Tag Archives: Judaism

The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium

Most of the countries that have their Jewish population dropped below the 25,000 level over the past 70 years were in Arab and Muslim countries including Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Iran, as those countries effectively expunged the Jewish populations due to anger over the founding of Israel. The total population from all of those Arab and Muslim countries now stands at 27,000, just north of the 25k mark (15k in Turkey, 5,800 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and Tunisia 1,000).

On Thursday, after a two-month trial in the Belgian capital, 12 jurors found the 33-year-old guilty of the four anti-Semitic murders during a shooting spree at Belgium’s Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24, 2014. It was not the first incident against Jews in that country, but it may be considered as the first terrorist attack by IS and the turning point for many Jews to feel not safe any-more in Belgium, because the country from then onwards started also showing an evolution to the far-right and anti-Semitic groups.

Kölner Karnaval Nazi-propaganda against Jews – Germans making fun of Jews in the 1930s

Aalst Karnaval 2019 Joodse Karrikaturen – Recycled puppets for 2019 Aalst Carnaval

We can question of the depiction of Jews in the carnival of Aalst would be of similar intent to what could be seen in Germany in the 1930ies. The stereotypes and images found in Nazi propaganda were not new, but were already familiar to their intended audience. You can not ignore that it reminds us of the Nazi-propaganda during the rise of Nazism. If that carnival group wanted to have a sabbath year, why did they spend so much money on such puppets? Such depictions are just provoking and are adding to the trouble atmosphere which is growing in Belgium.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish organization headquartered in the US, believes that Aalst Carnaval defiles the reputation of Belgium as the host country of the European institutions. This is stated in an open letter to Federal Minister of the Interior Pieter De Crem (CD & V). The federal government must, according to the director of international relations Shimon Samuels, patronize the Aalst carnival group publicly.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an NGO that collects it worldwide for the interests of Jews.

‘We are disgusted by the images of the parade during the carnival on 3 March in Aalst’,

is the letter to Minister De Crem.

‘With stereotyping and hateful images of Jews with bags full of money and hook-noses that are reminiscent of Nazi collaborating Belgium.’

Also the Jewish community was very chocked with those images, which reminded of the years before the 2nd World War.

parade float at the Aalst Carnaval in Belgium features caricatures of Orthodox Jews atop money bags, March 3, 2019 Aalst Carnaval

B’nai B’rith International termed it “disgusting.” Both umbrella groups of Belgian Jews filed a federal complaint for incitement against the group, called Vismooil’n, saying the float looked like Nazi propaganda.

Even the European Commission slammed the display, with a spokesperson saying

“It is unthinkable that such imagery is being paraded on European streets 70 years after the Holocaust.”

Why do those people from that group Vismooil give the impression that Jews are the cause of the rising prizes?

Joel Rubinfeld, the president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA.

“Prices are rising, so who do they blame? The fat, greedy Jew,” he said.

Not only on a Facebook page of carnival enthusiasts, we could see lots of “anti-Semitic humour”.

One blamed

“the sad Jews, closed off from the rest of society in Antwerp, who have no sense of humour.”

Another referred to Jews as “dick cutters,” adding they are

“whiners with sausages for ears and woolly curls on their heads.”

Commenting on Jewish anger over the float, another wrote:

“Later you wonder why Jew hatred is growing …”

For Rubinfeld it is

“What’s happening in recent years at the carnival is a symptom of a wider problem, which the return of 1930s anti-Semitism, alongside the upgraded version that we’ve become used to, that targets Israel as a substitute for Jews and visa versa.”

At the moment there is an American petition concerning the Aalst Carnival on the Unesco-heritage-list to remove its status as an intangible heritage. What the carnival group the Vismooil Sunday has shown, with the Jewish decorated float, in any case does not fit with the norms and values that Unesco stands for.

We must take the “view on the Jews” seriously. We may not ignore a serious peril of a growing negative stance against Jews and Muslims. In europe there is a growing tendency to have bad jokes about Jews and to point the finger as if they would be part of the present problems.

