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Racism, Hate and Violence Are Jewish Values, Too

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14.05.2021

Did you see the boys singing?

Of course you did. It was all over social media, after all. Those Israeli teenagers with their kippot and white shirts, bouncing up and down, singing a Biblical song of vengeance at the Western Wall, as a cypress tree ablaze beyond the wall made it look like the Al-Aqsa mosque was burning down.

Did you shudder and think, that’s not my Judaism? Or perhaps even tweet some words to that effect?

You couldn’t be more wrong.

Let’s quickly break this down. Jewish boys, dancing by the last physical remnant of the ancient Jewish temple, and singing a quote from an even more ancient Jewish book (Judges 16: 28).

Looks pretty to Jewish to me. Racist and hate-filled, without a doubt. But Jewish, to the core.

Some Jews don’t want to recognize the fact that our tradition contains plenty of hate. In today’s Western culture, where identity is everything, and values are black and white, their Judaism has to be pristine

What a pity that it can’t be. That for every exhortation to love the downtrodden and the destitute foreigner, there’s another one calling for us to be the tools of God’s wrath. That the Torah’s wonderful ecological commandment on not cutting down fruit trees is actually about how best to starve an enemy city into submission.

Oh, and that beautiful concept of Tikkun Olam that you believe means fixing the world for the benefit of all humankind? It is actually from an ancient Jewish prayer on how wonderful it is we were born Jewish and the tikkun of the olam is to be achieved by removing the idols of non-Jews from the face of the........

© Haaretz


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