If Shmuely Boteach, the author of Kosher Jesus who styles himself as America’s Rabbi™ — had a “billion dollars,” he claims he’d allegedly spend it on an advertising-media campaign to teach non-Jews how to embrace “universal” Jewish values and live happier, more productive lives — and with the whole world judaized, antisemitism would be eliminated:
…I would take out billboards on all the highways in America quoting from Ethics of the Fathers, the Talmud and Jewish wisdom on how to parent effectively, sustain an erotically fulfilling marriage, overcome anxiety and depression, and live a meaning-filled life. In other words, I would leverage universal Jewish values and wisdom to teach Americans how to master their lives. I would make Judaism a light to the nations. I would make the Jewish faith a source of inspiration and life-mastery for all Americans.
Let me explain. One of the destructive beliefs in the Jewish community – more pronounced now, given the rise of antisemitism – is that non-Jews are innately antisemitic; that they hate us deep in their gut; that we can make no positive impact on their lives, because they naturally detest us, and we should therefore not even attempt to impart Jewish teachings to the world, because the world wants to kill us.
In one of his last public speeches before his death in 2016, Elie Wiesel, my hero and mentor, quoted the Talmud to me, saying that “it is an undeniable axiom that Esau [the non-Jewish nations] hates Jacob [the Jews].” But Wiesel was also revered in every nation on earth, including those, like France, which are not known for great sympathy for the Jewish people, and where he received the Legion of Honor, France’s highest honor. I find it strange that many Jews who reject the idea of systemic racism in America still believe that the world is systemically antisemitic.
I believe the opposite. While many may hate us, the world has generally been electrified by Jewish ideas such as monotheism, the Ten Commandments, human dignity and the Sabbath. It’s just that we Jews have never attempted to impart our teachings directly to the world, preferring insularity instead. Which is why people like Saint Paul, the foremost disseminator of Christian ideas, stepped into the gap to offer the world a form of “Judaism lite,” which became Christianity. Yes, we Jews are not a proselytizing faith. But that’s because we don’t believe you have to “upgrade” your status to Jewish in order to achieve salvation. Rather, we believe you’re special just the way you were born.
But what a shame we did not convert the world, not to Jewish practice, but to a Jewish belief system, a Jewish values system, which was always designed to be universal in nature. But the good news is it’s not too late. With the decline of religion in the West and the rise of anxiety, depression and general unhappiness, modern men and women are looking for spiritual fulfillment and purpose. Judaism, with its emphasis on community, family and ethical living, is uniquely suited to cater to this deep-seated Western longing.
Which brings us to a national media campaign sharing the riches of Jewish wisdom with the masses. We can teach a generation obsessed with popularity on social media that “the more one pursues a name, the more one loses that name,” a fact evidenced by soaring rates of depression among millennials who need to lie on social media every day about how wonderful their lives are, even when they feel broken. We can teach sexually famished marriages how to have greater erotic fulfillment. We can school teenagers on how to be liberated from narcissism by contributing to a community, something I did in Chabad every Friday as we gave out Sabbath candles to passersby and connected them with tradition through tefillin. And we can teach a culture addicted to electronic devices how to regain freedom by turning all this garbage off on the Sabbath.
BY MAKING Judaism a light to America, we will automatically protect Israel in a manner that is much more effective and long-term than is currently being practiced. The Talmud says there are two paths in life: the short-longer way, and the long-shorter way. The same is true of Israel defense. The short-longer way is where we react to each blowup against Israel, like the boycott of Ben & Jerry’s. The long-shorter way, however, is where you make Israel an essential light to the world at large, and the world comes to its defense.
Notice how revered the Dalai Lama is in the West. And notice that he faces the same odds as Israel. Here is a nation of six million Tibetan Buddhists up against the Chinese nation of 1.4 billion with the second-largest economy in the world. Yet the Dalai Lama has strong Western support. Why? Because the West feels he has contributed something indelible to their lives. He has given many in the West a soul after they lost it to mammon. So they fight his battles for him not even as a mark of gratitude but because he is essential to their spiritual fulfillment.
Likewise, the world Jewish community in general, and Israel in particular, should become essential to the world by disseminating Jewish teachings about how to gain mastery over life. Israel should be talking not only about its tremendous advances in cybersecurity, but about how it is the first in the world to offer a third injection of the COVID vaccine, because of the country’s tremendous emphasis on the infinite value of life. Jewish values are the reason that Israel is flourishing today, with its emphasis on the universal Jewish values of education, illumination, robust self-defense, a high birth rate, and respect for the equality and dignity of minorities, all part of the application of the infinite value of every human life.
If we make Judaism, the Jewish people and Israel a light unto the nations, then many in the world who are currently indifferent to our plight will rise to our defense, and not because they pity us over the Holocaust. I recognize, of course, that we have to defend ourselves, even as we create more allies who join the battle. This is the one great failing of the Dalai Lama, an otherwise great man. He never understood that one’s defense cannot simply be farmed out to allies. Tibet has largely ceased to exist as a nation as it is oppressed by China, even as the Dalai Lama has become a global spiritual beacon.
Israel has chosen to go in a different direction, building an army to defend itself against its genocidal enemies. But the heroic IDF is not enough. We need an army of eloquent Jewish spokespeople in the media who not only engage in hasbara (public diplomacy) but who can effectively impart Jewish wisdom to the masses, thereby making our people an essential light to human civilization.
I love Israel with all my heart. But the institutions that I so cherish – like its humane army, its democracy, and its care for its Arab citizens – are all based on eternal Jewish values that declare that every human being is created in the image of God, and that we must therefore love our neighbor as ourselves. Right now I don’t have a billion dollars. Who knows? Maybe one day I might, God willing, and you can all help by buying a billion copies of my books. But rather than spend it, like Jeff Bezos, for an hour in space, I would spend it helping to create heaven here on earth.
And one of the most persistent campaigns has been the undermining and destroying of Christian marriages and families — and they have done this through the promotion of pornography and softcore “eroticism” in advertisements.
Since the 1970s, the Jews have promoted the alleged Holocaust survivor — “Doctor” Ruth Westheimer — as some kind of uniquely-qualified “expert” on sex — who worked to convince married women that they can all have “healthy” erotic marriages literally even on their death beds.
Of course, it was the “learned” rabbis in Babylon who “eroticized” the Bible in their Talmud and Targums — and convinced some very gullible Christians that Eve — and even Adam himself — copulated with a serpent in the Garden of Eden — and that other women copulated with “fallen angels” — a virtual kosher orgy in Genesis.
Some Christians are so convinced of this erotic version of Genesis that they will accuse anyone who doubts it to be a “Jew” — ironically, the very people who actually contrived it in the first place.
Perhaps instead of looking to rabbis and the Dalai Lama — or New Age gurus — for answers in our Bibles and in our lives, it’s time for white people to turn back to Jesus Christ — and start with something as simple as a prayer.