Only Jews Who Don’t Know Who They Are Want To Build Bridges To The Black Community

If you are leading an observant Jewish life, you don’t have time to build bridges to other communities. How can you eat with them? You can only do it in a kosher restaurant. You can’t eat on their turf. Jewish law makes it very difficult to maintain close relationships with non-observant Jews let alone non-Jews.

Judaism is an elite religion. If you’re practicing it, you don’t have time for all this touchy-feeling interfaith stuff (with a few exceptions for an elite).

Jews have survived as a distinct culture for 2500 years by defining themselves against the majority culture (while selectively borrowing the best of Gentile life).

You don’t hear Christians talking about how Christian they are like you hear Jews obsessing over how Jewish they and other Jews are.

Traditional Orthodox Jews don’t wear ties. Goyim do. Orthodox wives cover their hair. They have their own traditions. They don’t live in this fantasy world where blacks and Jews have so much in common. Those Jews who practice the most of the Jewish tradition have the fewest illusions about their commonalities with blacks or other goyim.

Almost all the Jews active in getting civil rights for blacks are assimilated Jews.

In my view, the only interaction Torah Jews need to have with the goyim is to make money off them.

Brad A. Greenberg writes:

"We need to build bridges not just with the African American community," said Stanley P. Gold, chairman of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, "but with all other ethnic and religious communities so we can avoid these kinds of flare-ups in the future."

The black-Jewish coalition was once a staple of Los Angeles politics, the formula that helped make Tom Bradley the city’s first black mayor, but it dissipated over the years and now lies largely dormant. Nevertheless, Los Angeles synagogues and churches, albeit in small numbers, have continued working together.

"The relationship between the black community and the Jewish community is not only historic, but it is a necessity because both have, metaphorically, been to Egypt," said the Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray, who led First AME Church for 27 years before retiring in 2004. "There have been tensions, yes," said Murray, who now teaches at USC. "Subgroups in the community create tensions. But over several centuries, Jews and blacks have bonded through the struggle for human dignity."

About Luke Ford

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