Vile comments made by elected officials (including in the US, UK and Iran) attacking Jews and basic Jewish human rights in those two remaining outposts – and defended by senior politicians – rises to the level of attempted genocide of the Jewish people. {FirstOneThrough}

We cannot stay silent and should speak up. We also should show non-Jews that there are different Jewish communities with different lifestyles. But also Jews could come to see that in Christendom and in Islam there are very different groups with totally different ideas. Not all those different groups have a grudge against the other. There are enough religious and non-religious groups who are willing to live together in symbioses. Best way not to make people so afraid they find it better to leave the country is making sure they all feel welcome and can trust each other.

It is up to the governement to make sure that those people who are a danger for democracy are disciplined.

In Belgium the politicians and the police should also show they are taking certain matters seriously and should further protect all of the Jewish community. But also in the Jewish community Jews should make work of it to communicate better with each other and to accept the different sorts of Jews in this country.

Also let us think about why there are now 17 countries with over 25,000 Jews which is half of the total that existed when Israel was founded in 1948.

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Find to read:

  1. 25,000 Jews Remaining
  2. A Hebrew-Christian movement
  3. Jeshuaists = Juifs pour Jeshua ou Jésus Christ
  4. Marchons avec courage!

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No religion mentioned in the Torah for non-Jews

It is not because there is no religion mentioned in the Torah for goyim or non-Jews that they should not have a religion or should not have to come to the Elohim. It is also not so that when people call themselves Christian and would go regularly to mass or to a church service that they are serving God or being recognised as His children.

In Christendom we can find lots of people who have an other god than the one of Abraham, though the divine Creator is very clear Who He is and what He wants from His people. Also Abraham did very well know Who the Most High God was.

Looking at the many churches in Christendom we can see that several churches altered the Torah and that the main church is breaking one of the laws in the Torah itself. Several people who come to study the Bible become angry when they see how their churches fooled them. It is a pity that they than abandon the faith in God. Some of them are then trying to find their way in Judaism. A few do not lose their faith in Christ and find their way in Christianity, becoming a member of one of the several non-trinitarian groups or churches.

It is wrong to think that those in the main churches

only have what the church has given them, altered scriptures and mistranslations. {I Hope They Get It}

Every human being is able to hear the Word of God. Wherever he lives there is some way to hear God’s Word. Those living in the industrialised countries have no excuse at all. For them there are enough means to get in touch with the Word of God. They have the printed material, like Bible books, other books and brochures, but also electronic devices where they can find several applications presenting the Word of God.

Questioning what we really believe is the only way to ever know what we really believe and why. {I Hope They Get It}

and that is what each individual has to do: searching himself what is the truth of God.

It is totally wrong to think that there would not be churches telling the biblical Truth. Luckily we can find many churches all over the world which proclaim God’s Word. It is not because the main

church says a lot of things that don’t line up with His word. {I Hope They Get It}

that we should say

No, the New Testament is not His word. There is no place in it where it says that He is speaking. {I Hope They Get It}

In the Greek writings or Brit Chadashah we are told about the one who is sent by God and authorised to speak in His name. As such the Messianic writings are a continuation of the Hebrew writings, bringing hope for those who are not of the Judaic faith. Because also for the non-Jews the way to the restored relationship with God is opened. This thanks to the ransom offering of Jeshua, the sent one from God.

The writer may have become very frustrated by his old church, which makes it a pity he now concluded that the work delivered by Jesus and his apostles would not be from God. Pity also that he thinks

All through the Torah and the Prophets, it tells us that G-d is speaking and to whom He is speaking. No Christian writing can make this claim. {I Hope They Get It}

He seems to forget that the Torah and Prophets are part of the Christian writings too.

There is no need for a middleman. That is one of the lies of the church. {I Hope They Get It}

writes Mr. Bouker who with ‘Convert Corner’ is

attempting to provide more than just proof that the Christian religion is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. {About Convert Corner}

He is a former Christian

who is currently going through an Orthodox conversion to Judaism.  {About Convert Corner}

and spent years believing what he was told to believe by preachers and teachers instead of going to research the Bible for himself. Clinging to church doctrines no wonder he feels that he

had very little knowledge of the G-d of Israel. {About Convert Corner}

He seems to forget that the God of Israel wants a good relationship with all His creatures and by means of sending His only begotten beloved son made it possible that all can be saved from the curse of sin. But naturally each person has to decide himself or herself what way to go. The sent one from God, Jeshua, (Jesus Christ) shows the way to God. By him non-Jews also can come into the restored relationship with God. For goyim or gentiles there is also a way to have a religion which can be accepted by the God of Abraham.

