Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Requiescat in Pace (Non)

Last Shabbat, after Mincha, I asked a friend what he thought the few remaining Orthodox faculty members at JTS would do, once the Conservative movement endorses and ordains avowed homosexuals. He looked at me quizzically and asked: 'What's the difference? Once they declared חילול שבת to be allowed, what more was there to say?'

Of course, he's right. Once sentiment for Tradition and observance wore off, with the departure of the children of immigrants from the American scene, there was no longer any reason for Conservative Jews to pretend that they are bound by anything other than by their own convenience. In any event, as Marshall Sklare wrote forty years ago, the 'halakhic' character of the movement was always, pretty much a farce. The whole movement was the embodiment of, what one former Conservative rabbi turned professor, 'Tell me where the crowd's going, I'm its leader!'

It was always a layman's movement in which rabbis were, at best, figureheads. As American Jews became more and more American/Western/Liberal, so they demanded that their Judaism, and their rabbis, show how Judaism can 'keep up with the times.' (God forbid that they should feel guilty or the least bit put upon.)

Actually, part of me is glad that they did this, because the rest of the bets are off. By allowing גילוי ,עריות any thinking Jew will realize just how little integrity this movement has. There will now be a zero-sum game for the soul of the Jewish People, as the learned and quality remnants of RW Conservatism start getting used to the Orthodox community and Reform reaps the rest (non-Jewish spouses of Patrilineal (non-)Jews and all).

The Torah community's challenge is, what we call in Israel, hasbara. We need to stop screaming and acting inappropriately. We need to move where we can and respectfully, but firmly, save what can yet be saved.

אז כל זמן אז דער פייר ברענט, ס'איז פארהאן וואס צו מתקן זיין

3 comments:

Yael said...

Sorry friend but I've just mememed you! Your mission is to
1.Grab the book nearest you
2.Open to page 123
3.Scroll down 5 lines
4.Quote us the next three full sentences
5.Give the book title and author

cheers! Yael

Anonymous said...

Last Shabbat, after Mincha

Is that a polite way of saying "last shabbat, during mincha"?

:)

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that there are that many learned and quality remnants of RW Conservatism left to become Orthodox....