Rabbis & Communism

Marc B. Shapiro’s latest post is up on the Seforim blog:

…Yet in the entire history of the Jewish people I don’t know of any source that says that it is good to be poor…

…The notion that it is harder for a rich person to get into heaven than to put a camel through the eye of a needle has never been a Jewish teaching, and Jews have regarded wealth as a blessing. It is a challenging blessing, but a blessing nonetheless.

…Rabbi Yitzhak Blau: “My research failed to turn up a single Rabbi [!] of recognized stature who endorsed the communist program.”

R. Judah Leib Ashlag was another great rabbi who supported communism (see here ). It is very ironic that today Ashlag’s torch is carried by a few capitalist entrepreneurs, who have become very rich through the Kabbalah Centre.[29]

…Isaac Steinberg, while not a rabbi, is a figure that should be mentioned. He was a leader of the Social Revolutionary Party and served as commissar for law in the first Soviet government. There is a lengthy article and picture of Steinberg in the Encyclopedia Judaica. Here is another picture of him.


Steinberg was also an Orthodox Jew. His ability to combine revolutionary views and Torah might be due to the influence of his teacher, the brilliant Rabbi Shlomo Barukh Rabinkow, who was himself “a convinced socialist and revolutionary.”

Josephus who wrote: “Let not the testimony of women be admitted, on account of the levity and boldness of their sex” (Jewish War 4:8). He also quotes Socrates who is said to have made three blessings every day, one of which was that he was not made a woman. The other two blessings were that he was not made a barbarian or a slave – sound familiar?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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