Episode 259: Bernie Memes are Torah - Dan and Lex

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Support for this episode of judaism. Unbound comes from the family. Jcc in palo alto california whose vision is to be the architect of the jewish future. The oshman's family. Jcc empowers you to experience. Jewish paths toward a life of joy purpose and meaning through innovative jewish learning and wellness programs community building and initiatives to develop the next generation of jewish leaders learn more at www dot palo alto jcc dot org. This is judaism unbound episode. Two hundred fifty nine bernie memes are torah. Welcome back everyone. I'm dan lee benson. And i'm lex roseburg and we are back for another episode. We usually don't do two in a row that's just lacks and may but we are doing it this week because we have a lot to talk about. There's a lot going on in the world and we have a really exciting said of episodes coming up next and we'll talk a little bit about setting all that up so we've got a lot to cover. We really wanted to start off by continuing from where we were last week. And then we want to talk a bit about what's been going on for the last week or so. Which is the transition of the american government and all the ways that that impacts jews and judaism judaism unbound and then we're going to talk a little bit about the episodes that we have coming up in the next series before we do just want to thank everybody for all your support we just last week. So we're not gonna put out a big play here for your financial support will put out a plea for something that we haven't asked for people to do in a longtime which is to write a positive review of judaism unbound on apple podcasts. I tunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. But anyway thank you so much for all your support and for that moral support as well. It's not just that it makes us feel good to see the positive reviews although it does but it's a way to get people to find out about the podcast to you. Don't already know about it. So thanks so much for helping us there. And let's jump into our conversation. I wanted to talk a little bit about last week. We've been talking about philanthropy. I was really excited about our episode last week and some of the thoughts that we had some of the unusual thoughts such as that you should give less money to jewish causes which is not a usual thing to hear from a jewish organization. And i wanted to start off today by talking about something that i saw on facebook. Now i don't want to call out the person. I actually don't know the person who posted this and so if there are listener i apologize for you know disagreeing with you but somebody had put a facebook post online basically asking. How do you figure out how much of your money to give to charity or philanthropy or sadaqa rate and and it's basically like even if you say. Ten percent is that ten percent before taxes. Ten percent after taxes you know. How does your family figure out how much you're going to give. And what person posted that. I give ten percent but it's net of taxes and essential costs such as sending my kids today school because if i gave the ten percent based on the amount before i deducted the day school tuition i literally wouldn't be able to afford to send my kids today school and that just really struck me after we had just had this conversation that we had last week where i felt like i could easily imagine the same comment saying give ten percent before i deduct tuitions and therefore i literally can't afford to send my kids today school now. That would be an interesting post. That would have all kinds of implications but what struck me was. Just the idea that it seemed obvious that of course we have to deduct the expenses of being jewish before we have the gross amount or the net amount that we're going to use to then deduct ten percent for charity from and it just struck me as like weird and off because it felt like the whole like we talked about last week like the whole point of judaism is to get us to give more generously to those who needed a cetera et cetera. And it kind of feels like if we're only doing that with the money that's leftover after we've spent all the money on judaism like that's not. That shouldn't be what judaism is for from that person's perspective. I mean i don't want to speak for them. And i'd also don't know them but like one of those pieces feels like choice and the other sort of feels like an automatic. That isn't even a choice. Like my kids are going to go to day school and of course both of them are choices the amount and the direction of philanthropic gifts that anybody gives it. That's the choice. And where one's kids go to. School is a choice although we should name like for some people. It's not a choice if you if you really don't have access to that kind of money Lots of people. That's why public schools exist but it is not an automatic given that people who are able or jews were able go to jewish day school and more than that. I feel compelled to say this as somebody whose parents like actually did the effort of looking at different schools in the they went to the public school in my town growing up they went to the jewish day school right down the road. They went to a different private school. That was not religiously affiliated. I ended up going to that third one to the private school that is not religiously affiliated and they weighed various pros and cons and they decided not to the jewish day. School that's not a reflection of them. Like caring less about my jewishness or something. Too many people are willing to say like. Oh you just got to send the kids to jewish day school. That's like a fundamental fact of what it means to care about like passing on judaism to the future. That's not clear to me. We tell the story that sort of that's how you are most likely to yield jewish adults. And maybe that's the case right but is that