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Need to reject an archaic, racist inspired interpretation of the Bible and animosity against other believers

In Belgium and France we see a growing hatred against lovers of the One and Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Several Jews have been attacked physically or were made afraid by all kinds of threats or intimidations. That made many of our brethren and sisters leave for Israel. In France Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bible Students and Christadelphians are prohibited to proclaim the Good News or the Gospel of the Kingdom in public, for example by speaking to people on the street or by billing leaflets. In several regions people look down at Muslims or show their hate, giving the impression that they must be all so terrible or be believers of the faith IS promotes.

The Netherlands for years already had their very conservative Calvinist groups, but the last 30 years they were joined by other radical Christians. Many of those follow the Bible literally and can’t read in between the lines nor showing understanding Hebrew thinking or Hebrew way of talk.

As a college professor, the writer of Help from Heaven looks at this world and sees how we have come to a period people want to have eye-flaps, but also finds that the present youngsters could perhaps be more interested in and learning from stories that illustrated the teachings he was bringing but also about the teaching the Holy Scriptures wants to bring to mankind.

Is it

Archaic, bygone, ancient, passe, primitive, old. {Bonkers away blog: daily-prompt: Archaic}

that makes us not fitting in this world any more, giving us the impression it is becoming less accepting, more limited of views, less free thinking, more prudent, less receptive to other opinions. We clearly feel how youngsters today look more hostile to different thinking people, otherwise believers and to those who belong to a different culture.

Also certain communities are guilty of bringing limitations to free thinking. We even do not have to go far. In our own regions we have very conservative Jews who want to have the children over protected and also want them to believe in literal Biblical interpretation, holding fast on a six day creation and as such with their thought on the same line as the growing group of Christian Creationists. You may call it a response to modern evolutionary theory, which explains the emergence and diversity of life without recourse to the doctrine of God or any other divine power. Mainstream scientists generally rejecting creationism may find several believers in God joining them too, but worse is to see how by the growing pressure of certain religious groups trying to get diversion or war between other religious groups, we can see many more people getting fed up with religion and putting it aside.

Certain people want to to overwrite history and think they can make for it a better picture that covers the archaic marks and portray a new picture. They have the impression the strokes that they shall strike this time shall be much stronger and sharper just like the person they have become in the journey of their life … {“Life is like an Old Sketch”}

The article “The Racist Bible” brings a view of the recent problems our world is facing. There is written:

We live with such an archaic interpretation of the Bible. People interpreted the Bible in different ways 100 years ago, 500 years ago, and 1500 years ago. We need to know why those interpretations came into being. Once we do, we can see how it is hurting us. Only then can we move on to a powerful Biblical interpretation, one that is vibrant and appeals to the modern non-Christian. {The Racist Bible}

In several of the Jeshuaists their articles they try to bring a view how the ancient Hebrews saw the beginning of the world and how the Adonai handled the rebellion of man. We can see how by the years ‘Church‘ made use to bend words or twist interpretations to get people under the spell or in their ban. Several religious groups love to have control over their flock and found it most appropriate to do that with fearmongering and with hard language (sometimes even going so far to use abusive language or enormity). Scaring people or trying to intimidate them has become more popular these days. We can find certain preachers (like Mr. Dave Norris) happy to present all sorts of lies about other religious groups than their own church, (for Mr Norris: the Bible Church), which must be the only one true church every one should have to become a member, because otherwise they shall have to burn in hell for ever. Strangely enough in several articles he attacks groups which say we are saved but still have to do works.  He then claims (like Mr. Cross Roman)  we do not have to do any works any more because we are saved by Christ his blood. Norris also knows about the problems of human tradition and writes

