Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Communism Uniquely Jewish?
(A Nazi propaganda poster from 1941 in Lithuanian language, equating Stalinism and Jews.)
Here's a theory I've heard thrown around that's beginning to make some sense to me lately. You may have seen it in the rants and rambles of Tzemach over the years, but it may have been lost in his ramblings, so you might have missed his point. It's OK, I did too, until it was explained to me in a non-hostile setting by somebody else who has more patience for him than I do. The theory is such, UbeHekdem another point: Many of us know that Jews were very prominent in the Communist Movement and later in the leadership of the Soviet Union. We know that they were vehement and vigilant in trying to eradicate religion from Jewish life, closing Mikvaos and Yeshivos and Shuls and not sparing loved ones in the process, even parents and siblings. We wonder why their hate of religion was so great, and we have a hard time finding an answer to the question, at least those of us who are descended from other countries. There are theories, and we intend to explore them here.
UPDATED 5/15/08 12:43am
I normally try and stay away from books by the irreligious about religious Jews, but here was a book that I was recommended by a very learned, religious friend. He told me that gives a very accurate and lively description of Jewish life in a big city in the Pale at the end of the 19th century. He told me that when I'll read the book it'll be like being transported back to that time, and that I'll "see" the charcters, identify with their struggles, and won't be able to put the book down. He told me that the chracters are real people, people we know from their works on Torah, and that I'd be very surprised at some of the things that happened in their town under their orders. He told me that I'd identify with many of the perceptions and opinions that people held, and that I'd see that much of what we consider sacred or the opposite can be traced back many years. I'd see all of it in the book, he said. So I went and bought it.