Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Jewish Value of Partying!!!

If the values that parents pass on to their children are an accurate indication of the values of a particular people, culture & society, then there is cause for concern in the Jewish State (courtesy of Yediot Achronot):
I want to be like big people,” announced six-year-old Omri, resting at the bar of the Laser Club in Tel Aviv. “Adults go to dance at nightclubs and now I do, too. It's great - instead of dancing to (silly children's songs) we dance to real music,” he said as he swallowed the rest of an ice slushy...

For NIS 20 (USD 4.35) per adult and NIS 30 (USD 6.50) per child (including a slushy and a glow-in-the-dark bracelet,) parents and children get the chance to boogie until eight o’clock. The party, run by a “Yeladisko”, or children's disco, includes two performers to show the new recruits how to get down...

..."The parents will experience a different kind of quality time with their children and the children will get to dance in a genuine nightclub... “Everything here is focused on strengthening the family bond".

The music is mainly of Israeli hip-hop and trance, just like a regular nightclub.

I dance here the same way I dance without the children, I drink a little, get into the mood. The truth, what’s wrong with starting the week this way?”

Isn’t it too young to start the whole club scene at age six?

Not at all. What’s wrong with dancing with your mother? What’s wrong with trance music? If it's fun for parents then it’s also fun for their children.”

The existential threat that trance culture poses to the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish State is addressed in an insightful essay entitledThe 52nd Anniversary of the Creation of the State of Israel: Israeli Society in a State of Trance - By Julian Schvindlerman:
In order the understand the overwhelmingly favorable reception which trance enjoys in Israel, we must delve a bit further into the nature of the two major currents shaping Israeli society at the moment... post modernism, with its nihilism and perpetual emptiness, and post-Zionism, a homegrown variant of the former. Post-Zionism is progressively de-Judaizing Israel...

The children of post-modernism no longer believe in the dream of forging a better society, nor are they overly enchanted with the gains of "progress". Their attitude is, quite frankly, indifferent... Hedonism is given first place, and ego-gratification dominates all other areas...

There is really no need to be amazed at the demoralization of Israel’s youth, particularly when its own self-appointed intellectual role models seem committed to destroying the trust which young people formerly placed in their own institutions. The central message being purveyed: Zionism is unjust. Obviously, Israeli youth will lose their ideological bearings if their elders are hell-bent on erasing the Jewish uniqueness in return for an abstract universalism...

Using the slogans of democracy and universalism, the post-Zionist movement is robbing the Jewish people of its greatest treasure: self-confidence. It is going to take more than a cocktail of drugs and psychedelic music to reinvigorate the faith in ourselves that we have lost.

Let's now return to the questions raised in the original article: What's the big deal about trance music? What's wrong with mothers and their children going clubbing together - the mothers sipping their alcoholic drinks and dancing with abandon, while their kids slurp their slush’s at the bar, or try their hand at getting down on the dance floor with mom?

Is it any wonder that parents in Israel are passing on the empty values of the trance ideology on to their children when:

* They have given up their belief in the right of the Jewish people to a Jewish State;
* Their lives are driven, first and foremost, by a desire to fulfill their own self-interests and desires;
* They, themselves, are seeking to escape from the challenges inherent in being a member of the Jewish People and living in the Jewish State;
* They have been inundated by the Israeli media, Supreme Court, politicians and education system with the idea that the State of Israel was born in sin, and that we are occupiers and thieves.

The only cure for those infected by the trance ideology is to give them a sense of Jewish pride - both in the Jewish People & the Jewish State - to provide them with a sense of purpose and meaning - recognition of the glorious history of the Jewish People, and the majestic destiny that awaits us and which can only be actualized in the Land of Israel.

Hopefully, it's not too late.


crazy society we live in.

BTW, for all religious people reading this, you wouldn't believe how many Israelis go clubbing in teh center of town every friday night. they usually stay out until 2-3am. Lots of brawls between the russian kids and Israelis.

By Blogger Jerusalemcop, at Wed Dec 21, 02:32:00 PM GMT+2  

The solution is also massive religious aliya from the US and the UK.

