Nitzavim/Vayelech: Free Will

See – I have placed before you today the life and the good, and the death and the evil, that which I command you today. To love Hashem, your G-d, to walk in His ways, to observe His commandments, His decrees, and His ordinances; then you will live and you will multiply, and Hashem, your G-d, willbless you in the Land to which you come to possess it…

I call heaven and earth as witnesses! Before you I have placed life and death, the blessing and the curse. You must choose life, so that you and your descendants will live. (Deut. 30:15,16).

 This warning was issued when the Jewish People were about to enter their land, to live there isolated from the nations’ detestable practices. Unfortunately, even in Eretz Yisrael, we sinned greatly and exile was decreed, such that instead of being a “nation that dwells alone” (Num. 23:9), we ended up among the nations, and most of the Jewish People became like them. As a result, large parts of our people, in effect, lost the ability to choose. The free choice that was their lot in Eretz Yisrael, their land and birthplace, became a farce among the nations where they were conquered by foreign culture; and countless Jews became spiritual captives.How can we expect Israel to repent as a people when they do not even have any questions? Why should G-d continue punishing His people for so long when not only is the punishment not beneficial, but, as we saw following the dreadful Holocaust, tens of thousands of believing Jews even became heretics? How can G-d draw near to Him a people that has lost its understanding to choose between good and evil, between life and death? Regarding the verse, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good, that are accustomed to doing evil” (Jer. 13:23), Redak comments, “You have so accustomed yourselves to evil that it cannot leave you, as though it were a second nature to you.”In this age of  great scientific and technological advancement, when materialistic, cosmopolitan “realism” makes assimilation seem acceptable, it is clear that the Jewish captive to foreign culture will not improve his ways. Quite the contrary, he marches along proudly, far from the camp, far from the idea of repenting, almost cut off from every link to his origins. He has lost, so to speak, the power of free choice. He who was earmarked to be like the stars of the heavens, wallows in the mire.

Continue reading “Nitzavim/Vayelech: Free Will”

An Urgent Proposal

We are losing the real war and the immediate, urgent need is to save the Jew from himself. It is not an exaggeration to say that the State of Israel stands at an unparalleled crisis, one that truly threatens to bring unthinkable tragedy upon her. It is not the Arabs that pose this awful threat and the battlefront is not in Lebanon or the banks of the Jordan or where the Syrian and Israeli lines meet on the windswept Golan. The battlefront is within the State and the people. We are our own enemy. That which no Arab state was or is capable of doing, the Jew successfully sets about to do.

The battlefront and the issue is not a Jewish-gentile one, but the Jewish loss of perspective, confidence, inner strength, certitude and clear identity. For the first time in Israel’s history, a genuine anti-war movement marched and spoke and protested.

For the first time, a serious breach in Israel’s war unity was seen and doubt and recrimination and guilt corroded the one weapon that made Israel superior, over the years, to Arab manpower and firepower: certainty and confidence in the justice of the Jewish cause.

More and more Jews today, within and without the Jewish state, are unsure of the justice of that cause. Not only in Lebanon, for the overwhelming majority of those who protest the shooting in Beirut are prepared to march against the “oppression of the Palestinians” in the “occupied territories” and to demand their return as part of a “Palestinian state.” And not only the “occupied territories,” for the vast majority of those protesters live with the worm of doubt in their breasts concerning the very right of Zionism to come, after 1800 years, to a land lived in by Arabs and to demand their land for a Jewish state.

Let no one deceive us. It is not a fringe group that seethes with doubt and guilt. It is a growing number of intellectuals and pseudos, and worse–of students and young people who knew not Joseph and the events and realities of a generation ago. They are on both sides of the ocean: Israeli and non- Israeli Jews. They rot the state from within, they corrode the Jewish people with the vinegar of guilt and the poison of gentilized concepts. Cloaked in a mantle of morality sold in the marketplace of “Justice and Ethics,” it is really the cloth of frustrated and lost people, torn by contradiction and self-hate. The tragedy is that they stand in the pulpits, write the newspaper columns, broadcast the televised, selected news and lecture in the universities. Their main victims are youth, part of the lost generation whose Jewish values disappeared under the pressure of an American melting pot so avidly stirred by the American Jewish Establishment, and a secular Zionist stew, spiced by the Socialism of fools.

