Saving Diaspora Jewry

Harry W. Weber - Israel Insider - January 5, 2006

Recently a friend told me that his wife flew from Israel to Malibu to attend her niece's wedding. The scenery overlooking the Pacific Ocean was breathtaking, but so were some other details of the affair. The groom was a gentile, yet a "rabbi" performed the ceremony, reciting all the traditional blessings, "consecrating" in a Jewish (sic) wedding the union of a Jewess to a gentile. The bride's father, an Israeli engineer who had emigrated down to America some thirty years ago, insisted on a Jewish wedding -- so all the gentile guests dutifully donned those funny glossy yarmulkas and went along with the farce. On the surface another typical Jewish wedding. Yet, how grotesque! How outrageous! How ridiculous! This is the depth to which reform and conservative Jewry has sunk -- the depth of farce!

The state of Diaspora Jewry has never been worse. In fact, the better the economic, political and social standing of Jews outside Israel, the worse their state as Jews. In just two hundred years of so called "emancipation", Jews have succeeded in destroying their three thousand year old heritage as God's chosen people, the ones meant to be a nation of priests and a holy nation, a light onto the nations. That national dream has been usurped totally by an individualistic dream --to rise in the social-economic-political ladder of each and every host nation via the pursuit of one thing -- personal wealth. The absolute worship of money and materialism is the essence of Diaspora Jewry today.

Yet, despite their super-comfortable physical existence, Diaspora Jews are always fearful and uneasy. Of what? Of being attacked -- their loyalty to the host nation liable to be questioned. They never really feel at home, because they are not at home. The fear of appearing "too Jewish" and too assertive of Jewish interests led to U.S. Jewry's greatest sin -- its conscious indifference and malfeasance to the fate of its European brethren during World War II. There is no denying that the vast majority of American Jews were afraid to stand up and do whatever could be done to persuade Franklin Roosevelt to bomb the railroad lines leading to the concentration camps, or to open up America's shores to the refugees of the Nazi Holocaust.

How ironic that millions of Germans today feel an awful sense of guilt for their parents' murder of the six million Jews, yet most American Jews don't feel the slightest pangs of guilt for their parents' inexcusable behavior while millions of their brothers were murdered.

For Jews in America today, helping others is politically OK, but not helping your own. For how else can anyone explain the outrageously immoral, do-nothing policy of every American Jewish organization and Jewish leader to the Dreyfus-like imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard? Nothing but fear of what the host gentiles will say if Jews help one of their own -- who was railroaded into a prison sentence totally beyond the bounds of justice and decency -- can explain Jewish inaction in this case.
So Jonathan rots in a U.S. jail for twenty years only because he is Jewish. Clearly, no matter how wealthy and powerful Jews are in the Diaspora, the Jonathan Pollard case proves that they will remain fearful second-class citizens -- forever!

Being Jewish in the Diaspora is not a happy condition. There is too much cognitive dissonance attached to it. So why be Jewish? Why indeed? Diaspora Jews found the answer in "reforming" their religion. Reform Judaism, or more accurately deform Judaism, denies the essence of Judaism -- the divine origin of all the commandments. It sanctions marriage between Jew and gentile, male and male, female and female, and does everything to blur the difference between Jew and non-Jew. After over a hundred years of ignoring The Book, the people of The Book in the Diaspora know little about it, and whatever they know is at a childlike level that is worse than useless. So is it any wonder that intermarriage has reached seventy percent in the Diaspora? And that thousands of Jews die each day in the silent bloodless holocaust of assimilation.

Clearly, in the U.S. and Europe over the next fifty years Jews will effectively disappear and Judaism will recede drastically from its status as the mother religion --
mother to Christianity and Islam -- to a mere cult. There will be no substantial numbers of Jews except those who are religious and ultra-religious -- all the rest will have succumbed to intermarriage, sub-zero population growth and conversion.

What can be done to halt this holocaust? Clearly, salvation will not come from the Diaspora itself. Reform (deform) and conservative "rabbis" have long sold their souls, as did their constituents to the Baal Mamon, the idol of money. They've grown fat and arrogant, and have booted God out of their hearts and "temples".

