Sunday, November 26, 2006

Orthodox Jew/ Secular Shadow - A Peek Into The Unconscious Mind of A Secular Jew

We all know what secular people think about Jews – people like Yair Lapid have been telling us that for years. But what they don’t tell us, most likely because they do not even realize it, is why. Why the hatred, the fear, the alienation from the past, from their roots?
For that, you have me. I have already written on this subject in a previous post titled
Why Is It So Difficult to be A Secular Jew in Israel?, which gave a general, hopefully thoughtful, overview of this subject. In this post, I want to take an entirely different tack – I want to share with you a pretty terrifying dream I had tonight.

The Dream
I am going around the Kinneret at an incredible speed, from the direction of Zemach junction to the north, along the western shore. With me is renowned Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Apparently we are traveling at some height above the ground in some kind of train. Suddenly we get off, at a point about the middle of the distance between the northern and southern tips of the kinneret. We enter the kinneret and start swimming. An old woman swims ahead of us, and she is our guide. We are swimming northwards all the time. Suddenly, she dives into the water and we follow her – down down and further down underwater we go, until we reach a structure. It is dark from outside and looks old and worn down (reminds me of the hull of the titanic). We enter and start looking around in the darkness. I am searching one side of the interior space when I discern an opening to the other side – I slip through the narrow opening and I am in a bright, neon-lit room.
This frightens me because I know we are in Syrian territory or near it (note: Syria used to occupy the Golan heights, including the whole eastern shore of the Kinneret), and they must not know we are here or they will come and kill us. I notice that on one wall opposite me there is a whiteboard filled with writing in Hebrew, and there are benches before it, like in a synagogue. Among the benches an Israeli soldier stands completely still, with his back to the board. I hurriedly make my way to the lights, which are near the blackboard, right next to a door. When I get there I see that beyond that door there is another door, an enormous thick steel door, like we have in a shelter, and a woman soldier is (wo)manning it. My brother suddenly appears. He wants to go out the door to the other side, which is presumably Syrian. She does not want to let him out but he escapes before she manages to close the door. She closes it and locks it with a heavy lock.
I want to go now and close the lights but she says that it doesn’t matter because the Syrians aren’t here anymore. It is then that I suddenly realize that actually she is dead, and so is the soldier standing in the middle of the room. They both have that pasty, zombie like face of the dead. My heart jumps into my mouth, and I am completely terrified. I run towards the far side of the room, looking to jump out and escape back into the sea. In my horror, I open my mouth to scream as loud as I can, to let the terror out, but no voice comes out of my mouth, I scream silently, helplessly – and then I woke up.

Interpreting the Dream
It is pretty difficult to do self-analysis of a dream, but I will try. Here are a few thoughts that struck me. Further suggestions are welcome.
First of all – I am going on a trip with Hercule Poirot – and any trip with him means that you are seeking the truth, and nothing less will be satisfactory.
The old hag is obviously Baba Yaga, who serves here as a guide, and I quote:

Although she is mostly portrayed as a terrifying old crone, Baba Yaga can also play the role of a helper and wise woman. The Earth Mother, like all forces of nature, though often wild and untamed, can also be kind.
In her guise as wise hag, she sometimes gives advice and magical gifts to heroes and the pure of heart. The hero or heroine of the story often enters the crone's domain searching for wisdom, knowledge and truth. She is all-knowing, all seeing and all-revealing to those who would dare to ask.”
The sea is a well-known symbol of the unconscious, and therefore diving below water is actually diving into the realm of the unconscious. I do not know why the setting is the Sea of Galilee, although I did live near it for several years, and the drive from Zemach northwards is very familiar to me.
The room with Hebrew writing and benches is, to me, obviously a synagogue. So the main symbol of Judaism is to be found in an old worn down structure, in the realm of the dead, populated by dead people, and while I am there I am helpless – I can scream but no one can hear me. In other words the truth is that to be Jewish is to be dead and helpless.
My brother manages to escape this fate, at the price, apparently, of going over to the enemy. This is true to life – he actually has managed to leave his heritage behind but the price for leaving has been steep – he is violently anti-Semitic, besides being almost insane (well, that was probably redundant).
I’m not sure what the soldiers are doing there and what they mean.

