Is Judaism a religion or a Nationality?

Is Judaism a religion or a Nationality?

There are American Catholics and American Muslims and French Catholics and French Protestants but there are……   Jewish Americans and Jewish Frenchmen.

Judaism has traditionally transcended the national identity. As an aside it was the questioning of 4 of my non-Jewish friends that motivated this blog. ALL 4 of them defined being Jewish as a Nationality.

Is this because Jews have not been accepted as mainstream in the history of nations. If we were in a discussion about those people living in the geography called France…we would call them Frenchmen…but would the general population do the same for the Jews who live in that geography or would they be identified as Jews.

Having never practiced Catholicism, Islam, Hindu or other religions I can only proffer my view that most of these sects primarily define their religion as their relationship with God. Jews on the other hand have defined their Judaism as their relationship with God, their life philosophy, their culture and their traditions. I believe more Jews celebrate Passover or Chanukah than attend Shabbat services on a regular basis. A recent Pew study observed that only 20% of the Jews they surveyed think observing Jewish law is primary to their Jewish identity and only 47% of those under age 30 identify religiously as Jews.

Why is this transformation taking place…I take issue with the Jewish religious leadership…our Rabbis. While they guide and lead us in the religious observance and relationship with God, they do not seem to appreciate that today’s Jew is looking more for leadership in the culture, customs and traditions of our ancestors…again only 20% think observance of Jewish law is primary to Jewish identity. While 69 %say “leading an ethical and moral life.” is an essential part of what it means to be Jewish. But our leadership is missing the need, they believe that discussions of a liberal agenda is the solution to this need. I belief this isn’t the need, Our history, who our ancesters wer and how they lived, what made a jew a jew 100 years ago and what were the trdiaions we lived by are what most jews want to understand as the define their current Judiasm.

Jewish Americans are quickly becoming American Jews…they are losing their Jewish cultural & tradition identity and are replacing those with American culture and identity…yet our Rabbis seem to overly focus on the relationship with God. While our relationship with God is of primary importance, if we are losing the Jewish population through assimilation, then there may not be a Jewish population to guide in their relationship with God.


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I’m not a globalist!!

I’m not a globalist!!

I’ll admit it, I’m not a globalist (a person who advocates the interpretation or planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world)…I’m much more of a tribalist (an advocate or practitioner of strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group)  in fact to be totally truthful I’m really a “BROOKLYNIST”.

I’m concerned there is a group within our society who believe that everyone and everything should be equal. None of this “first world” or third world” stuff. We all should be working toward total equality…Our past President believed that America had to apologize for its superior attitude and make amends.

But let’s look at the reality of the world…no matter how you break it down we all belong and the vast majority prefer “their own tribe”  whether the tribe is defined by Nation or State …don’t tell me those Texans don’t believe they aren’t better than those Idahoer’s…or down to cities like Boston vs New York…or as in my background, by neighborhoods…the kids from Flatbush sure thought the kids from East New York were second class citizens…The rest of the world is certainly tribal…if you take away the veneer of the middle east, it is really just hundreds of tribes with their own identity, rules, customs and sense of own.

For anyone who practices a religion…who believes that the religion they practice is the 3rd or 4th best religion…Jew are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist etc….Christians are Catholic, Protestant, Baptist and Unitarian…the Muslim world’s Sunni and Shia are literally at war with each other…you could keep on going with example after example.

Why does this group of “Globalists” continue to push the idea that a global world is the best for all. Is it the lowest common denominator theory…I’m not sure that view hold water…I think it’s about the general view of these folks that those that espouse globalist theories are morally superior to the rest of us. It’s about time they bring those “have’s” into sync with the “have nots”.

The fact that this approach entails lowering the BAR … when most people of the world are trying to raise their personal bar isn’t an issue for them as they look down on us from their “superior perch” and are only trying to help. After all, many of those preaching this global solution live in a world far from the rest of our reality. Do you think, George Soros or Gwyneth Paltrow or Lebron James have an understanding of what the rest of our daily lives are about…But Terry, they came from nothing and remember their roots. When you move from Brooklyn to Newport Beach you have little memory of what life was about in those “good old days”

If you or someone you know has the silly notion that globalism is the solution to many of the worlds issues please tell them to get a grip on realty…Rather than save the world, maybe they could start by helping just one or two people better their lives.


We are tribal by nature, have been and always will be….LONG LIVE BROOKLYN!!




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Oh, Donald, Donald!

Oh, Donald, Donald!

PLEASE do us all a favor and shut the F up.  I mean it in the most positive way. The people that elected you still strongly believe in many or all of the major positions you represent. Growing economy, secure borders, safety from terrorists, major tax reform, school reform and much more…Our problem is that you thought we voted for you…what we voted for is the ideas you represent. Most of us couldn’t believe that none of the pathetic group of republican candidates caught on to the sentiment of the country and spoke to the same priorities you did. Maybe that’s because there are no longer patriots (a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors) but rather politicians (a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office OR a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization)

…Unfortunately, you were the only voice speaking to the issues we feel are important.

