A lot of folks are shocked by the badass, bloodthirsty attitude of the Israeli Jew, a brand new creature creaed after 1948 called the “Sabra.”
But there is a simple explanation for their ilk. First, they are the children of the Holocaust who have vowed never to go to their graves under the gun silently again. The Sabra is a tough guy, a street fighter with chains and knives, an Italian tough from the Bronx who keeps kosher. He is the Jew who stands up and fights.
But there is another element to the formation of the Sabra that needs explication.
The Sabra is also a product of the utter divorce from Western Judeo-Christianity that occurred with political Zionism and its religious component. In a lot of ways, Israel is a “back to the basics” revivalist or fundamentalist Jewish culture, religiously or otherwise. It is akin to born-again Christians or Salafist Muslims, once again, religiously or otherwise. So even the most secular Jew in Israel is still “Orthodox” at the core of his soul.
Let me explain.
I’m afraid that this is a big difference between Christianity and Judaism. Christianity is of course built on a base on Judaism. Jesus himself was a Jew. He lived and died a Jew, and his last meal was Kosher. Really Christianity is a super-radical sect of Reform Judaism.
Jesus freed us from the Law as he said it was no longer valid, and in its place he created something new, absent from Judaism, Mercy, which is actually the centerpiece of Christianity. That many Christians so lack this quality is not important. It only means that they are bad Christians, who are a dime a dozen (see below).
In addition, after Christianity, the Jews don’t get Israel anymore because Judaism has been replaced by Christianity, a concept known as Replacement Theology, which I subscribe to. Instead of Israel going to the Jews, it is now said that “the Church is the New Israel.” No one gets Israel. It’s up for grabs like anywhere else.
Now, it’s probably pretty easy to be a good Jew or maybe even a Muslim, as both religions let you do a lot of bad things. But is very hard to be a Christian, or I should say a good Christian. Christianity demands too much of us, so we end up being lousy Christians. A lot of people rebel against Christianity we want to be bad or at least a little bit bad. After all, being bad or a bit bad is fun. Being good all the time is a drag.
My point is that this element – Mercy (with a capital M) – is missing from Judaism and probably even Islam – though Islam has aspects of it. I’m not aware Judaism has any! Sure, you can bake any nice cake you want out of Reform Judaism, but most Jews won’t ascribe to such a religious ethics.
“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is the saying of the genocidal God of the Jews in the Old Testament raining fire and brimstone on those who have displeased his capricious and irritable Being. However, to be fair, I should point out that he massacred the Jews a lot too for disobedience.
Anyway, it’s OT thinking and hopefully it’s alien to many of us Christians, cultural or otherwise. And it shows that this notion of Judeo-Christianity – that the Jews thought up, I think – was always built on a rather shaky foundation. Nevertheless, I feel that the Jews of the West are a lot more Christianized than most want to admit, and though they will never believe it, this is actually a good thing because these are Jews with some quality of Mercy embedded in them, willfully or not.
The Orthodox and the ones in Israel are not even semi-Christianized, or if they were, the movement to aliya was always a reversion, a way of shedding off that annoying and alien sack of cloth.
So they’ve reverted to raw, pure Judaism. They’ve done this in part because it’s fun, in part because so many hate Gentiles – especially Christians, and in part to get back to their true, pure roots without the “religion of the goyim” syncretions they collected in the Diaspora. This is the Judaism of the ghetto pre-Liberation in 1812, which real Jews probably always resented, hence the Orthodox reversion in the 1890’s. Resented in fact so much that they are even rebuilding their beloved ghettos of yore. In fact, Israel is the world’s biggest Jewish ghetto! They’ve even built a wall around it just like the ghettos of old!
And they like that just fine.
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