An author predicts Diaspora Jewry’s death, at the hands of Tikkun Olam liberals
Predictions of Jews' demise have been made before. While this is an interesting article, and it makes some good points, there might be some exaggeration or a bit of hyperbole. The promotion of "Tikkun Olam" to the forefront of progressive Judaism's ideology is more of a political move than a religious consideration, and it should be challenged. This article and the book it is reviewing could be a good start in that debate, but let's not get carried away with a doomsday scenario.
From the article:
Liberal Jews in the United States have “distorted” Jewish teachings to align with a narrow political agenda, according to the author of a new book called, “To Heal the World? How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel.”
Published on June 26, the book “sets out to slaughter the sacred cow of Tikkun Olam, at whose udder too many unlearned Jews have suckled,” according to author Jonathan Neumann. He blames American Jewry’s leaders for not only reinventing aspects of their ancient heritage, but also for causing damage to Israel by aligning with groups hostile to the Jewish state.
For much of the book, Neumann explains how the concept of Tikkun Olam — or “repair the world” — has been co-opted by liberal Jews to advance their vision of “social justice.” The author claims that based partly on a reading of isolated words in the Hebrew prayer “Aleynu,” a generation of American Jews have come to equate their religion with a commandment to tackle all of society’s ills.
Calling this application of Tikkun Olam “the bastardization of an ancient civilization,” Neumann claims the movement “was conceived by Jews who had rejected the faith of their fathers, and midwifed by radicals who saw it as a pretext to appropriate Jewish texts and corrupt religious rituals — such as the seder — to further political ends.”
In a point he makes several times, Neumann argues that Tikkun Olam and “social justice” are political ideologies, as opposed to tenants of Judaism. Specifically, believes the author, liberal Jewish leaders have misapplied teachings of the Prophets as intended for a “universal audience,” as opposed to a set of guidelines for the Jewish people.
“What the Bible says and what the Jewish social justice movement thinks it says diverge,” wrote Neumann. “Abraham’s appeals for Sodom are not the purpose of Judaism. The story of Joseph is not a straightforward example of benevolent government. The Exodus from Egypt is not reducible to political revolution.”
Read the whole thing. Read the book. Add your voice to the debate. Isn't that what we do?