Why I am not a Jew by Peter Meyer
The main reason I am not a Jew (apart from the fact that I would never wish to be one) is that I was not born a Jew. Whatever (if anything) defines a race, it is certainly some quality which is passed down from mother to child. The usual criterion for being a Jew (not necessarily an orthodox Jew) is that one's mother was a Jew at the time of one's birth. For this reason Judaism could be characterized as a "racist" religion, or perhaps better (since "racist" is a pejorative term) as an "ethnic" religion (as is Hinduism).
Judaism is, however, in fact a racist religion, in the sense of 'racist' as 'supremacist', because Jews generally believe themselves to be superior (because they are Jews) to non-Jews, pejoratively called goyim (a word which has associations with "cattle"). Some (perhaps not all) orthodox male Jews recite each day this prayer to their God: "I give thanks that I was not born a goy, was not born a woman and was not born a slave." On passing a Christian church it is traditional for an orthodox Jew to spit in disgust (sometimes, in Jerusalem at least, to spit on Christians themselves).
Racism (the belief that members of one's race or in-group are superior to all others) has always been endemic to mankind, but enlightened thought regards it as indefensible. Orthodox Jews, however, are immune to this influence, and persist in their racist, supremicist attitude to all others. No-one of moral sense, then, could consider becoming a Jew. Those who do so presumably seek to remove their sense of inferiority by identifying with a group which considers itself superior to all others (and actively opposes assimilation of its members to the wider society).
That orthodox Judaism considers Jews to be superior to, and to have no moral obligations toward, non-Jews (or at least little more than they have toward animals) is shown by the words of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1865-1935):
The difference between the Jewish soul ... and the soul of all the Gentiles ... is greater and deeper than the difference between the soul of a man and the soul of an animal.
Those seeking a fuller understanding of Talmudic Judaism should visit the website Come and Hear (from which this quotation is taken).
A word of defense should be added for those unfortunate enough to have been born of Jewish parents (and thus generally regarded as Jewish) but who have freed themselves from their childhood conditioning and from the Jewish assumption of superiority over others. A man may have been born a Jew but have come to see the defects of the religion, and perhaps feel something like shame for his former close, if involuntary, association with it.
Orthodox Judaism, like Islam (see below), is a totalitarian religion. Those who succeed in converting to orthodox Judaismhave to learn many rules. You will have to wear less revealing clothing all year round (which in the summer can make you feel hotter); you will have to be concerned wherever you go about the food you can buy and eat; you will have to make sure that you don't carry anything in your pockets outside your home on the Sabbath, and many other considerations. You will need two sets of dishes, two sets of pots and pans (and at least one more set for Passover), and you will have to keep different types of food separate. You will have to wait six hours after eating meat foods before eating dairy foods. Judaism will guide your steps and your thoughts every moment of your waking life. — Becoming Jewish
The principal defect of the Jewish religion (apart from its assumption of the moral superiority of Jews over non-Jews) is that the God worshipped by the Jewish people is a jealous, vicious, bloodthirsty, psychopathic tyrant. Richard Dawkins (in The God Delusion, Chapter 2) has well described YHWH as follows:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty, ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
The following, from Deuteronomy, Chapter 20, reveals YHWH as a psychopath:
20:10 When you come to a city to fight against it, then first proclaim peace toward it.
20:11 If it answers for peace, and opens its gates to you, then all the people found therein shall be your slaves, and they shall serve you.
20:12 If it won’t make peace, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it.
20:13 And when the LORD thy God has delivered it into your hands, you shall kill every male inside with the edge of your sword.
20:14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the fortunes inside, shall you take for yourself; and you shall eat all the good things of your enemy, which the LORD thy God has given you.
20:15 Thus you shall do to every city even faraway which are not among your chosen nations.
20:16 In these cities, which the LORD thy God gives you for an inheritance, you shall leave nothing left alive ...
In response to this section an adherent of this religion wrote: "And in defense of G-d, during the time He was given to ‘fits of rage’ paganism was prevalent and He showed the world the seriousness of the sin of idolatry." But any entity, divine or otherwise, who is subject to fits of rage (as Adolf Hitler was) is a morally repulsive entity, quite unworthy of respect.
What sort of person would worship such a God? The person who worships such a psychopathic homicidal God must surely believe that the qualities exemplified by that God are in some way admirable (after all, he is the Creator of the World and the Divine Authority), and thus that it is excusable to deceive, enslave and even kill all who follow another (or no) religion — after all, according to Rabbi Kook they are little better than animals. Can such a person be held to possess any moral consciousness? Are those who identify with this religion not rightly to be regarded as themselves psychopathic?
In Gilad Atzmon's novel A Guide to the Perplexed the protagonist, Gunther Wünker, says of his grandfather that, having had the good sense to emigrate to Palestine in the early 1930s, he made himself unpopular there amongst his fellow Jews by continually asking: "What is it about the Jew that makes everybody want to see him dead?" Or one could re-phrase this question as: What is it about Jews that has incurred so much hatred of them during two millennia? Jews may reply that this hatred is simply irrational, and so has no rational explanation — thus deflecting attention away from the Jews themselves and casting them in their favorite role of innocent victims. But one possible explanation for hatred of Jews is that they have not simply regarded themselves as superior to non-Jews (after all, an assumption of the superiority of one's own group over outsiders has been, and remains, very common among humans, without arousing hatred on the part of those outsiders), but that they attempt to justify this by appealing to God. God, according to Jews, chose them to be a special people among the peoples of the world and thus superior to all others. Since, according to non-Jews, God never did any such thing, this amounts to blasphemy. In the eyes of those non-Jews who believe in God, the Jews are blasphemers, which may account (partially) for the hatred which in Christian European society was directed at them.
Zionism, which demands a 'homeland' for the Jews (or rather, the 'restoration' to Jews of the kingdoms of Judea and Samaria, and hopefully all land between the Nile and the Euphrates) supports the myth of Jewish superiority. The purpose of a country for-Jews-only is to prevent the assimilation of Jews to non-Jewish society (as was occurring increasingly in Europe at the time when the Zionist movement was founded, in the late 19th C). If, like members of other religious faiths, Jews are normal members of society then it is hard to maintain the myth of their superiority. This is the reason for the existence of Israel (though it has no right to exist), a country for-Jews-only, where assimilation is impossible because the mainstream society is itself Jewish.
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