The curious cultural-religious history of people like Bernie Sanders
If you want to understand Sen. Bernie Sanders, this is what you need to know:
He is the quintessential modern identity-free man.
He is a non-Jewish Jew and a non-American American.
In Sanders’ speeches and interviews, there is virtually no mention of his being a Jew (unless he’s asked about it), and — what’s truly amazing for an American presidential candidate — there are few mentions of America, except to lament American inequality, Wall Street corruption and other American evils.
The term “non-Jewish Jew” is not mine. It is generally attributed to a Jewish historian, Isaac Deutscher, who wrote an essay by that name in 1954. The term describes individuals who are born Jews (Judaism consists of a national identity and peoplehood identity, not just a religious identity) but identify as citizens of the world rather than as Jews, either nationally or religiously.
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