Friday, April 06, 2007

For my critics

I've been asked:

Why do you delight in describing the origins of our customs and rituals? Is Purim improved after you've discovered that our custom of masquerading was copied from Gentiles? Is Chanukkah made better when you know that we light candles for eight days because the original Chanukkah was a late Sukkos? How can you sit at the Seder with any sort of Jewish feeling if you believe/know that many of its forms were copied from Greek banquets?

My answer:

What's better? To sit in a room with the lights off, or with the lights on? Finding out the origins of some of the Seder's forms and rituals (as well as seeing how the Sages improved/changed them l'shem shamayim) is like putting on the light.

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