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Jews in Space

We’re way out there now.

Liberal Jews like me, who chronicle the appalling ways of the ultra-orthodox, will have plenty to do.

I have predicted that significant numbers of u-o based in the US — and increasingly harassed by our democratic government — will move to Israel. And hey: Israel’s a paradise for them now. Endemic lawbreakers here, they will be among friends there:

Israeli Jewish voters elected a slate of right-wingers—and convicts at that, or at least people in deep legal jeopardy. Netanyahu is on trial for three different serious counts; Aryeh Deri, the leader of Shas, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Party supported by Jews from North Africa and Arab countries, resigned from the previous Knesset with a plea deal for tax evasion; and Ben-Gvir himself has been convicted of inciting racism and supporting a terrorist organization, Kahane Chai.


The ultra-Orthodox mutation is a transition from the exiled way of life of the minority that has lived its own life, maintained its way of life and doesn’t provoke foreign rulers, to the new way of life of the minority that lives at the expense of others, an economic parasite, a draft dodger, absolves itself of civilian responsibility and has no real respect for the democratic regime and its principles,” said [Asa] Kasher, who is a professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University and a recipient of the Israel Prize.

The nationalist mutation is a transition from the religious way of life where there is adherence to the principles of justice and fairness, honesty and compassion; [a life] that reveres God but with humane conduct, to an unruly, wicked way of life that [primarily] sanctifies the land and controls its inhabitants with violence, using methods that have no justice, no compassion, no morals and, has more than anything else, a idol-like worship of the land, the nation and its corrupt leadership.

I remain a person of Jewish origin. I will always be so. My origin and my identity are the healthy Judaism that preceded these morbid, malignant, rude and repulsive mutations…


[T]his is the beginning of the end of the age of liberal secular Zionism. We can send Herzl’s remains to Vienna and Ben Gurion’s to Plonsk.


[Yitzhak] Rabin’s assassination … killed the Israel that Mr. Rabin was imagined to represent. The Israel that many Americans — and especially American Jews — fondly remember for its irreverent secularism and vaguely social-democratic ethos no longer exists. It was always more myth than reality, but the facts that enabled the myth are gone: A conservative interpretation of Judaism increasingly dominates the public sphere. The last left-wing parties are headed to the grave. 

Margaret Soltan, November 4, 2022 11:51AM
Posted in: forms of religious experience

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