Then on election night we sat in disbelief as you won the election against probably the worst candidate the democrats have produced in decades. I guess we would rather have a self-centered, overly sensitive egomaniac than a thief and liar as our president   quite a choice

Maybe you could start by appreciating that you won the election because you ran against Hilary Clinton. You probably would have lost to almost any other legitimate democrat candidate but then the democrats fixed their own elections…that’s another story (Thanks Debbie)

Here we are almost 9 months into your presidency and you have accomplished little. Of course, you, as your OWN biggest cheerleader, talk every day of your unbelievable accomplishments. Problem is they aren’t real. We understand the pathetic republican politicians can’t get out of their own way and there isn’t a democrat with the balls to vote their convictions but the leader of the country is supposed to find a path to practical compromise.

Donald, you are NOT the best leader, you are NOT the best negotiator, you are NOT the best businessman, every positive action by those around you was not originally your idea …I could go on but I’m sure the readers of this know the long list of what you are not.

Our biggest disappointment is that your incredible ego is getting in the way of  accomplishing the changes we want.

You say that if someone hits out at you, you hit back harder. The truth is a true mature leader knowns not only when to hit back but more importantly when NOT to hit back…when to let it slide but your immense ego doesn’t let that happen. A true mature leader doesn’t hit back if a 6 year old calls them a doody head or when his house is on fire and he chooses to waste his time cause someone says they are smarter then him…You have no filter but a better description is that you have no judgement.

You fight with congressmen, business leaders, other heads of state, you own cabinet and even fools like Rosie O’Donnell. In fact, we can’t think of an instance when someone has said something even mildly derogatory about you without your losing your mind and striking back.

I believed from the very start that you represented a group of goals that were right for the country, I was concerned that you weren’t the right man to get those goals achieved

Donald, why are you doing everything in you power to prove me right

Shut up, you egomaniac and get the things you promised done of the USA


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In our world, that of the United States of America,  One and a half million men and women have died and an equal amount injured  fighting for what we believe in. It is why we stand when we hear our National Anthem.   “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Pathetically, those in the NFL who choose not to stand in honoring our country are in an elite group who have benefitted in many ways.

While not all, a significant majority of those “protesting” are black…. they protest the treatment of their race by our police forces…of course there are a few bad policeman, there also bad pastors, doctors and school teachers but in each of these professions the vast majority are models of the values we admire…there is no mention of the disproportionate percentage of crimes, or shooting by their race, especially as a percentage of the overall population.

They protest the unbearable horrors of slavery, yet not for a moment do they pause to honor the 350,000 men and women of the Union army who gave their lives so that slavery would be abolished and the traumas the United States went through during that war to ensure their freedom.   That was 350,000 men and women killed and 280,000 wounded   or 1 ½% of the entire population of the Union states killed and almost 3% of the entire Union states population killed or wounded.  When was the last time you heard one, I mean one of these miscreants, these ungrateful ignorants, open their mouths about those sacrifices?

And it’s not just the black community, even worse is the pathetic, pandering, group of “fellow athletes”, coaches and owners who grovel at the feet of the “righteous protesters”….

A small group of those protesting are supporting their right to speak out on what they misguidedly believe is an injustice, another group is really angry that President Trump “dissed” them publicly and “no one gets to call out the mighty NFL“ remember their claim to fame is that they can either throw or catch a ball or tackle someone who has that ball. ….my view is that the vast majority of the protesters are clueless about what the protest is really about, they just know something is due them cause they are always the “Victim”…Yeah, tell that to Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Serena Williams, Beyonce, Oprah, Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Stevie Wonder, Eric Holder, Ken Frazier (CEO Merck),Russell Simmons, Puff Daddy, Lebron, Colin Powell, Michael Steel, Ben Carson, Herman Cain, Valarie Jarrett and yeah; Barak Obama….Seems these “victims” have transcended their plight through, hard work, education, high moral standards, and a knowledge that it is their choice to be who they made themselves

Im one of those guys who loves football, played it in the schoolyard of my youth, and escaped on Sundays by rooting that one cities football team beat the crap out of another cities club. Now its politics, as is almost everything today and I’m choosing to vote for our flag and country


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1/10th of one percent of the worlds population

Israels population is about 1/10th of one percent of the worlds population
Did anything happen in Israel since last October

Readers will know about IsraAID’s relief work after recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria, but may have forgotten that IsraAID’s Navonel (Voni) Glick and Yotam Polizer were organizing volunteers back in 2016 to help Haitian survivors of Hurricane Matthew.

IsraAID has since helped survivors of the Italian earthquakes, refugees on the Greek island of LesbosSierra LeonePeru, Yazidis in Iraq and more.

In November, the IDF announced that Avraham Yitzhak will be the first colonel of Ethiopian descent in IDF history when he becomes chief medical officer of the IDF Southern Command. Yitzhak came to Israel in 1991, graduated in medicine at Ben Gurion University and was the first Ethiopian-Israeli combat doctor.

Israel received rare recognition from the BBC in December, when (after protest for their initial snub) BBC News finally interviewed Weizmann Institute’sProfessor Avigdor Scherz, co-developer of the globally acclaimed TOOKAD prostate cancer treatment. Also in December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his series of global trips to improve Israel’s international relations and bilateral trade by visiting two Muslim countries – Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. He subsequently visited LondonSingaporeAustraliaWest Africa and of course, the USA and the UN.

