Donniel Hartman: Jewish Nationalism & Tribalism in a Global Era

Donniel Hartman: Jewish Nationalism & Tribalism in a Global Era



Robert Frost Europe he says before I lift the wall I'd ask to know when I was walking even while he comes and who I was like I always build walls boundaries the difference between what's mine and what somebody else's to demarcate my house from somebody else's my community from somebody else's my space from somebody else's we're always building walls and these walls are essential they enable the sense of safety they create a sense of identity I don't only build walls to demarcate space I also be in walls to demarcate Who I am what's the difference between me and you sometimes in the most physical way you know we all remember the Seinfeld you remember that guy who wouldn't always was in his space you know I think they got hello how are you you knows like what we touch what we don't how do we say hello there they're very very important we all have different senses of how to do this and we build these walls and we know that we might give a fence and we know that it makes a difference but how do I stand in the world I stand in the world with my boundaries and the key objective it's to be able to understand both for myself and for others Who I am and how do I preserve Who I am now sometimes the way we build these walls it's not just merely to separate to mark to demarcate but it's also to exclude there are times when what that stands for and what that embodies is something that I in no way want to have as part of my life in the Jewish tradition the category of timaya impure it's a way of separating saying no no I don't even want to touch it it's not only that I don't want to consider I don't want to touch it it can't be in my house it could in no way enter in anything to do with what it is that I care about and which I value now in our tradition the classic boundary the most significant boundary that we erect is the boundary to idolatry and idolatry when you delve into the laws of idolatry there's only there's one small part of the lore one element of the laws of idolatry have to do with worship making sure that you do not perform or you do not behave in any way that that will incorporate idolatry into your life but in our response to idolatry we go one step further we don't only say you shouldn't act in idolatrous manner we also say anything associated with an idolaters not just idolatry cannot be part of my life and that's why our tradition posits that you can't dress like an idolatry you can't walk like an idolatry you can't build buildings like an idolatrous building even though there's nothing idolatrous about them but if I want to create that boundary it's critical that it's not simple when when you reach that edge but I want you to stop way beforehand because in no way can my life be mine in no way could I be a Jew our tradition says anybody who embraces idolatry it's as if they have rejected the whole Torah and consequently I don't even want to have I don't want to look like them I don't want to talk like them I want to be so far away because the minute I'm careful I'm not careful who I am is lost one of the classic examples of a contemporary use of these boundaries has nothing to do with ideology it's our response to Nazis for example all of a sudden a certain way of marching a certain way of saluting a certain dress just that dress black doesn't mean the same for Jews anymore it just doesn't you could see people in North Korea marching a certain way and they had no idea about just doesn't matter the minute I see it that Association there's things that it's past this is just rejected I have enough that's not my story and we understand that and it's actually an important part of our framing of our identities and our our creating a safe world in which we could under server and function but one of the challenges that we face today is that we are erecting these type of boundaries not between us and then not between clearly delineated outsiders there's the insider and there's the outsider today one of the great sociological challenges of many countries in Western in the Western world including the United States in Canada and included Israel is that we are erecting and functioning in this way towards those who are between us and people who are within our society and we are them affiant em one of the places that we see this is around the topic that we're going to be studying together I had an interesting experience and I shared it with some of you about eight months ago in the Bay Area I was lecturing lecturing to a JCR C group Jewish communal asians council group who had had studied with me studied at the institute and we had a very deep loving relationship with each other very very deeply connected very very deeply and the institute is a group principally of christian leaders who for whom the institute was a vehicle for understanding israel for understanding judaism the relationship was it was truly a loving relationship as is only possible today in in in in this new relation in this new discourse between jews and christians and i was on a panel and a very very serious friend of mine was interviewing me a minister and she asked me says daniel could you explain what a zion isn't mean to you and I said to her straight up I said I want to say I am a nationalist now I am a nationalist but I'm not naive and I knew that two weeks earlier Donald Trump said that he was a nationalism and I intentionally said I am a nationalist and we'll talk about that and I spoke about how is a Jew it is a national context and structure which is so critical for me understanding who I am and the choices that I make and my aspiration and vision for the future of Jewish life talking about Israel not as a default not as the place that I was moved to by my parents but as the place that I embrace as a as a desired expression and in many ways in my own life as a preferred expression to fulfill for the fulfillment of my Judaism and I'm talking and moving myself deeply and that's enough by the way as a teacher there has to be moments when that stay a new like you know like you know what it's like you know it was efficient you have to get through the day and she stops me and she says Danielle I have to tell you we love you and she said a lot of nice things about me which I'd love to share if I had more time just but the Neil the minute you said you're a nationalist you lost me and she turned to the audience and said who else felt the same 95% of the audience raised their hand says Daniel what could we do and I thought for a moment and I said Donald Trump plays golf they were as perplexed as you are and then I asked them are you gonna stop playing golf now there was so you're gonna stop playing golf is this is this the level of discourse that we're now going to have is anything and again I want you to be clear this institute is not is public deeply political but profoundly nonpartisan now each one of us has political positions but as an institute this is not Democrat Republican Likud labor they're all there is no labor anymore the code blue and white this is just not what we do but is this the way we're gonna conduct our intellectual discourse in our universe right now and I said to them I know you profoundly reject Donald Trump but are you gonna let him determine and define every one of your categories is who we are as people in the modern world going to be determined just like we did excuse me if Donald Trump does that well I'm not doing that is that gonna be the level of the discourse or are we gonna fight to own our own categories said you are making in your rejection of Donald Trump making him far more significant in being the determinant factor of your cultural life of the categories that you use is that the way it's going to be and whether it's not and whether it's nationalism or whether it's Judaism or whether it's identity or whether it's sign isn't whatever it might be there's always gonna be somebody now are they going to determine for you what you how you understand the categories so I wanted to meet you before we started with it Fila you can be here for the next week and be the exact same person at the and that you are at the beginning now normally I really expect you to be the exact same person but as your mind gonna be exactly the same are you gonna be open to a new idea in this Beit Midrash might feel ah is that you fight for the categories that are important to you and never allow somebody else to define them for you that you engage in a learning process in which you allow yourselves to rethink every one of your presuppositions Talmud Torah is significant in our tradition because it is one of the most disruptive ideas the idea that to be a Jew means you have to learn why should you have to learn I know in one of my deepest fantasies I really don't want you to learn just let me decide for you I'll do it well I promise I'm a very thoughtful person soon my mother's gonna be here she'll vouch for me she will she really really holds me in high regard notice I said my mother not my wife Talmud Torah is about you taking responsibility but it's about you being willing to be on a journey and so let's have a journey together each one don't let anything close you down never judge an idea by who says it and never judge what's possible because of the presuppositions within which you have come never limit your discourse because of the political particular political party ideology sect group political correctness that you feel is essential Talmud Torah is about freedom freedom to think and to reconstruct your world whenever it is that you as autonomous independent people decide to do so my brachot to you in our seminar in this Beit Midrash is that you be free welcome [Applause] hi everybody I'm gonna sit I am Ilana Stein hain I am the director of faculty and the scholar in residence at shell hartman institute of north america and i am one of the architects of the content of this week of CLP we are as daniel said to you urged by the relevance of this topic and part of what danielle presented was the significance of categories being taken by one side of the spectrum politically or socially or the other to take it a step further the reason why these categories are being taken by one side or the other is because there are such fundamental questions right now about nationalism versus globalism about whether boundaries and borders are ethical at all about the question of tribalism within broader collectives and what we're here to do is to ask ourselves how does the Jewish intellectual tradition respond to these kinds of big questions what does this mean to us as citizens of the countries from which we come to this room what does it mean for us as Jews ethically what are the ethics that we should be thinking about in this moment and what does it mean for us as lovers of Israel and those who care about its future and so over the course of this week you could almost say that what we're going to be doing is a referendum on the idea of nationalism through Jewish sources and what you'll notice is that there will be a deep focus on the State of Israel clearly that's why we brought you here there will also be a deep focus on American Jewry in this moment because American Jewry is going through somewhat of perhaps a shift in terms of its relationship to the broader national story in America I'd like to spend a few minutes with you looking at your schedule so that I can give you a sense of ARC the educational arc of this week okay now as you're doing that I just want to say that we have so many newcomers to CLP this year if you are a newcomer to CLP would you raise your hand please that is incredible it is just incredible now the old comers to CLP would you raise your hands okay now this is gonna be a lot of fun because the newcomers are gonna get to make whatever moves they want because they're new and the old comers are gonna be able to say oh I did that once right but you'll help each other and I think it'll be a lot of fun basically the way this works is the morning lecture generally that happens in this room is setting the topic for the day sometimes the morning lecture takes place at night we just call that morning lecture at night so you're gonna hear a morning lecture at night in a few minutes from Daniel but let's start with today so this evening Daniel is going to be presenting a topic that we called nationalism dilemmas of the un– of the encumbered self and essentially what he's going to be doing is talking to us about what the critiques of nationalism are right now really go through and I have to tell you that our research teams have been working on this the entire year we've really been reading an article after article and discussing and collaborating and trying to give people a sense of what is it that is troubling people about nationalism right now tomorrow morning we're gonna take a step back from the realpolitik question of what's eating people about