Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Viewpoint: Points to ponder-What is good for the Jews?

 

November 23, 2018



In light of the recent tragedy in Pittsburgh, I have reflected on my vision of the future of the American Jewish community. These are my “Points to Ponder” ideas to reflect upon for the future survival of the American Jewish community-long term and our local Jewish Community.

Points to Ponder

1. Why is there no voice for right of center Jewish voices in the greater Orlando area?

All programs seem to lean toward the “left” which is not an accurate accounting of our local Jewish community. Why has there not been a demographic study made of the greater Orlando Jewish community in several decades?

I have often asked why when there is a large rally for Jewish causes it is always hidden away from the general public, i.e., JCC gym or auditorium. Very few openly pro-Israel events are in the open such as at Lake Eola. There are far and few in between events at Cranes’s Roost in Altamonte Springs. What are we afraid of? It’s like we have the “Shtetle mentality.” If we are out of site, we are out of mind. Keep quiet, keep you heads down, don’t draw attention to yourself.

2. Is anti-Semitism good for the Jews in the long run?

In light of the tragedy in Pittsburgh, I re-visited my thoughts about anti-Semitism and is it good for the Jews. Basically yes it is good. It counters the rapid growth of anti-Israel actions taken by Jews, i.e., J-Street, ADL, and others. Anti-Semitism reminds us we are Jewish. We are not goyim. We are different in many ways from the general population due to language, history, customs, traditions, food, and music. By trying to stay under the radar, we basically give up or constitutional freedom of speech. We should be proud of what the Jewish community has done for our country, for the world as a whole. Stand up and be proud.

3. Is assimilation good for the Jews in the long run?

Absolutely not! Who is a Jew? “If your grandchildren are Jewish, then you too are Jewish.” Period! Intermarriage will be the end of the Jewish people outside of Israel in the long run with the exception of the Orthodox Jewish community. And, that is not 100 percent safe for future generations. We see that today with over 50 percent intermarriage rate taking place. It’s just a matter of time when the Jewish community will have become so diluted that it will be difficult to find a “Jewish partner,” Chanukah Bush? Give me a break!

4. Who is a Jew? (only if your grandchildren are Jewish)

With the high rate of assimilation, many of the traits that created a strong vibrant identifiable Jewish community will disappear in two generations maybe three. It’s like a run away freight train. It will take a lot to stop it unless there is a change in the mindset of the local Jewish community leadership. Currently, I don’t see that happening. It’s not on the JFGO’s radar as far as I know.

5. One state or two states?

Excellent heated topic for discussion. Since our asses are not on the line, it really doesn’t make much sense to discuss it. Go live in Israel if you want to have a say in the matter. You can have opinions, but not much more. Each of us can have an opinion, make suggestions, write letters to whomever or to whatever, but not much more. I have my opinions, but that’s as far as I’ll go with that.

6 Should we be allowed to “carry” in the synagogues?

This is a hot topic. Some synagogues allow members to carry if certified to carry a concealed weapon. Others have in their by-laws not to allow firearms on synagogue property. Currently most local if not all synagogues now hire outside security companies to supply protection. It’s sad, but is now a “fact of life.” How well that would work in a real life situation remains to be seen. Let’s hope none of our synagogues need to find out first hand. I hope it stays that way. But that doesn’t answer the question. Jews need to remember Nazi Germany. As I have said numerous time, “When they come to take you away, don’t call out to me for assistance. I’ll be busy trying to protect my family and myself.”

These are just a few “Points to Ponder.” You can make up your own list of topics to think about. It may open your eyes to reality before it’s too late. The clock is ticking... 10—9—8—

Laurence Morrell lives in Maitland, Florida.

 

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