Catholic vs. Jew - 2017-10-21 - Dr. Abraham Weizfeld

Author Recorded Saturday October 21st, 2017

There are 5 episodes in the Versus:Jew series.

Recorded January 11th, 2018

Catholic vs. Jew - 2018-01-11 - Jana

Recorded February 4th, 2017

Catholic vs. Jew - 2017-02-04 - Natalie

Dr. Weizfeld identifies as an 'Orthodox Jewish Agnostic'. I met him about 20 years ago. Part of the year he chooses to live in the West Bank in a city called Nablus, which is the location of the very important Old Testament city of Shechem. He has a PhD in Political Science.To be my guest, email me at : CVS.Podcast@gmail.com


Catholic vs. Jew - 2017-10-21 - Dr. Abraham Weizfeld

Author Recorded November 6th, 2016

audio


video

transcript
These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi I'm dr. Abraham vice veld and you're listening to Catholic versus Jew if you could just tell the listeners a little bit about yourself who you are what you believe and how you came to believe it okay I was born to to Jewish parents from Poland who were refugees I'm second generation Holocaust survivor and I was raised in the Irish language as an Orthodox Jewish person and nowadays I call myself up Orthodox Jewish agnostic so that's where I am and that's where I come from were you raised with religion and belief in God and did you pray as a child before meals and that night oh I was raised Orthodox you know I went to Heder Talmud Torah school and the evenings you know after the Protestant school in the afternoons I went to evening school for two hours and we translated the Torah from Hebrew into English you know sentence by sentence paragraph by paragraph day after day year after year so I was uh I did my bar mitzvah you know in both the Hebrew and Aramaic as well I sang my haftorah did you believe in God at an early age oh yes of course you know even though we never spoke about God anymore you know because it was not an appropriate subject you know for Holocaust survivors to be discussing because one could not sort of a accommodate God within the context of our living experience and so you know to avoid the question of the responsibility of God or the non responsibility of God you know the Holocaust we avoided talking about God and this is you know Orthodox Jewish you know tradition in any case you know you don't talk about God because you know you think you don't take God's name in vain you don't talk about Hashem as he's called for no good reason no how old are you today if you don't I'm asking oh I'm 69 years old now if you compare your faith in God from when you were very young until today did it go up and down or was it constantly the same well you know we're very constrained you know like very sort of rigid you know conception of religion so it was said you know that if one change from being a believer to a non-believer than one would die God would take a retribution on you so when I met in high school a friend of mine who became a neurosurgeon and he was neethu stand he was Jewish and he pointed out that he was still alive that's I met an atheist then and so I had to serve you know change in my conception some degree and I did and then at the age of 14 under the influence of the on Stinney n'r evolution which is actually an endeavor to explain what God is in 1905 you know when he came up with his theory this revolution caused a revolution in my own thinking as well and I became more interested in physics and studying physics than I was in them maintaining a religious you know perspective so I became non-religious at that point and I went on to study physics at the University but then I changed the politics and did my PhD in political science said you come because of the necessity you know of dealing with you know social issues in existence so what do you think happens to you when you die what's the best-case scenario and what's the worst-case scenario oh there's a big difference you know between Orthodox Judaism and Christianity because in the way I was taught you know there was no paradise there was no help when you died you died and that you have to follow the law and then in Yom Kippur you know after New Year's in September you were supposed to regret all the the laws that you had not kept you know and all the sense that you are committed and you were supposed to take on a sense of them and you were supposed to pray for forgiveness basically and then you would be inscribed in it in the book of life for the coming year and that was it no paradise just the book of life at Yom Kippur okay so there's an annihilation of your soul at death oh yeah there is a concept of a soul but the soul does not continue to exist because the soul is considered to be a form of consciousness I think and then Freud elaborated this into you know the various levels of the soul which are described you know in the Torah as well and in which he developed a whole theory of consciousness and and sub consciousness you know it alter ego in the subconscious you know which became you know the more scientific expressions of what are to be found in in terms of what is called the soul and Judaism so is it safe to say that today right now you believe that if you were to die you would just be gone yes there's a sort of which continues to exist as it goes thereafter okay and so what motivation do you have to do the right thing to be good what is the basis of your morality if there's no consequence whatsoever because of your respect ah and obedience to God as a slave and you have to fear God not only be a slave but you have to fear God because you see like it Yom Kippur if you don't you know repent for your sins and you are not sincere in trying to follow the law of God then you could be not inscribed in the book of life with coming year and you could die in the coming year that's what the Orthodox Jews