nationalism for yehuda to take us into more I would say abstract rabbinic philosophical sources true there is a time and a place of those sources as well but it's not the time in a place that we're interested in we're interested in the philosophy that those sources offer specifically about what we think the character of a Jewish collective enterprise such as nationalism but it didn't exist yet a Jewish collective and prai's should be what should our character be as a collective because part of our job here is not just to think about how do I respond to somebody's disrespect for nationalism it's actually thinking deeply about the ethics of the kind of nationalism you want to build as we continue and move to Thursday Thursday morning actually I want to bring one more morning session in the evening to your attention Wednesday evening Jews and nationalism with Alexander K historical perspectives what he's going to be doing is in some sense taking what you who to spoke about in the morning and asking very pointed questions in the 19th century in the early 20th century when it came time to decide what the character of Jewish collectivity would be and the word nationalism and the politics of nationalism come in how does that actually interact with our questions about character when you're talking nation-state not just collective character but an actual functioning body politic how does that get negotiated the next morning on Thursday I'm going to be teaching about minority narratives reason being we can't talk about nationalism just from the perspective of the majority or those who are framing the nation it's essential whether we're talking about ourselves as the minority in someone else's larger story or we're talking about ourselves as the majority we need to be thinking about what are the stories that minorities tell themselves about what they're doing in that nation-state and how can understanding those minority narratives help us whether we're the minority or we're the majority and again we're flipping back from the very historically contextualized 19th century 20th century debates and I'm gonna take you into the talmud not because we need to know exactly what was going on in the 5th century but because it gives us some philosophy to work with we're gonna move on to American Jewry on Friday morning with me how asking the question of well actually hey who exactly are American Jews today within the National tapestry of America are we a minority are we part of the majority how does that impact the way Americans and by the way Jews all around the world how does that impact the way we talk about any of this right how are we implement about the big bad phrase that nobody really knows what it means they just say it identity politics but she's gonna tell us what it means she's actually gonna go through it with us which I think will be wonderful I'm gonna skip Shabbat for a second and I'm gonna move you to Monday Jewish nationalism from the Declaration of Independence to the Israeli nation state law we're moving back to Israel and we're gonna talk about what exactly has happened in terms of the rise of what we might call ethno-nationalism in the State of Israel and beautifully we're actually gonna hear a response – Danielle's presentation by Tila Friedman and Mohammed DeRusha each of them I don't want to say they're representing the religious Zionist and arab-israeli populations exclusively but each of them can give us a voice as to what are the responses in those communities to the nation's state law so we can get a sense on the ground of what's actually happening moving on to Tuesday or ending in a way that we haven't ended before which is instead of ending with the QA from the front actually I think one year we didn't end with the QA we are ending with tal Becker and Jesse Klein Haleiwa talking about challenges of contemporary Israeli nationalism now I can't think of two better people poised to have that conversation in a way that somehow won't offend anybody but also will be honest it's a it's really kind of unique they both have that ability so you might be asking yourselves so what's everything in between all of those things you just pointed out to us everything in between all of those things you just pointed out – I just pointed out to you is what's gonna actually deepen all of these themes each day instead of just being with a group of a hundred eighty two hundred people sitting in a room and listening even though there's a QA piece each day you're going to have the opportunity to either sit in a breakout session with your homeroom of twenty to twenty-five people your where you're going to be able to continue to deepen the conversation that was open that morning through a topic that will have connective tissue each group I have to tell you we have an incredible faculty at the shell apartment Institute both of North America and here in Jerusalem they have worked to ensure that there is a way that there is a connective tissue between what you hear in the morning to what they're gonna say but it feels that you're going a step further and a step deeper and so that's what you're doing in your breakout session your breakout sessions you're learning a new topic that's also connected this year we also have two things that are new to continue the deepening of your learning number one and I want to thank is anybody here from the avi Schaffer fund group the AVI Schaffer fund a few years ago said to us we want to bring a group of young professionals to CLP to the community leadership program and we set ourselves okay let's see what happens and one of the things that happened is that the AVI shaver fund participant said to us we'd like more time speaking with the morning lecturer we know you have an hour of presentation half an hour of qat we want more time we said you know we hear you it took us a few years to implement because that's the way change happens we now have what we're calling the post class dialogue every day after lunch if you would like to come you don't have to sign up anyone can come as many or as few if you want to continue the conversation with the morning lecturer every day in this room after lunch the second thing we're adding is electives or our electives electives are designed to do two things number one they're designed to give you choice you're going to a room with your group assignment for your breakout sessions you don't know who your teacher is or we're trying to keep that from you so that you'll be surprised and excited you don't know who else is in that room although you've probably all told each other the electives are something totally different you've got an email from Tova Serkan a few months ago or a month ago telling you about the elected and asking you to sign up the goal of the elective this these are two part electives the goal of the elective is to delve into an issue that is broadly construed related to identity collectivity questions of democracy and nationalism and ethics but isn't necessarily a direct line from a morning lecture or a breakout session it actually allows us to be a little bit more expansive with our minds and the second thing it allows us to do is it allows us to get really close with text meaning we've asked the people who are teaching electives choose the texts that our medias medias that are richest not the two lines of the curated text the seventeen lines where you go through it and people learn it together and offer their opinions on it and you give your take and so if you haven't signed up for electives to this point please do in the courtyard I guarantee you every single elective maybe I shouldn't say this but I think I'm gonna say this I personally had the opportunity to review every elective every breakout session that is happening here so first of all you have complaints come to me but second of all I can tell you blood sweat and tears here people respect what we're doing here to the degree that our faculty sat in karuta with each other to prepare for this there is no last minute this is months and months of preparation and so please do sign up for your electives there are a few other things that I want to mention which is number one tonight we have a special treat who here has heard I'm asking you so many questions who here has heard Russell korazim teach special treat special treat Wroclaw cuisine is going to do a an ode to ammos O's this evening like you've never seen it before and so something that Rachelle can do that often does not come through in some of our tech studies Rafael brings to life the effective the emotional the experiential she makes you remember things you heard as a child and things you wish you had heard as a child and so tonight he's gonna be something very special another special piece bujji Hertzog is coming that's kind of interesting look at us turns out we know some people in this country look at that so bougie Hertzog is gonna come tomorrow afternoon which i think will be a really interesting opportunity to both hear conversation and ask some questions maybe some hard questions and then moving on to Sunday you have the study tour day the tool day now we are going to have an actual introduction to tea all day on your schedules it is actually listed differently than the way we're going to do it we are going to do an introduction to the two limb to the trips in here for everyone at the same time because it's too many people to split up for a half an hour or 25 minutes okay there are a few other things to notice in this schedule one thing to notice are conversational lunches conversational lunches are opportunities to speak with our Israeli staff to find out more about the programs that go on in Hartman Israel I have to tell you these are some of the most idealistic people sometimes Sisyphus Ian pushing the pushing the boulder up the hill and letting it fall back down and yet their optimism is remarkable so I urge you to sign up I think you can sign up in the courtyard Tovah is that right sign up in the courtyard for that as well lastly I think unless somebody tells me that I missed something lastly we have after lunch at the same time as the post class dialogues are happening we have a few other options as well so if you look with me at Wednesday tomorrow you'll see that at the same time that the post class dialogue is happening from 1332 1430 that is 1:30 to 2:30 for those who are not on army time I am Seidler feller who was at UCLA hello for decades and is emeritus there is going to be speaking about anti-semitism on the college campus open to anyone you don't have to sign up in advance and later that day Lauren Birkin is going to be offering soulful yoga and meditation in the room of many hearts something new over the last few years the room of many hearts a place to sit a place to meditate a place to rest a place to pray it's you'll find it will tell you where it is okay and if you look at let's see let's look at Thursday during the post class dialogue 1332 1430 Lauren is offering yoga during that time in the room of many hearts and Ronnie Jaeger and me Hal Guran are offering a really special window into a new ritual that they are part of creating for Yama show off for Holocaust Remembrance Day and they're trying to give people a portal into what our renewal Judaism approaches right now that is the Renaissance of Judaism in Israel – some of the really significant days on our calendar that may have lost some of them we might say and so they want to share that they want to share that with you moving on to one more if you would Monday July 1st during the post class dialogue again 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. so her Atkins a new faculty member of ours and a renowned poet I can even say renowned at this point Zohar nin vey that's his new book of poetry he's going to be a pub do a poetry reading and writing workshop where he's going to actually be reading some of his poems but more significantly he's actually going to be having you write some of your own and talking about what it means to write Jewish poetry I think we've basically covered everything except I clearly forgot that Mika Goodman is also giving a morning class but it's in the afternoon on July 1st and that Deborah Lipstadt is coming to talk about anti-semitism with you Hutu kertzer which i think is rather timely and so if you get the sense of what we're trying to do here what we're trying to do is we're trying to fill your minds and fill your hearts with challenging conversations that are informed by deep Jewish ideas study research and actually to prompt people to reflect on things that usually just sort of get a I don't know a tisk and a whimper right that usually are just causes of concern and worry and what we're inviting you to do is we're actually inviting you to take all that concern and take all that worry and to actually channel it into productive learning thought and conversation and I cannot emphasize enough now that we have a more intergenerational a more bicoastal a more international