What the dream means to me
I woke up in the morning and remembered the dream immediately. It made a very great impression on me. However, when I thought about it – there was really no new content here. This is not the first time I have been confronted with the idea that being Jewish for me is the equivalent of being dead. The first dream I had about this occurred about a year and a half ago, and was even more terrifying, probably because it was the first time I encountered this idea, and I guess also, having Hitler star in that dream didn’t do anything to calm me down either.
But that still does not clear up the meaning of the dream. There is a possibility that I am revisiting this place in my psyche in order to get familiar with it, to feel the terror and let it soak in so that eventually I will be able to approach this place without fear.
This also maybe connected to something else – after I wrote the post about being a secular Jew, I had a vision: I realized that if I actually did manage to reconcile myself to my Jewish identity, this will also be a reconciliation between my secular wayward father, who was estranged from his Rabbi father. I felt that it would heal them, even though they have both passed away years ago. The holidays were beginning and I thought how nice it would be if I could gather myself to really get into it, into this Jewishness thing. I saw that an organization called, if I remember correctly, Tzohar (window), was conducting public prayers during the holidays for secular people who wanted to familiarize themselves with the tradition. This seemed perfect. I toyed with the idea of calling them, or some similar organization, but soon my enthusiasm fell, and I felt that I simply do not have the time and energy to deal with this – there was just too much resistance from within me.
If this dream is my unconscious response to that decision, than it seems that I will not be allowed to walk away from this issue so easily. Perhaps I am faced with the choice of facing my haunted synagogue by night, or else confronting a real one in broad daylight. Neither choice is appealing to me, both seem equally terrifying, and all I am sure of is that I am really scared.

Imagine that this is what lies in the unconscious of almost every secular Jew: A direct, extremely emotional, unacknowledged identification of Judaism with death. To be a Jew, is to die. This death is not only physical, it is also social, since being a Jew has historically been a sure way to be ridiculed, and excluded from proper (gentile) society. Can there be any surprise at all that secular Jews have so much trouble with their identity?
Of course, every secular Jew is, well, a Jew. So what is the difference between a secular Jew, and the Jew that symbolizes death? It is the difference between the old Jew and the new Jew. The old Jew is the orthodox Jew, the kippah-wearing Jew with the beard, the Jew that prays, that has tzitziot peeking out of his clothes, or maybe a talith thrown over his shoulders, the Jew that wears heavy, inappropriate black clothes in the scorching Israeli summer. The new Jew is the Israeli Jew – the secular Jew, prototypically an Ashkenazi Jew, who moves freely in the world culture, seemingly unhindered by his past.
So when Yair Lapid, to use a well-known icon and symbol of secular Judaism, sees an orthodox Jew, he is actually looking at his own death. His unconscious is thinking – “this man wants to kill me, I must defend myself.”
Small wonder that he and his kind hates them so. What is incredible is that this fear and hatred has not yet boiled over into a complete and radical campaign to exterminate the orthodox Jews. Of course this may yet happen, but there is a peculiar dynamics to this relationship between the old Jew and the new Jew, which, I hope, will preclude such a tragic event (the Oslo Accords not withstanding…). This dynamic is best understood using the concept of the Shadow.

The Shadow
The shadow is a concept from Jungian psychology. The shadow is a part of our psyche in which is stored every undesirable personality trait, behavior, habit, event or thought, usually together with the accompanying reason for the repression. This means that not only are we not aware of these parts of our personality that have been banished, we also do not know why this had been done. In short – we cannot talk reasonably and logically about these things, if at all.
The sum total of all these repressed elements make up a personality with a life of its own usually lived unconsciously by each and every one of us. The nature of the undesirable will vary from time to time and from one social group to another. What is important to understand is that everything that has been repressed is of importance to our spiritual health, and it will not simply go away. What we have repressed and will not acknowledge consciously will be projected in the real world, and there take on a life of it’s own. This is the basic psychological mechanism behind the phenomenon of the scapegoat – we project upon the scapegoat our own shadows, and this relieves our inner tension, if only for a short while. In biblical times this was an important custom and probably very effective, as long as the participant in this ceremony could actually believe and feel that the procedures were effective. But in today’s modern, cynical world, such a ceremony would be useless – today we must delve into our unconscious mind, and shine the light of day on its contents.
The shadow may be projected onto anybody and anything that is perceived, unconsciously of course, to possess those same characteristics that we are not allowed to have. The shadow can also be experienced internally in dreams and visions, and then it may appear as the devil, a witch, or any other dark, evil and threatening being, and it may even appear as just that – a shadow, a towering, terrifying shadow threatening to engulf you. In short – the shadow is real, and it is very frightening.

