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Archive for the ‘Chilul Hashem’ Category

Idolatrous Messianic Nationalism

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on August 2, 2007

Amazing how easy it is to substitute Israel for the US in this Clip…

clipped from
Religious language is always double edged. It is properly used as prophetic critique that calls for repentance. But it can be twisted into a self-sacralizing rhetoric that associates God with human projects of power. The United States has often fallen into this temptation to use religious language as idolatrous messianic nationalism. When this happens it is the duty of the churches to challenge such language and reveal its opposition to the authentic good news of the gospel. In 1934 the German theologians of the Confessing Church disassociated themselves from a German Christianity that identified Christianity with Aryan nationalism. I believe
the Americans churches must make a similar critique of American messianic
nationalism today.

blog it

Actually it’s not hard at all, after reading some Leibowitz and thinking about it. I wonder…where this puts me religiously…???

Posted in Idolatrous Messianic Nationalism | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Quran in the crapper – A Hate Crime – Part II

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on August 1, 2007


Hate-crime arrests in Quran desecrations at Pace University

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on hate-crime charges after he threw a Quran in a toilet at Pace University on two separate occasions, police said.

Stanislav Shmulevich of Brooklyn was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, both hate crimes, police said. It was unclear if he was a student at the school. A message left at the Shmulevich home was not immediately returned.

The Islamic holy book was found in a toilet at Pace’s lower Manhattan campus by a teacher on Oct. 13. A student discovered another book in a toilet on Nov. 21, police said.

Muslim activists had called on Pace University to crack down on hate crimes after the incidents. As a result, the university said it would offer sensitivity training to its students.

The school was accused by Muslim students of not taking the incident seriously enough at first. Pace classified the first desecration of the holy book as an act of vandalism, but university officials later reversed themselves and referred the incident to the New York Police Department’s hate crimes unit.

The incidents came amid a spate of vandalism cases with religious or racial overtones at the school. In an earlier incident on Sept. 21, the school reported another copy of the Quran was found in a library toilet, and in October someone scrawled racial slurs on a student’s car at the Westchester County satellite campus and on a bathroom wall at the campus in lower Manhattan. Police did not connect Shmulevich to those incidents.

Treatment of the Quran is a sensitive issue for Muslims, who view the book as a sacred object and mistreating it as an offense against God. The religion teaches that the Quran is the direct word of God.

What upsets me more than anything is the fact that this guy’s Jewish. I heard this story, without knowing this guys name or heritage, and I immediately saw images of the Nazis burning Torah Scrolls during WWII.

Desecrating another’s religious Scriptures is not what a Yid should be doing. His behavior is chilul Hashem. Regardless of civilian law, it’s not acceptable according to Torah.

Posted in Chilul Hashem | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Zionist Quote

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 22, 2007

There must not be one law for the Jew and another for the Arabs….In saying this, I do not assume that there are tendencies toward inequality or discrimination. It is merely a timely warning which is particularly necessary because we shall have a very large Arab minority. I am certain that the world will judge the Jewish State by what it will do with the Arabs, just as the Jewish people at large will be judged by what we do or fail to do in this state where we have been given such a wonderful opportunity after thousands of years of wandering and suffering.” (Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error, Page 566 – written in December 1947 – [My Emphasis])

Oh, Israel, how you have fallen!Devarim 24:17: “Thou shalt not pervert the justice due to the stranger…”I cannot let go of this issue – because it is so grave.Where are the Prophets of today? Where are the men and women of G-d that will approach the King and spell out the Law to him? Who do we approach to make Jerusalem repent?

By all means don’t believe in Torah! Don’t believe there is a G-d! That is your choice, but don’t pervert Torah and don’t pervert what the Founders of the Modern State of Israel pledged themselves to. Don’t drag their good name in the dust and mud, just because you are overtaken by hatred and egoism and have forgotten that The Land is a gift to be shared with those living within Her.

This and several other Blog entries from me the past days are sure to confuse many of my detractors and opponents, because they so very strongly believe that I am a blind defender of Israel, who only wish to kill all Palestinians and develop “Greater Israel”.

They truly cannot be more wrong about that – but that they believe this is completely their own doing – nowhere have I said different than what I have been saying for the last three years (the time I have been discussing this in Blogs and in Care2).

Their own prejudices, antisemitism and blindness have crippled their understanding of what I have actually been saying. They have assumed that because I am Jewish I am also blindly accepting of anything the Government of Israel, the Settlers and zealous religious people have done or are doing.

What I have been doing – and will continue to do – is give a balanced and nuanced, fair hearing to both sides of the conflict. That they have fanatically and violently been giving voice to the Palestinians’ side has meant that I as a Co-Host of a large Human Rights Group, have been forced to, in the name of Justice, fight their biased, antisemitic, anti-zionist and violent propaganda with common sense, facts and reason. Anyone with a brain and a mind to use that brain can see that in anything I have written on the matter.

