Others may be sitting shiva (mourning) over the eight Jewish self-haters who recently walked out of Birthright programs in Israel to offer support and comfort for those in the Arab Muslim world who oppose Israel. But I am fine with it.
It is long overdue for Israelis and the rest of American Jews to wake up to the calamity that Reform Judaism brought about in America. They abandoned Torah. They abadoned Jewish tradition. They made a new religion out of the Democrat Party liberal platform with Bernie Sanders as one of their Chief Rabbis. And they have reaped exactly what they have sown. The non-Orthodox Jews (Reform Jews, Conservative Jews) now have a 72 percent intermarriage rate. Most intermarriages are between a Jewish male and a non-Jewish female, so most of their grandchildren are not Jewish. To be sure, the Reform grandparents are Jewish. The Reform halves of the intermarriage are Jewish. They always will be Jewish. But the grandchildren are not Jewish.
The intermarrieds and their wealthy parents have paid their Reform rabbis to call their non-Jewish grandchildren “Jewish.” And in America “money talks” — even if it cannot read Hebrew. The Reform rabbis themselves need to declare those new non-Jewish grandchildren as “Jewish” because, otherwise, their temples, which are supported by the revolving door of bar/bat mitzvah enrollments, will close down. The way it works in America is that non-Orthodox families join the Reform temple when their child becomes eleven. The child is enrolled in the Hebrew School, the Reform School. The intermarrieds and their wealthy parents have paid their Reform rabbis to call their non-Jewish grandchildren “Jewish.” And in America “money talks” — even if it cannot read Hebrew.
For the next two years the child learns what he or she learns — almost nothing. (Just sit with a graduate of a Reform Bar/Bat Mitzvah “education,” and ask them questions for yourselves. But be gentle. They are children.) To enroll the child, the parents must pay very expensive tuition for the Reform School. Moreover, to be eligible to pay the enrollment tuition, the parents first must pay the $1000 or $2000 — or much more — annual membership and building-fund assessment to the Reform temple. This money comes into the temple’s coffers reliably for two years. Thereafter, after the boy or girl is “b’nei-mitzva’d,” the family immediately drops membership and pulls the child out of the Reform school, so no more tuition, no more membership, no more building fund.
The reason that Reform temples can afford that kind of dizzying turnover is that there always is a new up-and-coming eleven-year-old child with family to take the place of the drop-outs. For a century, that new replacement kid was Jewish. But nowadays he or she just-as-typically is not Jewish. However, if the Reform temple tells the Revolving-Door-Replacement that they are not Jewish, then the entire Reform temple financial model collapses. So Reform rabbis imported into Judaism one of America’s most vaunted and enduring traditions: The Ponzi Scheme. You keep the financial juggernaut moving by recycling and playing around with the bottom line and the rules when the good money is gone. In the case here, the bottom line is not much — only Judaism and the eternity of the Jewish People.
Most Israelis have no idea what has happened to American Jewry. They think this is the “World of Our Fathers,” that America’s non-Orthodox Jews still sprinkle their English with Yiddishisms, still fast on Yom Kippur, never would eat bread on Passover, and root for Sandy Koufax. Well, those days are over — even as reflected in how the few Jewish baseball players nowadays play on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There are now two Jewries in America: those who are Jewish and those who are the non-Jewish children of non-Jewish mothers (whether the Moms never converted or underwent conversions that have no halakhic currency). With a 72 percent intermarriage rate among non-Orthodox Jews — and the rate keeps rising — the split is manifest and is growing wider, with no end in sight. The result is that non-Orthodox Jews actually are disappearing, while Orthodox numbers are increasing. Strange as it may sound, the most respected demographic projections expect the majority of Jews in Greater New York to be Orthodox in a few decades, with the rest of American Jewry following.
In such a chaotic culture, the children of the non-Orthodox have been taught deep allegiance to the Democrat Party and the liberal agenda. There is nothing else to teach them about— exept the Holocaust. There is no Torah. No Talmud. No point in teaching them about observing Shabbat, kashrut, tefillin if the rabbi does not observe those religious practices with fidelity. They cannot even pronounce and never have heard of “Sh’mini Atzeret.” They learn no Rashi. No Ibn Ezra. No Tosafot. Nor do they know of Ben-Gurion. No Jabotinsky. No Rabin. No Begin. No Achad Ha’am. No Rav Kook. No Moshe Hess. Not even Ber Borochov. They know absolutely nothing about Zionism nor the history of the Zionist enterprise. If they take a college course on Zionism, odds are that their professor is an anti-Israel Arab or an equally pernicious Jew who attacks and blames Israel for everything.
The only thing “Jewish” they have left to teach these young people is that Hitler murdered six million Jews — so therefore they should be Jewish. Nor have they ever heard of Emil Fackenheim, who at least could give substance to that theory. So that is what they have left to teach: (i) Hitler murdered six million Jews, so you need to be Jewish; and (ii) Don’t be Nazis.
