adversary is political power or forces that are regarded as demonic. It’s not about ending slavery, whose continuation the scriptures do not question fundamentally.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        April 14, 2017, 3:45 pm

        MHuges976:

        “I think that Passover and Easter, the Christian version, are about the absolute supremacy of God, whether his adversary is political power or forces that are regarded as demonic. It’s not about ending slavery, whose continuation the scriptures do not question fundamentally.”

        Sorry I must ask what did you mean by connecting Passover and Easter?? Did you know that Easter is not about ending slavery, but about the Crusifiction and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the main messages of this celebration are grace and forgiveness, symbolicly Jesus died on the cross because all of “our” sins. *

        So allthough they are often celebrated at the same time, Passover and Easter are a not about the same thing. Just wanted to correct incase you thought they were..

        (* note: I am not here to preach, just talking about the differences between these two religions.. “our” = meaning people)

      • MHughes976
        April 14, 2017, 5:55 pm

        Well, Kaisa, the service I plan to attend in two days’ time will begin with the words ‘Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast’ from I Corinthians 5:7. It’s always exhilarated me, though it’s quite mysterious:. what feast exactly are we to keep? Over a time it was interpreted to mean the feast which we call Easter. The New Testament has much Passover imagery and allusion surtounding the Lord’s crucifixion, of which that verse is an example. Both Passover and Easter are services of redemption, of Israel from Egypt and of humanity from the demonic powers of sin and death. You are quite right that Christians became very anxious not to make their ceremony seem in any way dependent on those of the Jews. The Fourteeners, who wanted to fix the date of the festival by reference to the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, lost out and the complex system we use to this day came in. Best wishes to the Finnish Church this Easter! I hope that a bit of Gods grace gets through to you and me and to those keeping the feast in Egypt and Palestine.

      • jon s
        April 19, 2017, 2:50 pm

        On Passover and Easter among other Jewish-Christian issues in medieval times I recommend this book:

        http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520258181

      • YoniFalic
        April 19, 2017, 7:09 pm

        The book is a popularized version of old material well known to scholars.

        It’s quite obvious to anyone with a modicum of knowledge that Rabbinic Judaism is a Mesopotamian Religion:

        1) that crystallizes well after Constantinian Christianity, which grows out of elite Judean & Egyptian Temple Judaism(s), and

        2) that was strongly influenced in its Mesopotamian homeland by Islam, which is itself an evolved version of the popular Judaism that was taught by Jesus and that became after Jesus’ death Christian Judaism and that spread to Hijaz.

        In the field of modern historical studies, we invariably find that recent history is invariably more relevant to contemporary politics than ancient history.

        The ancient history is important, but we understand modern Jewish politics most coherently and logically when we start from the historical elite status of Yiddish speaking Slavo-Turks, who provided the commercial financial stratum within the 2nd Estate of Commonwealth Poland.

        When Commonwealth Poland collapsed in the 18th century, Slavo-Turks became like the Polish nobility an angry disenfranchised former elite that struggled to maintain its status, power, and wealth under the Hohenzollern, Hapsburg, and Romanov occupations.

      • Mooser
        April 19, 2017, 8:06 pm

        “On Passover and Easter among other Jewish-Christian issues in medieval times I recommend this book”

        Is it on Passover we sacrifice an Eritrean by communal murder, or is that another holiday? And then sing another chorus of “I’ll Kick Ya'”

  9. Kaisa of Finland
    April 15, 2017, 5:31 am

    MrHuges976:

    Thanks for that point of wiev. Never thought about it that way. I only have my own experience of the Lutheran/Creek Catholic* Easter traditions/celebrations and some Pessachs in Jewish community in Israel and I did think they were a different thing, but of course it was only my personal experience.

    I usually avoid deeper discussions of Biblical/religious texts, ’cause they tend to cause more conflict than understanding between people and I find it so unnecessary, but I wish you have a Good Easter and peace to all of those celebrating it in the area of Palestine and Egypt.

    (*Allthough the text is the same, the emphasis seems to be a bit different)

  10. Antidote
    April 17, 2017, 2:19 pm

    I am amazed to find a very Zionist interpretation of Passover being used to accuse Zionism of hypocrisy. May I recommend an article published a few days ago in a Zionist newspaper (Haaretz) by Ofri Ilany, entitled: “The Forgotten Genocidal Commandment Behind the Story of the Exodus. The dark side of the story of the liberation from Egypt.” It’s not just the ten devastating plagues had to befall Egypt, ending with the murder of all Egyption first-borns, the calamity “passing over” the blood-marked doors of the Jewish homes. It goes on. Ilany:

    “The Exodus is a terrific story. So national, yet so humanistic. The primary source of all enlightened values. But is the story’s depiction by Walzer, Ben Gurion and others compatible with the biblical account? Not really. Because attached to the story of freedom from bondage is a far less humanistic: the commandment to annihilate the peoples of Canaan during the conquest of the land. We should not forget that this is one of the most detailed set of instructions for genocide we have from the ancient world.”

    It is not the only one we have from the ancient or modern world. And it is highly questionable whether Exodus has anything to do with history. It is, without question, a powerful myth which has inspired many, certainly not just Jews, or Zionists.

    • MHughes976
      April 18, 2017, 4:21 am

      I do think that the ‘national humanist’ idea is inherently paradoxical in this and all contexts. In the interpretation of Passover the Jewish atheist (and Christian atheist) position, which we have been discussing recently, is highly unconvincing because the heart of the message is not human liberty but divine supremacy. The command to carve out ‘an inheritance for the children of Israel’ in (what is still called, with moral significance) the Land of Canaan is not a contradictory extension of a libertarian message but the logical extension of the idea of the sovereignty of God, whose absolute nature is shown in the ability to set all normal morality aside, though we are made aware that the star rising in Israel will in the end bring blessing to all. All justifications of Zionism even if they wear atheist trappings have, as it seems to me,this idea of unique divine donation no more than a millimetre beneath their surface and sometimes much more prominently.
      The Ptolemaic historian Hecataeus thought the the wise and courageous Moses had found a solution to the unpopularity of racial minorities in an imperial heartland particularly in time of plague, which was that they should consider themselves one nation under God,, move to an unpopulated place and practice the military virtues. That (just) might be regarded as a less aggressive interpretation of the Passover tradition. The more modern view, as you remark, Anti, is that didn’t happen.

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