For some reason it has been rather quiet from that front (the Radical Far Left) lately, which has permitted me to clarify my position without having to “do battle” with fanatics at every turn.

Let those who have a mind to read, read and those who only wish to attack blindly without sense and reason remain blind and deaf to the truth.

Posted in Bigotry, Chilul Hashem, Justice | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

A Racist Jewish State:

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 20, 2007

Knesset Deprives Arabs of Right to Purchase State Land An Israeli Arab brought a case to the Israeli Supreme Court claiming he had been refused the right to buy Israeli land owned by the Jewish National Fund. The high court found in favor of the plaintiff and ruled that the State must change its policy and allow any citizen, whether Jewish or not, to buy such land. The attorney general subsequently approved such changes. The bill voted on yesterday is an attempt to do an “end around” the court ruling. It would enshrine in law the racist notion that only Jews should be able to purchase JNF land, while other Israeli citizens should not.Remember the paeans to Israeli democracy you hear from the lips of the hoch-Zionists: “the only democracy in the Middle East,” etc., etc. You can can that now. An ethnocracy maybe, but not a democracy–especially not if this piece of crap passes on its final reading (yesterday’s vote was the first reading). Haaretz’s editorial today pretty much says it all: A Racist Jewish State:

This bill reflects an abasement of the Zionist enterprise to lows never imagined in the Declaration of Independence. Even though the Jewish National Fund purchased the lands for the Jewish people in the Diaspora, the State of Israel has already been established and these lands must now serve all its citizens.

For those living for tomorrow and not the past, the aim is to create in Israel a healthy, progressive state where the needs of the two peoples should concern the leaders and legislators. The Jewish National Fund’s land policy counters the interests of the state and cannot discriminate by law against the minority living in Israel.

What is most pathetic about the vote is that a mere 10 Jewish MKs could muster enough outrage to vote against this travesty of justice. Even Ami Ayalon, the supposed Labor Party paragon of Israeli-Palestinian understanding voted Aye. The final vote was 64-16. I know in the history of the world’s greatest legislative folly this is but one example. But for Israel it’s truly a golden one.

Today I am grieving – and it’s not even the 9th of Av yet…This is so against Torah, so against anything Judaism stands for, Secular or Religious. It is not tzedakah and it’s not tikkun olam. How did it come about?

Two things – Arrogance and Ignorance.

A deep disregard for Torah, which safeguards the Stranger’s right along with the home born, and teaches us that we should have one and the same law for both.

A profound ignorance about how the Land is bound to Torah – and how “Jewish” is intricately connected to Torah – if there’s not Torah, there is literally no “Jewish”.

The Bill doesn’t reflect the vision of Zionism as David Ben-Gurion saw it – let’s not forget what was said in the Declaration of Independence:

WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

A child can see the injustice of a legislation that denies any Israeli citizens to purchase land inside Israel. This bill is not what the 37 signatories of the Declaration had in mind, nor what they aimed at when they first set out to create a secure Homeland for the Jews.

The bill that denies the non-Jewish Israeli the right and possibility to purchase land there is chilul Hashem. Yes, G-d gave the land to the decedents of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’akov, but that gift came with a provision – that one and the same Law should be for the Israelite as well as the Stranger living with him.

Oh, I know that the Sages have stated that “stranger” means “convert” – but Written Torah has made no such statement – to Written Torah a stranger is any non-Jew sojourning with the People, that includes Israeli Arabs. Honestly – if it’s not present in Written Torah – how can it be present in Oral Torah, where would the Sages have derived it from? For more on the matter of the Stranger: On the Matter Of the Righteous Gentile. Injustice and distortion of Torah has never led to anything but heartbreak and disaster for Israel.

While it can be argued that Israel had the “moral high ground” in 1948, this cannot be argued in the face of violation of simple Torah.

If you are not religious, let’s argue this from another angle: That of Human Rights and simple common decency – another corner stone of modern Judaism, that is even argued and protected by atheist, humanist Jews – the UDHR:

Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration.

Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law.

Article 17.
Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others, and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 30.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

So, the bill passed that denies non-Jewish citizens of Israel the right to purchase land within Israeli borders are simply illegal. It should go “poof” on itself, because it cannot exist side by side with the UDHR – and it certainly cannot exist along side any kind of Judaism that aims at being Jewish.

To have legislation that discriminates one group within a society, under any pre-text is immoral, and when it targets or excludes groups based on ethnicity/culture, it’s called Racism.

Jewish Nationalism is good – Jewish Racism is shaming G-d to the World, and is one step from blasphemy.

Shalom Shabbat!

Another link:

The Magnes Zionist

If you are a Care2 Member there are discussions of this Blog Entry in the following Groups:

Posted in 9th of Av, Chilul Hashem, Israel, Israeli Arabs, Torah, UDHR | 4 Comments »

Talking Torah in Lieu of Politics – Daniel Sieradski

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 7, 2007

I grabbed an excellent Blog by Daniel Sieradski this morning, after reading it with increasing joy and dread I decided that I liked it, and that in general I agree with what he has to say, and wish I could have said it just as well.

