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America's Real War Hardcover – December 1, 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books; F First Edition, First Printing edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576733661
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576733660
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rabbi Daniel Lapin is a businessman, author, syndicated talk radio host, and speaker. He is the president of Toward Tradition, a nonprofit educational organization, and the founder of Cascadia Business Institute. His articles have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, National Review, The American Enterprise, the Washington Times, and others. He and his wife, Susan, are enthusiastic sailors and live on Mercer Island, Washington, where they homeschool their seven children.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


America Is Indeed Imperiled. We Just Disagree with One Another About
What the Source of the Danger Is.

Acaptured prisoner of war is required to declare only his name, rank, service
number, and date of birth. This is because all the truly profound
information about him is already revealed by his uniform. That distinctive
garment eloquently proclaims the side for which the warrior is fighting.
It equally effectively reveals those values for which the soldier is willing to risk his

Although not a prisoner of war, I am among those engaged in a fierce American conflict. It may be the fiercest internal conflict in American history since the Abolitionist
movement in the 1800s. It is certainly deeply consequential. And I am in the heart of it. This book is my uniform.

In addition to the information contained in my uniform, the U.S. Military Code of
Conduct grants you the right to the equivalent of my name, rank, service number, and
date of birth. Here is the vital data: I am an Orthodox rabbi. I am the son of a famous
Orthodox rabbi and the brother of two more. My teachers were the great scholars who
headed the Gateshead Talmudic Academy in England, some of whom were uncles and
cousins. I became a disciple of my great-uncle, the revered Rabbi Eliyahu (Elijah) Lopian (the original family name) during my many years of study at the theological academy (or yeshiva) of Kfar Hassidim in Israel. Although I often fall short, I do my best to live my life and raise my children according to the laws of the five books of Moses, our holy Torah, and the customs of Moses and of Israel.

Because it is so unusual these days for a rabbi to say nice things about Christians, I
consider it necessary to explain that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Christian. I
profess no special expertise of the books known as the New Testament. Being infatuated with Judaism and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I dedicate my study time to expanding my familiarity with Jewish theology. In the midst of a lifelong love affair with the searing truth of the Torah, I reject any notion of theological compatibility between Judaism and Christianity; I do not believe a Jew can also be a Christian without betraying his Judaism. One faith, Judaism, has produced the longest-lasting, continuous culture in the history of the world, while the other, Christianity, has been responsible, among other things, for the founding of America, the greatest civilization the world has ever known, and for making America great. This book will describe how a weakened Christianity in America threatens all Americans, including Jews.

My defense of a religion other than my own has earned me considerable hostility from
many Americans. This book will also describe why so many secularized Americans and
so many Jews wrongly fear Christianity in America today.

Why have I willingly volunteered to fight this battle? Why have I subjected my wife
and children, as well as my friends, to all the disruptions, difficulties—and yes, dangers—of this struggle? I find myself driven to defend American Christian conservatives for three compelling reasons.

The first is because I desperately want my children, and one day (God willing) my
grandchildren and their descendants, to have the option of living peacefully and productively
in the United States of America. I am certain this depends upon America
regaining its Christian-oriented moral compass.

The second reason is that I am appalled by the great injustice being perpetrated by
those Jewish organizations that engage in anti-Christian bigotry. Although many of them were founded explicitly to fight bigotry, and for many years did just that, today the shrill rhetoric and hate-filled propaganda found in their direct mail is discriminatory and divisive. The very same Jewish organizations would be the loudest protesters were anything even remotely similar being said by non-Jews about Jews. Justice demands that a member of the group doing the defaming also does the defending. God’s blueprint clearly included the emergence of Christianity. After all, Christianity has brought monotheism to more people than any other force during the past two millennia. American Jews in particular, owe a debt of gratitude to Christians for the safe haven America has been since its founding.

