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« Reply #75 on: March 22, 2012, 08:04:55 pm »
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Ok. Let's figure out what do we call Orthodox. Because there seems to be a HUGE confusion.

1. "Orthodox" may mean following the more traditional interpretation of Judaism. There is one sense in which most Jews in the world (though not in the US) are Orthodox - i.e., they are neither Conservative, Reform, or (god forbid Smiley) ) Reconstructionist. This is, basically, what pretty much all Israeli Jews are (with a few well-defined exceptions) - they might not go to a synagogue, but the synagogue they don't go to is Orthodox, as they don't even think of the existence of the others. If, for any reason, they need a rabbinical ruling, they'd go to an Orthodox rabbi.

2. In the US it is more common for religious Jews to follow Conservative (this movement first surged in Germany already quite a long time ago) or a Reform interpretation of the faith. These are all those modernist Jews who have women for rabbis, etc. Obviously, these aren't Orthodox in any definition. On the other hand, some truly secular Jews (including many Russians) don't even much think in those terms - they don't care enough about religion to try to modernize it. In that sense they stay Orthodox - the only rabbis they'd recognize as such are the Orthodox (not that they care much about the rabbis in the first place).

3. Then there are the Modern Orthodox, of varying degree of Orthodoxy. These are the Joe Liebermans of this world - though there is quite a bit of variety among them, both in terms of religiousity and in terms of integration into the modern world. There are also some fairly Orthodox non-European communities, that are traditional, but still non-Haredi. This is what a lot of the Bukharans, Georgians, etc. are - I presume it's also true of many Iranians, though I don't know them that well. They are provincial, very culturally conservative, to a degree isolated in a small-town provincial way, they follow their rabbis, who are, most definitely Orthodox, but they don't isolate themselves from the outside world more deliberately than, say, Catholic migrants from small-town Poland would.

4. Finally there are the Haredim, whom I've talked about: Hassidim, non-Hassidic "Lithuanians" (they don't like the word "misnaged", I believe, but that's what they, historically, are Smiley) ), some (not all) Sephardim and other Orientals (I prefer to keep the word "Serphard" for those, whose ancestors had been expelled from the Iberian peninsula; the rest, properly speaking, are Orientals). These are, basically, the Jewish Amish. Actually, given the numbers, I should, probably, say, the Amish are the Christian Haredim Smiley)
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« Reply #76 on: March 22, 2012, 09:58:42 pm »
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Why is it that Russian Jews spoke Yiddish and not a Slavic language?
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« Reply #77 on: March 22, 2012, 11:00:13 pm »
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They wouldn't necessarily, though. I don't see where a brace of Orthodox Jewish immigrants from, say, the Pinsk Marshes (where my ancestors on that side came from) a hundred years ago would be more 'conservative' on what would now or then be considered 'social issues' than most other groups in America, immigrant or otherwise, at that time.
If we magically brought back everyone who's able to vote in America's today's ancestors who were voting age in 1850 I doubt there would be more 1 issue voters then the 1850 Eastern European Jewish vote.

If we were to do the same based on the time of the first vote in the United States, it would have been the opposite. You chose the date before the massive secular cultural explosion that created modern secular Jewry. If you really want to base yourself on 1850 and isisted on people voting as their ancestor then, most Jews would simply not have voted in a goyisher election. Back at the time they would have considered it treason to go to a state-sponsored rabbinical academy to study Torah under the goyishe-approved teachers.

actually most jews who came to this country from 1880-1900 were Orthodox it was their children that went off the deep end.  There is no reason to assume that 1850 jews wouldn't have voted in American elections.  (anybody who doesn't know that Brooklyn had many sefardiem's opinion on many things is worthless anyway)


Well, an opinion of anybody, who does not know that many Jews came to the United States long past 1900 on matters of US Jewry is even more worthless, my dearest Anti-American Jew (I believe that sobriquet fits you better - in the sense that you hate American Jews, not that you hate Americans or Jews Smiley) ).

