The broigus or the non-willingness to talk to the other-one or enemy, has created more non-understanding and ridiculous division instead of co-operation or acceptance of differences.
Still today there is perhaps even more exclusion in Judaism and unnecessary isolation and exclusion, instead of getting to know each other more and working together as equals working for and showing the same love for the Same One True God.
- Jews survived + adapted by holding firmly to their defensive creed
- Jews complaining > their communities suffering from inter-ethnic + intergenerational conflict.
- modern Ashkenazi Jews developed peculiar way of expressing anger at one another => makes our family quarrels unusually prolonged + bitter. > demand more justice of others than prepared to offer => quarrels = so obdurate because desire more justice than available in this world.
- Quarrelers = adept at enmeshing the unwary.
- In most cultures an angry person longs to unload his rage on the wrongdoer > Jewish quarreler, in contrast, prides him or herself on not talking to the offender > elaborate endlessly to anyone on the injustice he’s suffered—with the crucial exception of the putative wrongdoer.
- broigus = “a fight where people won’t talk to each other.” > Not talking = most distinguishes Jewish quarrel from all other kinds
- absence of contact with the alleged wrongdoer, quarrels become obdurate => quarrel becomes a theodicy
- quarrelsomeness = Jewish fate > biblical books + rabbinic literature replete with admonitions against stiff-necked pride.
- Ashkenazi quarrel =/= fate = pronounced moral/theological dimension that makes it appear that way.
- having possession = experienced as a proxy for a permanent + living closeness
- hahamim in some Sephardic Jewish communities > contrasts with contemporary Ashkenazi rabbinate who tend to duck out when the swinging starts. > struggle for dominance within a family is ancient + ubiquitous, but willingness to destroy the family in pursuit of it is not.
- Other quarrelsome cultures tend to focus on outsiders (the IRA versus Britain) or nonfamilial rivals (competing Mafia families).
- sources of Jewish inwardness = anti-Semitism on the one side (including the inheritance of the Holocaust), + excesses of modern Jewish piety on the other.
- Anti-Semitism leaves Jews with no obvious point of escape: => secular + religious Jews feel compelled to view their origin as a burdensome fate + their brethren as source of their problem. => In their desire to free themselves from Jew-hatred, Jews turn their bitterness on—other Jews.
- salient features of Jewish quarrel in Holy Land—inwardness, sternness, shunning, claim to own the faith and its history implied in the very terms “Orthodox” + “Haredim,” > will to self-destruction = remarkably similar to Ashkenazi quarrels among secular Jews in the West.
- nasty feuds regularly kicked off within synagogues by disgruntled congregants anxious to disengage themselves from a rabbi—often a learned, decent man, + almost never one so base or negligent as to deserve the public humiliation his congregants dish out.
- Family peace requires placing tensions + dissatisfactions native to family life in a larger frame.
- Jewish communal institutions have lost ability to curb disastrous secularization of pious impulses. > rabbinate dependent on wealthy donors + too exposed to forces of the Jewish quarrel, to dare the attempt.
- Ashkenazi quarrel = outcome of approaching inheritance + other family matters with a misplaced religious zeal.
- quarrel = shadow of Ashkenazi Judaism