Assimilation is a Destroyer of the Miracles.
by Steven Shamrak.
Being a Jewish single guy, I went to a lecture “Why marry Jewish?” with the over-optimistic hope of meeting a nice Jewish girl. During an hour of a well-prepared speech, the presenter, Doron Kornbluth, mentioned several reasons why intermarriage generally, and for Jews in particular is not a good idea. He offered many non-confrontational ideas of how to keep Jews from marrying out. Suggestions ranged from focusing on Jewish religious education, nudging to financial bribery of the kids.
The fostering of Jewish national pride and Jewish national education were omitted from his speech, most likely, in fear of offending any converts or their offspring in the audience. Why would they be offended, when Jews are talking about preservation of the national, religious, historical and spiritual identity of Jewish people, if they had embraced it? Every day Jews pray for the “righteous converts”. How many truly righteous converts do you know?
The were no suggestions for teaching kids about the history of the Jewish people, concepts of Jewish unity and Jewish land, famous Jews and their contributions to the cultural, scientific and technological evolution of our planet. Zionism was not even brought up at all!
Contrary to common belief, the idea that being a Jew means just a religious observance is only two hundred years old. It had emerged when the loyalty of the Jews was questioned during the time of Napoleon. Religious leaders at the time, quite justifiably fearing persecution from the megalomaniac French emperor, gave ambiguous answers about who are the Jews, nation or religion.
However, Judaism is quite specific about the national character of the Jewish people. It is written in Torah: “and nation was born” at Mount Sinai. Several times it is stated that it is obligatory for a Jew to marry another Jew. Nothing has changed and must not be changed just because on the surface modern society looks more tolerant and accepting toward Jews or the need for some elderly Jews, mostly Holocaust survivors, to feel illusionary comfort that their grandchildren are still remaining Jewish.
Quite often we hear: “My parents were Jewish” or “I am not religious, therefore I am not a Jew!” The first question parents ask their kids when they hear the heart-breaking news “Mum/Dad my special one is not Jewish”, is “will he/she convert?” Conversion, in spite of the fact that, in accordance with Jewish law, marriage must not be the reason for it, has become another convenient supermarket item. Parents use it now to hide their deep inner pain, bitterness, disappointment and fear of losing their kids. Instinctively, they know that their Jewish family flame has been extinguished!
With assimilation rate over 50%, a non-Jewish notion that being a Jew is only a religious obligation, which does not work in a predominately secular society. We are losing people to mixed-marriage, secularisation and ignorance. Most rabbis, Jewish leaders and Israel’s officials are under pressure from bogus political correctness. They do not pay attention and promote Jewish nationalism, patriotism and ‘Eretz-Israel’, the land of Israel. Jewish people are losing their purposefulness in life to disillusionment and apathy!
There were 4 million Jews, almost 9% of the population, in the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. After the WW2, there were 12 million Jews worldwide. Sixty years later, the Jewish population has increased by only less than 2 million. Most nations during this period have doubled or even quadrupled their numbers. Assimilation is not violent like the Inquisition, pogroms or the Holocaust, but it is deadlier and the damage it brings is irreversible.
One of the miracles of the world is that one nation with its number less than 0.2% of the world population has made a contribution to humanity disproportional to its number. In spite of our achievements we are still fearful to say loudly and openly “I am proud to be a Jew!” Why are Italians, Greek, Chinese, Russians and other nations unapologetically proud of their national heritage and sense of belonging? But not Jews!
The Jewish concept of the “Chosen people” is about responsible leadership. It is not about being better than others or putting others down, like many other people do. Jews also have an obligation to self and must have a sense of healthy self-appreciation and respect, especially when it is well deserved and long overdue!
The biggest miracle is that after 3,300 years, the Jewish people still exist. Many great nations have come and gone. But if, in this ‘friendly’ and politicly correct environment, we do not teach our children and grandchildren Jewishness, not solely religion; if we remain silent while they are marrying out; if we allow people like Prese, Olmert, Barak and other self-hating Jews squash out national spirit from inside – There will be no more Miracles!