Judaism or Marxism?
The Reconstructionist Movement takes a Marxist turn
About a century ago, a movement to reconstruct Judaism was launched. Although not originally intended as a schism, it became one. It is commonly known as the Reconstructionist branch of Judaism, but in recent years it has styled itself as Reconstructing Judaism. My understanding is that there are roughly 100 Reconstructionist congregations in the U.S., with about 60,000 total members.
The movement is in the process of being taken over by leftist radicals. A committee called the Tikkun Olam Commission has recommended to the Board of Governors a Resolution on Reparations. It reads, in part,
Whereas the United States was built on stolen Native land using in large measure the forced labor of enslaved African people, these two genocidal atrocities being foundational and based on a belief in white supremacy that has pervaded this nation from its inception; and in so doing, and through hundreds of years of continuous policy decisions that have perpetuated systems of white supremacy to this day, the United States has consistently denied the most basic rights and opportunities to Native and Black populations, as well as other groups deemed non-white, causing myriad and incalculable harms.
Resolved, that we are committed to supporting and advocating for institutional, local, and federal legislation and policies that specifically address the need for reparations, including but not limited to H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, first introduced by the late U.S. Representative John Conyers in 1989; 16. Resolved, that we encourage all Reconstructionist movement congregations and affiliated groups to engage in ongoing learning about systems of oppression and structural racism, and about how these systems have caused, and continue to cause, harm in our communities;
Resolved, that informed by and working in solidarity with impacted communities, we call for all Reconstructionist movement congregations and affiliated groups to engage in deep reflection on the ways in which we have participated in or benefitted from racial injustices in our communities and to answer the call of Torah to pursue justice and practice teshuvah by taking concrete steps to repair the harm;
Reconstructionism has always been attractive to Jews on the left. And there have always been some Jews who only can relate to one tenet of Judaism: the injunction to “repair the world,” which in Hebrew is Tikkun Olam. I use the term Tikkun Olam Jews to describe those for whom “repair the world” is the essential source of their Jewish identity. But until recently, even within Reconstructionism, Judaism has been conceived not as mere left-wing activism, but as a rich culture that respects both tradition and modern secular life.
The Reparations Resolution offers a view of American history that clearly reflects Critical Race Theory. It reflects moral dyad thinking, in which there are no complete human beings. Instead, there are only two types of people: there are descendants of slaves and Native Americans, who have the ability to feel suffering but have no agency. They are powerless within their environment; then there are the rest of us, who enjoy mastery over our environment and never feel suffering.
And the resolution also reflects the critical theory of colonialism. Adherents of that view see Israel as a country colonized by white people with agency and no feelings, oppressing an Arab population with feelings but no agency. In fact, many American Jews are receptive to the idea that Israel needs to be “decolonized,” without considering what that might mean for millions of Jews living there.
My wife and I have been members of a Reconstructionist Synagogue for nearly 40 years. Until recently, we have not let our political differences with the majority of our fellow congregants outweigh the friendships, ritual observances, and sense of community that the synagogue provided. But for me, the Reparations Resolution is more reconstruction that I can stand. To the extent that it is adopted, Reconstructing Judaism will be reconstructed as Marxism.
What is so frightening about the radical left today is their presumption that they have the right to take over anywhere they choose—on a social network, in government, in a corporation, on campus, in K-12 education, or in a religious community. The rest of us are supposed to just accept the Marxist takeover. But we should recognize what is happening and resist however we can.
This stuff really is the universal solvent. If it can do this to Judaism, it can do it to...anything.
Such ignorant folk who yet arrogantly claim moral superiority are so upsetting. See
which talks about the barbarity of many successful Native American (bloodthirsty Indian) tribes. It's likely that in America since 1619, more Indian women and children were killed by other Indians than by white soldiers or settlers - with even more dying of European diseases like smallpox, which is not really anybody's fault.
See also https://donsurber.substack.com/p/i-thank-the-lord-for-the-pilgrims for more on the history of the Pilgrims, including the huge death rate of those on the Mayflower.
Logically, what is not owned, cannot be "stolen". According to Indian customs, the better hunting grounds are controlled by the victorious tribe - with tribes constantly fighting each other to determine who controls, temporarily, what land. Thanks to superior guns & technology, the white tribe(s) usually won fights and, over time, took control of the most of the land, including changing the laws to allow private ownership.
Under US law, "warriors" are not allowed to pillage other villages, raping and killing and taking prisoners as slaves, or for human sacrifice. Wherever this behavior was part of a culture, that culture has been changed, and made illegal, enforced by gun-wielding gov't agents. Such a warrior-killing culture is incompatible with civilization.
Glorifying tribalist brutality to other tribes should be morally disgusting to any informed, thoughtful, civil people who want to live with toleration of other non-violent customs.