Sunday, July 31, 2022

Tisha Bav Trends I do not like

Trends I do not like:

Everyone doing a siyum during the 9 days and using it as an opportunity for partying 

Organizations having meat fundraisers during the 9 days

Resteraunts having siyums on the hour so they can sell meat 

Tisha Bav being a day for "inspiration" rather than a day or mourning (related: Yom Kippur davening becoming a kumzitz as if we think that the decree can be averted via repentance, charity and humming lalala)

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Fulds Dumb Article About Anti Semitism

Hilel Fuld, a legit public figure, who is therefore fair game, has posted something about antisemitism that seems to me to be full of mistakes. I shall point a few out below, but let's start with the piece's fundemental problem. His article's main argument is that Jews must abandon America where they are allegedly being murdered in the streets in favor of Israel where they are actually being murdered in the streets. I'm not making this up. He wants us all to jump directly from the pan into the fire. And he supports this recommendation by outright lying about the current situation in America. In paragraph after paragraph Fuld wildly exagerates the dangers of living here For example, he writes: "In America! Nazi flags waving freely in the streets of America, but if someone were dumb enough to wave an Israeli flag or god forbid to wear a Star of David? They can expect an expensive hospital bill!" How does something so clearly untrue get published? Does Fuld really beleive this malarky, or is he just being an ammoral huckster who is happy to lie in support of his objectives? And what is the objective? Getting us all on the next plane to Israel, or course. His advice to every past and future victim of these fictional crimes is to decamp immediately to Israel, which he calls "the safest place the Jews have ever known." But is it really? What about the existential threat Israel is always facing? What about the Gaza rockets that are always raining down on their cities? What about the nuclear threat from Iran? This is a safe place? The country's defense budget alone strongly suggests it isn't. Over 10,000 Jews have already died in Israel's wars. Several thousand have died in terrorist attacks. This year alone there have been attacks on Jews in Beersheba, Hadera, Elad, Benai Brak and Tel Aviv. More than 20 Jews died in those attacks. Is anything like this happening in America? Has there ever been a wave of attacks against Jews in America similar to what Israeli Jews endured just last spring? No, of course not. But according to Fuld, America is too dangerous for Jews because there are, unfortunately, occasional attacks on Jews, but menwhile, Israel, where there are regular attacks on Jews, plus the ever-present threat of a nuclear attack, is the safest place on the planet for us. Is that logical? Along with forgetting how dangerous it can be to live in Israel, and exagerating the threat of living in the US, the other big mistake Fuld makes is suggesting that some big act of genocide is on the horizon. But what he doesn't seem to understand is that genocides aren't carried out by crazy people waving flags. They are carried out by states. As unpleasent and dangerous as it might be to encounter a DeSantis supporter with a swastika flag, or to see Marjorie Taylor Green at a Nazi event its pure alarmism to say that these events mean a Jewish genocide is around the corner. In Nazi Germany, the police participated in anti semitic attacks. Here, the state still works very hard to prevent Jews and to prosecute the perpetrators. This matters. Because as long as the state is still committed to protecting the Jews, genocide isn't possible - and to suggest it is, as Fuld did repeatedly, is the worst form of fearmongering. Bonus Parsha Error Fuld: "We know the story of the exile from ancient Egypt in the Torah. But did you know that only one fifth of the Jews left Egypt? The other four fifths stayed because they were comfortable. Yes, they were slaves, but they had all their needs taken care of. They had food, shelter, a community. Why would they leave?" Um, no. According to the midrash four fiths of the Jews failed to leave Egypt because they were dead, having been murdered during choshech, not because they stayed back to enjoy the delights of slavery.