by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
In the past, there were those Jews who felt a need to violate their religion. On the holiest days of the year, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, such Jews generally did so quietly in their own homes.
Even in Israel, where 60% of Jews consider themselves religious or traditional (meaning 40% are basically completely non-practicing / non-believing), and some 15% consider themselves seriously anti-religious, over 80% will visit a synagogue, eat traditional foods and a family meal, celebrate Rosh Hashanah, and fast on Yom Kippur.
But in America, one "rabbi" and one "Jewish" TV network are PROUD to announce their intention to VIOLATE the holiest day of the year as PUBLICLY and WIDELY as possible...
(Press Release) An Unnamed Online Jewish Network - Outside of the biblical gathering at Mt. Sinai, the annual televised Kol Nidre service that streamed online to more than 220,000 people last year may be the world’s largest single Jewish service ever.
On the evening of September 27, (censored).com, a vibrant global broadband community connecting Jews around the world, will stream its third annual Kol Nidre service, which marks the beginning of Yom Kippur. In its first year, (censored) streamed the service to about 30,000 online viewers. Last year, the live service originated from a leading Jewish organization – Nashuva – led by Rabbi Naomi Levy and more than 220,000 online viewers in North America and around the world tuned in.
“Our experience last year, of reaching so many people through (censored), was exceptionally rewarding,” said Wabbi Levy. “I have made it my life’s work to violate both the letter and spirit of Judaism as widely and publicly as possible. And the best way to do this and share it with a global audience is through the Web. This was not possible just 10 years ago, but now through this medium, we can influence people to violate Judaism most anywhere and that is both humbling and exhilarating.”
[ It's possible I may have slightly misquoted Wabbi Levy and used some creative license. This is called parody and sarcasm for a dramatic point, as is thereby protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution both as free use and free expression without specific intent to libel. ]
UPDATE: I've been asked to clarify the statement above. It is NOT the literal words from the press release but rewritten by me for dramatic license. Ms. Levy never said a word about "violating" anything, rather she speaks enthusiastically about using the Internet to share Yom Kippur live with Jews and non-Jews around the world. While reaching out and sharing Judaism is a very laudable goal, on the holiest day of the year the Torah of God specifically writes about a series of activities that are PROHIBITED. The point I am making is one cannot share the holy while violating it at the same time. One cannot redefine the holy to one's own definition, and then share it as the holy way of _God_. As the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe once said, 'Question: isn't it better to learn something over nothing, isn't the glass half full or a quarter full? Answer: if the glass is filled with water, yes, but if it's filled with kerosene...".
Listen, its self understood that there's people calling themselves rabbis who have taken it upon themselves to reinterpret and rewrite Judaism to whatever they feel it should be this week. They don't believe they're out to hurt Judaism, they probably feel they're sharing and spreading it far and wide.
Yet like a gutted carcass, it's just hollow in the middle. And that hollowness (rather than holiness) condemns their efforts to long term failure. Specifically failure to transmit to the next generation. Historical statistics of their path bears this out.
This Yom Kippur, take a walk over to the nearest Chabad House or orthodox synagogue for a real taste of Judaism. Torah, it's the real thing. New Torah, the flavor is just a failure.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
// 9/15/2009 //