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Reader comment on item: The Orthodox Future of Judaism

Submitted by Carol Herman (United States), Jan 26, 2005 at 17:58

Your article portrays a "funny" count. Because "candle lighting" is way, way down. How old am I? 65. And, yes, I went to an elementary school Yeshiva. Why? Because my dad was terrified at what the Holocaust had done. (He lost his sister, her husband, and her 3 young boys). And, even though he threw his own orthodoxy overboard when he came to America, alone, at age 15 ... As I said, my parents sacrificed to send me to The Yeshiva of Flatbush.

Do I practice? No. Do I belong to a temple? No. Was my own son Bar Mitzvahed? Yes. My mom and I sent him for a six week tour of Israel when he turned 13. His Bar Mitzvah, in Jerusalem, was included. (He was one of the few youngsters who didn't smoke cigarettes.) And, it didn"t sway him to even look up Hillel when he went to college.

His dad, on the other hand, married a Phillipino woman. And, both his children; a boy and a girl, had very fancy, reform Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. And, does this rub off as "religion?" No.

But when Jews today "identify" at all ... they identify, oddly enough, with the European Jews who made something of themselves in America. The ones who excelled enough to go into science. Or law. And, who climbed to the top of their professions. So Einstein may remain a bigger Jewish identity than the orthodox. But it was the orthodox men, remember, who married the non Jews , here in the States. This I saw a lot of! And, it comes with the territory of WEALTH ... Just as Donald Trump proves ... as he walked down the aisle of an Episcopalian Church. With a magnificent, and much younger woman, on his arm, for a bride.

Are there signs that a cultural shift has taken place? Yes. Every time I walk into a supermarket, the Jewish foods section shrinks some more. And, today's comedians don't have the edge of the old Jewish stock. But then, when doctors I knew rolled up their sleeves, I saw the nazi tattoos on their arms.

Again, IF religion is a GROUP practice ... then we just don't live within those large families, anymore. You know, I remember parents who destroyed themselves, sitting shiva for young men and women who married out. I even remember back to the days when churches refused to sanctify unions between Jews, and their congregants who dreamt of church weddings.

It's very possible up ahead that there won't be much to show for what had been real choices? I did get that from your article. (And, I laughed at the reform synogogue where so many shiksas were more "into" symbolic gestures of faith, than any Jewish women I knew.)

But, ya know, Jews were migrating to America for a long time. And, so many, "to belong," chose Episcopalian, over other choices. For the friendships. That can take place in smaller communities, where people go ... to ... well "belong." But collecting a Minyan? Where? And, if friendships blossom all over the map; even if orthodoxy remains the haven for Jews who want to experience faith ... You're telling me that you won't get branches?

If the Christian Reformation proves anything; it proves that faith tends to survive in small pockets of FREEDOM. Without a Pope. Doesn't that lesson count for points, too?