As for the Jews in 1850... Well, you seem to be truly unaware of the life of the Jews in Russian empire in the 1850s. Yes, European Jews had been the archetypal cultural separatists in Europe for a 1000 years. Compared to them today's Haredim or Amish in the US or ultra-conservative Arabs in Europe (or even in Saudi Arabia) are paragons of assimilationism into the general European culture. There would have been no Jews left in Europe otherwisem, our ancestors would have completely assimilated - that much I'd grant you.

However, that degree of cultural separatism has consequences .There is a reason those people did not migrate en masse during the 1850s (back then most Jewish migrants into the US were from the much more assimilated communities; they were German Jews, not Russian Jews, and they were economic, not cultural conservatives, if they were conservative at all). Most Russian Jews would have had trouble migrating. Many of them were completely out of the civilization around them - much more so than today's ultra-Orthodox. They had no common language with the surrounding population - they spoke neither Russian, nor Polish, nor Ukrainian, nor Lithuanian (I guess, they could get by w/ the German-speakers by speaking Yiddish). If one of them had a Jewish newspaper from Germany delivered, he was viewed as a dangerous radical. If Russia were to hold elections at the time (which, of course, was something completely impossible for reasons unrelated), they would not have been able to participate: they would not have been able to file for such an election, or read a ballot. In some places they would, probably, only learn that it was happening from that same German Jewish newspaper - the news would have traveled via Berlin (and the secular newspaper office there Smiley )

Now, of course, there were other Jews in Russia as well. But the bulk of those, whose offsrping would later migrate were that way - completely, utterly separated from the contemporary civilization, except through an occasional beating by a police officer and an extortion by the tax collector.  Without the initial secularization that started, albeit tentatively, back in Russia, they would not have gotten  to the coast, still less to America: they wouldn't have known how to board a train.

Of course, secularization did not necessarily mean abandonment of the (somewhat relaxed) Orthodoxy, but in many cases it did lead to it. And, of course, the resettlement across the ocean reinforced it. True, they might still arrive to Ellis island with a full beard, but that beard would be cut fairly short some time after arrival, and their children would never let it grow in the first place. And they would become not merely leftist, but radical leftist. As community representatives in San Francisco told a visiting Russian Jewish terrorist leader (Gershuni), "All Jews are ready for the Revolution" - this was not a mere figure of speach, but a true reflection of the sentiment in a substantial part of the Jewish community in the US.

But this secularization was continuing back in the old countries as well - that was the period of the great secular outburst in the Jewish community. The Nazis would later take care of that society so well, that it is hard to imagine today that it ever existed, but there was real secular Yiddishland back then, a non-Medieval Jewish world and a modern (non-Zionist) Jewish civilization. Remants of this civilization would also find its refuge across the ocean.

Where you are VERY WRONG, is in that the Jews moved left because they were clueless about the origins of the socialist concerns among them. Unlike you, they were back then very well aware what they were doing: they personally and deliberately struggled against the Orthodox barbarism. Some of them retained sentimental attachment to the old rituals and mores, albeit loyal more in their breach than in their execution; others (and there were many of them) sincerely and wholeheartedly hated and despised them. Some attached themselves to the new secular (often socialist) Yiddishkeit, which had grown from the abandonment of the Orthodoxy; others followed the Jewish Renaissance ideal of becoming Jewish citizens of America (or Poland, or Germany - Mendelssohn's old ideal of the "German citizens of the Mossaic faith" was more than a catchy slogan); still others went for the new Zionist (back then also mostly socialist) idea. Their political ideals commonly developed in the conscious opposition to the barbarism of the previous century. They became socialists and communists not because they forgot how their ancestors lived their lives - but because they remembered it all too well.

In any case, claimng that modern American Jewish political ideas should follow those of their ancestors from 1850 is like claiming that German Americans should follow the political ideas of their pre-Reformation ancestors from the 1500.
except I never said that many jews came after 1900 (my grandfather for example came post WWI)  what I did say is that a significant majority who came before 1900 were Orthodox and afterward a significant majority.  There is a very good case (more likely then not) to be made that around half of all jews who came to America after the Germans and  before the immigration bill were Orthodox.

Even many of the German Jews that came were originally Orthodox.  (proof is that many of the original synagogues they founded were Orthodox).

