…Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can be
calculated in advance, and it becomes part of the ceremony. Kafka, Parables and Paradoxes…
Basically, the Western Jews of Europe were the liberal part of European Jewry. Assimilationist, they were directed towards approaching the white male, bourgeoise image that appealed to the senses of assimilation and social advancement; cultural characteristics, unfortunate birt defects that could possibly be mimimalized within a few more generations of genetic mutation. Secular values that incarnated the Enlightenment and liberal democracy. But those Eastern Jews, from the boondocks and hinterlands of the greater “pale of settlement” were a pain in the butt to them, through an adherence to religious orthodoxy and lo and behold its more radical segments such as hasidism dashed the ideal of the assimilated brethren to the West, although, in truth, it is more a cultural segmentation than geographic the distance still hold today through a partition between “jewish jews” and Israeli-jews” in Israel.
A kind of apartheid in itself with the latter assuming power and the latter as somewhat complicit and willingly colonized which in turn seems to breed its own pathologies of parasitism. The roots go back of course to anti-semitism in Europe and how the cultural frontier between the two groups was held to define what was “physically inferior” and what was a “normal” type. Nothing like an oppressed people to develop their proper pecking order…
( see link at end) …In claiming that Jewish Orthodoxy was the cause of physical defects and diseases among the Eastern Jews, the Western Jews wanted to invalidate the assertion that all Jews were different. With hindsight, one sees that this line of arguing was not very successful. First of all, the publications on the peculiarities of the Eastern Jews were used by the Nazis as proof of the “otherness” of the Jews in general and not only of the Eastern Jews. Secondly, the cultural approach in explaining the Jewish idiosyncrasies was undermined by
the teachings of “race hygiene”….
…The new way of interpreting group characteristics has been greatly facilitated by the wide and very uncritical reception of genetics in general. Through the backdoor of sociobiology and genetics, old Jewish stereotypes gain a new lease of life. For example, the aforementioned
book claims that there were a number of—genetically determined—diseases which were characteristic of Jews. This assertion, which has been widely dissipated by a number of publications on genetics, is in full congruence with the concept of a specific Jewish proneness to diseases as it existed at the turn of the twentieth century. Against this background it cannot be denied that the notion of the sick Jew still exists….Read More:http://web.ceu.hu/jewishstudies/pdf/01_hoedl.pdf
Two examples in contemporary illustrate the divide: the demonization among the left for those living in the West bank, biblical Judea and Samaria, and and an even more visceral bashing of the ultra-orthodox which resist being drafted into the armed forces. The former are somewhat tormented in the difficult to reconcile identity of Zionist-religious and the latter with their near bohemian lifestyle and provocative manner and dress seem for akin to counter-culture hippies dropping out and tuning into spiritual kicks, make no contention that Zionism serves them, though its impact on their lives is not negligible. In a sense, they understand that secular Zionism as an alternative to Jewish “self-hatred” of the Diaspora, a response to both assimilationism and anti-Semitism, only exasperated those tendencies and created a near delusional leftist elite.
It could have been foreseen that the and realization of Zionism, this artificial creation of the “new jew” could be accompanied by the emergence of the most pernicious manifestations of Israeli self-hatred and Jewish anti-Semitism in Israel; a polarization within the society based on assimlation, post-Jewish, post-Zionist etc. and increasing numbers of religious and observant jews. No one want to be stuck in the middle. So, Zionism uttelry failed in gaining a victory over the movements of Jewish assimilationism and self-hatred, at least among Jews living inside the Jewish state,and in the Disapora as well. A trans-border phenomenon of sorts that social engineering of “israeliness” could not control, which centrally was the secular elite’s near psycho and patho antipathy towards their own religion and those who practice it. The central form of bigotry in the country, part justified, part more troubling. That everyone needs a jew to kick around being the least flattering and this internal ethnic cleansing seen from such paragons of the poison pen from Haaretz journalists Sarid and Levy and politically through the Lapid chain of founding a political theology based on orthodox bashing; and an argument could be advanced that they are all shillers for the old German Jewish guard and leading families which effectively control the media and much of the bureaucracy.
( see link at end) …J. C. Lavater, the founder of ‘physiognomy’, the science of the interpretation of facial features, wrote as early as 1775 that Jews spoke very swiftly.Thereby Jews allegedly resembled women, who were also believed to talk more and faster than men. Their way of speaking was deemed to be aimed at deception. And the same prejudice was held against Jews, who deliberately seemed to take advantage of their fast way of talking when they did business and tried to strike a bargain. Karl Kraus, a Viennese journalist, and himself Jewish, can be taken as an example of the wide dissemination of the stereotype of the differently speaking Jew. He claimed that there was a specific language of
commerce which could be described as “typically Jewish”.
