The Founder of Esperanto and the Dangerous Allure of Jewish Universalism

March 18 2020

Born in Russian-ruled Bialystok in 1859, Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof was fascinated by languages from a young age and, like many of his day, saw linguistics and politics as deeply intertwined. In the early 1880s, Zamenhof became an enthusiastic “territorialist”—believing that Jews should create a homeland somewhere outside the Middle East, in his view on the Mississippi River—and then a Zionist, although one who thought the Jewish state should be Yiddish-speaking. He then took another about-face and settled on the idea that would drive him for the rest of his life: the elimination of strife and prejudice through the end of linguistic differences—a problem he hoped to solve by creating a universal tongue, later known as Esperanto. As his Esperanto movement gathered steam, Zamenhof created an ideology to go with it, as Saul Jay Singer explains:

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Read more at Jewish Press

More about: Anti-Semitism, Esperanto, Universalism, Zionism

The Moral Decadence of a Group of Rabbinical Students’ Anti-Israel Appeal

As terrorists were launching thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, mobs were destroying Israeli cities, and Jews were being harassed and attacked on the streets of the U.S. and Europe, a group of nearly 100 American rabbinic and cantorial students signed an “appeal to the heart of the Jewish community.” The document, which was circulated online and then published in the Forward, echoed the anti-Israel rhetoric that was then pouring forth from the halls of the academy, major newspapers and television stations, and various celebrities and activists. Alvin Rosenfeld comments:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: American Jewry, American Judaism, Hamas, Idiocy, Rabbis