All this is ridiculous and pits Apostolic Authority against scripture. Judaism regards the Torah or the first five books of the Bible highly but not quite as high as the Talmud which is Jewish tradition. Tradition can be classified as a philosophy written by men. Whether you believe it or not the Bible was not written by men per se but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Christadelphians and Bible students also follow their own traditions which supersedes the word of God and each Congregation of those bodies believe differently as there is no uniform Doctrine. Just like in the Book of Judges when everyone did what was right in their own eyes yes. I follow the word of God and place very little impetus on tradition. {Precious Spiritual Children- 2}

He tells others lies about the Belgian Biblestudents and Christadelphians, so called claiming Jesus would return a certain day or year (what they certainly do not)  but he himself writes that the Jewish people will accept a guaranteed peace covenant secured by the countries of the now 80% Islamic Roman Empire.

Norris on return of Christ + Jews+ Islamic world + doctrine of imminence+end-time prophesies

Some preachers, because they believe the world shall come to an end, try to call others false prophets and try their believers to belief that those groups would have prophesied such dates for the end of the world, whilst those groups, like the Belgian Bible Students and the Christadelphians already have spend many articles saying that we should be careful with people claiming that Jesus would return on such or such a day, because even Jesus did not know it and we also can not know the exact day of the return of Jesus. But for sure we may be sure that the world shall not come to an end, not because the Belgian Bible students and the Christadelphians belief so , but because that is just the biblical truth and God’s promise  to our Patriarch Abraham, that we may look forward to a big state of united people under God’s King his reign her on earth and in heaven.

Lots of present teachers attacking Jews, Non-Trinitarian Christians and Muslims do have much self-esteem and though they seem to recognise it as part of the possible signs of the end-times do not see the beam in their own eyes but blame the splinters in someone else’s skin, claiming that at all dates setters fail to do is to rely on the words of the scripture which they only are able to do, them being able to see how fast Satan is working to cause chaos and evil, deceiving this world (like Mr. Norris is doing), because all others are “kindergartners” or “have no brains” (Norris his words).

The kettle blames the pot that it looks black but does not see the beam in its own eyes while it complains about the splinters in someone else’s skin. Mr. Dave Norris blaming others to tell and warn about end-times sings, but giving himself also some recognition to those signs in his series over the The End Times (namely part 4)

It might look honourable when people try to talk about that nice prospect of their Messiah coming back. But then they would have to follow the footsteps of that Nazarene master teacher Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who preached peace and not war, like they are doing. So many preachers may be happy with the contemporary technology making it very easy to bring the Word of God all over the nations. To our regret we also find lots of people finding in it a tool to spit their gal and to do everything to have their poisonous words to obscure all reality and decency.

Internet evangelism is how the nations will have an opportunity to hear and receive the Good News. No longer can one person reach only as many as he knows or comes into contact with. Today one person, right out of the comfort of his home, can reach millions of people in places he has never been and most likely, never will go. One person can invest a little time, without investing thousands of dollars in travel expenses, and can do much more, plant more seeds, and encourage more brethren than if he were to board a plane and go somewhere. {Today’s “Roman Road” – the Internet}

But at the same time we can see how one person can manage to bring all sorts of writings on the different denominations which exist in the world of religion, to break them. He even attacks the people of God and let his readers believe that we give more attention to human teachings and traditions than to the Torah.

Dave Norris of the Bible Church on Jews + Talmud + Rabbinical teaching

Mr Dave Norris of an American bible Church wanting his readers and all people in the world to believe the Jews are using the goyim as their slaves and would find raping women and killing whites ok, clearly wanting to create hatred against the Jewish people (Picture from The Shocking Jewish Talmud Revealed)

Concerning founders Mr. Norris has shown, about other denominations too, he also has a strange view, him believing it were the Hebrews who founded Judaism, though it was the Most Almighty Elohim Who has chosen us as His people and promised us by the seed of Abraham a great nation.

