Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Breaking Bread The Odd Couple Way

The road to Hell, the old adage goes, is paved with good intentions.

And so it was that, some years ago, a Reform ("Progressive") rabbi here in Australia held a model seder to which members of the Muslim community were invited.

The trouble was that, in order not to offend his Muslim guests, the rabbi omitted a crucial bit of the Haggadah: the bit that goes "Next year in Jerusalem!"


And so it was, too, more recently, that Australia's largest Reform  ("Progressive") congregation held an ecumenical concert which, as described here, included some very dodgy guests indeed.

Yes, that "little knowledge" which is "a dangerous thing" can be a trap for the naive and the unwary.

Reform Jews decry the lack of female equality in Halakhah and in Orthodox (never mind ultra-Orthodox) congregations and Batei Din (rabbinical courts).

Reform Jews support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, perform same-sex marriages, and deride anybody who takes what might be termed a "traditional Torah-true" view of sexual relations between two men as homophobic.

So there's something I don't get about this.

I mean, it's all nice and cosy and commendable and all, but what I don't get is why Reform shuls, which profess to champion women's rights and have female rabbis (like Lord Janner's daughter herself) are swift to "break bread" with adherents of a religion which is manifestly not an equal opportunity employer when it comes to gender issues and which emphatically does not condone homosexuality.

And how (I fear the answer) do they approach the issue of Israel and Zionism?

Meanwhile, here in Oz, consternation in some quarters over this article by a Muslim captain in the Royal Australian Navy.

Perhaps it's not too hard to guess what this Australian scholar of Islam would make of it all.

 (Be sure to read this interview with the British-born American-based Muslim physician Dr Qanta Ahmed regarding Israel; it's a cracker!)

No comments:

Post a Comment