American Jews: Not Too Jewish?
Posted by lchaimlover on September 26, 2007
While I was at shul one of these past chaggim, a friend said to me “I miss Israel.” And by this she meant she missed the services and spirit of chag found there. Then today, I saw that an Orthodox rabbi from New Haven, Connecticut said that American Jews aren’t very Jewish. Rabbi Greer said, “Tikkun olam [a large focus of the Conservative and Reform movements] is the way of people who call themselves Jews to conceal the fact that they have no Jewish content left.” What’s the connection between these two statements?
Answer: America is missing something.
I’ve heard people complain that Israel is Jewish enough for people leading to the large number of secular Israelis, while in the Diaspora we have to actually work for our spiritual sustenance. But then again, almost every Israeli I knew, even if I have never seen them in shul, fasted for Yom Kippur. While many American Jews I know went shopping and ate like it was any other day.
As we come upon Sukkot, maybe we Americans should consider what we have picked and chosen in and out of our Judaism. What have we emphasized, and most importantly, what have we left behind?