Interfaith in December Hat tip to Michael van der Galien at The Moderate Voice
Is Marriage by any other name as sweet?
Black Eye for Black Hats
It looks like I got what I asked for...but I feel a little guilty...
And a BIG thank you to Jspot for the placement of POLJ on the Blog Roll
I have had some nice interactions with my pretend blog friend Mobius via email. Well I suppose it was just the completion of a long chain of comments over on Jewschool. He continues to support this idea of an infrastructure-based Jewish community centered on the concept of Anarchy. This won’t work.
Mobius states that the superstructure of the Jewish community is out-dated, self-serving and generally doesn’t work. He has proposed that we create this infrastructure to serve any Jewish group, large or small, in it attempt to create true and meaningful localized Jewish community.
Great! Sign me up! But wait here is the problem. Localized, democratic institutions tend to need some sort of organization. Let it be a union or collection or even a Co-Op to borrow from the anarchistic ideal. These small groups, if formed and left completely alone to their own devices will only serve themselves and if they try to expand their mandate they will need for form larger and more inclusive communities, leading to what Mobius quotes a “mortgage of values.”
Besides the idea being completely flawed and the only people who stand to benefit from such a system are people who have system in place to take advantage of such a free-democratic infrastructure, the concept of creating a system to take the place of a system to prove you aren’t in a system is silly. Why do anarchists Jews feel the need to create some sort of community I ask?
And I answer: Because the Jewish world is made of Community Organizations. The first thing a Jewish town needs to be considered Jewish is a Burial Society and Cemetery. Fine on a small scale that could be completely democratic, but not when you get into the fact that not everything must be decided on by everyone. Can’t we pretty much agree that it is a good idea to have the lawns be kept clean in our cemetery? Do we need a town hall meeting to decide that? What about funding pre-schools? Good idea! Have the parents be involved in the creation of curriculum sure, but should it matter to have everyone make the decision about whether to use chalk boards or white boards?
The answer is no. The reason why the Jewish people have excited for so long is that we don’t get bogged down in the minute details. Look to the Greeks and Romans…They had similar structures and were completely based on total Democracy (besides the slavery aspects). They do not exist because after a few historical minutes of total democracy and localized governance, they gave up and let an all powerful leader take over…things were good for a while…then not so much.
The system in place in the Jewish community needs help and lots of it. But by creating a counter system that undermines and take away from the current system only will serve to fracture the strength of the Jewish people. There are far too few of us to fight over this type of program. We need to integrate and modernize what we have now, not scrap it and start over.