I just listened to a fascinating broadcast by our media partner JNS regarding a new breed of less-liberal American Jewry arising. They are slowly shifting away from far-left US political allegiances.
Rampant anti-Zionism and antisemitism on America’s college campuses and in some corridors of the Democratic Party are having this effect. As we have reported, Jewish college students in North America are increasingly on the defensive and unable to freely and safely self-identify as Jewish. Antisemitism is growing both on the US far right and far left.
Since the USA is roughly tied with Israel for being home to the most Jews worldwide, this is important to Israel as well.
The two commentators on the broadcast were American-Israeli Caroline Glick and Russian-Jewish-American Karol Markowicz. Karol wrote recently about how surprised she was to meet a breed of Florida Jew who carry hand guns in self-defense even well into retirement age, having shed an apologetic diaspora attitude.
American Jews who suddenly feel alienated from their liberal left identity are then in danger of being ostracized by their reform synagogues and social circles when they make their new views known. These Jews find themselves in a “no man’s land” looking for mooring and Jewish institutions with which they can identify. They are somewhere between reform and orthodox, between left and right, between America and Israel. They are looking to Jewish history to anchor them, looking to family heritage, looking to Jewish day schools, looking for like-minded communities.
However, as these two articulate ladies tried to figure out how to preserve and strengthen a beleaguered and fading Jewish identity in America, one word was curiously absent. The missing “X-factor.”
The God of Israel is the founder of Israel and Israel’s end goal. Both the word Jew and Israel have Hebrew names of God in their meaning. The “christening” of Yehuda (Judah -> Jew) was “This time I will praise YHVH” (Genesis 29:35). The divine name-changing of Jacob into Israel was, “You have strived with God [El] and with man, and you have prevailed” (Genesis 33:29).
A familiar verse takes up this very theme with a call to action, doubly appropriate.
“If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their way, I will hear them…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
For Caroline and Karol’s full broadcast click here (especially the first minute and then from 19:20).
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