I'll send you another link of a story I found even more depressing.

By Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata, at Wed Dec 21, 02:58:00 PM GMT+2  

Jameel, as much as I value Aliyah from NA and other places, I do not beleive that this alone is the answeer to this issue.

Granted, bringing in those who have strong ideological connections ot the Land of Israel and Jewish People will hopefully bring about an infusion of Jewish pride and awareness, but we need to take more drastic steps in addition to Aliyah - also, we cant wait for this wave of Aliyah to come before dealing with this issue.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed Dec 21, 03:02:00 PM GMT+2  

Ze'ev, you are one interesting dude. I don't agree with much of your philosophy but you certainly have a well thought out point of view.
I don't have much to say about trance music, to me it is just music, not an ideology.
The other point is more interesting and serious. Zionism, in part only looked to the ingathering of Jews and the establishment of a Jewish State, not the maintenance of one. Your point has merit, the trouble is you are asking a whole generation to live their lives for someone elses dream, purely be virtue of their place of birth and that is asking a lot.
It has to be a choice. One of the interesting things about the States is how people are MORE religious than in places with a state religion, presumably because they are not coerced.

By Blogger lisoosh, at Wed Dec 21, 07:08:00 PM GMT+2  

Lisoosh, thanks for the comment - and the compliment - I haven't been called an "interesting dude" in quite some time - if ever.

You write:

"The trouble is you are asking a whole generation to live their lives for someone elses dream, purely be virtue of their place of birth and that is asking a lot."

To a degree you are right about this point. However, the bigger question that needs to be asked is why is it that a Jewish State (not to be understood in this case as a religious one) is not their dream?

Could it be b/c they have been raised on an ideology which is antithetical to this dream? If so, that needs to be addressed if we are to resolve this issue.

How can it be that Jews (Israelis are against the idea of there being a Jewish State - that's very disturbing.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed Dec 21, 07:32:00 PM GMT+2  

Hey, I'm here to learn.

I can't really answer for all Israelis - you might want to ask a few. I don't know if they are against a Jewish State. I think it is more likely that they don't want to be the standard bearers for Jews around the world. Another possibility is that they don't want it to be at the expense of another people. Israelis grew up with the multiculturalism of their area - they know Arab culture, are aware of Western culture, there are things that they like about both.
Are you sure your concern is about Jewishness or about a particular brand of Ashkenazi Orthodox which you are comfortable with.

I would also like to ask you about your attitude towards Reform and Conservative Judaism. It is understandable that it feels threatening to Orthodox, but is it not better that someone who does not wish to be religious moves to those streams rather than drops out altogether. There is more chance of marrying within the faith and a good chance that their children will later show an interest in being more religious. I'm curious why Orthodox doesn't treat them more as a "holding tank" for the less religious.

By Blogger lisoosh, at Wed Dec 21, 10:54:00 PM GMT+2  

Lisoosh: The problem with Reform is that what they accept conversions which are not within the scope of Orthodox halacha, allow intermarriage, and determine the religion of a person by patralineal descent, then its no longer a holding tank for Judaism, but a sieve.

Conservative conversions are problematic, but otherwise they could be considered a holding tank.

The big problem is that in Israel, Orthodoxy views Reform as a direct threat towards splitting the Jewish people, and preventing future potential marriages of future generations.

The way I read it yesterday on some blog was; Orthodoxy embraces Reform an Conservative Jews, but not Reform and Conservative Judaism.

By Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata, at Wed Dec 21, 11:15:00 PM GMT+2  

One of the interesting things about the States is how people are MORE religious than in places with a state religion, presumably because they are not coerced.

This position is extremely speculative in nature as the religous character of the Orthodox communities in the States is ever-weakening due to assimilation and inter-marriage.

By Anonymous Strong Bad, at Thu Dec 22, 02:14:00 AM GMT+2  

Lisoosh, I'm also hear to learn - try to learn something everyday.

You write:

"Are you sure your concern is about Jewishness or about a particular brand of Ashkenazi Orthodox which you are comfortable with."