Every group we are born into makes certain demands upon its members. Certain behaviors are encouraged, others repressed. Some may be considered so abhorrent that they are not even mentioned by name, and they are severely repressed, perhaps to the degree that they have become synonymous with dying. It may happen that, as children, we understood that we if we did a certain something, or had certain thoughts, we would be severely punished, or even exiled from the group. Since, as children, exile means death, than it may happen that a number of traits have become connected, unconsciously, with death.
This is why the shadow is such a threat – if the world would know that we are not really what we seem to be, that we have desires, and longings that are reprehensible to the group we are part of, then our very existence may be threatened. On the other hand, the repressed traits and behaviors are part of us, and we will never be whole, completely healthy human beings, without them. So, generally speaking, the shadow holds within it the threat of death along with the promise of life renewed. Small wonder that most of us prefer to deny it’s existence altogether!

Now we can answer the question, what contents are to be found, characteristically, in the Shadow of a secular Jew? What behaviors, traits, and thoughts were forbidden, and what does this have to do with orthodox Jewry?

Orthodox Jew – Secular Shadow: The Contents of the Secular Shadow
As a member of this group, and from my own personal experience I think the following thoughts, traits and behaviors can be found in the Shadow of most members of this group. They will be invariably considered reprehensible, unhealthy, dangerous and even life-threatening. They will evoke very strong emotional responses, which are completely uncontrollable. This is our shadow:

1 – The Idea of God
The Repressed content:
God exists and we are His children. He takes care of us. We are part of something larger than ourselves. We are not alone in this world because it is His world. God imposes upon us a natural, objective moral order, which we are obliged to obey, for our own good. We may not always understand him but we know that He is here, that all is for the best. We can trust Him. We are not alone.

Why it was repressed
On a personal level, parents who have reason to believe that God does not exist, who may have felt betrayed by Him, and by life, will find it difficult to accept a native belief in God in their children.
From the point of view of Jewish secular society, this natural belief must be repressed otherwise the secular identity would not be possible, or at least it would be extremely threatened. After all, if there is no god then all orthodox people are simply delusional idiots and there can be no give and take with them. By thus creating such a great divide between the secular and the rival orthodox groups, secular society makes it very difficult for it’s members to switch sides or even think about switching sides.

More importantly, I think the secular Zionists would not have been able to break away from their orthodox parents to form the Zionist movement and establish the State of Israel, without repudiating completely the age old trust in God, and the ensuing, age-old fatalism common to many parts of Jewish society at the time.
This rejection came at a heavy spiritual cost. Some secular Zionists managed to retain a modicum of believe, but even for them, the ideas and practices of Judaism, belief and God were forever changed and warped.
For many the Holocaust was seen as vindication for this secular activism and from then on it was seen not only as a revolt, but also as a successful one, the kind of attitude necessary for our very survival not only as individuals, but as a nation. For this reason, for many parts of Israeli society, including traditional ones, secular Jewry is conceived to be the only sure path to our survival. This will not change until orthodox Jewry can prove itself as a better, more viable alternative.
In short, our secular Zionist forefathers paid a terrible spiritual price in return for building this country. We are still paying the price for that achievement, a price, which, hopefully, will not destroy the achievement.

2 – Belief
The Repressed Behavior:
Believing in God, having faith in anything unknown, and unknowable. Listening to ourselves, to what our intuition tells us, believing that life has meaning, that there is a purpose, that we live not in vain. Having faith in the future, in people, in humanity, in life itself. Belief in any and all forms.

Why it was repressed
Belief , especially in a God, has been accepted as a contradiction of a cornerstone of modern secular society : rationality. Philosopher Alvin Plantinga in this interesting article about reason and belief, tells this story about Bertrand Russell which exemplifies the prevalent secular attitude:
“The objection in question has also been endorsed by Bertrand Russell, who was once asked what he would say if, after dying, he were brought into the presence of God and asked why he had not been a believer. Russell's reply: "I'd say, 'Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!'" I'm not sure just how that reply would be received; but my point is only that Russell, like many others, has endorsed this evidentialist objection to theistic belief."
In the secular world belief and rationality cannot co-exist, and the latter is relegated to the realm of the unthinkable.

