"Noah Feldman isn't throwing bombs, but he certainly lit a fuse. The Harvard law professor's New York Times Magazine article about his ostracism from his Modern Orthodox yeshiva continues to be a topic wherever observant Jews gather to pray, eat, or blog." Now that is progress! (ASC)
Israel doesn't think Jewish funding from the US is important. Ok fine…no more for you.
Happy Birthday POLJS!
This week we saw a few posts up on different post-hippy Jew blogs about the "Tute." Now I have made my feelings known about the Havaruh InstiTUTE and Indy minyanim well known.
Me first give’me give’me Judaism is not new. It is a product of the 1970s, when the Havaruh movement started the first time. Leaders then said the same thing that leaders now say: we are next generation of the Jewish community. While nice to say, I don't see it. Outside of the fact that when these Havurahot rent space, teach schools and make democratic decisions, (acting the same way as any other type of synagogue) they also get together and share common ideas and goal…you could say it is a movement (like all the other religious movements). So what is so different and revolutionary about you folks?
The argument that is always refuted by the likes of BZ or Trumpet Boy or Kung Fu Dude is that smaller communities can't sustain such movements. I now would will say these indy groups cannot be sustained without a strong acceptance of the mainstream Jewish community. Where else will they meet? Where else will they get funding that they take for granted? Where will they get people to eat their yummy potluck meals than from major cities with self-righteous self-aggrandizing people?
The answer is they will not. In older days yes there were fewer options for people, Jewishly and commercially – to borrow from the argument proposed on Jewschool. But unlike those who find a deeper connection in groups of exactly like-minded people, the folks of yesteryear (and most of the current Jewish community) felt that insulation in small community doesn't help you grow as a person. It isn't about options, it is about what you value more. Having people who have kids and don’t, new members and old, rich and poor, old and young, in a community makes it rich. (This is not to say that synagogues have this everywhere but it is built into the theoretical model, where as it is not in indy minyan. The Indy is a fluid and non-establishment)
Now these are my personal feelings. I don’t wish to tell indy minyaniers they can’t do what they want and I think they should be able to do just that - whatever they want! But it is shortsighted to ignore this kind of the argument.