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Judaism is not about equality

This entry is a fictionalization based on someone I know.

I left Judaism because I was a raging liberal and now Im back because I realized what kind of BS liberalism really is. Let me explain. A few years ago I was struggling with being Jewish and being an all inclusive liberal. I wanted to do good and I wanted the world to be a better place and most of all I wanted peace. Thats when I started looking at myself as a Jew. I decided that in order to make the world a better place, I should give up religion, kind of like the song Imagine.

How could I be Jewish and expect equality if the concept of Judaism was against that very basic thought? How could I call myself one of the chosen people if all people were created in Gods image? I left Judaism in the name of liberalism. This is without even talking about the difference of roles for the sexes and the status of Levites and Kohanim. What was so equal about the Levites? Didnt they do the same thing as us Yisroels? It seemed that Judaism wasnt about equality and was about labeling everyone based on their mothers or fathers. How could I be a true liberal if I believed you were different depending on who your mother or father was?

Then I realized that Judaism wasnt about equality and didnt espouse the true liberal ideals that I sought. I even looked at my fellow liberal Jews in disgust — the ones who were trying to change the basic tenets of the religion in order to make it suit their liberal ideals. They werent even practicing real Judaism anymore in the name of liberalism, but they tried to hold on to certain things and in the end it seemed like a new religion to me. If I was going to practice Judaism I would do the real thing or nothing — no bioengineering or hybridization for me.

The Torah is not compatible with liberal ideals. Certain concepts thrown in are but in the end I wanted to be a real Jew. I can focus some of my energies on tikkun olam and social justice but in the end I had to face that I could never really be a Torah Jew and a liberal.

Have I mentioned? This entry is a fictionalization based on someone I know.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Moty June 15, 2010, 1:47 PM

    uh, Hesh, why are you posting anti liberal propaganda? arent you one? its not exactly satire, is it? not complaining, just curious

    • josh June 15, 2010, 5:07 PM

      look at the top of the page! it says: its not always frum, and its not always satire!

      • Sergey Kadinsky June 16, 2010, 12:27 AM

        Heshy makes satire of liberals as much as fanatics. That’s why his blog has cred.

  • Yechiel June 15, 2010, 1:51 PM

    I am probably more liberal than anyone else on this board. The idea is to just follow the laws and try not to get in too much trouble at the shul. Feel free to ask me why I am frum.

    • flop June 15, 2010, 5:30 PM

      dont care.

    • Anonymous June 16, 2010, 2:17 AM

      Why are you frum?

      • Not Yechiel June 16, 2010, 12:14 PM

        Because I enjoy getting a free pass if I ever cheat, steal, or generally do something wrong-as long as it’s against Goyim. I enjoy looking down on others because they don’t conform to my dress code. I enjoy not having to think for myself. I enjoy the herd mentality. I enjoy driving like an asshat. I enjoy sitting on my ass in Kollel while rioting against those who support my lazy ass. I enjoy being racist, but being able to call antisemite on anyone who has a problem with the fact that I built a shul on a quiet cul-de-sac that I just moved into.

        In general I love being a huge tool and having a community that will always back me up.

        • Anon June 16, 2010, 12:42 PM

          damn not Yechiel, do you live in Passaic or Clifton? Just wondering…

          • 5 Townie June 18, 2010, 12:51 PM

            I do feel bad for people who live in nice quite neighborhoods and then find the locals are building yet another breakaway shul on their corner.
            Special variances, parking lots and all.

  • Noemi June 15, 2010, 1:52 PM

    ummm your guys:

    “Fictionalization of someone I know”

  • Nosson Gestetner June 15, 2010, 2:04 PM

    Very encouraging and well done for realising that an ancient religion and tradition that is based on divine revelation predates modern values.

  • A. Nuran June 15, 2010, 2:17 PM

    Like so many other things we know better now than we did when we were – to quote Lewis Black – “about ten hairs from a frickin’ baboon”. When our xenophobic sheep-shagging ancestors were burning cities, slaughtering everyone except for a few choice girls to take home and rape that sort of attitude didn’t affect anyone past the next village. Now one coked-up cowboy rattling his impotent little saber can kill billions if he thinks God wants him to.

    When Torah values are incompatible with the survival of the species as this particular one might be they have to be reinterpreted or abandoned. God will not call time out and magically save everyone if we ruin our life support system or set off plagues that kill everything with a notochord.

