The Jewish people

Considerations of religious issues in general

The Jewish people

Postby Elliott » 28 Mar 2012, 03:57

Please note this topic is spun off from another, in which Elliott said...


Yes, Caleb, it seems that California has really messed itself up.

Regarding anti-Semitism, I don't know what draws people to it. I have no opinion about it at all, except that I don't want it to be justified.

The folk on Alternative Right seem to see Jews as the architects of the West's destruction, possibly as revenge for the Holocaust. They want someone to blame for what they see as a declining civilisation. Jews have historically been successful and influential, while yet remaining quite distinct from the general populace, so they're an obvious scapegoat.

Personally I think it is more psychologically plausible that the West's elite are destroying the West of their own volition (due to poisonous self-doubt) or just sheer idiocy. We're past the days of colonialism where we could say that one culture was backward, one people less advanced or even less advanceable, than us. Now that we're all supposed to be equal, nobody knows how to behave - so they behave in a self-deprecating manner, but on a scale which seals the fate for their respective countries.

I find it rather hard to imagine that there's a group of rich Jews somewhere rubbing their hands with glee that Europe and America are going down the tubes. I don't see what they would have to gain from that, except total isolation in the face of international Islam.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Caleb » 28 Mar 2012, 07:36

Indeed. Jews (and Israel) are most in need of a strong America. It just doesn't make sense that they're trying to bring the West down. Where would they turn to? I think the modern anti-Semitic New World Order conspiracy is just a remnant of fairly old views of Jews within European/Western societies.

I really think we're simply at the point where the cultural elite have, in the main, simply lost the plot. What is most interesting to me is that they don't want to live near the people they wish to "help". They don't want their kids going to school with them, or marrying them. They don't want to mingle with them in public. They don't enjoy any of the same hobbies. I don't either, in all of those cases, but I don't profess to be helping them either (although I am actually in the front lines dealing with them as a teacher, which possibly qualifies, and which has also made me so disdainful of them).
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Gavin » 28 Mar 2012, 10:35

Jews are an interesting group in my opinion because they are disproportionately high achievers, not only in the field of finance, but it seems in every other field (contrast with Muslims, a massive amount of whom across Europe are on benefits or in prison). I think Jews have a lot to be proud of in this respect. However, I believe their religious beliefs are as far fetched as anyone else's and I am disgusted by their primitive means of animal slaughter, which is much the same as Muslims'. There are exceptions under British law to allow their barbaric methods, despite multiple FAWC scientific reports suggesting they cause unnecessary pain and suffering to animals.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Caleb » 29 Mar 2012, 04:50

Gavin: I agree regarding Orthodox Jewish culture. A lot of it is as stupid and barbaric as that in any other fundamentalist tradition. My understanding of Jewish success is that most of the successful Jews are actually fairly "liberal" with respect to their Jewishness.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Mike » 30 Mar 2012, 02:31

Caleb wrote:My understanding of Jewish success is that most of the successful Jews are actually fairly "liberal" with respect to their Jewishness.


I think that's definitely true. My own Jewish grandparents (on my father's side) ditched most of the appurtenances of their religion the minute their ship docked in Sydney, but they retained that sense of devotion to family and hard work - not to mention a certain understated insularity that anyone who's grown up in a Jewish family would be familiar (pardon the pun) with - that runs through Jewish culture. Adaptation is, as it were, part of the Jewish DNA.

In fairness, my grandparents were probably not entirely typical, and many of the Jewish families in Australia still keep a kosher home, go to synagogues regularly, etc. But even then I don't think religion is a dominant force in their lives.

Like Caleb I find ultra-orthodox Judaism pretty repugnant on the whole.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Rachel » 30 Mar 2012, 06:29

I eat Kosher meat and chose it over non Kosher whenever I can. I grew up in a very secular non observant Jewish home that only went to synagogue once a year so keeping some dietry laws thing is something I started as an adult. On the Sabbath, I do not shop yet still use the net and TV. I live in a very non religious Tel Aviv suburb and don't go to synagogue. I don't know what that makes me. I suppose I'ed be classified as "traditional" not orthodox.

