Peoplehood as an end in itself can’t withstand our increasingly fluid Jewish identities, Deborah Waxman writes. What about peoplehood as a means to something greater?
We’ve gotten a lot of response to Daniel Septimus’ op-ed, taking on Misha Galperin and his “peoplehood agenda.” Because there seems to be interest in this debate — one that has high stakes for, at the very least, the future of the Jewish Agency if not the Jewish community as a whole — I’ve just posted a response by Galperin to Septimus.
I’ve received some interesting responses to an op-ed we ran recently in the paper. The piece was written by Misha Galperin, a top official at the Jewish Agency, who has overseen that quasi-governmental body’s shift from focusing on immigration to Israel, which was its mission for many decades, to something called “peoplehood” promotion.
On Purim, the standard Jewish holiday cliffnote, “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat” gets a special addition: “Let’s help other people eat, too.” Purim, which starts Saturday night and goes through Sunday, is a holiday that not only requires a banquet (se’udah), but also that we send gifts of good food to our friends, and help out the less fortunate in our community, as per Mordecai’s specific request in the book of Esther: “And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters to all the Jews…that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending food one to another, and gifts to the poor.”(Esther 9:20-22)