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The mask he jews wear..Who is the American Jew? Deconstructing Atheism. Has Insights into the Persistence of Jewish Economic Monopolies Centuries Ago

jan peczkis|Tuesday, January 16, 2018

By way of introduction, Borowitz’ grandfather came from Sokolow, in Russian-occupied Poland. (p. 33).

The author traces the self-identity of American Jews. He believes that the we’re-all-Americans assimilationist fever, of late-19th and early-20th-century Jews coming to the USA, has increasingly given way to a more openly-Jewish and particularistic Jewish self-identity, beginning in the late 1960s.

Borowitz also contends that most American Jews are Marranos in reverse. Whereas the original Marranos, by necessity, were Jews in private and non-Jews in public, American Jews, acting freely, tend to be Jews in public and non-Jews in private.

So what exactly is a Jew? Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz thinks that “people” is too unspecific and “nation” has territorial connotations. For this reason, he suggests that Jews are an ETHNOS, or ethnic group. (p. 109). That is why a Jew, whether observant or not, remains a Jew. [Parenthetically, this refutes the rather silly exculpatory argument that Jewish Communists were “not really Jews.” They most certainly were.]


The author repeats the premise that the Enlightenment had made the questioning of God respectable (p. 67), and that it can be difficult to believe in a God who is invisible and who allows suffering and evil. (pp. 190-191). However, Rabbi Eugene Borowitz also points out we naturally want to get rid of God because we don’t want to obey His commandments, and because we do not want to admit our guilt whenever we ask for His forgiveness. (p. 191).

Borowitz categorically rejects the argument that the Holocaust has discredited belief in God. He instead suggests that, if there is no God, then there is no absolute standard for judging Auschwitz an unspeakable evil, and Auschwitz could even be a “reasonable expectation” of what can happen. (p. 201).


Rabbi Borowitz comments, “Why were the Jews the Jews throughout the Middle Ages successful in international trade far beyond what we find among other peoples? The answer is to be found not only in necessity and in the dispersion of family and folk, but especially in the transnational character of Jewish language and Jewish law. A Jew in Amsterdam who had a cousin in Constantinople was married into a family that had come from Venice had many advantages in doing business through such relatives.” (p. 99).

This has persisted unto recent times, and has unstated implications. For instance, and as exemplified by the Alfred Dreyfus case, there was the partly-justified perception that Jews are essentially a trans-national people, and so potentially-valid questions can be raised about their loyalties. In early 20th-century Poland, the web of Jewish family ties made it possible for Jews to fend off Polish newcomers to business, and this provoked the much-condemned Endek-led boycotts of Jews. It was the only way to put a sizeable dent in Jewish economic monopolies, and for creating substantial business opportunities for Poles.
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