Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Don't blame the message

First, read this blog--

My Love and Not So Like Relationship with Orthodox Israel

I find this blog post very interesting- I like the tree analogy, but I don't agree that orthodoxy without secularism is akin to a useless stump. Sometimes healthier growth occurs once you prune the broken branches.... 

Interestingly enough, it's not the blog but the comments on it that are itching my mind.  There are some not-so-nice things being said about ultraorthodoz Israelis (Haredim).  I hearken back (and yes, I did just use the word hearken in everyday use, Mom) to a message that my teachers repeat often-

Torah is perfect, people are flawed

The simple phrase helped break the mental connection when I see orthodox Jews behave in ways that are a Chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d's name).  I used to think "How can they say they follow G-d's mitzvot and act like that?  What kind of Torah approves of that behavior??!!"  The answer is no kind of Torah.  It's understandable but erroneous that people make that judgment.  What's the cure?  Education.  Communication.  Understand what the Torah really says, and you'll understand that it only teaches how to be a better person.  Learn with teachers who can answer your questions with actual text and source.  Don't blame the message if human beings are playing telephone with it- it becomes clouded quicker than you think.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Ilene,

    My apologies for a comment unrelated to a post, but I saw your link to the AAP policy re circumsion over at goodmenproject, and wanted to share this link, also from the AAP and published online 18 Mar 2013: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2896.abstract

    It's by 3 dozen + MDs and the abstract notes in part "Seen from the outside, cultural bias reflecting the normality of nontherapeutic male circumcision in the United States seems obvious, and the report’s conclusions are different from those reached by physicians in other parts of the Western world, including Europe, Canada, and Australia." and "The other claimed health benefits, including protection against HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, genital warts, and penile cancer, are questionable, weak, and likely to have little public health relevance in a Western context, and they do not represent compelling reasons for surgery before boys are old enough to decide for themselves."

    Chris (chris at brennan-families dot com)