Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why no flag?



As much as Frum Jews claim to love The USA and all that it stands for, and they do, there's one thing they can't bring themselves to do, fly Old Glory on legal holidays that call for it. Why's that?

Jews have no problem taking the days off on legal holidays. They have no problem barbecuing when called for. Some will even go as far as to condone the consumption of turkey on Thanksgiving, yet no flags. Those that feel it important are few and far between.

I was thinking that maybe deep inside the Jewish psyche there's a sunbliminal allegiance to the כחול ולבן, the eternal Jewish Flag, but that seemed a bit far fetched. Then the idea crossed my mind that maybe they associated a flag, any flag, with Nationalism, which basically excludes Jews, but that seemed like a bit of a stretch too. Is it considered חוקת הגוי? I cannot imagine that it should be, especially in a non-Jewish neighborhood or city, where מפני דרכי שלום it may even be required!

Jews had no problem flying all kinds of flags during the 1st Gulf war, but ever since, even since 9/11 that display of patriotism has yet to be matched.

Any thoughts?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

most yidden think that the only flag fitting to be waved by a jew is of the yellow variety...

Tzemach Atlas said...

they can't afford it.

havemeyer said...

not too mention the group of people that have no problem flying a yellow flag in the face of anyone who does not "believe" . v'hamayin yavin

Tzibaleh said...

1)A flag is an identifier, therefore jews who until so recently suffered in most host countries, avoid being identified by any given flag.
2)Let's not forget that jews (especially frum) daven 3 times a day ולירושלים עירך & Hope to "get out of here" ASAP, so why fly any flag?
3)In the מדבר & i guess in א"י we had our own flags, סע שחט רהפלאצה.....

tzibaleh said...

so why replace...

Y.W. Editor said...

"As much as Frum Jews claim to love The USA and all that it stands for, and they do, there's one thing they can't bring themselves to do, fly Old Glory on legal holidays that call for it. Why's that?"

------------------
Hey Tzig, perhaps CHABAD doesn't fly a flag; but take a ride over to Reb Avigdor Miller ZATZALS Shul - who happens to be a "SNAG"/Litvak and check out his American Flag flying in front of his Shul.

Eat it buddy.

YW Editor.

Hirshel Tzig said...

1) yellow Flag comments are cute, I thought I could foresee the comments on this thread, but I didn't see those coming.

2) Reb A Miller had a Chassidishe melamed and that's probably what saved him from joining the Snag brigade. He was far from being a "Snag".

3) Only a sh**** like Yeshiva World would try to take a Yochid and learn on the whole Klal from him. I did say that most Frum Jews don't, I didn't say none.

4) Does his snag son Shmuel also have one?

berl, crown heights said...

Tzig, I agree with you. (Note also the flag was always there behind the Rebbe at the Lag BeEimer parades).
I do think, however, that it is natural for a Jew to be somewhat reluctant to be strongly identified with a specific flag (even Stars & Stripes). Why? Just in case things turn for the worse here too ch"v as they inevitably did everywhere we settled in the past...

chabakuk elisha said...

Doesn’t it really depend at least somewhat on who we’re talking about?

I imagine that among the more MO the Stars & Stripes can be found more often than among the more charedi segments. Every Young Israel synagogue that I have ever been in has both the Israeli & American flag, as do most (if not all) MO schools. However, since the MO may tend to be more academically inclined (Democrats), it is possible that they are uncomfortable with public displays of patriotism…

As far as the more Charedi elements, they oppose anything “goyish”, and their view of secular government is generally negative. They come from a culture that inexplicably has no problem reaping incredible benefits from the government, and yet, feel virtually no Hakaras HaTov. This is surely (as others have pointed out) because of our history, and the real experiences of anti-Semitism that exists in previous generations…

(I also think that one lesson here should not escape us: Just because one may give someone money, help & care does not mean that anyone will appreciate it)

And interestingly, all feelings of nationalism seem to be wasted on nations that killed us. Kinda weird…

Hirshel Tzig said...

Berl

re: the parades;

I believe that later on the flag was moved to beneath the Rebbe's shtender, whereas earlier it was on the Rebbe's right. But that's beside the point.

The flag doesn't change with regimes, so why be afraid?

Greenhorn said...

chabakuk elisha said...
"Charedi elements, they oppose anything “goyish”, and their view of secular government is generally negative. "

by definition, we are on guard for any encroachment into our lives and culture. And we have a historical conshence that came about from the worlds actions.

"They come from a culture that inexplicably has no problem reaping incredible benefits from the government, and yet, feel virtually no Hakaras HaTov."

I think that you are wrong. Everyone who gets something for nothing seems pretty happy, at least a little grateful, yet you can't expect them to say 'i love the government' because its too big a phenominon which includes gays in the army, Daddy's got a boyfriend publications in public schools, etc.



(I also think that one lesson here should not escape us: Just because one may give someone money, help & care does not mean that anyone will appreciate it) You right; arabs living in EY

And interestingly, all feelings of nationalism seem to be wasted on nations that killed us. Kinda weird…
Like who?

big mak said...

