Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Real Peoplehood Problem, by Daniel Septimus

This article from the Jewish Daily Forward makes some good points, in my opinion. Peoplehood can't be created artificially--it has to grow out of shared experiences.


Blogger Miami Al said...


Ashkenazi Judaism has NO concept of positive experiences driving peoplehood until probably that 1970s in the United States. :)

The cause of assimilation was the fact that being non-Jewish seemed more appearing than being Jewish.

The Israelis in Israel and the United States have a sense of peoplehood. Russian Jews persecuted under Communism do. People facing massive American anti-semetism do.

Young Jews do NOT have peoplehood pushed on them by the outside.

Unfortunately, the parents of these young Jews HAD peoplehood, but peoplehood from the external negative forces. As a result, there were no positive experiences pushed onto the next generation.

Without external anti-semetism, you need Judaism to be a positive experience. People need to WANT to be Jewish.

Do young Jews WANT their children to be Jewish. If the answer is yes, then they need to marry Jews and raise Jewish children. If they don't, then they don't.

These studies miss the point, what can be done so young Jews WANT to be Jewish, and without the pride in our 2000-3500 year traditions, I'm not sure how you are going to do that.

Tue Jul 19, 03:03:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

As “dilbert” say in the comments to my Who’s on first?—on raising a Jew, “kids have to enjoy and want to live a Jewish life, and especially at a young age, not see it as a burden. You are doomed if thier attitude is "oh no, not Shabbos again...."

And how would dilbert recommend getting kids to "to enjoy and want to live a Jewish life"? "not to obviously denigrate Torah, but . . . As Rabbi Frand said in one of his tapes, long after your kids forget the words of Torah that you said about the parsha at the Shabbat table, they will remember sitting with you and singing zemirot."

Again, it's shared experiences that create a desire to live a Jewish life, not an abstract wish for "continuity" or for the preservation of Jewish Peoplehood.

Wed Jul 20, 10:54:00 AM 2011  

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