Saturday, November 14, 2009

860. Fitting in (part 1)

It was a lovely, busy Shabbat, and would have been even more jam-packed (an afternoon teaching; a Minha bar mitzvah; food) if if I hadn't fallen asleep on the sofa after lunch. But I had a great nap, in retrospect the perfect way to spend a cold, rainy afternoon. Now I'm trying to wake up in time to head off to a friend's very cool birthday party at a museum. Before that, some thoughts about the topic of last night's community dinner at my synagogue. A smart and funny rabbi risked a riot (well, not really, but he discussed some things we usually avoid like the plague) by broaching the subject of what the Orthodox do better than most other Jews. For example: education. Those with a yeshiva background are well-versed in classic texts. Those in recovery from the travesty of afternoon Hebrew school can barely name five important Jewish books (a question that yields depressing answers from this rabbi's non-Orthodox students). Also, outreach. Chabad is everywhere to help the unaffiliated become part of a community. Where are representatives of other denominations? One might think that those streams aren't interested in retaining their disaffected members, especially on college campuses. (And I remember venturing into my college's Kosher Kitchen years ago to find a room filled with people in kippot and payeses who eyed me with suspicion. I left quickly and never returned. I know things have changed a great deal since then, but it's still easier to find like-minded Jewish souls in many cities and universities if you're Orthodox.)

(To be continued.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. I could relate with it. All the best!

This is Joshua from Israeli Uncensored News