19 April 2014

Rabbi Lau vs Nazis on who is a Jew

That thorny question about who is a Jew is again raising its ugly head. This time the initiator of the squabble is:

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau
From his recent interview:
Lau says he wants to work with Jewish Agency aliyah emissaries to “get to every corner of the world, to cemeteries, community records, asking non-Jewish neighbors, and you can help people” who wish to convert. However, he says the Law of Return is “problematic,” adding that former religious affairs minister Yossi Beilin “called for its cancellation,” and that “the state of Israel has to decide if it wants to be a welfare state for the Third World, bringing in everyone who has a connection with Judaism, or perhaps only those who are Jews.” As an example, he offered the case of “a grandfather who isn’t even buried here, he’s buried in Russbach, Germany, but because of one grandfather, 78 [relatives] of his wife, grandchildren, everyone gets absorption benefits and all the rights.”
I don't want to get into an argument with a man who can outargue my legs from under me. Just a reminder:
On November 14, 1935, the Nazis issued the following definition of a Jew: Anyone with three Jewish grandparents; someone with two Jewish grandparents who belonged to the Jewish community on September 15, 1935, or joined thereafter; was married to a Jew or Jewess on September 15, 1935, or married one thereafter; was the offspring of a marriage or extramarital liaison with a Jew on or after September 15, 1935.
I know that this opinion of mine isn't going to be popular in some circles, but, unfortunately, I have to say that in this case the Nazi version works for me better.

And, to bring the point to the extreme: if a man (woman) is crazy (or inspired) enough to wish to join the tribe, knowing all the pitfalls involved: let it be so.


Lynne T said...

By "third world" it seems he is referring specifically to the Ethiopian Christians claiming Jewish heritage and the Assamese that Shavei Israel has brought into Israel from the area bordering Burma and India under a "lost tribe" claim, unless you think immigrants from the former SSR with one or two great grandparents.

I'd be more concerned about the ultra Orthodox who refuse military service because they think that their prayers are sufficient payback to the country that provides fairly well for them.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I don't know who the hon. rabbi is referring to specifically, just disagreeing with him in a quiet way of mine...

And yes, I am concerned with this category you mention too. Oh well, lots of things to be concerned about here.

Dick Stanley said...

It is interesting how, in some circles, there's almost as much internal opposition as there is external. But so it goes. You takes your choice and takes your chance.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That is so even for one single Israeli, who copes with his own internal opposition. So imagine 7 millions or so...