  • Anonymous June 15, 2010, 2:52 PM

    the story states:

    “It seemed that Judaism wasnt about equality and was about labeling everyone based on their mothers or fathers. How could I be a true liberal if I believed you were different depending on who your mother or father was?

    Then I realized that Judaism wasnt about equality and didnt espouse the true liberal ideals that I sought”

    Can you explain the logic: “it seemed that Judaism wasn’t about equality” [so I drifted from Judaism] but then “I realized Judism wasn’t about equality” [so I abandoned liberalism.] It can’t have been the same realization that led to two completely different reactions.

    • Sholom June 16, 2010, 3:00 PM

      I think the above line of reasoning humorously reflects the thinking of a person with conflicting loyalties, combined with a rather impulsive, flighty nature.

      • Anonymous June 16, 2010, 3:23 PM

        Or someone who doesn’t think much.

  • Josh Becker June 15, 2010, 3:00 PM

    I’m not sure that “judiasm” and “liberalism” are neccessarily incompatible. It depends on how you define “liberal” (we all know what Judaism means. If you dont, read the old testament). Does “Liberal” always have to mean that everyone is completely equal in every way? Does “liberalism” have no room for the idea that certain sects (or sexes) of … See Morepeople can be given certain tasks special to them?

    I’m not so sure. I’ve always defined “liberal” as being ‘liberal’ or ‘generous’ in giving to others, which Judaism is all about.

    But if liberalism includes the idea that no one can be unique from anyone else (which many feminist liberals surely attest to, though theyd surely phrase it differently), then yes, i would agree that Judiasm is incompatible with this idea. I just dont think “liberalism” includes any such idea, though many liberals may wish otherwise, as they tarnish the word with their Opera-fluffy idea of Judiasm.

    I’ve always admired Uri L’tzedek for being “liberal” in the former sense, without slipping into the latter.

  • FrumGer June 15, 2010, 3:56 PM

    A Nuran- no sheepshagging ancestors because sheep shagging would get you andthe sheep killed in ancient Yisroel….

    to everyone that thinks this is Heshy, please read the bottom disclaimer:

    “Fictionalization of someone I know”

    • Heshy Fried June 16, 2010, 12:16 AM

      I don’t agree with this post at all – I don’t see any problem with being a liberal and being frum. I believe in letting others live and I am don’t believe that torah or religion should decide political decisions made for the general good.

      So the torah says gay marriage isn’t kosher, that doesn’t mean everyone believes in the torah and I feel that taking torah views and mixing them with national politics is very dangerous.

      • Thomas Anderson June 16, 2010, 9:46 AM


        The Torah commands the nation of Israel to establish courts and a police force to enforce the laws of Moses. There is no separation between Church and State in the Torah. the opposite is true. So if you don’t think religion or Torah should decide political decisions made for the general good then you don’t think the Torah is correct. I’m not sure how you reconcile that. It’s true that in today’s day and age we don’t have a Sanhedrin to enforce the laws, but that according to orthodox Judaism is considered a bad thing, and is not progressive step.

        • Frumsatire Fan June 16, 2010, 10:57 AM

          Well, in the Torah there’s also very little separation between private practice and temple worship. With your frame of mind, not re-building the Temple is a bad thing? (i.e., every time the Torah gives us one picture which isn’t what society looks like now, we should go back?) BUT perhaps G-d has wanted to change the status quo in many ways (and it isn’t up to us to understand why), so now there is a distinction between church and state, and Judaism has developed without sacrifices etc. while remaining the same religion.

          • Thomas Anderson June 16, 2010, 11:32 AM

            In Orthodox Judaism they indeed want the Temple to be built speedily. They pray for it everyday. they also want the court system as described by the Torah to be restored.

            The Reform movement took all that stuff out of their prayer books because they felt that all the temple stuff was out of date with the modern revelation of God. I’m not sure of the Conservative movement’s stance if they have one.

            So if we identify “frum” with Orthodox Judaism’s theology, then there seems to be a conflict with modern liberal values.

      • Moty June 16, 2010, 12:15 PM

        “So the torah says gay marriage isnt kosher, that doesnt mean everyone believes in the torah and I feel that taking torah views and mixing them with national politics is very dangerous.”
        Agreed 100%, thats why I am a Libertarian.

      • Avrumy June 18, 2010, 12:58 PM

        Torah doesn’t mention gay marriage. Doesn’t mention ‘gay’ at all.

        I am pro gay, pro abortion, pro capital punishment, pro Israel, anti-gun, anti-illegal immigration, anti-Rush, -Glenn, and -Sarah. Am I liberal? Conservative?
        Labels just don’t work anymore.

