BROOKS UNDERSTANDS ISRAELIS, SORT OF
In his recent column A loud and promised land David Brooks demonstrates his ability to write well on cultural matters. He describes Israelis pretty well. This paragraph is my favorite but do read the rest:
One Israeli acquaintance recounts the time he was depositing money into his savings account and everybody else behind him in line got into an argument about whether he should really be putting his money somewhere else. Another friend tells of the time he called directory assistance to get a phone number for a restaurant. The operator responded, “You don’t want to eat there,” and proceeded to give him the numbers of some other restaurants she thought were better.
I find his inability to recognize that that Israelis are merely typical Jews following the maxim that"all of Israel are responsible for each other" most revealing. For it shows how far he strayed from Jewish tradition and how close he has come to that the WASPISH one he so adores.
Well, he is not the only one. American Jews, like many of their diaspora brethren, are often attracted to the dominant local culture. To their great misfortune, German Jews were famous for that tendency as were their Spanish predecessors. One can only hope that they will not be awakened as rudely as their those highly successful Diasporas were.
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