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Reader comments (56) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1anat [86 words]kamenkaFeb 18, 2013 10:59203610
History shows... [363 words]JApr 4, 2005 12:0421327
History anyone? [224 words]Adrienne ScholzMar 8, 2005 10:4420869
Bothered [251 words]SimonaFeb 25, 2005 13:2820526
Religious movements [128 words]donvanFeb 23, 2005 14:2120492
SAUDI VENOM IN U.S. MOSQUES [243 words]LESFeb 3, 2005 16:5420094
Orthodox political action [319 words]Steve KleinFeb 2, 2005 08:1220068
A ll in the family [432 words]Jon B. RosenbergFeb 1, 2005 09:2020028
Why I became orthodox [530 words]S.Jan 31, 2005 16:3420016
Jews-Christians [104 words]Philip LindyJan 30, 2005 17:5419999
Who is Jewish? [82 words]Philip CrownJan 30, 2005 15:5119995
Reformed Orthodoxy? [201 words]AlexJan 28, 2005 18:5319953
Did the orthodox really dip to 5%? [49 words]Peter J. HerzJan 28, 2005 12:2719940
Reaction to the "Future of Judaism" [112 words]Rabbi Howard FinkelsteinJan 27, 2005 23:0219920
Reply to John W. McGinley [124 words]RWJan 27, 2005 22:3819918
From a Gentile [167 words]Arlinda DeAngelisJan 27, 2005 21:3319917
The spread of Islam was not always violent [125 words]Ron Lukens-Bull, Ph.DJan 27, 2005 20:3919915
It Was Not Always By Violence That The Christian Faith Spread [73 words]AnneMApr 24, 2006 17:4119915
Liberals vs Orthodox Jews [72 words]Octavio JohansonJan 27, 2005 17:0219914
confusion [433 words]jon KingAug 12, 2007 08:5419914
Maybe it is a bit silly, but [72 words]Alain Jean-MairetJan 27, 2005 14:1719911
Watch Out for "The Truth" [165 words]Timothy B. RobertsJan 27, 2005 10:4419908
MOMA [31 words]Raphael RothsteinJan 27, 2005 10:3919907
Private opinions and general convictions.. Or sentences? [964 words]Oscar Laurens SchroverJan 27, 2005 06:0119905
MUCH BETTER TO HAVE RELIGIOUS JEWS IN LIMELIGHT [57 words]Catherine FitzJan 27, 2005 04:5819904
The future of Judaism [259 words]Yossi Ben-AharonJan 27, 2005 04:3219903
Remember, at one time even the Orthodox were "Reformed" [36 words]Jeffrey LevineJan 27, 2005 01:0019901
Hasidism developed at same time as Reform in opposite direction. [430 words]Stuart TeichJan 26, 2005 23:1119900
No, it does not seem like Islamism at all ! [59 words]Dr Ahmed Youssif. MDJan 26, 2005 23:0019899
Embrace of Marx has been destructive [138 words]Cal MillerJan 26, 2005 19:4419897
WHO IS LIGHTING CANDLES FRIDAY NITE? [565 words]Carol HermanJan 26, 2005 17:5819895
You should read this Article by Rabbi Manis Friedman [47 words]Ephraim FeyertagJan 26, 2005 16:3619893
Orthodox Were Once Political [36 words]Nikki Roth-SkilesJan 26, 2005 15:3819892
Even the Orthodox have their problems! [354 words]Kenneth S. BesigJan 26, 2005 14:4419890
So many opinions! But the article is about problems Jews face. [441 words]Michael A. ShoemakerJan 26, 2008 03:1319890
If not a good man, what then? [535 words]Oscar Laurens SchroverJan 26, 2005 12:5719888
There are vibrant non-Orthodox Judaism alternatives out there [474 words]Stephen AsbelJan 26, 2005 12:4719887
Lisa Malik - the reason why conservative Judaism is gone [87 words]Disgusted DavenerMay 20, 2011 21:5619887
Anti-Semitism [84 words]George TanakisJan 26, 2005 12:2519886
The future of our nation [345 words]Y.EliashivJan 26, 2005 11:4919885
What do we do with the non-Orthodox? [165 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Sheldon SeltzerJan 26, 2005 11:3419884
Orthodox Jews are the key to Judaism's survival [185 words]Octavio JohansonJan 26, 2005 06:2119882
A great religion of the world [81 words]S.C.PandaJan 26, 2005 05:0219881
Jewish "movements" [95 words]AriJan 26, 2005 01:5219876
Three to one [235 words]Duane GainsburgJan 25, 2005 23:2919875
A response to Orthodox trend toward hegemony and social action [299 words]Rabbi Edgar WeinsbergJan 25, 2005 22:1819872
Careful, Daniel [263 words]John W. McGinleyJan 25, 2005 21:4219870
Common Misconception [151 words]ElliotJan 25, 2005 17:0519866
Orthodoxy on rise...no surprise [576 words]Devorah AngelJan 25, 2005 17:0419865
Thoughts [153 words]BillJan 25, 2005 14:2919862
Does Judaism have any future at all? [450 words]Nora TehillosJan 25, 2005 14:1819860
Faith in non-orthodox circles [231 words]Ben SiscovickJan 25, 2005 13:4619856
It seems like Islamism [56 words]Neila Charchour HachichaJan 25, 2005 13:4219855
The National Jewish Population Survey 2000 [168 words]Tom TimmonsJan 25, 2005 11:4919854
jewish community in usa won't come [47 words]naorFeb 1, 2006 11:2119854
Future of Judaism [179 words]Jean McNealJan 25, 2005 11:4219852

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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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