Friday, October 03, 2008


Professorin' Is Keepin' Me Busy ...

... and out of blogging.

But I figured I'd link to formerly of the Big Media Matt's place where I just gave my $0.02 worth on our current pickle. Y'all (or now that I am back in the Northeast, I should say "Youse guys"?) will recognize some of the themes.

Meanwhile the Rabbi at my new shul gave a controversial sermon on what ails the conservative movement. And nobody's yet commented on our shul's highly contentious listserv? What's up with that? (If I have time I'll put links and maybe even my $0.02 worth on that ... but right now the shul's website is down anyway).

Update: link to the sermon in the comments.

What did he say that was so controversial?

He told us all to have lots o' kids (and admitted it would require individual sacrifice), but didn't mention anything, e.g., about how the frumies have a different kind of community that is in many ways much more supportive of having a ton of rugrats under foot than our community.

In general, when it comes to these "oh noes the Conservative movement is dying" sorts of speeches, I start to think such things as "the Conservative movement has been on its last legs for about, what, 100 years now?" and "how is this any different than any other liberal religious group? are we Jews so ignorant of what's, e.g. going on with Mainline Protestantism?".

IMHO, the Rabbi's comparison to an organism was correct ... but the issue in terms of evolutionary success is not "can we outbreed the frummies" but whether we have a niche?

No matter how much we claim (and how truthful our claims are) that our Way of Judaism is as authentic, if not more so, than the frummies' way and no matter how much we claim we can (and should) uphold Halacha, the fact is that people who want to make a sacrificial commitment to living Halacha, by and large going to go Orthodox and those who aren't are going to go secular. So the question really should be not "how do we compete?" but "what's our niche?" And how do we survive as a remanent of silver plucked from the dross, to use a Biblical allusion?
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