Talk:Jewish fundamentalism

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Talk:Jewish fundamentalism/Archive 1

Definition of "Jewish fundamentalism"[edit]

A problematic issue in the definition of "Jewish fundamentalism" is that we tend to either approach it from the point of view of extreme (or super-dogmatic) religious beliefs, or from the point of view of extreme political beliefs, and from the outside it looks like these are different phenomena. However, I believe it is true that most of the people we would agree to call "Jewish fundamentalists" do not distinguish between the religious and the political. Actually they see it as the same thing, and maybe that is one of their distinguishing characteristics. Another comment about the article is that belief in "Greater Israel" is not really a defining belief of the group even though it is a frequent belief amongst them. I think that a more universal set of beliefs concerns the overall position of Jews vis-a-vis Arabs (or gentiles in general) in relation to Israel. The idea that only Jews have a legitimate role in government decision making is common example of this, but there are many. Usually these "political" beliefs are supported by "religious" argument, which is an example of what I said earlier. --zero 10:06, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)


I find it a bit disheartening that so many Wikipedia articles about Jewish issues degenerate into discussion that has as much to do with the personalities involved as the issues. Hopefully, all would agree that this article needs to be reworked at least a bit. So, it might be best if we moved to suggestions as to how to improve it:

  • Although many people claim that the "religious" and "political" sides of fundamentalism are the same, I think it's still convenient to present them under separate headings to make it clean, and then discuss the extent to which the 2 strands involve the same people etc.
  • The religious part is biased against "fundamentalists". I'll change one sentence in a minute but more revisions are welcome.
  • I strenuously disagree with the idea that fundamentalists see rabbinic literature as "infallible" - complete infallibility is impossible if the Gemara itself occasionally fixes the wording of a Mishnah in what it sees as an error! Perhaps this should be softened to something like "these texts are viewed as almost-canonical in that they are assumed to be consistent and completely correct if there isn't substantial evidence to the contrary". After all, noone (including fundamentalists) takes the medical advice of Avodah Zarah 28-29 today, as it is understood that that was a product of a medical knowledge we know to be imperfect.

Hopefully this should inspire responses as to how to change the actual article (as opposed to the world at large!). Frikle 05:55, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Actually, I have met many Orthodox rabbis and laypeople who do belive that the medical advice of the Talmud is correct. They simply hold that it is correct in a limited number of cases, and not in all cases. Time and again I have seen Orthodox essays by people saying "Modern doctors are learning again that the Talmud was correct all along". I think that you are underestimating the fundamentalism in the theologically right-wing Orthodox Jewish community. RK

Dovi, great recent changes. RK 14:32, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, sorry we got off to a rough start.Dovi 03:20, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)
That's interesting. Reminds me of a school camp where a madrich was telling us about tractate R.H. and how one Rabbi's opinion about there being 100-something stars in the Orion was proved exactly correct by astronomers - even though most of the stars aren't visible to the naked eye - and that that's evidence that the Oral Law can't be of human origin. When I asked how we know that the Talmud is talking about the Orion, since it's in Aramaic he seemed to think we just do. So, I grant, there is a range of degrees of fundamentalism - some of which I and others would believe actually go against the Torah in the broader sense.
But I still think my point about cases when the Gemara amends the Mishna stands. Also, I strongly doubt that the case of medical advice, along with other fundamentalist things are believed by all or even most Orthodox Jews. I still think the sentence should be changed (1) to avoid the impression that this is a majority and (2) to avoid the impression that a fundamentalist view holds that, say every letter of the Shulchan Aruch was dictated by God (although there may be people who believe even that, they definitely aren't in the majority) - as the above 2 impressions can still be derived from the article. Frikle 09:14, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I agree Dovi. I've just seen this article for the first time now, and your changes are a vast improvement. Jayjg 05:00, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"Jewish fundamentalism" vs other religions' "fundamentalism"[edit]

The first part of this article makes me rather uncomfortable! I mean, after all, religious "fundamentalism" these days is generally identified with the islamic kind that involves killing and blowing things up for the cause! I don't see anything remotely threataning in the description of orthodox judaism! As noted above, orthodox judaism is essentially a religious movement, not a political one (though there are orthodox jewish political parties in israel). In fact, even in the religious sense, calling orthodox judaism "fundamentalist" is disputable. Some things are indeed set in stone, but others are indeed changeable, as the article points out.

"True" jewish fundamentalism (of the kind that might be considered akin to the islamic brand) would be better represented by extremist elements of the settler movement, or the Kach movement (there's a link to it, but no mention in the article!) or individuals such as Yigal Amir, who assasinated israeli prime minister Yitzchak Rabin.

