Messianic truth in advertising


The growth of the Jews for Jesus and messianic movements in Israel, especially during Israel’s 60th anniversary, is unprecedented and an outcome of unrestrained relationships with fundamentalist Christians.

There are more than 15,000 messianic Jews residing in Israel and more than 275,000 in the Diaspora. Jews for Jesus now has an office in Tel Aviv, with a staff of 10 that includes several Israeli-born messianic Jewish couples, and they have launched a five-year crusade to proselytize Israelis. Last month they spent over $500,000 for full-page ads in four Israeli papers and ads on buses and billboards. They have already handed out more than 75,000 missionary tracts and received contact information from 850 Israelis.

Furthermore, some Israeli politicians and prominent rabbis are associating with messianic Jews, inadvertently lending them credibility. Others rabbis were outraged about a messianic Jew in the International Bible Quiz for Jewish youth and called for a boycott. Of grave concern are the actions of messianic lawyer Calev Myers, who has been fighting in the Israeli Supreme Court for messianic rights, including initiating changes in the law of return that recently enabled a dozen messianic missionaries to become Israeli citizens.

Myers and the messianic movement are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the Israeli public. It is misleading for them to claim that the only difference between messianic Jews and other Jews is their belief that Jesus is the Messiah. This was highlighted by Myers’ recent quote in the Jerusalem Post comparing messianic Jews to messianic Chabadniks. In fact, messianic Jews intentionally avoid mentioning a fundamental difference. In addition to believing Jesus is the Messiah, they believe he is God in the flesh and part of a Trinity. All denominations of Judaism considered these beliefs to be idolatrous for Jews.

As early as 1980, Jews for Jesus founder Moshe Rosen in his book, “Sharing the New Life With a Jew,” advised messianic missionaries to avoid mentioning their belief in the deity of Jesus because it makes witnessing to Jews extremely difficult. Additionally, attempts by the messianic movement to prove their theology from biblical and rabbinic sources are based on misquotations and mistranslations.

Even before Christianity, Jews rejected these anti-Jewish nonmonotheistic beliefs. We also realize they were introduced into Christianity due to the influence of pagan cult gods like Osiris and Dionysus.

Obviously, there are other differences. Messianic Jews accept the Greek New Testament as divinely inspired scripture and they believe that all Jews who don’t believe in Jesus face eternal damnation in hell. However, historically it is their idolatrous beliefs that have ultimately placed “Jews who believe in Jesus” outside the pale of Judaism.

Christian friendship is appreciated; however, we must be cautious and call for truth in advertising by the messianic movement. We should also call on messianic Jews to reject these foreign beliefs and return to the pure monotheistic unity of God that defines our identity and personal relationship with God.

Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz is the founding director of Jews for Judaism International, which has offices in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Toronto, Jerusalem, Sydney and Johannesburg. He can be reached at RabbiKravitz@JewsForJudaism.org


Taste-testing Judaism


Ingrid Vanderhope, an Australian-born Christian and practicing Jehovah’s Witness, recently saw an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times picturing a spoon holding the words, “A Taste of Judaism,” followed by the words “…Are you curious?”

Sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism, the ad offered three free weekly sessions “exploring the modern Reform Jewish perspective on living in today’s world,” and in boldfaced letters it stated, “For beginners, Jewish or not.”

“Or not” being the operative word.

In the past decade, as Jewish leaders grapple with how assimilation and intermarriage have affected the numbers of Jews, many Jewish organizations, temples and synagogues are increasing efforts to reach out to teach Judaism — both to secular and unaffiliated Jews, as well as to interfaith families.

“In-reach” and “Outreach” these efforts are called.

But this program, called “Taste of Judaism,” which has already reached more than 75,000 people in 450 synagogues around the country, is taking outreach further than the usual embrace of people who are born Jewish, or who are married to Jews. It deliberately and forcefully moves into the mainstream world, extending an open door to anyone who might just like to get to know more about becoming a Jew.

Some would argue this is an overlooked opportunity, while others see it as one more step away from halacha: Proselytizing traditionally has been seen as taboo.