For the first 2+ decades of the State of israel - perhaps more - there was no doubt that Israel was a Jewish State - this was not questioned. The average secular israeli knew the Tanach backwards and forwards. They could tell you about the relevance of just about every dunam of land in Israel was connected to Jewish history - there was a sense of Jewish national pride.

There was little to no doubt over our right to a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, and it was recognized that in order to maintain it, we would need to be strong in the face of our enemies.

Today,that is no longer the case. The average Israeli who leaves the public school system si ignorant of Judaism, its teachings and practicies, the history of the Jewish People and its mission.

I am not looking for everysingle Jew in Israel to become religious - what needs to happen, however, if we are to survive here, is to believe that the Jewish People are still relevant, that there is a reason for us to exist, that we have a right to a Jewish State in the Land of Israel - that we are not thieves - a sense of Jewish pride, in who we are, where we have come from and where we are going.

I dont care if one is Ashkenzi or Sefadi / Mizrachi or Ethiopian - I care about the Jewish People and her future and I care about the Jewish State. I am not expecting nor asking for everyone to accept my brand of Judasim, but merely to learn about what it means to be a Jew, to take pride in who we are, and we will take things from there.

As for your question on Orthodox attitudes to Refrom and Conservative Judaism, I think Jameel's answer was a good one. I love all Jews, regardless of their background or level of observance - but that doesn't mean that I agree with all of their beliefs or actions - many of which, as Jameel mentioned, pose a serious threat to the Jewish People.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Thu Dec 22, 10:17:00 AM GMT+2  

Strong Bad -
Actually I was talking about religious people in general - Jews, Christians and Moslems. The US is viewed abroad as very religious - by countries that have state sponsored religion. And as someone who has lived in the US Israel and Europe that is certainly something I have seen too.

By Blogger lisoosh, at Thu Dec 22, 05:24:00 PM GMT+2  

Ze'ev -
I disagree with a lot of what you say, but it is very detailed and I am a little pushed for time. I will try to answer later, I thought to post in one of the later threads as you seem to write a lot and finding this one is a drag.
I think you laid out earlier your idea of what a Jewish State entails exactly - I will look for it but if you want to reiterate that would be really helpful so that we are on the same page. I would like to continue this discussion though as it is very interesting.
The discussion you are having with Don is interesting too so I may contribute.

As to the Orthodox/Reform/Conservative issue. I do understand the concerns vis a vis non halachic conversion and intermarriage. However I do think that Orthodox sources blanket ban without adequate knowledge, mostly due to power struggles. Most Conservative synogogues follow halacha and in my area one of the Reform synogogues is even more strict. (Yes I know some are lax and that is an issue). I do think a real and serious dialogue between the movements is required. If they don't come to an understanding it is Judaism that will lose in the long run. The faith isn't immutable, it has adapted and changed over the years, not at its heart but definitely in form. To forget that is to take a very short view of history.

By Blogger lisoosh, at Thu Dec 22, 05:39:00 PM GMT+2  

Lisoosh, I'm glad you disagree with what I say - it would be boring if everyone agreed with me, and itcertainly wouldn't make for lively comments such as this one.

I'm not really sure which post you are reffering to, although I have some guesses, but generally speaking, similar themes trend to pop up in my posts, so if you cant figure it out, I am sure you wont have to wait too long before you see it again.

I would certainly love ot continue this discussion with you, andwelcome your particpation in other ones as well.

I must admit, I am not an expert on the whole Reform / Conservative thing - but I will give it some more thought.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Fri Dec 23, 08:39:00 AM GMT+2

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 13, 05:50:00 PM GMT+2  

Umm, can someone explain to me how going out and having some fun and enjoying life is such a horrible, evil thing?

Life is short, why should we spend ALL of it working and laboring and suffering? What's the point of life if it's not to have fun once in a while?

And really, trance? Trance music is about as apolitical as you can get! Isn't it better for kids to be having fun dancing, spending time with family, and so on, instead of possibly being out on the streets committing crime and getting into trouble?

Really, people. Get some perspective.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 07, 02:33:00 AM GMT+2  

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