Yesterday a Jewish group protested at an ICE center in Providence, RI. They were objecting to the enforcement of border security by ICE agents, comparing their ensuring the safety of the border with the racist policies of Nazi Germany. With the slogan “Never again!”they blocked access to the facility. The situation deteriorated when a truck driver attempted to cross the barrier line, created by their sitting down illegally in front of a large entrance to limit access.
Unfortunately, the driver unwittingly created a photo opportunity for the group by crossing the line with his vehicle, which apparently resulted in minor injuries to several recalcitrant protesters. Although technically in the right, the driver reinforced the narrative that ICE employees are inhumane and “cruel.”
I know little about the Jewish group that engaged in this protest. But I do know that they are wrong-minded on many levels. The protest infringed on the workings of government. But the greater problem is their misguided adoption of “Jewish” values to support their actions.
Unfortunately, this group apparently knows next to nothing about Judaism. If they did, they would never behave in this manner. Like so many institutions in the United States today, religious denominations of all traditions have been misinterpreted and distorted by liberal Progressivism. Untutored in the details of Judaism, they equate it with Progressive notions of “social justice.” Social justice does have roots in the Prophetic traditions of the Hebrew bible, but Judaism is far more complex than reform Progressive Jews know. For example, do they know that Rabbinic law does not condone infringing on the property of others? Do they know that it is expressly stated that the government should be supported in its efforts at preserving law and order? Are they aware that Judaism calls for the impartial application of the law to the rich and the poor, and that illegal aliens who break the law are guilty under the law? Likely not.
Unfortunately, the reform movements of American Judaism are ignorant of the compendium of Jewish law, and deny the critical ritual observances that are at the core of traditional Judaism. They are globally ignorant of the two thousand years of opinions that represent its traditions. What they may not know, is that they do not represent Judaism; rather, they represent a Progressive movement that increasingly expresses its disdain for all things religious, and that rejects the core values of Judaism and the Jewish state.
Some learned Jews tend to forgive these misguided individuals as “infants kidnapped by pagans”, which is to say, those raised in an environment that has not allowed them to learn the rules and traditions of their religion. But this lenient position fails to address the danger that these reformed Jews pose to the reputation of all Jews in this country. It is not lost on non-Jewish Americans that many of the scandals that litter the front pages of the news, the Epsteins, the Weinsteins, etc. are related to Jews. In addition, the political left is replete with Jews who show little respect for their traditions. These may be Jews ethnically but they are not “my people.” So my advice: Find another slogan to spread your Progressive propaganda, and please do not co-opt the Judaism of those who take it seriously. Don’t suggest that you represent real Jews, never again!