We pay the price today, of Israeli founding fathers who tore Judaism from Zionism and were convinced that one could produce a proud, knowledgeable and dedicated-unto-death New Hebrew nationalist. We pay the price of those who tore Judaism from the “primitive” Sephardi Jews and produced from the greatness of Sephardi Jewry the values of Dizengoff, with a vengeance. We pay the price of the American Jewish Establishment elite who called for the breaking down of barriers between Jew and non-Jew, for the implementation of the Eleventh Commandment, ” Thou shalt Melt,” for the interfaith and public schools and assimilation of gentile values and concepts. We pay for all this in a huge reservoir of gentilized Jews whose Ignorance of Judaism leads them to proclaim gentile darkness to be Jewish light and non- Jewish immorality to be Jewish ethics.

It will grow worse as the Jewish Vietnam experience grows in Israel, fueled by the Klutznicks and Brickners and Hillel rabbis and all the Jews who long ago lost their belief in a Jewish G-d or particular Judaism and, frantically, need a moral cause to justify their own Jewish existence.

And so, Israel can win the war in Lebanon but that is not the real one. The central and main struggle is for the minds and hearts of Jews in both Israel and the Exile. That is the real war and we are losing it. We must take steps to turn it around, to win. We must take steps to rid Jews of their burden of guilt and doubt and inferiority that will destroy them as some Samson who takes us all with him. We must find a way to teach Jewish morality and ethics: to brand on the hearts and minds of Jews that to win is not immoral and that nothing ethical or positive emerged from Auschwitz. We must teach Jews that there is evil and good in this world and that “thou shalt remove the evil from thy midst.” We must educate the Jew. We must save the Jew from himself.

What must be done is to create, immediately, a large, international group whose sole function will be to produce the books, booklets, pamphlets, tapes, films, speeches, and all that is necessary to capture the mind of the Jew, and especially, the young one. It must be a mass, major international Jewish propaganda and information organization.

And note one important thing: its targets must be Jews and let us put an end to the nonsense of the need to reach the gentiles and “educate” them. The gentile is not only absorbed in his own self-interest and not only driven by innumerable sources of anti-Semitism, but more-the gentile is not relevant to the Jewish future. It is what the Jews do that will affect their destiny and determine what will be with them. Let us, therefore, cease the pitiful whining and apologetics. Let us end our message to the non-Jewish Garcia. Let us concentrate our money, talent and efforts on Jews. The material must be based on the total, unqualified and uncompromised Jewish truth. It must not be a public relations House of Gimmickry. It must cry out the Jewish idea in its honest totality. For too long have Jewish audiences been subject to a weak, apologetic, compromising kind of Israeli and Zionist spokesman versus the sure, confident, uncompromising ” Palestinian.” The latter must win the day.

The organization must understand that it is late, very late; let us pray not too late. For that reason, it dare play the game of “let us not mention this because we may frighten away certain Jews.” It must concentrate on the following points:

1) The Land of Israel in its entirely is Jewish and the Arabs or any other people have no claim to it in any way.

2) The Jewish-Arab dispute did not begin in 1967 or 1947 but has its roots in the very beginning of Zionist return. The issue is the very existence of a Jewish state of any size. Perhaps that meant that the Arabs will never make peace. If true, it is sad, but Zionism was not born to bring peace to the land: it was created to build a Jewish state. With peace– hopefully, but with or without, a Jewish state.

3) Israel has a right and obligation to annex all the liberated territories and settle Jews everywhere. If we have no right to Hebron, where Abraham lived, we surely have no right to Dizengoff Street, built in the twentieth century and where the first Jew never walked.

4) There is no “Palestinian” people. They are Arabs, part of the Arab nation, and trespassers in the Land Of Israel. If they cannot accept the permanence and inviolate character of the Jewish state, let them leave and live in any of the 22 Arab countries. And above all:

5) The Jewish destiny and future is predicated on the Jewish understanding that the Jewish people is a Chosen and special one: chosen at Sinai by the G-d of Israel and bound by an eternal covenant that compels it to walk in the way of Torah. What will be depends solely on that adherence to Jewish faith and laws. This is what the organization must expound. Day and night, this is the message that must go out to the Jew. Pride, not guilt. Faith, not fear. Chosenness, not doubt. And let the Jew learn to recognize the ” Palestinians” for what they really are. Let him learn of the pogroms and rapes of the 1920’s and 1930’s, long before there were “occupied lands.” Let him know what would be if the Arabs, G-d forbid, emerged victorious, thanks in great measure to Jewish naivete and knaves.

