Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fixing Reform Judaism

A short post; I want to expand on this later, but these were my thoughts over lunch and I wanted to get them up.

Don't make it simpler, make it deeper.

People rise to your expectations.

The problem is empty, meaningless ritual; congregants are unattached to it. Create the connection, and they become active.

The Seder plate: the actual food item isn't nearly as important as pointing at it, asking "What's this?", and explaining why it's there. Dark chocolate could stand in for horseradish as the marror as long as you explain that we eat it so the bitterness reminds us of slavery's harshness. Ok, maybe chocolate won't work. Baker's chocolate might.

1 comment:

  1. We ran a chocolate seder one year. Each plague and each seder item was chocolate. Everyone still talks about it - how things fit (or didn't), which things were better (more appropriate).

    It created a connection that wasn't there before. That's what good teaching does.

    At it's best, Judaism is good teaching.

    Even better, none of us want to go back and do another chocolate seder. It had it's moment in time, and now we are looking for the new idea. Not because we endlessly seek novelty, but because we know that new discoveries lie in seeing the same Seder through a different lense. Sometimes just being a new year is enough. Sometimes it's not.

    The art is knowing the difference.