On the real lessons of the Hanukkah story.
“I implore you to look inside yourself [and] consider why your viewpoints make us so uncomfortable.”
For far too long, I considered myself more aligned with the left than the right. I tended to vote for “liberal” judges, Democrats at a national level and Republicans at a local level.
I ran across very similar sentiments starting in 2012 and have, over time, realized while I don’t share all views of Republicans I no longer share any views with Democrats.
A Classic line:
“When I explained that I am politically conservative, someone responded, “On purpose?””
Enjoyed the read….
Remember - it’s NOT you! Stay strong. Stay committed to your principles…
Those girls weren’t Jewish. They’re leftists first, last and in between. Vicious, nasty, lying leftists. Uncomfortable my aunt Fanny.
Wow, I'm very impressed by you, but disgusted by your ex-roommates, and the Moishe House organization.
I was a fine arts professor, and after the Trump election, the schools were actually notifying us with "announcements" to read at the beginning of class, explaining where students could find counseling. This intolerance is being sown at every level of education, particularly higher education. I'm sure you know this, duh, as you're a recent grad...
but it's just amazing to me, that people can live in a society and have their interpersonal / personal experiences be overridden by the false narrative that half the US are racist, anti-LGBT, anti-science nimrods. These girls met you, lived with you for a span of days, and could still have those personal experiences be overridden by brainwashing, by some abstract association of ideologies.
Thank you for sharing your story. As far as I can tell, you have a very bright future ahead of you (your current job sounds very interesting, too!).
Ugh. So depressing to read what happened to you, Gabriel. Many on the left are accepting of everyone from pedophiles to felons driving through a Christmas parade killing innocent people. But conservatives? That’s beyond the pale for so many of them. It says so much more about them than you. Sometimes you just have to keep your chin up and burn that fucking bridge behind you.
Their website says it’s a “pluralistic” community. That’s pretty much code for “except conservatives and zionists”. It’s like those signs that say “hate has no home here.” Sure, unless you’re conservative or zionist. Then, it’s totally ok to hate.
Very good piece. I’m not Jewish, but I really enjoyed reading it. Actually, the circumstance - intolerance of moderate or conservative viewpoints by the left, is characteristic of much more than just the Jewish community. Great article.
The Hellenized Jews in the wake of Alexander the Great were like the modern Ultrawoke and the comparison is informative.
In that time all the sophisticated people were speaking Greek and getting educated in Greece. They thought themselves superior and they tried to stigmatize those deplorable traditionalists who were still speaking Hebrew and practicing the old ways. After a tug of war between two Hellenized Jews named Jason and Meneleus (both Greek names) the temple was desecrated, repurposed as a temple to Zeus and Ba'al and practice of the Torah was forbidden. The Hellenized Jews completely sold out their own people, they loathed those deplorables and wanted them cast out.
I see quite a few parallels to America today. One worth noting is that the traditionalist Judas Maccabeus came and retook Jerusalem, and those Hebrew names seem to have been back in style ever since.
Some of the Jewish commentary I encounter here and elsewhere is a little bit over my head. But this one strikes home. As an American of Irish descent, this kind of strife is a part of my family history. The epic of Ireland's struggle for independence has quite the dark side: It was not just a struggle to overthrow British dominance but a bitter sectarian conflict. The Irish v. the Anglo-Irish. The Free Staters v. the Republicans. Catholic v. Protestant in Ulster. My maternal grandmother came to America in late 1922, a refugee from the Civil War following independence that claimed more Irish lives than the War of Independence itself.
Mr. Katz's story interests me in another way as well: It illustrates the peculiar variant of doublethink that many progressive Jews employ to skate past the increasingly strident anti-Semitism of the broad Left. The Jews of Moishe House seem to think that they can embrace postmodern progressivism without giving up their essential identity as Jews. But their non-Jewish comrades demand exactly that sacrifice.
People like Ilhan Omar have convinced me of a principle of which I was long dubious: that anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism. I understand that there are Jews who reject Zionism on purely religious grounds. But secular anti-Zionism is ideological, not religious. It's an amalgam of age-old prejudice and postmodern theorizing about imperialism, colonialism, etc.—with the latter lending an illusion of respectability to the former. Ideological anti-Zionism is in fact a project genocidal in character whose aim is the destruction of the Jewish state. Why any Jew would sign up for such a project is honestly beyond me.
My only quibble with Mr. Katz's excellent piece is its title. A better one would have been "Jews vs. Judaism."
Such a moving piece. This sums up everything that is wrong with our society. I can't imagine being a young person and feeling so isolated and unaccepted over politics. I remember lots of late night political discussions in college (ohio)...some argued for and some against this or that. It was fun...we were grappling with who we were and what we believed...we never really got into a stew over it. We also didn't have ironclad talking points from twitter so conversations were more free...you could take long pauses to think up your next point. We even allowed ourselves to be convinced mostly just because we liked the person doing the convincing! Imagine!
People like them are beneath contempt. They're pathetic. If you can't debate someone openly and instead rely on claims of supposed harm to shut down someone else's ability to speak then you deserve no sympathy or understanding. Therapeutic totalitarianism at its worst.
Thanks for sharing this piece. I am saddened and disheartened by this behavior. I saw this infection the first time my daughters came back from college and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Feeling unsafe and uncomfortable with political beliefs and using jargon like “anti racism” to evaluate human being is atrocious and soon becoming dangerous.
Great essay, I have felt a lot of tension in my Jewish community as a police officer. Comparing ultra progressive Jews to Hellenized Jews is apt.
This is a great piece. Thank you sir, and happy hannukah to everyone ❤
Wow, thank you for sharing your story, Gabriel. I’m so sorry you had to experience this, but admire your conviction to stand alone and stick to your principles.
“I remember when Jewish kids were home doing their homework. What happened? What the hell happened to our smart Jewish kids? If, God forbid, their parents are no longer oppressed for a while, they run to where they think they can find oppression. Can’t live without it. Once Jews ran away from oppression. Now they run away from no-oppression. Once they ran away from being poor; now they run away from being rich. It’s crazy. They have parents they can’t hate anymore because their parents are so good to them, so they hate America instead.”
Philip Roth, American Pastoral