Awaiting Geulah in a Post-Exilic Age

The, er, enthusiastic folks at Kumah have created a rather entertaining animation based on The Matrix to advertise aliyah.
Amusing as it is, I think the premise is a bit presumptuous and is, categorically speaking, way off-base. (Not to mention, I’m a bit put off by the whole Third Temple thing.)
Perhaps someone needs to get these guys a copy of Caryn Aviv & David Shneer’s new book, New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora.

For many contemporary Jews, Israel no longer serves as the Promised Land, the center of the Jewish universe and the place of final destination. In New Jews, Caryn Aviv and David Shneer provocatively argue that there is a new generation of Jews who don’t consider themselves to be eternally wandering, forever outsiders within their communities and seeking to one day find their homeland. Instead, these New Jews are at home, whether it be in Buenos Aires, San Francisco or Berlin, and are rooted within communities of their own choosing. Aviv and Shneer argue that Jews have come to the end of their diaspora; wandering no more, today’s Jews are settled.
In this wide-ranging book, the authors take us around the world, to Moscow, Jerusalem, New York and Los Angeles, among other places, and find vibrant, dynamic Jewish communities where Jewish identy is increasingly flexible and inclusive. New Jews offers a compelling portrait of Jewish life today.

Galut (exile) is, like, so over.

11 thoughts on “Awaiting Geulah in a Post-Exilic Age

  1. as if. as if kings weren’t still going to rise and fall, as if our money ever saved us once the chickens came home to roost, and the empire we put our chips into finally had to pay for it’s abuses.
    wanna end exile forever? form community with everyone around you, but don’t expect the cycle of the world to ignore you because you paid your bills.

  2. How many times have the Jewish people told themselves that they are finally settled and accepted by their host countries/communities? As Jews we cannot afford to forget the mistakes of generations past: there’s no guarantee to our status in any society. Even in societies where we assimilated, integrated, and achieved success in the arts, sciences, and business, we were still decimated. Empires and countries rise and fall, little else is certain in world affairs.
    So it is a bit myopic to announce that we’re the very first generation of Jews to feel rooted to our host countries/communities. Right, that’s never happened before! What is different is that we’re the first generation of Jews that can take for granted the existence and security of the state of Israel. In other words, we have an escape hatch for the first time in 2,000 years. So that allows Jews in galut to let our guard down.
    People say that Jews are paranoid. I counter that after so many pogroms, massacres, expulsions, and Antisemitic decrees over the centuries, we’d be blind to pretend that it doesn’t mean anything; that its merely coincidence. We would be arrogant to think that the lessons of history suddenly don’t apply to us. The burden of proof is to show why things should be different, not on why they would spontaneously change.

  3. Oy Vey!
    What is wrong with these people! Learn from history folks, there is a story being told and we are a part of it. Dont close your eyes and turn your back on Hashem. Israel is our heritage, and we will not forget it NO MATTER IF these NEW-WAVE JEWS turn away.
    It is the Jew who seperates themselves from their communities who are the destroyers. To them who think being a Jew is belonging to a country club, who forgets the divinity of their souls and hangs up the phone on the Almighty.
    What is with this website Jewschool? Is it a plot to snuff out Judaisms soul, it’s connection with all that is good and right in the world? Is Jewschools mission the destruction of the will of the Jewish people to return to the blessing and praising of the name of Hashem? What is this websites purpose? To cause dissention and division between fellow Jews? Please stop such evil speech!
    Michael U

  4. This sounds just like those people who were talking about “the end of history” a decade or so ago. Yeah, right. Tell the Jews in France who are being attacked by bands of Muslims that the diaspora is over.

  5. mobius,
    I don’t think David Shneer would appreciate you using the back of his book to justify an opposition to Kumah’s aliyah animation. He’s a pretty dynamic academic with a bit more texture than you afford him in your plug for his book (or maybe you just quoted it to show your “erudition”) Plus, he specialized in Soviet Jewish history, not the criticism of Aliyah zealots.
    c’mon bro.

  6. If I remember my history right, the Romans forced the Jews into exile to punish them. If I feel like I’m in Galut in the United States of America in 2005, isn’t that letting the Romans win?

  7. Mob,
    I’m afraid that you are, like, eh, so wrong.
    Does Aviv & Shneer’s book document the vibrant communities of Lublin, Berlin, Budapest, Baghdad and Tehran?
    Just wondering.

  8. um, i’ve been to budapest, thanks. and there is a thriving jewish community there. baghdad will see jews again soon. and perhaps so will tehran.

  9. i asked david what he thinks of the video. he says, “I’m impressed that right wing religious Zionism has the savvy to put together a video and blog like that. It’s also proof that Zionism is now about spiritual rebirth and not nation building, and frankly, the whole video creeped me out. Oy.”

  10. You say Oy, I say Selah. Spiritual rebirth requires our people coming back to their Land to finally build that ideal society we are always trying to foist upon the sons of Noah in the exile. Mobius is here because he knows our Torah is the blueprint to build something so high, and he knows the place it gets built is here.
    And both Kumah and Mobius know the wall is not what needs to be built. As for David the author, he could stand to make a little Ah Lee Jah.

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