Young millenial Jews seem to be about the only hope for Jewish institutions to wake up and reclaim an authentic Judaism, a biblical prophetic brand best summed up in the invocation of Deuteronomy 16:20, “tzedek, tzedek tirdof” ( justice, justice you shalt pursue). Sadly a debilitating Zionism has wormed its way into too many sanctuaries, twisting maybe the greatest gift to the human community, biblical Judaism.
Ben Lorber a young Jewish campus minister in Chicago recently lamented that that “Mainstream synagogues, with their ‘We Stand With Israel’ banners facing the street and Israeli flags adorning the bimah, are struggling to find members under the age of 50.” Millenials like Lorber are more and more challenging Jewish institutions to participate in the movement for Palestinian justice. Heretofore, most have been silent. But a growing number of millenial Jews who care and have eyes to see simply cannot abide in the name of Jewish ethics, the shocking oppression of the occupation. They notice what it has done to the state of Israel and the deleterious effect it has had on North American Judaism.
Lorber in his article which had to appear in Israel as most North American papers are terrified of printing such a seismic shift in the Jewish community, wrote that “yesterday’s Jews would be shocked to see that it is considered more heretical for Jews today to question the State of Israel than to question belief in God.”
In Canada many of these millenials have also come to the conclusion that those rabbis at the turn of the 20th century who warned the community about zionism were right. Zionism had the capacity to uproot Jews from Torah. Israel the state would become akin to the golden calf of Exodus, an idol.
It is quite inspiring to to see people like Tyler Levitan of Independent Jewish Voices (http://ijvcanada.org) challenge Prime Minister Trudeau to mark May 15 not only as Yom Ha’atmaut,the birth of the state of Israel but also as Nakba Day, commemorating the forced exile and dispossession of the majority of the Palestinian people from their homeland. Liberals of course are no better than Tories on this issue…both genuflecting to the Jewish vote.
Levitan a millenial “ Jew of Conscience” puts it right to Trudeau
If the Liberals wish to play the role of an honest broker– which they have failed at playing since coming into office–they need to begin by commemorating Nakba Day alongside Yom Ha’Atzmaut. A failure to do this will continue to send Canadians the message that Palestinians and their narrative should simply be ignored. Is that the behaviour of an honest broker?
Levitan then profers the invitation:
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