As for the finding ultra orthodox Judaism repugnant - in my view it depends what kind of ultra orthodox. I can not stand sects like the Satmar and Neturei Karta sects of super extreme Judaism. They believe that it is a sin for Israel to exist before the Messiah comes. Their women shave their heads and wear wigs on top. I just find their general interpretation of Judaism offensive.

If the Jewish orthodox factions like the Chabad / Lubavitch movement are considered ultra orthodox - (they also wear black funny garb and are very intense in their religion), then I don't have any problems with them.
I might not agree with all their views. I would not want to live the same lives as them. However their views and way of living are not offensive to me like the extreme Satmar fringe or extreme Islam.


From a personal viewpoint I can not be really negative about ultra orthodox Jews because once when I was very ill I went to an orthodox Jewish doctor here in Israel and he helped me a lot, possibly saved my life. (He wasn't a Satmar BTW)


I grew up in a very non religious home that ate non Kosher and I went to a British school that taught Christianity as fact. Many mid 80's provincial British Junior schools had Christian assemblies and prayer every day and did not yet go for the PC thing of teaching all religions. My parents did not exempt me from Christian RE lessons and prayer. So because of my background I feel comfortable with athiests and religious Christians but as an adult I chose to keep a few Jewish rituals and beliefs. I think live and let live is important.

Theodore Dalrymple wrote something about ultra orthodox Jews somewhere. I can't remember where or what it was. It was something about how when Jews stopped being ultra religious and were allowed to came out of the ghetto they were able to contribute a lot. IIRC
It was only one or two sentances but I could tell from reading it that he had read up a little on Jewish history in the West.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Gavin » 30 Mar 2012, 10:21

Rachel, with respect, but how can you excuse eating Kosher meat?

Also is it not incidental that the doctor who saved your life was an orthodox Jew?

The orthodox Jews certainly look pretty weird to me with their long platted hair and being dressed all in black. Also the skull caps on all the children. A bit like the Muslims they seem determined not to mix with anyone either. I suppose this is okay if they have their own state/country but not it doesn't really work as part of the multiculturalism project.

Also, as per Dawkins et al, whatever good values they may be taught, it does worry me what mystical nonsense and threats of hellfire are probably drummed into these childrens' heads. Who knows what goes on in such insular communities. I'll admit: I don't.

I agree with others that the moment modern Jews freed themselves from all that they really seemed to start achieving.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Rachel » 30 Mar 2012, 12:59

Gavin wrote:Rachel, with respect, but how can you excuse eating Kosher meat?.


One of the differences in a cow killed by the Kosher slaughter and a cow killed by non kosher slaughter is with Kosher slaughter, "shechita slaughter severs the jugular vein, carotid artery, esophagus and trachea in a single continuous cutting movement with an unserrated, sharp knife. Failure of any of these criteria renders the meat of the animal unsuitable." (Wiki) Afterwards the body must be checked to see it had no medical problem and there is a removal of blood and salting afterwards which is not mandated in non Kosher food.
Re: animal cruelty, it is more important to me that the animal is treated kindly while it was alive and not battery farmed in bad conditions rather than if it maybe or maybe not suffered a few seconds of pain while it's throat was cut quickly. Under Kosher slaughter at least it forces the person who kills the animal to do it quickly with a sharp knife and make sure it is healthy afterwards.
Two things I like in Kosher food is that they are supposed to check the health of the animal afterwards and the meat has to be salted. Also care is taken to remove animal blood afterwards. It is forbidden to deliberately injest animal blood. The whole process means the animal has to be killed fast and the salting and checking seems hygenic to me.

I admit that battery farming could happen in both Kosher and non Kosher facilities unfortunatly. I don't think that factory farming was envisioned whenever Kosher laws of slaughter were first written.
I find it strange that many countries make a big song and dance about ritual slaughter being cruel while they seem satisfied with modern battery farming. (I hope this does not come off sounding defensive or rude.)


Gavin wrote:Also is it not incidental that the doctor who saved your life was an orthodox Jew?.


