Friday, July 18, 2008

Frum satire asks an interesting question. . .some of the answers though. . .

A guest post by TikunOlam

So I clicked on Jacob Da Jew's homepage and followed a link to Frum Satire's blog. I found some of FS's posts quite interesting. One, in particular, asked whether readers would go to a wedding between a Jew and a non-Jew. He has apparently been following Abandoning Eden's blog where she has been discussing her upcoming marriage to a man who is not Jewish. Frum Satire handles this topic very well. In his post and his follow-up comments he remains committed to his own belief system while respectfully posing the question to others, clearly with an ability to treat differing opinions with interest and respect.

In reading some of the comments though, I came across a couple that really irritated me. Here are a couple of exerpts. I think you will see why I found them so annoyingly ignorant. Some of the comments are rather lengthy - follow the links to Frum Satire's blog if you want to read them in their entirety.

Shoshi says:

"Why does the person have a wedding ceremony in the first place? If you are a true atheist (in the sense of the 70ies anti-establishment movement), you do not believe in marriage, so why celebrate it…? … and why insist that certain persons (close friends, parents, family) should attend it…"

The "utube fan" comes in with this comment of brilliant psychological insight:

"Shoshi, I was thinking the same thing. If she truly is an atheist, then why the need for a wedding which is a religious ritual and if she wants this because as she writes in one of her posts, it’s a girl thing, then why be annoyed at the parents for not coming to a meaningless party. Do her parents come to other parties she throws? If it is because she wants their stamp of approval of this party, then that would be quite unreasonable of her to expect. The whole thing doesn’t make sense, but then again neither does her feeling of complete happiness without Judaism. And the reason I say that is because I have taken the time to read her posts and I feel that something is missing. While I understand like Rich says that some people just don’t believe in Orthodox tenets, I usually know more about the choice especially when the person has such an extensive Orthodox background as she does. I can’t help it, but the lifestyle affords so many options within it–options she says she considered–so I wonder why a person would be “happy” to turn away from it. It is–when properly explored–an extremely rich lifestyle choice. I know a few intellectuals who can’t come to grips with the rules or the thought process behind them, but they choose to marry Jewish because they want to give their children the rich, positive experiences of Judaism. I would love to know more about her youthful experiences in Judaism. For some MO young people, the Judaism they are presented is cold, materialistic, and disconnected. And sometimes it’s the middleman of the religion–the parents or the schools–that disappoint the person in their approach or lack of caring and then the whole thing goes to atheism in a handbasket masked as intellectual questioning. . . "

Fortunately Abandoning Eden has more patience for this complete ignorance than I do and had the patience to coming up with the following response:

“. . .Marriage (in my atheistic view) is not a religious thing. To me it is a commitment that no matter what happens in the future, you will honor the love you had for each other at the onset by trying your hardest and best to be good to one another, and to have a working relaitonship. And weddings aren’t s0me mystical thing, but rather a public declaration of those intentions.
Also in terms of the anger thing- I was a lot angrier when I wrote my latest blog post than I am now (after a few days have gone by). And I understand why my parents are sad/angry about my decision. That doesn’t mean I can’t still be sad/angry about their’s.”

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