CLP experience the opportunity to talk to people who you don't agree with is there in spades and I hope that people find it I want to open before I close to ask if anybody has any questions about anything I said or something I haven't said yeah please what's your name Dorothy yes so during the two-hour break in the afternoon we just figured we wanted to give people if they want to be able to spend time around Jerusalem friends relative sites shopping whatever it is but you absolutely this is your home away from home you can absolutely spend time here during those two hours or any other time yes don't worry it's you don't know if you signed up for the elective so here's what you should do you'll go to it first of all that's amazing I don't know if people heard that he said I remember thinking about the electives deeply but I don't know if I signed out which by the way you're perfect for Hartman perfect but I really thought about it deeply and my values have changed the result but I didn't RSVP welcome to Hartman very nice so here's what you should do you'll just go to the Courtyard see if your name is on one of those lists and if not put it on the list that you want who else other questions other questions no okay quick odds and ends I know that the temple Emmanuel group has egalitarian prayer services at 8 a.m. in lei fer one which you can find out where that is on Wednesday Thursday Friday Monday good and everyone is invited it's it's temple Emmanuel would wishes to host you at their services and I also want to remind people that Friday night you'll find out about this Friday morning but Friday night will be having walking groups to various to various places if you want to go to pray we'll have three or four walking groups led by a staff member okay quick introduction of some of our staff if you are a hartman staff member could you please raise your hand any of these people are here to help you if you are a hartman faculty member please raise your hand first of all they are also staff but second of all they are here to help you too and really all of those people are here to not just help you but talk to you and not just I have a concern I have a complaint but hey that was really good I really enjoyed that or that really went south whatever it is and I want to introduce in particular the two masterminds behind making sure that this goes off so far without a hitch Tovah Sirkin who is our director of North American programs in his realm this is the second of six programs that she's running this summer because the students started already yesterday and Jordanna am zl– who is involved in development in our New York office but will be coming here so you will see her you will see her here so I want to end the way that I always end which is by quoting the prayer of rabbinic Anya Ben hakuna Ramanujan Yvonne Akana is known for having had a certain prayer that he said when he walked into the Beit Midrash into the study hall and a prayer that he said when he left and I always like to not just look at what's on the surface but find out what I can compare it to and so as in any good rabbinic tradition there are two different versions of the prayer that he said when he walked in and so I'd like to share those versions with you now and I think both are true to an extent in terms of what we need when we go into a place of study the first is the Babylonian Talmud he said where he's quoted as saying you here at sonofa naka I do Nile oh hi may it be your will God shailaja Iraq devar T'Challa Ali Adi that I don't make any mistakes villo eka Shelby varkala ha and I don't falter in a matter of law but here comes the kicker these musubi covere i and my friends will be happy at my faltering lest that happen villo Omar ultimate suhoor fellow alte Horta may and I don't want to say about something that's impure that it's pure and I don't want to say about something that's pure that it's impure but Lo'Gosh will have arrived to our hell aha vez mas ahem and I don't want to laugh and be happy if my friends make mistakes either and so the first version of this focuses on truth and it focuses on what happens when we think we have the truth and somebody else falters in the truth it's very tempting to laugh and it's very tempting to be smug but it feels bad when other people are doing it to us and so he starts with the truth and moves to the ethics in the Jerusalem Talmud it goes in the reverse we start with the ethics and we move to the truth here at sonofa new Hawthorne il Ohio Villa we have a tie may it be your will God and God of my ancestors shallow a copied can negative a right that I won't get angry at my friends fellow ha veeraiah Cupido Kennedy and my friends won't get angry at me she'll only comment at the horror that we not call things that are really pure impure Valona Tahera Tata may and we don't call things that are impure pure shallowness or Ottumwa Tar Valon appear at a sewer that we don't allow things that we don't forbid things that aren't allowed and we don't allow things that are forbidden the names a theme it's by ulamas l olam haba and then I would be forever ashamed in this world and in the next in this version we don't start with the truth we don't start with let's make sure we don't say about something that's pure that it's impure and also let's make sure I don't make a mistake and somebody laughs at me we started the other direction let's make sure that we don't get angry at each other because if that's the focus there's no way we're going to be able to declare pure what is pure and impure what is impure because we will be too busy worrying about who's angry at home there is a lot of contention around this topic we know it and that's why we chose it but the fact that you chose to come here and learn about it and think about it means that for the people in this room these prayers are as true as they ever were and I would just say so may it be thanks [Applause] there is a time when we thought that in our world we can imagine that there are no borders and that the whole world will be one and we thought that we as a world were moving in that direction from a purely descriptive as distinct from prescriptive sense it is clear that our world is not world moving in that direction nationalism is back nationalism is strong and nationalist discourse is shaping much of political life that is not to say that it ought to even though it does pose a question because if it is essential is complaining about nationalism the same as complaining about rain it's possible is it an essential perspective on the world which most suits human nature but at least from our perspective today and in the seminar we're not going to view it as an essential necessary component our reflection we know that it's back but should it be back we know that it's back but should we combat it the challenges when we come to think about nationalism is that very often as we look around the world some of the people who we disagree with most deeply whether it be certain politicians in Israel or certain politicians in the United States or certain politicians in Hungary or politicians in Austria or politicians in France or in England or add and add and add the list longer and longer and longer people who I in no way when I look at their universe I deeply reject the values that they stand for and do not feel that those values in any way speak to me what happens when it is precisely that which I feel alienated from they wrap it carrying it founded on nationalist categories and principles does the fact that so many people who speak in the name of nationalism are people with who not merely I don't want to have to an association with but who I do not value what does it say about Nationals does it say something about nationalism or does it say something about them is there a way to separate the categories or if these are the people who use the category maybe the category is fundamentally flawed that's the subject that we're gonna think about together over the next week and the reason why we picked it it's because frankly it is no it's not of interest to me today to have a discourse about your relationship with Donald Trump and whether you like orbán or not doesn't keep me up at night what does keep me up at night is that if Israel is the nation home of the national home of the Jewish people it's the nation-state of the Jewish people and if nationalism is perceived by ever-increasing numbers of thoughtful Jews and moral Jews to be something that is antithetical to their morality antithetical to their values antithetical to Judaism then we have a profound challenge as a people or in fact whether Jewish people that is even possible I yearned for the time when the big issue facing Jewish life was whether Orthodox concern reform reconstructionist renewal rabbis there were no post denominational at the time could sit on the same panel together I was so cutting-edge when I was a young rabbi in New Jersey I was just unbelievable I actually sat down when put enough I had a program in front of the whole JCC where I had an Orthodox conserve and Reform rabbi talking with each other I was just so wicked truth be told it made it a little more easy as I was the Orthodox rabbi why is that a joke but in any event that was the only Orthodox rabbi I could find and the reformed rabbi was to the right of me on every issue but no God as it was but that was the point but all I remember or I remember the conversations should we have a shared custard what should the JCC be kosher and should the Jewish people how do we live with each other despite our different cultures policies etc and part of what unified us was Israel that it doesn't matter what shul you go to and it doesn't matter what you eat we could disagree about that but there's something larger that calls us there's something larger that all of us could belong to and at the time nobody ever thought to exclude somebody from an Israel Day Parade that was actually the thing we did together I gave my bias from the outside from the outset I am a nationalist I am a Zionist I love Israel and I love being in Israel and I love the Jewish life that Israel affords me and allows me but does that mean that I am becoming like Orban does that mean that somehow I am beginning to embody a moral universe that is at its core flawed now when I said at the outset again that I was a nationalist and a Zionist I obviously believe that that's not the case but our job this week is not despite my fantasies for all of you to sign up to whatever it is that I personally do Neil Hartman believe but actually engage and thought about this question if so many flawed people embrace nationalism is it just an accident or is it something inherently flawed about nationalism a softer cap possibility is there danger inherent with the nationalism that allows it to be susceptible to such abuses and therefore we have to understand those susceptibilities and combat them is nationalism inherently associated with fascism are all forms of nationalism the same ethnic nationalism civic nationalism globalism or individualism are those better categories more suited to the moral universe that we want to live in we're gonna think about those questions but as we think about them I want to go on a journey with you and my remarks are intended to be or to give expression to that journey not a journey which is going to answer my goal this afternoon or this evening is to frame a conversation that I hope will accompany you through your thoughts on this process now you didn't come here or maybe most of you do not come here for a political science seminar and I'm going to avoid the temptation of doing so but I wanna just at the outset put forth just just two categories so put on another hat for a moment and open to page 1 and let's just read two categories together and the aim of these let's define our terms and the aim of defining our terms is just to a noun enable a conversation and I want to be really clear these definitions come from tens and tens of definitions that are offered culled and combined together many of these categories can't be defined in particular category like fascism there's a whole genre of intellectual thought trying to even figure what are the essential features one of the ten fifteen features that make something fascism or not but I want to just define the categories briefly when I speak about nationalism and when most of the people in the seminar will speak about nationalism nationalism is a position which advocates for loyalty devotion identification these are the terms loyalty devotion identification to or with one's own nation and support for its interest it doesn't define yet what constitutes that nation what constitutes that core group and there's if you've done some of the reading you know that there are there's a deep profound conversation as to what is the ideal structure around which a nation form is a nation is for a nation status form loyalty devotion and identification with one's own nation and that