He also seems to forget one of the main points of a monotheist religion, which according to him our ancestors would have created. In Judaism part 101-1 he mentions the essence of a monotheist religion, namely worshipping only One True God above all gods, whilst he is a worshipper not of “One and Unique” God, but of the trinity and as such worships three gods: a God the Father, god the son and god the Holy Spirit, and by doing so should fall under the polytheists. When he considers the Hebrew religion as the mother religion of his religion, we would like to ask him why he went so far away from his mother and betrayed her?

Judaism – Jews chosen by God practising and teaching monotheism

For Mr. Norris it seems to be clear that all those who preach peace between Jews, Christians, Muslims and non believers are oxymorons.

Mr Dave Norris finds all those who want to live in peace together and accept the other religious groups “biblical oxymoron” finding they falter between two opinions following Baal considering that (according to him) God and Baal are oxymorons as is this question of the agreement the temple of God has with idols. (Though he himself belongs to a church with several idols or gods.) (picture of his article: The Coexist Movement- 2)

Like he does not seem to see the many differences between the Bible students he also does not seem to know much about the different forms of Judaism, only mentioning three.

Dave Norris limited vision on Jewish groups

Though people like him are being followed by many as if they are the gurus of truth.

Perhaps he, living in the United States, feels united with the many creationists and conservative and fundamentalist Christians. Him also for the whites, thinking Jews love to kill them, can find  confirmation in the writing of the professor who writes

In fact, it was not until Luther that people started taking the Bible more literally. The Creationist movement, though, including the world-wide flood didn’t really take root until the southerners of 1850+ started promoting it. Thus, we had a racist theology demand that their interpretation was the only one. Many were convinced to write on it, without referring to slavery. Slowly the arguments strengthened, until many who are not racist accept the arguments. This, though has saddled us with a theology that contradicts science. Now, we have to invent miracles that are not mentioned in the Bible to fit this theology. For example, a single flood doesn’t leave layers, it jumbles up everything.  {The Racist Bible}

For the professor it might be clear that certain Western Christians have perhaps taken a too restricted look at the Scriptures and perhaps in their thought that the King James Bible is the only true Bible, many Americans even thinking those Hebrews, like Abraham, Isaiah and Jesus all had English Names and as such find, it can not be that the rebbe his name is Jeshua or that God is called Jehovah.

Perhaps it is getting time that people from the West Northern hemisphere start looking at the Bible with other eyes. They also should start questioning their attitude to Jews, real Christians, Muslims, other and non-believers. If they want to win souls or if they want to convert people, loving to see them as members of their Christian faith, it will certainly come down not to follow the way of preachers like Dave Norris serves his community of the Bible Church, because I think he is at the moment getting more people away from faith and religion than getting them in his group or into becoming a Christian. The way we see many Christians act against other Christians and how there is a growing number of Christians reacting cruel against other faith groups or pushing others not to believe in the existence of dinosaurs or that the earth is flat and that NASA would be fooling us about the round earth, it is understandable why so many Christians are leaving the Christian Faith.

We need to reject the archaic, racist inspired interpretation of the Bible. We need to look at it afresh. The interpretation I suggested is not necessarily right, but is a reasonable alternative. Right now, because we are stuck with the racist inspired creationism, we are losing Christians when they go to High School and college and study science. They see how the two conflict, and are rejecting the Bible in great numbers. If we study the Bible fresh, we will see that there are literal interpretations that do not conflict with science, and we can then focus on talking about Jesus without people saying, “I don’t believe that stuff. It is just an archaic myth that science has shown to be wrong.” {The Racist Bible}

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Preceding

Confrontation by people telling lies to force others to avoid the targetted groups

The written, the spoken, and the audible a part of the soul and a blessing to humanity but also the trigger to those who love Crusades and the Inquisition

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Additional reading

  1. Dave Norris and his writings on the Belgian Bible Students
  2. Trusting present youngsters who are not necessary evil
  3. Overprotection and making youngsters drifting away
  4. The way of looking at the Scriptures and the people in this world
  5. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  6. Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values

