Lee Diamond

Lee Diamond – The Un-Emancipated Israeli Jew & OOSH or USH?

Lee Diamond – The Un-Emancipated Israeli Jew & OOSH or USH?

The Un-Emancipated Israeli Jew


We thought as American “Olim”

-That We could bring

The liberal Jew to Israel

-that we could expose the

Judaism born of the 20th century

To the Israel born of

The same Century.


Israel was still a virgin

Jewish Society

Unexposed to liberal Judaism

Yet a rather liberal society.


Here could be the perfect

Combination of the new Jew

And the new Judaism

Jews who understood the language of their people

-Jews who could speak the language of their ancient culture


But who could create the language of the new Jew.

-Jews-Educated in the history and Traditions of the old, but savvy

To a new world.


-Jews living in Jewish air

Breathing in the fragrance

Of the “sabra” fruit

Yet Who were to  become the  Sweet taste of the old new land themselves.


-Jews who fit in

-unencumbered with acceptance


Natural Jews

Self sufficient Jews

Strong Jews

Jews with power

Of their own



We never imagined  the

Degree to which Israelis

Were unexposed

Or ignorant of the Judaism

Of the very century into which they Were born


Though self emancipated

The Jews of Eastern Europe

-Of North Africa

-Of the Arabian peninsula

Never  met

A Judaism

That was Self emancipated


A world in which Jews walked free

Yet  able  to free

Their Jewish souls


-Israeli Jews who rejected the old Jewish mind

But never to replace it

-Jews content to reject the old Jew

But not to recreate a new Judaism for their day.


Judaism was to be relegated

To the ghettos of Mea Shearim

To B’nai Brak

To the “national religious “


But never to be renewed in itself.


Israelis are Jews of the present

But with Judaism that has been  cast into an unacceptable past.


Can there be a new Jew

Without a new Judaism?

Can there be a new Judaism

Without new Jews?



חזק חזק ונתחזק


“Be strong and of good courage   and we will be strengthened”



It’s a suffix in Israel.

Probably of Slavic origin

It’s a cute diminutive

Ever hear of a “bat mitzvush?”


It’s a bar mitzvah for a girl

Not called a bat mitzvah

Not called a bar mitzvah

Not at 13

But at 12


And for girls only


No mitzvot required

No Aliya to the Torah

No haftarah or maftir

And only in Israel

And only for secular Israel!


It’s a great party

Full of glitter,

Lots of fun, food and dance

Lots of friends”and


Loud music and an MC to boot


A D.J.

Performances of all kinds

Video clips from the famous

And beautiful and handsome  stars


It’s an Israeli invention

Because in Israel

Girls are never called to the Torah

Only boys.

Why ?



Why because?

Because of tradition!

We’re secular but…..

Tradition is tradition


Is you daughter equal?

To a boy ?


Of course !


Is she less of a Jew?

Then the bar mitzvah ?


Of course not!


So why a Bat  mitzvooosh?

And not a bat mitzvah ?


Because of tradition !


What about Jewish woman’s responsibility?


It’s time for our daughters

To be called to the Torah

As our sons are!


And maybe ,just maybe

They will begin a new tradition

In Israel

Of responsible Jewish women for our nation.

And Maybe they will teach us


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