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Spirituality
Author: Elliott Abrams
ISBN: 0684825112
Subcategory: Judaism
Pages 256 pages
Publisher Free Press; First Edition edition (June 4, 1997)
Language English
Category: Spirituality
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 764
ePUB size: 1137 kb
FB2 size: 1987 kb
DJVU size: 1927 kb
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eBook Faith or Fear: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America download

by Elliott Abrams


Abrams uncovers data showing that Jews are among the least religious people in America .

Abrams uncovers data showing that Jews are among the least religious people in America. Many have made a tragic mistake in equating Jewish security with removing all forms of religious devotion from public life. Elliott Abrams, in his book Faith or Fear, How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America, tackles the problem of Jewish continuity. Will Jews in America survive the ravages of assimilation and population decline?

Includes bibliographical references (p. 199-219) and index. Crisis - From faith to fear - The gospel about Jews - Evangelicals - Intermarriage - The flight from Judaism - The orthodox nuisance - Return.

Includes bibliographical references (p. The author addresses the loss of Jewish identity in a Christian Society, and calls for Jews to return to their heritage.

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In an erudite and fascinating way, Elliott Abrams explores the immense but amazingly under-appreciated changes in Christian attitudes towards Jews as well as the failure of communication between orthodox and more secular Jews, arguing that American Jewry can only survive as a religious community. This provocative yet surprisingly readable book will foment discussion throughout the land. Edward I. Koch, former mayor, New York City.

Abrams, a former assistant secretary of state, takes on the same perplexing question that Alan Dershowitz recently . Finally, Abrams offers hard data on the growing impact of assimilation through intermarriage in all American ethnic groups.

Abrams, a former assistant secretary of state, takes on the same perplexing question that Alan Dershowitz recently addressed (p. 268)-the high rate of Jewish intermarriage and what it means for the future of American Jewry-with not much better results. His analysis is at points much more cogent (he smartly points out that mere ""continuity as a goal can turn the purpose of Jewish life on its head,"" making Judaism a tool of Jewish continuity rather than the reverse).

In an erudite and fascinating way, Elliott Abrams explores the immense but amazingly under-appreciated changes in Christian attitudes towards Jews as well as the failure of communication . Please tell us how we can improve it. Cancel.

In an erudite and fascinating way, Elliott Abrams explores the immense but amazingly under-appreciated changes in Christian attitudes towards Jews as well as the failure of communication between orthodox and more secular Jews, arguing that American Jewry can only survive as a "religious" community. -Edward I.

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This statement is silly on several levels. First, a shift to secularism does not, ipso facto, result in moral decline among the citizenry. There is as much evidence for this facile assumption as there is for the notion, also depressingly prevalent, that a general shift to religion.

Author : Elliott Abrams. Publisher : Touchstone Books. In an erudite and fascinating way, Elliott Abrams explores the immense but amazingly under-appreciated changes in Christian attitudes towards Jews as well as the failure of communication between orthodox and more secular Jews, arguing that American Jewry can only survive as a "religious" community. Users who liked this book, also liked. Bound by the Bible - Jews, Christians and the Sacrifice of Isaac (English).

In the midst of the greatest religious expansion in American history, Jews are a shrinking minority. Intermarriage is up, synagogue attendance is down, and Jewish education is flagging. Jewish leaders spend less time instructing the young in religious traditions than in promoting liberal causes and attacking conservative Christians. But as Elliott Abrams contends in this tightly argued, insightful polemic, it is not the Christian Right that most threatens Jews today, but rather their abandonment of Judaism. From the New Deal to the present day, the politics of the Jewish majority have been increasingly both liberal and secular. This deep-seated inclination reflects the decision of 18th-century Jews to embrace an absolutist view of church-state separation - a sensible choice at a time of extreme Jewish vulnerability in a hostile Christian society. Yet paradoxically, the Jewish commitment to secular liberal values has itself become the greatest threat to Jewish continuity. Rather than attacking Christian fundamentalists, Abrams argues, Jews should follow their example. Indeed, conservative Christians are the natural allies of Jews, not their adversaries. Abrams documents how many conservative Christian leaders have swept anti-Semitism out of their churches, replacing it very often with strong pro-Israel and philo-Semitic stances, and shows how Jewish interests are more consistent with those of other people of faith than with secular liberals who want to drive religion out of public life completely. Abrams calls on American Jews to renounce their outmoded fear of Christians and their misguided faith in a liberalism that no longer serves to promote Jewish survival. Only through a genuinerenewal of religious belief, he maintains, will today's American Jews be able to pass their identity on to a new generation.
Worla
An important book on understanding the nexus between Judaism and Christianity.
lucky kitten
A little too dramatic in making an elefant from a fly but it still gives some insights into the matter of a minority among a different or even opposing majority
Bukus
In the June 21, 2013 J Magazine op/ed, local Conservative Rabbi Menachem Creditor bemoans the shutdown of the Conservative movement's college outreach program. He then explains why the American Conservative movement (USCJ) is declining, but declining it is. "Fewer and fewer synagogues are affiliated with USCJ..."

Elliott Abrams, in his book Faith or Fear, How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America, tackles the problem of Jewish continuity. Will Jews in America survive the ravages of assimilation and population decline?

"The results of the National Jewish Population Study of 1990, and several other major works of research, draw the portrait of a community in decline, facing a demographic disaster. The term "disaster" is no exaggeration: Jews, who once comprised 3.7 percent of the U.S. population, have fallen to about 2 percent....Demographers predict a drop of anywhere from one million to over two million in the American Jewish population in the next two generations" (pp.1-2).

