Friday, November 16, 2012

Why Jews Vote for Democrats: Part 6

Yesterday, American's Worst Rabbi today gave seven reasons why Jews vote for Democrat, each of which I will address in turn.. In this installment, we'll deal with the claim that Jews who vote for Democrats aren't really Jews. [Other installments can be found here.]

We join Pruzansky already in progress...

A sixth reason bores into the credibility of the statistics, and raises the great enigma of Jewish life today: how many Jews actually live in the United States? The survey questions are asked with trepidation, because a large percentage of American “Jews” are not Jews according to Jewish law. As we know, a Jew is defined according to tradition as a person born of a Jewish mother or converted according to halacha, Jewish law. (The definition remains the definition despite its unpopularity, indeed, its rejection, in the non-Orthodox world. It goes without saying – but I must – that “non-Orthodox Jews” who satisfy the two criteria are as Jewish as is any Jew.)
With intermarriage in the non-Orthodox world hovering around 70%, how many of the “Jews” counted in these surveys are in fact Jews? For example, the children of non-Jewish mothers are not Jews according to Jewish law, even if they feel Jewish and were bar-mitzvahed. Likewise, the children of Jewish mothers who intermarry are Jews – but are they really representative of Jews in terms of ascertaining a “Jewish” vote – especially since most intermarried children by far are not raised as Jews, or educated as Jews? It might very well be that if we exclude hundreds of thousands of halachic non-Jews from our count as Jews, then the differences in voting patterns between Jews and other mainstream groups as revealed by the polls might not be as dramatic. Since it is difficult to count Jews in America – many pollsters rely on a self-definition which could as ethnic as it is religious – the surveys themselves are suspect. It would explain, though, why support for Israel has dwindled as a major issue for Jewish Democrats.

Or, in other words, all those "Jews" who are voting for Democrats, probably aren't Jews in the first place!! Ha Ha! How convenient. 

However, the point of the piece, let's remember, is to tell us "Why Jews Vote For Democrats." Insisting that those Jews aren't really Jews doesn't really fit the bill.

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