IN regards to the socialistic forces in Judaism they were always way in the minority that doesn't mean that they I don't think they excited but they were not more then 30% and that doesn't equal jews being the most left wing group ever (they also had less kids then other Jews did).  I was speaking for majority of jews today who are not decedents from socialistic jews on all sides.

in order to understand where something came from you have to understand it's history. 
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« Reply #78 on: March 22, 2012, 11:01:16 pm »
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I'm not sure whether the orthodox Jews really compensate for this nationwide effect.  I'm also not sure how the hell to characterize the places they live on the urban/suburban scale...

Eh well his point is valid if you look at the parts of NYC he's talking about, but this is similar to someone in a Cuban part of Miami arguing that urban Hispanics aren't likely to be Democrats. He doesn't seem to realize that Jews outside of NYC exist (and by this we're even including the rest of New York State, since places like Monsey and Kiryas Joel are obviously not urban.)

And of course this all ignores the fact that the Orthodox are a very very small percentage of the national Jewish population if you disregard his No True Scotsman argument.
it's not just NY (maybe the "park" makes it rural)
Baltimore McCain won Park Heights.
Chicago McCain won West Rogers Park
you can also spot Orthodox presence on a Obama McCain map in Greater Miami, Greater Los Angeles, and Greater Cleveland.

Where in Greater Los Angeles?
Beverly Hills

Iranian Jews, correct? I didn't know they were orthodox? Probably supporting heavyhanded US military action and wealthy to boot. I can see why they might vote Republican. Of course there's a lot more Jews that live in the Greater Los Angeles area and they vote Democrat.

You see this in portions of the Great Neck region on Long Island as well.  Kings Point and Northern portions of Great Neck, which have a large Iranian Jewish population swung strongly to the GOP after 9/11.  The rest of Great Neck, which also heavily Jewish, but has far fewer Iranian Jews (is a bit more Asian as well) has remained heavily Democratic.
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« Reply #79 on: March 22, 2012, 11:03:51 pm »
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I'm not sure whether the orthodox Jews really compensate for this nationwide effect.  I'm also not sure how the hell to characterize the places they live on the urban/suburban scale...

Eh well his point is valid if you look at the parts of NYC he's talking about, but this is similar to someone in a Cuban part of Miami arguing that urban Hispanics aren't likely to be Democrats. He doesn't seem to realize that Jews outside of NYC exist (and by this we're even including the rest of New York State, since places like Monsey and Kiryas Joel are obviously not urban.)

And of course this all ignores the fact that the Orthodox are a very very small percentage of the national Jewish population if you disregard his No True Scotsman argument.
it's not just NY (maybe the "park" makes it rural)
Baltimore McCain won Park Heights.
Chicago McCain won West Rogers Park
you can also spot Orthodox presence on a Obama McCain map in Greater Miami, Greater Los Angeles, and Greater Cleveland.

Where in Greater Los Angeles?
Beverly Hills

Iranian Jews, correct? I didn't know they were orthodox? Probably supporting heavyhanded US military action and wealthy to boot. I can see why they might vote Republican. Of course there's a lot more Jews that live in the Greater Los Angeles area and they vote Democrat.
no one is claiming that Republicans won the urban Jewish vote what I'm claiming is that due to the Jewish groups that vote republicans that are much more liklely to live in an urban setting then the Democrat voting jew, that the % of jews who voted for McCain in a urban setting is higher then jews who voted for McCain in a rural or semi rural one.
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« Reply #80 on: March 22, 2012, 11:09:54 pm »
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Ok. Let's figure out what do we call Orthodox. Because there seems to be a HUGE confusion.

1. "Orthodox" may mean following the more traditional interpretation of Judaism. There is one sense in which most Jews in the world (though not in the US) are Orthodox - i.e., they are neither Conservative, Reform, or (god forbid Smiley) ) Reconstructionist. This is, basically, what pretty much all Israeli Jews are (with a few well-defined exceptions) - they might not go to a synagogue, but the synagogue they don't go to is Orthodox, as they don't even think of the existence of the others. If, for any reason, they need a rabbinical ruling, they'd go to an Orthodox rabbi.

