Saturday, May 30, 2020

Frum Racism

Growing up in England, I saw much more racism against Pakistanis and other groups than I saw against blacks. But I saw racism against blacks in my frum high school, where boys would make jokes about "shvartzers." It bothered me intensely. My parents raised me to be staunchly anti-racist. My school assigned us to read "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry," about the experiences of a black girl growing up in Mississippi in the 1930s, and it had a profound impact on me. It made me the weird kid in yet another way - not only was I the kid who was nuts about strange animals, not only was I the only kid whose family voted Labour, I was also the only kid who would never, ever use the word "shvartzer."

Nor was I quiet about my beliefs. I would get into heated arguments with my classmates about racism. But they had a trump card, backed up by one of the rebbes. They said that black people are descended from Cham (Ham), who was cursed, and therefore it was legitimate to view them as inferior.

At the time, I had no comeback to that. But when I started yeshivah gedolah, and learned how to learn, I searched for a yeshivish response - and found one. I published it in a book that I wrote 23 years ago, called Second Focus. There's a lot of material in that book which I regret. But I'm still proud of the chapter that I wrote against frum racism, which took quite some courage to write when I was at that stage of my life and in that sub-culture. Here it is:

Parashas Noach

BLACK AND WHITE

Last week’s essay discussed kavod Elokim haster, the concept of keeping quiet about sections of Torah that may cause misunderstandings and result in a blow to the honor of Torah. Sometimes, however, it is important to bring a topic to the forefront of public attention because of serious sins that people are committing out of misunderstanding the issue. This may have to be done even if it causes pain and resentment in the process. This week’s essay discusses one such issue. At the end, there is a true and tragic story that resulted from a lack of awareness on this, which is the reason why it is necessary to raise this unpleasant point. I have tried my best to be as sensitive as possible with this extremely delicate matter.

Quite frequently during my school years I would find myself involved in an argument with my classmates over their derogatory comments about blacks. I claimed that they were being racist and cruel. They retorted that Noach’s son Cham was cursed and turned black, and they therefore deserve it. I had no reply at the time, but in the intervening years I have studied Torah sources on the matter, and following are the results of my research.

The story itself is quite complex and there are disputes in the commentaries about what exactly happened and what the punishment was. Basically, Cham and his son Cana’an jointly committed a grave sin, for which they received a curse of slavery and their skin is blackened.

To deal with the slavery issue first, the Netziv raises the question that not all descendants of Cham are slaves and not all slaves are descendants of Cham. He therefore explains that the curse was not that they should or would be slaves, but rather that those who did find themselves in that capacity would be more at ease with it, having inherited it from their ancestor. Other people, however, would have a strong drive to fight for freedom.

With regard to the skin color, one of the commentaries on the Midrash points out that the reason why Africans have black skin is that they have increased levels of melanin which protect them against the fierce sunlight of their country. However, it was Noach’s curse which brought them to live in such climates.

To sum up: all the Torah tells us is that Cham and Cana’an committed a sin, as a result of which their descendants came to live in a hot country that darkened their skin, and were hampered in their efforts to resist slavery.

Some people seem to be working with the idea that since Noach cursed Cham, it is up to us to enhance that curse. Well, like it or not, we’re all cursed in one way or another. Chava was cursed with labor pains, but we do not try to increase those for women. Nor should we try to enhance the “sweat of our brow” with which man was cursed to support himself. Nor is there any mitzvah to inflict pain upon snakes because of their curse. If G-d, or Noach, curses someone, then that’s their business, not ours.

So much for being on the defensive against racist slurs. It should be clear that if people want to be racially offensive, they cannot claim that they are doing it for Torah reasons. Now let’s take the offensive. The Gemara (Taanis 20a) relates a story which, according to the explanation of the Maharsha (who says that it was referring to a black person), is a revealing lesson in race relations.

The Gemara relates that Rabbi Eleazar was riding on his donkey one day, feeling happy and proud of himself after a successful period of study. A black man walking along greeted him, but Rabbi Elazar did not return the greeting.

“Raika!” he called out (a derogatory term which roughly means “good-for-nothing”). “Is everyone in your village as ugly as you?”

“I don’t know (if I am allowed to answer that question,)” replied the black man. “Why don’t you go and tell the Craftsman Who made me?”

Rabbi Eleazar was instantly torn with apology. “Please forgive me!” he begged.

“Not until you go and tell the Craftsman Who made me,” replied the black man. He continued home to his village, with Rabbi Eleazar following contritely behind. When he arrived at the village, he was astonished to see his fellow townsfolk greeting Rabbi Eleazar with respect.

“If he is a Rabbi,” said the black man, “then let there not be more like him in Israel!”
“Why?” asked the townsfolk. The man related what Rabbi Eleazar had said to him. They pressed upon him to forgive Rabbi Eleazar, and he consented to do so, on condition that he would not act in such a way again.

Thus ends the story. The Maharsha spells out the lesson for us to learn from it. If you see something that you consider ugly, it is not your place to mention it. Doing so is attributing a deficiency to Creation. Making derogatory comments about black people is effectively saying that G-d messed up, chas v’shalom.

The story also implies that Rabbi Eleazar’s unpleasant comment was caused by excessive feelings of pride. Bigotry stems from arrogance. Whatever has happened in Crown Heights is totally irrelevant to this. With the frequently heard but undoubtedly offensive word “shvartzer,” one might be stacking up a serious slew of sins, as we see in the following case, related by Sarah Shapiro, that took place in Jerusalem recently.

A non-Jewish black youth by the name of Matt, who grew up in America, found himself strangely attracted to Judaism. He eventually found his way to a proper conversion to true Torah Judaism, and began to study at a ba’al teshuvah yeshivah in Jerusalem. Although he found fulfillment in his new way of life, he was experiencing a distressing problem. He would constantly be the subject of taunts and ridicule by the religious children of the neighborhood. One can only imagine what effect this had on that which he had been taught about Jews being kind and sympathetic people. He struggled on for a while, but eventually it became too much to bear, and he went back.

As Sarah Shapiro concludes: “Shall we attribute his departure to our country’s children behaving like children? Or to Israeli parents’ gross failure to passionately inculcate the most basic of Jewish values: respect for the other, who was also created by G-d – the other, who is not like you.

“Where are you now, Matt? And who in the world do you think we are?”

• Sources:
Bereishis Rabbah 36:7 and Yefeh To’ar ad loc.
Ta’anis 20a and Maharsha ad loc.
HaEmek Davar
Sarah Shapiro, Don’t You Know It’s A Perfect World?, Targum Press 1998

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190 comments:

  1. i was bothered by this growing up in South Africa

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    1. South Africa is a great example of what happens when you allow savages to take over. It was much better before under Apartaid then it is now.
      Statistics speak for themselves
      Ssvi

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    2. I've never been to South Africa, but:
      Could it be that making an entire group of people second class citizens led to their not having great skill in government? Then when the oppression was removed, their anger and hurt created the need to vote and behave as a solid bloc and surprise, not be a great group of people to run a government?

      Had apartheid never occurred, and had blacks been represented in the government all along and not been made second class citizens, perhaps the flip to awful would never have happened.

      Statistic results are only as good as the data fed into them.

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    3. Right. Soo no matter what it's always to White people's fault. As you tried asking-could it be. Could it be that they are racists, incompetent morons who don't know how to run a country and are corrupt and evil. Could it be that their culture is subhuman? Could it be that their values are less than the values of the Whites that controlled them? Could it be that apartheid was the best and most rational solution at the time?
      Also if they weren't ready to rule then perhaps they shouldn't have been supported to rule to begin with.
      Let that be a lessen to us. Oppression and tyranny is always possible. Freedom isn't always free.
      Ssvi

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    4. Botswana is generally regarded as a very well run country. So obviously black people are not innately incompetent.

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    5. Botswana is generally regarded as a very well run country. So obviously black people are not innately incompetent.

      Wot?

      20% of the population has AIDs
      Murder rate: 25th highest in the world

      And yet, for all that, Botswana is well governed .... by the standards of Africa because it doesn't have violent regime changes every decade.

      Has there ever, ever in the history of mankind been a belief system more removed from reality than liberalism?

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  2. any comment on 'ein orur misdabek be voruch' ?

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    1. What races are "arurim"?

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    2. It was only due to specific circumstances of Avraham and his family, and is not relevant now, after Matan Torah.

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  3. I agree with everything that the rabbi wrote. Racism is a HUGE problem that must be eradicated as soon as possible. Saying that racism must be stopped should not be mistaken as advocating for the riots in the US. Yes, it is terrible what happened but the solution to unnecessary violence is not more unnecessary violence. Here are my two cents regarding Noah's curse and G-d's curse.

    Noah's curse

    In Genesis 9:20-27, we are told that Noah plants a vineyard and became drunk. After some certain events unfold, Noah cursed his grandson Canaan. But Canaan wasn't alive during the flood. Nevertheless, Noah curses his grandson Canaan to be a slave. Why does Noah make this curse? In any event, the tale seems to justify the conquest of Canaan, Israelites could take what they please. Slaves own nothing. Thus, the servility of the curse that Noah pronounces to Ham (through Canaan) is that all of his descendants will become slaves. But aren’t curses merely words? Do curses work? True, words can have many psychological effects. Perhaps the Torah prohibits them in order to minimize their psychological harm.

    Nevertheless, racists have used Genesis 9:25–26 to support their claim to white supremacy. Tradition says that Cush, the son of Ham (Genesis 10:6), is the father of the African race. Some have used this as proof to sanctify the institution of slavery. Actually, the curse of Ham does not [and cannot] refer to the Africans nor the Canaanites. It is a later Christian invention to justify the institution of the slave trade. Judaism has always advocated equality as all people were created in "the image of G-d." Additionally, many rabbis took part in the black civil rights movement, marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. As with the slave trade, it was a Christian member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, who brought about the abolition of the slave trade in England in 1833.

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    1. All very nice. Now let's talk about Yishmael.

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    2. Historically (and even currently at times), Darwinism has been used to justify racism. Luckily, we don't believe that Cham represents a lesser evolved homo sapien, or that race is biological, because we rely on the Torah's chronology in this case, right? ��

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    3. Yes, it is unfortunate that racists, like Hitler, hijacked Darwinism to propagate their ulterior motives. Richard Dawkins wrote excessively that social Darwinism, that is, the survival of the fittest, should not be accepted in modern society.

      Even if people evolved, this is still influenced by G-d, and being that people came out of Africa, Adam and Eve might have been black. Thus, all peoples are created in "the image of G-d."

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    4. @Anonymous Are you referring to Ishmael, who was the propagator of the Arab peoples? Isn't it interesting that Islam is also committed to monotheism? Might this be the result of Ishmael being the son of Abram?

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    5. Turk Hill, when you said Richard Dawkins, did you mean Charles Darwin? I imagine this is a typo

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    6. Turk Hill, when you wrote Richard Dawkins, did you mean Charles Darwin? This seems to be a typo

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    7. @Gersh No, I meant Richard Dawkins.

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  4. Part Two
    G-d's curse

    Maimonides understands the Garden of Eden story to be a parable. The ultimate goal of humanity, according to the Rambam, is to develop the intellect. Thus Maimonides distinguished “truth and falsehood” from “good and bad." For example, when Adam ate of the tree of good and evil he recognized his nakedness was a bad but he did not know truth from falsehood (Menachem Kellner). Thus Maimonides saw the parable as teaching intelligent people to live their lived based on reality, on what is true and false.

    Here's another approach. It is well known that G-d did not create the world for humans. Creation certainly isn't a paradise for people. This is the meaning of the "Garden of Eden" story. Some people think that G-d cursed Adam and Eve because He became angry at them. But isn't this an anthropopathism, applying a human emotion to G-d? Does God become angry? Was Maimonides correct when he said that God has no emotions? If so, was the flood a natural event? Maimonides seems to say that the Bible ascribes events to G-d because G-d is the ultimate cause since He created the laws of nature. For it is inconceivable that a just G-d would punish all of humanity to bear children with pain and produce food with the sweat of their brows. Furthermore, Maimonides writes that G-d does not do evil; G-d only does good. Nonetheless, many posit that the banishment from Eden, as well as the “punishment”, was a curse but it may not really be a punishment at all. Rather Genesis is informing Jews about human nature. The lesson, placed at the very beginning of the Torah, teaches that Adam and Eve are banned from the Garden of Eden because people need to realize that nothing worthwhile comes easy, people must work hard to succeed with "the sweat of their brows." It was as if G-d asked man and woman what was their most creative acts: propagating humanity and producing food, they answered, to which G-d responded that everything good comes with pain. The Greek poet Hesiod agreed, writing that the path to evil is smooth but for the virtue, G-d puts sweat. Nothing comes easy. When Abraham's descendants were enslaved and Gandhi protested with nonviolence to win independence from the British Empire, it was a long and steep road to freedom.

    Excellent essay btw.

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    1. "It is well known that G-d did not create the world for humans."

      That's not quite accurate. It's not particularly well known and actually represents an extreme minority opinion.

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    2. @Weaver I agree with you that it is impossible to know why G-d created the world. Nevertheless, Maimonides seem takes a strong stance against anthropocentrism.

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  5. Even more: The ibn Ezra comments there that the curse was only for Kena'an, not his descendants.

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    1. Great point! The midrash cited (Breishit Rabbah 36:7) strongly implies this as well

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    2. That is referring to post-vineyard curse. Cham's skin color change in the Midrash - and RNS didn't mention this in his post, either - comes from punishment because he had marital relations on the teivah, which was forbidden. Since he sinned "in the dark," he remained "dark." There were supposedly three couples who violated this rule. The raven may have been one of the the others, and maybe the dog? I do not have my "The Midrash Says" with me at the moment, so I cannot say for certain.

      Interestingly enough, I think the NBC Noah's Ark miniseries from 20-ish years ago got this act in without the skin color change. They were struggling to put stuff in the script to pad out the time actually on the Ark...

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  6. See Ramban Bereishit 15:14 on why the Egyptians were punished for enslaving the Jews. Granted they were supposed to enslave but nothing beyond that at all. See also the Rambam end of Shmone Perakim they were punished because no specific individual was forced to enslave them. Whether the bnei Cham are cursed to this day or not, that supplies no support to racism.

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  7. The issue of racism in Jewish religious communities is something that bothers me greatly here in South Africa. How can any Jew be racist, especially after all we as a nation has been through? I literally had the same arguments you had, growing up in a "charedi" school, and still today have to speak up on the same issues. It is a massive chillul Hashem.

    Also, from a rationalist point of view, knowing as we do now that all humans were originally black, there must be another explanation.

    Thank you for dredging up this article and republishing it! I would love it if you could expand upon it further, with all the knowledge you have gained over the years.

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    1. How can someone non black in South Africa Not be "racist"? Statistics show themselves. SA was much better under Apartaid then now when blacks are in charge. Facts

      Ssvi

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    2. People should definitely be loving and have sympathy for individuals that leave the black community and become Jewish. They should be loved and cherished. On the other hand the typical black culture and communities are very much racist and violent and jealous against White people in general and Jews in particular. Jewish kids making Svartza remarks doesn't come to any level of Svartzas killing and robbing people. Dont forget the Crown Heights Pogroms.

      Ssvi

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    3. The "Shwartzer" word is a collective denigration of every member of the race. Someone can as easily denigrate Jews due to the behavior of some of them. We can't complain about discrimination if we are guilty of it ourselves.

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    4. If only countries would aspire to be Gandhi's colony in South Africa called Tolstoy Farm which is inhabited by Blacks, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

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    5. I see the term "shvartze" (when used in English conversation, where the connotation is clear) to be morally equivalent to the term "kike" or "Hymie".

      Don't like those last two terms? Then don't use the first one.

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    6. To Anonymous the Second: yes, blacks (at least in the US) indeed in large part are racist against whites. It is considered near-racist of white people to even say that in many circles and in much of the media. The cause is obvious - the centuries of white oppression - but it doesn't negate the presence of the phenomenon.

      NEVERTHELESS moral equivalency has no place here. "Just because" the Crown Heights riots happened does not make it OK for a Jew - who is supposed to be a beacon of morality in the world [at least according to some? Does anyone argue?] - to behave in a racist fashion. I second the comment by Joe Q.

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    7. "knowing as we do now that all humans were originally black,"

      What evidence do you have for this claim? I don't see why it is relevant to any conversation of racism whether we were originally black, originally green, or anything else, but what data do you have on ancient human skin color?

      The australopithecine in Africa (which are ancestors of humans according to evolutionary theory) are believed to have had light colored skin.

      Researchers say that dark skin is an *evolved trait* in humans who evolved to have less body hair than their ancient ancestors. So the first emergent humans could have had light or dark skin. I'd like to see evidence either way.

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    8. @studentv Where did you hear that black skin is an evolved trait? I never heard this. It's interesting because I heard an Hindu insist that people came from India since Indians are brown and since only black and white can come from a brown shade. I have never heard the sages, let alone scientists endorse this view, so I guess it's not true. But it is thought-provoking.

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    9. Well, Turk, if we posit common descent, either dark skin or light skin came first, so ONE of them is an evolved trait...

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    10. Turk Hill -
      Skin color is determined by the amount of melanin (pigment) in the skin. It's obviously genetic, but it can increase or decrease over the generations. It could have started dark, light, or somewhere in the middle. And I've never seen anyone who was really black or white.

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    11. DF-
      First of all, plenty of the looters are white. Second, plenty of rioters who have wildly attacked people at other times in various parts of the world have been white. The Nazis were all white. If blacks rioting prove that blacks are subhuman, then Germans must also be subhuman. And all the other cases of rioting and looting throughout history presumably prove that all those ethnic groups are subhuman. Are there any humans left?

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    12. Debby - I'm not in this thread, so I don't know what you're responding to. I will only say "plenty of the looters are white" is simply false. I've seen more than fifty videos of the looters, and almost every one of them has been black. In fact, the only video I saw otherwise is some stupid white guy who stole a TV, who was then promptly robbed of it by a black guy.(its tagged הגונב מן הגנב) I am sure there are others, but don't attempt fake news and false equivalencies.

      As for the Nazis, which you somehow equate with all Germans, which itself seems pretty racist to me - yes, many of them did act inhumanly. But to act inhuman is something, as you correctly note, that all of mankind is susceptible to from time to time. It is quite a different matter altogether.

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    13. DF I agree that much of the looters are white. However, this does not detract from the fact that the rioters, of all races and cultures, are acting like they are subhumans.

      Debby Intreating. I did not know that you can go from black to white to brown or whatever. You make a good point. Thanks.

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    14. DF-
      My comment was supposed to appear under your 5:42 comment.
      Obviously, not all Germans were Nazis. Similarly, not all blacks are rioters. My point is that if you use black rioters to "prove" that all blacks are subhuman, you've just "proved" that lots of other ethnic groups are subhuman. It's absurd.

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  8. Prooftexts bear various interpretations and derogatory speech is low class. The facts though are color blind. The reasons are evolutionary and there is nothing more real then the racial differences.

    http://thosewhocansee.blogspot.com/p/tables-and-graphs.html?m=1

    Yakov

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    1. The site you linked is so full of cognitive biases and head-spinning assumptions, it's hard to know where to begin.

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    2. You may begin here https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/you-and-me-and-hbd/

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  9. People are often say jokes and maybe even derogatory comments about other people. In most cases this does not constitute racism, which would mean acting discriminatory rather than just saying things privately. From what I can see, Jewish businesses including Yeshivas are widely employing blacks. That said, you probably did not live near black neighborhoods, who not just saying things in private but actually acting against Jews. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/281071

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  10. A good article, for sure, and whose lesson is well worth inculcating and repeating in most religious homes.

    I did expect to see also a scientific treatment of the issue. Rationally and scientifically, is it possible to take a white man, relocate him to some mid-African country and expect him to develop black skin within a generation? Will he then bear kids who are black skinned? How does the fact that all over Africa, there are many colors ranging from light brown (Egypt), dark brown (Ethiopia) and black (Kenya), with of course, many in between? I know that they are all children of Cham, but there was only one curse, so why the different colors?

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    1. The essay was not a Rationalist Jewish treatment of the topic. It was written by Nosson Slifkin, not Natan Slifkin.

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    2. In any event, Anonymous, you expect to see evolutionary changes "within a generation"? Especially in today's world when we have air conditioning and sunscreen?

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    3. I wonder how a rationalist Jewish treatment of the topic would look?

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  11. "Shvartze" is a neutral term, an exact translation and the same connotation as "black". I am speaking from my experience in heimish and yeshivish circles. Perhaps in your school it had a different connotation. But it is unfortunate when people assume it is a negative term and take offense when none may be intended.

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    1. It's the same with the word goy, "nation," in Hebrew. Even Scripture calls the Israelites "goy." Why then, should the term offend non-Jews when no offense was intended?

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    2. When it is used in the middle of English-language conversation, it has a very different connotation from the word "black". (Otherwise, people would just say "black".)

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    3. Perhaps that's true in some places. But in places where yiddish words are mixed in to every English sentence, that is certainly not the case. But unfortunately, when "shvartze" is overheard in such a place, the worst is assumed when in truth the word itself in those circles is not inherently pejorative.

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    4. Technically, JS, you are correct. But while "black" sometimes is used negatively, it is also a term that the community selected for themselves. (This changed several times, but that's beside the point). Therefore, it comes with the strength of history that MAYBE the speaker is using the chosen term. But even in English sometimes it is difficult to determine whether someone meant to be negative when describing someone as black or just picking the obvious detail. It may be implying something that the speaker does not even realize (ie "the black janitor" instead of "the janitor" in a case where there is only one, implying that the guy is a janitor bc he is black, etc). Now, this sounds overly leftist, but psychology is weird and deep and this is likely true up to a point.

      BUT

      However one may minimize the implication aspect in English, I would venture to say that when spoken by a Yiddish speaker, the word "Shvartze" is almost ALWAYS accompanied by a negative or dismissive tone. This is my personal observation and not a complete study of the matter.

      TL;DR:
      So you might declare this term equivalent to "black" which is neutral? I reply that a) even "black" is not always neutral, and b) "shvartze" is more often NOT neutral.

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    5. "is almost ALWAYS accompanied by a negative or dismissive tone". I disagree about the almost always part. But my point is that, when it is, you would hear the dismissive tone even if they replaced "shvartze" with "African American". There's nothing in using the word itself that should paint the speaker as racist. Yiddish speakers know the same racist terms that English speakers do, and would use those terms if that's what they are trying to connote.

      But I do get Joe Q's claim that in white-bread frum communities there is a different connotation.

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    6. Yiddish speakers also call white people ווייַס - vays. Black and white are on the face of it black and white. But i supposes in some cases it isn't so black and white. --- NRF NY

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  12. "A black man walking along (Tosafos says that it was Eliyahu HaNavi in disguise) greeted him, but Rabbi Elazar did not return the greeting."

    Is this a quote from Taanis? Where in the gemara does it say that the ugly man was black?

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  13. "The Gemara relates that Rabbi Eleazar was riding on his donkey one day, feeling happy and proud of himself after a successful period of study. A black man walking along (Tosafos says that it was Eliyahu HaNavi in disguise) greeted him"

    I am confused why you translate the word מכוער used in the Gemora as Black. the word מכוער translates as Ugly. I am not sure that would help against "Yeshivise Racism"

    Also a better answer would be that while Chams descendants became black there is no proof that they were destined to be slaves. Canaan and the Canaanites who were not African, and there is no reason to believe were black, was cursed to be enslaved, as Cham was a Boruch and could not be so cursed.

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    1. Maharsha says that the Gemara is referring to a black person. (Personally I don't think that this is what the Gemara means.) 20 years ago I didn't know how to explain my sources properly, and I left Maharsha's name until the notes at the end.

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  14. Skin color doesn't excuse evil behaviorJune 1, 2020 at 1:34 AM

    Innocent man being killed by police brutality? Bad. Victimization of the innocent.
    Innocent people having their property damaged, their businesses looted, or in some cases their bodies pummeled or getting killed? Bad. Victimization of the innocent.

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    1. I agree with this. The solution to unnecessary violence is not more unnecessary violence.

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  15. This is incredible. You sit there from the comfort of your home in faraway Israel and lecture the rest of the Jewish world on "racism", even as in America we are seeing blacks - aided and abetted by some brainless whites, but mainly blacks - engaging in the most animalistic behavior we have seen since the last time they acted this way. And all this from a man who has spent the past few months publicly, and brazenly, spewing more anti-Semitic commentary than any "racist" commentary from any other Jewish public figure in the world. Talk about "speechless". Wow.

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    1. The rioting is awful, as always.
      And a tweet that I saw condoning it, claiming that certain minority groups only got rights because of riots, made me want to vomit.

      And we should not have to live in a world where people are afraid to act because of inciting riots - whether by African American, Palestinian, or European soccer fans.

      But let's not be unaware of the reality. Racism is wrong, and it is also a flaw in Jewish people. We tend to indeed sit on our high horse and say "nebich, the white Christians have to work on this issue" when we have it ourselves.

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    2. Racism is wrong? All of Tanach is racist. All of rabbinic literature is racist. All of mankind believed and stated openly that blacks were an inferior species, UNTIL - until 1964, when it became effectively illegal to state such beliefs publicly.

      So, lets be RATIONAL. What makes more sense? The opinions of certain segments of western society for about 50 years or so, when it has been illegal to say otherwise? Or the combined experience and knowledge of all mankind, for all of recorded history, including the Torah itself, and including what we intuitively KNOW to be true, and what was laid bare for all the world to see the past few days? Go on, you tell us.

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    3. I'm so nauseated by all the racism spouted in these comments and I can't understand why R. Slifkin is allowing it.
      Two points:
      One: Racism is the patently stupid false belief that a physical characteristic (say, skin color) carries with it other moral or social characteristics. People who believe such things are wrong, and in this day and age are also considered backwards and stupid because the belief is demonstrably scientifically false.
      Two: Yes, in the past people had false concepts about race. And plenty of those ideas are expressed in rabbinic literature and yes also in the Tanakh. That's just being honest. (c.f. all the horrible and false stuff written about women also.)

      For what it worth, Rabbi Chaim David Halevi in his sefer 'Aseh Lecha Rav' has a whole section about why the Torah is inherently not racist. I can't imagine even the strongest argument would change your opinions, DF, or the opinions of the other racist Orthodox Jews who have posted here. But still, it's import to point out that there are Orthodox Rabbis today who don't share the racist narrative that is unfortunately way too prevalent in many frum circles.

      Delete
    4. "I'm so nauseated by all the racism spouted in these comments and I can't understand why R. Slifkin is allowing it."
      Because it's important to know what people are thinking.

      Delete
    5. "One: Racism is the patently stupid false belief that a physical characteristic (say, skin color) carries with it other moral or social characteristic"

      No it isn't, no-one believes that. Racism today means the belief that the theory of evolution is true for humans and that observed differences between groups that were reproductively separate for >50,000 years are best explained by innate behavioural traits, rather than ever more elaborate conspiracy theories about structural racism. And if you think a chihuahua is more appropriate as a house pet than a pitbull, then, guess what, you're a racist too.

      Delete
    6. Fozziebear, you know what's even more nauseating? No, its not your opinions. They're patently stupid and naïve, to use your own words, but that's OK, believe what you want to believe. No, what's nauseating is you trying to urge RNS to stifle opinions you're uncomfortable with. That's sickening. Jews have DIED, by the MILLIONS, for expressing their opinions. Had you lived been born a Christian in anther tie, you would have been wearing a robe and condemning Jews to the stake. THAT, Fozziebear, is what's nauseating.

      Delete
    7. @ Gavriel M

      Nailed it!

      The goalposts have shifted radically as the old, odious, and baseless beliefs fell out of favor and popularity. They had to invent a new racism to accuse others! How else will the race pimps and haughty professors make their money?

      Delete
    8. DF

      with the freedom of speech comes the responsibility to speak carefully. you have spouted a bunch of racist garbage on this comment. you have tried to justify it by interpreting G-d's book in line with your views (carefully ignoring the bits that don't line up with your views e.g. בצלם אלוקים etc)

      There's nothing wrong with wanting to stifle racism and hatred.
      i would have thought that Jews who have suffered more than their fair share of hatred over the years would realize why we shouldn't hate people who are different from us.
      Orthodox Jews have a funny attitude about the suffering of others. We tend to downplay it. If it's not the Holocaust then it's 'minor'. As a result we are not sympathetic enough to other's experiences.
      That's just one other sad outcome of the Holocaust. But that outcome is not one forced on us by the outside. It's an outcome of the way we responded to the Holocaust. We could have chosen to become more sensitive to the sufferings of others. Why did American frum Jews choose overwhelmingly to be less sensitive and to share and propagate racist attitudes to blacks? Honestly I don't know why. But I know it's a darn shame that they did.

      DF your response was stupid and exaggerated. Stifling hatred is good. There are boundaries to free speech. You (and many others on this comment thread) have passed the boundary of acceptable free speech with your racist screed. I would rather it was not allowed.

      Delete
    9. Gavriel M

      The definition I gave of racism is just the generally accepted one. See Wikipedia:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

      "Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to physical appearance and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another. It may also mean prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity. Modern variants of racism are often based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. These views can take the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems in which different races are ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities."

      Or this book

      https://books.google.co.il/books?id=M6U1bC2D4-wC&lpg=PA107&ots=bp8DvH4Uj_&dq=definition%20racism%20anthony%20smith&pg=PA107#v=onepage&q=definition%20racism%20anthony%20smith&f=false

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    10. Fozzibear - your comments are stupid and naïve, yes, and but I don't try to suppress the opinions of people who are different from me, no matter how stupid they may be. For eventually that leads to murdering people different from me. Your opinions are THIS close to the Nazis, and you're totally blind to it.

      Thank God people like you, and the hatred of others you represent, are in the minority, and a shrinking minority at that.

      Delete
    11. Fozziebear - its also quite ironic that you asked RNS to censor the viewpoints of people he differed with. You're relatively new to this blog. Do you understand that he left Charedism for his current ideology precisely because they tried to censor him?

      Delete
    12. DF -- The Bible racist? Sources, please.

      Or perhaps you cannot cite a verse because there are none?

      Fozziebear -- I dislike censorship. It doesn't work. Take prohibition for instance. When they made drinking illegal everyone wanted a drink. But in case your wondering, guess where all the holocaust deniers live? Germany! Considering that they criminalized holocaust denying. This is exactly why we NEED freedom of speech.

      PS And from all appearances it doesn't seem like RNS censors anything, despite complaints.

      Delete
    13. Turk Hill - everytime the Bible says that Jews are a superior nation, it is engaging in racism. That's REAL racism. Especially to the Fozziebears of the world, to whom even to say "all lives matter" is racism, because it doesn't sufficiently pander to blacks.

      Yes, it is very much to RNS's credit that he doesn't listen to leftwing calls to stifle others. I'm sure he would similarly disregard rightwing calls to stifle others, but the right doesn't play those games. Because the right is far closer today to TRUE liberalism. Can you imagine today the ACLU fighting to allow speech they disagreed with, like they used to? Did you read about the debacle in yesterday's New York Times newsroom? In Fifty years, the left has completely and utterly turned on their head. I don't know why the right allows them to continue their dangerous rhetoric.

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    14. @Df - Yehuda Halevi felt that Jews are biologically superior to non-Jews. However, Maimonides was a universalist who felt that non-Jews could reach the same level of the Holy of Holies (metaphorically, of course). Indeed, the Messiah will descend from Ruth.

      When the Bible says that G-d loves Israel, it is similar to a marriage. This is how we should understand G-d's relationship with Israel.

      Yes, I'm glad RNS does not call to stifle others. Like Alan Dershowitz, a leftist pointed out, college campuses like to censor conservative speakers because they believe that they have the truth, and when you have the truth why listen to anyone else who differs? The left extremism needs to be curtailed. People like Jordan Peterson are being chased off campuses. In some cases, they are even riots to the point that the police are called to stop the violence.

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    15. A racist thinks "All of Tanach is racist" the same way a Christian thinks all of Tanach is Christian.

      Jews are a superior nation IF they uphold the Torah - the end.
      Yaakov and Esav were as close as possible biologically - not just brothers, but TWINS! - and one was 'superior' and the other not.
      Because of race?

      DF, You're an idiot.

      Delete
  16. Wait. Isn't this about a police officer killing a black thug and then other thugs using it as an excuse to attack, Robb and destroy property. Where did or how did Jews fall into the picture? Let me guess its the Jews fault again?
    If you want to talk about real racism look at the ones screaming Racism the most. Remember just a few months ago how many Jews were attacked by Svartzas. Anyway what do you expect next normal Jews to then do? Embrace them?
    Real racism and racists are those attacking people and property. Shame on you for attacking good Jews just for referring to some Svartzas as Svartzas. Heck I continually hear them calling each other the "N" word (Im not writing it as I know my post will definitely not go through).

    Ssvi

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    1. Alas, at the time of the incident, the meis was not a thug. He indeed had a criminal record, but the officers did not know that at the time. He was being arrested for using a possibly counterfeit $20 bill (I don't know if it was determined that the bill was fake or not - anyone?). His neck was kneeled on for 8 minutes while other police officers were present (and therefore could provide backup and support should the arrest go badly) and a crowd of people gathered and even spoke out in favor of the guy.

      Then, yes, other people used it as an excuse to attack, and the usual anti-Semites started yelling, and ordinary law-abiding people were in unnecessary danger.

      But the inciting incident - this time - is really hard to excuse. (Many of the other "similar" incidents over the past 20 years indeed have legitimate explanations. This one is really hard to defend, or so it seems based on the info out there. Watch the video.)

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  17. Rambam - (I don't think it's all blacks but about the general culture and mentality). Also the Greek Philosophers had similar things to say (check Plato, also Kuzari quoting Greek Philopher)
    Rambam-
    “Those who are incapable of attaining to supreme religious values include the black coloured people and those who resemble them in their climates. Their nature is like the mute animals. Their level among existing things is below that of a man and above that of a monkey.” (Maimonides, Guide To The Perplexed, Translation from the Hebrew Version)

    Ssvi

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    1. Section and Chapter?

      Delete
    2. According to Rabbi Jack Abramowitz: "I have seen on these anti-Semitic sites that Maimonides calls black people somewhere between monkeys and humans. I looked up this supposed source and, sure enough, he doesn’t say that at all. What he says is that a person is not wholly human without God since he is missing an essential spiritual component. People to whom this applies, he says, include the Turks in the north, the Ethiopians in the south, and people in his own country (Guide for the Perplexed III, 51). Clearly Maimonides is making a statement about theology, not race" (https://jewinthecity.com/2016/07/does-the-torah-support-racism/?fbclid=IwAR39DN_H4qlSV0B56fMM-g0-Uqks-gVF1TH_irXPz0jLAA3VQ767PSnQk1w#.XtaielUzZD5)

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    3. Sorry, Rabbi Jack, for this inconvenient truth, but Rambam says those exact words, Mefurash. That they are subhuman, somewhere between men and apes. As Anon noted, many writers have said the same thing, and as I noted, many people still think it, it is just illegal to say it. If you watched any of the videos, and saw the looters shrieking and jumping around, and wildly attacking others in packs, it is almost impossible for any honest and rational human being to think otherwise. Shame on RNS, and anyone else who tries to misportray the facts otherwise, to support their political beliefs.

      Delete
    4. DF -- were the looters of November 1938 or the rapists of April 1903 also "subhuman, somewhere between men and apes"? Or is that designation reserved for a particular class of looter or rapist?

      Delete
    5. Joe Q (and Debbie above) - the comparison doesn't even begin. Its like comparing Africa to Europe. If you think they're the same, and their contributions to the world are the same, well then dialogue really becomes impossible, doesn't it? Of course, whether YOU really believe that would be quite another matter. But of all the liberals who claim that, I don't see too many of them moving to Angola.

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    6. DF -- I think I understand your point now: the contributions Germany made to the world justify the beatings and arson of Kristallnacht, and the contributions Russia made to the world justify the rapes of the Kishinev Pogrom, but Africa as a whole has not made comparable contributions to the world and therefore looting by black Americans can't be justified. Do I have your perspective about right?

      Delete
    7. DF, wait a minute - can we look at it the reverse? Rioting and looting in 1938 shows that even the most enlightened can behave like animals. Don't we say that about the Holocaust in general? Despite the lack of general contributions of Africa to world culture.

      Delete
  18. It would appear that Nosson Slifkin did not know Hebrew very well, as the story in the Gemorah you mentioned makes no reference to the man being black. He was ugly - not black.

    Please clarify.

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    1. Maharsha says that the Gemara is referring to a black person. (Personally I don't think that this is what the Gemara means.) 20 years ago I didn't know how to explain my sources properly, and I left Maharsha's name until the notes at the end.

      Delete
  19. Agree with you 100%---in principle.

    But I wonder if you grew up in a place where your Dad was hit over the head, tied up, and had his merchandise stolen, and the perpetrator was a black man; where the guy next to you in shul comes in one Shabbos with his head all black and blue, and it was a black man who did it; where a black man on a train pulled a knife on you, and swung it at you; where, in the next neighborhoods over, black men killed and raped Jews; where a famous black leader called your hometown "hymietown"; where you were mugged as a 13 your old of your money by older black teens; where a black Muslim leader regularly repeats Nazi slurs against Jews on his radio broadcast; where your family friend's 4 year old nephew was killed by a black driver; etc, etc. If you did, and you still find it easy to have no biases whatsoever---kol hakavod lichuh, you are a special Jew.

    But if you did not, don't you think your mussar on this subject should be somewhat tempered by this? Maybe your nisayon in this area wasn't as great as many of the people you are addressing your mussar to?

    I do not consider myself a racist; but when I have thoughts of and experiences like the ones I listed above, I have to remind myself of all of the wonderful black people I have met, heard of, and learned from--co-workers, Dr. Ben Carson, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, etc.

    Andy

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    1. "Racism" is a word used to further victimize the victims of Black violence and intimidate them into not taking steps to defend their persons and property.

      "Frum racism" has nothing to do with some midrash, the reason for it is very simple: Charedim are more likely to have experience of living close to large numbers of blacks or have a friend or family member who does. On top of that, they are less subject to the "don't believe your lying eyes" propaganda that ordinary westerners have shoved in their face from cradle to grave. It's hilarious, but utterly typical, that Slifkin thinks a propaganda book he was assigned in school trumps the grim reality of people who can't afford to live far away from black people.

      Delete
    2. My thoughts exactly. The Crown Heights riots in 1991 resulted from a tragic traffic accident, but black "leaders" like Al Sharpton ימ"ש jumped on it and made it into a whole racial incident. There were riots where people were yelling "Heil Hitler!" and "Kill the Jews!" Eventually one yeshiva student, Yaakov Rosenbaum was stabbed to death.

      Even nowadays, I can't say walking around in Crown Heights is safe. There's a "game" where youths (usually black) sucker punch a person in the street, to see if they can knock him out with one punch. Frequently, the person getting punched "just happens" to be Jewish.