loyalty devotion identification involves a support for its interests and this is where it's critical and we're gonna talk about this more and more including and I choose this term very very carefully the prioritization of some of these interests of those of others there is no nation state no there is no notion of being a nationalist les there is some notion of prioritization I know in America you have a debate about universal health care but you do not have any debate in America about universal health care there is no debate regardless of what your political position is there is not a single person not a single ideology in North America whether you're democrat or republican far on the Left far on the right there is not one position in the United States which advocates universal health care and there's not one such position in any nation in the world when you speak about universal health care in the United States you speak about universal health care for Americans all universal health care is for whom for everybody who lives within your nation nobody is getting up and saying in the United States we have to advocate even and we mean well everybody has to be under some Universal under some health care anybody in the world there is that please notice there's not a single one single political position advocated by any political theorist there is a moral position which speaks about the fact that that your moral responsibility after your most basic maintaining of your most basic need for food and shelter and clothing is to distribute all of your goods to whoever is most at need but within political discourse there is not one position which ever advocates the distributing of all of your resources equally to everybody within the universe just like Universal conscription doesn't speak about drafting somebody else when you use Universal it's in the context of a particular group and nationalism speaks to the fact that you will prioritize and you will spend money on infrastructure now you will have international aid but Rhode Island will spend more on new highways than almost any international aid package and nationalism speaks to that part of your loyalty and devotion identification involves an issue of prioritization now we're gonna come back to this because this is where Nationals it begins to be asked you know is this uncomfortable how do we deal with this issue of prioritization but I'm just again pointing to the fact that I'll and I'm going to express why I'm pointing out this fact that that is a self-evident part of all discourse which transcends any of the partisanship which we think is so dominant in our conversation it views the sovereign state as a morally legitimate and necessary political framework wherein members or citizens distribute to each other Goods and pursue protect and promulgate their identity values and culture when we speak about nationalism this is the core definition of the term doesn't mean all nationalism is good doesn't mean it can't be abused but is that sense of devotion and loyalty looking out for the interests even to the pride including essentially their prioritization there is a prioritization and the viewing of the nation-state as either legitimate or in many ways necessary even ideal framework to pursue both your aspirations or the distribution of goods and to protect and spread your identity your values and your culture this is the core decor definition of nationals now the nightmare of this definition is fascism and I'm not going to go into as I said all the features does nationalism is it a certain level of authoritarianism is it have xenophobia does it involve a certain economic perspective since we're let's leave the graduate seminar of fascism alone but just from the perspective of the nightmare of nationalism I am offering one feature of fascism which speaks about the embracing and here I choose the word intentionally the exalting as distinct from prioritization the exalting of one's nation and very often wants race but not only doesn't have to be racial not all fascism is racism but some levels of fascism are above all others and legitimize the support of its interest to the exclusion and discrimination of all others we all speak in terms of spectrum what is the spectrum between prioritization and discrimination and we're going to delve into that more deeply and throughout the seminar these are this is the question this is the question about a relationship to Israel this is about a question that Israelis who is an Israeli who is a Jew who is a Canadian who is a who's a citizen of the United States who is a what does it mean how do I deal with immigrations what are the boundaries of that should I open myself up should I not all of these that what's the difference between prioritization and discrimination and where is the line drawn but now I'd like to shift gears this is so that we have the categories with which to talk to each other I'd like to now essentially tell two different stories to intellectual stories stories would shape the way I think about nationalism stories which shape the way I personally come to think and address and struggle with this question with the question of my loyalties with the connection of my association with Israel with the connection of my association with world Jewry and my core identity of who I am now I want to tell a story or or weave together a narrative of the stories that I that I have learned from my tradition because I believe profoundly and here I was deeply impacted both by MacIntyre and by sindell that we don't pick or attempt to decide and struggle about whether nationalism is good or bad do I want to be a nationalist or a globalist do I choose ethnic nationalism over civic nationalism or I'm an individualist but not a globalist we don't pick our positions on the basis of some puke ante and pure reason we don't line them up in like in a supermarket and I'm coming to pick a ketchup or a mustard do I want Heinz urk or hunts or a cease which one trying to ascertain which one is most healthy looking at the ingredients in trying to say what is the best ketchup it's not the way we think about these questions we don't come with a rauzein veil of ignorance in which we don't know who we are and we don't know what our good is and we come to reflect on what is the ideal form which will maximize justice that's not the way human beings do ethics that's not the way we try to ascertain what's a value and that is certainly not the way we do political thought there is no view from nowhere there's only a view from somewhere and each one of us is shaped by those stories and part of the way I want to I want to I want to model but I'd also challenge you to think about in the same way where do you come from where do you come from and within the context of where you come from and the values that seem to be essential to your moral instincts what are the consequences of that to thinking about nationalism and Jewish people who so I want to tell two stories one story of what I've learned from my tradition from growing up within the Jewish tradition what did our tradition tell me about Who I am and the way I am connected and I'm going to use the term that the Jew or the individual is an encumbered being as a being who is fundamentally in relationship and connected to others and I want to I want to talk about the story that I heard you know how every Jew is supposed to tell the story of our exodus from Egypt well I don't wanna tell the story of the exit I want to tell this story from 10,000 feet high the story of who and what does it mean to be both a being and a Jew as told by our tradition in doing so I am NOT claiming it's moral superiority I'm merely declaring that this is my story and it is a story that has a profound impact on me in shaping my thoughts on this subject and the second story is a story about what is the value the purpose the fancy word the Telos of the life of the Jewish people when what are we what are we coming together as a people for how do we want to be what do we value and then asking what does that story tell us and how might it impact on how we think about this question of nationalism and this question about this loyalty solidarity to a particular nation and as you will see that second story and I'll repeat this again later is a very complicated story with three different competing and I will argue complimentary chapters to it but let's start the story of humanity Who am I Genesis one tells me that I'm a single individual I'm androgynous in some sense oh one sec excuse me there's one more caveat to these stories and here anyone and this is a general rule both about this class but it's it's it's a challenge that we face in general is that much of the stories that our tradition tells about who we are are very deeply male stories it's a story about the male it's a story about who this male is and very often the relationship and this it doesn't fit a new story that we that we've embraced and so even though the story is profoundly genderized in one position with one perspective about who is the dominant gender and the relationship between what what is both the family and relationships that we have while telling this story I am NOT buying into their gender presuppositions and part of our challenge of anybody who goes back to any tradition written before the 19th century because since the 19th century everything's been great is that we need to be aware of it we have to reflect on it but we but being part of a tradition is how do we use it and transcend it and shape it within new stories and categories that we've come to understand that's a perfect example by the way of while I'm telling a story we're not prisoners to our stories we could hear those stories were impacted on them by them and then at times we could also change them and sometimes it's essential and sometimes we choose not to and so by talking about a story I'm neither limiting the soul's narrative of Judaism nor am I saying that there's any deterministic feature to this as essential to my identity but merely important and critical to my understanding of myself Genesis 1 tells of the creation of an of an androgynous being are they genderless do they have a dual gender the essential feature is not their gender their essential features that they're created in the image of God they're not in a relationship with anybody their relationship purely defined by the God who creates them who challenges them to live on a mission up to rule the world and master it Genesis 1 Adam 1 or Adam and Eve 1 is essentially a being that conceptually afterwards our tradition will want to speak to and relate to but that's not the being that any of us know the story of humanity as we know it does not begin in Genesis 1 in a certain sense it really begins in Genesis 2 and Genesis 2 tells of Adam being alone and that alone is being something that God wants to transcend and the minute that aloneness transcended Adam enters into a relationship with Eve and the first thing that we are taught about about two human beings living together Genesis 2:24 hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife so that they become one flesh the first story that we are told about human beings as we know them transcending the gender presuppositions is that we are essentially encumbered beings in by encumbered I am i refer I'm referring to the fact that we live in relationship we are obligated by we are challenged by we are responsible to and our identity and our sense of self is created in the midst of this income Burness it's not a human being as a singular alone master of the universe it's a being in relationship and it is precisely a failure on to understand this which is Cain's sin when Cain kills his brother and God says oh yeah Leah where is your brother and Cain says am I my brother's keeper and the essential core first moral lesson of the Bible is you are of course you are because the encumbered being the story of humanity as told by our Bible is a story of people living in a relationship living in a family who are responsible for each other this family spreads and corrupts the world and God decides to destroy the world and when God decides to destroy the world he doesn't God doesn't see families God sees individuals he had colbus are all of creation is corrupt and God decides to wipe out the whole world but God says of Allah matzah fane been a shame but Noah found favor in the eyes of God and God tells Noah to build a a Ark but even though Noah is the only one who finds favor in the eyes of God Noah doesn't enter into the ark alone one of the fascinating moves of the Bible of the story that it tells you is that once Noah is being saved who goes into the ark together with nor his family now God being God could have done to know what God did to a Brahman – God could have recreated the story but by now to be a being is to be encumbered for Noah to enter into the ark is for not to enter into the ark with his family and it is self-evident to him that he has