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Reader comment on item: The Orthodox Future of Judaism

Submitted by J (United States), Apr 4, 2005 at 12:04

You are right, but the thing is that the prophets weren't railing away at Jews who were drinfting away from strict observance, they were railing away at people that were blatantly ignorant of their Judaism, and even against it. You can compare it to today's drug use, prostitution, plain out foolish and behavior damaging to oneself and to others. Basically, the life of each individual is endlessly valuable and to expose oneself to such a lifestyle is to cause torment to the self and also to cause the body of the Jewish people to lose cohesiveness. The harshness of the message was probably relative to the harshness of the behavior. Keep in mind, there is no real idolatry today; if you saw a Jew praying to an idol (it's hard to imagine in today's context) you might be quite upset, and that's what the prophets saw.

Anywhere else, these non-observant Jews would have immediately converted out or otherwise completely cut off any attachment to Judaism or Jewish culture.

Also, how do you actually measure how far or close a non-observant Jew is to their Judaism? My old roomate is Jewish, knows a little bit about Judaism and Jewish culture (stress on a little), yet spends hours of his time immersed in activities that afford him no satisfaction, ie, his computer games, endless online chatting, downloading television shows, watching movies (alone or with others), reading books, working (for what? to buy more stuff?), and spending some time with people that really don't have much to offer to him (and currently, vice-versa)? Sure, he KNOWS about Judaism, and even that is questionable, but he is so far from a life of substance that it's just crushing to see. A relativist might say that he might just be happy, maybe I'm judging too strictly, but it's easy to tell when someone has nothing of real value in their life. My friend might be an extreme case, there are many people who have similar patterns in their lives. This is the kind of life that we need to help Jews leave if they are looking for a way out, and there are signs that are not always direct.

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