Jews and Nationhood

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3 Responses

  1. Larry says:

    An excellent piece! I would add only that the downplaying of mutual responsbility of Jews for one another is not a phenomenon confined to secular, modern or non-Orthodox Jews. As Mr. Rosenblum notes in his piece, “Passion, Not Poison,” posted yesterday on cross-currents, certain segments of the Orthodox community are at least equally guilty of a similarly attenuated connection to Jewish peoplehood. As Mr. Rosenblum noted, speaking of a group within Jerusalem’s charedi community:

    “On one side, there exists a small minority that does not factor in the reactions of its fellow Jews before acting. That group has for so long viewed itself as a besieged minority that it has lost the sense of connection to the larger Jewish people. The consequences of its members’ actions on the general perception of the Torah and Torah-observant Jews are of little concern.”

    We all have much to learn.

  2. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “But in the Jewish view, it is only through the love of the particular that we learn to expand the realm of our concern outward…Far from the particular love of one’s wife and children derogating from a higher universal love, that particularistic love is, in the Torah view, the necessary condition for the development of a more all-encompassing love”

    From the preface to Shaarie Yosher(translation, R Micha Berger):

    Although at first glance it seems that feelings of love for oneself and feelings of love for others are like competing co-wives one to the other, we have the duty to try to delve into it, to find the means to unite them, since Hashem expects both from us…

    The entire “I” of a coarse and lowly person is restricted only to his substance and body. Above him is someone who feels that his “I” is a synthesis of body and soul. And above him is someone who can include in his “I” all of his household and family. Someone who walks according to the way of the Torah, his “I” includes the whole Jewish people, since in truth every Jewish person is only like a limb of the body of the nation of Israel. And there are more levels in this of a person who is whole, who can connect his soul to feel that all of the world and worlds are his “I”, and he himself is only one small limb in all of creation. Then, his self-love helps him love all of the Jewish people and [even] all of creation.

  3. cvmay says:

    “When Jews lose the sense of their interdependency with, and obligations of mutual responsibility toward their fellow Jews, something more than mere ethnic identity has been lost”. This art has been lost, and our current obligation is to rebuilt achdus, not an easy feat. After the major destruction of klal yisroel due to the shoah, every community spent its energies, finances and efforts in reestablishing itself on new ground. Now more than ever, we are divided into factions who view each other with disdain, dislike and distrust. From 1950-1970, the State of Israel and its survival was the glue that kept Jews bonded, now assimilation, intermarriage, apathy, insular living has taken over as the moda of Modern Jewish living. The Divine Mission has not been undertaken by Torah adherents as a ‘way of life’ – and mutual responsibility is not encouraged. NATIONHOOD has never been addressed seriously and is looked upon as a dilemma, paradox and for Messianic times.

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