As far as I can tell, mine is the first attempt to clarify the position that one can be anti-illegal immigration without laying aside Jewish practice, specifically the practices of praying in Aramaic and Hebrew, and speaking Yiddish or some other Jewish dialect as one’s first language.
I was inspired to make this current attempt after reading this assertion that, as good Jews, we should support illegal immigration because, if we don’t, we’ll have to forego the above-mentioned practices since we’re doing the same things we accuse the illegal aliens from Mexico of doing.
The linked post accuses those of us who support a policy of English being the official language of the United States and requiring that English be spoken when conducting business of being racists, when that’s absolutely false, unless you’re already a nut who’s just using the anti-illegal immigration debate as an excuse to further your already racist views.
I’m not going to make any comments on the book mentioned in DovBear’s post, since I don’t have a copy and haven’t read it.
All I’ve read is a second-hand assertion that Congressman J.D. Hayworth espouses Henry Ford’s anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic views.
Before I proceed further, I want to point out that I would give a Democratic congressman or woman the same benefit of the doubt I’m giving this Republican.
It’s a matter of not having consulted the original sources fueling this latest rage, not of any loyalty to the Republican party, which I do not happen to feel in the first place due to my belief that the Republican party and administration have blatantly disregarded what are in my book fundamental Conservative principals.
The argument that traditional Jews, “Orthodox as well as any other Jew who prays publicly in Hebrew), should support illegal immigration is false on several grounds.
First of all, I don’t know of any reasonable individual who opposes the use of some other language than English in private settings, or even non-official or non-commercial settings.
In other words, all we expect is that individuals conduct their government and other official business, as well as business transactions in which the seller speaks English as a primary language, in English.
What’s so wrong with that?
It’s not logical to expect that everyone be fluent in multiple languages, just in case someone happens to come by to conduct business and they don’t speak English.
That would mean putting everyone through mandatory language training, in Spanish as well as whatever other language the pro-illegal pundits could think of.
It’s neither possible nore practical.
Jews, (even the ones who pray in Hebrew and speak Jewish dialects at home), still manage to conduct their business in English, because they understand that most of their clientell aren’t familiar with whatever dialect they speak, and so English becomes the common ground.
Jewish businessmen don’t do that because the law tells them they have to, it’s simple common sense.
If you want to live in a country whose majority speaks English, then you have to learn it.
It’s that simple.
Secondly, there’s the issue of assimilation.
People like DovBear contend that those of us who would require English to be spoken in public situations are in favor of complete and total assimilation of immigrants, to the point where their native culture is totally done away with and they become plain old, white-bread Americans.
This is also untrue.
Henry Ford may have required that of his workers, and wished it on everyone else, but Henry Ford was an extremist.
Once again, I’m having a hard time finding a reasonable individual who advocates this.
We don’t care how people dress, or what food they eat, or even what language they speak in private.
All we’re asking for is that immigrants to this country adapt enough to be able to interact with our society when necessary.
They don’t have to speak perfect English.
They can even speak English with a thick accent.
They should, however, have to be able to speak enough English to make themselves understood.
Thirdly, advocates of forced official multi-lingualism can only create strawmen to support their case.
After creating strawmen like “you’re all racists,” “you all hate brown people,” ETC., they knock down the strawmen, and thus feel they have won the debate.
However, if all that can be mustered in support of an argument are strawmen, then it can be said with reasonable accuracy that the debate hasn’t just been lost, it’s been forfeited.
“The Brown People” shouldn’t be kept out of the country altogether, but they should be made to follow the laws already in place, which include not trespassing over the border.
That having been said, I think we can all agree that the immigration laws in this country are in desperate need of reform.
It’s ridiculous to ask legal immigrants to wait twenty years or more to earn their citizenship.
It’s just as ridiculous for non-citizens to expect to sneak over the border to live here and partake of government benefits and not pay any penalty.
Anyone who thinks we can just accept hordes of people streaming over our borders to feed on government benefits indefinitely is naive at best, and willfully ignorant at worst.
Lastly, there’s the actual issue of prayer.
Last time I checked, I don’t hear any anti-illegals screaming that people must pray in English during their worship services.
In regard to praying for Israel, my Siddur, (which happens to be an Orthodox one), contains not only a prayer for Israel, but a prayer for our government as well, which is recited on Sabbaths and Festivals during the Torah service.
For my non-Jewish readers who may be unfamiliar with Jewish liturgy, the prayer reads as follows:
Prayer For The Government
He who granted victory to kings and dominion to princes, His kingdom is a kingdom of all ages; He who delivered His servant David from the evil sword, He who opened a road through the sea, a path amid the mighty waters–may He bless and protect, help and exalt the President and the Vice-President and all the officers of this country.
May the Supreme King of kings, in His mercy, sustain them and deliver them from all distress and misfortune.
May the Supreme King of kings, in His mercy, inspire them and all their counselors and aides to deal kindly with us and with all Israel.
In their days and in our days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security, and a redeemer shall come to Zion.
May this be the will of God; and let us say, Amen.
(Hasidur Hashalem, Phillip Birnbaum trans., p380).
I think this pretty much does away with the assertion that Jews who pray in Hebrew are just as unpatriotic as the illegal immigrants are.
Illegal immigrants aren’t seeking the welfare of this country, they’re seeking its destruction, especially the “Atzlanistas”.
And those not necessarily in favor of reclaiming the supposed former homeland of the Atzlanistas aren’t exactly discouraging them.
Those who protested earlier this year against our laws, waving Mexican flags while they shouted for legitimization didn’t just display their disloyalty in their religious establishments, they flaunted it publicly.
And there lies the crucial difference.
Jews pray for the welfare of their brothers and sisters in Israel as well as other parts of the diaspora, along with praying for the welfare of the government under which they reside, even going so far as to refer to the United States as a Medinah shel Chessed, (a Kind State).
Illegal immigrants aren’t upholding the laws of this country, they act as if they don’t matter in the slightest by sneaking over the border, practicing fraud in order to receive government benefits, even going so far as to steal the identity of minors in order to do so.
Mexican illegals, as well as anyone else who makes demands on a country they aren’t even citizens of display an incredible amount of arrogance and presumption, and that arrogance and presumption, not some deep-seated prejudice, is what has provoked the backlash from natural-born and legalized citizens who care about the welfare of this country.