2. In the US it is more common for religious Jews to follow Conservative (this movement first surged in Germany already quite a long time ago) or a Reform interpretation of the faith. These are all those modernist Jews who have women for rabbis, etc. Obviously, these aren't Orthodox in any definition. On the other hand, some truly secular Jews (including many Russians) don't even much think in those terms - they don't care enough about religion to try to modernize it. In that sense they stay Orthodox - the only rabbis they'd recognize as such are the Orthodox (not that they care much about the rabbis in the first place).

3. Then there are the Modern Orthodox, of varying degree of Orthodoxy. These are the Joe Liebermans of this world - though there is quite a bit of variety among them, both in terms of religiousity and in terms of integration into the modern world. There are also some fairly Orthodox non-European communities, that are traditional, but still non-Haredi. This is what a lot of the Bukharans, Georgians, etc. are - I presume it's also true of many Iranians, though I don't know them that well. They are provincial, very culturally conservative, to a degree isolated in a small-town provincial way, they follow their rabbis, who are, most definitely Orthodox, but they don't isolate themselves from the outside world more deliberately than, say, Catholic migrants from small-town Poland would.

4. Finally there are the Haredim, whom I've talked about: Hassidim, non-Hassidic "Lithuanians" (they don't like the word "misnaged", I believe, but that's what they, historically, are Smiley) ), some (not all) Sephardim and other Orientals (I prefer to keep the word "Serphard" for those, whose ancestors had been expelled from the Iberian peninsula; the rest, properly speaking, are Orientals). These are, basically, the Jewish Amish. Actually, given the numbers, I should, probably, say, the Amish are the Christian Haredim Smiley)

since you seem to think you know what your talking about what would you call the jewish shtetel of teaneck?
how come you leave out oberlanders and Yekkis for example
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« Reply #81 on: March 22, 2012, 11:19:56 pm »
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Why is it that Russian Jews spoke Yiddish and not a Slavic language?

Because they came from Germany long ago. Luther and his German followers weren't too keen on the Jews. There is a touch of Slavic influence in Yiddish, but it's impressive how much the Jews of Eastern Europe avoided taking on the language of those around them. Yiddish was my grandmother's first language. I'm sad that I didn't pick up much from her. She and her friends would speak it when they didn't want the children to know what they were saying.
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« Reply #82 on: March 23, 2012, 01:06:00 am »
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since you seem to think you know what your talking about what would you call the jewish shtetel of teaneck?
how come you leave out oberlanders and Yekkis for example

Hey, who cares about the Hungarians Smiley) You also could say I forgot the Tat-speaking "Mountain Jews" - I am sure, there is some community of them somewhere in NY area (I've only seen them in the old country, but NY has everything Smiley) ).  And, yes, I'll fess up, I've never heard of the Yekkes (ok, I googled it now - seems like I've seen quite a few when I lived on Fort Washington, just never knew the name), nor do I care about Teaneck: you, probably, have to drive to get there, like you have to get to most Jersey sh**tholes, and I do not drive, so I never went West from Washington Heights.

Listen, I am not claiming to be a specialist on every obscure subset of the ultra-Orthodox community in NY, with which I am not associated in any way (nor would I want to) - not any more than you claim to be a specialist on every branch of Jewish socialism, of which you seem to know quite little (not that I am a great authority on that either Smiley) ). I am, merely, a reasonably educated secular Russian Jew, who hasn't lived in NY in 10 years, who loves his Sholom Aleykhem and has read some other good books Smiley) You know, I didn't know about Yekkes, and you, probably, don't know about Gershuni and what he did in the US - in my view, it's as much a gap in your Jewish education as not knowing about Yekkes is in mine Smiley))

