Thursday, April 14, 2011

Am I undermining Judaism?

So I got a great letter of appreciation last night from one of the readers, and though its not usually my policy to share such things, this time I am. I'm doing this because I want certain Twitter big mouths to know that despite their incessant and slanderous lies to the contrary, I am not "undermining Judaism."

Now don't misunderstand:  I don't think I am "saving Judaism" or "rescuing Judaism" either. Judaism doesn't need my help. But there are individual Jews here and there who appreciate what I do and find it makes them better or happier Jews.

Anyway, see the letter after the jump:

Count me among the thousands of "assimilated" American Jews with old-world style Orthodox Grandparents whose kids quickly became disillusioned with "modern" Orthodoxy and consequently, left it.

We quickly became what could best be described as "Chanukah Whitefish" Jews.
BUT, in spite of this, while many Jews I met failed me, Judaism still called me.

Your blog serves (and inspires) me in 2 ways -- I am learning the language an nuance of the whole Orthodox world in a clear, caring and (usually) non-name calling way. Not because I consider myself Orthodox (or even aspire to it) but just understanding that whole half of the Jewish world helps when I cross paths with them. And I fell VERY strongly that weaving us back together, turning the threads that tie us together into string, into ropes, is the only way Judaism can survive modernity. I don't expect Lakewood folks to suddenly love my Conservative (-dox?) family, but respecting and working together on those things that we DO share in common.

Much more importantly, your take on Torah, learning, midrash, etc seems SO much more open-minded than what I was used to hearing from that "half" of the Jewish world. Your take on tradition and WHY we do things fits much more closely to the conclusions I came to out in the wilderness, conclusions I feel fit so well within the Torah based, yet liberal traditions of Judaism. And you always do so with such knowledge and understanding of Talmud and midrash -- well it's inspiring.

So, thank you for the inspiration and teaching. You have done me a true mitzvah.

Thanks for writing. I have to admit, I never saw myself as a source of information and inspiration for the unaffiliated, but I'm glad to do it

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