This is an organization that must be funded, very well funded. It must have offices worthy of the status of a major Jewish group. It must hire dedicated but professional people. The material must be of fine substance and form. All of this is money and let every Jew ask himself and herself: If not now, when shall I give? And if not now, what will there be tomorrow for me to give? And if not now, where will I be tomorrow? And one final point. Unity. Let not the ancient evil of needless, stupid hatred wreck this last hope of the Jewish people. No Jew who believes in the principles enunciated above can be barred. Unity and Jewish pride. That will save the Jew from himself.

Passover — the Holiday of Vengeance

    It is the night of the Seder, the eve of Passover. The Jewish family having been told by the child who attends the temple “religious school” that Jews celebrate the Passover with a festive meal, or perhaps having heard the temple rabbi or the local American Jewish committee ignoramus declaim the theme of Passover as being the national liberation struggle of all people and the brotherhood of Man (the love of the Gentiles and Jews), is gathered about the table. The room is filled with people, including gentile guests gushing over the fascinating Jewish holiday. The family ha equipped itself with Hagadas so as to do the “thing” properly. They have finished the meal and now the excited youngster (Scott, Brian, Kevin or some such Jewish name) excitedly says “It’s time to open the door to Elijah. He comes to every Jewish house.” The parents smile; the gentiles smile – how similar to Santa Claus. And, of course, they all rise as the child rushes to open the door. Jew and gentile alike, chant the words prescribed by the hagada, the Biblical words of the Psalms, that proclaim:

    “Pour forth Your wrath upon the nations that do not recognize You and upon the kingdoms that do not invoke Your name. For they have devoured Jacob and destroyed his habitation. Pour forth Your fury upon them and let Your burning wrath overtake them. Pursue them with anger and destroy them from beneath the heavens of the L-rd.”

    My G-d! What to think! What do the gentiles in the room think?! What a litany of anger and, above all, vengeance! An open prayer and call for the Almighty to avenge Himself upon the nations, to destroy them for what they did to Israel! Is this Judaism? And did not the “rabbi”, the temple paragon of Jewish wisdom, the fount of Jewish knowledge admonish us that Jews oppose vengeance, that is not a “Jewish” concept? And that is why we are supposed to feel ashamed some times at the conduct of the Israeli army? And, above all, what will John and Kathy, the gentile neighbors think about the Jews? About us?

    Ah, poor Jews; sad little Jews. Conceived in ignorance and born in Jewish know-nothingness. Raised in Jeffersonian and Kennedyian and Jacksonian (Jesse?) Democracy and all the westernized, gentilized culture that is America, and lied to and deceived, and defrauded by secular Jewish ignoramuses-leaders, and Reform-Conservative-Reconstructionist ones; people whose ignorance is so awesome that only their fraud surpass it. The fraud that was created by the counterfeiters of Judaism is astonishingly awesome. They lied to the Jew because they could not bare to tell the truth to themselves.

    Vengeance, un-Jewish? If so, let us cast out the Bible and Talmud as “un-Jewish”. The L-rd is a G-d of vengeance; O G-d of vengeance, arise! (Psalms 94). And the rabbis say: Yes, when vengeance is needed, it is a great thing” (Brachot, 3a). Or let the high praises of G-d be in their throat and a two edged sword in their hand – to execute vengeance upon the nations…” (Psalms 58). Passover. A holiday that was created to commemorate the sanctity of vengeance; the punishment and the destruction of Pharaoh and Egypt that mocked and humiliated G-d by crying: “Who is the L-rd? I know not the L-rd…:” Vengeance sop that the world shall know the L-rd and cry, “Verily, there is a G-d that judgeth in the earth…” And: “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth vengeance, he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.” (Psalms 58) And why? For it is only vengeance that proves that there is indeed a G-d in the world., that there is good and evil and punishment for that evil. When the wicked kill and injustice reigns, surely the wicked cry out: “There is no G-d, for if their was He would punish me.” And the victim in his agony, agrees. When there is no vengeance and punishment and the wicked reign, G-d is pushed from his throne; it is the greatest Hillul Hashem – desecration to G-d’s Name, it is “proof” that there is no G-d.

