- Reaction score
- London, UK, Malkhut she'be'Assiyah
i am not one of those people, as i thought i'd already made abundantly clear. i grew up reform and the majority of my family's reform. i neither deplore nor despise them, though i don't necessarily agree with them on a lot of religious matters. nonetheless the non-orthodox denominations have done incredibly important work which i think has served the entire community and society at large and i think they deserve credit for keeping the universalist flag of tolerance and understanding flying.It's been my experience though that most "frum" types absolutely deplore it, when they don't flat-out despise it.
yes, the tone can only be compared to a self-righteous "progressive" putting down orthodoxy. make no mistake about this, linda - i've been on the receiving end of *both* and they are both extremely ugly and, worse, unnecessary. you've heard, perhaps that the second Temple was destroyed because of "causeless hatred", sinat hinam. all of us should take care not to be part of that particular problem - including both me and you.There is nothing more revolting than listening to a self-righteous Orthodox type putting down on the Reform movement, for example.
that is usually what i do when i encounter someone who insists that i am a backward, obscurantist, sexist, fundamentalist beardy-weirdie. what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.If you encounter this "my way or the highway" attitude enough times (even a few times are enough) you naturally conclude, "okay, fine...I guess it's the highway for me."
hmm. i hate to rain on your parade, but the most successful outreach organisations currently in judaism are those of lubavitch and the other "kiruv" organisations such as aish ha-torah. i don't approve of their attitude, theology and solution but the fact remains that it is haredi-influenced orthodoxy that is growing at the expense of what you might call the liberal denominations. certainly this is the case in the UK and in the US, by all measurements of assimilation and intermarriage, the non-orthodox movements are shrinking. that, if you ask me, is a terrible shame, because it means eventually there'll be nothing left but black-hatted loonies and ignorant hippies. that's not something i want to see happening. like you say, reb zalman's a standard-bearer for a different way of doing things, but innovators are rarely recognised in their own lifetimes by the community they seek to serve. even maimonides had his books burned for heresy a couple of times, so i don't think we should ever underestimate the conservatism of the status quo - whether this is of the right *or* the left. goodness knows both can be just as smug and self-satisfied as each other. it does my head in, frankly.Pretty soon the guardians of tradition are shouting "my way or the highway" to an empty room...and wondering where everybody went!
i actually disagree with this totally. it is just as "ungrateful" to expect to have practical services such as kosher slaughtering, scribing or circumcision, or skillsets such as traditional talmudic methodology to exist without the efforts of the ultra-orthodox who have sacrificed so much to maintain it in an unfriendly world. without the lubavitch who you affect to despise so much, very few people in the soviet union, for example, would have been able to maintain any kind of jewish life and learning whatsoever. you can't have it both ways. biodiversity requires a contribution and a commitment from *everyone*, not just the haredim, but all the people who wander past synagogues, never going into them, but assuming they're always going to be there. i am not in the business of bitching out the non-orthodox denominations; i owe them a great deal. i think it is important that contacts and channels exist between the denominations and, without blowing my own trumpet, i do a fair bit in my own community to keep these things going by maintaining friendships across the *entire* community, so that even if mr frumsky-pumsky won't "share a platform" (the immortal phrase) with mr bagels-freud-and-academics, they can certainly both meet as friends of mine and go back to tell the people that won't join in about what they learnt from actually meeting these people rather than repeating what "everyone knows".That's really what I dislike about the haredi types more than anything--specifically, their ingratitude. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that if it weren't for the liberal denominations, almost nobody over the past 100 years would remember they were Jewish at all, or have any what it meant if they did remember.
i don't pretend to understand the Divine Plan in allowing the plethora of jewish paths to exist, but it strikes me that portfolio management generally increases return whilst reducing risk - perhaps *that* is why judaism is still around, not because of any one factor.