Kiddush Hashem, Chillul Hashem, Anti-Semitism, and Self Awareness

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  • This topic contains 14 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  showjoe 2 years ago.
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  • #1394850

    catch yourself
    Participant

    This is just my two cents, but it’s been building up inside me for a while, so I want to let it off my chest.

    It’s high time we took a good hard look in the mirror.

    Just as not every time a Jew gets a speeding ticket is a manifestation of overt anti-Semitism, It’s important to realize that not every time a Jew does what any decent person would do qualifies as a Kiddush Hashem.

    When Rabbi Muroff returned the $98K he found in a desk, that was a Kiddush Hashem. When I didn’t run over the lady crossing the street this morning while I was running late to work, that was not a Kiddush Hashem, it was refraining from committing a crime.

    Can you imagine a newspaper with the headline, “Christians Spread Love,” followed with an article about some gentiles living in middle of New Square giving out Mishloach Manos? Would you get a favorable impression of their religion (חס ושלום) because of such actions? What if you knew that they did this specifically to impress you?

    When a Jew uses a memorial as a picnic table, he may not have violated any law, but he has done something inconsiderate and distasteful. That is a Chillul Hashem.

    When a Jew uses pejorative terms to refer to other people (yes, even if the word is in Yiddish), when a Jew abuses his position for personal gain, when a Jew treats others as somehow lesser humans than himself, that is a not just a Chillul Hashem, it is also a crime. In fact, it is primarily a crime, and also a Chillul Hashem. Somehow, the criminal aspect of these actions gets glossed over in our discussion, and we focus (rather narcissistically, I think) on the Chillul Hashem aspect as though it were the only problem.

    When a town deliberately changes zoning laws and building codes so that Jews will not be able to move in, that is anti-Semitism. When a couple of creative kids come up with a good costume and complement it with very funny props, that’s not anti-Semitism, it’s a good sense of humor.

    We need to lighten up about how other people treat us, and not be so full of ourselves about how we treat others. We need to be more self aware, and recognize how our conduct foments dislike and distrust of Jews.

    #1395126

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Would you get a favorable impression of their religion (חס ושלום) because of such actions?

    Would you get a favorable impression of their religion (חס ושלום) if someone returned 98k found in a desk?

    When a couple of creative kids come up with a good costume and complement it with very funny props, that’s not anti-Semitism, it’s a good sense of humor.

    When a frum politician wears blackface on Purim, is that also just a good sense of humor?

    You might be making (a) good point(s) here, and I’m just not getting it (them) from lack of appreciating your examples. I’m not sure. I definitely do agree with your last sentence.

    #1395130

    Joseph
    Participant

    CY: Your OP is about 25% correct and 75% incorrect.

    #1395169

    Health
    Participant

    CY -“When a town deliberately changes zoning laws and building codes so that Jews will not be able to move in, that is anti-Semitism.”

    A lot of these towns have also made “No knock” policies.
    Is this also Antisemitism?!?

    #1395219

    FuturePOTUS
    Participant

    Thank you for speaking up in your nicely worded piece.

    This is actually an issue that has bothered me for a while. Orthodox Jews have a tendency to view any negative behavior towards them as anti-semitism, when quite often they themselves are to blame. I second all of your points, and could not have phrased them better myself.

    I personally would like to take it a step further. With all of the blatant corruption, insensitivity to other religions and ethnicities, among other problems in Jewish communities (not to mention the massive amount of arguments initiated and fought by ‘frum’ Jews), non-Jews simply don’t want to bother with us moving in. That’s not anti-semitism, that should serve as a message to the Jewish community that they’re doing something wrong here. Something tells me that if it was an influx of Modern Orthodox Jews, there wouldn’t be the same resistance.

    Crying anti-semitism and making a big deal in the media will not fix this problem. The only thing that will is changing our society for the better.

    #1395224

    Joseph
    Participant

    So if a community doesn’t want blacks moving in (due to an increased crime rate they might bring), and the municipality takes steps to discourage blacks from buying or renting homes in “their” community, I take your logic to mean you wouldn’t deem that to be racist.

    #1395306

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, your last comment is a great example of the OP’s point. It’s apparently ok for you to make a racist comment ( blacks that can afford to buy expensive homes in Mahwah bring crime ) but anti-Semitic to say that the Jews of Monsey will bring unwanted density, zoning violations, etc

    #1395323

    Joseph
    Participant

    So it’s racist to point out an increasing crime rate when neighborhoods become more black but it isn’t Anti-Semitic to say Jews commit “zoning violations”.

