07/25/07 Tsvi Bisk, The Optimistic Jew

I'm not Jewish.  When I told two friends who are Jewish about today's show with Tsvi Bisk, I said, "He basically says that Jews need to stop being so obsessed with the past."  These two friends come from about as different political viewpoints as possible, but they each said, "He's right.  Jews are obsessed with the past." Now the interesting thing is that both of these friends are also young-in their twenties.  And in his book called The Optimistic Jew, Tsvi Bisk says that Judaism will lose the attention and interest of these young people-the future- if it remains what he calls "a culture constantly in mourning," a culture obsessed with what happened in the past.  He believes that the Jewish people need to turn their attention from the past to the future in order to become leaders in the 21st century. Thoughts?  What did you think when he said that Jews needed to stop obsessing over the Holocaust?  Or when he said that Israel is not the goal-it is simply a tool, a means towards liberal democracy?  I thought he said some pretty interesting and controversial stuff.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. -Jessica

I’m not Jewish.  When I told two friends who are Jewish about today’s show with Tsvi Bisk, I said, “He basically says that Jews need to stop being so obsessed with the past.”  These two friends come from about as different political viewpoints as possible, but they each said, “He’s right.  Jews are obsessed with the past.”

Now the interesting thing is that both of these friends are also young-in their twenties.  And in his book called The Optimistic Jew, Tsvi Bisk says that Judaism will lose the attention and interest of these young people-the future- if it remains what he calls “a culture constantly in mourning,” a culture obsessed with what happened in the past.  He believes that the Jewish people need to turn their attention from the past to the future in order to become leaders in the 21st century.

Thoughts?  What did you think when he said that Jews needed to stop obsessing over the Holocaust?  Or when he said that Israel is not the goal-it is simply a tool, a means towards liberal democracy?  I thought he said some pretty interesting and controversial stuff.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

-Jessica

Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

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