a sense of loyalty and responsibility to his family and that's a core critical part of the story the biblical narrative then continues and says the essential feature of this being is in an encumbered being in the midst of family and now God begins to have a conversation with one particular family and what's so interesting before God starts to speak to that family God tells you I know you had an earlier family and it tells us in Genesis 11 how Abram help Tara Abraham has a father and Abraham has a brother-in-law and Abraham as a cause abraham has his family had a plan and his family is working already to the land of Canaan and God says I know that's your family but I want to create a new family and the beginning of the Jewish story it's about within the context of income Burness to talk about how Jewish income Burness changes and how it's about creating a new family and what's interesting about Genesis 12 is that not only is the human being encumbered God becomes encumbered we are mutually encumbered and that to exist is to be in relationship to each other but not only does it speak in the context of family as the essential building block in many ways as the smallest building block in its discourse about humanity it even adds another feature to that income Burness is that income Burness does not merely create core loyalties and relationships income Burness also puts you in the context of a story and the book of Genesis is not a book of laws it's a book which tells you the story of your family and like all families some of the chapters are good most of the chapters are not but it doesn't matter because the essential lesson of Genesis is not whether either whether Jacob was really better than ISA the essential as soon as this is your family and that the way you do identity is to tell the story of your family and it is that story which ultimately defines you and in the midst of your encumbrance there's one law one coherent law in the book of Genesis and that is as an encumbered being as a being with a particular identity you also have your own signs no community could survive without its own distinguishing characteristics and in an in tune with the profoundly masculine genuine gender story that sign is only carried on the male penis and this is the sign of the Covenant between you and eternity I am encumbered by you and you are a family Abraham I will make of you a great nation and your nation as a family but that family has to carry that sign and anybody who doesn't carry that sign is kicked out of the family and the term used for the first time between the club there's me I am now the first time in the Bible we have the term goy before and I will make of you a great here you're separated from your people in here the core income Burness gets stretched from the family to up to a larger community and that's basically the story of our Exodus first to Egypt in front echip we go down as a family but now as the Egyptians basically say you're not a family anymore you're huge your numerous you've multiplied you're not a family which could somehow live in a certain neighborhood or you have another collective identity which in dangers my identity and now all of a sudden you are a people I'm not gonna turn use the term nation because you have to be a little and again for those of you who are who have a profound political philosophical or political science background I want to just be careful I'm not an actor I'm not doing an anachronism of claiming that nationalism exists knock yourselves out it doesn't matter I know the nation-state is it twice the 90s whatever leave it alone and put it down write a footnote and applaud yourself but we now we're a people and here starts the more complicated discourse because we understand income Burness in the context of family it's very very natural none of us assume that it is my responsibility to support every child just like I support my own it would seem bizarre if we come into terms with our moral intuitions it would be bizarre for us to say to our children a child who's going to college would say yes yeah but could you help me in college as I really love to but you know my neighbor has said your neighbor has to go to college too and and they're just you know they're just not as comfortable as we are again I'm if you come that's not the way we do our ethics or if children are drowning we it's natural for us that you would that you have that your pride near your principal income Burness is to is to your children or children to parents your parents needs you know as again in Michael Sandhills phenomenal book on justice I said what would you do your parents are in need oh you're not gonna throw dice should I help my parents or should I help somebody else that's tough we're encumbered we understand family income Burness but it's when we now go beyond and now we speak about a larger group and we speak about our connections to the same level of income Burness still apply but our tradition continues this encumbrance and the only two heroes that we hear about in the story of the Exodus are the midwives and Moses and the midwives ignore we don't know anything about the Jews we don't know what they did we don't know what they lived like we don't have to know anything about them but we know there's midwives and we know those midwives we're encumbered by their people and ignored their own self-interest and did not kill all the male's that's all we know that now this people we are here it is this is a model we're encumbered I'm responsible and what's the first thing we hear about Moses besides him floating in the river but yet al-adha Moses is is a palace Jew he's an Egyptian and he goes out to his brothers and sisters and is obligated by them and encumbered by them and the Bible continues this story and the paradigm of income bernis is in the Book of Numbers 32 when the tribes of Reuven God say I don't want to go into the Land of Israel I was sure I'm a I'm a cattle person I like cattle I want to stay here because it's a better place and Moses looks at them and the rest of the Jewish people are about to go in and to begin their battle for their homeland or what we what are the Promised Land and in his famous statement Moses turns and says how heavy a Zulu Muhammad empty shell PO are your brothers and sisters gonna go to war and you're gonna stay here and he talks to them and he says to them in the midst of this larger collective these tribes you're not even a try you I know you have concentric circles of loyalty but fundamentally I'm going to apply this category of income Burness family to the larger collective and as a Jew you have to look at those next to you as your brothers and sisters who claim you because to be a Jew to be a person but to be a Jew is to be encumbered by them to be bound to them this gets translated into Jewish law and becomes the categories through which Jewish law speaks about moral responsibility now the Bible in general from Genesis 12 basically doesn't speak about non-jews the non-jewish world more or less disappears but as you're gonna hear what we're gonna deal in-depth with the whole question of the relationship between individualism and particularism and to what extent Jews are still connected to the world the absence of a discourse does not mean that the world is not important it just means that Judaism not only tells you that you're a family not only tells you to see yourself as part of a story it speaks about your more responsibilities to you those to whom you are encumbered it doesn't say that you don't have other responsibilities but it speaks to them and one of the key terms I hafta larae aha qumola not a hafta Adam love your neighbor love your friend look he's not a clínica don't hate your brother or sister in your heart it speaks about your moral responsibilities to those who you are encumbered too it speaks about yourself as part of a family but in a actually remarkable move it also says you shall love the stranger in Leviticus 18 because you were strangers in the land of Egypt you shall treat the stranger as one of your citizens because you are a stranger in land of Egypt you're not only encumbered by who you call part of your family and whether it's an imagined family that doesn't matter you're also encumbered by your story because remember by turning to the book of Genesis doesn't just say you have a shared origin you have come from somewhere every Jew sees themselves as has to see themselves as if they came out of Egypt to be encumbered beings to be encumbered by a particular history by a particular past you're also encumbered by that pass and that pass tells you that you are a stranger in the land of Egypt and that's why you have to love the stranger you don't only love your neighbor and you also have to love your stranger but for very different reasons one is because you're encumbered because you're as a family and one is because that's your story and Jewish ethics becomes a play on the responsibilities that you have to those who are encumbered by and I brought you here tens of sources I'm not it's for you to read read the story we know the time to go through all of them but it is a summary of some of the of the tapestry of the of the way our tradition weaves a story of encumbered nests and ultimately our tradition says every Jew is responsible for the other and it tells a story of a person sitting on a boat who takes a drill and starts drilling a hole in the boat and everybody says then what are you doing touches what is it your problem I'm drilling under my seat our traditions that's the way you're supposed to see your people then when one drills under their seat it impacts everybody in the boat and we are a people who are in the boat this encumber Nisour awareness of this encumbrance becomes a critical feature of what we require of a convert because here a convert is encumbered by another family and the first thing that we demand of a convert is to ask them why do you want to join the Jewish people don't you realize how persecuted they are don't you realize that to be a Jew is not to have a relationship with God but principally in first and foremost it's to be encumbered by a new community and it's only when they say I know am I not worthy do they become part of the people and come Burness also determines in our tradition the boundaries to be a a the what's called in our tradition a an apostate or a an apostate to the whole tradition my money says who is such an apostate who is such an individual please open source 21 page 15 first paragraph last six lines number source 21 an apostate against the whole Torah and this is this is the category of the worst deviant that our tradition could imagine an apostate against the whole tour is a convert to the religion of the idolaters okay what makes you and I Papa say this because when you convert to idolatry but let's just look what my family says why do you convert to Maimonides for instant a time when they issue arbitrary edicts and he Cleaves to them saying of what profit is there for me to cleave to Israel who are now downtrodden and persecuted it is rather best for me to cleave to those in whose hand lies the power it's not the ideologue it's the person the the essential is when your I don't want to be part of the losing team I don't want to be encumbered by the team who suffer gets the opposite of the above the convert who says I don't want to share their burden and that is ultimately personified by our category of the evil child who the minute they say what is this worship to you and not to me they are a heretic in the essence to be encumbered whoever goes one step further and here we're gonna read it and here comes the challenge to be encumbered is to assume some level of preference so love your neighbor as yourself maybe you're supposed to love others – but I'm talking to you about morality in the context of the community in which you live because that's how I see you I'm talking to you now but what happens when there are multiple people who are your neighbors what happens when your neighbors aren't just Jews is it East Jerusalem is that West Jerusalem what is it twenty percent Arab citizens of Israeli society what is it is it people of different plays in a different state how do i how do I see my moral responsibility for encumbrances please turn to page 22 the Babylonian Talmud and here we're touching the essence of the challenge income Burness does create by definition prioritization but the question is where should that prioritization be under Jewish law if it is a choice between my people and an idolaters my people has preference the poor or the rich that's easy the poor takes precedence the poor who's your family or the poor in general or the poor of your who the poor of your family your poor comes first the poor of your city or the poor of some another city the poor of your own town there are some prioritizations would seem natural before you duty couldn't allow them fix your neighborhood if someone's hungry and your family they come