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American Jewry's Cherished Values

Kepha Wrote: Oct 13, 2012 1:15 PM
Interesting that you mention the Mishpat Hammelek passage in I Samuel 8. During the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, the prelude to Locke's view of political compact was a century of Calvinist theologians arguing that I Samuel 8 was a warning about what kings would do rather than a listing of monarchy's divine rights. They threw in Deuteronomy 17's admonition that the Israelite monarch be subject to Torah as well. Our own country's weariness with liberty under law (bequeathed by all those Puritans, Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed folk who gave us our start) and desire for some "Great Leader" figure strikes this Bible-thumper as an eerie echo of those times "before there was any smith in Israel".

Decades ago, the sociographer Milton Himmelfarb coined the aphorism that "American Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans." And his words ring as true today as ever. Surveys show that roughly 70 percent of American Jews intend to cast their ballots for President Barack Obama's reelection next month.

Himmelfarb's quip indicated that American Jews abjure their economic interests in favor of their liberal values. Certainly it is true that for American Jews to vote for Obama next month they must act against their economic interests.

Obama's economic policies have taken a huge toll on the economic...