Andrea Karshan's Articles, Israel, Jewish

Israel: The Great Divider of American Jewry

By Andrea Karshan

I am becoming less and less pro-Israel by the day. I find the Israeli government, the Rabbinate, in particular, to be extremely divisive to the Jewish people. I think that Israel has created great division within American Jewry. And I believe that G-d frowns on the Jewish state for doing so. Israel should unite Jews, not divide them. It seems like with every decision the Rabbinate and the Knesset make it further divides and separates American Jews. And personally, I think we should just ignore Israel’s decisions and do our own thing. But I understand that some people follow Israel, for many different reasons. But myself personally, I don’t see Israel as an authority on anything because I think the Rabbinate’s decision-making process is so screwed up. I want rabbis with more sense to poskim for me.

Until the Rabbinate and Knesset start making rules that unite Jews instead of dividing them, I  can not put my support behind Israel.  The discrimination shown against converts and Jews who aren’t Orthodox is disgusting.  Though in Israel, a majority of Jews are not Orthodox, and in America Orthodox Jewry is only 10% of the population, the Ultra-Orthodox Rabbinate of Israel and the Knesset seems to have tried to push those who aren’t Orthodox or even aren’t Orthodox enough by their standards out of the picture.

The bottom line is that Jewry has taken many forms.  The different denominations of Judaism don’t agree with each other on Halakha, and that has caused infighting. The infighting shouldn’t be in Israel. Israel should be a homeland for all Jews, born and converted. And unfortunately many feel alienated and/ or unwelcome by Israel.

Israel was created as a place of refuge for the Jewish people. Now it has turned into a place of “you aren’t Jewish” to me or “you aren’t Jewish enough” for me. In my eyes, the original mission of the state of Israel has been lost.

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