Author Topic: Care of our Jewish Neighbors  (Read 4250 times)

Dan Fienen

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #75 on: October 31, 2018, 10:43:08 AM »

The ease and rapidity with which this thread devolved into internecine snipping and sniping is illustrative of the human tendency to mark others who are different as the "other" presumed untrustworthy, degenerate, even dangerous.  This tendency is further marked by quick defensiveness that would assure any and all that it is not me and my group that started it, it is those others who started it, I'm only defending me and mine.  Meanwhile there is a quickness to take offense even at what objectively speaking appear to be innocent comments and questions, as well as passive aggressive snipes couched to appear as simple questions or comments but hiding a subtle attack.


The roots of anti-Semitism are many and deep.  Much more often than not it is planted and nurtured by the psychological, political and economic needs of those who turn against the Jews than any action of the Jews themselves.  Historically they have been much more often sinned against than sinning.  Partly that has been because they are much more likely to lack the power to do unto others.  Current controversies over the actions of the State of Israel over against their neighbors show that the shoe can at times be on the other foot.  They are human, with all the glory that human can be as well as the shadows and mud.  Nobody's hand are completely clean. 


It is a very wise and gracious person who can discern his or her own faults while still defending against the unjust accusations of others.  It is also a wise and gracious person who can recognize how his or her own comments could be understood as attacks even when not intended to be so, and to recognize one's own subconscious urge to attack under the guise of simple observations. 


One of the unfortunate effects of the acrimonious climate of these times is that just about all people have become hyper sensitive to jabs and gibes even when they are not intended.  But that is also an effect of coming out of a climate where basic racist, sexist and other "-ist" attitudes and assumptions have been so ubiquitous as to go almost unnoticed.  People may not even realize that their speech and attitudes reflect ingrained offensive stereotypes.  We all need to carefully watch that we do not take offense where none was intended, or give offense even subconsciously.  We also, all of us need, to be open to having offensive  assumptions pointed out.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #76 on: October 31, 2018, 10:44:20 AM »
No, Steven attributed the drift to one direction, when a reading of the postings shows the drift came from another direction.
Carry on.

Actually, I suggest that the drift came from all directions.
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Michael Slusser

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #77 on: October 31, 2018, 10:53:09 AM »
Frankly most Antisemitism  in this country is found on college campuses and has its well spring in the ideas of the radical left.
Really? Most people in this country aren't found on college campuses! Are you referring to some study that says that antisemitism is directly proportional to higher education, or something to that effect? If so, I'd like to see it.

The word "most" is possibly hyperbole.  But if you Google antisemitism in American universities you get a number of articles from the ADL, USA Today, etc. on this issue.  It frequently appears in relation to Israel, but the anti-Israel oratory quickly degenerates into antisemitism.  In one university male Jewish students were advised to wear hats over their yarmulkes.
The ADL confirms your observation that in 2017 incidents increased on campus faster than in the nation as a whole ("Meanwhile, college campuses saw a total of 204 incidents in 2017, compared to 108 in 2016") but overall, the increase was nearly 60%.
https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/anti-semitic-incidents-surged-nearly-60-in-2017-according-to-new-adl-report
A more recent (Oct. 2018) report that covers the digital world says, in its conclusions,
Quote
The online public sphere—now a primary arena for
communication about American politics— has become
progressively unhospitable for Jewish Americans. Prior
to the election of President Donald Trump, anti-Semitic
harassment and attacks were rare and unexpected, even
for Jewish Americans who were prominently situated in
the public eye. Following his election, anti-Semitism has
become normalized and harassment is a daily occurrence.
The harassment, deeply rooted in age-old conspiracies such
as the New World Order, which alleges that an evil cabal of
Jewish people have taken autocratic control of the globe, and
Holocaust imagery—faces placed inside Nazi concentration
camp ovens or stretched on lampshades—shows no signs
of abating.
https://www.adl.org/media/12028/download

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Eileen Smith

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #78 on: October 31, 2018, 11:25:51 AM »
We had an interfaith service in town on Wednesday night at the conservative synagogue, Shomrei Torah.  We have a wonderful relationship with this congregation, especially through our Pastor who enjoys a friendship with the rabbi.  Rabbi Mark (last name) has come to our Prime Timers and has offered a Jewish perspective on familiar Old Testament passages while my Pastor then offers a Lutheran perspective.  We work together closely in the Wayne Interfaith Network Food Pantry, and enjoy other Interfaith activities. 

As usual, in providing some background, I digress.  The service was attended by an estimated 700 people and I pray that helped our two Wayne synagogues feel the care and support of the community.  There is a link below.  I'll admit it does tend to stall.  My Pastor spoke and comes in at about the 34-35 minute mark.  However, at least on my laptop, it seems to stall a few moments into his remarks.  One member of the synagogue. commented, "It is gatherings such as this that give me hope."

https://patch.com/new-jersey/wayne/wayne-comes-together-remember-pittsburgh-victims-watch?utm_term=article-slot-1&utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

How do we offer care as Lutherans ... as neighbors.  I have found a simple phone call or email offering sympathy is welcome.  With a friend or even local rabbi, perhaps a gift of fruit or some other appropriate gift just as one might bring to a Shiva.  I plan to bring something to a doctor I'll see this week.   Keeping with the title of this thread, I would be interested to learn of interfaith activities that some of you may have participated in or expressions of care as Dr. Gard shared.   In the present day climate this may not, unfortunately, be a single instance of needing to offer care, indeed, we have had far too many opportunities.  It is good to learn from one another.