      There are plenty of other Black leaders whose anti-Semitism is practically their calling card: Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Sharpton, and unfortunately many more.
      When the Jersey City shooting happened, blacks in the community justified it by saying that "Jews are buying up all of the property here, and we don't have any where to live." Black anti-Semitism isn't there because they read the Gemara in Sanhedrin and said, "This is what the Jews say about us!"


      Delete
  20. I do not know if this has been covered, but what about racism among Jews. For instance, in Chabad I understand they do not have blacks in their shuls. I know mine does not and the Chabad women talk down about the Mizrahim and Sephardim as being lesser. Even though some of those women are from that group. Weird eh? In my community, Sephardi/Mizrahi children are particulary nasty towards white people and American Jews.

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    1. Definitely it's a thing. Tribalism exists, and exists everywhere. Definitely we see Ashkenazim looking down on Sefardim. And in Sefardi communities (not gonna specify which) I have heard of Ashkenazim having trouble in schools.

      Delete
    2. Derogatory terms between different Jewish communities do not end with "shvartzeh" - there are others, like "shiknuz", "vuzvuz" and "frenk".

      Delete
  21. I'm beginning to think that Turk Hill is a sock puppet for RNS, as all he ever does is comment how "he agrees 100% with everything Rabbi Slifkin writes"

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    1. See Trump article from a few days ago where he disagrees.

      Delete
    2. Maybe he sees himself as a תלמיד מובהק. Haven't you ever come across people who only quote one rabbi?

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    3. Considering Turk Hill has a very different writing style than Rabbi Slifkin and adheres to some strange theories (no offense, Turk) that Slifkin would not agree with, I think you are reaching, and I wonder why.

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  22. There are African Americans in Chabad shuls, in Crown Heights and elsewhere. And Chabad eagerly does gerut for African Americans.
    There's a rap artist learning in Belz in Yerushalayim (mother Jewish, father former vice president of Panama)
    Another rapper ger in Israeli charedi litvish community (can't get children in litvish yeshivot; Then again, some litvish yeshivot do not admit charedi Americans either).

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    1. The rap artist I believe you are referring to is Moshe Levy formerly known as Shyne - his father was the Prime Minister of Belize, not the Vice President of Panama.

      And he is one in a million, so really not sure what you are trying to point out!

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    2. That is new to me. As I never seen a black in Chabad. Maybe things have changed. I know of the other rappers and one wonders that those groups are trying to be hip like Chabad did with Mastiyahu. Now, since he left, my Chabad community does not speak about him and refers to him as a kofer(I swear to God this is true). Personally, I see nothing wrong with blacks in Judasim as converts, etc.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. Wow, you sure do have a ton of extremely racist Orthodox Jewish readers. Who does Matt think we are? How about anyone reading these comments?

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  25. For a blog that accepts evolution the post and the comments are hard to understand. The human race has evolved similar to other species, the differences between races are a biological reality and exist on all levels. This should be obvious to any evolutionists. Exactly what it means and what should be done about it can be a subject for debate and further study, but that the blacks are not white people with black skin is obvious to anyone with one eye. Negroes are at the bottom of the society anywhere they live in the world and it's not due to 'racism' but to their hereditary racial character traits. There is nothing that can be done about it. I think that they should be kept in Africa, which is the continent where they had evolved and is the their natural habitat.

    Incidentally, I had gone to an 80% black trade school and was while there was fully accepted and called a Jewish nigga. Most people commenting here have never lived, studied or worked among them and have no idea what a total disaster that race is. Also, I have spent some time in a NY city jail, which was obviously predominantly black, and the blacks were by the worst inmates.



    Yakov.

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    1. Yakov, I disagree with your statement that nothing can be done to help them. I agree with Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson that we should do all that we can do to help black communities in need. But the facts are not racist.

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    2. Oh boy.

      Someone went there.

      I don't think anyone actually knows the actual extent of the differences between cognitive and emotional functioning between races. While there might be some, it's currently accepted that much of what we see as differences are learned. Meaning, somewhat due to imposed society and then in large part self-reinforced due to peer pressure etc. There is pressure against kids in school to do well, for example, because that would be "acting white." THAT is the biggest problem, not inherent differences. Unfortunately, sometimes it is perceived as racist to say this. [It is definitely racist to say "inherent differences" - holy moly.]

      But if you take a black kid and raise him or her without the baggage of the socioeconomic Stuff, then we get a fine citizen regardless of skin color.

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    3. @Turk Hill

      I wrote: 'There is nothing that can be done about it.' , not that they cannot be helped. What I meant is that nothing can be done about genetic differences between the negro race and other races, they can be helped in an appropriate manner that is beneficial for their nature. I can support that.

      Yakov.

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    4. @Yosef R

      No, the differences are innate, not learned. People create their culture, not the other way around. I'm not going to elaborate because this is a vast topic and I'm an amateur, but I suggest reading 'Bell Curve', 'Race Against The Time' and checking out 4racism.org, among many other resources available on line.

      No, blacks brought up in white families preserve their racial traits and no education can change one's IQ in a significant manner. People are hard wired on the biological level. 60 years of affirmative action and making blacks a privileged race made no difference. After 200 years of indepence Haiti remains a total disaster. This is a natural outcome of the IQ of its population and that nothing can be done about.

      Yakov.

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    5. they can be helped in an appropriate manner that is beneficial for their nature. I can support that.

      There was a such a system in America from 1900 -1965. It had its dark side and areas that could definitely be reformed, but blacks were making solid moral, economic and cultural progress. Some of the literature and music of blacks in the first half of the 20th century is really great and the black middle class were truly a credit to their race and to their country.

      But then the Slifkins of this world came along to ruin everything because they know better. No matter how many people - black, white, anything in between - are killed, raped, mutilated, no matter what proportion of blacks are on drugs, or grow up without a father, or lead lives of squalor and chaos in the cause of the insane liberal dream of abolishing race, nothing will ever inspire even the tiniest voice of conscience saying that maybe, maybe they are wrong. They will just blame the victims of their schemes for trying to defend themselves or, heaven forfend, for blaspheming in their use of racial epithets. As tens of thousands cower in their homes in the face of baying mobs, they will ramble aimlessly about midrashim and fiction books they read in school. Racial egalitarianism is not the most evil doctrine in history, but its adherents are certainly the least capable of remorse or introspection.

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    6. @Yakov

      Yes, we agree.

      @Yosef R.

      I disagree. For example, James Monroe gave freed slaves a colony in Africa called Liberia. Today, it is the worst country to live in. I will add that I read Charles Murray's Bell Curve, specifically the chapter on race and IQ and I found nothing racism in that book. Unfortunately, blacks do tend to have lower IQs, the average IQ which is as low as 82, while Jews usually have a higher than average intelligence, about 107-117. It is well known that Jews put an emphasis on education, and this is why Jews are overrepresented in jobs that require intelligence. There are always, of course, exceptions (ie Morgan Freeman). But, like it or not, the facts are not racist. However, Affirmative action is racist.

      I do not know what "4racism.org" is. If they advocate racist views, this is, of course, wrong.

      Delete
    7. As explained by Dr. Thomas Sowell: your theory doesn't explain why many poor white neighborhoods in England have the exact same problems as many poor black neighborhoods in the US--crime, drugs, no job skills, etc. It also doesn't explain why Blacks in America were catching up with whites and improving in all areas up until LBJ's "Great Society". It also doesn't explain the great success of Blacks who immigrated to America in the relatively recent past.

      What might explain it, though, is how progressives (aka Leftists) in America and England ruined the people in their respective countries by "helping" them with welfare, incentivizing single motherhood, etc.

      See "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" by the brilliant (and Black) Dr. Thomas Sowell.

      Andy

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    8. @Yakov - It must be difficult to have spent some time in a NY city jail (dealing criminals black or otherwise). But it is a biased sample. In University there were some gifted black math and computer guys in my class. The thing is they were high schools students and we were Sophomores ! Yet I have also had negative encounters with blacks. There are also some great black scientists etc: I lean to environment and culture as the most important factors. Also, although it was years go, in our study of Evolution we were taught there are NO biological human races.

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    9. As explained by Dr. Thomas Sowell: your theory doesn't explain why many poor white neighborhoods in England have the exact same problems as many poor black neighborhoods in the US--crime, drugs, no job skills, etc.

      It's called a bell curve. 15% of blacks are more intelligent than the median white, 15% of whites are less intelligent than the median white. This is not at all complicated and Thomas Sowell knows it's perfectly well, He just believes (correctly) that blacks can do a lot more with their genetic endowment than they are right now and also (understandably, but probably incorrectly) that being open about race differences will do no good and just demoralise blacks further.

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    10. Turk-
      Eh. Jews are not a "race." We are a nation. There are lots of ethnically diverse people who comprise the Jewish Nation.

      But that's not the point. We indeed value education, and have been taught to do so for at least 2000 years. You know the "joke" about the Middle Ages - the smart Jews married their kids to each other while the smart Christians become monks and nuns and removed themselves from the gene pool.

      I do not know about the average IQ of black people. I do know that IQ testing is fraught with social background stuff. But what is important in the black community? Unfortunately, among the younger crowd, "Stay in School" ain't resonating with enough. Is that inherent? I don't know, but it rubs me the wrong way to say that it is.

      However - I completely agree that Affirmative Action - at least, in its current form and application - is not the answer. It penalizes the smart/meritorious non-black kids/applicants and rewards the minority folk just for showing up. Except that something LIKE Affirmative Action is necessary for minorities to feel part of the society... or we get the downtrodden and quite useless-at-governing subpopulation that now runs South Africa (see comments at the top). (Not that blacks are taking over the US, but the example is important.) Having the ability to get a higher education and "white collar" jobs is important for a subpopulation to feel that they are part of a society and therefore have a reason to feel invested in that society. If "The Man" is The Other, then who cares about rioting and looting? It's not my people!