value of rs. Jewish engaged adults post childhood like is that value of ours so deep that we are going to put aside other values including you know. Sadaqa like charitable giving. That's a serious question. My answer is at the very least it should be maybe not maybe were not gonna make that prioritization and most. I think i leaned towards maybe jewish day. School isn't right for families where it would mean not giving philanthropic giving which i wanna be clear like. I'm not saying everybody has so much money that they can do. Both i'm saying specifically there's lots of people who can't and that's that calls causing us either to have jewish day schools that are less expensive or differently structured or for people to make some different kinds of decisions. What would happen in the world in which it was super clear that i could never post something like that because the understanding of everybody would-be i mean. Let's say it was a jewish law that you have to give ten percent of your gross income to philanthropy and therefore you have ninety percent to work with and if you look at your finances and you said well. I can't afford to send my kids today. School in that situation. You wouldn't be able to say. Well then i'm going to give to charity because that would be a specific jewish law like i'm talking about a community that observes jewish law. So what would happen now. I actually think that most people in those communities would jump to the conclusion in the very next statement. Well if that was the situation then of course philanthropists would have to come in like we'd have to have you know. Wealthy people come in and subsidized day schools. They're saying that now. We couldn't imagine that the answer would be for example. Then i guess we can't afford to half day school so let's not have day schools or that the answer would be than day school. Tuition is going to have to get a lot cheaper and well. How could we make it a lot. Cheaper while you'd have to offer less jewish studies our for example or something like that or you would say well. I guess we can't afford to have a fulltime total immersion alternative to public school like public schools. Free right. we're already paying taxes. It's it's free to the extent that you've already paid for it and so let's move the whole jewish education world to a post school. You know an after school reality which is more or less what it was when my parents. At least we're growing up. There was almost no such thing as a jewish day. School very very few people went to a jewish day school but there was a five day a week after school program. And there's all kinds of arguments against all that. But what i want to note is that judaism is too expensive. The jewish community has allowed judaism to become too expensive. One possibility is to say if judaism is going to be this expensive it campy right right. We're going to have to make changes to our understanding of judaism. Judaism ask of us in order to make it something. That is affordable for the average jew. Or let's say for the below average because we wanted it to be affordable to the vast majority of jews. If not all the jews what does that mean. When be we have to redefine kosher food in order to make it affordable maybe we have to redefine what a jewish education means such that. It is achievable in an affordable way. Because i don't get the world that allows the cost of being jewish to go up and up and up and up which it is and then allow people to say. And the only way that i can afford to participate in this world is to effectively reduce my giving to those who are in great need. It gets to a point where it feels like well. What's the point of that. I wanna keep breaking this down. Because i think you're making such good points. I mean what. I what i think. We opened up last week by kind of explicitly saying you know give less to jewish causes and we said that to ourselves. That's how we started that dot the both you and i feel that if we looked at our charitable giving we've probably given more than we would in the abstract want to to specifically jewish organizations and less than we want to sort of broader kinds of philanthropic projects. You know. let's go to that conversation like there's so much framing around you know sending jewish day school versus not. I don't hear many people talking about like the active wonderful things that come with sending somebody to a public school. Or even you know in my case sending somebody to a private school but a school where i was one of the only jews and i've made this claim in the past and i really firmly believe it to my core because of various things about my own personality. I believe that. If i went to jewish day school i would be less engaged in jewish life today as a thirty year old. I can't prove that to anyone. I don't know it for sir. I am a person who has always liked being different from my surroundings and so being at a school where i was one of the only jews made me like being jewish and made me feel proud of it. That's not. I'm not saying that's everybody but it's a meaningful number of people that that are that way and so if i had been in a space where being jewish didn't make me different from anybody around me. I think i might have gone and gotten really passionate about something else. And that's neither good nor bad. But i just wanna bring it up because like in saying before like i did. Don't go to jewish day school. That can sound like i'm just sort of crapping on jewish organizations for no reason but like at the end of the day right like there's people like me and others who feel that they're very jewishness. They're very judaism traces two realms that we would call sort of not jewish like milwaukee like not that not that jewish city. Oh i went to a school. That was a jewish day school. Oh and like we hammer home. These assumptions that. Oh that's sort of a less jewish terrain to say delib in wisconsin ceo or the