Jewish values gone haywire
Jews of Cape Town want their government to retake land bought by a Jewish day school and, in place of a new campus, to erect low-cost housing for poor Gentiles – right in a suburb that many Cape Town Jews find unaffordable.
American Jews direct communal resources to black rights, refugee rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, transgender rights – to any right that is not a Jewish right. Rabbis sign a petition to allow Muslim refugees from Jew-intolerant backgrounds into America. Democrat Jews dote on Barack Obama with a hostility to the State of Israel matched only by a friendliness to powers that would do away with that nation. Jews attend a downtown Johannesburg event to hear a BDS panel confuse the Holocaust with self-governing Palestinians growing at a birthrate above the norm.
All of the above are trendy causes. They also, one and all, pick on Jews and their outlaw country.
All that was thought about Jews in the past has found a home in what trendy movements think about Israel now. The left-wing element is prone to overlook that unlovely aspect.
Every year at Passover, we read in the Haggadah: "Go and learn what Laban the Aramean sought to do to our father Jacob[.] ... He sought to destroy everything." Laban has been the paradigm of anti-Semites from time immemorial. Jews parading and protesting with modern Labanites may be tolerable; but when rabbis defend them, willfully forgetting what Laban sought to do to Israel (né Jacob), such behavior is unfathomable.
The counter-intuitive mind of the Jew is uncanny. From the sin of the golden calf onward, Jews have done things that no one can figure out. Did the Almighty create them to be contrary?
Probably not, when you hear left-wing elements speak out with clarity and moral conviction. Jacob's kindred were created to be a light unto the world. Working with unlikely bedfellows is not aberrant behavior. On the contrary, they as Jews are doing exactly what they were put on earth to do: stand for values and modes of caring as old as the Bible. In their helter-skelter to get Muslim refugees into America, or to help the poor live in a sought after part of Cape Town, Jews of conscience have no qualms about doing what they do. History and tradition (their word for God in the secular?) marked out the Jews to care for the stranger in their midst.
But we are given to believe that the sacred duty is very selective. Caring for the stranger is everything; caring for the Jew is nothing. Kith and kin in parts of Ukraine are caught in crossfire and go hungry; in France, they live, and perish, under dire threat. While Jewish terror victims go unsung, and Zionists on campus are bullied, and the new domain for Laban's kindred is the internet – still the gut instinct of Jews for repairing the world is for that stranger out there.
Better to give underprivileged people the right to live in a swanky suburb than to allow Jews the right to build a school. Better to worry over a dedicated bathroom for transgender types than to lose sleep over Jewish victims of terror. Better to debate the right of Israel to exist than to debate the right of Palestinians to yet another sharia-ruled fiefdom. Better to lose sleep over the plight of the "other" than to lose sleep over the plight of a Jew. Can no kosher cause hold a candle to the wants and needs of the stranger? Homespun Judaism may have a lot to answer for.