Sunday, June 24, 2018

Liberal Jews are destroying their own religion


American Judaism is broken.
When two of the Jewish community’s most celebrated writers, Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman, write an open letter stating that: “Any Jew, anywhere, who does not act to oppose President Donald Trump and his administration acts in favor of anti-Semitism; any Jew who does not condemn the president, directly and by name, for his racism, white supremacism, intolerance and Jew hatred, condones all of those things,” you don’t have to look far to see why.
American Judaism is broken because the Jewish left broke it.
A tiresome fixation on “tikkun olam,” which literally means “repair of the world,” has allowed Judaism to fall into disrepair.
The phrase “tikkun olam” was quietly lifted out of context from a Jewish prayer before the Second World War to mean social justice. It was popularized in the 1970s and 1980s by radicals like Michael Lerner, who founded the extreme left-wing magazine, Tikkun.
Since then, we have been led to believe that the purpose of the Jews in the world is to campaign for higher taxes, sexual permissiveness, reduced military spending, illegal immigration, opposition to fracking, the banishment of religion from the public square and every other liberal cause under the sun — all in the name of God.
But the truth is that tikkun olam and its leftist politics have no basis in Judaism. Tikkun olam is not Judaism at all but a distinct religion, whose adherents, it might be said, have culturally appropriated this ancient faith. This religion of tikkun olam commands the allegiance of most non-Orthodox Jews (and some Orthodox ones), who make up the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community. The dogma of this religion is appealingly simple: Judaism is tikkun olam, which is social justice, which is liberalism. The Jews are called upon to do no less — and no more — than cultivate a liberal paradise in America.
In this, liberal Jews have often had the hypocritical backing of the celebrity corps — literati, Hollywood executives, academics, politicians and financiers — who say one thing in public while, in several cases, doing unspeakable things in private.
But above all, this liberalism — this tikkun olam — teaches that the Jewish People is an outdated and chauvinistic relic, with no need for a nation-state of its own in its ancient homeland. Consequently, Jewish social justice activists help to defame Israel and weaken America’s bond with the Jewish State.


  1. Silly article. The formation and existence of the heterodox movements itself is the cause of destruction. Everything thereafter is part and parcel of that.

  2. How bizarre that I actually agree with you on this. (Well, the first two words anyway. Can't speak to your theory, as I've never thought too deeply into the issue.)

    I remember that "Tikkun" rag back from its formative days, yet this article seems awfully thin and hardly seems worth taking seriously. Partisan griping. (Not that I'm a fan of Lerner, ch"v.)

  3. A quote from the end of the original article that was not included above:
    "What is needed is...
    a community that stands for religious liberty...."

    I guess I didn't get the memo. The same prayer that says fix the world (L'saken Olam) has some pretty strong language in it about removal of and excising religions. Many Jews have some familiarity, I would surmise, being that they recite it well over a thousand times a year. Although can't say at the moment if the author of the article does.

  4. Chabon and Waldman's open letter was published nearly a year ago. Considering how long it took for Neumaan to respond to it in the NY Post, you'd think that he would have come up with something less superficial than the left-bashing piece that he wrote.


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