Friday, August 07, 2009

People in Crystal Balls shouldn't throw stones...

Like his fellow Breslover alarmist Tzvi Fishman, Lazer Brody has been beating the doomsday drum for American Jewry for quite some time. After all, otherwise they'd have one less reason for American Jews to make aliyah.

Whether you believe in the autistics or not, they have blood-chilling forecasts about what's in store for America's Jews.

No, you didn't read that wrong. Not "statistics," autistics. Apparently around Lazer autistic Jews operate much like Tom Cruise's "precogs" in Minority Report. Who knew?

Obama's job is to hasten the Geula by forcing us all to return to Hashem and return to our Holy Land of Israel. Start making plans now, because you never know when the gates will be slammed shut.

Jews must leave a hostile country "before the gates shut yet again"? Now you're stealing Yechiel Eckstein's shtick, Lazer. Shame on you, the man only has so many schemes.

And there's more.

Now, he's your President. He wants to create and fund his own Brownshirts, a mandatory civilian "defense force" stronger than the army. Has America, particularly Jewish America, totally lost its sense of smell? One can't smell with one's head in the ground...

First of all, Lazer, civil defense forces in the US have been around since World War One, albeit not always with the best results. There is nothing wrong or sinister in wanting private citizens to be well-trained to respond to natural disasters or emergency situations. Admittedly, such a program should also be organized to be well-integrated with state and federal agencies as well. However, comparing the very idea to the Brownshirts isn't just insulting, it's downright stupid.

Think about this: Neighborhood watches are civil defense forces. Zaka is a form of a civil defense force. Hatzalah is a civil defense force. Volunteer firefighters are a civil defense force. Many of these organizations have excellent reputations among the communities they serve. There might be reasonable issues to take with the idea of a national civil defense force explictly designed to be more powerful than the army, but suggesting that Obama is trying to organize a Hitler Youth or a Putin-style Nashi movement (or, for that matter, Jr. Askonim) isn't just off-base, it's dishonest fear-mongering.

But that's not the best of it. On the same week Lazer is proclaiming that US Jews should abandon all hope and "head for the hills" (of Judea), what bright news do we get from the holy land?

- Haredim attacking gay youths for putting up signs protesting attacks on gay youths.

- The government continuing to hold thousands upon thousands of non-religious Israelis hostage to Orthodox halacha, preventing them from marrying whoever they please.

- Continued insanity from the Chief Rabbinate refusing to recognize any Orthodox diaspora conversions except those done by the few that "they trust", leaving everyone else in limbo. (Even Lazer thinks this is nuts.) On the flip side, you have the High Court finally forcing the Rabbinate to stop discrminating against non-Orthodox movements and fund their conversion activities too, which I predict will be met by both a firestorm of criticism and as much heel-dragging as possible.

- Even when a dati leumi rabbi suggests having a shul that is "friendly and open to women", theoretically something not very controversial, he still gets hammered for it and has his credentials questioned.

I don't know, it sounds like Israel might not be the best place for us non-Ortho, gay loving liberals, Lazer.

But wait! It gets better! On the same day that Lazer is trying to scare American Jews to move to Israel because it isn't safe, what should happen at the focal point of the Breslover universe, the site of the famous annual pilgrimage, an area that has seen tons of money and goodwill invested over the past two decades as Breslovers try to reclaim Uman for Nachman's holy soul?

Ukrainian television reported Friday that a building housing Rebbe Nachman of Breslov Hasidim in the city of Uman has been set on fire.

A sign! Uman isn't safe for Jews! The gates are closing. Make Aliyah now Lazer!

Hmmm... maybe they had a point a year ago.

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