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← Does Religion = Superstition? G-D Forbid!

Rob W.'s Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Rob W.

Hi Phil. I get the first part of what you are saying. I didn't always get it. I grew up in a home which was for the most part secular. My parents gave my sibs and me plenty of freedom to explore religion(s). We lived in a largely Jewish, Jew-friendly neighborhood in a free and prosperous country. Even though my mom was a Holocaust survivor, I initially had no idea how much some people hated Jews. I always felt like just another American. So for a long time, I didn't understand why some Jews kept themselves so apart from the larger society. Later I realized that this apartness had historically been imposed from the outside as much as from the inside.

Maybe you can explain to me the second part of your comment. Are you saying that the intellectual heritage is one thing, and the tradition heritage is another? Maybe this goes back to my orginial comment about Judaism being not just a culture over here, and a religion over there, but a religious culture. Of course I'm not denying that the state of the Jewish people at the moment is different than it was a few centuries ago; what I'm saying is that if there is still such a phenomena as the Jews, then we have to see change and continuity together in historical context. As I keep saying, there's got to be some reason why Atheists, Agnostics, and other secular people with matrilineal Jewish ancestory would still be called "Jewish" by themselves and / or others. That's why I keep saying that even if such an individual does not personally care for religion, he / she still has that religious heritage floating around in his / her background, following his / her parents, and at least her children like a ghost from generation to generation.

So unless I'm misunderstanding you, Phil, I still think that the intellectual heritage and the traditional heritage are part of the same package deal. At least that was the case historically, right? Maybe in more recent generations, the intellectual part got largely shifted over into more secular studies. For centuries, though, they were all part of the same thing, and there wasn't so much distinction between secular matters and religious matters as in post-modern thought. The traditional intellectual thing I'm talking about here is Talmudic study. Talmud encompasses everything from what some might call the practical secular stuff like agricultural property law to the mystical religious stuff like how to properly talk to G-d.

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 09:27:05 UTC | #950932