school is less jewish. Or whatever all to say i. I like what we started to do last week. By saying you know that jewish giving that a choice driven by jewish things whether that's values or sensibilities whatever is specifically to give less to jewish identified institutions. Like we're really not jokic when we say that like we mean it and i think that a lot of people actually feel that way that like drawing on the very judaism that they hold dear. They feel compelled to support. Things that are universal. Yeah it connects to another point. Which is you know when you're a nonprofit organization. There are often these websites and other kind of things that kind of look at. How efficient is the nonprofit organization and one of the questions. It's basically how much of your organization's money are you putting into fundraising. And there's some rule of thumb. I think it's less than fifteen percent or twenty percent that at least eighty percent eighty cents on the dollar that you take in should be going to the program that your organization runs and not to the raising of more money and i kind of think about looking with that lens to judaism itself and to say how much of the investment in judaism is going to the goals of judaism will have to do with making the world a better place and things of that nature and it connects to something that we've about before and i'm sure we're going to talk about again which is just as question of synagogue dudes for example and i've actually been thinking about it unethical level recently as well and saying that the basic model i. I'm sure i've said this before. But the basic model that a synagogue runs on is the business model of a gym. Which means that you rely on all these people who are willing to pay monthly dues or the annual dues who don't actually participate in the in the day to day workings of the organization because if everybody who paid gym membership dues showed up. There wouldn't be enough machines to serve them so the gym relies on the idea. That people actually are not participating but they feel this need that they should participate in at. That need is enough that they're willing to pay for it. The experience of the people who do participate. Who do go to the gym. Every day is being subsidized by the people who pay but don't go every day and that's a business model for a business of a gym. I don't like the idea that judaism is operating in that business model right. I don't like the idea that we have an expectation that people who are not participating should pay a lot of money. And i don't like the idea that the people who participate are participating in something that is so expensive that they actually can't afford to pay for it and therefore depend on the subsidies of others whether those others are people making philanthropic gifts or people who for whatever reason are willing to pay these dues. But that don't actually participate in it. I'm looking for judaism that everybody who participates pays. Nobody who doesn't participate pays even if they want to. They're welcome to but we don't need the money from people who don't participate. The money that comes from the people who do participate is enough and what that means that. You're going to have to offer a really good experience for participating. Hopefully it's going to be such a good experience that generates word of mouth and the so that more people want to participate in pay that becomes a completely different economic model for judaism. I actually want to put an ethical thumb on that scale and to say that. That's actually a better form of judaism and it's a form of judaism that i would prefer and that's a lot of rethinking that has to go on but i think it does flow from some of this stuff. Yeah i wanna go in a weird direction. Josh off is a person who exists new senator from georgia. I'm bringing down. Because i think he's an interesting case. Study for what we're talking about. We're asking questions about what it is to be endured jewish right so going back to the philanthropic question. It's like is the jewish thing to use my frame of last week to give to projects where the recipients are jewish like is that what jewish giving is or on the other hand is jewish giving something that describes the process of giving that would be in line with jewish values or is it just about the fact that somebody is a jew and they give to whatever they give than is jewish. Giving like. that's a question we asked last week. Jon ossoff i bring up because he is jewish. He it look. His mom is not jewish. his father is but he did Sort of a conversion at some point in his childhood so he's jewish and the question then is from my perspective. Okay there's all these pieces is out in the world articles. Whatever about jon stewart's that's cool like what. What do we do that. And it's like okay. He actually has a high magnitude of what i would term particularist judaism and universalist judaism. Like if you were to ask. Questions of like odd is a person member of jewish organizations synagogue gore. Did they go to the summer camps the youth groups like john actually did many of those things like he was part of A jewish program called ghar. Thirty-six shout out billy planner if you're listening and sometimes do you run that program. He has many sort of tangible ways. Been connected to atlanta's jewish community for a while so check those boxes. If the questions we're asking are about like is the person quote unquote supporting jewish life or involved in jewish life like he's actually a very clear yes in a way that not all politicians are always very clear. Yes and though. I wanna talk about the other side all the universalist side. So i of i'll say like end of the day john. It's not like my perfect politician. Not saying this. Because i think he's like the ideal but like he is somebody on a universalism. He clearly in all his speeches. You know calls on. Universal values talks about dr king. Even