To end this discusson, I would like to raise my last question: anti-Semitism, does it exist? At the first glance this question seems to be at least strange, if not absurd. Whether anti-Semitism is not a fact of an everyday life? It is not only exist, it is widespread. However, what is widespread, is not anti-Semitism, if we define anti-Semitism as a hatred towards the Jews. We know a different forms of this hatred. One of them is a hatred towards the Jews as towards the "chosen nation" on the part of some other nation, which claim to be chosen. This was the hatred of Nazi-Germans. However, this anti-Semitism is not a pure anti-Semitism. Or, better, it is not anti-Semitism at all. The Jews were hated by Nazis not as a race, but precisely because Nazis thought that the Jews are an obstacle for their own choseness. Thus, Nazis hated the Jews not as a race (people of such and such biological and physiological features) but as a nation, which from their point of view represents the embodiment of some idea. Thus, Nazis failed to distinguish between the Jews as a race and the Jewish nation. They were not racists in fact, they were Nazis, that is, they made an idol of their own nation. Yes, they spoke about the Aryan race, opposing it to other races, particularly the Jewish. However, their ideology was based on the National-Socialism. What they tried, but failed to do, is to distinguish the race from nation.
There is yet another kind of anti-Semitism, so-called Christian anti-Semitism. It consists of a hatred toward the Jews as toward the people which failed to accept Christ and crucified him. In other words, the Jews are hated in this case on the ground of the negative attitude towards their religious belief. And again, it is not the race of the Jews which is hated here, but the race which is mixed up in the minds of so-called anti-Semites with some religion.
Let me consider yet another type of "anti-Semitism", namely the hatred towards the Jews as towards the race which is in conspiracy against the whole world. It is clear that here again we meet with the failure to distinguish the race from an idea.
Finally, there is a sort of primitive anti-Semitism, when the Jews are hated on the ground of their alleged cunning behaviour, avarice, parasitism, and so on. Those who hate the Jews on this ground, also fail to distinguish the race from the cultural and psychological ideas or types. There is an idea of avarice or, say, parasitism in the minds of haters of the Jews, and they connect this idea with this race. Nobody can hate some race as such, not projecting some idea on the race.
It may seem from the analysis which I have made above that pure anti-Semitism is impossible. Yes, it is impossible, if we define anti-Semitism as a hatred towards the Jews. But there is still another way to be anti-Semite: to deprive the Jews of existence not physically, but theoretically (though no theory ends just like that, in theory, it seeks to be realized in practice). What I mean, is first of all the ideas of Marx. It was nobody else, but Marx who, hating his own blood, had a dream of disappearance of the Jewish nation, of its complete emancipation (see his article "On the Jewish question" in "Deutseh- Franzosische Jahrbucher" and a chapter on the Jewish question in "Die heilige Famile"). Marx thought that in modern secular world where the Jews do not believe in God any more, the only source for existence of this nation as such is capitalism (money, which became the new god for the Jews). Thus, this nation is entirely superfluous. The Jewish question can be solved with an abolition of capitalism. The Jews as people will simply disappear. But even anti-Semitism of Marx is not the last type of anti-Semitism, not the pure one. Marx still thought that there was some ground for existence of this people in the past, there is some ground for its existence in the present, though there will be no ground for its existence in the future.
There is still another way to be anti-Semite: to deny that the Jews really exist. This anti-Semitism is the only pure one, because in its substance "anti-Semitism" means negation of the Semites (i.e. the Jews). Those who hate the Jews, or his own blood (his past) at least acknowledge that they do exist. Sometimes, as in the case of Nazis, they would like to deprive the Jews of being. However, from the very beginning even Nazis (even Marx) acknowledge the existence of the Jews. Moreover, they take this existence in account as seriously as it possible.
True anti-Semites, pure anti-Semites are those who deny the existence of the Jews. One may say, what a strange idea! who can deny that the Jews do exist?! What an absurd idea! Yes, this idea is a strange one. Nevertheless, even logically speaking it is not excluded altogether. Such a though about the Jews is possible. Moreover, if one feels hatred toward the Jews or if one, being a Jew himself, feels that one is hated, to get rid from this hatred (to teach others and oneself how one should think about such things as race), one may propose a cunning idea: There is no such a thing as "race" or "nationality" or, say, "sex". Only persons, or individuals do exist. Such persons may have different features, different peculiarities, which characterise them. Moreover one may add: It is precisely this idea of existence of the Jewish race, which is a source of anti-Semitism. If we get rid of this idea, of the idea of "race" as such, we may overcome the problem of anti-Semitism, and the problem of all national conflicts. There are only individuals with different features, there are no races at all.