first but how do we feel when we're not merely talking about geographical proximity now we're talking about us and them and is there in US then between Jew and non-jew and there is there a difference between an us them when we are powerless and living in the ghetto and all of the them's are outside of the ghetto between and us them when part of the them are us because that's what it means to be an Israeli and part of an us is to be an American or a Canadian or a Mexican or to be a part of a society with people with different whose you're us and does your income bernis begin to create moral distinctions that are profoundly immoral or when we transcend that boundary as it says on page 25 even though you're supposed to support your poor first the idolatrous poor are not prevented from gathering gleanings forgotten sheaves the corners of the field to avoid ill feelings our rabbis have taught we support the poor of the heathen along with the poor of Israel and visit the sick of the heathen along with the sick of Israel and bury the poor of the heathen along with the dead of Israel in the interests of peace okay I have concentric circles of responsibility it's not just my family I care for others but when I care for them for the sake of peace why am i caring for them is that just again looking out for myself is it just another way for me to do encumbered ethics so I could expand it but I only expand it when it relates to me we are told a story of encumbered Ness and we end that story with a question of what is the moral baggage of encumbered Ness but now I want to tell another story I want to tell a different story which now asks as encumbered beings as members of a people how do you define the purpose of your life how do you decide what is the good how do you decide to make the decisions that you're about to make what is it that you think about and hear again and I know it's a lot but I want this to be with you as you think throughout this seminar our start tradition begins to tell a very very complicated and surprising story which I believe has significant impact on the way we think about Jewish peoplehood and the way we think about Zionism and the way we think about Israel and the way we think about ourselves as community beings one of the surprising things about the Jewish tradition is that it is a profoundly utilitarian hedonistic tradition in the Bible it's very strange utilitarianism has bent them and discusses and posits it's about the maximizing of happiness for the maximum number of people and that the good involves very sir what creates the greatest amount of happiness but happiness in our tradition begins and the five books of Moses that most of the Bible with the exception of a few prophets the fundamental definition of happiness is physical happiness the happiness we pursue his life well-being food safety and comfort this utilitarian in many ways physical happiness is personified by a place that ultimately casts a shadow on the whole Bible don't even know what that place is anybody want to take a chance GaN Eden love you it's the Garden of Eden what's the kind of Eden were there you Shiva's in the Garden of Eden were there teachers there was it a university was it a library what's the kind of Eden what defines the Garden of Eden in the Garden of Eden everything that you could look everything was beautiful for in physically and beautiful for taste in the Garden of Eden you had everything when you get kicked out of the Garden of Eden the punishment is that everything that's essential to human nature becomes difficulty the perpetuation of your species is now done with pain the acquisition of the food that you need will always be difficult for you but in the Garden of Eden you had everything now the Garden of Eden is not a place that exists only in Genesis 2 somewhere in Mesopotamia between 4 rivers which somehow we have to discover and we'll find our way back the Garden of Eden begins to define the paradigm of the type of life that we want to live in as a people Abram Isaac and Jacob while living outside of the Garden of Eden essentially live in a bubble in which everything that they want and everything that they need is provided for them they live in complete and total safety but it gets even more significant when we begin to speak about our people God and the in exodus turns to the Jewish people it says I'm gonna take you out of Egypt where where am I gonna take you to the promised land but what is the Promised Land it's a land of milk and honey it's beautiful there's a land of bounty and the envy and the spies who go in offices the mall I don't know what land they went to but in any event let's say I don't know changed a little bit but this is along what is the characteristics of Israel Israel is basically the Garden of Eden and as the Bible tells the story of our journeys in the desert the desert becomes the Garden of Eden and the Bible speaks in Deuteronomy that you're you don't want anything you didn't have any needs your clothing didn't wear out you never lacked for food everything that you needed so now it's not on a tree it comes down from heaven but basically the existence is I am gonna keep you in this garden and I'm going to now move you into the next garden which will be your destiny forever so the Garden of Eden is not something that in our biblical tradition human beings left it is actually and I'll come back to this moment the place that you can reacquire and the Garden of Eden is not just something which speaks about the past that also defines our messianic era what's going to be in the Garden of Eden all Jews will be back home we're gonna live in safety and protection but even more than that the rabbi's speak about the fact that in the Garden of Eden and excuse me in the way in the world to come you're gonna have babies every day Oh the trees are going to produce loafs of bread and cakes this it is remarkable how within a religious tradition the notion of happiness is profoundly physical in the Bible it's completely it's physical political it has to do with life happiness in the physical sense well-being prosperity dealing with your core instinct and here the Bible is speaking to human beings in many ways it says if you have a body I know you're created an image of God but as beings with bodies I have to speak to your body and redemption is the physical redemption of your body and it doesn't ask you to transcend your body and it's not a tradition which says transcended in the worship of God not at all it does the opposite move it actually connects God to this physical utilitarian vision and so the first definition of the tell us the purpose the goal of our people is to create or to live in a space where we will be able to create either on our own or with the will of God a Garden of Eden in which we could prosper physically and be safe and be well the second stage however of this story is planted already from the outset one of the remarkable things of the Bible is that it links this physical Redemption this physical notion of happiness that's who you want to be it links it to obeying the will of God our religious tradition doesn't change the definition of happiness but it associates that happiness with a religious life and in doing so begins a new chapter one way of looking at it as many did and this upset Maimonides to no end is that the end is happiness and Torah the observance of tourism means and the one who understood this by the way for those of you want to do a little more research is the Satan in the book of Job he understood this profound irony when he says god of course he's righteous why would you not be righteous you set up the story that if you what if you you gave him everything why shouldn't he be righteous you think he cares for you he doesn't give it about you take away from him all the rewards and let's see what he's gonna do that was the flaw the core flob the Bible is that God wanted human being so much to worship God that God was willing to sell the worship of God and turned it into a means in which the end was happiness that's one core part of the story but as we begin the second chapter the fact that they're related to each other opens up a new possibility a possibility to expand the definition of happiness Aristotle describes happiness as acting in a rational way in our tradition happiness by associating the worship of God and the fulfillment of CAP of of Commandments with the reward of happiness it begins add within the calculation of the purpose of life not merely the maximization maximization of physical happiness but possibly the maximization of happiness of a higher form and we see this a number of the prophets who speak about the end of days not merely as physical but speak about the Isaiah in Chapter 11 speaks about at the end of days the knowledge of God the world will be filled with the knowledge of God and in Isaiah 2 that in the end of days all the nations of the world wilt will stream to Jerusalem and say I want to be close to the house of the Mount of God once worship of God has brought into the story it could possibly begin to expand the category of happiness and Maimonides as he looks back at the Bible he says we have to distinguish between those who worship out of fear and those who worship out of love those who worship out of fear fulfill the law as a means to an end of physical happiness those who worship God out of love understand that the truth tell us of life the true value of life is when you begin to live in accordance with these Commandments and you do them for their own sake and now in part two of this story maybe we are looking for the maximizing of happiness but what constitutes that happiness what does it mean does it mean just a physical or is there something else that we're looking for is it a certain spirit is it a system of values and that the happy person maybe he is the virtuous person the happy person is the person who has a life of meaning and value but now we come to the third part of the story and towards the end of my remarks I didn't say the end I said towards the end being ADHD I find it valuable to just warn people what's to come so you could position your tush accordingly on page 43 Maimonides states excuse me not 43 on page 47 excuse me whoever's ambitious to establish this commandment of fulfilling the obligation to study Torah properly and to become adorned with the crown of Torah must not divert his thoughts to other matters nor said his heart to acquire the knowledge of Torah and wealth and honor simultaneously the way leading to the knowledge of Torah is such a morsel of bread with salt shall you eat and water with measures shalt thou drink and upon the ground out shall you sleep and a burdensome life shall you live while you toils in Torah maybe a person she'll say I would interrupt my study of Torah until I will accumulate wealth and then I'll return to it well I will look over I'll acquire sufficient substance to supply my needs I will return then I'll retire and come back such a thought will penetrates your heart you will never acquire the crown of Torah it is not in heaven nor is it beyond the my mind he says it's not in heaven that is to say the north the torah's not found amongst the arrogant nor is it found amongst the travelers of the Seas nor is he who engages himself over too much in commerce as wise the words of Torah I like him to water as it says ho everyone that is thirsty come to the water which is to teach you that even as water does not gather in steep places but flows by gravity and gathers in the well so are the words of the Torah they're not to be found amongst the high spirited northern nor nor in the heart of the haughty but in the humble and a meek spirit who embraced the dust of the feet the words of Torah do not remain permanently with one who was indolent or acquiring them in acquiring them nor with such who studies the tour in the environment of luxury amidst eating and drinking Maimonides says the crown of Torah can never be associated with happiness and that the value of life is not determined solely within the category of happiness and that to be a Jew and to fulfill the ultimate goal of a Jew and of our people it's may be to reject the fundamental biblical story which yearns for a return to the Garden of Eden and in a beautiful rabbinic move the rabbi's on page 45 state it was talk rubbish Shimon bar Yohai says the holding run blessed he gave Israel three precious gifts and all of them were given only through suffering in a post biblical world I can't speak about to tell us of Jewish peoplehood as the pursuit of happiness because that's not my life I'm not living a happy life this is not joyful if I want to be happy I'm going to Rome I'm not staying in Jerusalem and I know Papa Dita's the fist phenomenal but still and they're looking and saying it's really the Garden of Eden the model and what's so paradoxical is even the world to come the so called guard everything that is a value everything that our tradition wants you to