though dr king you know not jewish he's in he's representing the state of georgia. Where martin luther. King has a huge presence. Historically he has forged connections across many lines of difference notably and importantly he and the other senator who knew in georgia. Senator warnock very consciously looked to messaging of universalism and making bridges across difference across racial difference across religious difference. He checks all those boxes to and i want a name that there are a lot of jews who in a non trivial real valid authentic sense. When asked you know what makes them. Jewish they're going to go to those much more than they are going to go to like. I go to synagogue on russia. Poor or i have a seder with my family. They may also say that they may not. I'm bringing this up because it seems like we almost have to say you know. Yes jon ossoff lives. Jewish ideals and values indies universal ways and also by the way we have to say this other piece about how he supports jewish causes and is connected to the institutions. Like by the way that's also because there's other people out there right. Let's take doug emhoff's or something they like people who do check the universalist boxes but don't necessarily check the more particular boxes of jewish identity. And i think we spend a lot of time. You know debating whether those people are truly jewish we can even talk about you know. Bernie sanders conversations. We had way back in the day like it's not it's to me. It's a silly question whether bernie sanders is like truly do just like he aesthetically and patently on his face. It's just so clearly. A sense of historical jewish experience is embedded into who he is but we still have those debates. We don't debate about you. Know the people who are synagogue goers why well there's a lot of interesting jewish angles on the new administration one of them that you know is related to what you're talking about has been this Doug emhoff's daughter. Ella emhoff was on this list. That the four hundred. Jewish newspaper does every year of the fifty most stunning. Exactly what they call it. Most influential juice. Our good friend penelope was on the list and that sense i celebrate this list but also half on this list and they recently had to publish a little sort of a retraction that said i guess. It's only forty nine top jews this year because didn't quite rejected. I wish they would sort of a sort of because they indicate that she actually doesn't consider herself jewish from a lineal standpoint. she and jonah for their father's jewish and their mothers are not jewish and john eyesafe considers himself jewish and l. a. m. half does not consider herself jewish. And there are jews out there that you know that. Consider neither of them jewish and they're out there. They consider both of them jewish to a certain extent. And there's people. I'm sure that we'll take a look ups conversion and find it wanting and therefore say that. He's not jewish even though he says he is you know. And there's there's so much debate about this but at the very least it feels like somebody's own right to self-determination whether or not they consider themselves. Jewish is an important piece of this and yet the forward and other publications didn't check in advance. You know just kind of assumed that if we say a person is patrilineal jewish meaning. Their father is jewish. And we're trying to be really open and inviting then. Of course we consider them jewish so they're jewish so let's celebrate it as opposed to first checking with them to see if they themselves consider themselves. Jewish which is interesting like it feels to me like it's a new. I mean i think that part of it is that didn't even occur to them that somebody who is jewish by their outside or definition in other words that that they whoever's making the judgment judges them as jewish that somehow that person would only be grateful. You know like there's no that that person would say actually. I'm not and that. Seems like an important new wrinkle in this. It's a huge wrinkle. And i want to say some things directly because i felt really strongly about these articles and not. Everybody has to agree with me but i feel really strongly about a lot of this especially from the axis of interfaith relationships. An interfaith families ella half is not jewish. I feel that that is a factual statement. I actually don't think it's an opinion. I understand others would say it's an if she does not consider herself jewish. And when asked are you. Jewish says no l. m. hof isn't jewish. Now i don't even really wanna bring this up. Because i feel like it plays into orthodox hands there's also the fact that from a traditional orthodox understanding of who is she's also not jewish. Now the reason. I don't wanna bring that up is because there are lots of other people like john asaf like others who have a jewish father who identifies jewish and. I don't want people to listen to this podcast and like come away with a takeaway that those people are in jewish no the takeaway is people have the ability to define themselves. That's some naive utopian. Wild opinion like people have that ability and by the way another piece is the reform movements definition of who is a jew would also consider 'em half jewish by reform movements definition. You can have one jewish parent whatever gender they are. If you're raised jewish you're jewish but l. emhoff wasn't raised as jewish and so from the four movements perspective she would not be so orthodoxy. Reform actually agree for once on this point and yet we still have people out there in the world making the claim that half despite the fact that she does not identify herself as jewish is still jewish home. This is something that involves a healthy dose and in my view a majority dose of self identification. And that means that we don't get to play the game of odor. No i'm half. Of course like i just mean that we should be