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    11. Andy makes a great point - how "helping" sometimes crazy backfires.

      Ask any economist: the best way to get someone to do something is get them to want to do it. Unfortunately, by trying to disincentivize certain aspects of poorer living and instead incentivize self-worth and self-support, Republicans are branded as uncaring haters. [Granted, the flipside is that the self-support options are tougher in that employers are often at least slightly prejudiced...]

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    12. Gavriel M's comment above said it perfectly. The fiction of racial equality is a foolish pipe dream. Idol worship was also a stupid belief, that many worshipers didn't believe in their heart of hearts, but it took more than a thousand years to eradicate because of the vested financial interests so many had in perpetuating the system. Big Race and Big Gender are huge industries, with massive government spending, which supports hundreds of thousands of lawyers, HR people, "diversity trainers", etc, all of which in turn support their own suppliers. Privately they know its a joke, but their parnassa depends on it. (And again, its illegal to say otherwise in any event.)

      Its a huge problem.

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    13. Racial egalitarianism is much dumber than idol worship. Maybe Ba'al and Asherah are somewhere in the sky having at it, you haven't checked. Believing that innate cognitive and behavioral traits do not vary between racial groups is like believing that your fridge is made of marshmallows. The sheer volume of evidence you have to ignore and the ever more convoluted theories you have to employ to explain what cannot be ignored render you functionally insane.

      And insane is what the western world is. LAST WEEK, armed police were threatening people for having playdates because bazillions will die of Corona, now any demonstration of any size in Paris, in London, in Tel Aviv - it does not matter - is permitted because one man (a violent criminal methhead to boot!) was murdered in America. Chinese hegemony can't come soon enough.

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    14. Gavriel--

      Actually, in an interview that Sowell gave, I'm pretty sure I heard him say that there were no significant differences in scores between ghetto blacks in America, and poor white neighborhoods in England; and between blacks who immigrated to America in the relatively recent past, and the general American population.

      And even if you were correct about IQs, it's mostly irrelevant to the issues we care about most---crime, staying off of welfare, etc.; i.e. a higher IQ doesn't make someone a better person, it just makes them more dangerous when they go bad.

      Andy

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    15. Yosef R, I agree that Jews are not a race but a nation. Anyone can convert. Ruth did. I also agree with you about Affirmative Action. As it is, it decentralizes incentives and gives a bad rap for blacks in the US. Unfortunately, many employers are prejudiced and this leaves blacks with little opportunity in the workforce.

      DF and GavrielM -- I agree. Globalism doesn't work. human nature does not allow it to work. The best kind of society has always been homogeneous. Take Japan, for instance. They have almost no crime rate. When I was over there (Okinawa), you could leave your wallet out on the beach and when you returned, someone already added more money. Apparently they are not one for thieves. The homogeneous reason is also why Japan is so racist. If you want to become a citizen, you need someone to sponsor you for five years, and any crime you commit, your sponsor becomes responsible. they want to keep the race so called "pure." But I can't blame them. Homogeneous cultures work the best.

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    16. @Gavriel

      "There was a such a system in America from 1900 -1965. It had its dark side and areas that could definitely be reformed..."

      Its dark side was that black Americans were treated as second-class citizens, subject to discrimination and unbelievable violence on the basis of their race, all with the tacit or explicit permission of the law.

      The fact that you so blithely dismiss it ("it had its dark side") is astounding.

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    17. Alter Cocker is generally correct. What people describe here as "race" is based mostly on skin tone and facial features.

      The genetics underlying human phenotypes are way more complicated than that, and make statistical inferences based on "race" pretty much meaningless.

      Delete
    18. @Alter Cocker
      "Also, although it was years go, in our study of Evolution we were taught there are NO biological human races."

      You were taught Lewontin's Fallacy. Alas, it is a fallacy.


      As for all the other arguments in this thread, am I correct that African immigrants tend to do quite well in America? So perhaps there is something to these arguments regarding how society was damaged by certain initiatives.

      Delete
    19. @Andy

      Once again, blacks and whites in America are on separate bell curves. The average for whites is 100, for blacks it is 85. 15% of blacks have an IQ above 100, 15% of whites have an IQ below 85. There is nothing surprising whatsoever about finding that the average IQ of whites at the bottom of society is the same as that of blacks overall. In fact, it is exactly what the standard IQ model predicts.

      Let's make an analogy. Take a normal class of 30 in a school, now replace the 5 brightest, most hardworking kids with knuckleheads. The class is literally 5/6 identical to what it is before, but it will be a completely different class: no-one will learn anything and the teacher will go home with a headache every night.

      And that's the difference. The average black has an IQ of 85, which is pretty low, but what's really important is that while less than 3% of whites have an IQ below 70, 15% of blacks do. Conversely, while 50% of whites have an IQ above 100, only 15% of blacks do. People with an IQ under 70 are incapable of functioning in a modern society. People with an 1Q under 100 are incapable of holding down a white collar job. That is the core explanation of the difference between white and black America.

      Now, can blacks do a lot better than the are doing now? Of course, we know that because they were doing a lot better before the Civil Rights movement. But they will never do as well as white and any policy that is predicated on their being able to do so will fail. Full stop.

      Delete
    20. Its dark side was that black Americans were treated as second-class citizens, subject to discrimination and unbelievable violence on the basis of their race, all with the tacit or explicit permission of the law.

      Liberals have lot of trouble with the concept of less and more. Nearly twice as many blacks are murdered every single year as were lynched in the entire history of the United States. And no two year old girls were ever lynched, while one was shot in a drive by only last month.

      Delete
    21. GavrielM - I'll do you one better. As of last week, there were 16 shootings in chicago -- all black. Of course, leftist media (CNN) does not say a word about it. But one white cop kills a black man and the we get riots. Sigh. What the cop did was evil, but why more unnecessarily violence?

      Delete
    22. Turk Hill, more so - when whites are brutally murdered by cops, there aren't any riots. When Jews were brutally murdered by black people this past winter - there were no riots.

      Delete
    23. @Gavriel -- I honestly don't get your point. Does the fact that there is violence within the Black community today somehow justify lynchings and segregation?

      Delete
    24. @Turk Hill

      The violence is unnecessary, but you can't see how the cops are held to a higher standard?

      Delete
    25. @student v

      You've mostly misunderstood what you call Lewontin's Fallacy.

      As a direct rejoinder to Alter Cocker's comment, you are mostly correct. As a justification for the kind of comments made elsewhere in this thread, your analysis of what Lewontin's Fallacy purports to explain is meaningless.

      Delete
    26. @Harel Yes, I agree with you. More whites are killed by cops than blacks. When the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked, resulting in the worst attack on Jews in US history, no Jew turned to riots. Yet one bad cop murder a black man and we need to send in the national guard. Part of me thinks that Antifa, a domestic terrorist organization, is instigating the spread of violence. Yet there seems to be no evidence that instigators are coming from other cities/states.

      Delete
    27. Andy, while agreeing generally with your comments, you state in passing "It also doesn't explain the great success of Blacks who immigrated to America in the relatively recent past."

      I'm not exactly sure who you're referring to. In the professional sector, however, which I know well, a great many blacks were simply given their positions, through racism/affirmative action. In every field, blacks have privileges and advantages that no one else enjoys except women. For blacks to "succeed" in this environment really doesn't tell us anything. To the contrary, if they can't succeed, it tells us everything.

      Delete
    28. Harel -- Tucker Carlson showed that 10 blacks were killed by cops in 2019. Half of them were armed. I agree. There is no black genocide, besides Rwandan genocide.

      Joe Q -- Where the higher standard? Actually, where's my white privilege? I want my white privilege.

      Delete
    29. @Turk Hill

      The higher standard is that we expect the cops not to kill innocent people. The "white privilege" (I don't like the terminology, but it is what it is) is that you don't get routinely stopped by the cops, or have the cops called on you, for no particular reason.

      Delete
    30. "Joe Q.June 4, 2020 at 10:04 PM
      @student v

      You've mostly misunderstood what you call Lewontin's Fallacy."

      LOL, no I haven't. Point to where I misrepresented it if you have a substantive argument rather than an ad hominem or dismissal.
      I merely cited it, and yet you claim I misunderstood it! What exactly is my understanding of it according to you? I didn't know people were capable of reading other people's minds.

      "There are no races" (quoted from A.C. above) is essentially what Lewontin tried to claim. That it has no biological basis means "there are none" or "it's meaningless" or any other synonymous phrasing you prefer. And this is what Alter Cocker reported being taught in his courses. This concept was the prevailing intellectual dogma communicated to the public for a while based on studies and claims like Lewontin's.

      It seems you wish to dismiss this point with your personal attack ("He's a stupid head, don't trust him") because perhaps you still subscribe to the faulty notion that racial differences lack a genetic and biological basis.
      No one has to trust me. They can look up this issue for themselves. Start here:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genetic_Diversity:_Lewontin%27s_Fallacy

      There is an abundance of peer reviewed studies in population genetics and ethnicity, as in more recent years genetics research became much more advanced than it was in the 1970s. Being able to sequence the whole human genome in the 21st century certainly helped those efforts. After the wikipedia article, there is a world of additional sources in Pubmed on these topics.

      Delete
    31. "As a direct rejoinder to Alter Cocker's comment, you are mostly correct. As a justification for the kind of comments made elsewhere in this thread, your analysis of what Lewontin's Fallacy purports to explain is meaningless."

      I'm now realizing Joe Q that you are playing some kind of semantics and posturing games, and you actually contradict your first statement (that I "misunderstood" something) in your second sentence (the concession that I'm correct).

      I presented my comment as a direct rejoinder to Alter Cocker's. It is very strange that you ascribe to my reply "a justification for the kind of comments" when there is no such thing written anywhere within what I wrote. No justification of things you like, nor things you dislike, is presented in my comment. How in the world did you read this in, and why would I be beholden to what anyone else comments?

      Any comment made here by different individuals stands on its own merits (or lack thereof).

      Delete
    32. Gavriel--

      Again, why is IQ relevant? Crime, welfare, illegitimacy, no fathers around---these are the problems. And per Sowell, whites in poor neighborhoods in England had pretty much identical stats with American ghetto blacks in these areas. So race does NOT explain it.

      Again, as explained by Sowell, the ONLY thing these two groups have in common is that progressives/ Leftists "helped" both groups by giving them handouts, incentivizing women to not marry and have more babies, so that they could get more handouts, and men to not be employed, so that they could get more handouts; and just "by coincidence", incentivizing both to vote for progressives/ Leftists, in order to keep the handouts coming.

      If whites are really innately morally superior, why did the whites in poor neighborhoods in England fall into precisely the same problems, and to the same degree? Please focus like a laser on this one question.

      Andy

      Delete
    33. @Joe Q
      "The higher standard is that we expect the cops not to kill innocent people."

      Actually, cops don't go around killing people. Let's refer to the Washington Post's record of comprehensive database regarding police shootings.

      Some Statistics

      Most Americans trust the institution of the police. According to Gallup polling, 53 percent of Americans trust the police, while 36% trust religion, 30% banks, 29% public schools, and 11% Congress. In fact, you trust police more than you do with your own religion. Pew Poll found that 55 percent of blacks support the police. The Bureau of Justice Statistics said that more than 90% of blacks felt the police have behaved properly.

      As of last year (2019), there were 371 whites and 236 blacks killed by police. More whites were killed by the police. Again, where's my "white privilege"? In both cases, the vast majority of these cases were armed. Overall, there were about ten cases in which unarmed black suspects were killed. Half of those cases black suspects attack the police. One was an accident. So your down to four cases. In two of those cases, the officer was fully charged. So now we're down to two, considering that the whole country, overall is made up of 325 million and that police killings are dropping. In fact, last year was the safest year for unarmed black males. Not to mention that 48 police officers were murdered last year. In total that comprises over the number of unsuspected people killed of all races combined.

      However, in 2018 over 7,000 African Americans were murdered black on black. If this number continues to grow, it would mean that out of every case where an unarmed black is killed by the police, 700 are killed by a non-police officer. In fact, as of last week, there were over 16 deaths of blacks on blacks shootings reported in Chicago. Again, those are the facts. You have the facts now so you can decide.

      Delete
    34. ACJA -
      American Anthropological Association
      Statement on "Race" and Intelligence

      WHEREAS all human beings are members of one species, Homo sapiens, and WHEREAS, differentiating species into biologically defined "races" has proven meaningless and unscientific as a way of explaining variation (whether in intelligence or other traits),
      THEREFORE, the American Anthropological Association urges the academy, our political leaders and our communities to affirm, without distraction by mistaken claims of racially determined intelligence, the common stake in assuring equal opportunity, in respecting diversity and in securing a harmonious quality of life for all people.

      This is probably the strong consensus among the experts who have studied the issues.

      Delete
  26. Much of the Jewish antipathy against Pres. Obama was based on racism. He did fund the entire Iron Dome.True he had a personal dislike of Netanyahu, but so do all the readers of Haaretz. Dont forget Secy Lew was Orthodox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have just as much antipathy for the American liberal readers of Haaretz. All 25 of them.
      Portraying our antipathy for Obama as racist is a cowardly delusion. Your politics suck, and that's why we don't like the politicians you support.

      Delete
    2. Student V said it correctly. Besides, even if your foolish claim was true, so what? Much of the antipathy to Trump is simply because he's a white man. Only the left is allowed to be racist AND sexist?

      Delete
    3. Did you forget about Obama's Iran deal, which planned to eventually allow Iran to have nuclear bombs, and prevented Israel from acting to stop this?

      Andy

      Delete
    4. American Jews vote overwhelmingly Democrat, but the Jewish support for Obama was even higher--like 78% of the vote, if I remember correctly.

      Delete
    5. We don't know what the Jewish vote was. To give one example, orthodox Jews have been said, for more than FORTY years, to represent 10% of the Jewish public. Has the orthodox community not exploded since then? Has the Reform community not shrunk infinitesimally? And yet the same tired statistics are trotted out.

      People don't state their religion when they vote. We have no idea what the proportion is, and don't let anyone tell you different.

      Delete
    6. Obama is half White you racist.

      Ssvi

      Delete
  27. 1) Moshe Rabenu married may well have married an Ethiopian black women. 2) My Orthodox Jewish and extended Orthodox family have no problems accepting Jewish converts, black Jewish converts, Beta Israel , Chinese Jews or any other Jew of any race as FULL equals. Actually they take pride in such people. My grandfather, an esteemed misnaggid-litvak Rabbi performed conversions. 3) USA urban Jews have been victims of black criminals , black antisemites and their slurs. No doubt this has led to some misdirected Jewish antagonism towards blacks in general. It is extremely rare that Orthodox Jews engage in crimes against blacks or any other race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that moses married a black women. She was Ethiopian. the Torah says she was black.

      Delete
    2. @Turk Hill - there is also a Rashi on this, but I found it a bit confusing and did not spend alot of time on it. Maybe somebody here can clarify. Rashi seems to be writing black people are beautiful or was he being sarcastic ? (IMHO there is beauty in all races and some black are beautiful). Also some write that not only was Moshe's wife black she also a queen. Because Miriam critiqued Moshe about his black wife, Miriam was turned snow white ! Is the Torah teaching us not to be bigots ?

      Delete
    3. Turk, do you know what Rashi says on the Posuk that says she was black?

      Delete
    4. @Alter

      Rashi states she was beautiful and that this is the meaning of her skin, not that she was actually back. Rashi does not rely on the plain meaning of the Biblical text but on midrashim for his commentaries. But a plain reading of the Torah says she was a beautiful black. Yes, the Torah is teachings us not to be bigots. Baal Boss, see above.

      Delete
    5. BHB - Why don't you inform us ? BTW I wrote 'may well have married an Ethiopian black women' because some sources unequivocally write say she was a black. It gets confusing because other sources write she was a Midianite. Who knows ? Maybe she was a Black Midianite. ACJA

      Delete
    6. Rashi says she was undeniably beautiful, just as black is undeniably black.

      She came from Moab so would probably have been dark-skinned, but then again, so were most Jews at that time.

      Delete
    7. @Baal Ha Boss - Moab - Can you source that. I lean to Cush as Ethiopia - see Jeremiah 13:23. There are old Jewish sources writing Moshe married a black queen; some just writing Moshe married a black or Ethipion. Miriam's punishment was to make her snow white. I am aware of some sources having that Cushite wife a Midianite. I really need to carefully check out Rashi since my initial two readings left me confused.
      I do not see the connection between Cush and beauty and black - it seems ad-hoc contrived and not supported by Devarim 12. The gematria Rashi uses to link Cush and beauty is not convincing that such was intent of pasuk.

      Delete
    8. Baal: She came from Midyan, not Moav, but otherwise your understanding of the Rashi is as I was taught.

      ACJA et al: the Ethiopian queen midrash does not refer to Tzipporah. So there are different understandings of the passuk. One is the midrash that refers to the Ethiopian story (and for those who don't know it, check it out - it has Moshe vs Bilaam round negative one via snakes and mongooses), but the other is that this simply refers to Tzipporah, and she is labelled "Cushite/Ethiopian" for some specific reason [see BHB above for Rashi]. Rashbam, the very p'shat oriented commentator, actually has to use the midrash in order for the passuk to make sense in a p'shat manner (the word says Ethiopian!!), but those who understand it as referring to Tzipporah probably look at the text as a whole and notice a distinct lack of additional wives.

      Delete
    9. ACJA, Yes, Moses married a black woman. She was a black.

      Delete
  28. Are you going to comment on Rabbi Lamm's passing? Just found out about it and would be curious to hear your appreciation.

    ReplyDelete
  29. If your not racist would you want to have your Country run by blacks? If you live in Israel would you be confortable with having an Arab run majority country? Be honest.

    Ssvi

    ReplyDelete
  30. Where is my comment? I asked a simple question to anyone claiming not to be a racist. Would you feel comfortable for Blacks to be the majority and ruling USA or Arabs being majority and ruling Eretz Yisrael?
    Please approve and answer honestly

    Ssvi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Presumably, it just took some time for the comment to be approved. As are all comments on this blog.

      Delete
    2. Arabs being a majority in Eretz Yisrael was actually proposed before 1948--the Arabs were the ones who rejected even that.
      You should be more concerned about the Arabs in Israel and the Palestinian territories who won't rest until they "decolonize" Palestine (=make sure that they send all of the Jews back to where they came from, and they don't mean Eretz Yisrael).
      We see that Israel has a Jewish majority, yet the Arab population increases steadily. They clearly feel secure in a Jewish-majority country.

      Delete
    3. I was asking Slifkin or any Jew for that matter about living in an Arab or Black majority run Country. Would they rationally be confortable with it? Any sane and rational personal can or should see that its hell on earth. We already have cities where they run them, they and their leftist allies. NYC is a great example. I can't wait to get out of this hell hole. Please don't loose Eretz Yisrael to savages. Freedom isn't Free. Good people must rise up and defend their freedom or else your being enslaved and or murdered.
      Ssvi

      Delete
    4. I won't argue the assumption - that not many whites would want to live in a majority black locale - but that is because of current behaviors and "tribalism" phenomena. By which I mean if we had a community of rich educated blacks I would have a lot less of a problem in that community than in one led by current dwellers in East St. Louis or the South Bronx. But I would indeed have a fear that even those in power would choose to govern in a way that skews toward "their people" rather than to me. Which is not racist, I think, but more acknowledging tribalism exists. It's similar to WASP objection to JFK being President when he was Catholic - that he would follow the Pope's dictates rather than what is best for the US. And why many would not want a Jew in the Oval Office, as the belief is that he/she would serve Israel before serving the US. I don't think that either of those is racist, but rather understanding that people turn to those most like themselves.