Yes, it was incidental.
I just don't feel comfotable putting down all Ultra Orthodox Hareidi Jews when one was kind to me and got me out of terrible pain when other doctors were incompetant. Yes I know it was his job and he was paid for it but I'm still grateful he was around.

Gavin wrote:The orthodox Jews certainly look pretty weird to me with their long platted hair and being dressed all in black..


Yes, :) me too...even after all these years in Israel.
The black clothing isn't even part of Judaism. It's not in the Torah or
Talmud, unlike the Tallis/Tallit, which is. Once I was walking in a religious neighbourhood during a religious festival with my Dad. The ultra orthodox there were not only wearing black but huge fur hats which is ridiculous in the hot weather here. My Dad was so overcome with curiousity he went to one man with his family and asked him why they wore these fur hats and black clothes. The man was actually quite nice and said it was part of a tradition that they followed where they dressed like their great Rabbis of centuries back.


Gavin wrote:Also the skull caps on all the children. A bit like the Muslims they seem determined not to mix with anyone either. I suppose this is okay if they have their own state/country but not it doesn't really work as part of the multiculturalism project.


I never really thought of it. I suppose so.
I rate them above the Muslims. At least there are no honour killings amongst them. I know people who have left the ultra orthodox and the *very* worst that can happen is that their family and community will disown them and not talk to them. They might sit shiva on them - like a mock funeral and declare their son or daughter dead. But that is the very worst situation amongst the most extreme. So I think they are better than Fundamentalist Muslims in that respect.
There is also no concept of a modern "Holy War" or "Jihad" in even the craziest lot.
Outside of the crazy Satmar and some of the mad fringe, all of the Ultra Orthodox put much importance on their daughters' secular education alongside their religious one. They might seclude their daughters in their own schools or use the "Open University" to get their education but at least they make the effort. So I have a higher opinion of the than extreme Muslims for those reasons.


Gavin wrote:
Also, as per Dawkins et al, whatever good values they may be taught, it does worry me what mystical nonsense and threats of hellfire are probably drummed into these childrens' heads. Who knows what goes on in such insular communities. I'll admit: I don't.

I agree with others that the moment modern Jews freed themselves from all that they really seemed to start achieving.


I don't really know what goes on in these communities either. I just go into the Ultra Orthodox neigbourhood to do my shopping occasionally. Or I come into personal contact with the odd doctor at the local clinic. I was friends with an ultra orthodox family of the Chabad/Lubavitch faction. I don't have a problem with that faction. So I only come into contact with them in that way.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Gavin » 30 Mar 2012, 13:17

Thanks for replying, Rachel, but I would suggest you take a look through the FAWC's scientific reports on halal and Kosher slaughter methods. There is great detail in these. The government have ignored them but that doesn't mean we all have to! Yes, battery farming is no doubt unnecessarily cruel, but so is this, and for only mystical reasons.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Gavin » 16 Jun 2013, 09:50

Over on this thread

Jonathan wrote:Between 1939 and 1948 millions of white Europeans were, in fact, trying to flee Europe for the Middle East, and encountered that same immigration policy shown in the video. To be precise, these were Jews fleeing for Palestine, who were denied immigration visas by the British Mandate, and had their ships turned back, or were sent to internment camps in Cyprus, in accordance with the 1939 White Paper. Should they have been accommodated?

Then I sit back and watch his PC head explode as he tries to choose between two impossible options: Either support the creation of Israel, or have his counter-arguments used verbatim against Muslim immigrants.


In defence of the British, it should of course be remembered that in the Balfour Declaration they were instrumental in supporting the very establishment of the modern Israel. They also did allow around 100,000 Jews to come to the UK as things were made more difficult for them in Germany.

Britain now has the second largest number of Jews in Europe. There are exceptions made for them under UK law so that they can slaughter animals in a ritualistic, painful, manner, much the same as Muslims do.