“There are so many people who are interested in Judaism,” said Arlene Chernow, Los Angeles regional director of outreach and membership for the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ). “Somehow it’s an urban legend that you’re supposed to turn them away. It is halacha, but it also says that you turn them away with one hand and welcome with another hand.”

Chernow has been with the URJ for 22 years and helped implement the pilot “taste” program 11 years ago.

“I think it really opens the Jewish community to people,” she said. “It gives people a sample for how Judaism can have a positive impact on their life”

In three two-hour sessions taught by a rabbi, the class attempts to provide an overview of the three major aspects of Judaism: God, Torah, Israel — or as it’s called here, “Spirituality, Ethics and Community.” Before teaching the class, each rabbi attends a training course, and then tailors it individually, using text study, discussion and handouts.

The program is not targeted solely at non-Jews. Unaffiliated Jews, Jews with no religious education, intermarried Jews and friends of Jews all have enrolled in the class.

“Our goal is large, meaningful, vibrant communities that are open to people who are born Jewish and open to people who aren’t born Jewish,” Chernow said.

And yet the new, very public push to promote the program in mainstream media around the country to all spiritual seekers, appears to turn on its head an age-old prohibition in the Jewish community. Which raises the questions: In modern-day America, where many ancient Jewish traditions no longer hold, should this one also be relegated to ancient times? In short, can Jews seek out converts? Can Jews proselytize?

These questions become particularly poignant this week, as we celebrate Shavuot, the commemoration of when Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai. This is the holiday that celebrates Jews-by-choice, and for it we read the Book of Ruth, the story of Judaism’s most celebrated convert of them all, from whom King David is a descendent.

Ruth’s story is seen by many as evidence that historically, Judaism, in fact, is meant to encourage conversion and early on even actively sought out people to join the faith.

“It is important to remember that Judaism began as a proselytizing religion,” said Rabbi Neal Weinberg, a Conservative rabbi and the head of the popular Miller Introduction to Judaism Program at the American Jewish University (AJU) (formerly the University of Judaism). “The Book of Ruth is very pro-conversion. By the first century, according to Salo Baron, 10 percent of the Roman Empire had converted to Judaism. Proselytizing ceased when the church [in the fourth century] prohibited Jews from converting. Christians and later Islam [seventh century] prohibited Jews as well,” he said.

Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, concurs with Weinberg’s account.

“Historically, we certainly know that Jews in very early times converted people — sometimes even forcibly converted people as recounted in the Bible in the book of Joshua,” Sarna said.

He points out that the Talmud includes people who have converted — and cites the major argument between Hillel and Shamai, where Hillel tells a potential convert that all of the Torah can be reduced to: “Do onto others as you would do onto yourself.” He says in the early Christian era, the early post-Temple era, there was a certain amount to conversion to Judaism.

“But what happens in the Diaspora is — especially as Jews become a minority — the Jewish community could get into great trouble when they were seen as proselytizing,” he said. “Once Christianity takes hold, whole Jewish community could be attacked because they were accused of Judaicizing.”

Jews made a “virtue” out of not seeking converts, arguing that the prohibition became a point of pride, a differentiation between Judaism and Christianity. In modern times, in countries where Jews feared for their rights, like in England and Germany, the fear was that proselytizing “would undo the bargain where they were allowed to remain.”

But this logic never really applied in America, which is founded on freedom of religious practice.

“American religion developed as a free market,” he said. “Naturally, when you have a free market in religion, there are plenty of Jews who say, ‘If they can convert me, I can convert them.’ From a logical point of view how can you be in a market and refuse to compete?” he asked. “Hillel didn’t seem to be worried when the proselyte came to him, so why should we?”

That’s exactly how Rabbi Ron Stern feels. Stern, the charismatic teacher of the “Taste of Judaism” class at Stephen S. Wise (where Vanderhope is participating) thinks the world should know how great Judaism is.

Weaponized Evangelism


A force of nature named Michael Weinstein swept into my office and set about trying to convince me this country is in much bigger trouble than I can imagine.

According to Weinstein, the U.S. military “has just been completely infused by premillennial, dispensational, reconstructionist, dominionist, evangelical, fundamentalist Christians who want to spread a weaponized version of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Instead of using the might of the most powerful war machine in the history of the world to defend all Americans, these evangelical Christians seek to spread democracy and the gospel, to be crusaders for Christ, at any cost to America and to treat American military personnel as “the lowest hanging fruit” in their drive to evangelize. “There’s a serious threat out there that we view to be as much a national security threat internally to this country as that presented externally by Al Qaeda,” he said.

