Monday, July 28, 2014


     There is a lot of talk about achdus lately. I think that there is less in fighting among us due to the war in Israel but is there really achdus? This weekend I read a letter to the editor in a midwestern Jewish newspaper . There was a kiruv organization that did a day of Jewish unity, which the author lauded, but they queried whether or not those who organized this day of unity would show up to a community wide holocaust memorial even if women spoke. My guess sadly is that they would not , though they should.
     I am not sure that I understand the holier than thou stance that is often taken. I had a friend who wanted to protest the Celebrate Israel parade in Manhattan for letting gay people march for Israel with their own banner. I replied to this person that if he wanted to address those who organized the parade about these issues it would be much more productive than simply not showing up to the parade. Not showing up to the parade makes more of a statement about not supporting Israel and no one will know they did not show up because a small group of people marched under the banner of being gay and Jewish. The parade really just is about supporting Israel not about what one's affiliations are. One really has to look at the big picture.
    Lately at "community wide" Jewish events yeshivish people do not always attend because reform or conservative rabbis speak  even if it is not a religious ceremony, like a Yom Hashoah memorial event. A less affiliated Jew may actually attend a program for a more affiliated Jewish event. When I was a kid this was not so. I went to an orthodox school in the midwest and remember attending from school a holocaust memorial program that was held in a reform temple. It was not a religious ceremony by any stretch, but it was a Jewish event. My school was more modern orthodox , perhaps if they were more charedi we may not have attended. I think that for a holocaust memorial it is important for all stripes of Jews to attend communuty wide events.
     On the flip side , I have been to rallies for Israel in Manhattan that have included all Jews in attendance even when there has been a woman rabbi or cantor speaking.
     There need to be more events that Jews of all stripes and affiliations attend where those who are more charedi attend that are not necessarily a kiruv event. We really are one people no matter how religious or not. There are events that exist where this can occur but many opt not to attend. If your really want to do kiruv this would do it more than an actual kiruv event . I do not mean that one should attend and try to mekarev someone, I mean to attend and show you are part of the klal. This does more for frumkeit than a kiruv event.

No comments: