While 88% of the residents living in Israel said they are satisfied with their lives, on the other side of the world there is an increasing percentage of worried Jews. In the past two weeks, two new studies have been published on American Jews. One referred to numbers and the other to attitudes, but both demonstrate that American Jewry continues to change at lightning speed.
47% percent of American Jews believe it’s “very important” to be Jews and to identify with Israel, while the other half of the Jews, who define themselves as “just Jews”, who are not affiliated with any stream, are becoming increasingly disengaged. They are the most prominent group in the study: Jews who demonstrate a lesser degree of commitment to Judaism and the Jewish people, and gradually assimilate into the Land of the Statue of Liberty.
The second interesting figure is the same 41% of American Jews who believe that anti-Semitism today is “a very serious problem.” In the past year, Jews have felt so exposed and worried about anti-Semitism in the United States – a dramatic leap compared with 14% of Jews who viewed anti-Semitism as a problem in previous years.
For the sake of comparison and food for thought: during the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany, the rate of mixed marriages between Jews and Gentiles was 65%, and today that number in the U.S. has reached 60%. Even then, in times of European prosperity, the Jews preferred to dance complacently to the sounds of a waltz in Berlin, while the great danger loomed over their heads. Granted, the Jews in America are not listed in any government or municipal database, and they do not have a different appearance than that of other Americans. But the Germans, too, did not reckon with the Jews who did or did not identify with their Jewishness. The strong cry of our brethren in Europe resounds to this day, and serves as a warning bell.
American Jews Oblivious To Approaching Danger
Therefore, it is important for me to clarify and remind us all that a negative attitude on the part of a member of the Jewish nation towards the Jewish nation and the Jewish people has never benefitted anyone. Just the opposite is true. Such an attitude only brought destruction and annihilation for generations. Whether it was during the two Holy Temples when the Jews invited the kings of Rome and Greece to rule, or during the Spanish Inquisition headed by Jews who converted, and there are many more examples.
Baal HaSulam wrote that “Israel cannot exist in exile, and will find no rest as the rest of the nations that mingled among the nations and found rest, and assimilated in them, until no trace was left of them… and since Israel adopted the manners of their neighbors so they could enjoy life as much as selfishness demanded of them (Egoism), the powers of the nation disintegrated: some followed the kings and the selfish officers, and some followed the prophets. And that separation continued until the ruin.” (“Exile and Redemption”)
For me the trend is clear. The words of the Kabbalists may sound far-fetched. But a new law could be legislated in our time fairly easily that restricts America’s Jews, forcing them to return to the state coffers the trillions of dollars they have earned.
Times are changing faster than we can process. For example, right after the far-right party “Alternative to Germany” (AfD) became the third largest in the Bundestag, Israeli-German relations and Jewish life returned to headlines in Berlin. Suddenly, it was necessary to “re-examine the responsibility of the Germans for the existence of Israel,” as the extremist party leader said. What will be the next step?
Baal HaSulam, who was deeply familiar with the law of anti-Semitism in nature and the operating system of reality, warned about the approaching Holocaust. “I have already conveyed the rudiments of my views in 1933. I have also spoken to the leaders of the generation, but at the time, my words were not accepted, though I was screaming like a crane, warning about the destruction of the world. Alas, it made no impression. Now, however, after the atom and hydrogen bombs, I think the world will believe me that the end of the world is coming rapidly, and Israel will be the first nation to burn, as in the previous war. Thus, today it is good to awaken the world to accept the only remedy, and they will live and persist.” (Baal HaSulam, “The Solution”)
The waves of modern anti-Semitism that today haunt the Jews in the United States and their natural tendency to escape their Jewish identity should serve as a reminder of our role in the natural system: to unite “as one man” and to be a “light unto the nations” – meaning to project the values of mutual responsibility and connection, the foundation that binds the Jewish people together.
American Jews are not obliged to run to Israel, but ideally would enable the spirit of unity to spread, and would serve as a good example of a corrected society. This alone will lead to a positive change, and new data in the next American study.