inclusive. It's not inclusive like the word inclusive matters and do taking steps to make jewish life actually inclusive matters. And you know we've talked on the show about how it also needs to be more than its inclusion. The people that are being included need to be at the center of the room not to sort of welcomes to the room and we need to be going to their spaces. It's not inclusion to say. Hey a bunch of people who actively don't see themselves as part of this space. You're welcome to be in our space i. It's it's a kind of like colonialism. It's like you're my thing even though you don't think you're my thing you're my thing and you know that article in the forward it concluded with just from my perspective. This really atrocious condescending paragraph. That was like hey ella. If you ever decide to feel differently like the jewish open to you and contact us at the forward. Can you imagine if if somebody of any religious background. I mean christian obviously problematic. But let's say anybody of any religious tradition even minority tradition. Let's see a muslim publication or buddhist publication or a new publication closes by saying. Hey jewish person. You're welcome to leave your welcome to come to our thing. That would be a huge problem. I would stand up and say what are you doing and like we're going and doing that to this person honestly to the people who want to be welcome to spend so much time trying to welcome and who aren't it's really insulting to say like. Oh yes we. We want to claim this person who's not even asking to be jewish but patrilineal jews. Who aren't famous. Who spend a lot of time being told. Oh but you're not really jewish like we gotta be better. I'm flashing back to robert mannequins episode where he talked about this and how people even we haven't even talked about to jewish parents. People that to me that starts to get even more complicated. But i am in fact hinting that if somebody has to jewish parents and they don't identify themselves as part of the jewish project that they also should be respected for that approach other layers. Come up there will admit but also some things are the same in that situation. You know i'm thinking about lenny bruce's famous routine about you. Know who what's jewish and how he talked about. Count basie and ray charles jewish right and he was trying to blur that line or you know. He was saying other things which we might find problematic defining jewish or not jewish. But just this idea that jewish and not. jewish doesn't only have to do with who your parents were and maybe in the future won't wounded all. I mean look. I've been advocating for this idea that if we really are on this next wave of being jewelry. We're on the cusp of this. Next version of being jewish greenberg caused the thirty era etc. That i fundamentally believe that they will be a new definition of is a jew. Just as there has been in each of the previous eras and i believe that the version of that definition that makes most sense given how the world has changed as a self-determined definition in other words. Somebody is jewish. Who says they are and that is going to be problematic for certain people and right one is that there are going to be people who say they are. They're already are people who say they are jewish and have no jewish ancestry and did not go through formal conversion and there are a lot of jews out there who say well. I don't want to accept that that. That i feel that that trivializes and by the way i'm not necessarily saying they're wrong. I mean we can go deep into that question. I think it's an important question. And then by the same token there are people who have to jewish parents who may easily say. I'm not jewish and who may not have said anything and in the case of somebody who has not said anything then the question is can we call somebody. Jewish who has to jewish parents who has not said anything you know. Are they presumptively. Jewish or they presumptively non-jewish and i think that bernie sanders is an interesting case. Study in that not that he has said that he doesn't consider himself jewish in fact he's he does consider himself jewish but as we talked about five years ago when we started the podcast. There are a lot of people who are saying well. He's not the right kind of jewish. He's not that jewish or he's not the kind of jewish that i think is is the right way and so therefore they were kind of had a claim on bernie that he wasn't being jewish right. I'm just thinking. So much about these bernie memes. That have been going around since the inauguration where he's like sitting there with his legs crossed his big mittens folded over in his in his big coat. And it's kind of like. He's sitting in a posture. That just screams disgruntle jewish man and there have been two kinds of memes. That have emerged from this right. One is the me and putting bernie in all these frames from a movie. That are kind of funny. Like my favorite was the one where he's sitting on the jedi council and star wars but the other set of memes. Are these memes. That are kind of like a jewish setting and they're more verbal picture of bernie with something going on behind him. They're just showing the picture of bernie sitting that way and saying something like well. When i hear that synagogue is called for seven forty five am i come at seven forty five. Am and you know what those memes are suggesting is that there's something out bernie sanders that is just so inherently an overflowing lee jewish that we absolutely recognize that guy even if he doesn't do traditionally jewish things very often and at the same time. I'm a little bit aware of the danger of putting somebody into a category that they don't choose to be put in not necessarily in this case jewish. But i mean you know bernie. Sanders has seen the inside of minion for many many years. I don't think that that's really you know. And that's part of the joke but it also feels