The future of the Consistory is not indifferent to me.

Home"columnists"The future of the Consistory is not indifferent to me.
13 Partages

At the end of this Letter No. 350 that I address to a thousand of you, I reproduce (with his permission) a text of my colleague, Rabbi Yeshaya Dalsace, appeared in Jewish Tribune in the aftermath of the by-elections in the Consistory Israelite of France last Sunday, November 26, 2017, entitled "The Consistory, dreary plain where nothing moves" ... If I reproduce it is that I share 90% of the content. The purpose of this column is to explain myself about the remaining 10%! - In her article that I hope you will read in full, Yeshaya Dalsace notes with bitterness and realism that these elections, like the previous ones, do not change anything about the supreme direction of the Consistory, institution created, let us remember, by Napoleon in 1808 for the purpose of representing all the Jews of France as to their religion and its relations with the Empire, the Kingship, then the Republic. The creation of the Consistory definitely sealed the integration of the Jews of France into the national community. It followed the recognition, in 1792, in the wake of the French Revolution, of the full and complete citizenship of the Jews, abolishing at the same time all the laws restricting them, and allowing them access to all the professions that Until then they were forbidden. These elections last Sunday will not change anything, predicts Yeshaya Dalsace, because neither the men nor the principles in place since at least three decades do not change. [One could say: in the Consistory, the more it changes, the more it's the same thing].

And my eminent colleague punctuates his remarks with statements about the total indifference he feels about these elections. Indeed, he can only recognize what we are given to see for ourselves, namely that the Consistory, this institution which claims the authority of its birth 209 years ago (nothing less than the Emperor Napoleon!), Whose vocation was to federate all the Jews of France, represents today only a very small minority of the Jewish population: less than 10% (40,000) on which still less than 10% (3,700) decided to vote. So you could say that 0.74% of the Jewish community elected representatives of the Jewish religion to the authorities of the Republic. I know how misleading is the temptation to interpret elections with regard to the percentage of abstentions and to deduce from them conclusions on the non-representativity of elected representatives. The last presidential elections should lead us to some caution! Nevertheless, these results, even weighted, are indicative of the loss of confidence, or adhesion, of the Jews of France vis-à-vis the Consistory. This situation has deteriorated over the years since the end of Jacob Kaplan's grand rabbinate (ז"ל) in 1980.

I have no place here to engage in an analysis of the disenchantment of the Jews for their institutions. But I want to say clearly that the drift of the Consistory does not leave me indifferent, and this for several reasons. The first is that it does not seem to me that the "old lady" (as Yeshaya Dalsace calls it) is stored in the old-fashioned accessories department, and that from the powerhouse she was, she became so insignificant and unrepresentative. . The Consistory was carried, both rabbinical and secular, by high figures of the community, from the first chief rabbi of France, David Sintzheim (1809-1812) to Jacob Kaplan (1955-1980), since one of the first presidents, Abraham de Cologna (1812-1826), until Jean Kahn (1995-2008). The Consistory radiated Judaism with brilliance and universalism. It is unbearable to me to note its withdrawal into communitarianism and ritualism, rigor in the matter of halakha (religious jurisdiction) and almost complete closure to the reception of converts. All this, I said, does not leave me indifferent, although I can very well live my Judaism without the recognition of the Consistory, because I know that for public opinion it continues to represent "officially" Judaism.

Throughout the past decades, the Consistory has made sure to "format" Jewish consciences to the exclusion of other religious currents in our community. He managed to convey the idea that no expression of Judaism except his own had legitimacy; and that any act emanating from the liberal communities, massortis or loubavitch was not endorsed. He forged a true monopoly on all religious life, beginning with kashrut, continuing with weddings, conversions, divorces, etc. Well, that too can not leave me indifferent because I see there the distortion of the biblical and talmudic image of the Jew. And I do not want to, especially at a time when religions suffer from the intolerant and narrow image that some of their faithful offer society, that by the fault of the Consistory, Judaism loses its substance.

I would like two things for the future. 1. That the Consistory recognize all the expressions of Judaism: religious, non religious, liberal or massorti. That is to say, it becomes what it was created over two hundred years ago. 2 ° Failing that, if this proves impossible, that another Consistory takes over, with new men, a new name, but in the spirit of the founding fathers. It seems to me essential, especially in the times we live, that a unit that is not facade is born. Unit, not uniformity; unity, not single thought; unity in diversity. It is no longer permissible for a handful of Jews to dictate to the majority its criteria of Jewishness, to decide who is Jewish and who is not, who is a "good" Jew and who is not. . It is enough that this handful of "pure" terrorizes intellectually and spiritually a majority which, out of ignorance or lassitude, is allowed to dictate constraints and prohibitions of which it is more than probable that our ancestors would not be recognized today. By dint of preaching what the late Abraham Heschel called a "Judaism of Precautions," the Consistory would risk excluding us from a Judaism with a prophetic vocation. This is why I do not intend to lock myself in an ivory tower and ignore the hole in the hull of the ship superbly, claiming that it is not under my seat. If the Consistory refuses to reform (return to the first forms and spirit), let us firmly remind him of his duties towards the "great community", or that he ceases to be the sole representative. We read in the same verse of the Torah the following precepts (Leviticus 19:17): "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart, but shalt take him back, lest he bear sin because of him." It is an invitation not to turn away from the future of this moribund institution. Elie Wiesel (ז"ל) said that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

Shabbath Shalom!