be there AB I say it was given with suffering and pain and the rabbi's are now asking and looking to the Jewish people insane is the tellus of the Jewish people the maximization of happiness or do we understand that to live a life of value is possibly to recognize that suffering is okay that suffering for a purpose is okay the question is what's I'm not making suffering and I deal in to itself but for what and as Ecclesiastes says at the end the sum of the matter when all is said and done Revere God and observe God's commandments keys echo Adam this is the essence of what it means to be a human being and in possibly the greatest rejection of the pursuit of happiness appears in Maimonides on the last page page 51 if idolaters that one of the classic examples of utilitarianism is told and it's referred to as the trolleys story or the trolley case and there's multiple versions of the trolley case and I'll tell you one of them one version is that you're sitting in a trial your driver of a trolley and there's 2030 people in that trolley and you're you're going along a track and all of a sudden you discover that your brake doesn't work and if you continue along that track the track is coming to an end and you're gonna fall off the track or you're gonna crash and everybody's gonna die but you're the driver of the trolley what do you do because there's an option there's a there's a juncture and if you move the switch you can have much more track and you'll be able to slowly slowly stifle some slowdown and everybody will live but there's just one little problem there's a car on that track and you're gonna have to kill one person are you gonna save 20 people and the one person died what are you gonna do by the way this is also one of the challenges of how do you what do you program automatic cars what moral decision are they gonna make and how do you do that but utilitarianism says it's very simple my task is to maximize the amount of happiness for the max amount of people I know life as a bitch excuse my french but what could you do sometimes you have to make those decisions you have to make priorities after maximize happiness the story of my tradition tells me as follows in Jewish law if idolaters will demand one of a group of women saying yield to us one amongst you and we will defy her to file her if not we will defile you all utilitarianism says the it is no issue but Jewish law says that all be defiled rather than to surrender one of them to them one soul of Israel likewise if idolaters say to a group of men yield to us one of you and we will kill him if not we will kill all of you let all of them be killed rather than surrender to them one soul on Israel but to be a Jew is to recognize that life is not just the maximization of happiness that a Jewish people have to be a people who stand for value and sometimes that means to recognize that suffering is going to be part of your destiny and this is ultimately what defines the Israeli military code of ethic when it says that when you use your weapons you will only use it in proportion to the danger you face and even more than that you will do everything in your power to avoid casualties to civilians or to prisoners of war that means that the fight in the Israeli army to use your power is also to recognize that there are times when we're gonna have to die and at the end of the day the Telos of our army is not that everybody comes home but that we stand for things that we stand for I am an encumbered being I only know how to see myself as an encumbered being the challenge is not purely to be encumbered or unencumbered the challenge is also who encumbers me and to recognize that Who I am encumbered by is a choice but our tradition tells you that from Abraham you have been encumbered by a people who claim you but how am i encumbered also by others and to what extent do I become encumbered by others what guides my decisions what does it mean to be a people what is the purpose of Jewish people how do we think about the value and challenges of nationalism I would suggest that this three-pronged story challenges us to not make an either-or decision and as anybody who's ever studied with anybody at the Hartman Institute knows that whenever someone asks you in Judaism is it a or B the answer is only yes and here it is a three-pronged story part of the story tells you that to be a people that the Jewish people are a people who embrace the physical that there are people who care about happiness and well-being and long life and security and that's legitimate that's what it means your life takes precedent that's healthy and that any discourse about the value of human life which doesn't respect the physicality of our being is missing missing something essential and as all of you know if you did some of the reading part of the whole increase of nationalism as a result of individuals who get up and say does my country care about me what about maximizing my happiness is somehow my needs and challenge do you care about it and only when you feel safe that they care about it is something that I could be embraced and it is the nationalist instant which says I seen you and care about you and I'm not talking about your higher self alone I'm talking about your need for a living for wages for care and what's remarkable about a religious tradition such as soon as it as it is so profoundly physical and in so doing creates a prioritization and a legitimization of a people caring about happiness in the most simple and basic way and you can't understand tsiyon ISM unless you connect to that dimension of Judaism it's about Jews being safe it is also about startup nation it's about building it's about the physical we came home not to be mines we were mines in the Diaspora the Zionists says I don't want to be a mind give me back my body and Israel says you have your body and I'm gonna care for it and part of being a Jew is to recognize that significance I don't want to be overly dramatic but it is also one of the fundamental tourism Auschwitz we don't yearn to be a dying noble people and part of the reasons why and I don't I know you're gonna get upset but don't be upset because it's within a certain context that I'm saying this that's part of the reason I'm just part of my father's Torah that I don't feel a profound need that everybody has to look go to out to go to your vision and love me by feeling that I'm some pathetic something product I'm out of percent I don't want to be pathetic I am here I am strong I have a body and I who better believe that I'm gonna care for that body and in doing so I am embodying an essential lesson of my Jewish tradition to be a religious being is to care for the physical not to simply transcend it I'm not a Buddhist I don't believe that unit as Rupa and Rupa shouldn't you tell that you only that everything is only whenever when you understand that everything is nothingness and nothing is everything do a Jewish tradition says no physical happiness counts and I stand here connected to that but I also have to understand that happiness is not only physical happiness and I have to ask yourself what are the values of my store and a person that I define happiness in terms of ways in which I can maximize my culture ways in which I could maximize my values ways in which I could live a Jewish life and in living a Jewish life I feel the joys of Judaism and its happiness and part of my national aspiration is not merely to give us more it's not who has more at the end wins who is more money who has a bigger house the part of happiness is to live a life of value and to Stanford and to recognize that as a people especially when we look at the concentric circles of income Behrman that part of my challenges is also ask myself what am i encumbered by when i love the stranger i'm encumbered by my story and that i have to be encumbered by those values in that story but the third feature of being a Jew it's also to understand that happiness is also or can be overrated when it is all that you have and that to be a Jew is also to be willing to choose death and that a human life whether individual or on a societal level in which the preservation of physical happiness alone is all that inspires you then you become idolatrous and that's true part of my part of the way I determine who I ought to be are what are my values and so maybe I don't want to be encumbered by them I want more give me more why should I give to the Arabs why should I care about this group or that group why should I give I want more and maybe the more you want more the less you are as in everything is it a B or C the answer is yes and a challenge which I want you to which I want to share with you and and it's a journey I don't know I know I am a nationalist I know it's a frame which gives expression to my being encumbered and I don't pick it because I believe it's better than globalism I'm just aware of the fact that that's who I am and in my moral universe I do give preference but there's a very big difference Ben preference to discrimination I will give preference but at times I won't and at times I'm gonna say no at times to be a Jew to be an Israeli to be a part of this people is to pick your values over happiness how to do that how to balance it what's the Shahana rule what's the exact measure there is none but the journey of our people is a journey of encumbered miss in search of meaning whether that search of meaning will be a gift whether that search of meaning will be a force for good will depend on how we balance these three chapters of our story in many ways it'll be about how we take our two stories and how we merge them together into a story of encumbered nests of value income Burness connected to the world connected to my body connected to my values and recognizing that a human life is determined by the maximization of happiness but not only by the maximization of happiness how we tell that story how we translate that into policy what's our policy in Judea and Samaria what's our policy towards Israeli Arabs what's our policies towards refugees what's our policies between our different tribes that's the story but it's telling that story and working it out which is ultimately the challenge of nationalism the challenge of Zionism and the challenge of our people welcome and thank you very very much [Applause] and now we have a few minutes for what I'm gonna do is I'll take if there's any questions I'm happy to take some and I'll take them together and then respond afterwards if any questions well since we don't have a lot of time we'll leave comments for later any questions please yes please sir we're going to finish act as it says in your schedule I believe 7:15 the says 7:15 if you look at the schedule we adjusted it I knew how long the lecture would be one of the great advantages are bringing president the shell apartment institute is that my lectures are never too long and it's not about maximizing happiness we're just gonna take two or three questions see if you have them and then we're gonna go for dinner yes please sir just a little louder and I'll repeat it please yes the convert no I said that a person becomes a convert when he or she accepts that they are encumbered and the story is it says why do you want to become a Jew don't you know that the Jewish people are suffering and despised and attacked and it is only when he says I know and I am unworthy that he is accepted for with so you heard part of it's correct when he accepts upon themselves the income bernis of the Jewish people yeah it just it's it's just he's he's embracing it with humility it's just it's a term of saying I embrace it wholeheartedly and yes please great question do I see any difference with distinctions between patriotism and nationalism one of the things that you have to look at is that very often and you'll see this in hezonia and other people we tend to pick the words that are associated with what we think is positive so patriotism is pasta is positive nationalism and so your question it's a semantic question but it's a great question for us because the answer is I don't care it's how you use your categories but at the end don't worry about the terms now this I could come up with a different of course now patriotism and nationalism are intimately connected to each other but some people patriotism is positive but nationalism is negative fear knock yourself out that I'll call nationalism your patriotism you understand what I mean the essential question is what do you mean by it how do you talk about your sense of being encumbered your loyalty your sense of connection how do you spell out prioritization now patriotism which speaks to the fact that I fight that I'm willing to sacrifice for my country demands a more complex notion this loyalty etc I'm willing to fight for my country I'm willing to die for that's one of the ultimate expressions of prioritization but does that mean that because I prioritize my people I'm willing to kill anybody at any time for any reasons that's