    Makes a load of sense.

    #1395328

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph ,
    Please provide documentation that blacks purchasing homes in areas like Mahwah always bring more crime

    #1395338

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    He said always?

    #1395348

    The little I know
    Participant

    Yelling “anti-semitism” may be a conditioned response, but it smacks of the current trend to label anything we dislike as victimization. It seems popular. That’s the energy behind the myth of Islamaphobia (it is really fear of terrorism), which is used to identify it is an unfair victimization.

    Similarly, I ask the OP and commenters to explain the Mishna in Pirkei Avos:

    המחלל שם שמים בסתר נפרעים ממנו בגלוי

    If the qualification for chilul Hashem is publicity, than how can one do this in private? I believe the answer to that question will shed a great deal of light on the question posed by the OP.

    #1395438

    Joseph
    Participant

    Something tells me that if it was an influx of Modern Orthodox Jews, there wouldn’t be the same resistance.

    When the Jewish community in Wyckoff, NJ applied to build a synagogue in the 1970s, one of the opponents arguments against permitting it was “do you want Wyckoff to become another Teaneck.”

    #1395442

    catch yourself
    Participant

    DY –
    1. Well, the Gemara does say that impressing people with your conduct is the definition of a Kiddush Hashem. Why wouldn’t the same concept apply for some other religion? I think it is fair to ask what the Torah expects us to think of the righteous conduct of others. How, for example, are we to think of the self-sacrifice of those Polish and other Eastern European non-Jews who risked their own lives to save those of our grandparents? If their righteousness is to be attributed to “humanity”, then why is ours assumed to be attributed to the Torah?
    So I agree that your first point is valid, and that the Gemara needs further review.

    2. To be honest, until last night I never understood why so many people get so angry when someone puts on blackface. After your comment, I did some rudimentary research, and found that it has quite a history, and is an important part of the racism practiced against blacks in this country. In other words, it isn’t just a costume, it has a lot of baggage.
    The parallel would be if the kids had dressed as Jews who had murdered little non-Jews and used their blood in the production of Matza (although, I’m not sure how a costume could convey all that).

    Joseph –
    Please tell me which parts are right, and which are wrong. I am very happy to acknowledge when I am mistaken, but I can’t have a conversation that doesn’t address specific points.

    In any case, I agree absolutely with lesschumras. Your assumption that a certain group of people will bring crime is terribly racist. I would much rather live among black professionals than among white trash. I don’t assume, however, that someone black must be a professional, or that someone white must be trash. In reality, I don’t care about my neighbor’s skin color, but about his character.

    What’s more, you actually got precisely the wrong message from my original post. I wrote that , “When a town deliberately changes zoning laws and building codes so that Jews will not be able to move in, that is anti-Semitism. ”

    TLIK –
    I always understood that Mishna either to mean that “Seiser” and “Galui” are relative terms, or that a person can hide behind some anonymity even as he is easily identified as an Orthodox Jew. Nevertheless, I hope to look around a bit to see if there is more out there.

    #1395509

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Well, the Gemara does say that impressing people with your conduct is the definition of a Kiddush Hashem.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but when you gave a hypothetical case of non Jews giving mishloach Manos, you were referencing Jews giving Halloween treats in Toms River and Jackson. The comments in the photos attached to the YWN article certainly indicate that people were impressed.

    #1395511

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The parallel would be if the kids had dressed as Jews who had murdered little non-Jews and used their blood in the production of Matza (although, I’m not sure how a costume could convey all that).

    If you would understand how upset many non Jews are about Jews offering to buy houses, you would understand that it was not meant in good humor.

    #1395538

    Sadigurarebbe
    Participant

    It shouldn’t be a news item when people are nice to one another.

    #1395564

    Health
    Participant

    CY -““When a town deliberately changes zoning laws and building codes so that Jews will not be able to move in, that is anti-Semitism. ””

    You didn’t answer my question – Read it above.
    Don’t always assume it’s Antisemitism!
    Do you know how times prospective buyers knocked on my door & I’m Frum?

    #1395570

    showjoe
    Participant

    When a town deliberately changes zoning laws and building codes so that Jews will not be able to move in, that is anti-Semitism. When a couple of creative kids come up with a good costume and complement it with very funny props, that’s not anti-Semitism, it’s a good sense of humor>

    maskim

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