Yeshiva.org.il - The Torah World Gateway
Beit Midrash Family and Society Israel and the Nations

Jewish Privilege

31
Click to dedicate this lesson
Anti-Semitism is an old and pernicious disease, for which much of mankind has never found an adequate antidote or cure. It reappears in every generation, and almost in every clime and country. However, like many other deadly viruses, it constantly mutates, assuming different ideologies, slogans, and activities in each different instance. But its goal is always the same – to demonize the Jewish people, and to discredit the people, its Torah, and its achievements. The anti-Semites never realize that in so doing, they are really harming themselves to a great extent. The calls for boycotting products from Israel would paralyze the technological computer world, as well as the everyday lives of billions of people on the face of this globe.

Anti-Semitism, like many other highly contagious diseases, is not easily contained. It eventually reaches far beyond the Jewish world, and its victims are not restricted to members of the Jewish people alone. One simply can see the consequences of World War II and Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, and the rest of Europe generally. The Jews, naturally, suffered greatly from these murderous anti-Semites. But in terms of sheer numbers and damage done to societies and long-standing empires, it was the non-Jewish world that really experienced the whirlwind that anti-Semitism first ignited and brought about. The current, modern world is very reluctant to learn anything from the past, even the immediate past. We are witness to a new spate and spike of anti-Semitism throughout the world, even in those countries that proclaim themselves to be tolerant and democratic.

The new anti-Semitism has developed from several mistaken economic and social theories and premises, advanced by the progressive left. It originates in the idea that somehow income inequality is evil per se, and must, somehow, be corrected to have a more fair and just society. History shows us that income inequality began with Cain and Abel and has always existed, no matter what form of government or economic theory was in vogue.

George Orwell in his famous book Animal Farm pointed out that all pigs were equal, but that there were some pigs that were to be more than equal. The drive to income equality and its correction always creates a ruling class that itself becomes the paragon of income inequality and ruthless power. The idea of taking from the rich by taxes or confiscation, to distribute wealth amongst the poor, has a romantic and appealing note to it. But it never has worked out that way in the annals of human history. Just ask the people of Venezuela how they are doing now that they have theoretically equalized everyone's income. The search for the cause of income inequality leads people to believe and foster a reverse, but just as evil racism that is called white privilege. If certain people do not seem to be successful in life, it must be because they are victims – someone else has done this to them, and they are not responsible for their own condition or status. The theory is that all people who are of the Caucasian race are, by definition, inescapable racists, who benefit solely because they are white. Therefore, white privilege must be destroyed, so that everyone can be equally unsuccessful in life.

But now, this dangerous theory has morphed into a more specific enemy – the Jews. Jews appear, on the surface at least, to be more successful and affluent than other competing ethnic groups in Western society and the only reason that this occurs must be because there is Jewish privilege. There are too many Jews in elite universities, corporate board rooms, sports leagues, financial institutions, medicine, and high positions in the economic structure of the country, etc. By succeeding in these areas, Jews have automatically made other victims – those who do not gain admittance to these institutions.

Once again, in the name of fairness and justice, the anti-Semites wish to destroy Jewish privilege as a means of persecuting and destroying the Jewish people itself. By raising the bugaboo of Jewish privilege, they also intend to shame Jews themselves into feeling guilt over any form of their achievements or success. The world is viewed as being a zero-sum game, but rather, that any group or individual that is successful must have achieved that success at the expense of others.

This is one of the most dangerous and subversive lies being peddled today by the progressive left and its allies in the media and academia. There is no such thing as Jewish privilege. There is only Jewish difference, and that has been the main contribution of the Jewish people to society over the ages – the right and benefit of being different.

Shabbat Shalom
Berel Wein
Rabbi Dov Berl Wein
The rabbi of the "HANASI" congregation in Yerushalim, head of the Destiny foundation, former head of the OU, Rosh Yeshiva of 'sharai Tora" and rabbi of the "Beit Tora" congregation, Monsey, New York.
More on the topic of Israel and the Nations

It is not possible to send messages to the Rabbis through replies system.Click here to send your question to rabbi.

את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il