Tuesday, November 03, 2009

At Least I'm Not Crazy Like Them

A guest post (after a really long break) by JS:

There's an old joke that anyone driving slower than you is an imbecile while anyone driving faster than you is a maniac. Seems like religion works the same way. Anyone who is less observant than you is godless while anyone more observant than you is crazy.

This creeps up in some obvious ways. For example, an Orthodox person may observe that someone drives to shul on Shabbat drawing the inevitable remark, "It's amazing the person even knows what Shabbat is." Or perhaps the Orthodox person may see a Chabad volunteer helping someone bench lulav and thinks, "You could give that person a lemon instead of an etrog and they wouldn't know the difference." Or a Modern Orthodox person may see an ultra-Orthodox woman with 9 children in tow and remark, "Haven't these people heard of birth control?" Or maybe a Modern Orthodox person passes a Chareidi man in full garb and wonders, "Hasn't he heard it's the 21st century?"

Of course it creeps up in some not so obvious ways, often when the distinctions between groups are more subtle - thus making it more important to point out. For example, "Why can't they just eat regular cheese like the rest of us? Haven't they heard Rav Moshe's psak on chalav yisroel?" Or "We watch movies and TV shows on our laptop, we're not like the chareidim who don't watch TV at all!"

And like the car example above, inevitably you are either "godless" or "crazy" to someone else, which just seems preposterous - you're an excellent driver! Your religious observances are perfectly reasonable and make eminent sense! How dare the Conservative person stare at you flabbergasted when you tell him or her that you only dated your wife for 6 months before getting engaged! You're not like those nuts who only date for 3-4 weeks. And they mock the fact that you withhold from any touching during niddah?! Niddah is beautiful! It's not like you keep all the harchakot like those loonies - you pass the salt directly to your spouse! And how dare that person look down their nose at you that you're not really koveah itim! You learn on the subway to work and go to a shiur twice a week - not like those people who call it a "talmud" if they even know what that is! And what nerve that they look disdainfully at your colorful outfits! It's not like you dress like a slut like those Jewish kids in public school!

Search for more information about religious (in)sanity at 4torah.com.

Follow me on Twitter

No comments: