12 thoughts on “Pro-Israel Proselytes – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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    1. I think it was clear to anyone reading without a prejudice against my views that I was talking about classical Zionism.

      I am going to start ignoring any comments of yours that contain snideness or snark. So be warned.

      I’m sorry you don’t like the adjectives I use to characterize yr comments, but publishing comments like this doesn’t do you a favor & only makes those adjectives that much more justified.

        1. No, I think you just had a need to dig the shiv in since you’re pissed at me. Most any other reasonable reader w. an elementary understanding of Zionism (which you clearly posses) would understand my meaning.

          Conventional Zionism as observed by most (but not all) Israeli Jews sees shlilat ha-galot as a core belief.

          You’re just being passive-aggressive.

  1. Your statement about Judaism not actively “proseltyzing” is incorrect in this context. “Proseltyzing” means actively seeking to convert non-Jews to Judaism, which Jews don’t do. If you meant here that Jews don’t “reach out to other Jews” , that is also incorrect. Committed Jews are required (to the best of their ability and resources) to attempt to help less committed Jews to increase their committment, in fuilfillment of the Talmudic statement “kol Israel areivim zeh ‘zeh-translated: “All Jews are obligated to one another”). There is definitely a halachic component to this as well. Thus, an uncommitted Jew who is influenced by another Jew to become a committed Zionist is certainly involved in this, although this is not the only way. An uncommitted Jew who becomes religiously observant by an anti-Zionist Satmar Hasid is also involved in this.
    Without getting into the argument about the exact relationship between Zionism and Judaism (to me, they are ultimately inseparable but I know a lot of people get upset with that from different directions) there is no question that Zionism, as expressed in the Six-Day War, played a CRUCIAL role in awakening Jewish identity in the USSR which was committed to a policy of assimilation. Thus, Zionism in this case kept a couple of million Jews within the Jewish people, who might otherwise have been lost.

    I don’t have the statistics, but I understand that most Jews who intermarry do NOT have their decedents identify as Jews, so, if this is true, they will indeed be lost to the Jewish people.

    1. Your comments are mostly meaningless. You’re correct that proselytizing referred to non-Jewish conversions to Judaism. But yr characterization of proselytizing among Jews themselves is nonsense. I’ve studied Jewish history & Talmud for many yrs in college & never heard the Talmudic precept you invoke used to justify conversion of Jews to observant Judaism. THere is no such obligation except among Habad.

      Nor do I accept yr claim that the 6 Day War saved Russian Jewry. A more preposterous claim I haven’t heard in some time. You are confusing nationalism with religion and Judaism with Zionism. This isn’t just a personal interpretation, it is a grievous error in yr understanding of Jewish theology and belief. Yes, it is a conventional Zionist concept, but it is not normative and many who identify strongly as Jews as I do do not accept this deliberate confusion of the 2.

      Yr “statistics” about intermarriage are not correct. Some Jews are lost. SOme children become Jews. Some spouses convert. All demographers have differing opinions on the ultimate outcome for Judaism. But there is no neat summary of whether it is overall a benefit or hindrance to Judaism. At any rate, intermarriage exists & it behooves Judaism to deal w. it as constructively as possible. Instead of demonzing intermarriage it would be much more effective to engage in outreach to intermarried families & let them know that they are fully welcome among us. That is the exact opposite of the Masa campaign.

  2. Good grief! Would anyone please consider proselytizing everybody with a religious inclination to secularism? Perhaps, then, we wouldn’t have so many divisions among peoples. Spinoza’s ethics might be a good reference to begin with.

    I might also complain here about a similar Nazi/Communist-style “report your neighbor” campaign: The U.S. IRS has now begun to offer rewards for citizens (or others) who report tax evaders or just people who have foreign bank accounts that might be suspected of avoiding payment of taxes. What kind of Big Brother world we have come to?

  3. I think you’re a bit unfair on Masa, and I think it’s important to distinguish between this campaign and the Masa programme itself, which is far more serious than Birthright. As you’ll see by looking at the programmes it offers, it gives people a chance to do a huge variety of activities, across the gamut of Israeli society. As far as I’m aware there are no educational requirements during the year (unless you choose an educational track), and no attempts at indoctrination etc. You just choose your programme and get financial support for it – whether it be studying at an Israeli university, interning at an Israeli NGO, or something else. I think it’s a great programme and should be advertised positively, rather than the scare tactics employed in this video.

    1. By golly, we can agree sometimes. Wonders never cease!

      I have nothing whatsoever against Masa (provided it is as positive as you make it out to be). But this marketing is absolutely poison & if the goals of Masa are reflected in any way in this video then some bureaucrat should be rethinking a very stupid program mission. But then again, this could just be a marketing campaign gone south.

      1. Well I think one of the main goals is to make people engage more with Israel and to consider its role in their lives. I think they’d also like the participants to think more about aliyah. You and I are both Zionists so we’d have no problem with that. The point is it doesn’t lay down a political agenda, from what I understand, and the MASA participants I’ve met (indeed this year I’ll be teaching on a MASA-affiliated programme) come from across the spectrum.

  4. It’s true that I’m a proud Israelite-Jew living in France. I hope to be deeply conected to my roots, but I have to admit that this AD is really great.

    It doesn’t mean that I won’t express my critical point of view on it.

    I think it is a good advertising because it introduce the question of Assimilation as a National problem.
    I also appreciate this ad, because it’s a community, harevout, kirouv campaign, that is great !

    Where this ad, make me less excited, it’s because, this ad consider in a way, that the Israeli governement, is the only hearth of the Jewish People, as If Jews from outside Israel were not responsible, as if Jewish community were a lost herd.

    A counter campain Jews from the outside could have the following message,
    “When you meet an Israeli in your coutry, don’t leave him alone, invite him for shabat. It will be an opportunity to discover his spiritual roots… in your Jewish home…”

    Of course, neither this message or the second one is the good one.

    We have AT last, to consider one each other as full part of the 3500 year old People of Israel, and at last, expressing commun responsability, common heritage.

    So, in my point of view, it should be build Olam Israel, the organisation that represent the Global Jewish People or the People of Israel at the Global Scale, and then, this message would be targeted to all the Jews, and considering each Jew as a responsible one…

    For the record, such a vision has already been launched, it was 150 years ago by Adolphe Cremieux, Netter, and Leven with the Alliance Israelites Universelles and later by Herzl with the World Zionist Congress and then, the creation of the Modern State of Israel has institutionalized the bondaries between Israelis and Israelites from Diaspora.

    Update :

    The more I’m reading this AD, the more I love it !
    I never tire of seeing

    I love it, because, even if they de-responsabilize us, it’s at the end of the day a message of love toward Jews of the Diaspora… A message of caring.

    And unlike wrote Esther K, this is not an ad againt intermarriage, it’s against assimilation, that is not exaclty the same, even if there are common ground.

    A Jew that assimlate, is a person who is technically Jewish, but that will leave it’s identity, and them becoming indiferent, not ot say hostile to Israel.

    But what make people more commited to their Identity or values ? that’s such a fascinating question !

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