You may or may not be surprised by how many people message me and tell me that I shouldn’t create content with ‘this’ or ‘that’ person. I shouldn’t be friends, I shouldn’t share things online. Why not? Because they aren’t ‘Jewish’ or they aren’t the right type of Rabbi or the right type of Jewish.
I can’t tell you how much this upsets me. I have many Jewish friends, they all have their own story, their own journey and for me, they are all Jewish.
What is particularly frustrating is the argument I’ll hear from some Jews regarding non-religious Jews, ‘Yes, even a Jew who isn’t religious and knowingly sins because they enjoy those life choices IS a Jew if they are a Jew according to our tradition.’ BUT they will say, ‘such and such’ isn’t because they didn’t convert/have the right parentage/do it the way I was taught.
The same goes for Rabbis. My posts and videos will often contain the ‘I won’t watch this video because <he> isn’t a rabbi’..What IS a proper Rabbi? Well, according to the couch judges, a proper Rabbi is one ‘they’ approve of. Then the ‘term tennis’ starts.
To Orthodox. Not Orthodox.
To Liberal. Not Liberal.
Isn’t teaching as my Rabbi teaches. Is teaching the ways of the Rabbis.
Personally.. all my Jewish friends are Jewish.
And what does Rabbi even mean? Travel back with me 2000 years..or 1000 years or even 200 years and let’s see how many of today’s Rabbis are accepted around the world.
I’ll always listen to the shout of ‘fire’, I won’t wait for the proof the voice belongs to a fire marshall.
We aren’t supposed to be sheep. We are supposed to figure it out. Listen to teachers, take on information and build a firm foundation we can house our faith on. IF you believe blindly, you are blind to what you believe.
Judaism is a huge bracket that contains so much opinion, information and subject matter. More important to me is the agenda of the speaker. Are they monotheist? Do they believe in God alone? What is their stance on ‘Messiah’? Where are they basing their information? Who did they learn from?
I’m kinda liberal I know. But so long as the source is Tanakh and the reason is sound, I’ll take it on board for consideration.
‘Jew’ and ‘Jewish’, ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Judaism’ are terms thrown around today. Any number of different movements, from atheist to Christian have been built using these words, which I agree is an argument for trying to reduce their use, but, how much faith can you really place in a title or name?
It is the look of the flower and the scent of the flora that tells you it’s a rose. Whoever hands you that bloom leaves the responsibility of your identifying it to the flower, at least, they should.. and it is up to you to figure it out.
Information is so important, study is so important..refusing to listen based on your own set boundaries is small minded in my opinion. Give it a fair shake, then decide.
2 thoughts on “A Rose By Any Other Name.”
Solid. Well said. Why would one want to alienate their own people? Addition and multiplication lead to broader influence while subtraction and division leave you with less.
Jason, I don’t think you need label yourself “liberal” just because you are willing to learn from everyone. That’s a sign of maturity in my book. And I am amazed that anyone has the chutzpah to tell you who you should or shouldn’t have on your programs! Jewish wisdom is not confined to those of a particular “denomination,” sect or group. Please ignore your detractors. If they don’t like the teachers you have on your show, they should start their own show. Then they can make sure only one viewpoint is projected–their own–and their audiences won’t have to think at all!