How can we understand the self-delusion of the Jews who complained against Moshe for taking them out of Egypt? Obviously, the Israelites were well aware that their life in Egypt was not one of tranquility while sitting by pots of meat! I would suggest that they did not intend to deny the past, but that they wanted to deny the future. Not that it did not happen, but that it would not happen again!
What gives us the right to bring a child into a religious covenant by way of circumcision, without his consent? Circumcision, after all, to be Jewish means to be part of a nation that is rooted in a covenant that asks Jews to risk their very existence for the sake of a moral and religious mission. How can we commit children to a lifelong mission that they may not wish to fulfill? On the other hand, what right do we have to bring children into the world without giving them a higher mission? What right do we have to throw children into this turbulent jungle, filling them with anxieties and uncertainties, without giving them a clue as to their higher purpose?
In his book, Lonely but not Alone, Rabbi Cardozo speculates that anti-Semitism is rooted in Christianity, but not for the reasons we might have thought: The world hates us not because we supposedly killed Jesus but because we gave them Jesus! On reading this excerpt, a lively discussion ensued. Read on to see excerpts of the conversation, and feel free to join in via the comment section.
While we must help to combat anti-Semitism in every way possible, we should be aware that it is not a Jewish problem. Its solution will be possible only when the world makes peace with ethical Judaism. Only when Jews will be able to convince the world of the power of Jewish ethics, and will ensure that it is taught in every classroom, church and mosque is there a chance that anti-Semitism will slowly come to an end.
Centuries after Shakespeare said “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark,” we have hard proof of a big stink in Denmark and nearby Scandinavian countries. Ritual slaughter, performed according to Islamic and Jewish tradition, is considered a humane method of slaughter under the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (HMSLA), the US federal law designed to decrease animal suffering. But a growing number of countries, including Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, have restricted ritual slaughter, under the guise of animal welfare.
To be truly alive is only possible when one lives for some supreme goal. The ultimate question regarding our lives is whether there is anything worth dying for. If the answer is no, then we must ask ourselves whether there is anything to live for. For most thinking people there is more to life than our physical survival or having a great time. It is about the exaltation of existence and the ability to hear a perpetual murmur emitted by the waves beyond the shore of worldliness, which gives us the feeling that life is of utmost significance.
The anti-Semitic world has a hard time with us Jews and we should feel pity for all those who work relentlessly to give us a bad name. They want to boycott us in academia, journalism, European governments, the market place, and even just in the streets of daily life. Indeed, we must admit that we are a real nuisance. It is not easy to live with us Jews; we are troublemakers and annoyingly irritating. There is no way of escaping this fact.
As Europe is becoming aggressively more Anti-Semitic and consequently more and more antagonistic towards the State of Israel, there is a need for a careful assessment of the nature of anti-Semitism.