Letter to a syndicated talk radio host discussing why Jews are liberal.
I heard part of your show this morning on the above topic and I would like to offer my theory. I would appreciate hearing your reaction. Soon my website, Back to Basics Judaism will be online
and dealing with topics such as this one.
Why Are Jews Liberal?
The unfortunate reason is that being Jewish these days is being DEFINED by most Jewish rabbis as being liberal. It's simply an equation. All the liberal denominations, the Conservative, Reform,
Reconstructionist, and Humanist, are equating Judaism with liberalism (and activism in that cause). This is what the young are being taught; this is what all the sermons are about. This constant and loud message results in many Jews’ liberalism crowding out the traditional spiritual, historic, nationalistic, cultural, or social aspects of Judaism.
Somehow the starting and basic idea of Judaism that we should set a personal and national ethical example has been transformed into becoming an activist example and it is the liberal and leftist/radical elements that are the most active. Jews feel that they were chosen to head the demonstrations and to propagate the most radical views.
Gone is any thinking about Jewish law and Jewish holidays; gone is any study of the Jewish past. Young people are not steered into these kinds of interests. Rather they are encouraged to be in the forefront of every liberal cause. To be liberal is what DEFINES a Jew these days and that is a terrible loss. Judaism cannot survive this misconception of our identity. It really is not a worthwhile mission or reason to exist and sure enough we are disappearing fast in western societies.
Even Israel is in danger of suicide by liberalism as the majority there tries to imitate all the weaknesses of the West. You might be wondering whether the Orthodox are helping the situation. Actually they can take part of the blame for Jews' mistaken choices because the liberalism definition of Judaism is partially a reaction to the Orthodox definition that very few can live with. This group has made it just about impossible to be Jewish in any reasonable way, defining Judaism very narrowly. First, they added thousands of laws (presumptuously, in my opinion) and then call those who don't care to make Judaism a 24-hour chore not Jewish enough. In any case the liberalism of Jews can only be understood and changed when Judaism itself is set back on more reasonable foundations.