Religion & Beliefs

“No future for American Jewry”

Well, it turns out that our entire conversation about Jewish identity is pointless, since according to Zeev Bielski, "Jews have no future in America and should all move to Israel." I don't know about you guys, and I don't want … Read More

By / November 13, 2006

Well, it turns out that our entire conversation about Jewish identity is pointless, since according to Zeev Bielski, "Jews have no future in America and should all move to Israel."

I don't know about you guys, and I don't want to get into a huge political conversation, since that's not really what Faithhacker is all about… but I do want to bring up an interesting element to Zionism– faith!

I find it curious, the relationship between Israel as a secular/political state, and Israel as a religious covenant.  And I know a lot of people have a blended sense of what Israel is, a sense of Israel as important primarily for what it represents in terms of Jewish safety/security/identity… but who also root that political sense in a mythic collective memory.  Something to do with that bible thing.

But there's another way to think about how Israel is connected to faith.  And that is to say that Israel is resposible for turning a religion of faith and learning into a cultural/national identity, a population now accountable for some awful shit (however cornered Israel may be, it still does nasty things to civilian populations). 

Like the man said, power corrupts.

This book by Douglas Rushkoff is a lot smarter than me on the matter.  But reading it, I found myself thinking about Israel, and the Golden Calf. I found myself thinking that one can (which doesn't mean we should or must, but…) see Israel as a giant SYMBOL for Judaism, that distracts us from what Judaism really is.  Or at least was

An issue on which we are all supposed to be so unified, that those of us with mixed feelings go silent.  Negating the amazing dialogue of Jewish tradition. The willingness to argue.  The place of a good paradox in the world.

Which is something I DO have faith in.