Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism

By Douglas Rushkoff

Acclaimed author and philosopher Douglas Rushkoff, writer of Ecstasy Club and Coercion, has written maybe the main important—and controversial—book on Judaism in a iteration. because the faith stands near to turning into beside the point to the very those that glance to it for solutions, Nothing Sacred takes objective at its difficulties and provides startling and clearheaded recommendations in line with Judaism’s center values and teachings.

Disaffected through their synagogues’ emphasis on self-preservation and obsession with intermarriage, so much Jews trying to find an clever inquiry into the character of spirituality have grew to become in different places, or nowhere. in the meantime, confronted with the chaos of recent lifestyles, returnees run again to Judaism with a blind and determined religion and are speedy absorbed through outreach corporations that—in go back for money—offer compelling proof that God exists, that the Jews are, certainly, the Lord’s “chosen people,” and that those that adhere to this righteous course won't ever need to ask themselves one other tough query again.

Ironically, the texts and practices making up Judaism have been designed to prevent simply any such situation. Jewish culture stresses transparency, open-ended inquiry, assimilation of the overseas, and a dedication to unsleeping residing. Judaism invitations inquiry and alter. it truly is an “open resource” tradition—one born out of revolution, devoted to evolution, and prepared to suffer renaissance at a moment’s discover. yet, regrettably, a number of the very associations created to guard the faith and its everyone is now suffocating them.

If the Jewish culture is absolutely one in all participation within the larger tradition, a willingness to combat with sacred ideals, and a refusal to publish blindly to icons that simply don’t make feel to us, then the “lapsed” Jews could actually be our such a lot promising participants. Why won’t they have interaction with the synagogue, and the way can they be made to believe extra welcome?

Nothing Sacred is a daring and very good booklet, trying to do not anything lower than tear down our usually fake preconceptions approximately Judaism and construct of their position a faith made correct for the long run.

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All of the tribes used to be stated within the ultimate draft, from the worshipers of Aton (Adonai) to people who observed God in volcanoes, whose mythology used to be represented within the description of Mount Sinai. it's not a well-liked view between someone yet teachers, since it does not advertise the type of mass cognizance on which less complicated religions rely. Jewish promoters from the medieval Halevi to the more youthful Rabbi Kook locate strength within the thought that Jews are born different—racially predisposed to do God's paintings. yet the place is the energetic selection in that? via raising Judaism from a nation of ethnic grace to a consciously assumed dating to God, Freud was hoping to augment the autonomy implicit within the determination to stay by way of halakhah. He believed that the alternative to be Jewish was once a decision to differentiate oneself from the loads. To turn into unsleeping. As Freud argued, Judaism is an idea, no longer a race. The Jews have been hated simply because they concurrently devalued the reassuring icons of the loads and materialistic pursuits of the elites. Judaism subordinates the experience perceptions to an summary notion of God. it really is based in a renunciation of convinced baser instincts, all within the desire of turning into extra humane and not more animalistic. The Jews' lack of their nation to the Assyrians, the Babylonians, after which the Romans merely made them dangle extra steadfastly to their summary God and their e-book of legislations. in the meantime, the frequent Christian subjugation of Europe's previously pagan humans led in simple terms to extra hatred of the Jews, who have been continually pointed out because the unique resource of those Christian conquests. Freud observed Pauline Christianity as a manner of promoting Judaism to the hundreds and believed this new packaging additionally marked a definite form of regression. via placing a face on God and adopting Greek and Syrian cultic blood-drinking rites for the Eucharist, Paul's sect violated the essence of summary monotheism. Freud used to be inspired, partially, via his wish to quell the rampant anti-Semitism of the Nazi period. yet his competition that Judaism is characterised extra by means of selection than it really is via blood has lasting worth for us at the present time, as we struggle our personal fake racial identification. we discover no powerful facts of racial continuity in Torah; it truly is constantly outsiders who make the accusation of Jewish ethnicity. within the Torah, it isn't God however the oppressive Pharaoh who first calls the Israelites “a humans” (am Yisrael), simply because he fears they may breed uncontrollably (like swarming bugs) after which now not aid him in instances of battle. From the Amalekites to Haman, indignant outsiders are answerable for casting the federation of Yahweh-worshiping peoples as belonging to a unmarried and contemptible bloodline. The Jews' personal prayerful evocations of the mythic ideological forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, don't lose their strength whilst those heroes are increased from mere grandparents to the founders of the Jewish selection. modern Jews are likewise increased to develop into the willful bearers of a common fact. those that insist on keeping the literal concept of a shared genetic patriarchy should also do not forget that the matriarchs constantly come from different tribes.

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