My brothers and sisters in America, we need to have a frank discussion. Much of this applies to fellow Jews in other parts of the world, but I single out American Jews because they are the epicenter of Diaspora Jewry, and the situation there is deteriorating more quickly than anywhere else.
I want you to consider the following five views that are not only considered mainstream but morally required in much of America today. Then I want you to consider the implications for Orthodox Jews.
1) White people are inherently privileged and must profess shame and guilt for the sin of being born with that skin color. Their actual socioeconomic status and life story is irrelevant. They should even bow down to complete strangers to express their worthlessness as human beings.
Orthodox Jews have not yet been compelled to bow down in submission and contrition as they did to Haman, but they have already needed to grovel to black protesters to prevent rioting in Jewish neighborhoods. You really didn’t have much of a choice, but how much time do you think you bought for yourselves? How long before they are no longer satisfied with your “solidarity”, and your communities will be forced to offer protection money in the form of “contributions” to stave off the justice-seeking mob? And how much time do you think that will buy you before they come for more?
2) Believing that the country should even have a police force is now considered racist and evil. This happened virtually overnight.
There are many corrupt police forces on this planet – probably all of them are corrupt to some degree – yet there is only one country on earth that is even debating whether there should be a police force altogether. Extremely intelligent people are actually trying to explain why doing away with law enforcement is a bad idea – and they are losing.
Chazal teach that we should always pray for the government, which by definition includes law enforcement, because otherwise each man would swallow his fellow alive. A bad government is better than no government, and a highly flawed police force is better than none at all. The trendiest moral belief in America today is, essentially, that there should be anarchy, lawlessness, and the rules of the jungle in the streets of America.
You’ve already gotten a taste of the riots, which for the moment have mostly subsided. There is no rational reason to believe there will not be other “injustices” to spark new, more furious outbreaks of violence. The rioters have already gotten lots of free loot and tasted blood, with no consequences. They have no incentive to retire from this lucrative and satisfying new career. How long before they come for all the money the Jews supposedly stole from them?
Even with the police force still in existence, it took all their resources and all your groveling to stave off the first round of riots from your communities. A few days ago your communities were literally hanging by a thread. Tell me one logical reason to believe this will all just go away. If next time the rioters get violent, are you sure the cops are going to open fire on them to save you? In this climate? If you believe that, you are certifiably insane.
Either way, is this a society in which Orthodox Jews should choose to remain? What bright future are you looking forward to in America? The riots were a warning sign, not an aberration, and not something that happens every so often. How many more warning signs do you need? How many more will you get? Why wait to find out?
3) Being proud of America is a sin. Expressing positive feelings about America is grossly insensitive, racist, sexist, even a violent act. Those who do so are liable to lose their livelihoods and be attacked by mobs both online and physically. This is considered an acceptable way for those with hurt feelings to express themselves. In fact, nothing is out of bounds anymore.
This puts Jews in an impossible situation. Jews traditionally express appreciation for their host countries, but now the mob is trashing the very foundations of America. It’s difficult enough to toe the line, artfully expressing loyalty to the country while standing in support of those at war with it from within. How much longer can you play neutral and appease everyone? What will you do when you are forced to choose a side?
4) Roughly half of the country would declare a yom tov if something unfortunate happened to President Trump. They would dance in the streets. If he were murdered in cold blood, they would praise his killer as a hero.
Supporting the President of the country in even the slightest way renders one worthy of destruction. If you publicly show support for the President, you are liable to be beaten by a mob.
This alone should be enough to make you seriously consider why you, as a frum Jew, would want to live in such a society and raise a family there. This is a very unhealthy society, and it won’t have a miraculous refuah regardless of who the next President is.
The fact that President Trump is closely associated with Orthodox Jews and has made great gestures of support for Israel only makes your situation more perilous. You’re stuck right in the middle whether you like it or not.
5) Gays, transgenders, women who wish to kill their babies, and all those who push the envelope in the endless war on traditional family values must receive unflinching support. Objecting to anything they demand is increasingly dangerous.
Orthodox Jews are, by their very existence, ambassadors for God’s definition of genders and moral boundaries. It is only a matter of time before they come for you, too, even if you want to stay out of that arena.
Chazal teach us: “Who is a wise person? One who sees what is coming.” Chazal expect us to see the writing on the wall and act accordingly. The writing on the wall in America is spray-painted in graffiti, plastered on social media, and broadcast daily in the news.
Expressing hatred for the President, the country, the police, and values that used to be sacrosanct, has become a game of “can you top this”. There is nothing like this on earth or in American history, and you should find it incredibly disturbing.
Even if your personal safety could be guaranteed, in spite of all the ominous signs to the contrary, is this where a frum person belongs?
The United States is in a state of moral decay, societal upheaval, and an internal war for its very soul. Do you really need to be in the middle of it? Are whatever material possessions you can’t take with you worth being in the center of this storm that is really only beginning?
There is nowhere else in galus for the millions of Jews in America to go. There is only one other option for the frum Jew.
The galus train has reached its final stop. The doors are still open, for now.
What are you holding on to? It’s time to get off the train.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org