like it's a little bit of a dangerous joke. I love everything. I thought you were going to go a different direction with your closing piece. So i'll go that direction. But i also love the bernie. Means the mittens. I posted far too many of them this past week or two the problematic nece. I thought you were going to bring up. Is that the very thing that we sort of. Look out with bernie. No the thing that makes me more. Because that bernie is so clearly jewish that very thing like you and i are kind of Advocating or at least sort of diagnosing that the direction of judaism is such that like a lot of people who are not that aesthetic are jews and more and more of those people who don't have that aesthetic whose backgrounds don't trace to europe who might have those ashkenazi associated patterns whatever like more and more of those people are just more and more of the people with bernie's mannerisms don't identify as jews. There are lots of people who are descended from one or two or three or four jewish grandparents. Who don't identify as jews. And by the way. When i say don't enterprise jus i actually mostly take that as a synonym for aren't jews. There are lots of those people who have a lot of the mannerisms anyway i. I'm thinking of a weird direction. Probably because we're about to be talking about bible about torah in these next bunch of episodes. But i'm thinking about a sort of specific kind of debate that ends up being important to my life but like there's characters in the bible i'm thinking specifically of pora moses's wife and jeff throw his dad and father in law who on the surface are not. Jews are not israelites but in later commentaries in mid rushing. It is suggested that they converted at some point in between the lines. And i have spent a lot of my time arguing with these mid rushes basically because it's the same issue right. It's people in effect with good intentions. I think these mid russians were meant to convey like see poorer jetro. They're part of the team like they're part of the israel like group like even though they were born to a different group we truly see them as part of us and to them and to the hawk. Do people who disagree with i would say. Let's ask if they want to be do we can't ask before we can't ask jeff through but like is it actually sort of unabashedly positive to claim an ambiguous identity person as jewish. It's certainly respectful to the people who want to be considered israelites or jews. But from my perspective support jeff throw like death row was supposed to be like a priest like a high priest of the midnights. Like i don't think it makes sense to presume that at a certain stage of life he just up. I'm not that i'm israelite. Now and support is daughter. That i don't know what she would say like. Maybe a more interesting case but like at the very least. It seems problematic to assume that people want to be part of the group if they are participating in the group like so many people who are not jewish today love spending time in jewish environments love spending time with their jewish friends love sharing jewish observances. And you know what they don't want to be juice and they're not jews and they're not looking to convert. We need to be able to balance the really good impulse to say yes. Judaism the boundaries of it our name unbound boundaries of it needs to expand such that people who may not have been perceived as jewish are jewish. But we can't be so lazy about that that we sort of apply it to everybody who is adjacent to jews at all to the point that it. Then there's almost like sort of a self pitying thing about it where it's like. Oh why would anybody want to hang out with us if they're not actually us themselves. There's like a way in which we think jewishness. Judaism are like not appealing. That only the people that are us want to be part of it. Those mid russia's have kind of one in certain spaces like there are certain people that like if i said is not jewish or was not an israelite. There are many spaces where just like immediately. It is ingrained in folks like oh well. She converted even though they know that she didn't in the basics of the text of the hebrew bible that that mid russia's sort of been centered. Plenty of other mid russia's are not centered. I'm curious wide that one one and what we can do to say. Maybe it doesn't need to continue as the situation of the jews changes and jews take on the ability to erase the identities of others by certain actions. That could seem innocuous when you are powerless person. Then your story is flipped. And now you have to live in the world in which you do have power including the power to be very careful about who you claim as part of your own group and start calling them and checking so before we move onto our you know just to make a connection to our next topic. I feel like there's something about this change of administration that we should at least note. Because i think i've told the story on the package before. I think we've talked about it but you know when the last change of administration happened we had been around for less than a year and we had been planning this whole series of episodes on women and feminism which we actually ended up doing earlier this year which was going to coincide with the inauguration of the first woman president hillary clinton and that didn't happen and so even just that example is just an example of how everything kind of went sideways in terms of what we were expecting and we don't have that first woman president but we do have the first woman vice president. Her husband is a jew. And i just wonder whether there's anything that we want to talk about in terms of this new world in which we're living justice is easier to pursue to quote you know a commandment just as easy to pursue when the lead enforcers and public officials are interested in pursuing that justice. I am not convinced at the previous administration was by any