Would that inspire you to be Jewish? Would you drop that one on your kids?
Think about it this way: Do you have a friend who always relates to you his tales of woe? How life cheated him and always keeps cheating him? How he never gets a break? How all his life is utterly miserable? Everyone knows some perpetual-complainer like that. It is a social pathology, and some people even like to have one friend like that in their circle, if only to assure themselves that their own lives are not as bad as they might seem.
Well, you commiserate with that friend. You listen empathetically, sigh compassionately. You pat him on the shoulder and reassure him. But would you want to live a life like his? Does his story inspire you to change your focus and to be he?
And that is what these non-Orthodox American Jews have done to their Jewish kids, with so many among the next generation-in-line not even Jewish. They have reared kids who today know so little about Israel and Zionism that they actually cannot tell the difference between a Jewish soul in peril on the Gaza front in Sderot, facing kite fires and knife-wielding tunnel-dwellers who dream of piercing through the border and slaughtering all Jews they can reach — and the murderers with the knives and the blood-thirst in their eyes. These naifs actually cannot tell the difference between the aspiring murderers and the intended victims.
So they form J Street — which is funded by George Soros — and “IfNotNow” and “Bend the Arc” (led by a woman who did table dances at a sex club to earn money until two of her lesbian patrons invited her one night to their home) and “Jewish Voice for Peace” (funded by associates of Arabs devoted to destroying Israel). That is what they are. Now they are going to Conservative Judaism Camp Ramah summer camps and training Camp Ramah campers and camp staff to see the world the way they do, with blame for Israel. Israel — and always Israel — to blame: “Shall we be the Nazis?” Just read the words of Conservatie Judaism’s Camp Ramah alumni.
And now the same toxic death that poisons American young people in these non-Orthodox venues is “coming to a theater near you” in Israel. Surprised? Why? They do not care one whit whether women or Reform Jews can have their own place at the Kotel.American Jews do not care about that issue at all. Go to a thousand American Jews and ask them: “Should Reform Jews have equal access to the Wall?”
First, they will answer: “Huh?”
Then they will figure: “Well, uh, sure. Why not? Everyone should have equal access to everything. Sure. Put me down as a ‘Yes’ for equality. With liberty and justice for all.”
And then they will say: “Wait a minute! Did you say ‘Wall’? You mean like Trump’s Wall? I am against it. Change that: put me down as ‘No.’ I am against any effort by Israel to Build That Wall.”
In other words, no one cares in America. Two-thirds of American Millennials never heard of Auschwitz. You think they care whether some women with rainbow skullcaps have access to pray to an Asherah tree at the Western Wall? But a few of these Millennials will walk out of a Birthright program.
So please let them walk. Make sure that, since they have pulled out of their free all-expenses-paid trip, they reimburse one of my favorite people in the world, Sheldon Adelson, and all the other donors whose good righteous money made it possible for those freeloaders to get to Israel on their tab. And then let them have the time of their lives in Ramallah or Jenin or wherever else they want to go — in Khan Younis or Beit Hanoun or wherever else they like. And be sure to register their names on the “BDS List” because they are Israel’s enemies, returning to America’s campuses to convince Jews and non-Jews alike to boycott and divest and sanction Israel — not Iran, not North Korea, not Syria, not China. But BDS on Israel.
So let them walk, take down the names, and keep them out. That is how we do it in America. That is how they do it in England. If you are not a citizen and are coming to make trouble, we ain’t letting you in here. Go back to your basement bedroom, text your friends, drive your parents crazy. Israel is not here to let you play out your psychoses born of “Judaic Lupus” — an ideopathic auto-immune disease of the soul, in which one part of the person’s internal being attacks the other part for the purpose of destroying all of him.
A final word: Let them say Kaddish for Hamas terrorists who get murdered. They are so incredibly ignorant of things Jewish — so incredibly filled with nothing Jewish but instead only the Democrat Party liberal platform and two hours at a Holocaust museum — that they have no idea what Kaddish is, what they are reciting.
So let me tell them: When you ignoramuses recite Kaddish for the Hamas terrorists who would murder you, here is what you are saying:
“May the Great Holy Name [of the G-d of the Torah of Israel] be made great and holy in this world that He created as He wished. And may He reign in all His glory in your lives and in your days and in the lives of the whole House of Israel — speedily and very soon — and let us all say: Amen! May His Great Name be blessed forever and ever.”
So, Amen. I will be the first to respond “Amen” to any Kaddish recited by any Leftist for anyone, any time. B’rikh Hu — Blessed is He. The Holy Name of G-d Who gave the Land of Israel exclusively to the Jewish People. My only concern will be to assure that the Jewish Leftist in question who is reciting the Kaddish actually is Jewish.
The writer is adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in The Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com .