    And again, “The L-rd hath made Himself known through the judgement He executes.” (Psalms 9) And, of course, the Psalm that is read before the weekday Grace after meals, a Psalm that sends the gentilized Jews rushing from the table in horror:

    “O daughter of Babylon that art to be destroyed; Happy shall he be that repayeth thee as thou hast done to us. Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the rock”. (Psalm 137).

    And the Jews of Ashkenaz who created a prayer of vengeance in memory of the Jews massacred during the Crusades, a prayer that we read each Sabbath and that says: “May He avenge the blood of His servants which has been shed, as it is written in the Torah of Moses, the man of G-d: “O nations, make His people joyful! He avenges the blood of His servants, renders retribution to His foes and atones for His land and His people…And in the holy writings it says: “Why should the nations say, Where is their G-d?

    And for the hapless and ignorantly hopeless who raise the half-a-cup of a Talmudic saying that G-d refused to allow the angels to rejoice over the downfall of the Egyptians. Let us forever torment the fraudulent by insisting on honesty and the complete text of the Talmudic saying:

    “It is true that He does not rejoice but He causes others to rejoice”.

    Of course the Almighty, the totality of Compassion, the Father of all, grieves for his children – all of them. He does not sing. His angels, who are not of this world, do not sing. BUT THE JEWS SING – AND ARE COMMANDED TO DO SO. For the very same reason that the very same Almighty who does not sing, does destroy the work of His hands because they are evil.

    Yes, of course He grieves that those who were made in His image have so perverted and destroyed the greatness of that image. That those who were made in the image of good, were so evil. In His grief He does not have pity. He destroys them: He knows that evil and He cannot share the same world. And thus do the rabbis declare (Shmot Raba 23): “Then did Moses and the children of Israel sing,” this is what is meant by the verse (Psalms 9): “The L-rd is known by the judgment He executes. This speaks of Egypt who G-d smote at the Red Sea.” And Shmot Raba 23: “Then did Moses and the children of Israel sing. This is the meaning of the verse (Psalms 93): “Your throne was firm from then.” Even though You exist from time immemorial, Your throne was not made firm and You were not made known in the world until your children sang. When You stood at the sea and we sang before You with “az” (then), then were your kingdom and throne made firm.

    The incredible perversion of Judaism by confused and guilt-ridden Hellenists! Our rabbis tell us (Midrash Avchir): “And Israel saw the great hand of G-d’ – When the Almighty wished to drown the Egyptians, the Archangel of Egypt (Uza) said: Sovereign of the Universe! You are called just and righteous…why do you wish to drown the Egyptians? At that moment Gabriel rose and took a brick and said: Sovereign of the Universe! These who enslaved Your children such a terrible slavery as this, shall you have mercy on them? Immediately, the Almighty drowned them.”

    Passover – the holiday that decrees the death and destruction of wickedness and not coexistence with it.

    And that, dear Jew, is why the Torah record for posterity the song of Moses and Israel as the Egyptians drowned in the Red Sea. Yes, collective punishment against the Egyptians, even the Egyptian maids and servants perished because they were happy with the oppression of the Jews. (What can be said of the Arab masses in Israel who danced on the roof tops as the Scuds form Saddam landed in Tel Aviv.)

    There is no help for it Passover is a holiday of sanctification of G-d’s name. Of vengeance against the wicked. If the temple rabbi is unhappy, let him stop templing. If the gentile neighbor will be embarrassed, do not invite him. If the Jew is troubled, let him hie himself to the House of Study, a genuine one, and learn real Judaism. Then he will celebrate Passover the proper way, the Jewish way. “Pour forth Your wrath…”

Goyim, Chulent and Torah

Assimilation, intermarriage, alienation and indifference to Jewishness. A drastic drop in Aliyah. A dramatic rise in Yerida – emigration from Israel. There is a common denominator to all of these critical problems facing the Jewish people today. Each ahs the same root cause, all are tragedies that are born form the same seed – the failure of secular and non-traditional theories of Jewishness to persuade the vast majority of Jews that being Jewish is important enough to make meaningful sacrifices on its behalf. Unless the bankruptcy is understood by those who posture as the leaders of the Jews, the assimilation cancer will continue to rage; Aliyah will remain a pallid and sickly thing despite the ridiculous conferences, conclaves, councils and conventions that are called by hapless leaders; Yerida will continue its staggering climb in spite of public relations efforts to downgrade the statistics or to simply falsify them.