definition of what i consider justice. And so what i'm excited about. Is we have in power. A set of people who i think are much more conducive towards achieving that. What i don't want us to fall for is the idea that we can be complacent and that this this shift is transition was kind of the win. There's notable wins already. There's executive orders that on day one made people's lives better. And i look forward to many more of those. You know i'm really thrilled. And like all the representation pieces you talked about are important to you know people who are jewish the second vice president although the second gentlemen sorry second gentleman thank you. I haven't heard second lady very much but here we are second gentleman. So that's and also you know the first person the first try faith household is commonly harris and doug emhoff have a try and maybe arguably with 'em maybe like a quad faith hindu christian jewish and agnostic or none to us. You know casper. Kyle language any. Maybe it's a quad faith family in a sense because of l. I don't know that's a notable thing to in a world where we're talking about. How boundaries of religion are shifting and changing as much as that first person with hindu jr. Who is part of the equation that i ju- who is part of a coupling that is in the white house. That's it's all of importance. And i'm also holding that. The issues that are demonstrated by george floyd or by climate change or by goat on the list of inequalities of economic like we still have the meant steps to take. I've been thinking about this last few days my analogy is to somebody being rushed to the hospital at death's door. You know the training in an emergency room is is always this idea of. Abc that you have to check. Make sure there's an airway. Make sure the person is breathing or you know. Help them if they're not already and circulation like make sure. The blood is circulating. And if not do cpr and make you gotta get those three things into place airway breathing circulation before you. You try to figure out what actually happened to the person because they're gonna die if you don't do that and so there's a stage of just kind of preventing death and then there's the stage where you actually have to figure out what went wrong and fix it. The question is how long to have the emergency room. Sta- be before you know you really got to work on the underlying cause and that i think is really challenging for me to think about because i definitely feel this sense of immense relief that my loved one is in the er and is not going to die tomorrow. But then i i fundamentally also wonder what this ultimately says about about judaism like i think. These are things that like. I feel like have we been able to talk about everything that we should have talked about over the last four years because some of the things have felt like extremely urgent and extremely high stakes. Even things like anti semitism right. I mean i think there's ways that i see anti-semitism now that are very different than how i saw it for years ago but i'm not sure that i was in a position to think very thoughtfully about it over the last four years because it's just been so frightening and so now i feel like hey we better not forget to talk about into think about anti-semitism just because it might be for certain period of time less in our face and that's just one example of of lots of examples of things that i don't only mean things that touch on jews. Is there a way that we can now feel free and we must talk about them even though they may seem less. Urgent nominally must talk about though. Must do things about them and so. I feeling though that we're going to have to push ourselves to do that like we're going to have to remind ourselves to do that because like you say. The the concern is that with the pressure in the fear reduced to complacency the other thing that i just want to know about about judaism in back to tying something about what we were saying earlier about. Claiming people are sort of forcing people into a jewish identity. It brings me back to this question of which is actually a question that we talked about early on in the podcast. Like what is judaism. That judy has jewishness or the jewish stuff is something that actually is able to be contributed into the larger conversation. Some version of what. It means to be somebody. That's deeply engaged with the jewish stuff such that they can carry that in to the public square and help america by the way in some ways like bernie that they could do that without having to necessarily claim or have an identity as it you be thrust upon them and that feels really hard to talk about. Because it's something that we i think haven't seen yet but it's something that i aspire to try to figure out. Well it's an interesting thing to bring up because the torah the bible is a thing that was you know. Distinctly israel editor distinctly jewish that a whole slew of people relate to regularly without identifying themselves as jews or israelites namely christians even non christians who are functioning in society that traces its heritage in many ways to the bible. And so what you're describing doesn't feel that far fetched to me. It actually feels very much the precedent that like. Okay so there's jewish material in in one case stories and texts and whatever that make up the bible those found a way to be relevant to a world of people a literal world of people. It's actually relevant to much of the world. The vast majority of whom ninety nine point eight percent are not jews. So if that's the case all the more so call home air to get very talmudic for a second all the more so let's find ways in which you know. Jewish historical facts are jewish. When i mean by that is like things that a lot of share because of the last few hundred years of history so you know experiencing immense trauma of the holocaust understanding what it is to be oppressed and marginalized being