Being a Jew Trumps Assimilation

by Steven Shamrak

Assimilation is the biggest threat to the existence of the Jewish people! There were around 9 million Jews during the Roman Empire, similar to the number of ethnic Hans in ancient China. Two thousand years later we are just 14 million-weak (the population of Han Chinese is 1.2 billion now). After WW2 there were eleven million Jews. Most nations have at least tripled their number since then - Jewish population has increased by three million only!

There are some Judo-Christians groups that celebrate Christmas and Hanukah. There are many reform Jewish organizations, advocating changes to Jewish Halachic practice and adaptation to ‘current environment’. Usually they all disappear within one or two generations. Most Jews, who chose the path of assimilation, do not realize that the ‘Integration’ of Jews is still official policy of many Christian Churches and organizations. By converting or facilitating disappearance of Jews they to satisfy their schizoid and delusional need for acceptance and to ‘prove’ that Christianity is the true Abrahamic religion.

Not long ago, being a Jew has always meant that one is either a religious or ethnic Jew, most often both.  Our ‘Jew-loving’ neighbours in Europe had never failed to remind us about this! Jewish ethnicity, even in total absence of religious practice, had secured the continuation of family traditions even in secular countries like the Soviet Union.

Breaking this duality of Jewish identity is encouraged by Jew-haters and anti-Semitic religious ‘nutters’, as well as by self-hating Jews, as the way to facilitate assimilation and elimination of Jewish people. You just need to ask why there are only about 14 million Jews in the world now. It is almost the same number as 60 years ago (after WW2 there were 11 million Jews)! During the same time most nations tripled or quadrupled their number.

The biggest mistake many of our rabbis and Jewish community leaders make is by insisting that Jewishness is the religious observance only. Being a Jew has always meant, for Jews and our enemies - the peoplehood, belonging to the tribe, ethnicity or nation - whichever term you feel comfortable with - combined with Judaism when it was possible! We also have the unique and advanced religion, deep seated spiritual tradition, common history and aspirations that bond us all, observant and secular Jews.

We need to focus and promote our uniqueness and be proud of it. Our leaders must do more to bring unity and purposefulness to the life of Jewish communities in Israel and Diaspora! This tradition was the only cause of our survival for two millennia of persecution in exile!