Few thinkers have had so great an influence on the American Constitution and regime as the British philosopher John Locke (1632–1704). Among his most prominent works is A Letter Concerning Toleration, which makes one of the earliest and most important arguments for religious freedom. Rafi Eis explores what Jews and the Jewish state can learn from this document:
What Jews Can Learn from John Locke
Is American Jewish Liberalism Dying?
In the 1930s, a Republic Jewish judge, observing his coreligionists’ commitment to the Democratic party, quipped, in Yiddish, that Jews have three velt (worlds): di velt (this world), yene velt (the next world), and Roosevelt. Since then, Jewish devotion has attenuated somewhat, although Jews still overwhelming lean Democratic. Most American Jews, however, are unfamiliar with the terms “this world” or “the next world” in any language. Carefully examining a wealth of statistical data, Samuel J. Abrams and Jack Wertheimer argue that the sort of robust Jewish liberalism that characterized U.S. Jewry a few decades ago is in steep decline. Jews, they explain, are undergoing their own version of what political scientists call the “great sort,” whereby politics, religion, and place of residence increasingly align: