Has the whole world gone mad?
Let me start over: The whole world is mad, as the Jews have often suspected. But has the illness grown so severe that the Jews themselves have started accepting it?
Left and right, Jews bequeath Jewish identity upon gentiles and deny it to their brothers and sisters. I don’t like it one bit. Not just because the reasons are pathetic, obvious, bald attempts at squaring an ancient and noble tribe with young and faddish tribes. Even worse than declaring Jews to be non-Jews (or vice versa) for bad reasons is declaring it for any reason.
Chassidus, as usual, diagnosed the problem long before its basest manifestations had a chance to arise. The Alter Rebbe teaches us at the very beginning of the holy Tanya: A Jew is a Jew by virtue of the inscrutable and sacred nature of the Divine, and not by virtue of any earthly allegiance or cause. When you muck about with Jewish identity, it’s His borders you cross. The very cognizance of this fact is G-d whispering our own names in our ears, that we may shake off the slumber of exile and become whom He has made us to be.
Stirred, not shaken,
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