January 09, 2005

The Best Thing for the Jewish People

I was reading an entry on the Cross-Currents blog and came across this little ditty: "The Jewish people will be far better off when there will be only Orthodox on the Jewish ideological landscape."

And I ask, what proof do we have that this is true. By what standard are we to measure things. One could argue that until about 150 years or so ago we were all Orthodox. There were still pogroms, the Inquisition, Crusades and other heinous examples of antisemitism all took place under that umbrella.

So I wonder out loud, what makes the author think this and what support will he provide.

3 comments:

Doctor Bean said...

IMHO this is a completely boneheaded sentiment from the slice of Orthodoxy that is least relevant to the rest of the world, both Jewish and Gentile. I attend a Modern Orthodox synagogue, and I love Judaism but hate all the denominations equally. There may be a day when there are no denominations, when all Jews (and Rabbis) reject labels and simply realize that some are more observant of some Laws and some of others. That is a day I would celebrate, but the day that we all become Orthodox is the day I become Presbyterian. I did not read the entire post that you link to, but I wonder if this author knows how miserable, needlessly monolithic and gratuitously oppressive religious Judaism was before Reform broke away. As I said, I'm no fan of Reform, but Orthodoxy went far beyond the necessity of the Law in stifling diversity and in elevating tradition [minchag] to law. The author says "Yes, we want to bring down the citadels of Conservative and Reform. They are an affront and a travesty." Perhaps they are, but Orthodoxy is corrupt and ossified, and bringing down the others won't make Judaism any better. Why not clean your own house Rabbi? Jews will always vote with their feet and thanks to the brilliant leadership of Orthodox Rabbis like these, most Jews would rather to anything but Judaism.

Jack's Shack said...

Comments like this are just foolish and it is important for the people that make them to hear about it. Not from the standpoint of ridicule, but from a position that helps them to understand the problems with their commentary.

Stacey said...

The fact is that the largest percentage of Jews in this country are Reform and then Conservative. In Israel, most are secular.

The reality is that what this man wants will never happen. Many of us are completely uncomfortable with Orthodox Judaism and would never live as such. Yet we are still Jews and even Zionists.