Third, I wish to counter the chilul Hashem, the desecration of God’s name, that is
caused when His words are misrepresented. Organizations and individuals, many of
whom claim to speak in the name of Judaism, are inflicting enormous harm on America
by promoting policies that traditional Judaism finds abhorrent. I want to help both
Jewish and non-Jewish Americans differentiate between Jewish positions and positions
held by some Jews who are more devoted to secularism than Judaism.

In defending Christianity in America, I am not suggesting that Jews ought to
embrace the Christian faith. I believe that all Jews should actively embrace traditional
Judaism; I have spent many years of my life helping to bring that about. But I am suggesting, at the very least, that Jews should stop speaking and acting as if Christian
America is their enemy. I feel that all Americans who love freedom, whether or not they
are religious, should be reassured, not frightened, by the reawakening of earnest
Christianity throughout the land. I shall try to establish that Jews as well as other minorities have the most to fear from a post-Christian America.

I believe America is in decline—not compared to five or ten years ago, but when compared to the years following World War II up until the early sixties. Most Americans who can remember back thirty-five years or so sense that life has become more squalid, expensive, and dangerous. Some attribute this to inadequate government attention to social problems, while others lay the blame on a more fundamental spiritual malaise. One thing is clear however: fewer and fewer Americans remain unaware of, or indifferent to America’s decline. Whether it is in the hollow expressions on the faces of some youngsters, the vulgarity of entertainment, or the many other little signs that all is not well in America, most of us are at least concerned about the future.

There is a tug-of-war going on for the future of our country. Some are enthusiastic
pullers for one or the other side. Many other Americans remain uncommitted to the
entire agenda of either side but feel the need to make their voices heard one way or the other.

What do the two ends of the rope represent? I believe the basic question is whether
America is a secular or a religious nation. The very question sizzles with tension. Almost everybody has an opinion on this one. Furthermore, it is becoming less of an opinion and more of a deeply held fundamental worldview. Whichever view people hold, they do so with utter conviction.

One end of the rope is anchored by those who ask, “How can any intelligent, rational
person late in the twentieth century view America as a religious nation?” Some put it
this way, “Do you really want to live in a theocracy? Look at Iran.” To people on this end of the rope, Judeo-Christian tradition represents primitive tribalism and intolerance, the most damning indictment of our age.

The folks on this end of the rope are joined by many citizens who used to occupy
the undecided middle ground. While lacking a doctrinal embrace of secularism, these
Americans have come to feel that religious America poses the real threat to our continuity, so they instinctively migrate to the end of the rope opposite from religious conservatives. Although not committed to every nuance of secularism, they consider it the lesser of two evils and lend their not inconsiderable weight to the left of the rope.

Across the field on the other end, are those Americans who feel increasingly alienated
by this “enlightened” perspective which denies the importance of America’s history
and culture. These religious conservatives are joined by many other Americans who,
while admittedly unenthusiastic about religion, are even less enthusiastic about the
changes that secular liberalism has brought about in their towns and communities.

In the pages following, I will argue that America is a religious nation and the corresponding interpretation of our history and culture is the correct one. But I shall go much further than that. America is not just religious but is rooted in one particular religious tradition. As an Orthodox rabbi, I will make a compelling case for America as a Christian nation and the need for our nation to be based on Judeo-Christian ethics in order to survive. Despite the fact that Judaism and Christianity have totally differing theologies, there is still one Judeo-Christian ethic. Which is to say that how people order their lives and societies; how they organize their families and behave toward one another turns out to be more similar than different. The origins, legal system, ethos and moral sense of America are entirely Judeo-Christian.

A Jew and a Christian at one end of the rope have more in common with one another
in terms of vision for this country than each may have with his coreligionists at the other end. This is because the tug-of-war is not about theological or philosophical differences but about real life disagreements about things like taxes, crime, welfare, and family life. No matter the philosophy of belief that brings us to our view of how things ought to be, we tend to agree with others holding the same view regardless of the belief that brought them to that view.

