I’ve been arguing with Orthodox Jewish friends who want an Orthodox Judaism that does not have contempt for non-Jews.
It’s not possible, I tell them. Sure, you can have individual Orthodox Jews who are strong in their Jewish identity and non-contemptuous to non-Jews, but as a group, Orthodox Jews are always going to feel varying degrees of contempt for non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews. It’s inherent in group identity. If you believe that you are living God’s will, that your group is the best, by definition all other groups are not the best and not living out God’s plan.
To have a strong group identity and to not feel contempt for outsiders requires a high IQ. It’s a unique combination of traits akin to juggling balls and discussing philosophy at the same time. Not many people can do it.
I grew up a Seventh-Day Adventist with a strong Adventist identity. Accompanying my strong group identity was the feeling and belief that outsiders were lost. Sure, some of them might still inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, but they weren’t among God’s elect, God’s Chosen. That was reserved for Seventh-Day Adventists.
There’s never been a strong group identity that did not carry with it general group contempt for outsiders. When Germans were strong in being German, they had varying degrees of fear, loathing and contempt for outsiders such as Jews and slavs and the French, etc. When the French felt strongly about being French, they had, as a group, a tendency towards contempt for the non-French. When the Commanches were strong in being Commanche, they had, as a group, contempt for outsiders.
When Jews say things like the following, it’s never a compliment for non-Jews:
* He’s thinking like a goy.
* That’s goyisha kup (Gentile thinking).
* What a goy!
The stronger a Jew feels about being Jewish, the more a Christian feels in Christ, the more a Muslim feels Islamic, the more contempt he is likely to feel for outsiders.
I have an Orthodox Jewish friend who decided to start wearing colored shirts on Sabbath. Normally, Orthodox Jewish men wear white shirts on the Sabbath. My friend was sick of the contempt he’s seen displayed towards non-Jews by Orthodox Jews and so he wants to make a statement that he is not like those contemptuous white-shirted Orthodox Jews. By dropping the uniform to express his universal tolerance, he’s reducing his group identity and has taken a step towards assimilation.
Uniforms are a kin component of group solidarity. Imagine how much weaker the KKK would be if they stopped wearing their uniforms. Imagine how much weaker the SS would have been if they dropped their uniforms. Imagine how much weaker Islamic identity would be without distinctive Islamic garb.
Liberal Jews omit the following lines from the Aleinu prayer: “For they worship vanity and emptiness, and pray to a god who cannot save.” Traditional Jews say the lines just as they were written hundreds of years ago. These lines express contempt for the prayers of non-Jews. Now, if I were doing Jewish apologetics, I’d say that these lines were composed with pagans in mind, not the righteous non-Jews of today, but between you and me, we know that this still expresses Jewish contempt for non-Jewish religions, just as non-Jewish religions express contempt in varying ways for religions different from their own.
Christians, Muslims and Jews have always, on average, had some negative feelings about each other.
Bigotry, racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism are not useful concepts. You will think more clearly when you replace such nonsense with the idea that different groups have different interests. Germans who loved being German prior to WWII saw that they had to get rid of the Jews if they wanted an Aryan state. Arabs and Muslims around Israel see that they have to get rid of the Jewish state for as long as Jews are around them and living free, they will excel them and that’s humiliating. As long as Jews were free in Germany in large numbers, they were going to affect society in ways that Aryan Germans would not like.
Organized Jewish life in the United States (including the Orthodox Union and Agudas Yisrael) has pushed for immigration amnesty because they see it (unconsciously in many cases) as in the Jews’ interest for the white Christian goyim to lose control of the United States. Organized Jewish life pushed for the removal of prayer in public schools in America because a weakened goyisha religious identity was thought to be in the Jewish interest. Jews have been at the forefront (through the Frankfurt school etc) of claiming that there is no meaning to race. This weakens the goy’s racial identity. Many Jews have been at the forefront of denouncing nationalism because that weakens the goy’s national identity and thus makes life easier for minorities.
All of these agendas pushed by the Jewish community (not by every individual Jew) have been contrary to the interests of white Christian Americans. White Christian Americans and black Americans and Mexican-Americans and Jewish-Americans have competing interests and this inevitably leads to conflict.
Over the past 600 years, Ashkenazi Jews in Europe have, on average, lived better than their non-Jewish neighbors (most have been in white collar jobs) because they had higher IQs and sometimes superior group solidarity.