Posts Tagged ‘j-blog’

This post at Dear Diaspora seems particularly timely (it’s a bit old, but timely for me anyway) and addressed some of what I touched on in my earlier post today. About how to deal with those parts of Torah teaching that feel, for lack of a better word, abhorrent. She writes, in one section, “as Hillel famously said, ‘What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.’ Looking at it through that lens, one might even conclude that being horrified by what is horrifying is actually the point.”

I think that is part of what I was driving at in my last post, when I said that you had to read the Torah but listen to the voice of G-d in your heart, because I do think it is the voice of G-d we are hearing when we study and something whispers, “Wow, that’s really hateful. How about some love and kindness for your fellow travelers instead.” or when we recoil in shame or horror at what others do in the name of religion. I’d take it a step further. What is hateful to you, do not do to your self. I’ve always held that the whole Golden Rule thing included the Self in the folks you were supposed to be doing unto.

Anyway, it’s a good post. Check it out. Another one I like from her is this post about what people would like to see Judaism become or evolve into.

She asks some questions which I will probably work into a whole ‘nother post or series of posts as I work through the process of answering them, because I think they are really worth thinking about:

– What do you like about Judaism and Jewish culture? What do you dislike?

– Why are Judaism and Jewish culture important? Why is it important to preserve them?

– What is your relationship with Judaism as a religion? Do you feel connected to Judaism? To a temple community, to a minyan, to a study group? If not, would you like to be?

– Are you affiliated with any of the movements? Which one, and why? If not, why not? What do you like and/or dislike about it?

– How observant are you? How important is observance to you? How observant should others be? Are some kinds of observance more important than others?

– What practices or ideas are most central to your Jewish identity? (i.e. eating bagels, loving books, celebrating the High Holidays, not celebrating Christian holidays, keeping kosher, fighting for justice, etc.)

– Ideally, what will Judaism and Jewish culture look like in 10 years? In 25 years? In 100 years?

– What are most critical issues for the Jewish community to address right now? Israel, intermarriage, declining synagogue attendance, something else entirely?

– What are the key qualities for Judaism/Jewish culture to embody or functions for it to perform?


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