But this begs another question asked by well-intentioned but worried Americans.
Many of those pulling for the secular side of the tug-of-war may concede that there is at least some truth to the Judeo-Christian reli... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

America's rabbi: A gifted communicator and ardent advocate for faith, family & fortune; Jewish community leader; broadcaster; scholar; speaker, and author.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of The Rabbi Daniel Lapin Radio Show on San Francisco's KSFO is one of America's most eloquent speakers. He is famous for his ability to extract life principles from ancient Jewish wisdom and make them accessible to people of all background in entertaining and practical ways. His books and audio CD programs are credited with encouraging vast numbers of Christians and Jews to re-embrace their respective faiths. Newsweek magazine included him in its first list of America's fifty most influential rabbis.
With his wife Susan he hosts the daily TCT television show Ancient Jewish Wisdom.

He is president of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, the national organization promoting Biblically-based Judeo-Christian values. Through his books, broadcasts and speeches, he has become one of America's most compelling and persuasive voices in defense of what he calls Ethical Capitalism.

Before immigrating to the United States in 1973, Rabbi Lapin studied Torah, physics, economics and mathematics in Johannesburg, London and Jerusalem. This seemingly unlikely combination forms the bedrock of his conviction that no conflict exists between the physical and spiritual, virtue and strength, or faith and wealth.

Lapin was the founding rabbi of Pacific Jewish Center, a now legendary Orthodox synagogue in Venice, California.

"The more things change, the more you must depend upon those things that never change" is a theme that the rabbi injects into his presentations. With his compelling application of permanent principles that address the practical problems that plague individuals, families and our nation, he has won the admiration of followers and fans all around the world.

Rabbi Lapin is a frequent speaker for hundreds of trade groups, political, social and civic institutions, financial conferences, organizations, and companies. He speaks regularly at universities, synagogues and churches throughout the country. He regularly appears on both national and local radio and television shows.

Rabbi Lapin is a noted writer. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Commentary, The Jewish Press, The American Enterprise, The Washington Times, Crisis, and other publications. His first book, America's Real War was a national best seller. His second book Buried Treasure; the Secrets for Living from the Lord's Language, was published in 2012. His best-seller Thou Shall Prosper: The Ten Commandments for Making Money published by John Wiley in 2009 has also been translated into Chinese and Korean. His latest project is the production of audio CD's that present thousands of years of Jewish wisdom emanating from the Bible, in ways that enhance peoples faith, finances, and friendships.

An enthusiastic boater who has sailed his family across the Pacific in their own boat, Lapin lives with his wife Susan who home schooled their seven children on Mercer Island, Washington.

