Monday, October 29, 2007

And then there was evening, Post One. XD

I am a secular Jew who lives in the United States. That is really all that you need to know about me personally. XD

The reason why I have started this blog is because I am concerned about the growing boldness of the orthodox in asserting itself as the only true form of Judaism.

The inherent problem with one sect being able to define the nature of being a Jew for everyone is that it poses a danger for freedom of thought within the Jewish people. I thus have joined the J-blogosphere in providing an alternative worldview.


Garnel Ironheart said...

> The reason why I have started this blog is because I am concerned about the growing boldness of the orthodox in asserting itself as the only true form of Judaism.

Okay, so what's your definition of Judaism?

The Orthodox position is very simple. They have a specific definition of what an observant, "good" Jew is. Anything that doesn't fit the model isn't.

What alternatives, other than vague feel-good ethnic defintions, do you suggest?

SJ said...

Definition of Judaism- the religion of the Old Testament.

The orthodox position is also not that simple. For some orthdox, shabbat and kasharut is enough.

For other orthodox, shabbat + kasharut + strict dress code

for yet others kasharut + shabbat + strict dress code + foot long payuses

the orthodox position is not THAT simple.

Garnel Ironheart said...

The religion of the Hebrew Bible is cruel and unworkable. An eye for an eye, selling your young daughter into slavery on a whim, and the book never does say how to slaughter an animal so it'll be kosher but it tells you that you must do it.
And yes, the Orthodox position is simple in terms of overall categories. We all agree that we need to practice kashrus, Shabbos, taharas mishpacha and tznius. What each of those terms means, okay that's complicated.

Dave said...

Have you ever considered Karaite Judaism?
They stick strictly to the Tanach, but even they aren't literal about it.

SJ said...

Dave thank you for posting.

If you want to be karite-esque, reform and conservative synagogues would be fine. I personally lean towards reform since I believe that Judaism should not be something that isolates us jews into our own little North Korea.

Judaism should be something that is with us in the real world, not hides us from it.

Also there is no rule that Judaism should be a "sacrifice." That is just some bull shit the orthodox made up to make themselves feel good. New concept for the orthodox: Judaim should be enjoyable and not painful.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and all I wish to say is "Kol haKavod!"

Seriously, I like your blog, especially the "Say No to Shomer Negiah" thing. Nice work!

Anonymous said...

~All Praise be to YHWH~

Shalom SJ,

Why on earth did you employ the Xtian term "Old Testament"? We're supposed to be defining our religious nomenclature for them, not the reverse.

Now if you truly want the religion of our Tanakh, you may not detract from the Torah's commandments for your convenience. You must assume the entire burden in a Qaraite manner.
If you want the much easier path that is Reform, please don't try to couch this watered down form of Judaism as "Tanakh religion". Note that I didn't say fraudulent... if you're sufficiently honest, you'll recognize it's a diluted version of Torah observence, for I've personally noticed that even Reform people who attempt to practice Orthodox style cut corners where they deem fit.

As to Garnel's input, I'll say that directives such as eye for an eye aren't workable only because we live in regimes which do not allow them.
Obviously he knows little about proper slaughter, or he would've mentioned the longstanding Qaraite Jewish method which bears many similarities with Halal slaughter and performs the job much better in several aspects (e.g. maximal blood removal, compassion for the slaughtered creature) than its Rabbinic counterpart.

SJ, Tanakh-true Judaism could be very enjoyable, and the Orthodox have indeed added many unnecessary man-made burdens dressed as Divine writ, but you've set yourself up for a major disappointment if you're looking for zero sacrifice and absolutely no discomfort. It can't be done.