This bring us to that tricky question again, though, doesn't it? Should people flee, or should they stay and fight as best they can? (Some Jews did fight of course, for example in the two Warsaw uprisings.) Who knows, we may face this question in the UK at some point.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Jonathan » 17 Jun 2013, 11:39

Gavin wrote:In defence of the British, it should of course be remembered that in the Balfour Declaration they were instrumental in supporting the very establishment of the modern Israel. They also did allow around 100,000 Jews to come to the UK as things were made more difficult for them in Germany.


The positive side of the balance sheet has even more things to be grateful for - defeating Rommel in North Africa, helping defeat Germany in general, and also bequeathing part of England's traditions of representative government. True, none of these was an objective pursued for the sake of the Jews, whose fate was at best a secondary consideration (and understandably so); yet if the ill effects are placed in the balance, surely the positive ones must also be included.

The main lesson the Jews have learned from the British Mandate is the need for independence to determine their own fate; No ally could have seemed more reliable to the Jews than Britain in 1917 - friendly, Imperial, magnanimous. Yet twenty-two years later she chose to abandon a few million Jews to their fate for the sake of quiet in the Middle East while she desperately armed to fight against Germany. This was not lightly done, and Britain was indeed in a desperate fight; but, being dependant on Britain, the Jews were helpless. When an Israeli Jew says 'never again', that helplessness is what he's talking about.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Gavin » 22 Jun 2013, 09:57

I just posted on Jewish liberals in another thread and I will add my other question here:

I must admit that regarding the Jews, I sometimes have trouble reconciling how a people can be very technologically advanced, generally intelligent, and at the same time harbour numerous, let's face it, at least unlikely, metaphysical beliefs, and practice obscure rituals.

I do not want this thread derailed by any great long abstract tracts by new forum members, just answered fairly precisely if you can. Do you ever agree that there is a slight divergence, as it were, here? Do you think more Jews are becoming secular and just giving a nod to their religion, culturally? If so I would think this is a good thing as long as it does not go hand in hand with decadence (quite a few Jews seem to be in Hollywood - I'm thinking of the females - and live the Hollywood life). TD himself seems to be the kind of secular Jew I'm talking about. I think the same of Christianity. It's good to acknowledge the good it brought us, generally try to learn from the good parts as we go forward but not actually believe it all.

By contrast, I can't find much to like about Islam at all and, anyway, it's culturally alien to our country. Sadly, that's the one that's growing rapidly.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Rachel » 22 Jun 2013, 21:36

Gavin wrote:Do you think more Jews are becoming secular and just giving a nod to their religion, culturally?


Yes they are.
Britain's Jewish population has dropped from about 450,000 in 1945 to somewhere inbetween 200,000 to 300,000 today. (The 1945 post war figure was the highest in British history because there were a lot of Jewish refugees from the war.)
The reason the figure dropped was due to assimilation and intermarriage. So yes the trend in Britain and America in for Jews to be come more secular. But...I think that will start reversing very soon because average black hatted bearded orthodox Jew in Britain and the US currently has 5-10 kids while many secular Jews marry non Jewish partners and their kids leave the faith, or if they marry other Jews then they only have 2 kids.

In the future I envision there being very few secular Jews in the diaspora and most of the population being very religious. I am talking about 50 years from now.
Israel is another matter.
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Gavin » 22 Jun 2013, 22:48

That's interesting, but I was thinking more in terms of Israel, really. Are Jews becoming more secular there too?

Are you saying that, worldwide, you think the younger, secular Jews are having fewer children than the orthodox ones, so you expect the orthodox count to increase?
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Re: The Jewish people

Postby Rachel » 23 Jun 2013, 00:00

Gavin wrote:Are you saying that, worldwide, you think the younger, secular Jews are having fewer children than the orthodox ones, so you expect the orthodox count to increase?

Yes.

Gavin wrote:That's interesting, but I was thinking more in terms of Israel, really. Are Jews becoming more secular there too?

I haven't read as much about Israeli demographics. I get the impression that the secular won't disappear in Israel as fast as they will in Britain and the diaspora. The secular in Israel aren't becoming less religious like the Jews in Britain and the US.
However the religious proportion of the Israeli population is increasing because they have more children.
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