Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Is It Just Me?

The attacks in Mumbai and the news reports about them, plus the reactions in the blogosphere, have gotten me thinking about a number of issues. Some of these really concern me, and I was wondering if I am the only one. If they concern you, too, please let me know. If you know the answers to Question 1, I would love to hear from you as well.


1. Why don't Chabadniks (or some members of Chabad, anyway) get tested for Tay-Sachs? Since they will not do pre-natal testing or get abortions, why not do the testing and tell two carriers they can't get married? My cousin died of Tay-Sachs due to a faulty genetic test, and it really, really sucked.

2. How can I learn mishnah for every dead Jewish person, or even every murdered Jewish person? When a friend died last year, that was one thing, but I just received an e-mail from someone in my community proposing we learn mishnah for Rabbi and Mrs. Holzberg z"l. This is the sort of thing that can easily get out of control, in my opinion.

3. What is with anti-Zionist Jews living in Israel, anyway? Let's not try to claim they don't benefit from the State (who, for example, pays to pick up their garbage? Whose military protects their children?). I hear there are lovely anti-Zionist enclaves in New York, Virginia, London, and Vienna, just to name a few.

I am not trying to besmirch anyone's memory. All who died because they were Jews deserve to be mourned by us, and may their families be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. I just have all these questions . . .


NotaGeek! said...

Those are interesting observations..
I was wondering where that tay-sacs issue was mentioned in the vast amount of news last week, and I actually didn't know that about chabad.
Regarding question 2 what I would suggest is it doesn't necessarily have to be misnayos, any good deed would be just as useful in their memory.
And either way a good thought is just like an action.
And question 3 don't spend too much thought understanding hard core chassidim, because a lot of their actions can't be made sense of.
Just my opinion...

sara said...

Regarding point three - I do not feel this is fair, for during Bush's presidencies there were many American's who did not support the American government and still chose to live here and benefit. Perhaps you are being to harsh on the Chassidim.

Shira Salamone said...

I, too, wondered why neither of the deceased had been tested for Tay-Sachs. May their affected son have a good life for however long he survives, and may little Moshe, the son rescued from the Mumbai Chabad House, be spared any more sorrow.

Too Old to Jewschool Steve said...

Do a little googling. I'm not sure about Chabad, specifically, but there is an existing, and growing, shidduch registry for which marriage-minded young men and women get tested for most or all "testable" jewish genetic diseases, including TS. That way, when a shadkan considers a possible match, the registry can be checked to see if they are genetically compatible. If not, the match is not proposed. I'm sure the NYT did an article about this.

Rachel said...

1. They don't? I went to an orthodox high school, which encouraged testing... especially for the Ashkenazi students among us.

2. We don't often hear about every Jew who died, so I don't think we have to worry much about being stuck studying Mishnah 24/7. It's just a matter of doing one nice deed in someones memory (not specifically Mishnah)... if even just that their neshama should have an aliyah. It's a nice thought.

Also, in this situation, it wasn't just that they were "Jews who died." They were murdered for being Jews... so I think that makes a greater earthquake in the Jewish community than a Jew simply dying of old age. No?

3. Mm, I don't think it's really fair to call them "anti-Zionist" Jews. Zionism can be seen in two ways: the traditional/orthodox perspective and then the 20th century secular perspective.

It's not so much that they're ANTI-Zionist (using the word in the modern sense)... not today. It's more that they don't support the actions of the Israeli gov't. I don't think most people (in general) are happy with the Israeli gov't either. If you were to actually speak with some of those chassidim, except for Niturei Karta (sp?) of course, you would be surprised with how many of their ideas actually hold true among the average Jew too. It's just a matter of expressing it differently... from what I have seen, at least.

Rachel said...