Clearly, help must come from outside the Diaspora -- i.e. from Zion. But is Israel, the state, up to the task? Is it even willing to take up the challenge? In order to answer the question, let us examine briefly the history of Israel and its relation to the Diaspora from the time of the Holocaust to the present. Today it is clear that the Jewish establishment in Palestine knew of the Holocaust in Europe as early as August 1941 as did the Diaspora Jewish establishment. The New York Times buried its Nazi atrocity stories in its back pages, but why did the Palestine Post, Haaretz and Davar do the exact same thing? Why didn't they shout and exhort the Jews of Palestine to protest, to march, to send help to their brethren?

Ben Hecht, the famous American screenwriter, in his shocking book, "Perfidy", provides part of the answer. His "J'accuse" of the Jewish leadership in Palestine is worth remembering:

These organizations, these philanthropists, these timorous Jewish lodge members in Zion, London and America--these Zionist leaders who let their six million kinsmen burn, choke, hang, without protest, with indifference, and even with a glint of anti-Semitic cunning in their political plannings--I sum up against them. These factotums, these policy-makers, the custodians of the Jewish future in Palestine who hung on to their jobs, who lorded it over their real estate holdings in Palestine, who obeyed the British demand that no ruckus be raised about Europe's Jews being murdered, and that nothing be done to disturb the British sign hung out over all the ports of Palestine--"No Jews Wanted"--these Zionist men and women--I haul into the prisoner's dock of this book.

Others claim that within Palestine Jewry the Anti-Semitic element hinted to by Ben Hecht was more dominant than Mr. Hecht realized. The Jewish Establishment in Israel -- being totally secular -- knew that if mass aliyah from Eastern Europe were to take place, it would radically alter the demographic makeup of the country. That would mean that they would all be removed from office. What to do? Let European Jewry die, so that it would not endanger the political hegemony of the secular establishment, and at the same time it would bring forth guilt among the European states for their role in the Holocaust, a guilt that will be appeased by the creation of the Jewish State. Dr. Chaim Weizman hinted as much as early as 1937 when he said of Europe's six millions Jews, "They are dust in a cruel world. They must meet their fate - only a branch shall survive. They must accept it." The plan worked all too well -- for Israel was born just three years after the Holocaust -- born in great sin! To be fair -- born in the sin of its leaders, for the people were kept in the dark by its politicians and its media.

So what is Israel doing today to repent for its horrible birth sin? In the Pollard case, for example, Israel is again betrayed by politicians who put their self-interest ahead of their people. Recently over one hundred members of the Knesset presented Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a petition calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli citizen, asking him to present it to George W. Bush. Sharon, refused! Why? Nobody knows and almost nobody cares. There was no Knesset debate on this outrage and no call for a no-confidence vote. Business went on as usual.

So what can be expected that such a state will do to save Diaspora Jewry? Very little indeed. Secular Israel has absolutely no interest in saving the Jewish souls of the millions of Jews on the way out of Jewry forever. The majority of Israelis don't know themselves why they're Jewish, don't believe the land they live in is holy, and would gladly give up huge chunks of it for the mere recognition of their right to exist on the Haifa-Tel Aviv-Mediterranean strip. Many more would immediately exchange their Israeli passports for those of the United States of America.

So what will save Diaspora Jewry from virtual extinction? Only a massive privately led effort of religious Jews in Israel and abroad. Half the appropriate model already exists. "Arachim" is a private organization which runs lecture seminars throughout Israel and the U.S. for adults eager to understand the tremendous value and intellectual rewards of authentic Judaism. Its efforts should be increased tenfold, as should those of "Chabad". In addition, private sources must be found to establish religious Jewish day schools in the Diaspora at affordable tuition. To ease the burden, Jews abroad should lobby to institute the issuance of government tuition vouchers to be spent by parents on the schools of their choice. Education has always been, and is today, the key to Jewish survival. Nothing but a superhuman educational effort at this late hour can divert Diaspora Jewry from getting off the track leading to extinction. The hour is very late. We must harness every effort to saving our brethren from this silent holocaust.