Visite nuestro sitio/Visit our home page:
Historically, the Jewish people, since the outset of the Diaspora, were constantly denied their human and civil rights in relation to the dominant population. Their possibilities were severely limited, and invariably depended on the capricious will of the ruling sovereign. The situation is evidenced again and again, in Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Because of these juridical limitations, the Jew could not fully integrate himself in the social fabric of his host country. Not in any sphere-military, intellectual, political or agricultural. Because gentile society isolated them, the Jew did in fact maintain his "ötherness"; being kept separate, he had no other choice. The Jewish "lifestyle" as it evolved, was hence intrinsically different from the rest of society-because of his ostracism, the Jew’s way of being was often both outside of the stream of history, and against it.
But the second half of the twentieth century incorporated the Jew, in almost all of the geographical extension of the Jewish world, into all aspects of social and political life. When the Jew became truly accepted, another specter arose, but this time it was of our own making: assimilation. Society no longer insists that I be different-I have left the Middle Ages far behind. What is there to cherish in my Judaism?
It is the Jews own indifference towards his cultural heritage that has caused the disappearance of much of the Jewish presence from the universities, from the synagogues…..The Jewish heritage has ceased to be, for many, something tangible, real, and throbbing-therefore, divesting oneself of such a burden is no hard task. Judaism is simply not part of one’s daily routine.
In my opinion, it is just this uncritical apathy which has led to the dismembering of the Jewish "body politic", of all of those social and cultural institutions so prized by our people throughout the centuries. This is not the result of anti-Semitism, but rather of the Jew’s own lack of interest and awareness in his tremendously rich heritage. Our Judaism no longer arouses any curiosity-it remains in the corner, thrown aside, like a used piece of furniture…..just waiting to be discarded. Apathy has cut off Judaism from its essential life source-that of a revived national sovereignty in which Judaism is a living, breathing, infuriating, inspiring, confusing, and very real, entity.
The assimilation process is due to several factors: the built-in obsolescence of institutionalized Jewish life, the disorganization and inefficiency endemic to so many Jewish academic programs, the weakening tradition of Jewish social activism, and rising costs of Jewish social activities which leave the majority, economically, out in the cold. And, above and beyond all these, personal and collective indifference has put the nail in the coffin.
There is a latent threat to Jewish cultural survival-and it is no longer anti-Semitism. The typical middle class Jew has even come to a sort of "modus vivendi" with this threat. As the well-known British axiom of the WWII period says, "Never have so many done so little…when faced with a danger so great!"
Zionism and Aliyah pose a serious challenge to assimilation. The territorial concentration of the majority of the Jewish people within the parameters of national sovereignty is an antidote to the claustrophobic and abnormal existence of the Diaspora, an existence which comes ready-made with the seeds of assimilation.
Western Jews are in no way preparing to pack their bags and go….there are less than 10,000 new immigrants who come to Israel every year from North and South America, Britain and Europe combined…so, in the absence of any meaningful mass immigration to Israel, we must make even more of a conscious effort to revive our Judaism and pump new life into it. Placing the Jewish state at the center of our vision will give us renewed energy to confront the future with enthusiasm, caring, and not fall victim to the passivity and indolence which has damaged, both culturally and demographically, modern-day Jewry.
Previous page Next Page
|Read about our specially designed tours||Click here to know who we are||Customers Testimonials||Site map|
|News and Media||Prices||Directory of Synagogues|
|More info? Click here to send us an email||Related links||Other services|