Chabad’s Supernal Jews: Racism in Contemporary Western Judaism

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Forward to My Essay

What Makes a Jew ‘Jewish’? is the title of one of my Chabad references in Chabad’s Supernal Jews.  It’s a far cry from ‘What makes a human Jewish?’  Well, human I am.  What makes this human Jewish?  Both my parents were Jewish and were well aware.  My father was German, and I was born in Germany in 1932.  We were lucky.  My mother’s German-born parents were already living in Newark, New Jersey.  We got out of Nazi Germany in 1937 and out of Holland to the U.S. in September 1940.  (I still have visual memories of an air raid shelter, lifeboat drills, and a gas mask too large for my small head.)  We were liberal Reform Jews, celebrated the High Holidays in Temple and at home, skipped Friday prayers, ate everything, and stretched Chanukah into Christmas when the calendar didn’t cooperate.

I can’t think of any other Jew in the private, secular high school I attended (which started every morning with an assembly that included a Christian hymn, an unanticipated benefit that introduced me to formal multiculturalism, so to speak).  In my freshman year at college I joined a Jewish fraternity.  We painted the walls and desegregated the frat house.   It was my first extended experience (outside my family) with Jews my age.  I learned the rest of my life from many of my fraternity brothers: Be a better human and ‘Jew’ will take better care of itself.  Whether or not you’re religious.  I’m not. (more…)

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End of Occupation » No 1068

Israeli drawings on detention and torture of Palestinian children

Parents against child detention, an israeli organization linked to the israeli committee against torture, has just launched a series of drawings on facebook to illustrate what Palestinian children are going through and to try to raise awareness of Israeli public opinion to these atrocities.

The testimonies are numerous and the complaints systematically dismissed by Israel.


A soldier tied my feet up and handcuffed my hands behind my back. The handcuffs were tight and painful and my hands swelled up,” said W., a minor from Hebron, who was suspected of throwing stones.

R., 15, from Duha, was arrested at 3.30am in bed on suspicion of throwing stones. “I woke up to the strong glow of a flashlight on my face. I opened my eyes and there were 10 soldiers in the room,” he said. After their commander told him he was under arrest, he was taken to the police station. “Along the way, they cursed at me and called my sister a ‘bitch’. A soldier hit me on the elbow with the butt of his rifle and it was very painful. ” (more…)

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End of Occupation » No 1067

Damn Them All

Gideon Levy

Haaretz July 15, 2021

Damn them all. Damn Rafael Gana, the deputy head of the Israel Prison Service, who wrote to the interior minister: “Your request does not meet the prerequisites for consideration.” Damn Katy Perry, the head of the Israel Prison Service, who approved the decision. Damn Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev, the heartless coward, who didn’t lift a finger to change this evil decision. And above all, damn the Shin Bet, which probably stands behind the decision, as it stands behind far more than we know.

Damn all those who are partner to this sadistic decision not to release Khalida Jarrar from prison to attend her daughter’s funeral. Damn this new government, which presumed to herald a change, and none of whose ministers acted to oppose the evil institutions that decided to leave Jarrar in prison. Not even ministers Merav Michaeli and Tamar Zandberg, who presumably have far more in common with the secular feminist freedom fighter Jarrar than with their colleague Ayelet Shaked. (more…)

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End of Occupation » No 1066

 Occupied Palestinian Territory: Israeli settlements should be classified as war crimes, says UN expert

GENEVA (9 July 2021) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, today called on the international community to designate the creation of Israeli settlements as a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Lynk said the Israeli settlements violate the absolute prohibition against the transfer by an occupying power of parts of its civilian population into an occupied territory. The international community designated this practice as a war crime when it adopted the Rome Statute in 1998. (more…)

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