Weinstein is 54 years old, with a shaved, round head and the physique of a store vault. He was in Los Angeles speaking and plugging his new book, “With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military” (St Martins Press, 2007), which he co-authored with Davin Seay.

Weinstein is not crazy. He’s an Air Force Academy graduate himself, a Republican who spent 10 years as a judge advocate for the Air Force and served three as legal counsel in the Reagan White House.

He’s the guy, you might have heard, who sued the U.S. Air Force in Federal Court in 2005, demanding a permanent injunction against alleged religious favoritism and proselytizing in the service.

A federal judge threw the lawsuit out, saying Weinstein had no standing — a “technicality,” Weinstein said — but he will be back with an even more sweeping suit, prepared with the pro bono help of the powerful Washington law firm, WilmerHale.

Weinstein founded the nonprofit Military Religious Freedom Foundation to fight what he says is an evangelical Christian mission to co-opt the U.S. military.

And Weinstein likes a good fight.

“The goal of our foundation,” he tells me, “is to litigate and educate, to lay down a withering field of fire, kick ass, take aim and leave sucking chest wounds.”

When Ted Haggard, the now-defrocked pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, accused Weinstein of denying evangelicals their religious freedoms, Weinstein, a former boxer, offered to go 10 rounds with Haggard in a ring behind the junior high school.

Even Abe Foxman, the taurine head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), doesn’t talk to Weinstein any more. “He said to me, ‘Why do you have to be so nasty? You’ll just make them madder.'”

When Abe Foxman finds you abrasive, imagine what the non-Jews think.

Weinstein’s go-away-from-Jesus started with Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” When the movie was released, cadets at the Air Force Academy marched into the huge dining hall to find flyers promoting a screening: “For three straight days a flyer on every plate said, ‘Do not discard this flyer. Go see this movie.'”

By July, Weinstein’s son, Curtis, then a 22-year-old cadet at the academy, could no longer abide the pressure. He called his dad. “I’m going to beat the s— out of the next guy that calls me ‘a f—- — Jew,'” he told Weinstein.

So Weinstein, son of a Navy captain, who has two sons and a daughter-in-law who are Air Force Academy graduates, began to ask questions.

What he found, he said, was a concerted effort by evangelicals to missionize cadets in the academies and in the field.

“We now have 737 U.S. military installations in 132 countries around the world,” said Weinstein, “and in every one of them there is a presence of the Officers Christian Fellowship for the officers and Christian Military Fellowship for the enlisted. The first goal of these organizations is to see a spiritually transformed U.S. military with ambassadors for Christ in uniform empowered by the holy spirit. My problem is the ‘in uniform’ part.

Those of us outside the military have seen the attitude spill over into the news. In 2005, Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida, the commander of cadets, sent an e-mail in which he told cadets to “ask the Lord to give us the wisdom to discover the right…. He has a plan for each and every one of us.”

The ADL fought against Weida’s promotion, and the Air Force launched an investigation. Brig. Gen. Cecil R. Richardson, the Air Force deputy chief of chaplains, told The New York Times in 2005, “We will not proselytize, but we reserve the right to evangelize the unchurched.”

In February, the Air Force issued interim guidelines governing the free exercise of religion by its personnel and its chaplain corps. Weinstein said they don’t go far enough.

“Up to 70 percent of Air Force chaplains are now evangelical,” he told me. “We’re not at a tipping point; we’ve tipped. The wall separating church and state in the military is nothing but smoke and debris We don’t have a Pentagon anymore. It’s the Pentacostal-gon.”

Evangelicals, of course, see it differently. They accuse Weinstein of censoring them and denying them the right to practice their religion.

While The New York Times found that the number of evangelical chaplains has in some cases grown tenfold, it also found greater religious complexity than ever before in the Air Force. Some 3,500 service personnel “say they are either Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, pagans, druids or shamans.”

But Weinstein is on mission. He’s not against evangelicals practicing their faith, he’s against them practicing their faith on others, on duty.