believe but what do you believe well for me morality is a case of ethics I make a distinction between morality which are just a law of God and the retribution thereafter and ethics ethics has a logical foundation but it's very close to morality you know because morality also has the logical foundation to it but it is reinforced you know by the will of God ethics is reinforced by logic alone and ethics you know unethical approach to life and other humans and animals and the environment etc is a matter of logic you know like if you don't respect their life in general then you know eventually our life will die you know it's as simple as that but that's gonna happen anyway right the universe will not sustain biological life indefinitely yes the theory of thermodynamics by Maxwell the law of entropy so what is the basis of ethics rationally speaking if nothing we do has any lasting consequences and the the universe is destined for the heat death well life this is some rationale if we are alive and we are then we do with it what we can and we enjoy it as we can without denying any of those rights you know to any other person as well and in my doctoral thesis I develop a principle of reciprocity and that is that all the rights that we seek for ourselves can only be accomplished in general and in a Manor and for the maximum number of people by a principle of reciprocity that which we wish for ourselves we must recognize in others as well the golden rule the Golden Rule yeah which has in all the religions philosophies of the world there's various expressions which repeat the same thing but what would prevent someone from calculating a way to maximize his own personal pleasure and profit and luxury at the expense of others with low risk of ever being found out and going to his grave rich happy healthy and fully satisfied in all his animal lusts and desires what would prevent him from doing that nothing we have the example of Trump now in office you know precisely Machiavellian you know logic and he's really very good Machiavellian you know and narcissism you know is the principle of individualism that was perpetuated by Protestantism that divine will is trying to seek the best for the individual and and so in order to seek success and prosperity in life one must be religious and you know respect God and follow the will of God and then God will reward you with a prosperous and etc life plus paradise as well you know so how would you convince someone that believes that to come over to a more reciprocal point of view yeah well you know once you know that the existence of God was dismissed by Nietzsche and morality fell to the wayside you know as a result either one developed a theory of ethics or one just may do without any morality or any ethics which is what Nietzsche ISM you know is all about you know in my podcast I rarely talk about politics because I'm not interested but I know that you're involved in the political sort of philosophy of the Middle East so I'm going to make an exception for my podcast and I'm gonna allow you to sort of elaborate on that I find it boring because I don't understand it but maybe you can break through my thick skull here and just talk in general terms so that the audience could understand what your life's work spin about well in fear what I've done is that now I got to live in Palestine with the Palestinians in the city of Nablus and the people who know me you know know that I'm Jewish but they accept me and they welcome me you know so I living there I am demonstrating that you know the different religions and the different cultures and international identities as national identities can live together you know without you know violence you know that it is possible and in fact you know even within you know 367 Israel in the cities of akka Yaffa and Haifa the populations are mixed you know half half you know Jewish you know Muslim Palestinian and they're living together you know and it's quiet there then you know it's the most peaceful part of the countries you know those cities there and it's in Jerusalem where the government is trying to divide the population along what's called the separation principle which one of the early Russian Zionist theoreticians called a separation principle when that is being implemented it generates violence in cultural terms you know I wanna can explain the political dynamics without getting boring and without getting lost as saying that you know between peoples it is possible to live together but when we talk about you know the political superstructures the state structures that are established over peoples then you get into trouble you know because then you have the military you have the power which corrupts etc and you know by necessity people are gonna have to change their orientation to how they see themselves you know living you with their cultural identity and not depend upon you know an army to guarantee their security but rather guarantee their security by mutually guaranteeing the security of those that you live with when you have a mutual Treaty of reciprocity then you have mutual security as well mmm so what have you learned about power and why does it make people hateful because power allows those who have who hold the power who control the power to reap tremendous advantages if they find that the power enables them to create things that are beneficial for themselves so but we should use the wealth that we have in our generating to do things that you know free university education where everybody because you know the robots are taking over and they're gonna do all the work for us you know so well we do with our lives you know we live we live and learn you know that's what we do with our lives are you a fan of Karl Marx's philosophy or at first I was enchanted with Marx yes and