5 Our Endangered Species

Today we Jews are dying, and have been for a long time. Our enemies kill us, often millions of us, but never all of us. Only we can do that, and we are. We are killing ourselves by failing to tell our children our story, and failing to teach our children how to misread our story in order to retell it fresh for themselves and their children. We are no longer raising generations of storytellers. We have become simulacra, replicas of a past that is itself a fiction.

We have borrowed the language of other faiths and speak of believers and nonbelievers in Torah. We have adopted the worldview of other faiths and flattened our story into history.

We have forgotten that to be a Jew is to be a storyteller. To be a Jew isn’t to believe in the past but to invent it, and to invent it in such a way as to invent the present and future as well, and to invent them all for the sake of godliness.

Our major task today isn’t to fight Jew hatred and assimilation, both of which have been with us for thousands of years. Our major task is to learn how to read dangerously, imagine boldly, and hear for the first time—for our time—the story we have been telling for a very long time.

Starting with my next post I will take up the Jewish trinity: God, Torah, and Israel sharing with you my understanding of each. I welcome your comments, and only ask that you keep them civil.

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