To Turn to Judaism Is to Turn toward Life

Earlier this month, a left-wing Catholic journalist wrote an essay about the joys of young motherhood—provoking a storm of outrage, mostly on social media, from fellow educated leftists. Nellie Bowles sees in this hostility to the creation of new life evidence of a new breed of “nihilism” that is rapidly beginning to resemble a “death cult.”

Apocalypse is around the corner. Exhaustion is the mode. To create children is ecoterrorism. Parents are the oppressor class. . . . As the window sign on my block—right next to the Black Lives Matter sign—reminds me: existence is pain. This cult happens to be run by the luckiest people in the history of the world—a group who has healthier longer lives and more leisure and more power than their ancestors could have even imagined.

New data have shown just how sharply the fertility rate in wealthy countries is falling. That’s a very real thing. But according to [these nihilists], to care about the plunging birthrate . . . around the world is, for some reason, . . . racism, so we can’t even talk about it without risking the ire of the apocalypse-now brigade and, of course, our jobs.

Anyway, it’s sad. I think there will be a lot of heartbreak in a few years as millennial uterus-having people realize we are, by and large, middle-aged women. And that while children are by no means the whole purpose of life, they’re a potentially wonderful part of it.

I see my conversion [to Judaism] in part as a turn away from all this sort of thinking, and there’s lots of ways to phrase that turn. But I guess I could just say the obvious: Judaism is, in fact, not a death cult. And I like that about it.

Read more at Chosen by Choice

More about: Children, Fertility, Judaism, Progressivism


When It Comes to Peace with Israel, Many Saudis Have Religious Concerns

Sept. 22 2023

While roughly a third of Saudis are willing to cooperate with the Jewish state in matters of technology and commerce, far fewer are willing to allow Israeli teams to compete within the kingdom—let alone support diplomatic normalization. These are just a few results of a recent, detailed, and professional opinion survey—a rarity in Saudi Arabia—that has much bearing on current negotiations involving Washington, Jerusalem, and Riyadh. David Pollock notes some others:

When asked about possible factors “in considering whether or not Saudi Arabia should establish official relations with Israel,” the Saudi public opts first for an Islamic—rather than a specifically Saudi—agenda: almost half (46 percent) say it would be “important” to obtain “new Israeli guarantees of Muslim rights at al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Haram al-Sharif [i.e., the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem.” Prioritizing this issue is significantly more popular than any other option offered. . . .

This popular focus on religion is in line with responses to other controversial questions in the survey. Exactly the same percentage, for example, feel “strongly” that “our country should cut off all relations with any other country where anybody hurts the Quran.”

By comparison, Palestinian aspirations come in second place in Saudi popular perceptions of a deal with Israel. Thirty-six percent of the Saudi public say it would be “important” to obtain “new steps toward political rights and better economic opportunities for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.” Far behind these drivers in popular attitudes, surprisingly, are hypothetical American contributions to a Saudi-Israel deal—even though these have reportedly been under heavy discussion at the official level in recent months.

Therefore, based on this analysis of these new survey findings, all three governments involved in a possible trilateral U.S.-Saudi-Israel deal would be well advised to pay at least as much attention to its religious dimension as to its political, security, and economic ones.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Islam, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia, Temple Mount