Saturday, July 12, 2008

Klal Israel and not "Judging Judaism by Jews"...

(my emphasis) "Based on my experience and the hundreds of off the derech stories I have heard, I am convinced that when people say "you should not judge a religion by its practitioners" they are mistaken. We say Torah lo bashamayim hi - the Torah is not in Heaven. It is here on earth, in our interpretations of it, in our commitment to it, in our love for it. We believe that Torah is not a theory to be studied, but a way of life to be lived. Judaism is ultimately about the way we live it. The Judaism that exists in books may be intellectual stimulating and essential to our observant lives. But what impacts us most dramatically in terms of our commitment to observance is the reality we create with it here on earth. And what impacts us most in terms of our feeling toward Judaism is the relationships and experiences we have with observant Jews. Negative relationships and their painful experiences [with religious Jews] push us away from both Torah and Jews."
-"Off the Derech" by Faranak Margolese - Page 49-50.

Each of us comes to their own senses about these things (Gedolim bans, abuse coverups and charges, Conversion Crisis, hegemony in the Rabbinut, unrelenting double speak, 'orthodox' criminals, Torah Higher-Education crisis, ad infinitum), via whatever ideological commitments and filters render their 'factness' agreeable to us; thats what makes us human - shomrei Torah or not. And we're all Klal Israel, regardless (or at least we are in this dor; previous generations, you were frei, you're right out; but that's for another post..though I'd love to know where those neshamot are now...). God Gave us, collectively, Torah. And the world does not even learn there is such as thing as Torah except from, through us - and for this very reason I think it is frequently deliberate evasion to direct peoples attention from the behaviors of religious Jews as religious Jews to blaming their 'mere humanity'.


At 11/23/2011 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the Jewish purpose for existence, is BEING a symbol - when we don't symbolize, we fail. And WE FAIL, collectively, for millenia. Open Tanakh! We continue to exist my Mercy, not by merits. There's something up with electing a people to behave certain ways, to achieve a certain end - when they then elect to not act that way, thus alienating their own as well as the world.


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