So I don’t read East Village Mamelee often, more because I like the hard hitting politics of the Forward over the touchy feel of our Mamelee. But this week is different. As I was perusing for new Jewish articles the title caught my eye. I wish our Mamelee and her brother’s family a hardy Mazel Tov!
The rituals described in the piece were nice if not traditional. They took from the text they knew and learned from the experience they had. Now I am no rabbi but I do know a thing or two about liberal Judaism. The Reform Movement, as BZ always points out, did not do away with mitzvot, but with those with no meaning to us as modern members of society. Arguably many of these rituals like cutting hair or keeping Shabbat by making a non-Jew turn on your TV do not have any meaning and therefore do not inform or supplement our understanding of Jewish life. So we don’t do them.
Yet we do other rituals that do have significance. And over time these rituals change. To mark time and space we remember things in different ways than our grandparents and they did things differently than their grandparents. We are all Jews and find our Jewish-ness differently.
DK has written a somewhat scathing article about this piece at Kvetcher. He is entitled to his opinion but he is wrong. Liberal Judaism is as important as Orthodoxy. Modern Jewish life would be completely lost if it were not for Liberals. And Liberals need the Orthodoxy as well. We all need each other.
So, while DK can say liberal Judaism “sucks ass” I say it sustains our existence as enlightened progressive tolerant Jewish people.