In January the PM announced that Member of Knesset Ayoub Kara would become the first lawmaker from Israel’s Druze community to serve as a cabinet minister. In his previous role as Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation, Kara was instrumental in setting up Israeli help for Syrian refugees in SyriaIsrael and Jordan. Also in January, Israel’s leading crowdfunding organization OurCrowd, founded by entrepreneur Jon Medved, hosted Israel’s largest investment event with over 6,000 attendees. Most of OurCrowd’s portfolio of 110 startups were on view.

In February new judges chosen to sit on Israel’s Supreme Court of Justice included a Christian Arab, George Kara, and Yael Vilner – the first orthodox Jewish woman to get a permanent seat on Israel’s highest court. In the same month Dr. Michal Kaufmann of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital performed cochlear implant surgery on 16 Palestinian Arab deaf and mute children to allow them to hear for the first time in their lives.

Then in March, Israeli scientists announced one of the biggest breakthroughs in cancer treatment when they used derivatives of Phenanthridine to make tumor cells self-destruct in the most resistant and incurable cancers.  Also in March Intel purchased Israel’s Mobileye, founded by Ziv Aviram and Amnon Shashua, for $15 billion. Mobileye continues to be managed in Israel and expand through partnerships with Fiat-Chrysler and China’s Yutong and Nio.

Another Israeli company, SodaStream, led by David Birnbaum, unveiled its new packaging in March. It includes a picture of the Israeli flag, accompanied by the caption: “This product is made by Arabs and Jews working side by side in peace and harmony.

One of April’s highlights was when Israeli President Rivlin invited Arab teacher Jehan Jaber to his Jerusalem residence, to praise her for teaching Hebrew to Arab elementary school children. The video of Jehan teaching catchy song “Geshem, Geshem Metaftef” (“Rain, rain is dripping”) went viral, with over two million views. In May Yehiel Tal, CEO of Israel’s CollPlant, which has been developing collagen-based bio-ink, made a major announcement.  He said that CollPlant is now “working with several large international companies, with the aim of collaborating in the development of organs and tissues printing.”

Meanwhile, Israeli NGO Innovation: Africa, founded by Sivan Ya’ari, publicized its work installing solar power systems to provide electricity for Africans to pump water, illuminate homes and power medical centers. Sivan’s 8-year-old daughter then visited Uganda to see her mother’s work at first hand.

In June, researchers at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital, led by Professor Benjamin Rubinoff, transplanted retinal pigment cells from embryonic stem cells to prevent five sufferers of retinal degeneration from going blind. In the same month, Jerusalem Rabbi Dov Benyaacov-Kurtzman setup the UK National Emergency Response, Resilience and Treatment Program for Stress and Trauma. Its first work was with the victims of the Manchester UK bombing.

In July Eli Beer, founder and President of United Hatzalah, explained his organization’s revolutionary model of life-saving at the largest dedication of emergency vehicles in Israel’s history. Later, in August United Hatzalah despatched its Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit to Houston, Texas.

In September, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon took up his new position as Vice President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly (GA). Earlier in the year, as chair of the United Nations Legal Committee, Danon increased respect for Israel at the UN. He saw two Israeli-sponsored resolutions passed by the GA and arranged a co-operation agreement with United Nations Women – the world body’s institution for the empowerment of women. He even organized a UN event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem. Then just before this Rosh Hashana as the presiding GA chair, he proudly invited Israeli PM Netanyahu to speak to the General Assembly.


“Taking a Knee”


When my president lied to me and claimed 4 of my comrades were murdered because of a video insulting Muslims…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president shipped pallets of cash to my sworn enemy…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president failed to identify Muslims as terrorists and Islam as an enemy of the state…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president claimed that a man who tried to kill another man who lawfully defended himself could be his son…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president defended a thug who bum rushed law enforcement…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president ordered businesses to spend unnecessary funds to appease a minority of people who need mental intervention far more than they need their own toilet…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president ordered that words ‘one nation under God’ be removed from the pledge of allegiance…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president lied to me and said I could keep my doctors and my premiums would go down…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president spent my tax dollars in foreign lands to interfere in their elections…I didn’t take a knee.


While my president sat by passively and enabled ISIS to emerge as a stronger force dedicated to spreading Islamic ideals by committing murder, rape and torture…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president allowed dictators and murderers to violate his red lines and continue to murder women and children with chemical gas…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president chastised law enforcement for their actions but ignored the violence in our streets…I didn’t take a knee.


When my president identified the weather as the greatest threat to America’s safety while Muslims worldwide are murdering innocent people…I didn’t take a knee.


While my president’s insistence that pacifism and reform in numerous areas of the globe would bring peace but instead led to the strengthening of those that seek to destroy us…I didn’t take a knee.


When the election of my president broke barriers never thought possible in America ended up being the high point of his eight years in office…I didn’t take a knee.


In all that time I never disrespected our Country, our Armed Forces and Veterans, or our Nation. I remained vigilant.


I didn’t take a knee. I got a new President.