13 Partages

6 Responses to "Le devenir du Consistoire ne m’est pas indifférent."

  1. Paulette Uzan Sfez   3 December 2017 at 14 h 02 min

    I find this comment quite clear ...... ..that is enough of the "Prechi-Precha" and that Judaism that was believed to be open and that makes it curl up on itself ...... Tunisia, we practiced a Judaism clairvoyant open, tolerant and intelligent. A word of warning hello !!!!!!

  2. Seknadje   4 December 2017 at 3 h 07 min

    I allow myself to reply to your newsletter.
    It seems to me that he should actually have more people registered in the consistory.
    There are only 40000 because in my opinion membership is paying off. Nothing prevents a person from the Liberal cult of an auction and vote
    In addition you have noticed that people in France do not move easily to vote.
    Last point: of course I Judaism advocates by the consistory is rigid and can be archaic. Well nothing
    Forcing you to follow the 613 commandments .C is the case
    D a majority of Jews. I think, however, essential to preserve
    Our religion as it
    Is written in the Torah and the halacha. In my opinion, it is essential to preserve
    Judaism intact.
    Free to you to respect only a small part
    Those who create different beliefs do so in my opinion for the wrong reasons. No one will forbid you to enter the synagogue because you came to the Sabbath office
    By car .
    This is your problem but I believe that the strength of the djdaisme lies in the impossibility of
    You change. It is the guarantor of its authenticity.
    If you want an Ersarz, free to you but it's no longer Judaism you have to give it another name

  3. Bilou   5 December 2017 at 2 h 57 min

    No rabbi can get out of the confinement that their rabbinic teaching has delivered them. They will always find reasons to refuse such or such evolution - if they are broad-minded.

    The only thing the rabbinate is fully occupied with is to save "the Torah" and in a way that is more and more sectarian to lose nothing or sometimes a little wider according to community tendencies and interpretations, that's what has been succeeded despite all the vicissitudes over millennia.
    But it is notoriously insufficient, the Torah only holds if there are Jews. No Jews more than Torah. It was necessary to take care of disseminating Judaism. They banned it despite Ge. 17-3, judging to be an elite of weight, sufficiently sure of itself (known formula). Reassuring and claiming to be a light for the nations. You can not be the light of anyone staying in your room between you and the light on. The teaching of others is a very long process that takes hundreds of generations.
    You only have to open your eyes and see how few people have convinced hundreds, then thousands of others, to the point of becoming several billion: Today, they have security of numbers. Quiet.
    To the Jews this security has been removed. The Iranian analyzed it when he falsely prophesies I hope, even if it must fall on his head.
    How much weight wise and competent rabbis represented to Hitler. Zero.
    Resolutions that offer Jerusalem to Muslims, by the vast majority of nations, have just been revoked: 151 countries, including all of Europe for the Yes and 6 or 9, I do not know anymore for the No, including Micronesia, Papua and I do not know who.
    I do not see how Israel and its American ally can go against a legal vote, Democrat.
    Israel and its leaders mistakenly believed that time was playing for them. The Jews of Europe are leaving, others will agree to convert to Christianity who will be happy to show his way to lost sheep. And it's the fault to whom everything? It's not just the fault of others. It's for not doing the right thing at the right time. It was for not allowing a digital development that Hitler was able to eliminate a third of the Jewish population.
    It takes a Mashiah. Create a new trend that opens to the whole world without any exclusions, with a message and a philosophy based on the 10 commandments, and that does not reject science. A reform is vital, but it is impossible with the current structures. Creating Shabbat elevators is just a ruse to reconcile science and religion and not to misjudge rabbis who are totally unknown law makers for all. The Sabbath was set up for the man to rest after 6 days of work. - See the exit of Egypt - God never directly asked that it be devoted to him, he wished that one deals humanely with the worker. It is not he who has forbidden to press a button on certain days.
    There is a lot to do. This supposes a retreat and a transformation of thought. It's too difficult to question.

  4. Bilou   5 December 2017 at 3 h 08 min

    It is this confinement that has spurred Christianity, then Islam.
    Open your eyes.

  5. bilou   6 December 2017 at 14 h 22 min

    Israel would not have had to suffer the current problems, the Shoah would not have taken place, Christianity could not have been born and develop if the Rabbinical Sanhedrin had opened wide to all, to the pagans and to the other. One would have respected the heavenly promise that had been made to be as numerous as the sand, or that the stars With 500 million or 1 billion Jews, the situation would have been very different.
    There is worse blind than one who does not want to see his mistakes

  6. oscar   7 December 2017 at 23 h 15 min

    The presbytery is drying up Judaism, burying its universal vocation in favor of a finicky gesture. In doing so, he participates in the demographic hemorrhaging of the Jewish people. Many valuable Jews, discouraged by the multiplicity of often absurd prohibitions, by the absence of a clear mission, take refuge in indifference, and insensibly detach themselves from Judaism. Their children will have mixed marriages, and their children will lose all sense of belonging to the Jewish people.
    It is a systematic demolition work that his rabbis undertake with the best conscience in the world.
    Assizes of French Judaism are needed, but the consistory will never want to participate.
    And if Macron, playing Napoleon I, decided to rethink a more democratic representation of the Jewish community? It's a bet to take.

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