with the Trotsky Leon Trotsky Lev Bronstein is his Jewish name but the problem is that both Marx and Trotsky were assimilationists they were giving up on their own culture and calling themselves either German or Russian in order to hold a position of power because you know they wanted to have power within the state over a largely Russian Christian population and so it wasn't you know advantageous for Trotsky to proclaim that is his Jewish you know because he wouldn't he'd get to keep his position of power and eventually that was one of the reasons for his downfall because Stalin was able to utilize a Russian nationalism to monopolize power and eventually assassinate Trotsky you know got in his way so both Marx and Trotsky were mistaken in that respect and and Marx who was very overt about you know his assimilation ISM he wrote a pamphlet in 1848 called on the Jewish Question which is not even a question as far as I'm concerned and which he'd called for assimilation in order for the Jewish people to be liberated and in fact he was himself raised in a Lutheran household because his parents were Jewish converted to being Lutheran in order to facilitate his mobility is upward mobility and probably it did help him you know to get his University PhD but I have the cost of his own culture and his own you know religious beliefs you know it's that's not just the Bible what would you say about political correctness can you talk a little bit about cultural Marxism and the connection between cultural Marxism and political correctness and how it's going astray today well political correctness is sort of a popular conception of what you know revolutionary theory should be about when one talks about historical progression and talks about the advances to be made in terms of social cohesion and societal construction by means of constituent assembly etc the cruder forms of such expressions are to be found in various cliches cliches are the big thing you know like people sort of learn more so from osmosis than they do from reading books so they learn oh it's correct to say this but not correct to say that and then that's they do they follow that but they don't know why or maybe if they choose to think about it further they can you know find out a little bit you know why that's correct but they don't really know the deeper meaning you know of the terms that they are using so like the term race used to be a term that was considered to be a scientific term and the word is called race is actually a misnomer and is actually a name for what are known in sociology as national identities so culture is fundamental you know the humans and has been called race but it is not a biological race at all and what we see in terms of you know biological differences in terms of color and size of whatever you know is actually a certain genetic heritage that we get from various areas of the world like I'm half somatic because the Ashkenazi Jewish population is composed of all those descendants of Jewish traders and slaves who were brought to Rome who enter married with the European woman who converted to being Jewish and so you know the Ashkenazi Jewish people are called Ashkenazi because in Hebrew Ashkenazi means German so we are the German Jews and that's why we speak Yiddish and my Yiddish you know which is my first language it cannot read me the chocolate my Irish is German dialect and I can understand German as a result so have you done your DNA testing yet no would you be interested to find out what your genetic test told you about your heritage or no well I I know pretty well because my parents and all their ancestors you know we're all the Ducks Jewish which meant that they didn't mix other than with the original sort of the Jewish residence in Rome mixing with European women we have a Semitic background and the Semitic background you know originally comes you know with the heritage brought by Abraham from where from Mesopotamia and where's that Iraq from this in the province of Sumeria that's why I'm named Abraham because I was named after my grandfather was named after his grandfather etc all the way back to the original Abraham and of course Abraham first son is Ishmael who became the father of the Arab nations so all the Arabs are a Semitic as the Jewish people are can I ask you a couple of cultural questions about Judaism in general sure yeah first of all humor why are Jews funny because the Jews are oppressed and so in order to repel humor is a form of rebellion against oppression so if you can laugh that means that you are surviving that you're doing well at that moment and that you don't care about being oppressed at that moment that everything's okay that you are going to be okay and that you will survive and things will get better I have another question for you what is it about Jews and money why do they have the reputation of liking money being good with money being smart with money well that's a matter of survival see because well first of all Jews became very expert in import-export and in banking because Jewish people could communicate on an international basis by using the Hebrew language because they had a common language okay and in Europe young Irish was a common language in which Jewish people could communicate you know from one country to another so they were able to make exchanges of one sort or another in terms of either you know loans or goods you know for import/export in an easy way and also the the people of each of their countries became dependent upon them for the import/export and for the banking services because they themselves were not able to engage in such international commerce so the Jews were expert in international relations and economic terms and so this became a basis for the anti-semitic theory that the Jewish people controlled you of the