Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Beyond Anti Zionism - Why I dont support Israel as Jew, beyond me not being a Zionist (Inspired by River Adams' Post)
Though not with Judaism, Israel or Jewishness, I too have points that I would die with/for; for which the explanation is beyond pure logic or reason. However, there arises the age old question. My grandfathers voice rings in my head, though he is still alive and well, and it asks me a question. "What good are you dead?". It was the question my grandfather asked me when i told him of the appeals of martyrdom that i saw on some now-moot philosophical point. Its a bit of that old Jewish wisdom,which says that it is better to live for a cause then to die for one. Does Judaism die with Israel, if so what happens to those who remain alive after (/ IF) Israel is destroyed. Do they ( as Walter Sobcheck asks) just stop being Jewish? Are they now stagnant beings. Did Judaism constantly evolve from point A to point Zed, only to be stopped by the destruction of Israel. Lets say we know we can never go back to the holy land, do we become stuck in a form of stagnant and passive Jewishness? I say no. We are Jews, Even I who does not believe in a Judaic religion or god, but instead in some pagan ideology; who does not celebrate or plan to celebrate any of the high holidays; who considers himself so much more so American then Russian and Jewish...... even I am a Jew. I will remain one as long as my Grandfathers sayings and my Grandmothers paranoia, and my mothers kvetching are with me. I am as much a Jew as Moses Mimontes, and in the eyes of God should be just as important. Just as likely to cause a change. What does it mean to be Jewish? For me it means to have access to agency to experience and participate in a system of culture. I cant be Black or Native American, no matter how many dream-catchers I have hanging over my bed. I can participate, despite being a pasty honky, in their cultures; I can replicate and admire facets of them, and i can share those ideas with friends.....but I am not black....and I am Jewish. In order for me to be those things in addition to being Jewish, I have to have a permanent foothold of agency inside the culture. Schindler is buried in a Jewish cemetery, because even though he was a gentile, his acts of bravery transgressed his identity and gave him a permanent agency in the Jewish Lexicon. JFK is often regarded similarly in the Black community. Jewishness is not something that is thrown over us, it is something we participate in. This is true of all cultures. I could change what it means to be a Jew, and i dont know if I would be wrong in doing so. Just becasue a culture changes does not mean they become another culture ( IE Jews>>>Christians). I am not interested in myself preserving certain Jewish customs, but i will not let anyone tell me I am not Jewish, no matter how many Pagan ideas i hold, or how much pork I eat. My decisions effect the tribe, but the decisions before me should not be forgotten.....thats how i see culture. You must think of what you can do as a modern day Jew, not necessarily in spite of the middle east conflict; put perhaps A-pro-PO of it. You are a Jew even if you hold no opinion on the conflict; and even if you choose to hold an opinion; there will be a person who is a Jew, who holds no opinion. The question is which of these two people would you rather be, the live one or the dead one. Or rather "what good are you dead?" The Rastafarians believe that since the temple was destroyed numerous times, that they now hold that Temple inside themselves. Many smoke weed for this reason; as a kind of a sacrifice of the internal Temple. Can Jewishness die? Cant we hold the synagogue in our hearts eternally? Would we stop being Jews if we do? If we have no other place to go to...no Israel to return too; and we mimick our Jamaican brothers, do we become a new religion? I dont think so.....I think we will persevere in spite of the many religions that have separated from us, in spite of the internal and external struggles we face and in spite of horrific white assimilation forced upon us. We can always turn inward to the spark of God inside us. That cant be taken away. So once again the question arises "What good are you dead?" There will be people left....JEWS left...after/if Israel falls. Would you rather counsel them and have something to live for, or die with a line in the sand beyond which you can not fathom Jewishness going? Both answers are acceptable.....but which will you choose....which should you choose, being a Jew?