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Carpe Diem!

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

Submitted by John W. McGinley (United States), May 9, 2006 at 15:53

Orthodoxy's day has now arrived. Not not so much because of what Orthodoxy is and stands for, but rather by default. All other groupings of Jews (including "secular" Jews) have lapsed into a degree of insipidness which corrodes the desriability of maintianing explicit Jewish identity. Even in the land of Israel itself, the non-Orthodox (both secular and the non-Orthodox religious groupings) are becoming "children-of-the-Englightenment-who-happen-to-be-of-Jewish-pedigree" rather than children of the Covenant. Yes. Even in the land of Israel the non-Orthodox are losing clear cut Jewish identity. It's better to live in the land of Israel than not to live in the land of Israel. But doing such is no longer a guarentee of maintaining a vibrant Jewish identity. So, bascially by default, Orthodoxy will pretty soon become the only realistic game in town for those who wish to be markedly Jewish.

On the plus side, the Orthodox have remained faithful to the principle of halkhic fidelity. This is their strength. But intellectual life in most shades of Orthodoxy (Khassidic and non-Khassidic alike) is a living embarrassment. It is an embarrassment which keeps the Orthodox from really experiencing the burning living center of Judasim: Scripture and the Bavli. Especially embarrassing is the prominence in Orthodoxy of a flattened out "Kabbalah" which presumes to speak on behalf of Scripture and the Bavli. Even the life of halakhic fidelity cannot be sustained for more than two or three generations on such tawdry intellectual fare. Orthodoxy's time in the sun will be short indeed unless figures from WITHIN Orthodoxy [[the other groupings of Jews having rendered themselves irrelevant]] are brave enough to put themselves in the service of the very seal of God.

"Israel" (i.e., the people, the nation, the religion). Would it not be ironic if Israel survives its enemies but kills itstelf from within? The "final solution" ushered in by an miasmatic orgy of Kabbalah. John W. McGinley

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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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