What do others think? I'd love to hear

I think that the two are closely connected: Read the opening description of Jewish Fundamentalism, in the article. The reactionary and/or rigid political stances frequently espoused by fundamentalist groups are usually acompanied by fundamentalist beliefs about scripture of the traditional kind, viz., that sacred books are to be understood literally, and are infallible, being of divine origin. In the Jewish example, you have a situation where the political position on the occupied territories (that they may not be returned to gentile control) is allied to the fundamentalist interpretation of Biblical or Talmudic passages about the Land of Israel. The two are not necessarily connected, but they frequently are, in practice. It's similar to Fundamentalist Christianity in the United States: If someone believes in a Fundamentalist approach to Scripture, he might agitate politically against legalized abortion, and against gay rights, for example. The issue of violence is derivative. That is, the extent to which someone who believes in "Fundamentalism" would use violence to further the perceived positions of Scripture is a secondary matter. However, it is more likely that any religious fundamentalist (Christian, Jewish, or Muslim) would resort to violence to further his purpose (bombing of abortion clinics, assassination of political leaders [Yitzhak Rabin], or terrorist attacks, take your pick), than an ordinary person, because belief in something as divine frequently inspires a more fanatical commitment. But that is my opinion only. 02:49, 18 November 2006 (UTC) Allen Roth

I've read that one of the rabbi's of the Gush Emunim said it was not immoral to kill an Arab. This is an example of violent fundamentalism. here are some links and 17:06, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

. It's just a balancing act to aid in a tu quoque argument for Islamic Fundamentalism or Christian Fundamentalism, which are real, are political movements, and are actually dangerous.

Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia about things that exist, not a soap box for every whackjob anti-semitic to propagate their bizarre ideas.

"Original Research" - give me a break. If I wrote an article on how to catch snipes based on personal research it would be taken down in five seconds. Delete this.-- 13:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

ridiculous. maybe you known nothing about Israeli history or maybe you are a fundementalist yourself who sees your way as the right way but this issue is real and widely recognized in Israel and has been a stumbling block toward peace in the region. if you want check out the links i've listed above. both are written by Jewish Israeli scholars and are definitely in no way anti-semetic. please don't spew that propagandist garbage on wikipedia.Amirman 17:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Definitions is muddled and confusing[edit]

The article is confused. First it has no sources, then it seems to define all Orthodoxy as fundementalist, lumps it all in together, and blames the settlement movement on fundementalism. It's confusing because most religious Jews would regard heradim us fundementalist, and if you ask a settler why he's not heradi he'd likely answer, "I'm not that religious;" with settlers being labeled, "Modernim" (Modern) by the heradim. ALso the settler movement is dominated by Modern Orthodoxy, which many heradi do not regard as orthodox at all. It could just be that the word "Fundementalism" cannot be used to describe any movement in Judaism in a meaningful way, and one will be forced to break the artificial label Orthodox down into more meaningful and specific fragments. Lastly, other than having violent ideology, Settlers are in no other way fundementalist. They usually have a very relaxed attitude towards halakhah, certainly don't interpret texts in a literal way more than other orthodox, their whole movement is only possible because they disregard portions of Kesubos and Eicha Rabbah as no longer applicable or completely allegorical to the point of meaninglessness, and stories like the Creation they more regard as metephorical ala Aish Hatorah or Aryeh Kaplan. When they shop for clothes they ask each other, "I don't look too frummy (religious) in this skirt , do I?" 21:47, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

There's should be more specification in the article[edit]

Not All orthodox jews are fundamentalists just as not all settlers are. The two groups which can be categorized as fundamentalists are Chabad and Shas, those two groups are those that try hard to preach to israeli secular sociey "to return" to the origin and to become religios "again". Oren neu dag 13:29, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

POV Tag[edit]

I'm doing POV tag cleanup. Whenever an POV tag is placed, it is necessary to also post a message in the discussion section stating clearly why it is thought the article does not comply with POV guidelines, and suggestions for how to improve it. This permits discussion and consensus among editors. This is a drive-by tag, which is discouraged in WP, and it shall be removed. Future tags should have discussion posted as to why the tag was placed, and how the topic might be improved. Better yet, edit the topic yourself with the improvements. This statement is not a judgement of content, it is only a cleanup of frivolously and/or arbitrarily placed tags. No discussion, no tag.Jjdon (talk) 19:22, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jewish fundamentalism[edit]

AfD added. This article was tagged as being without any references a year ago. -Lisa (talk) 16:00, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

I voted Lean Delete in the AfD, but given the existence of fundamentalism pages, it might make at least as much sense to simply take a weed whacker to the article, reduce it to factual, supported statements (and clarify which meaning of fundamentalism is being described). Tag it with stub, give it a decent statement of purpose in the lede, and let it expand again, taking care to limit the sorts of original research and unsupported statements added. —ShadowRanger (talk|stalk) 16:37, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
As per AfD, I've removed the OR and left as a stub. --Shuki (talk) 20:32, 3 December 2009 (UTC)


