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US Jewry: Caught in the Middle

As the battlelines get drawn in America, it's looking like neither camp sees the Jews as one of ‘theirs’

I admit it.

I’m worried about American Jewry.

They say that the Pittsburgh shooting was the deadliest targeted attack against Jews in American history. I pray that record will never be broken. I really do. But I’m worried.


Because it’s no secret that there’s a deep and darkening conflict brewing in the United States right now. The battle lines are being drawn. And the Jews are caught right in the middle. Or, I should say, they’ve been pushed into the middle. Into an unprotected no-man’s-land, where whichever way they turn – they lose.

How that?

Because the battle’s shaping up between a large block of the right-wing white, Christian majority (let’s call them the ‘Majority Rule-ers’) and the left-wing non-white minorities, feminists, etc., together with the smaller, but influential segment of the majority that’s dedicated to protect them (we’ll call them the ‘Minority Protectors’).

The problem is that neither camp sees the Jews as one of ‘theirs’.

The white, Christian ‘Majority Rule-ers’, are just that. If you’re not them (and the Jews aren’t), you’re fair game, lumped together with all the other outsiders.

While conversely, the ‘Minority Protectors’, ironically lump the Jews together with the white, privileged ‘oppressors’ rather than with the oppressed minorities they are so dedicated to protect.

Thus, the Jew is seen as a minority in the eyes of minority detractors but not in the eyes of minority protectors.

Not a particularly comfortable place to be, should the conflict intensify.

I realize that I’m overgeneralizing and oversimplifying. I’m also not passing judgment on either of the two ‘camps’, although I easily could. Nor am I delving into the spiritual-historical archetypal roots that I perceive in both the conflict and the Jew’s current position. Nor am I offering here any advice.

All I’m doing is telling you I’m worried.

About the Jews.

About you.

About the Author
Nesanel Yoel Safran, US born and a graduate of Brandeis, now living with his wife and family in the Judean Hills, is a writer, chef, and a teacher/student of Jewish spirituality. He blends these assorted vocations on his blog, Soul Foodie, where you can join him on mystical cooking adventures and glean practical wisdom for the kitchen — and for living.
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