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Related

  1. The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents
  2. Comfort Zone Gospel
  3. Jonah; Wake Up
  4. The Missing Piece to Salvation
  5. Saved From What?
  6. Selling Jesus
  7. Think About It…
  8. Entering the Trail to True Freedom
  9. Main Reason to Share the Gospel
  10. Evangelism as a lifestyle
  11. How to Overcome Fear of Sharing the Gospel – The Story of the Waldensians
  12. Forgetting that the Gospel is Good News, Romans 1:7
  13. Salty Agape
  14. Communicating the Wondrous Truth of God’s Love and Mercy
  15. Eschatology for beginners (part 1)
  16. The Return of Yeshua Ben Joseph, also known as Jesus – by New Dimension – 12-23-17
  17. Exit Strategy End Times: “Unforgiveness and the Band Aid of agreement.” “
  18. This is NOT the Time to be SILENT
  19. Eastern Lightning | The Awakening of a Deceived Spirit (Part 2)
  20. Keep Racing!
  21. How to Teach About the Second Coming
  22. Today’s “Roman Road” – the Internet
  23. The Antichrist in the Holy Place Church
  24. The Historical Lesson Historians Need to Learn
  25. Scoffers
  26. Why Is Christ’s Return Not Widely Taught?
  27. The Beginning and the Ending
  28. Seven Reasons For Six Day Creation
  29. The Creationism
  30. Elmore Fundamentalism, Part 1: Matter
  31. More on Evolution: From the Mail Room, by Fred Reed
  32. Is There Biological Evidence of Life’s Recent Creation? – Part I
  33. Scientists Identify a Key Cognitive Error that Could Explain Why People Believe in Creationism and Conspiracy Theories
  34. Why Evolution is True Review
  35. Teleogical views predict not just creationism, but conspiracy theories
  36. A Creationist Surprise
  37. Is Creationism racist?
  38. God and Science
  39. Eric Hedin, prohibited from teaching intelligent design at Ball State, retires and moves to a Christian university
  40. Claim of creationism taught in school linked to National
  41. School response on creationism, claims evolution ‘controversies’
  42. School response on creationism, claims evolution ‘controversies’ — Your NZ
  43. Origin Story: A Big History of Everything
  44. There IS Purpose!
  45. Your Mythology is not Science
  46. Where Were You Radicalized?
  47. The Ends of the World
  48. Civil Debate? Catcall? Or Creationist Ruse?
  49. Faith abates reason at Edmonton’s first Flat-Earth International Conference
  50. #1: Inexplicable Species and the Theory of Evolution
  51. Evolutionary psychology: The naturalistic and agency fallacies
  52. A creationist makes the dumbest criticism of evolution ever
  53. Noah’s ark: the most ridiculed story in the Bible
  54. Tel Aviv’s new natural history museum (built to look like Noah’s Ark) deliberately omits mentioning evolution
  55. Why Do the Fundamentalists Love Tracey Ullman Now?
  56. InfightingNon-Physical Fighting 2
  57. Sikh Radicalisation in Britain
  58. Waitress Denied Tip for ‘not loving Jesus’
  59. Christian-hating transgender VT gubernatorial candidate DUPED by satire site: ‘Some evangelists just crazy!’
  60. The Nashville Statement (A Plain Language Translation)
  61. Love and Hate

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Solve the Right Problem

To remember

  • Define problem right = you’re halfway to a solution.
  • Define problem wrong = you’ll probably never solve it => You’ll waste all your time looking for a solution that doesn’t exist.
  • Flip side of defining the problem wrong = what computer programmers call GIGO: “Garbage in, garbage out.” >>> If assumptions are wrong = if your logic is flawless =your conclusions will be wrong.
  • social problems < base assumptions on optimism rather than realism => go straight from errors in their premises to errors in their conclusions.
  • When you start with incorrect information but make mistakes in thinking, then you might get the correct answer just by blind luck. (it does happen)
  • Why are the great monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals infused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards? = seems to define problem incorrectly, based on an incorrect assumption about what religion can accomplish.
  • Judaism taught world about universal moral law under God, improving societies and people from ancient times to the present day.
  • Christianity added emphasis on individual conscience + individual rights, helping to develop Western ideals of freedom and personal dignity.
  • Islam = great improvement on earlier practices in the region where it developed, giving at least some rights to women + , in the medieval era, fostering a high civilization to which Jews contributed.
  • << cannot do = make all individuals + societies ethical all the time, + can’t do it because it’s impossible.
  • => limitation imposed by human nature, + fact people are not all alike
  • problem > message must be simple, clear, consistent, + realistic + achievable + allow occasional failures, providing a way to recover from them and get back on the right track.
  • solution = to talk to majority in the middle

The Thousand-Year View

Steve-JobsMy latest blog post for The Jewish Journal:

Define the problem right, and you’re halfway to a solution.