That's enough sources to put in some discussion and definition of the term. User:alatari on IP: (talk) 11:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC) Building a list of sources above. Alatari (talk) 01:18, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Yalla, you have a lot of work to do, start editing. I imagine that this article could/should include properly weighted information from many periods of Jewish history starting from the current period and including Haredim, settlers, left-wingers, reform movement, Zionist underground, Zionists, and further back into history all the way to Pinchas. --Shuki (talk) 20:17, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

That was me. I didn't have my random 16 character PW with me while on another's 'puter.  ::sigh:: yes it looks like some work. Is any of the original text usable? Alatari (talk) 07:29, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

It might all be salvageable if sourced properly. But, I think that a good start would be to decide on a NPOV lead paragraph. Only then can the article develop. --Shuki (talk) 21:23, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I'll read over the introductions/thesis statements of the sources and see if I can get a NPOV by combining their views. I'll need a RS arguing there is no such thing as Jewish fundamentalism also. Alatari (talk) 00:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Building an introduction - collection of ideas[edit]

  • Roots in Lurianic Cabbala.
    • "absolute superiority of the Jewish soul and body over the non-Jewish soul and body" - quote of Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky
    • "...insert quote here..." - what does the primary source (Lurianic Kabbala) say?
  • Promotion by Rabbi Kook.
  • How is related to Hardel?

  • (Still a work in progress...)

NOR as expansion[edit]

Someone from the 93.143 range thought it was necessary to expand the article with what is essentially a heap of original research and possibly WP:SYNTH. I don't think completely unsourced content should be allowed to stand in a controversial topic like this. JFW | T@lk 21:36, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Where is your proof that article contain original research? Some issues may be controversal, the same as Christian fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism, but that is no reason for removing all text from that articles. If you consider that who editors who tried to remove text are Jewish, it's simple baised move because they can't accept facts. Editor "Shuki" has clearly propagandist ideas about removing article, because he removed not just text but relevant sources and categories. Pathetic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:46, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, and controversial topics need tight sourcing unless you want them to be endlessly challenged. I don't think you should seek motives from editors beyond stated concerns about your contributions. Please address my concerns rather than just inserting the same stuff again. I could have the article locked if you continue to add unsourced theories that appear to be your own work rather than accepted knowledge. JFW | T@lk 22:37, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Use of external links[edit]

Please don't just insert links from out of nowhere and read Wikipedia:External links. --Shuki (talk) 21:55, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Page blanking[edit]

What is going on here? Can editors please stop blanking this page and removing sourced material because it doesn't suit their agenda? Factsontheground (talk) 02:29, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

You welcome to contribute material to the page if it is sourced. --Shuki (talk) 21:42, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Fundamentalism in the mainstream?[edit]

I see that the current stubbish text refers only to ultra-Orthodox groupings. But if one bases the definition of fundamentalism on the original meaning of believing that the bible is literally the word of God, then it is much more mainstream. The Louis Jacobs affair concerned his advocating the position that the Torah was divinely inspired rather than the literal word of God. Jacobs was was prevented from becoming head of Jews' College and then also prevented from resuming his position as the rabbi of a congregation within the United Synagogue. Even after Jacobs had retired from his position within the Masorti movement, he was prevented from being called up in a US service the day before his granddaughter's wedding because the US Beth Din considered that he would perjure himself when sying the blessing referring to God as having given us the Torah. This last incident took place under the stewardship of the current Chief Rabbi, so isn't ancient history. Islamic fundamentalism does specifically discuss how all moslem congregations are fundamentalist in this sense and I think a similar discussion regarding the literal fundamentalism of orthodox Judaism is appropriate here. Indeed, looking at some material in the other fundamentalism articles even Jacobs might qualify as fundamentalist for his more limited belief that the Torah is divinely inspired.--Peter cohen (talk) 12:39, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I suggest that whomever wants to develop this article, do it slowly, very NPOV and not try to take it in one direction that would antagonize many editors. --Shuki (talk) 14:40, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
It would all depend on what the sources described it as, wouldn't it? Jayjg (talk) 00:43, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I take your points. I actually think it might help with WP:DUE issues if space is given to discussing what it is doctrinally that makes a belief fundamentalist rather than having people focus on Jewish fundamentalists as individuals who drive a couple of vans out to somewhere in the West Bank and establish a ten person settlement. I was barmitzvahed by Jacobs and think I must have been given a book of his as my present from the shul. I'll have a look at the bookshelves next time I'm at my parents' place and see whether the book discusses any parallels with debates in Christianity. BTW, I've clarified and expanded my previous post. The key point was that Jacobs was excluded from being called up for doctrinal reasons. There's an interesting contrast with British Christianity in that during the same period that Jacobs's beliefs made him persona non grata in the largest synagogue organisation in the UK, another academic cleric whose views were distinctly more revisionist was appointed to one of the five major bishoprics in the largest church organisation there.--Peter cohen (talk) 01:26, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Conservatism[edit]

FYI, I added the tag for the Wikipedia:WikiProject Conservatism because that project includes religious conservatism, such as Fundamentalism.   Will Beback  talk  08:46, 17 December 2011 (UTC)