I must agree with chabakuk! There is no hakaras hatov for all the programs the ultra orthodox reap from the government. The least one can do to show appreciation to the great, wonderful, free country we live in, would be to raise the stars and stripes. Also the fact that the hungs feel more patriotic to their own country despite all the hate they demonstrated against the jews, but AMERICA is "treif".
In short, its one big load of bull..... the whole "no flag" business

Anonymous said...

Good points made.

In another direction entirely, I think it's better that Frum Yidden don't put flags out. There are lots of 'halachos' that flag displaying demands and as you may remember, in BP the post-9/11 shreds waved far longer than legally (and respectfully) allowed.

Our ignorance is apparent in enough areas. We don't need to put ourselves further in the doghouse.

Y.W. Editor said...

"He was far from being a "Snag"."

-------------------
There you go again, talking right out of your michilah.

You have NO CLUE what the heck you are talking about.
Chasidishe melamed?
NOT A SNAG??
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Get some tapes, idiot!
95% of the chassidish guys that would come to the Thursday night shiur stopped following their Rebbe's.

Get your FACTS straight before TRYING to talk like you know what your saying is correct.

berl, crown heights said...

y.w.editor,
1. "Snag" is used here and by most Lubavitchers as a derogatory term for Chabad-haters. No one uses this term to describe regular non-chassidic Jews. As to Rabbi Miller, no one claimed that Rabbi Miller was a chassid, but he was not a hater either.
2. After his petiroh, when his biography was widely read, it became known to all that Rabbi Miller had a Chabad melamed (the name escapes me right now) that set him on the "right path". He later ended up where he ended up… but them's the facts.
You got nothing right, as ususal. M-O-R-O-N-!

chabakuk elisha said...

Greenhorn,

You missed my drift here, amigo. Since I think my point shoulda been clear enough, I won't explain it further, but I'll try to clarify this point for ya:

I said:
"Feelings of nationalism seem to be wasted on nations that killed us. Kinda weird…"

You asked:
Like who?

Now this should have been self explanatory as well, but since you may be from a small island and cut off from the rest of the frum world, I will offer a couple words of explanation: Jews often identify with their antecedents former country of residence in the "Old Country." i.e. Hungarians have an affinity for Hungarian culture, Russians have an affinity for Russian culture, etc.

A couple examples:
1. My boss was a Hungarian from Budapest. In my bosses mind, Europe is far more cultured, advanced and superior than American (and any other country for that matter; My boss once said that Ukrainians are not to very intelligent, which is why the economy there is so bad...)

2. An elderly Galicianer woman I know once told my father, "You’re American, but you must be of Galicianer descent." To which, her son said "You have just received high praise from my mother..."

There are endless examples, but you knew what I meant didn't you?

(Yes, I am a little cranky today, sorry)

n said...

I love this blog. Talented people and their conterparts collectively contribute the opposite of anything positive to the existence of the world, and no one really learns anything from each other. Entertainment value is on the low end of the spectrum. So what are we doing? I'm coming to the conclusion that most blog hosters have issues/angst, pschological or existential and are crying out for therapy or salvation. This is true to a lesser extent for frequent blog visitors. Why do I come here? Even though I'm not a frequent blog cruiser, honestly compels a diagnoses for me too.

Kurenitzer said...

In Europe , especially in those countries where Jews had (almost) equal rights , all Jews including the Orthodox were real patriots.
In the Austro-Hungarian Empire (that icluded most of Gaicia) the Jews were loyal subjects of the long term Emperor Franz Josef called KIRA Kaiser yarim Hodo).
In pre Hitler Germany all Jews Reform, Orthodox and Austritt orthodox were German patriots, served in the Army and fought in World war 1. Rabbi S.R. Hirsch was a serious German patriot as wwere other German rabbis. In WW1 many German rabbis served as military chaplains.
I do not know why the American flag is not flown but thats symbolic only.
I am more troubled by the habitual cheating on Federal income tax on the part of some Orthodox Jews. I am troubled by the fact that few Orthodox rabbis are willing to join the US Armed Forces to spiritually assit the "poor" Jews in the army. Obviously because of the beard issue Chabad people are limied in this area.
I am troubled by the fact that few Orthodox Jews serve in the army at all, or do any sort of national service.
One is also troubled that few orthodox Jews take THE LAW of the LAND too seriously, rathr its just a joke.Most Orthodox Jews avoid jury duty on all levels.
Yes we can not agree with all manifestations of contemporary America, but it still is an unusually good place for Jews.I can understand that if one is a strong Zionist or Israeli PATRIOT, but few of us fall into those categories.

MEKUSHOR said...

Kurenitzer,

I wish I could get out of jury duty! Unfortunately, I had to go waste two days. Can you tell me how I might be able to get out of it next time?

I must say, Jury Duty is a tough sell if you ask me...

Kurenitzer said...

How about the fellows in the Army and Marines. They would love to sit on their duffs for 2 days fighting ... boredom.

Hirshel Tzig said...

"duffs?" is that a New England word? I've never heard of that one. Sounds like a dated word.