Customer Reviews

The left will hate him, the right will love him.
J. P. Ledbetter
Nonetheless, Rabbi Lapin's work is a fascinating overview from a fresh perspective.
William T. Butler
This book is one of the best books about the culture wars that I have read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on December 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Rabbi Daniel Lapin says yes, and argues that such attacks should stop: in his view, the U.S. is and should remain a _culturally_ Christian nation.
Christianity, he maintains, provides a proper basis for human liberty, a solid foundation for the free market, and (importantly) a place for Torah-true Judaism in American society. A secular culture can do none of these things.
Rabbi Lapin is under no illusion that there are no important theological differences between Judaism and Christianity; on the contrary, he knows full well that agreement on such matters is not strictly possible for those who remain faithful to their own traditions. However, as he is also at pains to show, Christianity incorporates enough principles of Mosaic law that Torah-observant Jews can feel safe in a Christian culture.
Not so a secular culture, he warns. Secularism is at present cruising on fuel it borrowed from Western religious tradition; once that fuel is exhausted, anything goes.
Many theologically liberal Jews have therefore, in Rabbi Lapin's view, been fighting the wrong enemy. The real foe is not "anti-Semitism"; it is irreligion. Whatever their theological differences, Christianity and Judaism should be brothers in arms in the fight for America's culture.
Agree or disagree, Rabbi Lapin's case is solidly mounted and strikingly put. His book should be read by anyone interested in the preservation of liberty.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Creque ( on February 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, head of the organization Toward Tradition, addresses several audiences with "(You Are In) America's Real War: An Orthodox Rabbi Insists That Judeo-Christian Values are Vital for Our Nation's Survival." These include Jews who feel out of step with the politics of most Jewish organizations, Christians who wonder why most American Jews demonize the Religious Right, people of all faiths who suspect that separation of Church and State has gone too far, and anyone who worries that America is on the wrong cultural and spiritual track.
The central metaphor in this book is a tug-of-war between Godliness on one side and godlessness on the other. This metaphor rests on two fundamental assumptions: that faith in God is central to the American experiment, and that the political divide between Right and Left hinges on acceptance or rejection of traditional Judeo-Christian values.
Rabbi Lapin establishes these assumptions convincingly. He turns to America's roots, from the original nature of the Colonies to the views of the Founding Fathers, to show that the very idea of the American nation arose from Judeo-Christian faith. Indeed, he shows how many of the central ideas of Colonial and Revolutionary America came directly from the Hebrew bible. He traces the supremacy of God in American political life through the mid-20th century, showing how judges and political figures continued into the 1960s to appeal to the Judeo-Christian God and His values in support of their positions.
Since that time, Rabbi Lapin argues, traditional religion has clearly delineated the sides in the culture war.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book will enlighten anyone who really wants to know whatis going on in the culture war. Many Christians, and the politicallyuninvolved are blithefully unaware of the driving forces behind the rabid secularism that we see now so often, in the media, politics, and schools. The war is not between Jews and Christians, the war is between secularized Jews and other atheists on the one side, and orthodox Jews, conservative Catholics, and evangelical Christians on the other. Rabbi Lapin explains how there has always been those Jews, ever since Sinai, who have rejected the Ten Commandments, and instead chosen to worship the golden calf of money, and refuse to let anything interfere with their sexual freedom. It is these types that make up many of the political action groups that we see trying to "de-Christianize" America, i.e. the ACLU, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, and others. I gained tremendous insights from reading this book. I also read "The Fatal Embrace," by Ben Ginsburg, another Jewish author who explains how the Jewish people have repeatedly, throughout history, sought the protection of the state in order to escape persecution from surrounding peoples, but have made some of the same mistakes they are making now, in Rabbi Lapin's opinion. I never knew before reading these authors how much many Jewish people FEAR the rise of Christianity, and think that secularizing America is protection against another Holocaust. Dr. Lapin argues just the opposite; attacking the Christian heritage has a corrosive effect, and his people should stop acting loud, aggressive and antagonistic. No matter where you are coming from on the political spectrum, this book will give you tremendous food for thought. One thing is sure: political views are always informed by one's religious and metaphysical beliefs. It cannot be otherwise.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
There is no doubt that Rabbi Daniel Lapin's America's Real War is one of those rare books destined to inspire and enlighten readers for generations to come. Like Bastiat's classic The Law, Lapin's Real War reveals timeless truths about man, society, and government while devastating the contemporary proponents of ideas that destroy freedom, prosperity, and happiness. Moreover, Lapin scores his intellectual points while simultaneously building a bridge between two groups that have frequently found themselves on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, American Jews and Christians.
The message of Real War consists of three parts. First, Rabbi Lapin develops the evidence that America was expressly founded as a Christian nation. This will not surprise readers familiar with the writings of the Founding Fathers or those who understand how liberty blossomed as Biblical ideas made their way into European political and economic thought in the centuries from the signing of the Magna Carta to the writings of Blackstone. But Lapin approaches the subject from a fresh perspective, demonstrating how America's Founders appreciated uniquely Jewish customs and ideas at a time when "Hebrew was an accomplishment of gentlemen."
Second, Rabbi Lapin demonstrates how moral ideas that can only be completely found in the Jewish and Christian scriptures work to produce wealth, liberty, and fulfilling lives. Lapin leads the reader to see how ideas like personal accountability and private property create incentives for people to use their God-given talents to get ahead by serving the needs of others.
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