Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Excellent Essay From Mosaic: The Death of Jewish Culture

Well, actually it's more like the death of American Jewry because they think "culture" = continuity.

I urge you to read the whole thing. 

Without the bedrock of G-d, Israel, mitzvot and Hebrew-it all falls apart.

Assimilation happens when Jews ignore G-d, Israel, Torah, mitzvot and Hebrew. All it takes is one generation to disappear. 

"Are American Jews, then, alienated from Jewish feelings? Do they lack Jewish identities? Not at all: they freely and openly profess such feelings, and appear quite comfortable with their Jewish identity. Rather, the content of that identity has itself shrunk to a solely internal realm of subjective experience and emotion, fortified by clichés and bits and pieces of an elementary cultural literacy."

"Nor have the large-scale contemporary programs of Jewish culture addressed this problem. Instead, they may be said to have contributed to it."

"Their offerings, like those of the now-shuttered Makor, tend to pin the label “Jewish” on almost any expression of art or social behavior that might appeal, on grounds of hipness, to the constituencies they aspire to reach. These can range from a discussion in which a journalist or pundit who happens to be Jewish holds forth on public issues of possible interest to American Jews—as Americans—to, in the promotional words of one leading cultural center, “events feature[ing] cooking, art, dance, film, music, and assorted pop-culture happenings– all with a Jewish twist.”

"In the post-modern, post-ethnic, post-religious moment, almost anything, it seems, can count as Jewish culture. "

"Is it any wonder that this big-tent approach finds relatively few takers? "

"The gruel, too thin for those Jews who are actually hungry for the real thing even if they can’t put a name to it, is of equally little interest to those who can pick and choose among “assorted pop-cultural happenings” unburdened by any artificial Jewish imprimatur."