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Orthodox achilles heel

Reader comment on item: More about the Orthodox Future of Judaism

Submitted by Shlomo (United States), Jun 12, 2009 at 06:33

Orthodoxy may be flourishing at the moment, but many of its children will inevitably rebel and flee to more liberal forms of Judaism or to secular Zionism, as in the past. Globally, religious fundamentalism is the fashion of the moment and may be a consequence of global ecological and demographic stress.

Orthodoxy's insularity is harmful to Jewish and Israeli survival for several reasons:

(1) their hostility to people who want to convert to Judaism; potential converts have to jump through all kinds of hoops.

(2) their effort to hijack the hitherto secular Zionist state in order to impose Orthodox religious observance and to impose impractical messianic agendas on the state's conduct of relations with the Arabs and other countries.

(3) their extremism will unnecessarily alienate Gentiles and more liberal Jews.

(4) their smugness blinds them to political reality. (

5) where they are Zionist, their loyalty to the Israeli state is conditioned on its adherence to traditional rabbinic norms. (

6) the anti-Zionist haredim resist productive participation in Israeli economy and society, hence they are an enormous burden. Religious extremism was one of the major causes of ancient Judea's defeat by Rome, with tragic results.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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