Being jewish in the buckle of the bible belt
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Being Jewish In The Buckle of The Bible Belt
As many Jews today, I identify as being Jewish technically but do not go by a strictly practicing religious protocol. So the complexity started with a simple question “Who is a Jew?” Then I narrowed it down to more direct questions like How many Jews are there? Where do they live? One thing I learned, however, discriminated, I am not unique by any isolating principle. 2% of Americans say they are Jewish and 5 % as both religious and Jewish. Secularism has gained a long-term establishment in Jewish-American culture, where the issue of being Jewish is not God related, but rather based on historical and cultural roots. Although Judaism and Christianity have the same roots in Middle East, they vary considerably in their perceptions of each other. Jews tend to be clannish, and they label the Christians to be anti-semitic. Christians, on the other hand, taking Jesus Christ as the savior, think that they are the only ones capable of salvation.
The situation perhaps takes a different shape and turn when seen in a more particular social setting or space, the most prominent being an academic network. Jews, from Israel, had a long history of scholarship, and this continues today, in modern society, like USA, in the form of academics, Nobel prizes and so forth. Jews lead the world in science, literature, and arts. Jews in Europe being ostracized by mainstream Christianity, devoted their time to scholarship, and a large number of Talmudic scholars came up, especially from Eastern Europe. This manifested into Yiddish immigrant children in America. Men of medicine became the most coveted. Now Jewish college professors and researchers make up 10% of American faculty. During past ten years, there have also been Jewish presidents of universities. But this expansion came only after the Second World War, when the government took the responsibility for the education of all sections, abolishing the quota system, prior to which Jews were suppressed a lot in USA. This also helped in learning the Jewish heritage, of which I am apart of, and revel in it.
America is an experiment in the democracy with its infinite possibilities. It gives the fullest vent to individualism, liberalism, but also to bring in order and justice, where collectivism, conservatism, and republican attitudes play a very dynamic role. Modern Jews are seen to be strongly liberal, particularly in academics, which I am most eager to be a part of, and hopefully I am making things function along that direction.
Although western civilization roots goes back to Roman and Greek cultures and history, in terms of society, politics, language families, philosophy, reason, institutions, its religious and spiritual roots are derived from the Middle Eastern culture of Jew-Judaism-Hebrew-Israel network. In fact, Greek and Roman empires stretched in the near east zone, making its way further north, afterward. It was the Abraham and Adamite religion and spiritual framework, which instigated these races and civilizations to develop, in many ways becoming more advanced than one another. There has been a lot of speculation too, regarding this, in terms of old satanic or dualistic cults, taking over as a new world order, or new age religion, going back to Atlantean and Aryan times as a conspiracy. This dark side is true, but it has the other side too, as a developmental tool to work through the darkness, and arrive at the core essence of reality or truth of existence, regarded as ultimate. The most obvious relation to Judaism is Christianity, which is the dominant religion of the West, is that it is an offshoot of Judaism. Judaism and Christianity are criticized to be only a facade of deeply rooted occult practices of Satanism, going back in historical times to the Mesopotamian region. Whichever way it is viewed, the Jewish diaspora, religious or cultural, intellectual or spiritual, can make an immense contribution to western academics and society as a whole.
By 1960s, the established Protestant elite was being displaced by a meritocracy, and the Jews formed a very prominent component, in this new system. The religious and spiritual source for both Christians and Jews remained the Bible-Old Testament for Jews and New Testament for the Christians. Talmud, Torah is the teachings for Jews, related to Moses, while Jesus Christ’s teachings form the New Testament. The biblical approach to education is Hebrew in character. This is mainly context-oriented, family and community basis teachings, between parent and child, involving obedience to instructions, and a non-verbal kind of automatic willingness. The American approach is based on the Greek system, which is based on reason and logic and rationalism. It encourages questioning, whenever that willing element becomes blocked, and instructions become mechanical, rigid and ritualistic. It is my aim to infuse both these systems so that the intellect and rationalism are developed, but only as a means to strive for spiritual truths, initially taking help of a religious framework if necessary.
The essay shows the obstacles and the enlightening part of being in a different religion, mainly in the minority, within a backdrop of the majority. The illuminating side usually comes when imparting the essence of a religion and its philosophy to the students of the relevant subject and topic, satisfying curious and hungry minds, transcending narrow bigotry, uplifting the veils of ignorance, and being highly appreciated as an academic no matter what is your creed. The pleasure of being accepted in this confined society, reaching my goals, and the hearts of humanity, by instilling into them the educated Jewish essence, which is far removed from having horns like the devil or going to hell, is incomparable to any other. Jews have been persecuted since the dawn of history, and hence they have spread far and wide, by fleeing their home country Israel. They have spread largely into Europe and now to huge parts of the New World, which is later part of Europe colonization, particularly in the United States of America, and also in Africa and Asia in negligible numbers. They have excelled in various fields, mainly in science and academics, but they have been the victims of sheer jealousy or just an alien feel of incompatibility. Whatever is the case, I at this moment, elucidate my goals as an academic, with the hope of a bright future, on a constantly progressive and dynamic spiraling path.
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