Believing is a much more general behavior than the idea of god, but the two are still closely connected. So much so that people who have been disappointed by God, will also not have faith in Him and usually will not be able to put their faith in anything else. Parents that have undergone such an experience will try to suppress such behavior in their offspring, usually doing so unconsciously.
Also, from the viewpoint of secular society, one belief can lead to another, which can eventually lead to a belief in god, which is, as we discussed, anathema to secular society. So the best thing is to abolish belief altogether. Everything must be questioned, nothing accepted on faith, except, of course, whatever secular society, parents and teachers included, tell you. This is why there is no rational discussion of faith in any part of secular society. Much easier to deny it and close the issue completely. But, because it is in human nature to believe, an outlet must be provided. Thus secular Jews blindly believe in any number of ideologies without ever acknowledging the fact that their beliefs are based on as much fact as the orthodox belief in the coming of the Messiah. In fact, I have here a book, as yet unread, dedicated to describing the Left’s belief in peace in these exact terms called “The Messianic Temptation” by Golan Lahat (book and link are in Hebrew).
In any case belief is a very touchy subject in secular society, and will usually evoke strong emotional reactions of denial.

3 -The Group
The Repressed Content
The group has given you life, raised you, given you a language, and thoughts and ideas, the group has given you yourself, and therefore you owe the group. You are forever indebted to it.You can rely on the group and it will forever sustain you, in good times and bad. You are part of a group, a group that has existed before you, and will exist after you die. You are important to the group, but the group is more important than you are.

Why it was repressed
Individualism is one of the most important ideals of secular culture, and necessarily stands opposed to the idea of the group life. Obviously the group is necessary for survival, but no more than that, and even so, what is important is the individual, not the group. The group – any group – is perceived as threatening to the individual who must always be on his guard against the group, even as he uses the group resources to enhance his well-being. This is one reason why the secular individual’s attachment to the group is always temporary and non-commital. The individual must be committed to himself first, and last, and the group will only come into consideration after the needs of the individual have been satisfied.
What group am I talking about? The first and most important group in our lives is our family. I believe that for all of us this first group experience will shape our perceptions of the group throughout our adult lives. Obviously, if our parents have not had a good, healthy experience with their own family, they will have difficulty in forming a positive experience for their children, assuming they would even want to. This is true for orthodox families as well, but in their case they have in place a ready made framework of family life, which may be able to tide the group over even in the most difficult times. Secular families have no such relief. Such broken families will instill in their children a distrust of groups, and a cynical habit of exploiting the group one-sidedly.
In short the group – any group - is the enemy of the individual, and any enemy of the individual is also, by necessity, the enemy of secular Jewry.

4- Judaism
The Repressed Content
I am a member of a group of people who founded Western civilization. My forefathers brought to this part of the world the idea of one God, and of an objective morality. The concept of time as stretching lengthwise towards a conclusion, as opposed to a never ending, changeless circle also originated with my group. I am part of a most ancient group, the only one that has managed to survive in this part of the world. Throughout time we have been persecuted mercilessly, even while our ideas were being accepted and used in an ever-widening circle. My fellow Jews are responsible for many inventions, for countless and priceless contributions to world culture. My group has not only managed to survive throughout the ages while shaping civilization, it has also managed to rise out of the ashes and re-establish the Jewish state in Israel after an absence of two thousand years. This state is an incredibly vibrant, creative and successful entity, despite living under a death sentence since its inception. I am a son of the Chosen people who are living proof that God exists, son of a nation that lives the miracle of its existence and thriving each day a new. I am a Jew and I have much to be proud of.