Once upon a time, nearly every Jew in the world knew what being Jewish was and why being Jewish was important. That was the time before the era of emancipation came, bringing with it its twin sister enlightenment. Ever since, that which was once so obvious is no longer, and that which was so easily understood needs tortured rationalizations. Once upon a time, the Jew was one because of Torah and the Divine Election of the Jew as a chosen people coupled with a Torah that was Revealed by the All mighty to the Jew, made being Jewish an elementary thing. The Jew was a special people, a different people a separate people because he had the Torah and it was his life and the length of his days. Life for the Jew was the Torah. But then things changed and suddenly Jews were told that Election and Revelation were things that were to be consigned to the bins of the obscurantists and medieval antiquities. Now Judaism and Jewishness had to find another kind of philosophical basis and raison d’etre. The new Judaism was defended and defined by one camp in terms of a religion that that was man-made, a mixture of humanism, ethics and selective ritual. It was a Reform that allowed the Jew to be all things to him and assimilate at his own pace.

Yet another camp defined the New Judaism in terms of nationalism. To be a Jew was no less than an Italian or Bulgarian or (though the secular Zionists did not realize it then) a “Palestinian.” To be a Jew was to be like unto the nations, no less. Alas, what they did not understand was that their definition condemned him to be no better, either.

Little wonder, then, that both of the philosophies proved to be resounding failures, rejected by the next generation that was rid of the complexes and rationalizations and frauds of that which invented the New
Judaism. The secular nationalist theory of Jewishness fell before the obvious question posed by a new generation of Jews influenced by socialism, universalism, and a technologically shrunken world that knocked
down distances and barriers between nations and lands: Why have separate nations? And if for some reason, they must exist, why make a fuss over them? Why cannot French-men marry Swedes, and if they can-and-do-without fuss, why cannot a Jewish national marry a non-Jewish one? Secular nationalism, Zionism, the New Judaism of nationalism had reason for being but one limited to that of all the other national groups and that reason was being questioned by all young people-with not a good answer in sight.

The New Judaism of religion (Reform, Conservatism, Reconstructionism and all the rest) proved to be a tiger of paper no more durable than its secular counterpart. What hold did a “religion” which was conceived by men, albeit scholarly ones have upon young, thinking people? If the laws were not Divine, why observe them? If they were the product of clever people, why surely clever people abounded in modern times, too! How does
one choose ritual and reject that? Why not choose that and reject this? Why have any formal religion that divided people and set up barriers between them, especially when that “religion” was man-made? These were the objections and demands presented by Young Jews and the pitiful parents. And leaders who had rejected Judaism of Election and Revelation had no answers. Certainly, there were large numbers of Jews who
“lingered” on as active Jews essentially for only two reasons and sometimes for only one of those, and were I a Tannaic sage of yesteryear I might phrase it: “On two legs does the modern Jew stand, on goyim and
chulent”

For indeed, the Jewishness of millions of Jews of a prior generation and of today exists because of goyim and/or chulent.

Goyim. Anti-Semitism is a terrible thing and conversely, anti-Semitism has been the means of saving millions of Jews from assimilation. For if not for the rejection by the gentile of the Jew, how many others would have
long disappeared form our midst? Was the Jew of Poland or Lithuania a better Jew than the assimilated and intermarried Jew of Germany and France? Or was he simply not “blessed” with the opportunity to behave
similarly? What happened to cause so many Jews of Eastern Europe to drop a tradition of centuries and seize upon Bundism, and secular Zionism and communism when the opportunity presented itself? When the gentile behaved with any semblance of acceptance, the Jew leaped for joy, his religion falling off in midair. When faced with the implacable, hating, unaccepting goy, the Jew remained a Jew. Because he had no choice.

This is why millions of Jews, one generation form the Czar and pogroms, still retained a measure of the New Judaism. Because they also retained a measure of memory of the goy and because they still recalled the
difference between them that the goy had insisted upon. But what happens when a child is born, free and unencumbered with memories? What happens when a young Jew is raised in an environment where, for the time being, history has allowed him never to know any meaningful anti-Semitism? What happens when he roams campuses filled with gentiles (pretty and handsome); freedom filled neighborhoods and employment, a world of his own that’s uninhabited by hatred of the Jew? What happens when a whole generation grows up that does not know the goy? What happens? Why, the obvious. Not being forced to be a Jew, he does not remain one; not consciously, not actively, not caringly.