“If you want to think Anne Frank is burning eternally in hell, I’ll defend your right to my last drop of blood to do so, but I will not do it when my government wants to tell me who are the children of the greater god and who are the children of the lesser god, because we’ve been there, done that.”

Letters to the Editor


Political Spectrum

The three groups that are quoted as backing Bush are forgetting Jewish history and tenets, including tikkun olam [heal the world]. (“Examining the Jewish Vote,” Oct. 22.)

To the Orthodox, remember answering the four questions with Hayenu avadim Pharoah b’mitzrayim or we were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt? This means that we not forget the downtrodden and the least among us. Do they excuse Bush’s constantly favoring the wealthy and the powerful or is what we say at the seder just words to them?

To the Russians, it was [President Harry S.] Truman who stood up to the Russians with the Marshall Plan and Berlin Airlift. The other presidents, of both parties, just followed suit. The Russian Jews are confusing the authoritarian left, such as the communists, with the Democratic left, who fought for freedom.

To the Israeli expats who fled rather than stay to build their country, again it was Truman who was first to recognize Israel and began the American support for the Jewish state. In all cases, he was opposed by the right-wing Republicans whose genteel anti-Semitism let them oppose Israel behind the scenes as the Dulles brothers did so effectively.

Much of this may seem like ancient history, but currently it is well documented that Bush ignored Clinton’s warnings about terrorism and then latched on to it after Sept. 11. Any American president, Republican or Democrat, would have reacted the same toward Afghanistan, but the position of Israel is more tenuous, because of the Bush invasion of Iraq.

Emily Lawton
Sherman Oaks

The Jewish Journal’s blatant attempt to influence the upcoming election by printing four articles exaggerating Jewish support for George Bush, while at the same time harshly criticizing John Kerry, is an outrageous example of a once-respected newspaper becoming a propaganda machine for the Republican Party.

There is no balance in your political stories, just the Republican spin machine called nauseum. While right-wing extremists such as Dennis Prager, Jill Stewart and Sy Frumkin are allowed to spew their rhetoric, liberals and moderates are never allowed to author articles.

In the interest of fairness, I expect to see four pro-Kerry anti-Bush articles in your Oct. 29 issue. If not, it will prove that The Journal has abandoned all objectivity and journalistic standards.

Marty Levine
Los Angeles

Christian Right

As the co-founders of the Israel Christian Nexus (ICN) and the organizers of the recent solidarity rally at the Stephen S. Wise Temple, we must express our outrage at the attempt by professor David Myers and Daniel Sokatch to discredit the Jewish communal effort to build bridges between ourselves and the evangelical community (“Apparent Allies Might Not Be Our Friends,” Oct. 15). At no time in our association with hundreds of pastors and thousands of Christians, have we received the least intimation that there is a hidden agenda behind Christian support for Israel. Our meetings have in fact been marked by deep respect for Jewish practices and traditions, heartfelt regret for centuries of Christian persecution of Jews and a commitment to the survival of the Jewish people.

While it is always good to remain cautious about a potential missionizing agenda, it should be noted that the evangelical community in this country is as splintered and fractious as ours and there are considerable political and religious differences between groups. So although there may be a handful of pastors involved in the ICN who have given token support to more extreme missionizing efforts, it is spurious to suggest that these same pastors are undertaking concerted, fully funded campaigns of their own to convert Jews or that they are attempting to either “eradicate Judaism” or “seek our disappearance as Jews.” This is simply not the case and amounts to the kind of wild speculation the authors go to such lengths to deny.

The only way to understand the deep friendship offered by Christians is to meet them and engage with them. We change hearts and minds by talking, not by turning our backs. Somehow we believe that even our critics will understand this point.

Shimon Erem
Avi Davis
Israel Christian Nexus

I am totally fed up with the letters and articles in The Journal about the Christian right and why we should reject their support for Israel. I guarantee these folks don’t have a clue about Christians and are merely voicing a gut reaction.

As a young man, I joined a group of fundamental Christians and before returning to the fold, learned a great deal about them.

Yes, they do want to convert Jews and anyone else they can. Yes, their support for Israel is genuine, a result of their theology, and is a totally separate issue for them from converting Jews. The two do not go hand in hand.

