אַ‮ ‬שאַנדע‮ ‬פֿאַר‮ ‬די‮ ‬גוים — WILL JEWS EXIST?

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Great screaming bannners! I will not be going to the Will Jews Exist? conference at Yeshiva U. featuring Sheldon Adelson, Shmuley Boteach, and company. But I “like” the full page ad at the New York Times and the public display of social hysteria. I’d ask what the organizers of the event were thinking, except I guess it’s pretty obvious. Or is it? Right there in the middle of the NYT for everyone to see? A schande vor de goyim. An enterprising anthropologist might want to check it out. The very public display provided by this cultural performance would indicate the precise obverse of the anxieties it wants to promote. American Jewish culture is alive and well, assertive and unafraid to look ridiculous in public, to show off what’s wrong with conservative Jewish culture that builds itself up on the basis of hysterics. Who knows. Maybe the speakers are going to console us that yes, “Jews will exist,” or at least rightwing and orthodox ones “with religion,” but why pose the culture with such crude stupidity, such proud paranoia?

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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2 Responses to אַ‮ ‬שאַנדע‮ ‬פֿאַר‮ ‬די‮ ‬גוים — WILL JEWS EXIST?

  1. esque says:

    I suspect that you overestimate the speakers’ self-consciousness.

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