Why be a Jew? Or better yet, why do Jewish things?
Saturday is my Bar Mitzvah. Today I am feeling a bit disturbed. This happens every once in a while but today it stinks because I should be happy about my weekend coming up.
Should one follow the lineage of Hillel or Shammai? Should one follow the majority which the Talmud points out is more important than what’s “halachically correct” and G-d is OK with that (see Oven of Aknai, Bava Metzia 59b)?
I am disturbed by the frum Shammayans. Who are they you might ask?
Shammayans believe that:
- Jews who do not practice the way they do aren’t Jewish
- The law is more important than the intent
- Hillel was wrong and Shammai should have won
- Tradition is always right
- Judaism never changed between the Mishnah and the 18th century
- It is impure to daven with Jews who do not identify with their rabbi
- It is ok to belittle their kin and mourn them while they live
- Idol worship is wrong unless it is their way you worship
- Their kashrut is more kosher than yours
- As long as it is kosher who cares how it is done
It upsets me that I have the Christians trying to convert me, the Muslims trying to one up the Christians and the Shammayans trying to do more damage than both of them by destroying my identity and way of life. I can deal with the Christians and Muslims they are on the outside. I am not sure what to do with the Shammayans.
Why bother being Jewish if a significant portion of the same population doesn’t want you to be? And if the assimilated world does not want you to be? Nevermind antisemitism, Shammayans are doing their best to minimize the Jews in the world.
mTp – With Intention