Why it was repressed
Judaism combines all three of the former repressed contents into one horrifying, life-threatening entity. If the secular Jew cannot view god, belief, and the group as anything but an existential threat, one can only imagine – or dream, as the case may be – how Judaism will be viewed in the secular Jewish psyche.
Judaism is an especially troublesome content for secular Jewish society because of the schism created in Jewish society by modernity and especially the Zionist movement, a break which we have already discussed. The Judaism that our Zionist forefathers grew up on, and violently rejected, was vehemently opposed to the secular world and to all it’s ideas, especially the ideas of individualism, and atheism – the cornerstones of every modern secular society.
One of the most common ways used by the orthodox to combat these ideas and prevent their sons from adopting them and defecting to the secular side was, and still is, group pressure. The threat of violence, of a ban or excommunication from the group was used to bring the rebellious individual to heel. Many, many families were broken up because of these desperate tactics. Quite understandably secular Jews have strong feelings towards the Jewish group as a result of their own personal experiences, and that of their forefathers.
The fact is that this struggle, between Orthodox Judaism and Zionism and modernity continues, at least outwardly, to this day. Secular Jewish society feels justified in seeing Judaism in its orthodox form as a threat to its very existence, and as a result it instills in its children a “healthy” animosity towards that threat. In so doing it hopes to deny the possibility of defection from its ranks.
This tactic has two flaws: the first is that, as the song goes, there really is a thin line between love and hate, which means that instilling a demonic hatred of Judaism makes the possessor of such hatred in imminent danger of reverting to a no less fanatic love of Judaism. This has happened many times and is well documented.
The second flaw is that dehumanizing an entire sector of society can eventually lead to inhuman acts towards that sector, as we have had the misfortune to witness during the disengagement, and who knows what other atrocities are being prepared by the secular elites. This tactic also means that secular Jewish society cannot, under any circumstance, give a correct and accurate portrayal of the rival orthodox society, since this would grant them their humanity. I believe this is why it is impossible to see anything orthodox mentioned in a positive context in Israeli media (which is completely secular). Orthodox people are invariably described as greedy, selfish, fanatic, insane, primitive, and violent people who threaten the very fabric of society. Since in every group there exist such elements, it is no trouble for the media to focus consistently on the most extreme parts of orthodox society. It still amazes me to realize the immeasurable distance between the image of the orthodox person I had created in my mind by living in secular society, and the actual, real orthodox people I meet, including settlers, who are, much to my (ashamed) surprise, very nice people. I mean – they are just like anybody else.
All in all, in using such tactics, secular society denies itself an accurate picture of orthodox society, and thus does not at any time possess a correct knowledge of what is happening in Israeli society. I’m sure that’s not a good thing.
This kind of sweeping, dehumanizing tactic also plays right into the hands of extremists in the orthodox camp, who need a visible enemy to keep the ranks closed no less than secular Jews need one. Tommi Lapid would have gone nowhere without his partners in hatred from the orthodox side (on a side note – the Chief Secular Inciter was voted recently to be the head of Yad Vashem, so who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?). Of course, in this battle the only ones who lose are the people in the middle, the majority who just want to live their lives in peace, and find it increasingly difficult to do so.

Additional Thoughts About the Secular Shadow and the Mechanism of Repression
  1. The contents I have listed here are by no means the entire contents of the secular shadow. These are only the first things that came to my mind that seemed most closely connected with the secular Jewish identity. Obviously the individual’s shadow is composed of many other things that have nothing to do with Judaism.

  2. A few important things to remember about repression:
First of all every repression is traumatic to some extent. Second – and perhaps because of this, repression is not an exact, precise operation, rather, it is quite messy – a lot of other stuff gets associated with the repressed content – things like the weather at the time, the smell of the roast cooking when it happened, perhaps the sound of music coming up from the neighbors, and any number of other behaviors, ideas and images. This is why every repression limits our freedom of action to a certain unknown degree. This also means that every secular Jew has a very personal experience of the same repressed contents.
Despite this, the most common and obvious effect of the repressions I listed above are those empty spaces, the irrational gaps evident whenever these topics come up. That is why a rational discussion about these matters is simply impossible – no one can be rational about the contents of their unconscious, no matter how “enlightened” he or she claims to be.

Secular Jew – Orthodox Shadow
The orthodox shadow is worthy of a separate post, and perhaps I am not exactly the right person to write it. Nonetheless, I would like to make two observations here:
1 – As a group, the orthodox play the part of scapegoat to perfection. In other words – they cooperate fully with the secular projection, turning it into an extremely viable, effective and legitimate one.
2 – Everything that I have said about the secular shadow is true for the orthodox shadow, but in different areas. What I mean is this – different traits and behaviors are repressed in orthodox society, with varying degrees of severity, depending on the specific sector. Off the tip of my head I can think of several such repressed areas such as freedom, creativity, individuality and sensuality. Ideas, behaviors and personality traits associated with these four areas are, in orthodox society, severely repressed, and therefore they form part of the Shadow of the typical orthodox person.
In these respects, the orthodox shadow is the exact reverse of the secular shadow, so that each group holds one half of the full personality, denying itself the other half, while blaming each other for the inevitable feeling of loss they each have suffered as a result of their respective repressions.
This is very similar to the relationship between men and women. There too we see that each side holds one half of the whole personality and only by joining forces can they hope to be whole. Also, just as men have persecuted women, sometimes fiercely and cruelly, still, the psychological dependence between men and woman is so great, that a campaign of extermination would not be feasible. I believe that the same holds true for the relationship between secular Jewry and the orthodox in Israel.
Finally, the orthodox and secular Jews are like two people with two halves of a lottery ticket – put them together and they will be rich and lack nothing, keep them apart, and they will be useless, they will just rot - alone, afraid and alienated from each other and from themselves.