Define the problem wrong, and you’ll probably never solve it. You’ll waste all your time looking for a solution that doesn’t exist. That applies in every area of life, such as religion, relationships, science, and social problems. The best movie mystery of 2008 turned on mis-identifying the problem to be solved.

The flip side of defining the problem wrong is what computer programmers call GIGO: “Garbage in, garbage out.” If your assumptions are wrong, then even if your logic is flawless, your conclusions will be wrong. Garbage in, garbage out.

Ironically, it’s the best and brightest people who are most susceptible to GIGO errors when they think about social problems.

Their kind hearts make them want to believe the most optimistic things, so they often base their assumptions on optimism rather…

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French rabbis of the suburbs confront anti-Semitism

Last year 50 000  Jews left France for better pastures. In Belgium we also find many who preferred to go to Israel and to face the difficulties there between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

When rabbi Prosper Abenaim first arrived at La Courneuve’s Ahavat Chalom synagogue in 1992 there were over 4,000 Jews in the neighbourhood then and at that time it was a struggle to fit them all into the synagogue on Yom Kippur. Today, at this Paris suburb’s only Jewish facility, he serves sweet tea to his synagogue’s most frequent and reliable guests: machine gun-toting troops of the French Legion which entered the seen on January 2016 to defend Jews in this heavily Muslim and crime-stricken municipality bordering the capital. This dwindling community, which has lost thousands of congregants over the past two decades to Israel and safer areas of Paris has now on some mornings, troops outnumbering worshippers.

That wasn’t the case when Abenaim first arrived at La Courneuve’s Ahavat Chalom synagogue in 1992. There were over 4,000 Jews in the neighbourhood then and it was a struggle to fit them all into the synagogue on Yom Kippur.

“The shul overflowed onto the street,”

Abenaim recalled.

Since then, improved economic fortunes and repeated anti-Semitic attacks have driven out all but 100 Jewish families from the neighbourhood, where drug dealers operate openly on streets that residents say police are too afraid to patrol. The remaining Jews are mostly a greying bunch, stuck here for financial reasons.

“We have two big problems, extremism and criminality, and they often mix,”

said Abenaim, who lives in Paris’ affluent and heavily Jewish 17th arrondisement and has encouraged his congregants to leave for Israel.

“I understand why people don’t want to raise children here. I’m here myself only because of my duties. Otherwise, I’d be in Israel.”

Rudy Abecassis, a Marseille-born computer specialist who moved to the Paris region in 2009 to find work, had a good job at a time of rising unemployment. In 2016 his family also left behind their comfortable lives and moved to Israel, joining nearly 8,000 French Jews who Abecassis said

immigrated to Israel in 2015.

“We’re not fleeing,”

He had found a nice life in France and he loved France for it,  leaving it with sorrow. For him it being important

“to live in a Jewish country of our own, where we are not outsiders who need to be tolerated.”

Tolerance is the big word we have to look for these days. When we hear small children saying Jews are dangerous people we can wonder what they hear their Muslim parents telling about Jews.

Most Jews in France are not affiliated with any synagogue, while the majority of those who are belong to Orthodox synagogues. The third major current of Judaism in France is the Conservative or Massorti movement (with a.o. rabbi Haim Fabrizio Ciprian in Marseille). Next to them there are the Liberal and Reform Jews. The “Libérale” in French corresponds to the Reform movement in the UK and the US, though for some Americans its approach might appear to be midway between Reform and Conservative.

