Posts Tagged ‘news’

When I first started this blog, I simply was looking for a way to express myself, perhaps find a few readers or cause a laugh now and again. As time went on it became important to me to convey my feelings as I underwent a transformation from a religious teen, to a rationally thinking young adult. It was at that point, perhaps after I wrote the post Get With the Program in the summer of 2010, that I began to feel a need to explain my viewpoint. At that point I’d gone from someone confused about what means something to them, to someone who knows what doesn’t and what does. In any argument, the idea is always to convince others of your viewpoint, not to prove them wrong.

We don’t care about his viewpoint, only that he care about ours. I noticed at some point that whenever I spoke to someone religious about religion, unlike that of a typical argument, I’d walk away frustrated. I felt that I was talking to someone, who instead of believing he was right but respecting that I believed in my argument as strongly as he believed in his, I instead felt belittled for my beliefs. Many blog posts after followed, in which I spoke about the normal life, and tried to convey in a broad sense that the life I chose to live was normal, very much fulfilling and in no means foolish.

“And here I begin to feel irrationally angry with her. I believe YU is a vital organ of the Orthodox Jewish community and to publish such a guilt-ridden, neurotic article in one of their publications perpetuates a toxic culture for the whole of it. It’s irresponsible. When she writes about her shame and YU students respond in kind, I see it becoming that much harder for me, and others who have chosen a path other than that of Orthodox Judaism, to be taken seriously in our choices, to be thought of as mature adults making decisions based on well-thought out ideological differences, and thus, it makes it harder for us to maintain healthy relationships with our families and friends, because they think we’re on some kind of Rumspringa-style bender and need to be brought back into the fold.

So I want to make this clear to you, brothers and sisters (in the college-student-camaraderie sense, at the very least) – this is not what it means to leave Orthodox Judaism. This is what happens when we perpetually shut down discussions about alternative paths and alternative lifestyles. We are forced to communicate in these tragic half-truths in anonymous posts. I have lost friends because of my choices and I don’t believe that had to happen. It leaves a terrible taste in my mouth about the Orthodox world that I do not want to be there. Though I experienced some closed mindedness in my Orthodox upbringing, I have no illusions that those kinds of people are exclusive to Orthodox Jewry. I do believe they are not the majority there. I believe that the people who showed me friendship, love, and acceptance all my life did so not because I was a Jew, but because they were good people, good friends, and so was I.”

This article was a response to the original article published in The Beacon, YU’s newpaper, which made waves in the Jewish community. I felt that noone quite expressed so succinctly the ideas and feelings I had in regards to the misunderstanding between myself and many religious people.

I showed someone, a religious relative of mine from LA, and the response was something between a murmur of acknowledgement that the above excerpt isn’t foolish, I disagree with what you’ve showed me. When confronted with something so blatantly saying what they feel, and a perfect response to how we feel as mature adults, what else is there to say? And so I thank the writer of that article, whoever she may be, for enlightening others, and helping clarify myself.

 

Airplane Confusion

Gothamist had this article about Jews wearing tefillin called

“Tefillin Totin’ Jews Terrorize Another Airplane”

Dramatic, right?

It’s the comments on that article that intrigued me:

– Don’t people understand that Jews do not directly involve themselves in a terror scheme… They let the American CIA do it for them.
Sheesh!

In reponse to above: Have you always been stupid or was there a time, maybe in the second grade, when a teacher told you that there was “promise”? Educate yourself, you fool.

Response back: Do I educate myself by first ignoring the uncomfortable bedfellows that is Israel & the CIA? Ignorance is bliss, HO. I think you might need some educating, too. I loved 2nd grade.

– If you’ve never seen the ritual, it’s pretty scary/intense, especially on a plane. I’m a jew and it still creeps me out.

– hey, all you religious nuts, keep your prayers at home in the church or temple…any one tying boxes to their heads on a plane needs to have their heads examined. so irresponsible…religious fools.
Response: Have you seen how Jews are able to control their women? It’s definitely the best religion for that.

– There’s a time and place for everything. Inflexibility is the Orthodox creed. In today’s world public safety must trump religious ritual every time. With this said, I smell a freedom of religion suit with these facts reaching the Supreme Court in about 5 years. Watch for it.

– Judaism allows for flexibility in a lot of things. Those who insist on putting on Tefillin on a airplane should find a loophole…Judaism is full of them. And besides, standing up during a flight is not only dangerous for the people doing it, it puts others at risk too.

– Some day we will get over religion and its superstitions and work on evolving as a society.
In response: No we won’t. It’s too easy to pretend there’s some supernatural daddy figure in the sky telling you what’s right and wrong so you never have to take responsibility and think for yourself. And most people, whether it’s in their private lives or professional or anywhere else, will do what’s easiest no matter what the consequences.

– Agreed! Wait until you get off the plane to perform the prayer rituals.

-Hitler would be proud.
In response: Godwin would not. (awesome reference!)

– I’ve never understood loud religious rituals at all. If you’re praying to an almighty deity, surely he’ll hear you even if you whisper or just think your prayers. There’s no correlation between true, heartfelt piety and aural volume anyway. Often, the people who are the loudest with their “hallelujahs” and “praise the Lord” are the least pious. For example, Pat Robertson, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, the Westboro freaks – the list goes on and on.

– While I don’t think these guys are getting supernatural powers from “tefillin'” I certainly think it is a bit ridiculous that people freak out whenever anyone who isn’t white does some of their religious mumbo-jumbo. Pray the rosary: those beads are okay. pray with tefillin & suddenly DUN DUN DUN. TERROR!

– Hilarious.