There is one other hope. Chulent. For millions of Jews who had left the Judaism of tradition and Torah, becoming members of the New Judaism, the intellectual contradictions and objections were muted by chulent. I speak of chulent in the generic sense, in the broad term. Not merely the chulent that cooked away all Friday night in the oven and that emerged with its potatoes and beans, hot and more-than-filling. I speak of all the chulent that remained as warm, nostalgic memories in the minds of countless Jews. I speak of the nostalgia that passed for Judaism and that kept their dreamers form breaking with their people.

Millions of Jews remained Jews because they were raised in truly Jewish homes. Imbedded in their memories were their own experience and early lives. They had seen and lived a real Sabbath in their parents’ or grandparents’ homes; they remembered the kiddush wine cup and the two challas; they remembered the real Passover seder; they remembered the packed Orthodox shul where people went to daven, not to “pray”; they
remembered the Jewishness of the Old Judaism and so they moved on to New Judaism but could never bring themselves to face the contradictions and absurdities that would force them to drop it entirely. They had to remain Jews because of the grip that nostalgia had upon them. Because of chulent

But what happens when a young Jew arises who does not know chulent? Who comes from a home where Judaism lives only in the nostalgic mind of the parents but which is never practiced? Who never saw the shul but only knows the mausoleum that passes for the temple? Who never tasted the kiddush wine or searched for chametz on Passover eve? Who never saw theSukkah and never danced on Simchas Torah? Who never smelled the chulent: He has no nostalgia; he remembers nothing warm and tender that pricks his conscience and makes him ashamed of letting go. He has no chulent to make him forego the shiksa. And when he has neither goyim to beat him and force him to be Jewish not chulent to prod him into nostalgic reminiscences, he has no reason to be Jewish and so he leaves.

This is the root of assimilation and intermarriage and alienation in the United States. A New Judaism that has no Divine Election and Revelation, that has no Torah, existed for a while on the memories of the goyim and
chulent. It cannot continue, for the young know of neither.

And this why there is no Aliyah and will not be. Not only because there are so many American Jews whose lack of interest in Jewishness never led them to remotely consider Aliyah, but because the same lack of Jewishness exists in Israel which has become thereby not a Jewish state but a mere state of Jews. The secular Zionism of the New Judaism thought that it could create a healthy Jewish people and state without Torah and it created instead a nightmare, a Hebrew speaking Portugal; a generation of Sabras which says: We are Israelis, not Jews; a host of Israelis who desperately ape the manners and customs and madness and abomination of the gentiles; a mass of people that sees no reason to be Jewish and which has built a state that is in their image.

And if Israel is not a Jewish state and if the spirit of Jewishness is missing and if it is no different than others and if it tries to be another America and becomes a pale carbon copy of it- why should even the relatively small number of American Jews who seek something different, give up their comforts and go there? What will they find there that they have lost in America? There is neither goyim nor chulent in Israel, either, and the roots to no-Aliyah may be laid to that too.

And Yerida. Where there is no Torah and no chulent and the Sabra thinks that Arabs are only against Israel but other goyim do not hate Jews; where there is no Torah and no chulent and the Sabra does not really know the
goyim – why should he remain in a state that is constantly threatened by war, which is poor and beset by inflation and unemployment and poverty, which does not have the thrills and pleasures of Times Square and
Amsterdam and Hamburg? When the Sabra sees nothing special in being Jewish why should he be different than the Sicilian or the Irishman or the Pole or all the rest who loved the lands of their birth but who did not
hesitate to leave them, for new worlds of opportunity?

Assimilation, intermarriage, alienation and indifference to Judaism. A drastic drop in Aliyah. A dramatic rise in Yerida-emigration from Israel. There is a common denominator to each of these problems. It lies in a people that threw away Torah and then lost the goyim and the chulent, the only things that gave any real reason to be Jewish.

When one thinks of it rationally the thought of being Jewish because the goyim insisted you could not be anything else, is rather ludicrous. And when one considers being Jewish because of the sweet smell of chulent that is even more absurd. One is thus left with one other reason to be a Jew. Torah. That makes a great deal of sense.

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