‘For French who do not have the American connection, if you’re Jewish, Israel is the easy place to go. Otherwise the other ambitious entrepreneurs of that age who are not Jewish and are not going to think of going to Israel tend to go to London, which is now the seventh largest ‘French’ city.”

says the American Rabbi Tom Cohen from the synagogue Kehilat Gesher in Paris’s 17th arrondissement.

In those suburbs Rabbi Michel Serfaty is not afraid to go to talk to the Muslims and to create events for Muslim kids. He also created a community or “French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association” for which he hopes to recruit several more young people to help with community outreach in the largely Muslim, immigrant communities where most people have never even met a Jewish person.

A poster for the French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association, which works in many poor, immigrant neighborhoods. – Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

 

The rabbi is convinced that Jews can live together in peace with Christians and Muslims as well with atheists. He also believes they can help and foster each other and can work together to build up France’s future.

“In these places they often have specific ideas about Jews,”

says Serfaty.

“And if they’re negative, we bring arguments and try to open people’s eyes to what are prejudices and negative stereotypes. We try to show children, mothers and teenagers that being Muslim is great, but if they don’t know any Jews, well this is how they are, and they’re also respectable citizens.”

The rabbi takes advantage of funding from a government program that helps youths without work experience find their first job. First of all Serfaty takes time for the Muslim youngster and unites them by creating opportunities to have games, like a football match together. Two days ago we could see on television how a coloured boy was proud to present his equip, which was constructed of youngsters from different origin. Serfati lets them feel how other young kids feel and have similar aspirations. He tries taking away the borders and wrong ideas their parents or some radicals imposted on them.

The rabbi offers them also tuition and for a period of three years, gives them valuable training in mediation and community relations. Serfaty’s recruits also study Judaism and Islam. And he takes them on a trip to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp.

Though French laws on secularism forbid him from asking applicants about their religion, he tries to have also Muslim employees for his work, who harbour no anti-Semitic feelings, which is not always so easy to find.

The people helping the rabbi are aware of the task to are wake up people’s consciences. They say

“This is a job that counts and we could have a real impact if there were more of us.”

Rabbi Michel Serfaty, third from right, and employees of his French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association. He says he has only grown more determined to do his bridge-building work since the terror attacks in Paris in January. – Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

Now there is also signed a manifesto where is demanded that the fight against this democratic failure that is anti-Semitism becomes a national cause before it’s too late. By the people who put their signature under it can be found politicians from the left and right including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and celebrities like actor Gerard Depardieu.

The signatories condemned what they called an “quiet ethnic purging” driven by rising Islamist radicalism particularly in working-class neighbourhoods. They also accused the media of remaining silent on the matter.

“In our recent history, 11 Jews have been assassinated — and some tortured — by radical Islamists because they were Jewish,”

the declaration says.

Condemning the “dreadful” killing, President Emmanuel Macron had reiterated his determination to fighting anti-Semitism.

“French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their fellow Muslim citizens,”

according to the manifesto.

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Preceding

Bringers of agony, Trained in Belgium and Syria

Dr. Miller looking at Jews in France

Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

Growing anti-Semitism possible sign of certain times

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

Jews In France Ponder Whether To Stay Or To Leave

When will it stop

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Additional reading

  1. 2015 Human rights
  2. 2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance
  3. As there is a lot of division in Christendom there is too in Judaism
  4. Propaganda war and ISIS
  5. Religious Practices around the world

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Related

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  2. ‘Cowardly, Odious’ Attack on Jewish Family Condemned by French Government
  3. ‘Caught, Kicked, and Gagged’: Jewish Family Tells of Brutal Anti-Semitic Robbery Outside Paris
  4. Exodus: Jews Flee Paris Suburbs Over Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism
  5. Paris Taxi Driver Threatened To Kill Passenger Because He Was an Israeli Jew
  6. Jews Are Being Murdered in Paris. Again.
  7. 300 French Personalities Sign Manifesto Against ‘New Anti-Semitism
  8. 300 French Personalities Denounce ‘Islamist Radicalisation’, Sign Manifesto Against ‘New anti-Semitism’
  9. Religious Muslims in France submit twice as many job applications as Christians to get callbacks

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