What a temptation to think in this way! This temptation, however, is not something unreal, especially having in mind a modern quest for the solution to national conflicts, particularly in Europe. One, being a Christian may say: each of us is a human being, a person, an image of God, what matter how we look like, or what language we use (one may learn any language in fact, make any culture his own). Take for example the Russian Jewry. The Jews in Russia often do not know either any of the Jewish languages, nor the Jewish culture, neither religion. They speek Russian, they are brought up in the Russian culture. To say that they are Russians, is also not true, it may offend both, the Russians and the Jews. The best way possible to avoid this national problems, is not to use such concepts as "race" at all. Each of us is a human being with his own peculiarities. It is enough.
Moreover, this so-to-speak "humanism" may use as its support the Christian ideas. It may say: Yes, there was such a thing as racial and national divisions, but after Christ they are abolished. Was it not Christ himself who has destroyed the wall of separation between the Jews and the Gentiles, barbarians and Skiffs, in a word, between all races and nations?
Yes, we Orthodox Christians do believe that Christ has destroyed the wall of separation between the Jews and the Gentiles, as between races in general. It was in Pentecost, when in the Holy Spirit all nations or races of the world were called to participate in one Covenant of God. However, even the ancient, pagan world did not know such a racial hatred as modern world does. Christ has destroyed the wall of separation, nevertheless, he has not abolished racial difference itself, as he has not abolished death trampling death.
The real core of Christ's mission was not to abolish racial divisions as such, but to open us a way for the love for people of the other race. In the same way now, after Christ, the way is opened to us for being not afraid of death. It is easy to love a "man" in general an abstract "man". But there is no such a man in reality. It is hard to love a person of different race, culture or nation. He is the other. And Christ has opened a possibility to love the other, not a man like ourselves.
To deny the existence of racial and national divisions is both non-realistic and dangerous. Take for example the situation in Russia. After the failure to solve the national problem within the framework of communist internationalism, after the collapse of the USSR, each people of Russia seeks to confirm its national existence. Yes, there are some serious problems in this respect for minor peoples. However, the people which is in the most complicated situation, are Russians themselves (I mean Russians by blood, those who feel themselves to be Russians). It is hard for them to understand what this phrase, "Russian people" means. There is such a country as Russia. And all Russian citizens of whatever blood they could be, are Russians, if they live in Russia (even the Jews!). If now we take the Russian culture, here we can also find that both Russians by blood and non-Russians may write, say, poetry in Russian (moreover, they may write poetry in Russian, living in America and being Jews by blood, as Brodsky. What a scandal, for the Russian nationalists!). Even in the Russian Orthodox Church one may find Christians of different nationalities. Thus, Russians by blood have a serious problem of self-identification. They are afraid of being assimilated in the modern, as they call it, Western (or American) cosmopolitan internationalism. They want to find a place where they could feel themselves Russians, some typically Russian place. [Not a restaurant or club which is good for emigrants, but a place for the whole Russian people].
If now, in this situation, some "humanists" say that there is no such a thing as "race" (or blood), that is, Russians should not worry about their existence as a people, what reaction, it may provoke? Nothing, but hatred. National problems cannot be solved on the the groung of "humanism", even if it is "Christian". Moreover, they may become even more painful, if some try to solve them in this way. Each nation, each race, should have some place where it can be not afraid of loosing its existence as a unique form of humanity, which cannot be replaced by any other form of humanity, or reduced to some abstract "human nature".
Both tendencies (of reducing and replacing), working together, can be found in the modern world. The Western, especially American, pluralistic ideology teaches us to begin with the concept of "individual human being". There are individuals with their peculiar features. Those of them who have some common features and, thus, common interests organise some groups, to defend their common interests. There are "Blacks", "Jews", "homosexuals", "women", "lesbians" - all sort of groups in what ever way individuals may organise themselves. This culture (or its ideology) teaches that each group of people has its own rights, and we should respect them as such and abstain from offending people of each group acknowledging their rights and self-identification. This culture teaches us meeting with, say, a man with a black skin, immediately connect him with other man with a black skin, to avoid racism. In the same way, it teaches us to respect the rights of women while speaking with a woman, to avoid sexism, precisely by remembering that she is a woman. And so on, and so forth.
Moreover, according to the rules of the game of the pluralistic society, none of this groups can claim that it represent the Truth. There is a truth of women, truth of homosexuals, truth of the Jews, of blacks, and so on. Each part of society has its right to declare its truth, though each part should acknowledge that its truth is not the whole Truth.