largely a wandering kind of people that has moved in drastic numbers from country to country having that source material. And i know it's not a literal source in the same way that like a torah thing is a written source but having that be cherished and understood by the world and having jews be the ones who see it as our job to channel that out into world not just to jews that absolutely feels attainable. There are real elements of jewish experience. That can teach and can inform and can contribute to a better world. How do we intangible way do that. As opposed to saying we're not quite as worried about are literal safety as jews. Now once you get an episodes this is as opposed. I don't think this as opposed to thinking you know. We're not so worried about our literal safety jews because that was most threatened under trump. Now we can sort of take a break until the next moment of deep terror threat that's not the takeaway i want. Truthfully that's not what i think people are having. I actually am not pessimistic about this. We just have to actually go from. The mental space of judaism has been useful and can teach and jewish. History can teach. Let's do the teacher as you were talking. There's running through the various jewish holidays and the two holidays that happened in the spring. Purim and passover happened to be that. I think the two holidays most tied to a biblical quote historical event and by the way let raises this question of like everybody says every holidays. They tried to kill us they failed. Let's eat actually. It's not every holiday. It's really only two of them. Well three of them throw hundred and that's not biblical so they really only two holidays. That are from the bible. The from the books that were canonized in the bible that are about a story and that we have a holiday. All sort of built upon that that story and They're coming up and it wasn't. Except if you believe that you know the hand of god was involved but we have this series of episodes coming up that we just thought it would be fun to do. A deep dive into the bible from all sorts of different perspectives. Read it from historian standpoint from an archaeological standpoint from a way to live your life standpoint and to offer all kinds of ways of looking at this one tax is really not one texas many many tax and just to kind of spend some time with people who spend a lot of their time really mining this material and looking at it in different ways and ultimately you know we'll see where we are in many weeks when we do a debrief on on that series but i have this feeling that one of the problems is that everybody tends to look at the bible through their own lens. It's kind of like that story of the all the different people who you know can't see but they're all touching and elephant and one of them things it's all trunk and one of them thinks it's all tale etc because the only Really see the part that you're you feel the part that you're feeling if you can't see the whole thing and it may be that there's one of those perspective that really is the right one but for me. It's always been that. I appreciate reading from all these different perspectives in and letting them all kind of similar together and generate thinking about the ongoing relevant to the bible. So i'm hoping that this experience will sort of be one that we can share with others in and let's see what happens from it. I'm really with you on that. I'm excited about this unit. And the last piece that i would say is one ongoing thread that will be talking about here and there is the question of sort of the torah. The bible capital letters versus torah. Which when. i say that. I'm retiring to the idea that like yes there. Is this set of books. The torah this set of books hebrew bible. But there's also the idea that like people have their torah and have their their ways of teaching. And i'm curious especially given that you know we mentioned the bernie means right like i actually believe that there is torah in those bernie means. There's deep teaching that there is deep wisdom in those silly but true memes that suggestion. Oh bernie sanders is. This quintessential kind of jewishness is. This lived embodied commitment to social justice alongside aesthetic of a grumpy but a caring older person. Like i actually think that those memes et cetera. a kind of torah. And i'm excited in this unit to have it pushed me and push us so consider like in. What ways is the torah. One set of torahs. That can help us. Think about all sorts of other ways in which there is deep wisdom in our world even in the. We hope you've enjoyed these conversations. Jewish philanthropy episode has been a fun transitional moment that is neither fully in our previous unit and not fully in our next unit. Either queue up the debates about whether like chabad is part of the previous week or part of the next week. I had some great conversations with a bar mitzvah student about that. And we hope you'll stick around the future ones but if you do if you don't whatever it is we love it when you send us your thoughts your questions about anything. You've listened to recently and you can do that in a bunch of ways. I you can head to our facebook page. Judaism unbound second. You can go to our twitter or instagram. All of those are judaism unbound for the handles. No spaces or anything third. There is our judaism unbound dot com website and last. But not least you can hit us up via email at dan. Judaism unbound dot com or alexa. Judaism abound dot one last plug for you to submit those amazing views in itunes in apple. Podcasts and google podcasts. Whatever like dan mentioned at the top. We love it. When you do that it helps. People find our podcast. But that's our show for today and we hope that you'll journey with us through the torah and through some different torres. So thanks so much for listening. This has been judaism abound.

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