Sunday, May 27, 2012

Was Sammy Davis, Jr. a Jew?

Dispensationalists insist that the promises made to Israel must be fulfilled for the ethnic descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Israel of promise is strictly a matter of blood. Religion plays no role whatsoever in determining whether someone is a Jew who will inherit the promises.

I have been cataloguing the numerous problems with defining Israel/Jew strictly by blood. See here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here!

Interestingly, Dispensationalists stand alone in restricting the definition of Israel to ethnicity. Even Modern Judaism defines a Jew as any person who meets one of two criteria: 1) born of a Jewish mother; 2) a convert to Judaism. Thus, Modern Judaism allows for the in-grafting of Gentiles. Dispensationalism does not.

For example, Sammy Davis, Jr. famously converted to Judaism in the 1960’s. Davis was not a Jew ethnically, but he became a Jew religiously. Modern Judaism recognized Sammy Davis, Jr. as a Jew, but Dispensationalists did not. According to Dispensationalists, Sammy Davis, Jr. was not an heir to the promises because he was not an ethnic Jew. Thus, Sammy Davis, Jr. had no right to the land.

This disjunction puts Dispensationalists in an awkward political position, of which they show little awareness. While Dispensationalists support the modern nation of Israel, they fail to recognize that this nation contains a mixture of ethnic Jews and converted Gentiles. According to Dispensationalists, these Gentile converts are not Jews, and they have no right to the land.

Do Dispensationalists make a distinction in their support of the modern nation of Israel? Do they support only those who are blood descendants of Abraham?

According to Dispensationalists, the Promised Land no more belongs to these Gentile converts than it does to the Palestinians. Dispensationalists call for the removal of the Palestinians – where are the calls for the removal of Gentile converts to Judaism?

Dispensationalists demand virtually unconditional support for the modern nation of Israel, but if they were consistent, Dispensationalists would demand the removal of ALL non-ethnic Jews from the Promised Land, including Gentile converts to Judaism.

For Dispensationalists, neither the Palestinians, nor Sammy Davis, Jr., have a right to the land.

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