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Jews, Judaism and World Improvement


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Tammuz 20, 5777
How is Judaism supposed to improve the World? Example: you are well aware of the fact that Secular Jews have went out of their way to destroy fundamental ideals in the Torah, particularly as it pertains to marriage and motherhood through their wide support of (False) Feminism. Also, they have widely supported Same Sex Marriage. And they have supported Transgenderism! Many Jews have what seem to be immoral ideologies regarding how to run the economy. a. So how is Judaism improving the World?? Because the Secular Jews have made a very serious mess of it! b. So I don’t understand what the end goal of Judaism is. If Judaism has the belief that it has a true understanding of God and the Torah, Jews would be out proselytizing. c. There are indeed Universal Principles mentioned throughout the Tanakh. But I never see those ethical or universal principles applied to others.
a. I'm very sorry to hear of your negative experiences with Jews, and eve sorrier to hear that there are almost no fellow practicing Jews where you live. May I suggest three points which experience has taught which may help you understand and be patient: 1. Judaism is perfect, Jews aren’t (and neither is anybody for that matter!). In the words of satirist Sam Levinson, “Jews are just like everybody, just more so!” We are likened to the stars in heaven (Breishit 26, 4) but also like the dirt (ibid, 13, 16). When Jews leave the Torah they can easily become super-liberal, or fanatic feminists, super-nationalist or extreme communists or whatever, because they have a tendency to be idealistic, but without Torah, it can be terribly misguided. 2. In order to help put things in perspective, I would strongly suggest reading some Holocaust literature and you will realize that a disproportionate amount of American Jews today are either Holocaust survivors or were raised by survivors and/or their children. Many of these Jews went through hell and/or were raised in a semi-neurotic atmosphere. It’s unfortunately true statistically that Ashkenazic Jews in the past three generations tend to be more neurotic and demanding, and less patient, and some of this behavior is clearly not their fault, but a result of their surroundings and background. 3. It’s pretty clear that your unfortunate experiences were either through reading about Jews in the media, or with either a Conservative or probably even Reform Temple, which are pretty assimilated and relatively far from original Judaism. They are much closer to acting American than acting Jewish, and their knowledge and practice of Judaism is regretfully minimal (yes, even their “rabbis”). If you are interested in “tasting” the original, may I suggest coming to Israel and contacting an orthodox seminary where Judaism is lived as a total experience. Here you will not only learn from “full-time” un-assimilated Jews, but can be an active part of the full and positive experience. It’s always a good idea to find the “original”, and surely not to settle for “watered-down” versions. Regarding your other questions: b. Jewish-minded Jews are out to improve the world, but we are not at all in favor of proselytizing and convincing others. As opposed to Christians and Muslims, we don’t like when others tried and try converting us, and we show the same courtesy towards them. Rather we’re supposed to teach by example (of our observing the 613 mitzvot), that it’s beneficial for all mankind if they were to observe the 7 mitzvot of the Noachides. c. The Tanach is written mainly for Jews (remember, that until the relatively recent Renaissance, most gentiles were illiterate!), and is clearly addressing the Jewish Nation living in the Jewish State in the Jewish Land. Again, your’e invited to Israel to have a taste of the “real” Judaism, which is at least approaching what is meant to be.
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