Fate of Jews in America (fwd)

Igor Chudov @ home ichudov at Algebra.COM
Fri Aug 29 19:16:01 PDT 1997

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From: "nikst" <nikst at glasnet.ru>
Subject: Sud'ba yevreyev v Amerike
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 05:40:27 +0400
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August 29, 1997

The end for U.S. Jewry?

By Richard Grenier

        You know this is a Protestant country," Franklin D. Roosevelt
once said to economist Leo Crowley and Henry Morgenthau, his treasury
secretary, "and the Catholics
and Jews are here under sufferance. It is up to you to go along with
anything I want." 
... . . . The Presidency of Jack Kennedy abolished forever the notion that
American Catholics are here under sufferance. And Jews? On this 100th
anniversary of the founding of the Zionist movement, the position of our
Jewish minority is singular. The danger for Jews, oddly, is that in the
foreseeable future they might be so well assimilated they become
..... . . . This might surprise many gentiles as never before have so many
Jews occupied high positions in American politics, giant corporations,
the media, the academy, science, law, medicine, intellectual life, not
to mention Wall Street. Both U.S. senators from California are Jews, and
last year a Jew, Sen. Arlen Specter, was a serious candidate for the
presidency. A generation ago this would have been unthinkable. 
.... . . . But the eminence of our Jewish high-achievers is deceptive. Not
long ago Jews represented something under four percent of the American
population. Today they represent two percent. Jews once lived in dense
urban settlements in the Northeast, half of them in New York alone.
Today 40 percent of Jews live in the South and West. In Denver and
Phoenix the intermarriage rate with gentiles is 72 percent -- the
harbinger of doom. For as the Jewish population spreads over the
country, and assimilates ever more readily, synagogue affiliation
declines steadily. 
...... . . . Of the 6.8 million people of Jewish descent in this country,
almost 20 percent are now practicing Christians, and another 16 percent
profess no religion and consider themselves secular Jews or not Jews at
all. For centuries persecution paradoxically helped preserve Judaism,
while many Jews now expect that tolerance, in the end, will do them in. 
... . . . Elliott Abrams, assistant secretary of state under Ronald Reagan
and now president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, alarmed by
this drift, has just published a brilliant book, "Faith or Fear" (The
Free Press). In Mr. Abrams' view, Jews in America, as things are going,
are headed straight for extinction. The only thing that will preserve
them, he writes, is true religious faith. Without it they're in danger
of disappearing like the ten lost tribes of ancient Israel. 
...... . . . Meanwhile, a special issue of The New Republic has appeared
devoted to "Zionism at 100." The magazine's editor-in-chief, Martin
Peretz has written a grand celebratory article on "The God That Did Not
Fail." Mr. Peretz once told me he doesn't believe in God but believes in
"the Jewish people," describing for me the funeral service for an
eminent Jew during which a friend whispered to him, "Do you realize that
of the country's ten leading micro-biologists (I forget the profession)
eight are in this room?" To which Mr. Peretz replied pungently, "Praying
to a God in whom they do not believe." 
.... . . . Mr. Peretz is thus a splendid, highly articulate example of Mr.
Abrams' "secular Jew" -- and a passionate zionist. Indignant at people
who believe that the state of Israel would never have come into being if
it hadn't been for the Holocaust, he declares with deep regret that but
for the Holocaust there would now be in the world, not 13 million Jews,
but "scores of millions." At the end of World War II the gates of Israel
would have been stormed, not by thousands of Jews, but by millions. The
god that failed, of course, was communism. Whereas zionism grew and
...... . . . Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was the most prominent
American to hold high position in our government while throwing himself
heart and soul into the zionist movement. Brandeis refused to resign
from the Court to assume the titular leadership of the World Zionist
Organization because he wanted to demonstrate that there was no
contradiction between remaining "attached to America while working for a
Jewish homeland in Palestine." Justice Brandeis saw no conflict in his
position: holding high office in America while deeply involved in the
political, financial, and intellectual affairs of a nation in the making
--which was after all to become a foreign country. I'm not sure how many
Americans today would agree with him. 
.... . . . But the question isn't what other Americans would think of this
kind of double allegiance, or whether the two allegiances might some day
be in conflict, but whether Jews, without God, defining themselves as
simply an ethnic subgroup, will even survive. One of the reasons there
has been such loss of religious faith among America's Jews lies in the
nature of their religious practices, to which the practices of Islam
(Sunni) bear a strong resemblance: circumcision, prayer, special dietary
rules, no pork, no graven images, no musical instruments in the house of
worship, concentration on living a godly life here below with little
talk of the hereafter and absolutely no messianic talk of eternal life. 
.... . . . I thus fully agree with Mr. Abrams. Jews will certainly survive
in America for a time, but without God, on their present course, they'll
eventually be gone. 

"Bednaya-bednaya" Amerika!

U nas ne tak. I eto xorosho illustriruyet sleduyushchij anekdot:

Umirayet staryj armyanin. I vot sobral on vsyu svoyu bol'shuyu semyu u
smertnogo lozha. Oni vse dumali, chto rech pojdyot o nasledstve.
No tot povyol rech o drugom. K udivleniyu sobravshixsya, on stal goryacho
ubezhdat' ix: "Beregite yevreyev!" "Beregite yevreyev!"
I kogda on zametil udivlenie na licax sobravshixsya, on iz poslednix sil
poyasnil: "Kogda ischeznet poslednij yevrej, oni voz'mutsya za nas,
I ispustil dux.

Tut vot pishut, chto v Amerike, vrode, k etomu idyot. Neuzheli pravda?..;-)


RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 1, No. 106, Part I, 29 August 1997

Petrossyan and Yeltsin, meeting on the second day of Ter-
Petrossyan's state visit to Moscow, signed a treaty on friendship,
cooperation, and mutual assistance, Russian media reported on 29
August. Yeltsin commented that the treaty "meets the vital and
lasting interests of the two states." The two leaders also signed
several agreements, including on the transit of oil across Armenia.

K chemu by eto?

----- End of forwarded message from nikst -----

	- Igor.

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