…There was another link between Jews and women with respect to their way of speaking. Fast talking was considered to be a symptom of hysteria, a so-called “typical woman’s disease”. Men, who were stricken by this “female disease”, were considered to be “effeminate”. According to contemporary statistics, hysteria, the “female ailment”, took a great toll among male Jews. Valentin Holst, superintendent of the municipal hospital in Riga, claimed in 1903 that Jews had a “national proneness to hysteria”. Max Sichel, a psychiatrist at the university hospital in Frankfurt am Main, wrote that in some Russian cities, the ratio of hysteric people among Jewish men was almost as high as among Jewish
women. Alexander Pilcz, a physician in Vienna, also stated that hysteria could frequently be encountered among Jews….
…However, it is not worth mentioning any additional examples, since the central conclusion they promote remains the same: they all claimed that Jews suffered heavily from a disease which was thought to be a female ailment. The male Jew was thereby regarded as “effeminate”. His constitution, especially his “nerve force”, was seen to be weak, like that of a woman’s. Male Jews as well as women, were considered to be nervous and suffer from neurasthenia, another so-called “typical female disease”. Martin Engländer, as one example among many others, said in a paper that he delivered before a Zionist society in Vienna shortly after the turn of the century, that neurasthenia, just as hysteria, was very common among Jews.23 His medical colleague Hugo Hoppe described hysteria and neurasthenia as the “modern ailments” for which Jews, always on the forefront of the social development, displayed a strong proclivity.
…According to these statements, Jews and women had a proclivity to hysteria and neurasthenia, which were both regarded as female diseases. Jews were considered to represent a specific “type” not only on the grounds of the shape of their heads or the conspicuous size of their noses, but also because they allegedly talked differently and had a different disease rate than non-Jews. These characteristics seemed to be abundant proof that (especially male) Jews represented “the other”, a different “type” from the non-Jews. They deviated from the (non-Jewish, bourgeois) male ideal. They were effeminate human beings with a distorted gender identity, which was a consequence of their body. The basis of
judgement on the male Jew for his effeminate peculiarities was the “female body in the male Jew”….
…So it does not come as too much of a surprise that scientists, such as the aforementioned physician H. Singer, stated that the body of the male
Jew came to resemble that of a woman. The ascription of female traits to the Jewish body was not simply based on a comparison of its characteristics to that of a woman’s. Effeminacy was also attributed to the male Jew because his body allegedly functioned differently, its whole social performance was believed to differ from the male non-Jewish body. In the non-Jewish, bourgeois society, manliness was thought to articulate itself in the military. Women were believed to be physically incapable to become soldiers, therefore they could not be manly. And the same was held to be true with respect to Jews. Again, it was their body that accounted for their deficient fitness for the army….
…In contrast to the Eastern European Jews’ reluctance to being drafted, their brethren in Western Europe were very eager to join the army. For them, serving as a soldier was a duty that had to be performed in order to become a (real) citizen; it was an expression of their patriotism, of their allegiance to the country they lived in, and proof against the stereotype that Jews were cowardly and did not know how to fight. Being a soldier was a means for becoming integrated into society at large….
…On the other hand, it sounds strange that there were Jews who actually corroborated the notion of the “physically different Jew” instead of bluntly refuting it. However, this is not all that absurd if one looks at it from a sociological angle: those Jewish anthropologists or physicians who were able to take part in the discourse on Jewish peculiarities were largely members of a “scientific community”. A “scientific community”
is characterized by what the Polish sociologist Ludwick Fleck called a specific Denkstil, meaning a “specific mode of reasoning”. Thus, the Jews who belonged to a “scientific community” did not differ from their non-Jewish colleagues in their theoretical approach to solving a problem. Consequently, they did not question the (“scientific”) findings on Jewish peculiarities, and did not regard them as prejudices. Instead, they considered them to be “objective”, “real”, the outcome of painstaking research….Read More:http://web.ceu.hu/jewishstudies/pdf/01_hoedl.pdf
If we go back to Walter Benjamin, we can place the messianic element within the context of Israel and how he tied this together with the concept of violence; here the messianic in Benjamin is a figure not of redemption,as the orthodox would have it, but of a redemption from salvation. Its fairly negative but something the secular elite can hand their anger on. Like Franz Kafka, the messiah in Walter Benjamin is a type of messiah who comes by not arriving; or he arrives only when he is not needed. the fireman who comes when the only cinders are smoking from the house. A god known more by absence than presence. A gnostic view that the orthodox can view, based on the Torah, as heretic and destructive.
Divine violence, full scale war, does not mean the arrival of the divine on earth, but instead, the earths abandonment by the divine. The kind of coherence that a Slavoj Zizek imposes on his readership. Its the secular left ethos where in the case of Walter Benjamin, one seeks not a passage, a route from terrestrial oblivion into a new Kingdom, but rather an earthly redemption from the need, desire or prophecy to enter the Kingdom at all.