This pluralism has certainly a deep roots in the Protestantism with its chain of divisions, and, on its turn, effects the religious pluralism of the West at large.
As for the problem of self-identification, it cannot be solved positively in such a society. If one participates in different groups (say, one may be "black", "homosexual", "middle-class" American) one cannot be satisfied in one's self-identification, precisely because no group or their sum does represent the whole Truth. And one cannot be satisfied, not being in the Truth, not participating in it.
One may certainly organise his own group. However, even in this case one cannot be satisfied (or, better one may be satisfied only for a short moment of time when one is in the process of separating oneself from one's mother-group, in the moment of individuation).However, when addressing the world, one is obliged to acknowledge immediately all other truths, and in this way one looses one's self-satisfaction.
There is still another way to be satisfied, in the Western society - to identify oneself with the very idea of pluralism - to be an ideologist of the Western society. But there are still some societies in the world which do not acknowledge pluralism. Thus, an ideologist of the pluralism is obliged either to treat them as entirely untrue, or acknowledge that they have their own truth. If he acknowledges that they have their own truth, he cannot be a true pluralist any more, because in this case he acknowledges some other idea, which is impossible for him as for pluralist. Thus, he loses his job.
However, if he denies that other, non-pluralistic societies have any truth, he calls them "empire of evil". In this way he acknowledges that evil exist. He becomes a Manihaen. He dedicates his life to the struggle with Evil, and being an ideologist, he involves his nation in this struggle. But since Evil still exists, he cannot be in peace with himself, nor his society.
Pluralistic society is a society of divisions, society of a nuclear reaction, of a split, which nobody can stop. The origin of this split is clear: Individuals, or small groups go away from their mother-groups to organise some new groups. But these new ones cannot satisfy anybody either. At the same time pluralistic society is monolithic as regards other, non-pluralistic societies. Nobody who participate in the game of pluralistic society can be satisfied. However, the energy of the split, the energy of division remains within the monolithic society. The society preservers this energy, and accumulates its force.
On the other hand, we, in Russia, have tendencies of a different kind. During the years of totalitarianism there was only one truth which claimed to be the Truth, held in society. And even the Church's hierarchs were obliged to acknowledge this communist ideology as the only true one, at least for the life in this world. As regards the life after death, Christians were allowed to have their own opinions, it was not a serious problem for the communist ideology.
Feeling itself to be in the Truth, this society was not happy about the existence of other societies, with other ideologies, because there can be only one Truth. It tried to spread its Truth in other countries. It was in confrontation with the countries of the West, with the pluralistic societies.
Now Russian society has no Truth of its own. To some extent it has accepted the pluralistic model of the West. However, the Western democracy has two dimensions of its being:
1. the dynamism of inner divisions (the nuclear reaction which gives the energy for the life of society), and
2. its monolithic attitude towards the external, non-pluralistic societies, which are treated as "evil".
As for Russia, the West is no more the enemy for our country. Such countries as China, have their own problems and are not aggressive or strong enough at the moment. Moreover, Russia is not yet devoted to the values of the pluralism enough to be its serious defender and propagandist abroad. Thus, there is no ground for any ideology to consolidate the Russian nation. And without this consolidation the process of inner divisions of the nuclear split which is typical for pluralistic societies, does not lead to the accumulation of energy (as it happens, say, in America), but leads only to the waste of the energy of the Russian nation.
Thus, some, who worry about the future of the country and seek to play their role in it, gaining power to save Russia, voluntary or involuntary come to the idea that there is no other way to consolidate the Russian nation than in its opposition to the West (beginning with the opposition to the Western values). Insofar as communism has failed to win the Cold war, they see no other variant than to use what they understand as typically Russian - the Russian Orthodox Church, to consolidate the Russian nation. They seek to proclaim Russia as*the Orthodox country.
But since there is an Orthodox Church, say, in America, England, France, Syria, Greece, they cannot proclaim that Orthodoxy is something typically Russian. The only possibility to say such a thing can be opened if they say that all other Orthodox Churches are not Orthodox at all, and only the Russian Orthodox Church is true (one exception is made for Serbia, since the Serbs are the first enemies of the West).
