What Does It Mean To Be A Jew?

February 21, 2017


What Does It Mean To Be A Jew?

I don’t know where this particular blog is going just yet.  Regardless I want to be clear up front that it is not anti-semetic, anti-muslim, anti-palestinian or anti anything but hate.  It’s hard to wrap my mind around what’s going on today with all the threats and the rise of hate crimes against Jewish Community Centers in the United States. We’ve never seen anything like it and I have to ask myself if a new atmosphere has been created by Trump that seems to give haters the freedom to act out their hate, haters like The Klan and Neo-Nazi groups, or if it’s a reaction against Trump by Palestinean stakeholders and Arab supporters spilling over in the United States in their fight with Israel over Palestine.

I heard it said yesterday that the term “Muslim” is somehow unique because it has an inseparable religious and political meaning based in Sharia law—religious laws and secular laws that are tied as one system of governing beliefs.

For those unfamiliar with Sharia law, here is a list of some of the core principles.

According to Sharia law:

• Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand.

• Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.

• Criticizing Muhammad or denying that he is a prophet is punishable by death.

• Criticizing or denying Allah is punishable by death.

• A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.

• A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.

• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.

• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage once she is 9 years old.

• Girls’ clitoris should be cut (Muhammad‘s words, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).

• A woman can have 1 husband, a man up to 4 wives. Muhammad can have more.

• A man can beat his wife for insubordination.

• A man can divorce his wife; a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.

• A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 the age of six.exceed it.

• Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.

• A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).

• A woman’s testimony in court in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s.

• A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.

• A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).

• A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.

• Edible meat must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah

• Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.

If to be Muslim means to adhere to Sharia law, then Westerners must surely  live in the fear that Trump’s policies play on.  However, if to be Muslim can mean that one believes in a morality outside Sharia law, then to be Muslim can be a different state of mind for each type. How can anyone know another’s true beliefs?  How can American law be designed to vet a mind that holds secretive beliefs?  That is the policy dilemma we face as “Trump Nation.”

However, unlike the word “Muslim” we have become comfortable with the word “Jew” in spite of the fact that it has a seemingly inseparable meaning that fuses both religious and political beliefs… but that word can mean ever so much more.  It can refer to a religion, yes, but also to just simple heredity, or it can mean a citizen of the country of Israel.  It is possible to be born from Jewish descent or to be a citizen of Israel without being of the Jewish faith. So just who are these hated Jews anyway?  Who is being hated?  All of them?  Why?

It must have its roots in the stubborn Jewish belief that they are “the chosen people” by God.  In the simplest terms this is an arrogant and divisive belief,  contrary to the core constitutional principle of our country that “all men are created equal.”  (Do haters see this and no one else?  Is that the problem?) As a result, Jews believe they have a right to the territory defined as Israel because of Biblical references to their ancestral lands?  If that is the case, then surely Palestinians must have the same right to claim Palestine as theirs.  (Following that logic, should we return the land we call the United States to the Native Americans, all here before us, who rightly believed that you do not own the land, but the land owns you?)  And then to that morass of twisted gobbledy-gook we must consider the fate of Jerusalem, another layer of confusion, because it is the historical epicenter of Jewish, Muslim and Christian beliefs.  Alas, it would take a Solomon to split this baby, surely not a world leader founded on the principle of the separation of Church and state.  Yet here we stand in the middle of an ugly dogfight drenched in religion.

So I think we have to consider whether hate crimes against Jewish Community Centers are an expression against a religion or against a political system.

Consider this: This recent wave of crimes arose right after Trump met with Benjamin Netanyahu and endorsed his one state solution to the Israeli/Palestinean conflict in the most ambiguous way.  Suddenly, long-standing US policy for a two state solution to the conflict was cast on the rocks.  Might we suspect logically that it is a reaction to that change of heart?  Maybe, just maybe.  The best we can hope for is that is political and not religious.


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