Question: A hundred years after the resettlement of German Jews to America, Russian Jews began to arrive.
According to the American writer Stephen Birmingham, German Jews were already respectable, well-dressed, bourgeois-looking and wealthy, and the new immigrants from Eastern Europe were ragged, impoverished, actively bearing the charge of their culture, fierce suffering, and pogroms. They were idealistic socialists.
German Jews were very much afraid of the Russians, especially their idea of organizing trade unions. Therefore, disagreements arose between them, but not on religious, rather on social grounds.
The famous American actor Kirk Douglas who comes from a family of Belarusian Jews noted that anti-Semitism was sometimes most strong among Jews, particularly with German Jews hating Russian and Polish Jews.
Why is the discord between Jews not only on religious but also on social grounds?
Answer: Our religion does not unite Jews. On the contrary, it makes everyone an individualist because it is not built on the true foundation of Judaism, which says “love your neighbor as yourself,” above all differences.
Religion believes that a Jew must fulfill everything that is said in the “Shulchan Aruch” (Code of Laws), and by this he will ensure his future in this and the next world. All the rest does not matter.
Question: Can’t external traditions unite people?
Answer: External traditions divide.
Question: Why is there the strongest anti-Semitism among Jews?
Answer: A Jew is a person who must show the whole world the way to unity, to “love your neighbor as yourself,” to rise above all the differences that love covers. We must be a light for the peoples of the world. And if we do not bear this, then we are in disunity and everyone hates us.
And where do we get the right message if we do not receive the appropriate education? Religion says nothing about it. On the contrary, it pits us against each other: these are Sephardim, these are black, these are white, these are Eastern, and these are Western, and so on. Everything is built on bringing maximum disunity into society.
To this day, we see this among Orthodox Jews. The more Orthodox a Jew is, the more he is attached to his narrow clan, to the extent that marrying others is a big problem. Only in recent years, somewhere, somehow, this has softened, but still not in strictly Orthodox communities.
At the same time, the non-religious part of society in Israel, and even in America, is absolutely indifferent to various parts of society and is ready to unite with them.
This clearly shows how much religion divides society into classes and groups, and how a departure from religion attracts people to be more connected with each other.
From KabTV’s “Systematic Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel” 11/18/19