A basic problem among Jewry: mixing—assimilation.
A basic principle of Judaism--separation—one to which the Old Testament and orthodox rabbis return obsessively.
That is very different from American society: we celebrate e pluribus unum--from the many one. Most Americans believe that mixing is good, though we have white nationalists among us. But we refer now to the Jews.
In the story of the Tower of Babel, everyone got together. Easy, wasn’t it? Why? Because everyone spoke the same language. Did the Lord God approve? No indeed. He fixed them….and He did it by causing them to speak many different languages. He wanted distinct groups. There you have a divine prohibition on being One People, especially when the purpose was to make themselves like gods. So, the people scattered and necessarily broke into groups. Thus, the modern movement of One Worldism is one of Godlessness.
After that separation, God called Abraham to move out of Chaldea and led him to Canaan, promising him that a new, separate, distinct ethnic group would emerge from his loins. And Isaac was born, then Jacob/Israel.
Israel was to remain apart from the nations. When they took on the life style of other nations, it displeased the Lord. They were intended to STAY APART.
Remember how King Balak of Moab hired Balaam the prophet to place a curse on Israel as Israel was approaching Canaan. And God said, “Oh no you don’t.” So Balaam didn’t. And as the king and the prophet together looked down from a mountain, they viewed the beautiful and orderly camp of Israel below. And the prophet Balaam said:
“How can I curse whom God has not cursed?....Behold, a people dwelling alone, and not counting itself among the nations.”
It was obvious to what Balaam had learned about Israel—they lived apart. And that very incident is often referred to by Jewish scholars and rabbis, and for all I know, some observant, faithful Jews. They are aware of this. They are not to MIX. They are separate.
David Gerlertner says: “The rabbis see the dangers clearly; they see chaos in the inevitable rising tide. They have always seen the danger that Judaism will vanish, as kosher [now]mixes with treif (non-kosher food), holidays [mix] with normal days, Sabbath [mixes] with the rest of the week, as they marry [mix with] Gentiles, do as Gentiles do, and sink back, with a well-earned sigh of relief into the muddy ocean of mankind….”
It can be likened to the physical process of entropy – a gradual decline into disorder. The universe runs down, mixing the elements together. In human society, a people disperses—mixes with other peoples—and gets lost like a little mound of earth into the whole mix of material, earthy things…losing distinctions.
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Sorry to say: even in Israel, the highest priority for liberal Jews there is that their new state will be democratic. That means that if the Palestinians would outnumber the Jews, it would be wrong and impossible to have a Jewish state democracy—the highest priority in Israel for liberal Israelis and their liberal counterparts in America and Europe.
But most Israelis believe that Israel should be a Jewish state. In 2013 the Israeli Knesset passed a bill which stated that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. The Jewish State” is mentioned five times. But note this: the bill was highly controversial, says Daniel Gordis, the author! Controversial? Yes, even among many Jews. Why? Because it singles out the Jews instead of being like America. Because it makes constitutional the second-class status of Arab citizens.
But as Daniel Gordis wrote: “The United States was created to welcome to its shores people from around the globe, whatever their backgrounds. Israel was created to foster the recovery and renewed flourishing of the Jewish people.” (We Stand Divided, p. 169)
QUESTION: What helps keep the Jewish principle of separation?
ANSWER: The Jewish people have retained their identity all these past millenniums first, because of rabbinical training. This is lacking in America. But secondly, the principle of separation has been greatly assisted by the persecution of Jews. Conversely, where the Jewish people are fully accepted, as in America, there you have the gradual loss of Jewish identity.
Check the statistics: In America, the number of liberal Jews, which is most of them here, is decreasing, causing a sense of alarm among the larger Jewish denominations—Reform and Conservative. Many American Jews simply want to be known as “Jewish”. Don’t call them “Jews”—just “Jewish.” Just another of all the ethnic groups in our society. American Jews want to mix, to assimilate… without a lot of concern for their identity as a Jew (Hebrew), without any interest in the Hebrew language, or with the rich traditions of their ancestors, or with the Jewish witness in the world….and certainly not any interest in the coming Messiah.
Secondly, there would be much more mixing of the Jewish people with Palestinians if they, the Palestinians, were not a fiercely antagonistic people. This antagonism insures against assimilation and the loss of Jewish identity. My opinion: the Lord God is behind this.
And so, the State of Israel stands as separate from other nations of the world, because it is the will of the Lord of Nations that this prevails.
What do you think?
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“You are a people holy unto the Lord your God,
And the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession,
our of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
-- Deuteronomy 14:1-2 (ESV)
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