  • DK June 15, 2010, 6:14 PM

    It’s sad, but t the very least, people do have to choose between being, say, an ultra-Orthodox Jew and being a moral person.

    It’s a very personal choice.

  • chosid June 15, 2010, 8:46 PM

    Equality is the furthest thing from emes because it’s simply not true. We are not equal. We have equally important roles but there are basic differences in the responsibilities and abilities of men and women, kohanim leviim and yisroelim, baalei batim and talmidei chachomim.

    • Anonymous June 15, 2010, 11:35 PM

      I fully agree, but I would like to add to your comment. The bigger problem with liberal ideals, that they aren’t focused on reality even if we take religion out of the picture. Our founding fathers (of the USA) were brilliant in creating two precepts that differ from France. In France, the maxim is “liberty, equality, fraternity.” In the US we had a slight deviation, “all men are CREATED equal.” It is a subtle but important difference. When we start life we have essentially the same opportunities in this country, we call it “social mobility.” Yes, some have it easier because their parents were successful and vice versa; however, in the grand scheme of things in this country you can be who you want to be with a bit of ingenuity and hard work. By the way many who were born rich have squandered it (see railroad industrialist Jay Gould’s family for a reference). Liberals believe people are successful by accident and therefore their assets are public domain and only “entrusted” to them. This is incorrect and may only fly in France and Greece; where all men ARE equal (on paper at least) which is nearly bankrupt from working 40% less hours per year and having created nothing in almost a century.

      • Anonymous June 16, 2010, 10:47 AM

        You might want to take a look in the mirror. The United States has 13 trillion dollars in debt (12 trillion of which predate Obama), and budget deficit projections that make Haiti look rich. Your selective analysis of a couple of countries in Europe ignores liberal models such as Japan, S Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany and Canada to name a few, all of which have cutting edge economies, have created plenty over the last century, have healthier, better educated, and less stressed work forces, and — oh yes, have nowhere near the level of debt or deficit projections.

        And by the way, all men (and women) are not created equal.
        Do you seriously believe that a child born with down syndrome to a crack mother has the “same opportunities” as a smart, handsome, wealthy, and healthy person. Ironically, this line was cooked up by a guy who owned slaves.

  • Yochanan June 16, 2010, 6:47 AM

    Just because a Kohen has more responsibility (Mitzvot) than a Yisrael, doesn’t excuse the injustices in the world.

    It’s one thing to acknowledge inequality. That would be like mentioning that short people shouldn’t consider careers in the NBA. It’s another thing to create inequalities that didn’t exist before. That would be like making the shelves in your store really high so only tall people could shop there.

    • Esther June 17, 2010, 1:40 PM

      This comment made me smile. Speaking as a short person, if I can’t reach something, I get someone taller to get it for me 😉

      Chosen = responsibility (Kohen = greater responsibility) , not privilege and not superiority… That’s how I see it anyhow.

  • Yochanan June 16, 2010, 6:58 AM

    Read this:

    From Unfortunate to Loser in a Meritocratic Age (Alain de Botton)


  • MonseySixPack June 16, 2010, 8:53 AM

    NoW i Want you should embrace civilian gun oWnership.

    • Yochanan June 17, 2010, 12:23 PM

      Now I want you to learn how to type.

  • Yehonathan June 25, 2010, 1:52 PM

    Im a Reform Jew and a Zionist, I am also a Liberal. Heres what I think when I hear the word liberalism:

    liberal |?lib(?)r?l|
    1 open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values : they have more liberal views toward marriage and divorce than some people.
    favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms : liberal citizenship laws.
    (in a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform : a liberal democratic state.
    ( Liberal) of or characteristic of Liberals or a Liberal Party.
    ( Liberal) (in the UK) of or relating to the Liberal Democrat Party : the Liberal leader.
    Theology regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change.
    2 [ attrib. ] (of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training.
    3 (esp. of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal or exact : they could have given the 1968 Act a more liberal interpretation.
    4 given, used, or occurring in generous amounts : liberal amounts of wine had been consumed.
    (of a person) giving generously : Sam was too liberal with the wine.

    Judaism does not have to be separate.

  • Nathan July 11, 2012, 12:12 PM

    Judaism is over 33 centuries old.
    Contemporary Liberalism is less than 1 century old.

    Why should a 33-centuries-old faith be required to bow before a Contemporary Liberalism which is less than 1 century old?

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