June 13, 2006

by Reb Yudel
If I am not for Ilan Ramon, who will be for me?

The age-old discussion of Jewish universalism and particularism enters a brave new orbit in our comment section, with the suggestion that Ilan Ramon be turned into a media symbol like Mathew Sheppard or Terry Schiavo.

Ilan Ramon: brave Jewish astronaut? Or victim of Newton's anti-semitic theory of gravity? Join the debate!


I made no suggestion that Ramon be turned into a media symbol.

I asked Andy to weigh the contrast between, for example, the homosexual community that has overwhelmingly positive spin and the Jewish community with so much negative spin, much of it created by the Jewish people themselves.

Everyone knows Will and Grace (the pleasant, funny attractive gay) and Mathew Shepard (the famous innocent victim of terror) and the Christian consiracy against gay-marriage (the demonization of homosexuals/the conspiracy to write discimination into our Constitution.) Gay pride is clear and consistent and very healthy.

Jews are known as the supporters of abortion and the supporters of the non-Jewish victims of the world. Bagels are fine but the Torah is an embarassment. Israel is OK, as long as the Jews are giving the Arabs their rights, after all, it is Arab land. Our most famous film maker, Speilberg, makes the most famous Holocaust movie, "Schindler's List," featuring a righteous gentile and another, "Munich" that paints the Jews as vengeful and evil and the Arabs as more humane. A honored Jewish victim, the Israeli who was killed tragically in space with a Torah scroll is not treated with the same fanfare as someone like Matthew Sheppard. Inded, it is easy to argue that more Jews know the Matthew Sheppard story than know the story of Ilan Ramon who died with a special Torah scroll in outer space.

Jewish pride is way down and anecdotes reveal this truth, in totality, more than a crisis could.

Posted by: David N. Friedman at June 14, 2006 5:18 PM

I'm trying to figure out what sign to carry at the Ilan Ramon rally: "Hey, hey, N-A-S-A, howmany Jews did you kill today," or "Jews belong in shtetls, not shuttles." Or perhaps, "How many Jewish astronauts have to die before Steven Spielberg makes a movie about it?"

Posted by: andy at June 20, 2006 1:35 PM
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