where it becomes fascism or not so the there is we could spend all of our time arguing about the categories that's why I just gave you some but ask yourself not the category but what is it that you mean and then if at the end of the day patriotism is not Nash but it's something else but it speaks about your loyalty to your group and you're willing to care for their interests and give priority to their identity cetera et cetera then be a patriot is and not a nationalist and we're good you understand what I mean yes so it doesn't and part because we have such different categories and because each one of these categories is there's literally I've been I've been reading for a year in preparation of this summer it's like it's been a years of work not just of mind but of a whole team of people at the Institute you know we picked this theme because it was a good idea not realizing how much work we're gonna have to do interesting we'll do be smarter next year but it was it was a remarkable year and part of what you realize is that there is so much semantic ization or semantic ation of the discourse which which obfuscates a lot of the essential features so your point is such a blessing right now because it's really it puts the whole issue of semantics in front of us and since we're not a graduate seminar and since none of us are writing our PhD right now on this topic we don't have to worry about the footnote so it's it's what you mean by it and but very often patriotism is used as the positive nationalism as distinct from the more negative yes please ma'am it was quiet in the room yeah right this right but you're not sure it was very very scary you write that words matter and part of the space that I'm asking us to talk it's true that's why from the outset I said I'm a nationalist I also once at a certain program at the Hart maninsuit said I'm a Zionist and one of the research fellows said to me excuse me could you not use that term because whenever you use that term I feel you're justifying the occupation I said to them that's not my intentions but I know I feel that way so I said what term would you rather I use just why don't you speak about instead of saying Zionism why don't you speak about the the perceptions Jewish people have a homeland and that we have a right to be sovereign within our homeland within the context and that's a real catchy term I said you know like I said you know I use the term I says that's the way now part of what it means to be a Jew is to take categories and to reinterpret them otherwise you know I forget that song you know there's the I know it in Hebrew kovash Alicia logic we know cellos peanut la commercially and then like if the end of the word if we're gonna miss all these words we're gonna go around I have no words no part of what we do at Hartman and part of our challenge is to reclaim the terms and to say okay by Zionism do I mean that I reject the rights of Arabs by Zionism does it mean that I don't care about Palestinians and I'm not gonna get into politics right now is that what it means part of our challenge of this week as I said to you at the beginning beginning in the introduction is to take these category to own them and to reinterpret them and to know that some of our people are gonna be challenged by them but part of it is to create a discussion so you know what you call it a I call it B but what do we mean creating a shared value language could sometimes mean that we use different words but that means we also have to recognize that we don't get trigger eyes all the time by someone else's words but we try to listen to the values behind those words and so I hope your friends stayed here at the Hartman is too part of there's a lot of different people here with different politics and different ages and different sensibilities don't let yourself be trivialized try on a person uses a word ask them what are they meaning and the fact that other people associated that way is that necessary is it essential or could we could we elevate our conversation all of Judaism is about taking the written word and reinterpreting it to the extent that we even know that Moses doesn't even understand the word anymore Moses doesn't understand what we say Moses told us because the word is the beginning but but it is our interpretation of the words that ultimately define us yes please sir absolutely great great question and again there's different forms of universalism and globalism but part of the question that I asked is that I'm an encumbered being but I'm only encumbered exclusively by by family or do I have other levels of income Behrman and how do those levels of income women play themselves out in my tradition do I only love them you only care about those in this second cycle of income Burness if it's because of for the pursuit of pay store cash alone or quoting the Maimonides in that same text I am encumbered by non-jews and I have to I have to feed them and care for them because of paths of peace because Torah is a religion of peace and all of a sudden paths of peace stops being a utilitarian version but it becomes a core value of who it is that I am so yes I could be encumbrance o globalism there are different forms of globalism universalism some of them argue that it's just human being quite human being but I am encumbered but I'm encumbered by every single individual human being regardless of national race gender whatever I am encumbered and obligated and all the other distinctions are arbitrary more often than not however globalism speaks to new levels in different levels of encumbered nests in which I am encumbered not by those who are members of my nation state but I'm encumbered by those who are in my socio-economic group a cultural group a gender different maybe it's the oppressed there are cases where I could imagine that there is no more income than that I am just not encumbered by anything but I am only dominated by it by a Kantian principle of moral responsibility to act in such a way that all human beings are never in it I never treated as an end and that I act in such a way that all my behavior should be universalizability I see and wherever I go with justice I'm not encumbered I'm encumbered only by a rational truth that defines me and obligates me there is a version of that more often than not it is just saying that the nation the national group is an arbitrary arbiter is an arbitrary encompass and I have other ones and then comes the serious challenge is that really so is the only income bernis that you reject an encumbrance by Israel do you in fact are you encumbered do you accept that we have concentric circles of encumbered nests now there – I could be encumbered by multiple it doesn't mean that every time and in which case what do I do when I go to war what do I do I know I'm encumbered by do but I know that I'm also encumbered and this is I am also encumbered by humanity quite humanity I'm encumbered by my neighbors I'm encumbered by people who live in my midst and so very often the challenge and that's why I'm not resolving nationalism could be profoundly corrupt nationalism can create fascism not I'm not belittling that potential it is how we balance the three when is it that I say yes I need to be encumbered by you because that's my values and when do I say I don't care who I'm encumbered by happiness is not the only value and so it is not between incumbent is to not incumbent us it's very often between what are the spheres of those incumbent is and how do they get resolved in at the end of the day the answer it's not about picking ketchup what's the right answer it's about as Michael Sandel does in his work it's about trying to tell stories that enable us to come in turn to terms with the limits and boundaries of our moral intuitions and that to be a moral human being is never to choose between the right and the wrong but is to try to struggle about what are the parameters of the right and your question about the extent and nature of glow of this income Burness and it is is is precisely the type of story the mess and sometimes we don't even want this and that's why maybe sometimes we become individualist because I didn't want you know this myth that I am but I just like myself better that way you know it's just life is so much simpler I don't wanna think I gotta it's not now who wants to be a man want to be a nice person but that's what are the stories we tell and how do we how do we play it out and so thank you for that question yes please sir beautiful that's again you know part of it's a great great question I have a great answer but I don't want to limit it by the question okay I'll limit it by the question what happens when you have dual loyalties multiple income permits at the same time in fact you know one of and this is you know this is gonna be a part of our new I engage one of the chapters is gonna be on issues of dual loyalty we Jews get very sensitive to this issue of dual loyalty somehow it it goes back to these old anti-semitic drops that were never to be true were never to be trusted and that somehow what is where is your core loyalty are you more loyal to America are you what do you do and that somehow my loyalty the Jewish people is an anti-american story because to be truly ok I'm willing to be a nationalist but America is my primary national that's what really wood calls me and it's you know and and so Edie Koch tried to resolve it by saying there's no problem when Israel attacks America I'll defend America so but it's a Jim so he was flip about it but does that really solve the problem what is it about dual loyalty when in fact this whole discourse is is foreign to how we in fact see ourselves and it's a perfect example of a conceptual analysis which is alienated or disconnected from the stories that we tell I wish there is a human being forget a Jew who has dual loyalty everybody has 815 loyalties an American citizen you have loyalty to your country but you also have loyalty to your family that's a dual loyalty you have a loyalty to your state and the loyalty to your country you have loyalty to your you have loyalty to those who are pursuing a certain cultural agenda you have loyal you have so you have loyalties to the place that you were born part of the anti-semitic Trump is that it's Jews who have liked at web duel loyalties this is the lie and we defend ourselves in the wrong manner by saying no we're not here it is you said I'm Doyle T no I have no dual loyalty I'm only that's the answer the answer is of course I have to a loyalty I actually have ain't loyal T's and so do you let's talk about who we are as human means nobody has a singular loyalty everybody comes from somewhere whether I'm Jewish whether I'm Irish whether I'm Greek whether I'm Christian when I'm a Christian separation is all that's nice and done but when I make decisions about abortion and life etc am I making them only on the basis of what's good for America or am i basing it on other loyalties now of course I am everybody does so we answer and then somehow our complex identities become unacceptable when instead we have to as people take this literally anti-semitic attack as if we're the only ones who are somehow disloyal as if somehow the only lobby that's not acceptable is a PAC like that's okay NRA that's firm error that sit like this is somehow you are the traitor that this is just unacceptable we all have them and the story of moral life and the story of political life is how do we balance these multiple loyalties when do we use one when are the limits of them and they're not simple when is the time when you know in the Vietnam War when is it that your loyalty your triple quadruple loyalties require of you to protest when they require of you to say no when they decry of you to work what to turn your back what are the limits of demonstration there all we as human beings live in continuous concentric circles of encumbered nests and to be a human being is to find a way to balance them and nobody has an answer but it's when you assume that Lord that that patriotism is to become the unencumbered one then you're putting Jews in a box in which the future of our relationship to Israel in many ways I would argue the future of our Jewish identity is profoundly impaired let's embrace our encumbered miss it's not about rejecting it its embracing it and then asking ourselves what's the challenge and how what is the challenges that it entails and how do we elevate it and how do we make the difficult moral decisions that every one of us makes all the time welcome to humanity Humanity is not about knowing the singular true moral necessary path it's a mess it's a journey but that journey is the journey of life and it's a journey of meaning and we Jews have to embrace it with pride this is our income Burness it's no worse and no better and our responsibility is to make sure that it's better what constitutes better go and study thank you all very very much [Applause]

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