Giving Up Judaism for Orthodoxy

Posted: September 19, 2010 in Life Musings, Religion
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m sitting here in my bed listening to some amazing recordings of Kol Nidrei Chazzanus that Heshy Fried posted.  I find myself both nostalgic and sad. Regardless of the validity of Judaism, it is certainly beautiful at times.

I have just watched a documentary on air travel, and I find my mind to be floating in the memories of LA travel as a kid. LA to me was always a place where I was able to feel the echoes of Judaism as it was in the 1940’s, 50’s 60′ and 70’s. Not the black and white clad version where Rabbi’s with long beards attempted- rather successfully- in pulling Judaism back into the dark ages of the Shtetl, but rather the echoes of the massive shuls of the 40’s we had after the war, and the Hebrew Day School types that thrived in out of town commuities before the term out of town was coined.

Perhaps that feeling was brought out by being in my grandparent’s home there, where seeing my grandparents,  normal people who happened to be Jewish and older people, connected me in some weird way to the Jews of yesteryear. Sadly my grandfather changed, as he aged he too got influenced by the yeshivish movement and became slightly more closedminded.

Listening to Kol Nidrei now just added to the feeling that the Yeshivish world, in an attempt to authenticate Orthodoxy, lost Judaism. The culture and refinement that infused so much inspiration into Judaism of the 60’s, and added so much glory, it itself was perhaps an anchor that kept many clinging to it. Perhaps that glory itself gave meaning to Judasim in a way that debating over minute laws of tying shoes and enforcing self created dress codes cannot possibly accomplish.

And perhaps being raised in a home where my mom grew up with day schools and can still appreciate the refined side of Judaism, the side where culture infiltrates, has allowed me to not completely disassociate myself with them.

  1. great post. thanks for commenting on my page, appreciate it.

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