Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rabbi David Wolpe and Leon Wieseltier (Literary Editor of New Republic)

A conversation about Israel and the Role of the American Jewish Community
Rabbi Wolpe interviews Wiesseltier
LW thinks Obama has diminished the standing of the US around the world. His policy on Syria. His inaction in Syria caused the influx of jihadis and has endangered Israel.
In Egypt the US is on all sides.
If Obama writes a memoir it will be called Bearing Witness. All he does is bear witness. nothing more. He speaks as if he is powerless. He will not play in a game he might lose. And LW says failure is good.
What can Rabbis say about the American -Jewish -Israel relationship on HHDays.
Is it diminishing? and if so why?
1. marginally disaffection from Netanyahu policies.
2. identity affiliation is a problem is a greater problem not just Israel loyalty.
3. life on the internet. the greatest attack on human attention in history. We are talking on constancy of focus of mind.
Attention is the disorder. it has implications for the Jewish community and young people and their notions for commitment.
LW says it all went down with the tv clicker. Dispersal of attention reflects dispersal of identity.
Virtual becomes real and real becomes a relic.
4. The future of European Jewry- LW says- Jews are still the other their. We should give them our solidarity.
5. But the future of Judaism is about the US and Israel.
6. The influx of Islam will only bring more hatred to Jews. European culture is different and cultural diversity is radically different in Europe than in America.
7. Is there a future for Jewish peoplehood? We need to bring back a respect for Jews of all ideological strains.
8. LW condemns the Haredim. This attitude must be universal love of the Jewish people. This concept must be revived. We need to stop excluding Jews.
9. What is a Jew?  Anyone who calls him or herself a Jew. We need to improvise and be more flexible and proactive in drawing people in to the orbit of Jewish life.
10. People who refused to talk to each other because of distinct ideological and religious differences must begin to talk to each other. When people want to find solutions to issues of personal status and religious identity solutions can be found. But LW is saying that today people just don't want to find those solution and they, on all sides of the spectrum, they remain isolated with suspicion and fear.
11.  LW connects the land of Israel to the state of Israel. there is a interrelationship . The sanctity of the land does not confer complete sanctity to the state. we have to separate those feelings. What does Judaism have to do with the map of the state of Israel.
12.  LW says there is a connection for right wing fundamentalist Christians in America who struggle to bring their religion to the fullest impact in America. they too question why they have to strain themselves. Jewish believers have to struggle why they too have restrain their religious fervor to maintain a Jewish state of such diversity.
13. LW asks, " What is the value of Peace.?" What are the compromises for peace? Do we want to live in a democratic and open society or not? That question relates to the religious fervor of Jews in Israel as it would apply to the religious fervor of Christians in America.
14.   LW says, The highest form of parental love is one that continues to justifies itself. It is not one that just accepts a love without regard for any actions.
15.  The kids today have to knowledge of history. How can they love Israel when they have no history of Israel. Also when all the kids see is criticism of Israel how do young people develop a positive view of Israel.

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