Re-JEW-venating Civilization by Rabbi Michael Shevack
Rabbi Michael Shevack says in order to join together as one, the world must start understanding Jews.
As discussed in article #1 in this series, Western Civilization is in grave danger. If we’re going to prevent the resurfacing of the thought-poisons that materialized World War II and the Holocaust, all the world’s religions must join together: all 4 billion of us!
Re-JEW-venating Civilization by Rabbi Michael Shevack[/tweetthis]
How do we achieve such a daunting task? How?
By doing something that the world has often found even more difficult: Understanding Jews.
Excuse the seeming arrogance, but I propose that Western Civilization needs re-JEW-venation.
This re-JEW-venation, I believe began with the Second Vatican Council’s Nostra Aetate No. 4, which removed the charge of Deicide (God murder) and the despising of Jesus’ people. Since then, virtually every single major Protestant denomination has followed suit.
Vatican II, and its subsequent documents, affirmed the continued prophetic, historical, purpose of the Jew AS Jews. They essentially repented of the sins of their Imperial Roman ancestors. So, I’m going to take this as an open door here to simply be myself.
After all, it is Judaism that is the spiritual foundation of Christianity. It is Judaism, together with Christianity, that is the spiritual foundation of Islam. The categories-of-thought that propel the entire, progressive, world historical viewpoint– religious or secular, theist or atheist– are founded upon the justice-driven Hebrew prophets. Even Marx, a lost Jew, who is still pretty popular in China, taught a variant of biblical prophetic thinking.
So here are some re-JEW-venation lessons that I believe can save our world (and my people):
Re-JEW-venation lesson #1: Correct Priorities
God comes first. Creation (like our planet) comes second. Human beings and their civilizations come third. This is the order of priority established in the Book of Genesis.
Even if you don’t believe in God, it would be impossible to deny your need of air, water, food, and other supplies that you did not bring into existence yourself. Something Bigger is here, deity or not.
Pollute the air, and your children die of asthma.
Better respect what’s here, or the Power that made it.
Your life depends upon it.
God, Creation, Humankind in that order of importance, can re-JEW-venate our world.
Re-jEW-venation lesson #2: Humility
It is not the power of government, secular or religion that is of Primary Importance. It is not the power of a nation, any nation, including Israel. It is not the power of a corporation. It is not the power of any mere mortal leader or any cultic group, no matter how powerful.
We are all, simply, humbly, creatures. Even our national leaders are. (Surprised?)
Humility can re-JEW-venate our civilization. And these days, humility can also clean up our cruel sound-byte driven media, that degrades people for ratings.
Re-juvenation Lesson #3: Equality under the Law
The Law for the King is the same as the law for the peasant.
Ask King David. He’ll tell you about this, after he had an extra-marital affair in office. (#Metoo!)
The leader of a country is an equal citizen to anyone else. The law must be obeyed by each, equally, with no special privileges.
Since Nixon was pardoned, the United States has lost this ancient Hebrew law, which had been rediscovered in the Enlightenment. Now leaders who are felons are pardoned. Government is hi-jacked to favor wealthy and monied-elite. We are falling back to a two part “justice” system, one which favors the upper crust and the other for the commoners. This is George Vth British. But it also Imperial Roman, the same kind of elitism which ransacked Judea, and contaminated Christianity until democracy re-birthed the Hebrew view of equality under the law.
1. Correct Priorities.
3. Equality under the law.
This is how we re-JEW-venate the forces of Good that can prevent the proto-fascism that is resurfacing in the U.S., Russia, Hungary, Holland and many other places.
Now, if there are some antisemites out there who are feeling afraid, relax! Please don’t worry. These re-JEW-venation principles have been part of Christianity, Islam and Western democratic thinking in virtually every civilized nation for over 2000 years.
Fear not. Jews are not going to “take over”.