In any case, I wasn't writing the background stories for you - I am sure you have better knowledge of the "intra-ultra" intricacies than I would ever care to have. But we aren't the only ones talking here, and you weren't sharing any of this knowledge w/ the other posters here, which created confusion among the rest. So, I took it upon myself to elucidate a few points to our goyisher companions here, mostly so that everyone knows what means what. I was provoked by the post in which someone confused the Hassids and the Haredim - I never had any doubts that you were aware of the difference, but you chose not to correct the guy, and I did.  I would have more doubts about your knowledge of the secular Jewry - you seem to think it was just one big nasty error not worth learning about Smiley) - but on the Ultra-Orthodox in today's New York I will happily acknowledge your intellectual supremacy Smiley) It's just you seem to think of your knowledge as something esoteric, that you are unwilling to share, except in making bold but unclear statements that you hope nobody will ever be able to verify Smiley)
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« Reply #83 on: March 23, 2012, 01:18:52 am »
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One last point. 100% of Jews alive today (except, may be recent converts) descended from the Orthodox - there were no other Jews back 400 years ago (ok, let's forget the Karaites and other similar tangents, as they are not ancestors of the modern Jews). This also includes 100% of Socialist Jews today, or back in the 1930s. This is absolutely irrelevant to their views - as irrelevant as the observation that around year 1400 pretty much all other Europeans were Catholic or that the last pagans in Europe were the now uber-Catholic Lithuanians (they actually only converted around 1400). But that does not negate the fact, that later ancestors of most US Jews became secular (even if they formally remained Orthodox in some cases).  Nor does it negate the fact of an overwhelming popularity of left-wing ideas among, at least, Eastern European Jews in the US during the last century. Of course, the ultra-Orthodox were always there - locked in their self-established ghetto and their cultural barbarity. That Jews, both in the past and now (78% in 2010 voted for Obama, according to the only data there is), vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic party is NOT an error: it's a VERY conscious decision.

BTW, a disclaimer: As my ancestors never migrated to the US, I, actually, have no legacy of leftism, only of secularism. When I talk of American Jewish socialism I feel almost as much ironic sadness, as I feel when talking of the behatted Jewish Amish you seem to consider the only real Jews Smiley))
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« Reply #84 on: March 23, 2012, 01:37:33 am »
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ag, if I haven't said this lately, you're a consistently fantastic poster.  Thanks for hanging around Smiley
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« Reply #85 on: March 23, 2012, 01:57:20 am »
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ag, if I haven't said this lately, you're a consistently fantastic poster.  Thanks for hanging around Smiley

I have to blush Smiley)
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« Reply #86 on: March 23, 2012, 02:15:09 am »
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Wouldn't most Jews today have significant Khazar ancestry? Then again I'd suppose they were basically absorbed into "the Orthodox" before 400 years ago.
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« Reply #87 on: March 23, 2012, 02:18:03 am »
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Well before. Khazaria fell in the High Middle Ages.
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« Reply #88 on: March 23, 2012, 10:54:15 am »
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Has anyone touched on the issue that German Jews tend to be more Pub?  That is certainly the case in Cincinnati, and I suspect generally true.
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« Reply #89 on: March 23, 2012, 11:38:56 am »
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ag, you make an excellent point about how virtually all Jews in Russia were definitionally Orthodox because that's what it meant to be Jewish and part of the community you were bound to. Which means that the label is pretty meaningless when we make comparisons to how we live today, where in theory people have more choices (although NY Jew was born into his lifestyle and raised into it, the same way I was born into Conservative-trending-secular Judaism.)
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« Reply #90 on: March 23, 2012, 11:40:24 am »
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Has anyone touched on the issue that German Jews tend to be more Pub?  That is certainly the case in Cincinnati, and I suspect generally true.

I would wonder how many German Jews now are descended from the 1930s diaspora as opposed to the 1840s/1850s immigration, and how many of the latter have preserved an identity as German Jewish in the long term. So many of those smaller communities in places like Dixie have died out.
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« Reply #91 on: March 23, 2012, 12:12:39 pm »
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Has anyone touched on the issue that German Jews tend to be more Pub?  That is certainly the case in Cincinnati, and I suspect generally true.

I would wonder how many German Jews now are descended from the 1930s diaspora as opposed to the 1840s/1850s immigration, and how many of the latter have preserved an identity as German Jewish in the long term. So many of those smaller communities in places like Dixie have died out.
 