I do not want to judge the Orthodox Church dwelling in the West. She has her own problems of existence in the pluralistic societies, where pluralism and its ancestor humanism propose their own seduction to the Church. If the Orthodox Church, for example, is ready to call Christians of other confessions "the Church" (say, the Anglican Church), she voluntary or involuntary participates in the pluralistic games of this world, loosing her mission to be the witness for the world to come, for the oneness of all in Christ
However my responsibility lies within the Russian Orthodox Church. Here I see another even more serious a danger: to make an ideology out of the Orthodox Church. Yes, it is true that Russian politicians are seeking for the ideology to win the power and to consolidate the nation. And the situation in the world and in world's history is such that the only ideology which can consolidate the Russian nation now should be anti-Western. And there is no other serious ground to built anti-Western ideology than by proclaiming Orthodoxy as something typically Russian, denying the Orthodoxy of the Orthodox Church in the West.
Thus, the Russian Orthodox Church is faced with a greatest temptation in her history, which is even more serious than during the years of the Revolution and communism. Those politicians who seek power, are comparatively weak without the support of the Church, having no authority among the Russian nation. They promise all goods of the world to the Church's hierarchs and the Church in general, if only they gain power. They promise to abolish the spread of any non-Orthodox religions in Russia, they promise to promote religious education at school. They promise to share political power with the Church, and so on and so forth...
However, in spite of all sufferings of our country, in spite of all temptations on the part of politicians and ideologists (who above all speculate on the glorious past of our Church, on her role in the Russian history), above all this temptations, OUR CHURCH SHOULD NOT ALLOW TO USE HER HOLY NAME IN THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER, IN THE IDEOLOGY. She should not allow to declare Russia as the only one true Orthodox country in the world. This ideas are nothing else but spiritual cancer, satanic temptation.
Even if Orthodox Church in the West does make some mistakes, even if all Orthodox Churches dwelling the Western countries one day go astray, the Russian Orthodox Church should not allow to proclaim her the only true one. There is only one true Orthodox Church - the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, in which we believe according to our Creed. We do not say: I believe in the Russian Orthodox Church.
Yes, it would be a serious dogmatic mistake to say that the Russian Orthodox Church is not the one Catholic Apostolic Church. The Orthodox Church in each country is one and the same Apostolic Church. However, one cannot say, that the one Holy Catholic Apostolic Church is the Russian Orthodox Church. This difference between the Apostolic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church should be preserved in our mind. Otherwise we cannot safely go through the temptations of our time.
If now we return to the Jewish question, one may acknowledge that as usual, attitude towards the Jews may serve as a touch stone of spiritual health (now of the Church). Facing the phenomenon of post-Auschwitz theology which has won in the West, Russian "Orthodox" ideologists have no other idea than to invent something opposite (they are happy in fact to do it, making out of post-Auschwitz theology a nice pretext for consolidating people on the ground of cursing the West Christianity).
This kind of things are quite usual, by the way, in the history of Christianity. Christian anti-Judaism, and anti-Semitism was often a reaction to the eternal divisions among Christians themselves in their attitude towards the Jews. The real debate was never between Christians and Jews but among Christians (see John G. Gager "The Origins of anti-Semitism, Oxford University Press, 1985 p. 269). While one part of Christians was attracted to Judaism other was convicting it, often using anti-Judaism (and anti-Semitism) as its tool.
I do not mean that one should not convict Judaism or post-Auschwitz theology. I myself in this paper have said a lot on this matter. However, while convicting Judaism or post-Auschwitz theology one should always draw the difference between the Jews as a people and Judaism as a religion. If this difference is not drawn, if the Jews as a people are cursed for all sins of Judaism and non-Orthodox Christianity, then, we may say, that Orthodoxy is seriously ill.
And it is of special importance, because there are a lot of Jews who has come to the Orthodox Church in Russia, and even more who might have come, if not only this anti-Semitism in the Orthodox Church.
The same thing is with opposing the West in general. The Russian Orthodox Church should teach her members that they should not be anti-American. We have no right to blame any nation, any race. Our enemies are not flesh and blood, but the evil spirits. It is not only the "Western world" which lies in evil. "Russian world", lies in evil either. Or, better, as our Church teaches, the whole world, "world" as such lies in evil. Yet, she teaches that Christ has vanquished the world.
There is only one place for each nation, for each race where it may find peace, where it may become itself, where it may be cured. This place is the Church, the one Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, God's beloved Israel. If only one man from some race comes to the Church, it means that all his race comes to the Church, being in him. For our nation (or race) is in us. Only in the Church we can be cured from the painful divisions of our humanity, these divisions between nations and races which are described in the story about the tower of Babylon. It is only the one Catholic Apostolic Church, where the event of Pentecost, in which every nation and race is called to participate in God's Covenant, has beeen never stopped since the time of the Apostles.