      Obviously we do not want Israel under an Arab government, but there specifically we have the additional aspect of it being a Jewish country. If the people were ethnically Arab but religiously Jewish and identified with Medinat Yisrael, then who cares? Would you object to such a person since his/her ancestors spoke Arabic? But to your point: an actual Muslim Arab is likely to be more connected - tribally - to his/her people and despite swearing in to protect, lead, serve Israel is most likely gonna lean that way. This is not racist. This is recognizing that people are people and we act more favorably toward those we feel closest to.

      So no, I do not accept your explanation of the phenomenon (that we wouldn't feel comfortable under Black/Arab rule) but reject the racist reasoning. You may feel I'm splitting hairs, but I think those hairs are important for us in a moral society.

      Delete
  31. I tell you what, Sparky. How about you take your self-satisfied smug attitude and shove it. You have absolutely no idea what it is like to live in a country taken over by the International Left, who own the schools, the courts, parts of the government ... and want to have all of it. They want to turn us into Venezuela or Cuba as the paradise those places are. You'd like that? Really? For your friends (I assume you have some) who live in the USA? Why don't you take your DISCUSSION of racism and SHOVE it. Really. Because you don't kick people when they're down (pun intended) - we are under ASSAULT here. Even bringing this topic up for conversation while SYNAGOGUES are being DESTROYED and people harassed and stories looted in totally inapprorpiate. Black, what, whatever. Learn some GOD DAMN sensitivity.

    You and your blog are trash, but it's worth the time while I'm loading the rifle for self-defense (just in case) to tell you this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. The opinion itself in this post, while RNS is entitled to it, is foolish in the extreme. But to have posted this from his comfortable home, while people are under assault, was incredibly poor taste.

      Delete
    2. ”You and your blog are trash”

      So why are you here?

      Delete
    3. Hmm. While most normal people would have absolutely censored this frothing at the mouth insanity, RNS is kind and open enough to allow this. Unfortunately, there are deranged people in the world.

      Seriously, does nobody understand nuance and zeh v'zeh? Heck yeah, the riots are awful! And heck yeah, to have a community zoom into crazy violent mode based on one incident is awful! (And "awful" does not even begin to describe it, so don't criticize wording.)
      But that does not mean we don't have a responsibility to work on character flaws in ourselves that are similar to the relevant ones here.

      Is there no middle ground between full-on racist plantation owner and Venezuela? Is everyone who says "y'know, maybe minorities have feelings too" gonna pal around with Al Sharpton? Do you think nobody recognizes that many black leaders are anti-Semites?

      Delete
    4. @Yosef R.

      Nuance is toxic to political extremists of all sorts (and yes, a section of frum world has fallen into a kind of political extremism, as seen in this discussion).

      Delete
    5. Yosef R - I think you are trying to strike a middle ground, and I appreciate the sentiment, but you might not realize that you are actually coming across as patronizing and self-righteous. Don't assume you are smarter than others. Don't assume that others don't understand "nuance".

      You ask if no one recognizes that minorities have feelings too. Surely as minorities ourselves you must realize that of course we recognize that. But that's not the issue. The issue is the coddling and racism afforded to blacks at the expense of others, while simultaneously turning a blind eye to their very real problems. "Nuance" is not always - in fact, it usually isn't - the right way to approach problems.

      Cordially, and respectfully,

      DF

      Delete
    6. I was sitting next to a nice frum fellow at Shalosh Seudos in shul one week, and the topic of Al Sharpton came up. He absolutely denied that there was any real evidence of Rev Al's antisemitism, and said that any talk of it was obviously just from idiots who listen to Fox news.

      Delete
    7. DF, thanks for the understanding. I was not responding to you but to Malcolm the Eleventh, who indeed behaved way more patronizing and superior than I ever did.

      I don't agree with your feeling that this was in poor taste as the time that people are interested in a topic is indeed when it hits the news, but I acknowledge that there is validity to your position.

      Anyway, I'm not looking for a middle ground as much as a BOTH ground. Let's not condone violence AND not be racist. Everybody wins!

      Delete
  32. Mordechai HarrisJune 3, 2020 at 12:45 AM

    "I was also the only kid who would never, ever use the word "shvartzer." How could you possibly be sure of such a thing? In fact you are slandering my relatives who also went to Jewish Grammar and didn't speak like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly RNS was referring to the students in his school at the time.

      Delete
    2. Mordechai HarrisJune 4, 2020 at 5:59 PM

      I was talking about that time.

      Delete
    3. When I was there there about 15 years after RNS there was a single Jewish person of colour in the whole school. I remember still how he was inspirationally calm after a Rebbe* taught, with a complete lack of sensitivity, Rashi on Genesis 12:11.

      The school was intensely homophobic (I suppose everyone was in the 90s - look at the old David Baddiel material and cringe), which perhaps explains why another student, who I later found out was gay, has nothing to do with Judaism at this stage. That and the religion itself...!) I do think there was some awareness that the words shvartzer and shiksa were not appropriate, but they did get used on occasion, including by teachers. Three of the Jewish staff (including two in the most senior Chol and Kodesh positions in the school) riffed off racist stereotypes when, for example, presenting a sugya with a gentile.

      Generally the atmosphere was febrile, hyper masculine, often full of bullying, with a permanent threat of violence (sprogs bashing up day anyone? It was a thing), led by an amateurs, with weak teachers who substituted a permanent state of red in the face rage for professional management of behavior.

      I think our parent's generation (born in the 60s and 70s) were far worse than us, and were often terrible examples of instilling contempt for and fear of black men.

      *The rebbe in question was the one who ended up serving time at Her Majesty's pleasure for serious sexual offences.

      Delete
  33. Some of the comments here are retch-inducing. Talk about a "richuk kerovim"!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Innocent Pakistani immigrants, yeah:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochdale_child_sex_abuse_ring

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Innocent Jewish immigrants, yeah
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kray_twins

      Delete
    2. @The Hat - There is a great movie about the Kray brothers - made me cringe. Wiki does not list the Kray Twins as Jewish. Amazingly, those scum are considered folk heroes in their community. Kray's are a bad example of Jewish criminals. Here in USA we had (and still have ) some valid examples.

      Delete
  35. Great. Now do da'ati le'umi anti Arab racism. There, you might actually have a chance of being listened to, as you are da'ati le'umi.

    ReplyDelete
  36. All you racist white orthodox american jews better go check your gene pool. remember what R. Yishmael said in Mishna Negaim 2:1 Am Yisrael is lo shachor velo lavan.
    I guess you lot aren't properly Jewish.

    (subtext: do you see how stupid people sound when they say things about people based on their skin color?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have yet to see a racist comment on this blog. Look, Candace Owens, a black American commentator admits that blacks are the only group of people who turns criminals into heroes. Not even Jews, she cites, do this. While she acknowledges the evil done by Chauvin (whose views on race are undetermined), she said: "I DO NOT support George Floyd and I refuse to see him as a martyr." Yes, what happened was terrible but he was a miserable criminal who does NOT deserve martyrship. As I said previously, the solution to unnecessary violence is not more unnecessary violence.

      Delete
    2. There's simply not enough evidence that Chauvin was a racist. To use an analogy, imagine that your afraid of sharks. The last job you will choose then would be a public safety diver. If the cop was racist he wouldn't have become a cop since racists are afraid of blacks, and he wouldn't have killed him in broad daylight, let alone in public with his vestcam on. However, to lie on his neck for eight minutes must have come from some profound hatred. Tho it doesn't seem like racism.

      Delete
  37. Is what people are calling "racism" nowadays even prohibited in halacha?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ve'ohavta l'reach komochp, zeh klal gadol batorah. But to answer your question directly, no. However, using the internet is definitively prohibited by all Halachic authorities which have expressed opinions on the subject.

      Delete
  38. Oy vey!

    The bigotry, prejudice, misconceptions, falsehoods, and outright racism represented by most of the comments above is horrifying. As a Jew, I have to consider it a chillul ha'Shem. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    It would take me hours to respond to each vile or nonsensical notion and refute it. Given the passion with which this conceptual sewer is poured out on us, I'm not even going to try. Clearly, most of you have made up your closed minds.

    As a shortcut back to reality and the brotherhood of all God's children, I ask you to stop for a moment and ponder how much those of you writing these hateful things sound _exactly_ like the centuries of antisemites who said _exactly_ this kind of garbage about Jews. I pray that someday you will achieve the wisdom to understand that you are just as wrong as they were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree. And I think I know why.

      This blog is, fundamentally and by design, unkind.

      Sometimes honest discussion of facts will hurt people's feelings, or there is a pressing need to hurt people's feelings - for example - to stop people davenning in a minyan during a pandemic. But it needs to be done with love and humanity.

      This blog has no humanity or love for fellow Jews, let alone Arab Gentiles. It is best when it is good natured, curious and insightful, and at its worse when it is an unthinking echo chamber for angry people looking to buttress - fairly or unfairly - their prejudices.

      I myself have been informatively confrontational, rude and ungrateful to Rabbi Slifkin. It has not been productive or becoming. I apologise.

      Delete
  39. Hi Rabbi Slifkin,purely out of interest as I am self taught, why did you translate מכוער ביותר the way you did? Why not very ugly - which of course is just as shameful (after all body shaming is as evil as racism!). In South Africa where frum racists are quick to quote Pesachim 113b חמשה דברים צוה כנען את בניו אהבו זה את זה ואהבו את הגזל ואהבו את הזמה ושנאו את אדוניכם ואל תדברו אמת..oh my word, the mind just boggles. Is not frum racist a perfect example of an oxymoron!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maharsha says that the Gemara is referring to a black person. (Personally I don't think that this is what the Gemara means.)

      Delete
  40. Rabbi S, my question was answered above..thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think as long as humans can "see" the superficial differences of skin color, they will react accordingly. If we were all color blind it would be a different world.

    ReplyDelete

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