I doubt they think of themselves as German much these days of course, but they are still Jewish. I think the Jews in Cincinnati are from the earlier migration to a fair extent. In any event, they have been well assimilated into the local bourgeoise there for a long time.  Gradison (R) used to be a representative from there, who was Jewish.
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« Reply #92 on: March 23, 2012, 05:32:51 pm »
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Semi-related especially when context (namely which General Election the survey was conducted during, and also that it's a survey of a very middle class section of the population in a country where class tends to be a major factor in voting patterns) is remembered.
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« Reply #93 on: March 23, 2012, 06:20:54 pm »
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The stereotypical American secular Jew would love the ideal of the Lib Dems. The reality of the Lib Dems and the difference between secular American Jews and British Jews would explain why the LD share was so much lower than I expected.
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« Reply #94 on: March 23, 2012, 06:32:58 pm »
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The stereotypical American secular Jew would love the ideal of the Lib Dems. The reality of the Lib Dems and the difference between secular American Jews and British Jews would explain why the LD share was so much lower than I expected.

I would be interested in your views as to how you consider Jews of the two nationalities to be different. I have never thought about that before. Granted the Tories these days have a more secular - and less Christian-centric - image than the Pubs do these days, but you are suggesting it is less about the image of the parties, and more about the differences between the two groups of Jews themselves.
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« Reply #95 on: March 23, 2012, 08:14:38 pm »
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ag, you make an excellent point about how virtually all Jews in Russia were definitionally Orthodox

Except that religion is not a static thing. Belief systems evolve over time. It is a major fallacy of any religion that claims to be the alpha and the omega.
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« Reply #96 on: March 23, 2012, 09:03:15 pm »
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The stereotypical American secular Jew would love the ideal of the Lib Dems. The reality of the Lib Dems and the difference between secular American Jews and British Jews would explain why the LD share was so much lower than I expected.

I would be interested in your views as to how you consider Jews of the two nationalities to be different. I have never thought about that before. Granted the Tories these days have a more secular - and less Christian-centric - image than the Pubs do these days, but you are suggesting it is less about the image of the parties, and more about the differences between the two groups of Jews themselves.

I believe British Jews have long favored the Tories. I'm out of my depth on this, but Thatcher represented a Jewish constituency (not that it mattered that much which one she represented) and she liked Jewish businessmen for representing the business side of Toryism rather than genteel paternalism she loathed. You just didn't have the same history that led to Jewish identification with the Dems that you have in the U.S.

I feel I know very little about British Jews other than where they live and roughly how they vote. If I got anything wrong in the above paragraph someone will come along and correct it.
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« Reply #97 on: March 23, 2012, 09:33:15 pm »
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I believe British Jews have long favored the Tories.

A lot of people do* but (and as the study shows) that's not exactly the case. Particularly relevant to the general discussion (?) in this thread are the (very) left-wing voting habits of secular Jews as a group. Essentially this is not an exclusively American phenomenon.

*For obvious reasons given the main internal electoral cleavages. The most noticeable people are the most noticeable people, after all.
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« Reply #98 on: April 04, 2012, 11:26:32 am »
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They wouldn't necessarily, though. I don't see where a brace of Orthodox Jewish immigrants from, say, the Pinsk Marshes (where my ancestors on that side came from) a hundred years ago would be more 'conservative' on what would now or then be considered 'social issues' than most other groups in America, immigrant or otherwise, at that time.

If you look at Kinsey's report Orthodox jews were the least likley group to have homosexual relations and non Orthodox Jews (remember this was in the pre sexual revaluation days) were the least likley to have them then other non religious people.
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« Reply #99 on: April 04, 2012, 11:55:17 am »
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They wouldn't necessarily, though. I don't see where a brace of Orthodox Jewish immigrants from, say, the Pinsk Marshes (where my ancestors on that side came from) a hundred years ago would be more 'conservative' on what would now or then be considered 'social issues' than most other groups in America, immigrant or otherwise, at that time.

If you look at Kinsey's report Orthodox jews were the least likley group to have homosexual relations and non Orthodox Jews (remember this was in the pre sexual revaluation days) were the least likley to have them then other non religious people.


Have you ever heard of the word "anachronism"? It's surprisingly reach in meaning. Google it.
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