DENNIS PRAGER: Orthodox Judaism grows as others wither

Posted On October 28 , 2013
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Dennis has long been an advocate for Sarah Palin, who appeared on his nationally syndicated radio show in 2011.

Why Orthodoxy is growing


Via Congregation Ezra Bessaroth

As almost every Jew knows by now, according to major reports on American Jewry — such as the most recent and most highly regarded Pew report — Orthodoxy is growing, while Conservative and Reform Judaism are shrinking.

Before presenting my explanations, I think it important to note that I have no denominational ax to grind. I was raised Orthodox, and went to yeshivas through the end of high school. But I left Orthodoxy early in life and have always been involved in Jewish life — Conservative, Reform, Orthodox, Chabad, Jewish federations and writing for Jewish publications.

In a nutshell, I wish all Jewish endeavors well.

I believe that Orthodoxy is prevailing and that the non-Orthodox denominations are diminishing for the following reasons:

First, Orthodoxy makes more religious demands on its followers (and they are demands, not suggestions). Orthodoxy demands strict religious ritual observance — at the very least, Shabbat, kashrut, daily prayers with tefillin (for men), and regular attendance at synagogue on Shabbat and all the holidays (how many non-Orthodox Jews can even identify Shemini Atzeret, as much a Torah holy day as Passover?).

I can cite a personal example to prove this point. Non-Orthodox Jews nearly always assume that I am an Orthodox Jew when they learn that I do not broadcast on Shabbat or on any of the Torah holidays. If many Reform and Conservative Jews took all those days off from work — as the Torah demands — few Jews would make that assumption. (I do broadcast on yom tov sheni, the rabbinically added day for Jews outside of Israel.)

Like all other religions (with the prominent exception of Protestant Christianity), Judaism has not been able to survive without ritual observance.

Second, the more Orthodox one is, the more he or she is likely to live among Orthodox Jews. One’s entire social life (outside of work) revolves around fellow Orthodox Jews. That makes it, to put it gently, very difficult to leave Orthodoxy. If you do, you are likely to lose your whole support system and probably most of your friends, as well. You may even risk alienating your family.

Third, the great majority of Orthodox Jews send their children to Orthodox Jewish day schools — usually through high school. The Orthodox child rarely has close non-Orthodox, let alone non-Jewish, friends, thereby reinforcing Orthodoxy both experientially and socially from the earliest age.

Fourth, more Orthodox Jews marry; they marry younger, and they have more children than non-Orthodox Jews. Among other reasons, many non-Orthodox Jews bought the nihilistic nonsense — and the Jewish dead end — of the zero population growth movement. And fewer and fewer of them believe that marriage and children are mandatory. On the contrary, many consider a successful career at least as fulfilling as marriage and family. It would be instructive to conduct a poll among non-Orthodox young Jewish women, asking them this question: “Would you rather have a great marriage and family or a great career?”

I have asked this of many young Jewish women, and at least half have responded that they would choose the great career. Just this week the Huffington Post published a column titled, “6 Reasons Never to Get Married.” The author? A woman named Leah Cohen.

It is hard to get further from Judaism and imperil Jewish survival than having Jewish women value career more than, or even as much as, marriage and children.

Fifth, as if all of the above were not enough, Orthodox Jews believe God chose the Jews and is the ultimate author of the Torah. Very few non-Orthodox Jews believe God is the author of the Torah; but it is inconceivable that Judaism can long survive among Jews who do not believe that God created the world, took the Jews out of Egypt and gave the Torah.

Sixth, Israel is central to almost all Orthodox Jews. Incredibly, and tragically, it is increasingly peripheral to many other Jews.

Seventh, the further from Orthodox Judaism one gets, the more one is likely to adopt leftism/progressivism as one’s moral code and worldview. Just as the Orthodox Jew is steeped in Judaism from the earliest years, most non-Orthodox Jews are steeped in leftism at home and in school from elementary through graduate school. How else to explain the phenomenon of young women thinking career will give their lives as much or more meaning than marriage and family? How else to explain the alienation from Israel among so many non-Orthodox Jews?

I write none of this to make the case for Orthodoxy. I find most of the reasons admirable and a few disturbing. But truth is truth. Any one of the seven reasons would suffice to explain why Orthodoxy is increasing and non-Orthodoxy isn’t. All seven make the case incontrovertible.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host (AM 870 in Los Angeles) and founder of His latest book is the New York Times best seller Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (HarperCollins, 2012).

A shabbat in Jewish Hebron, where monotheism was born

Posted On October 27 , 2013
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Thousands of Jews visit the graves of the Biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs every year during the Torah cycle portion of Chayei Sarah (Lives of Sarah). The imposing structure was built by the Jewish King Herod almost 2,000 years ago.

David Wilder

Spokesman for the Jewish Community of Hevron

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AUDIT THE FED! Rand Paul vows to delay Yellin nomination

Posted On October 26 , 2013
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PALIN: Netanyahu’s UN speech was honest, visionary, serious

Posted On October 1 , 2013
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Via Facebook

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Watch the complete video of Netanyahu’s speech here:

DANIEL PIPES: I DO criticize Israeli policies … from the right

Posted On September 29 , 2013
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PALIN: I can see Putin shoeprint on Obama behind from here

Posted On September 22 , 2013
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Of unknown provenance. H/t: Dr. Bob

PALIN: Bombs away on the ‘Un-Affordable Health Care Act’

Posted On September 21 , 2013
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The amazing thing about Sarah is that she keeps leading while keeping a low profile – and therefore presenting less of a target.

To our readers, we apologize as we needed a month off to attend to personal business and to observe the Jewish holidays.

With Gd’s help, we’ll be getting back up to speed in the coming weeks.

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On the one hand, it is gratifying to see Bill Kristol give Gov. Palin her due as a political force and leader of the conservative movement.

And the prospect of her joining the ranks of Tea Party/Libertarian Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee is certainly tantalizing.

On the other hand, it is hard to imagine Sister Sarah spending more than 6 hours at a stretch in the fetid fever swamps of DC.

So it will be up to her to decide if that is the right path for her and for her country, and therefore worth the self-sacrifice.

Via our friend Fay at SarahPalinInformationBlog

Is Obama’s illegal alteration of Obamacare impeachable?

Posted On August 19 , 2013
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Gentleman George Will won’t raise the question here, but he should.

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