Monday, June 11, 2007

The Jewish Theme Park

In the wake of a wishy washy, "nuanced" statement on homosexuality comes a clarification.

New York, NY, March 26, 2007 — Following the completion of a thorough and deliberate review process, The Jewish Theological Seminary has decided, effective immediately, to accept qualified gay and lesbian students into its rabbinical and cantorial schools.

Certainly their are many great Jews in the conservative movement, but it is clear that something is wrong. There are of course some practicing Jews in the movement. Unfortunately they are a small minority. Most "Conservative" don't even bother with Halachah any more despite the fact that the Conservative movement still claims that Halacha is essential to being a good Jew. Does that mean that the movement is failing to produce good Jews anymore? At least the Reform and Reconstructionist movements, misguided as they are, have intellectual consistency.

As simple as I am, I can see that this recent ruling is incredibly unkosher! Consequently, the overwhelming membership of such congregations feel themselves unbound by the Torah. Valet parking on Shabbos was unthinkable twenty years ago is normative for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. (It seems that it is a Conservative Halacha to have a big expensive Bar Mitzvah!) Our beautiful psalms are drowned by organ music. If any one actually did the Amidah they would find they weren't even given the time to recite it. Maybe it's just that they are such amazing daveners! Their "Chumash" is annotated to sterilize our holy Torah as much as possible. I wonder how many Conservative Jews feel they have a relationship with Hashem? I never felt a connection to G-d in such a place. The rituals had no meaning. Perhaps I resent Conservative Judaism because having grown up in a Conservative Shul, I became alienated from Judaism. Too bad there isn't a place I can't sit next to my wife in and feel I am connecting in any way with God. But then again it was alway hard to concentrate on Tefillah when the scent of perfume in the air and those clinging short dresses in my peripheral vision. To me the Conservative synagogue is "a Jewish theme park". It looks Jewish but doesn't feel Jewish.

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