For those Jews worried about Christian missionary efforts, there is a surefire way they can’t reach you or your children: Teach and practice Judaism in your home in a warm and loving manner on a consistent basis.

Jerry Cutler
Calabasas

‘Auschwitz’ Review

Further to Michael Berenbaum’s excellent review of the book by Ruth Linn, “Escaping Auschwitz” (“Righteous Anger Fuels ‘Auschwitz,'” Oct. 15).

Professor Linn of Haifa University is an expert on education, not history. What she claims in her book to be facts are partly errors, partly exaggerations, partly the result of interviewing Rudolf Vrba.

Vrba is the co-author of the famous Auschwitz protocols, undoubtedly a genuine Jewish hero of the Holocaust, and very reliable when he talks about his experiences. When he voices his conclusions and opinions, they have to be carefully checked, which professor Linn has not done.

Contrary to what he has been saying for many years now, the protocols did have an impact – they were a factor in preventing deportations from Budapest after 437,402 Jews had been sent to Auschwitz from the provinces. They were completed two weeks before the beginning of these deportations, and by the time they reached Budapest, weeks later, there was no way in which their content in the provinces were rebuffed by local leaders.

Hungarian Jews did not know about Auschwitz, but they knew that Poland meant death. There was no way they could resist or hide or escape, and Linn’s anger repeats an understandable but deplorable Jewish reaction: We do not wish to admit that the Jews were powerless and helpless.

The fact the protocols nevertheless had an impact is due in part to the intrepid bravery of the four escapees, of whom Vrba was one, and in part to the desperate attempts of courageous Jews, among them members of the much-maligned Budapest Judenrat and Zionist Orthodox leaders in Hungary and Slovakia.

Linn’s effort will make headlines, no doubt, but in the end is ahistorical.

Vrba got his well-deserved honorary Ph.D. in Haifa not only through her effort – I intervened and was told that my letter had played an important part in making the decision to grant the degree.

Yehuda Bauer
Professor Emeritus
Hebrew University
Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Clark University
Worcester, MA

Kvetch Too Much

As someone who has written extensively on Jewish representation in American television, methinks Liel Liebowitz and her two prime informants, TV critics David Zurawick and Allison Benedikt, kvetch too much (“Fall Season’s New Jewish Wasteland,” Oct. 15).

Conspicuously absent from their account of the present state of Jewish TV are the Emmy-winning sitcoms, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Arrested Development,” and the drama, “Everwood” (all of which also won awards from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture).

That brings the current crop of original-run “Jewish” sitcoms to four and dramas to three, not equal to the peak of nine sitcoms in 1997 but a record for dramas, and not bad in any case for an ethnic group with less than 2 percent of the nation’s population – just as Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans.

As for the tenuous or stereotypical Jewishness of the new shows, when – since perhaps “The Goldbergs” and “Brooklyn Bridge” – has it been much different (see “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” “Mad About You,” “The Nanny”)?

Indeed, one could argue that with “Arrested Development’s” hyperfunctional Bluth family, Jews have arrived at a confidence level from which they can portray some of their kind not only warts and all but warts only.

Vincent Brooks
Author
“Something Ain’t Kosher Here: the Rise of the ‘Jewish’ Sitcom”
Los Angeles

Other Harvard Voices

In his (“Liberal Academics Blind to Terrorist Threat,” Oct. 15), Avi Davis purports to be quoting a professor of Harvard whom he calls “one of the most noted political scientists in the country.” If it really is a quote, and not just Davis’ opinion of the professor’s views, why is he afraid to give the professor’s name?

Furthermore, Davis’ assertion that it is not just the one person, but the Harvard community in general which is not concerned with terrorism, is easily disproved. Jessica Stern, a lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, has a lengthy record as a specialist on terrorism and in 2003 published a very important book, available in paperback, titled, “Terrorism in the Name of God.”

Graham Allison, the Douglas Dillon professor of government and also director of a research center at the Kennedy School and author of at least 20 books, has just published “Nuclear Terrorism: the Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe.”

A few weeks ago, that well-known “liberal,” Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, interviewed professor Allison on the topic of what we need to be doing worldwide in order to keep the nuclear defense material out of the hands of terrorists.

Ashton Carter, co-director of the preventive defense project at the Kennedy School, also has written on a similar topic, which can be found in the September-October issue of Foreign Affairs and is titled, “How to Counter WMD.”

Perhaps Davis prefers not to mention these authors because, even though these three specialists very much emphasize the enormous threat from the Islamic terrorists, they all conclude that the present administration’s approach to dealing with the threat is wrongheaded and even irresponsible.

Deborah Kennel
Los Angeles

Numbers Game

The only statement in Jill Stewart’s article (“Missing the Boat,” Oct. 22) that was accurate was that Jewish immigrants in California were a tiny percentage of the vote, in the case of Jewish Iranians, maximally in Los Angeles 0.1 percent of the registered voters.

Sam Kermanian, who stepped down from his chairmanship of the Iranian Jewish Federation to join the Bush campaign, should avoid the fuzzy math of that campaign. There are no half-million Iranians in California.

The U.S. Census 2000 found only 150,000 Iranians, almost half the 339,000 Iranians found in all the U.S. The only official body I’ve discovered putting out estimates of huge numbers of U.S. Iranians is the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, hoping perhaps to somehow garner influence on American policy through a perceived (but nonexistent) large and influential expatriate community in the U.S.

There are no Republican “weapons of mass registration” in the Jewish community. The Orthodox Jewish community is less than 4 percent in California and less than 7 percent of the national Jewish community.

The Israeli community is pretty much on the scale of the Iranian Jewish community, and the Russian Jewish community is not very much larger.

As long as no one is counting heads or looking at the readily available sources which has counted them, these immigrant communities will make interesting anecdotes in every election, but lets not miss the boat and give them coverage which is inordinate to their size and therefore misleading, and missing the over 90 percent of the Jewish community who are not Orthodox or recent immigrants.

Pini Herman
Los Angeles

Double-Edged Sword

After reading (“Apparent Allies Might Not Be Our Friends,” Oct. 15) and five letters to the editor, I would like to comment.

Christian support of Israel is to be encouraged and applauded. However, it is a double-edged sword when certain individuals and organizations who work to protect the physical well-being of the Jewish people simultaneously promote our spiritual destruction through their support of and active efforts toward conversion away from Judaism.

For 25 years, Jews for Judaism has been responding to the efforts of evangelical Christians who seek to convert Jews. Our organization has counseled more than 1,000 Jewish families who are devastated when their children are ensnared by Jews for Jesus, and other evangelical Christians who deceptively target Jews for conversion. The anguish experienced by these families is difficult to describe.

I know that it is unrealistic to expect evangelicals to stop proselytizing. However, we can demand that they take a moral stance and join with Jews and Christians of good conscience who condemn the deceptive and misleading tactics used by Hebrew-Christian and Jews for Jesus missionary groups.

Several interfaith resolutions, as well as a 2002 resolution by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, have strongly condemned Christian missionary activities that deceptively target Jews for conversion.

When Christian support of Israel is backed up by a willingness to sign on to a similar resolution, it will serve as a litmus test to help determine which Christians are true friends of the Jewish people. If Christians refuse to sign on and denounce these tactics, then perhaps it is correct to question their motives and our praise of their support.

I invite the Israel Christian Nexus to work with me and the JCPA to draft such a resolution.

Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz
Jews for Judaism International

Need to Learn Lesson

This is in regard to Rabbi Harold Shulwies’ article (“A Stand for Darfur,” Sept. 24).

How fortunate our Jewish community is to have such an enlightened rabbi in our midst. He speaks to us as the Old Prophets used to: “What good is all your fascinating and repentance, your keeping all the rituals and saying all the prayers, when you do nothing to alleviate the suffering and injustice directed at our fellow human beings.”

When we, the European Jews, were in need and cried out for help, so few hands were extended. Now we endlessly bemoan our losses and spend so much of our resources and energies to squelch “anti-Semitism.”

It seems to me we finally need to learn our lesson, as Schulweis points out. Our energies and resources would be far better spent in support and defense of the helpless and the downtrodden, wherever they be, whether next door or in the Sudan. Only then are entitled to call ourselves “God’s chosen people.”

E. Ehrenreich
Torrance

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