I hope that this post has provided some useful insight into the mind of secular Jews.
Perhaps secular readers have gained a better understanding of themselves and the problems they face because of their upbringing. Orthodox readers may have gained a better understanding of their willful brethren.
In both cases I hope I have made clear just this one thing – the only enemies you really have are within you, and no amount of hatred or violence directed outside towards your own projections will help you to vanquish them. Ghosts cannot be hurt, maimed or killed. They can only be exorcised.


westbankmama said...

Wow - what a fantastic post. Not to sound condescending, but it makes me pity the secular Jew who doesn't have a belief in G-d to turn to in difficult times.

Some of what you say about the shadow in the Orthodox psyche is true (freedom, individuality)but I don't think these things are as forbidden in the "modern Orthodox" world as you seem to think. The Halacha comes first, and what is forbidden is forbidden, but within the parameters of what is acceptable there is a lot of room for individuality and creativity.

Jerusalem Joe said...

your pity doesn't sound condescending at all - it sounds human.
i know for certain that the degree of repression varies wildly between different orthodox communities and what you say is indeed true.
that said, i think that even in the modern orthodox community this a big problem both for that community and for israeli society as a whole, but i'll post about that seperately.

Batya said...

Quite a post. I admit that I didn't get through every word, but it helped me understand why my father freaked out when I announced I was becoming religious.

Jack's Shack said...

Interesting, but I don't buy into it. I am not Frum and unlikely to ever go BT.

To be a Jew, is to die. This death is not only physical, it is also social, since being a Jew has historically been a sure way to be ridiculed, and excluded from proper (gentile) society. Can there be any surprise at all that secular Jews have so much trouble with their identity?

That just doesn't sound right to me, at least not for Jews who live in free societies.

Maybe it is unfair for me to comment on this from the US, but...

kahaneloyalist said...

I think you are right in that you are not the person to write about the Orthodox "Shadow" since you are not Frum and seem pretty ignorant of actual Judaism (I am not trying to offend you, you just dont seem to know any Torah).

As far as there being some parity of evils between the Secular and religious. If it helps you to sleep at night then fine tell yourself that, but please bring actual evidence when you write it as truth. I request that any Secular bring, without emotion while maintaing rationality, one example where the Orthodox did one action which can hold a candle to the evil perpetuated by the Chilonim against the Sephardic Jews who immigrated to Israel in the 1950's and 60's....

Jerusalem Joe said...

batya: i'm happy to help. i'd be interested in hearing how he did react. were you able to talk about it with him at the time?

jack: in that quote i was reffering to european jewry at the time the zionist movement was beginning.
you are quite correct in pointing out that it is completely irrelevant to American Jewry which was from the beginning, mostly reform - so the problem even didn't arise for most american jews.
about the chances of going BT - i just pointed out a psychological truth - the more you hate something the more you are likely to become that exact same thing.

i have no idea how evils can be compared. it was by no means my intention to indict or judge secular or orthodox society. i just want to understand myself better, so i can Repair myself and maybe help other people advance in their own spiritual journey.
that said,the treatment of sephardic jews was and is to this day indeed shameful.

Jack's Shack said...

I think you are right in that you are not the person to write about the Orthodox "Shadow" since you are not Frum and seem pretty ignorant of actual Judaism (I am not trying to offend you, you just dont seem to know any Torah).


I hope that this was not directed at me. I am not offended by it, but it makes me laugh. How much do you know about me. How could you possibly make an informed judgment about how much Torah I know or do not know. The answer is that you cannot make an informed decision, so the fact that you try speaks volumes.


The reasons why I am unlikely to go BT are long and wide. Suffice it to say that it has nothing to do with hating Judaism, especially Orthodox Judaism.

I may have fallen off of the derech, but that doesn't mean that I do not appreciate it.

kahaneloyalist said...

Jack, my comments were directed towards Jerusalem Joe. I in fact do not know much about you nor do I care to, I made no judgements about you. But you immediatley assumed I had. My statement addressed to Jerusalme Joe was based upon his admission that he is Frum and doesnt know much Torah and that when he has written on the subject he shows that he knows little.

Joe, this is not an insult