As much as all conservative values trace their origins to Jewish tradition, liberal values trace their origins to the same source — to exactly the same degree.
Seeking direction in a misdirected world
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Why Jews are Liberals
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#1 by torahideals on April 29, 2010 - 11:28 am
American Jews reportedly supported Barack Obama by a majority of 78% — almost four-to-one and not five-to-one as I wrote.
#2 by Don Atkinson on April 29, 2010 - 1:17 pm
What a great article.
After reading it I still don’t understand why so many Jews vote for liberal Democrats. It seems to me that the liberal agenda is diametrically opposed to the basic values of Judaism and Christianity.
A conservative, but no longer a Republican
#3 by Avi on April 29, 2010 - 1:51 pm
#4 by Michael F. Misczuk on April 29, 2010 - 2:35 pm
The Jewish contribution to the world is immense and good. Also, you are correct that conservatism must not just look to the past. Your essay is incorrect, however, in the premises you offer about liberalism. Such is not the liberal of today.
The liberal of the 1960’s and 1970’s is long gone. I doubt a Senator “Scoop” Jackson can be found among them. There used to be a time when liberals stood up, or fought, our enemies. Now, President Obama tries to force house builders in Israel to placate those who would murder them.
The sanctity of life? It is the liberals who brought us legalized abortion when there was no desire for it among the citizenry. Liberals want health care for everyone? They do not. They want health care for everyone who will be ordered to get it or pay a penalty. That is not freedom. Many liberals are against the right to self-defense, constitutionally protected by the Second Amendment. Many are against the death penalty. I believe these last two subjects are parts of Judaism.
Can you imagine American Liberals faced with a situation such as Entebbe? We saw how European Liberals dealt with Hitler. What we have today are leftists and Progressives running the Democrat Party. That old Liberalism is gone.
Israel is admired for holding to “Never Again,” for fighting when smacked, for being decisive, for standing free among tyrannical nations. Most present-day Liberals in America, save for Ed Koch and his like, chortle at such things, or do not even care.
I cannot figure out why Jews in America are so quiet.
#5 by Chana on April 29, 2010 - 4:33 pm
Many nonJews wonder why so many Jews are liberals seeming hellbent on the destruction of all they cherish and hold dear. This is creating a hatred for Jews that most liberal Jews are as unaware of, as the German Jews were unaware of the undercurrent of antisemitism in pre-war Germany.
This article might give those Jews (and other Jews) some insight into what we face if we don’t get our act together. I am proud to say that I have never been a liberal Jew, by the way.
#6 by themadjewess on April 29, 2010 - 10:37 pm
America has been GOOD to Jews, they had better wake up ASAP.
#7 by George Ruggiero on April 30, 2010 - 7:57 am
Bravo to you Rabbi, great essay. But I have a question, what came first, the chicken or the egg? When looking at the underpinnings of contemporary liberalism in the US, I see: 1) Academia 2) the entertainment industry and 3) the media. Jews are disproportionately represented in all three of these areas. So was it the industry that influenced the Jew, or was it the Jew that influenced the industry?
#8 by John Alldredge on May 1, 2010 - 8:21 pm
This short article was a great help to me in clarifying my own views. Specifically, the need to balance liberal & conservative ideals.
The real heritage of Judaism to me is the concept of G-d as the all-righteous and as the source of all morality and as corollary, the idea that the Law is immutable, universal and eternal.
In so much as any ideology abandons or tries to negate these universals, that ideology is ipso facto, anti-Jewish. In my opinion, much of what now passes for “liberalism” now in western societies falls into that category.
We have tried to replace G-d’s law with situational ethics, moral relativism, and a blind multiculturalism that requires us to find good in everything, even that which is evil.