Sunday, September 02, 2007

Here’s My Take
by: Schvach Yid

It seems that commentaries and opinions continue to grace the Jewish contribution to the internet about CNN’s recent 6-hour ditty on the Middle EastGd’s Warriors. I have an opinion too, so here it is.

I thought Ms. Amanpour's 3-part ditty was fairly boring stuff. Most of it seemed like a rehash of old headlines interspersed with her commentaries. Big deal. The Middle East is about religion; everyone has a religion, and no one is objective about his/her religious identity. The old canards are still applied, and after 1500 years they are not about to resolve. Rather than constituting the current day's content of political debate, I think her recent CNN presentation is the stuff of refuse.

Not that Christiane Amanpour doesn’t know what she’s doing ; she knows exactly what she’s doing, and so should we. She's expressing her opinions. I too have opinions, about which I freely blog. If you don’t like to read my opinions, well shucks, you should only hear me voice them – I can hardly stand the sound of my own voice on these issues.

So, since I’m not objective about my religious identity, or my religious beliefs (I would never make such an accusation about Ms. Amanpour; I’ve never even met her), who am I to make accusations, but as I’ve stated above, who possesses objectivity about this absolutely personal subject (it’s almost like discussing one’s sex life)?

So we resort to the political side of religion when we bring that delicate subject into the realm of public intercourse. So politically, what do I like about my religion, Judaism?

First and foremost, Judaism is not political (don’t you just love it? I do!). I think this may be the reason we don’t do politics very well. A wannabe Moslem with whom I used to be acquainted (a guy who started out life as Christian but changed to Islam – it was all about melanin) intoned in a rather public place that ‘Islam is very political’. Okay, I accept his pronouncement. I think the Arabs do politics rather well. By contrast, I think we Jews are not very adept at it, to our absolute disadvantage. Why? Because Judaism is not about politics, pure and simple.

Secondly, Judaism places no demands on non-Jews. We don’t proselytize. We Jews have asked the non-Jewish world for only three provisions. One: stop murdering us. Two: accept us an individually constituted group, ie, don’t try to convert us or change us in any way. I think the world in general calls this respect. In other words world, please respect us. Three: we’ve asked for that geographic cuticle that rims a portion of the eastern-most lip of the Mediterranean. It’s not much land, and anyone who possesses any objectivity about the matter will readily accede to the fact that it is Jewish land – all of it, right up to the Jordan River (that’s not much land folks). If you’re into displacement theology (I know, I know, it’s really called ‘Replacement Theology’, but this excludes the Moslems) then go back to number 2.

Thirdly, I like the Hebrew Bible – Tanakh. Gd speaks in the Hebrew Bible, and I mean in quotation marks (according to the English translations). In that fine work of revelatory insistence, Gd tells me, and all other Jews, how to live our lives. He makes us decent, and not political, and it’s for us, the Jews, because Gd says so. What more could I possibly want? So many people run after us, demanding to dislodge and displace us. There must be a good reason, and there is. They know, and we know, that the Hebrew Bible is right, and that we Jews are the recipients of HaShem’s revelation. Chauvinistic? Bigoted? No! If you’re Western religious, then you believe in Gd, and Gd said so.

You can now relax about Christiane Amanpour and her remarks about diamonds and schmooze.

Shavuah Tov!

No comments: