Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Liberal Judiasm's two foundational problems

This post by Bruce on Three Jews, Four Opinions is the type of thing I aspire to achieve with my own blog. 
This is the scylla and charybdis of liberal Judaism: inauthenticity and irrelevancy. And these two manifests themselves in much of liberal Judaism. I attend a Conservative synagogue, and I certainly see both of them. Many Jews my age (mid 40s) simply opt out of many traditional Jewish practices. They do not keep kosher, attend synagogue, celebrate many holidays, daven, wear tefillin, etc. The attitude of many of my friends is simply that it seems irrelevant, sort of silly, and a little strange to do these things. After all, God did not literally said to do these things, and there just does not seem to be a good reason to do so. And when they do do these things (for whatever reason), it lacks authenticity. So someone might to go synagogue (say, for a bar-mitzvah), but will not feel elevated by the davening, does not know what the Torah parsha says, and does not expect these things. They feel a little like a religious tourist, watching and even going through the motions without really participating.
It gets straight to the core of the issue, presenting it clearly and insightfully. I can't wait to see the rest of the series!.

1 comment:

  1. no ritual was ever designed to make logical sense,. Ritual exists to facilitate the process of accessing the numinous. For those who think it's silly and ineffective, it is. For others, it may not be. Ritual is not supposed to be logical, relevant or appropriate. It's supposed to be strange. Strangeness contributes to authenticity,

    masterymistery at
    cosmic rapture