At the same time, however, Orthodox Jews are increasing their numbers. Never has the Orthodox community been more vibrant, opening day schools and synagogues and demanding that marriage stay within the faith. Ironically, " the very Jewish groups who most loudly profess their anxiety about Christians are, with a frequency never before seen in all of Jewish history, marrying them" (P.99). Intermarriage is rampant because antisemitism among Christians has declined significantly over the last 80 years. At the same time much of the non-Orthodox Jewish community has abandoned Jewish ritual practice and injunctions against intermarriage. In its place the mainstream Jewish community has taken up the religion of secularism and liberalism--all religion is an anachronism and abhorrent. So the liberal Jew cares not about the Christian's faith (or his own) since it is simply a collection of old and ridiculous superstitions, and now, since she no longer demonizes his Jewish background, the two can and will marry.

Can the non-Orthodox denominations of American Jewry be saved from extinction? According to Abrams, it matters less if one is Orthodox as long as Jews use Orthodox tactics: high levels of admission to (private religious) day schools. Jewish communal groups need to lower tuition rates to make this happen. Secondly, mainstream American Judaism must increase ritual observance--more Torah study, keeping kosher, observing the Sabbath, etc. Abrams argues that one does not have to become fully Orthodox and completely observant--just ratchet up one's level of ritual commitment. If you do not believe, do it anyway for the generations that will come after you. Only then will American Jews continue to thrive.

Elliott Abrams is, of course, the neocon, responsible for much national policy in the years before the Obama administration. One should therefore not be surprised that his book is a conservative reaction to the problem of Jewish continuity. The other option, Alexander Schindler's idea to convert secular non-Jews and non Jewish spouses has not convinced the children of these unions to stay Jewish (P. 118). I recommend considering Abrams' opinions.
Onnell
If anyone hadn't heard his name before, just a reminder, this author was the Assistant Secretary of State during the Reagan era. His book these reads like a report on Jewish life in illreverant America. While his argument on the state of Jewish idenity is well defended, (ie, like minimizing the religious aspect of the Jewish idenity and having major jewish organizations not supporting the religiously observant publically has lead to a loss of jewish poeple #s, etc.) it has some obvious flaws.

For example, he says that today's role of the Christian right and anti-semetism has been overexagerrated and feared by Jews. Great strides in the Christian-Jewish dialigoe has minimize hate teaching and proselytizing of jews by christian organizations. There is a great acceptance of Jews as senators,etc and other community leadership roles. And true, fundamentalists and evangetical organizations are no longer targeting jews per se and actually support Israel. But what is ignored is that they no longer have to directly. Why there are separate organizations that allow jews to do it to themselves. They are called Jews for Jesus and Messianic synagogues! There are over 100 messianic synagogues in Israel alone! Why no mention in the book? These outreach efforts are funded by the very evangetical organizations jews should not fear in allowing support to their religious political/educational agendas - in exchange of orthodox jewish ones.

Another example that struck me a bit off is the "abandonment" of the outreach to jews of mixed ethnic origins ("half" and "quarter" jews). Granted he does not say this directly, but he suggests money being more well spent in educating the remaining full jews from marrying outside the faith completely, regardless of a spousal conversion. To me this would be like jewish suicide, in denying the rest of the jewish population how they choose to idenify themselves as jews. If anything, jews of mixed ethnic or faith backgrounds need a special kind of sensitivity otherwise, they will deny their 'jewish self' all the more easily.

Lastly, there are divisions in the Jewish community on Israel due to their inability to create a peaceful solution with their neighbors, the Palestinians. Flag waving at the synagogues only help so much. The issue is not properly dealt with in this book which gives Abrams' book a false sense of authenticity.

Of course I recognize the problems Jews faced today. As a convert who has jewish relatives both though my step-father and now a jewish husband, I wonder how did I ever get into this mess! The jewish people have conflicts within their faith as well as outside of it, quite unique from say Irish or Italian american intermarriage to the protestants (though his comparisons to those groups are interesting). Identification with ourselves as a group must be more liberal that of the original torah. In this sense 'jewish survival' will depend more on the oral tradition of reinterpreting the original precepts of the jewish faith rather than the narrow view of jewish identification which he sees as the only way for Jews to exist as fully jews. And NO it does not mean that a Christmas tree needs to be put in a lobby of the Reform synagogue as he insinuates! Geez!
Timberahue
Abrams got it, though unfortunately it is clear that no one is listening.
GoodBuyMyFriends
Faith or Fear: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America

Abrams' book is well worth the read for anyone with interest in the religious scene in the U.S. He clearly outlines the problem of the erosion of Jewish religious believers in the more or less tolerant society. His concern is that Jewish identity will gradually be lost through intermarriage and the eroding of Jewish religious training and practice. His remedy would be to bring the genuine religious dimension back into the life and practice of those who want to keep identity as Jews.

What is missing in his analysis is the problem of the rational justification of religious beliefs. Therein lies a problem he does not seem to recognize. But consider the following men of Jewish background who are either confirmed agnostics or outright atheists: Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Steven Pinker, Isaac Asimov, Freud. The list could be extended. Einstein once observed that religions, including Judaism, are incarnations of the most primitive beliefs. These men, as many others, have a strong sense of their Jewish heritage, but they could hardly support Abrams' admonition to build formal religious belief and practice back into their lives.