“I began by saying that you’re never going successfully appeal to the sympathies of the American Jewish community on behalf of Palestinians. Why should we care about people whom, by and large, we believe are trying to kill us? Rather than focusing on the conflict as a Palestinian rights or even human rights issue, when speaking with other Jews, we should focus on the occupation as a Jewish issue. How is the occupation bad for the Jews? How is it bad for Israel? What are the sacrifices we’re making, in terms of lives and resources, in order to hold onto the Territories?”

This is a novel idea to me. For the longest time I have been discussing with Pro-Palestinian Antisemites on-line, always on THEIR terms which naturally leaves much constructive discourse to be wished for, and I realized that much time have been spent explaining WHAT I DO NOT BELIEVE, in response to their violent and hysterical allegations both against me, as a Jew, and the basic ideas THEY believe I stand for. This idea of discussing what is going on in Israel from a Jewish perspective, in terms of what is the cost in resources, but also – I think – in credibility. As one of the more moderate debaters in a Group expressed it, quoting one of my Torah Blogs:

“The fact that others do not live this way, does not free Israel from her Holy Obligation of pursuing Justice nor does it give Israel a mandate to disregard the plight of others, when there is a need or when there is an opportunity to practice Torah. ‘How can Israel be a Light to the Nations if she does not Shine?’

How indeed?!!

This idea too was echoed by Daniel Sieradski, and though I might not agree with him totally on the solution (there are after all other ways of practicing Judaism and Being Jewish, than Orthodoxy) I think it’s achievable if presented solely as a matter of Being Jewish:

“But more importantly: What is it that we’re fighting to preserve by having a Jewish state? What is it that we stand for as a people? And what is the value of having a state if, in the process of establishing and defending it, we sacrifice that which we represent in the world (or otherwise alter that representation to be something no longer consistent with our tradition)? I went on to say that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is for the Jewish people to do teshuvah: To turn back to G-d and embrace the Torah.”

The question this raises with me, is exactly WHAT is “our Tradition”? If it means that we all have to become haredi and eat glatt kosher, I think it will be both counter-productive in terms of the long tradition of tolerance that Judaism emcompass, and impossible to implement – there simply are too many secular humanist Jews that value their critical thinking and independent understanding of what it is to be Jewish.

“We’re all the children of Adam. Love your brother as yourself. We’re all created in the image of G-d. These are the values we stand for: The unity of being. The oneness of G-d. The fellowship of humanity.”

Do I hear an echo of Dr Ellis Rivkin here? I like this – I loved his book “The Shaping of Jewish History“.

This, I hope, means that Daniel Sieradski realizes the predicament of the Stranger, as out-lined in Written Torah in terms of the right to practice Torah and embrace G-d without the distortion of what some consider to be the only “acceptable Tradition“. After all, the Stranger has always been part of Jewish Life and Tradition.

“…whether we’re committing a chilul Hashem (a desecration of G-d’s name, via the desecration of our legacy as a righteous nation) or a kiddush Hashem (sanctification of the name, via embodying the highest principles and aspirations of our tradition). Thus, it’s a more effective strategy for addressing the issues surrounding Israel and the occupation.”

I have noticed that many Settlers are not aware that they are being sold land that is not Israel’s to sell. Organizations aimed at facilitating aliyah for European and American Jews deliberately lie about the legality of land deeds, and actively encourage Jews to Settle in the Territories. One example is Elkana:

“Elkana or Elqana is a Jewish settlement in the Samaria region of the West Bank. It was founded in 1977 and as of 2002 it had a population of 4,000. It was established as one the earliest settlements after 64 Knesset members signed a bill to allow the use of state land in the area for construction.

Elkana is sited just to the east of the Green Line, and is adjacent to the city of Rosh HaAyin. From Wikipedia

From Tehilla Web-site:

“Where else but Elkana can you have such a variety of davining closeby? We have nine synagogues and umpteen minyanim. We’re heavily into Torah learning — daily adult Kollel (men and women), huge Bnei Akiva, non-stop shiurim, and many Daf Yomi groups. Where else but Elkana can your children attend school close by all the way through college? Elkana has pre-schools, a mamlachti dati elementary school, Yeshiva and Ulpana from 7th-12th grades, and Orot College for girls. Where else but Elkana can you enjoy a wealth of cultural activities? We have an active Community Center with chugim for children and adults, and we’re only 35 minutes from Tel Aviv. Elkana has the warmth of a yishuv, together with the opportunities of a large community. And, as a local council, where many of our leaders are second generation Elkana-ites, we decide everything for ourselves.”

Chilul Hashem, indeed.

And painful to know, because it means that dismantling those Settlements will mean heartbreak and grief for people who worked hard to make a life for themselves.

Posted in Chilul Hashem, Teshuvah | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

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