world economy which is a wild exaggeration say least if you look at the Forbes top 500 wealthiest people in the world you'll find about eight Jewish people and amongst those you'll find the Zuka burg and the sorrows who are billionaires yes but they're not pro scientists so the pros honest Lobby is certainly not a dominant affair it is a lobby but subject to the much greater forces that are prevalent in the world like the military-industrial complex of the United States can you talk a little bit about Islam the religion Islam is a very progressive religion if one wants to talk about a judeo-christian tradition needs to be found in Islam but it is not to be found in Christianity Christianity has associated itself from Judaism and has recreated the notions of heaven and hell and also the notions of the the demigod you know as Hercules and a Greek mythology and which the word that Greek word Christ has been used and applied to you have schewe been Yakko who is the call Jesus Christ in Christian theology so the differences between Judaism and Christianity were exaggerated by the various forms of Christianity even though percent ISM self to reunify with Judaism by translating the Torah as a text of Christianity which was a progressive step but Islam has adopted all the books but today ISM and Christianity to become a religion which does not follow a national identity alone which does not follow an exclusive religious identity alone but rather is an inclusive religion that welcomes others to join in it and only became militaristic in it and expansionist with the bear-bear nations who became converted to Islam in North Africa and expanded to include Spain as well which then came into conflict you know the countervailing Christian Crusades which reek kurz pain then when on to seek to conquer the Holy Land as well but Islam has sought to achieve a historical advance on the previous religious expressions and I respect Islam for that reason and it is generally speaking at isla religion but when confronted with a crusade it has provisions for resistance and what we have had happened since the First World War was the British reconquest of Jerusalem and when general Allenby walked into Jerusalem his famous words were this is the last crusade that is exactly what we have you know as the conflict you know in Jerusalem nowadays between Islam and the Zionist Christian motif the Balfour Declaration that general Allenby and then later the occupation of Palestine by the Zionists militias all are a trilogy of events you know which are all related to each other and is provoked you know the al-aqsa Intifada which is the Intifada that's continuing now and which is represented more so by Hamas which claims the the rights of Islam in Jerusalem which is denied by the Zionist governments you know with the the more extreme right-wing political parties which what exclusive control over the Temple Mount as it's called which is now the al-aqsa mosque so it's a very you know interesting and dangerous time that we are living in okay and what about the level of atheism or agnosticism in Jerusalem it's estimated that 20 percent of Jewish people are religious only 20 percent however in Israel it's 38 percent and in Jerusalem it's about 50 percent very high dominance of Kassadin who are not Zionists who refused military service even refused to vote in Israel's elections so when you look into it you know it's much more complex then it's portrayed to be you know by the Zionist spokespersons the Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem are they highly religious Nablus you know like 99% of the population are Muslim and and strictly Muslim 99% or more of the women even the young women wear the hijab you know they could be hair covering and I mean they can be you know like as progressive as anybody else you know leftist and everything like that but they'll still be wearing a hijab because it's a cultural identity and they maintain Islam as a cultural identity as well and it's also Islam provides the Palestinians with a sense of perspective and hope in terms of overcoming the military occupation so Islam plays this role that politics has not been able to fulfill politics has been a disappointment and the Palestinians are very critical of the Palestinian Authority which has been supervising the occupation in conjunction with the with the Israel's military so Islam has replaced politics as a belief system and as a life perspective what about Isis and all those extremes terrorist forms of Islam can you just talk in very general terms because I don't understand any of that just sort of explain it to me how does that fit in between politics and religion where does it lie - or Isis or the Islamic caliphate or the Islamic state is has its foundation in Islam as well when one talks about jihad against occupation or against the crusade it resembles what is being called jihad by the - movement only they are using it in a very sectarian way to oppose anybody who is not a believer in their own belief system so it becomes an exclusivist you know project much like the berber islamist expansionist of tennessee that took place that took over spain at one point but one has to take note that this jihadist extremism for the most part took place within the countries that were under occupation like afghanistan which used to be under russian communist occupation when ammaji he didn't were being supported by the CIA to expel the Russian occupation then became you know the al-qaeda formation against the American occupation of Afghanistan thereafter then the jihadist you know marching haydn Taliban which took over from that and but they were always within their own countries what the OSH did is became an international jihad against the Western military occupations of Oriental countries so that was