Answers from an Orthodox Jew


Cool fact: The first (Ashkenazi) Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Isaac HaLevi Herzog, had previously been Chief Rabbi of Ireland for 14 years (1922-36), Rabbi of Dublin before that and spoke the Irish language fluently.


He’s also well remembered in Ireland due to that and his support for Irish independence and the fact he hid many Irish republican figures in his home from the British at points.


There is a fascinating novel by the Irish Jewish writer David Marcus called, “A Land Not Theirs,” about the experience of Jews in Ireland at the time of the War of Independence exploring different Jewish and Irish perspectives on the situation. There were Unionist Jews, Irish republican ones and those who were neutral. Slightly off-topic but perhaps of interest. As a side note of particular hilarity, the first tanks used by the Israeli armoured Corps were er, liberated by Irishmen who er, borrowed them from the British and gave them to the Israelis. Mike Flanagan who was one of those involved converted to Judaism to marry a local girl Ruth Levy and his family and descendants still live in Israel I believe


That is too cool! THANKS!!!


Thanks for info! Love the ‘borrowing’ !!! – I’ll have to read that book.


As I recall when Flanagan died a few years ago the Israeli Defence Forces (I’d best type it out in full since the Irish Defence Forces have the same acronym) gave him a military funeral with full honours. Which reminds me that very close to my house is a disused Jewish cemetery which is still tidied by the Jewish community. I will see if I can take some photos of it, the guardians will let those who want to enter for research do so under supervision. It might be of interest to some posters here. Michael Collin’s solicitor Michael Noyk was also Jewish and highly influential in helping organize election campaigns for a number of Irish republicans. Oddly enough he was also the personal solicitor and close friend of the founder of Sinn Fein who is sometimes lambasted as been anti-Semitic.


I’ll stop doing off topic connections to Ireland after this but one last one:-

Commander of the Jewish Legion in WW1 and now reburied in Israel as it was one of his own final wishes.


It’s unfortunate that it seems there is so much anti-Israel sentiment in Ireland these days.


It is because I think early on many people identified with Israel to some extent as fighting Britain and been a small force trying to hold it’s own. The whole problem with Palestine now has led to many people viewing Israel more negatively. Also, some issues with Israel over the years and diplomatic rows over the use of Irish passports for dubious purposes really caused tempers to flare in recent years.


Yes, you are so right. It breaks my heart and makes me angry at the same time. Coming from America, and growing up with a pro-Israel government, it is very hard for me to live here at times because of that.

As I’m typing, I am reading your reply @JharekCarnelian – that’s a good explanation. Thanks. When all of the news is only Pro Palestinian, the negativity towards Israel increases.


I am somewhere in the middle. Some of my relatives are very much Pro-Palestinian but I believe that you can’t assess this kind of situation sensibly any more than you could the Troubles in the north of Ireland by dehumanizing any side.


I too would like to read that book. There…it’s at the top of my list now!


David Marcus was a major figure in modern Irish literature, he provided a place for many well known names to start their careers over the years.


You had best restrain me lads if you think at any point I am derailing the thread because I have an unfortunate love of finding weird and odd connections between people from different lands, especially my own.


I knew it. I tell my children all the time, that being Southern is like being Jewish. :wink:
It doesn’t matter that one of them was born in a Yankee state, or that their father is a Yankee. If ya’ mama is Southern, then all y’all are Southern, too. Bless it.


From what I have read, most Jews are atheists. In fact, Zionism, the movement behind the creation of the State of Israel, was and is atheistic. Zionism as a national movement rebelled against historical religious Judaism and is mainly atheistic, but uses religion as a facade. As a recent article in Haaretz explained about Zionism, most of its leaders and activists ceased believing in the coming of the Messiah and took their fate into their own hands, with the power Man replacing the power of the omnipotent God. Thus the reason why many if not most Orthodox Jews protest the State of Israel…


I have never read this theory. Where did you find this?


No, Zionism is NOT an atheist movement, if by the latter you mean its purpose is to spread atheism. Some Zionists are atheists, perhaps its founder as well. But many Zionists are NOT atheists; some are Reform Jews and others are Orthodox Jews. Zionism is mainly a secular political movement, but, in my view, it is intertwined with the Jewish people as a people, a culture, and a religious entity. And all Orthodox Jews are NOT opposed to the State of Israel. While some are, others are ambivalent, and still others support the State of Israel although they may not support the Zionist movement or its tactics. The situation is quite complicated among the Orthodox Jewish community, which is not monolithic, as well as among Jews of other streams. Finally, I would not say that MOST Jews are atheist. There has been an increase among Orthodox Jews as well as those of other denominations. No doubt some identify as atheist Jews, others as cultural Jews, still others as nondenominational Jews, but there are many who consider themselves Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Haredi Orthodox, non-Haredi Orthodox, Sephardic, Nazarene, Messianic, or whatnot.


Zionism is something I’ve read quite a bit about it and like other movements of a similar kind (as Meltzerboy2) points out it is often intertwined with a variety of historical movements and religious ones. It is often like other liberation movements paradoxical and maddeningly contradictory and hard to sum up, you can try to do and can produce potted summaries of such movements in a few lines. However, those are only useful for brief descriptions and the realities of such movements are far more complex and often reflect conflicts of philosophy or politics within a community that gone on for centuries.


@meltzerboy and @jharekcarnelian you guys more or less said what I’d want to say.

Gab has a big axe to grind as he’s demonstrated in previous posts. He’s entitled to his opinion about Zionism/Israel but I’m familiar with the kinds of sources he has been reading regarding Orthodox anti-Zionism; I used to buy into them but I’ve been enlightened by experience, reality and a more careful study of the religious texts they use tendentiously to make their arguments.

Whether you agree with them or not, it is profoundly ignorant to call the religious faith of the orthodox “Religious Zionist” community a “façade.” Many are fervent believers and their detractors even brand them fundamentalists.

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