Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Thing I Hate Most About Orthodoxy

GH told us what he most disliked about Orthodoxy. Now it's my turn.

The thing I hate most about Orthodoxy, is not mandated by the Torah, the Talmud or the law books that came later. It first came into use for entirely irreligous reasons yet, in our day it's a sign of piety, religiosity, and loyalty to tradition. If you were to forswear this ordinary item, you'd meet disdain from large swaths of the Orthodox Jewish world: you would not, for example, be permitted to lead their congregations in prayer or to marry their daughters or to teach their sons. It's also ugly, expensive, and and irrelevent to Jewish law or philosophy, having been given it's high position in 21st century Orthodox Jewish life strictly as a result of how the culture evolved.

What is it?