a one step up now the - expanded into terrorist operations against civilians within the Western countries and so taking you offensive against the Western countries much like the Western countries to the offensive against the Islamic countries by military occupation so I mean for the jihadis of the - kind it's easy for them to justify what they are doing because they are merely doing what the Western Crusaders are doing to a lesser degree so it's easy for them to justify that even though they are violating the precepts of Islam which are pacifist and the respect you know life you know of all sorts so it's something that need not be but is at the present time until there will be no more military occupation of the Islamic law you know cultures and that and the territories in which they live so it's a geopolitical question as well so this is a sort of a strange question for you but what's your favorite religion so I have an affinity for my Judaism but I also have much respect for Islam but Christianity scares the hell out of me because I'm second generation Holocaust survivor it's part of my post-traumatic stress disorder but if that's what you wanted to practice you know then that's okay with me you know no big deal I wonder if you are a harbinger of a tendency in the Catholic religious culture that will bring about revolutionary change within that particular religious culture now we see indications of this in two phenomena one in the Catholic Latin American tradition of liberation theology and then certainly in the current Pope who has a certain affinity to presenting himself as a progressive figure so I think that you are perhaps part of a greater Tennessee which will have a an interesting effect and create a change which will overcome many of the false in that religious culture that were perpetuated previously I don't consider myself a progressive but can you define the term progressive would be somebody who would agree to live and let live you know and that they wish to live in their own fashion in their with our culture their own religion but they don't find it abhorrent that other people will live in other religious tennessee's unlike the new bill 62 you know of the Quebec legislature which doesn't consider it to be unacceptable that somebody else will choose to display their differing or religious culture according to your definition I'm definitely a progressive whenever I see a Hasidic Jew in my land with their characteristic garb or whenever I see a Muslim woman with a hijab I love it I want to see more of that frankly I want more modesty in dress in general for Christian women because I find that they're showing too much skin I find that it's attractive to look at a woman's breasts when she's exposing them and I don't want that because I'm already happily married I don't want to see every woman's breasts right even though they're beautiful but I don't want that temptation so I prefer to see a Muslim woman that I know that she is very modest in public anyway and what comes to mind when I see a Muslim woman is God Almighty but when I see a Christian woman with her breasts hanging out I think about sex yes the Protestant individualism it has been translated by Protestant women to be an affirmation of their own sexuality because they know the power of their own sexuality and they want to use this power for their own virtual reasons but at the same time that the Christian Protestant you know political culture allows for other women to display themselves you know in a prideful manner at the same time they reject the attention which it creates in the in their bodies as well so you know it's it's hypocritical in a way you know and modesty can be a very attractive feature you know when I'm speaking with Muslim women and I and I'm looking at their face and concentrating on their eyes and their mouths when they are speaking I have a much higher degree of communication with the women and then I'm communicating with the Muslim women as people and not just as a woman now so Muslim women who don't want to communicate don't want to expose themselves to being looked at so they were avail okay the real reason you know for the you know a suppression of a face veil is because it is a Christian dress code that is being imposed on the population in general and also in the National Assembly we have Christian cross which is being imposed on the National Assembly as well which is still hanging there and even here in in the Marielle on top of the mountain we have a Christian cross which is being held for all to look up at and consider to be the character of the city so I object to all of these religious manifestations so the cross the National Assembly should be removed okay so I'd like to end on a positive note so just to wrap up the interview what would you say to anyone that's out there listening now well humans are a social animal and humans like to be in the company of other humans and humans love other humans the basic tendency is for humans to love one another he reason why there is alienation in society is because of an imposition that is contrary to the natural tendency of human nature now to be happier one should become conscious of the factors that are being imposed upon one's life that are contrary to one's human nature once one becomes conscious of these contrary tendencies and impositions one can overcome them with one's own consciousness and therefore overcome the fears that one has the neuroses that one has and be able to approach other people in a social manner that will open up a whole avenue of life that one didn't think was possible previously all you got to do is all you got to do all you got to do

transcript2
These ReWatch transcripts are also generated automatically and are therefore sometimes improperly unformatted and replete with errors.