For those of you who may not know, I am attending the Jewlicious Festival in Long Beach California and have come across some pretty interesting folks. One such dude, who I have met in person and know from the small time Jewlebrity world on the internet, is Patrick from Punk Torah who has some pretty unique ideas about Judaism and Torah.
We have been talking on and off all weekend, and one of the things he is constantly talking about is the pintele yid, or sparks of the divine within everything including stuff we may not think is so kosher – like his tattoo he got to commemorate the year he became religious, it has the date 5768. Or the picture his friend took of a cheeseburger on matzo as his way of doing pesach.
Cheeseburgers kind of gross me out, combine that with matzo and you lost me, but I think this is a good thing. How can it be good? These aren’t Jews they are nuts? They are bastardizing the religion and so on. That’s the normative way of thinking, but take a step back and look at all of these Jews that are connecting to Judaism or God in ways not necessarily prescribed by written by our tradition. Like the classic question of whether ot not to drive to shul or not go at all. Obviously halacha is not being taken into account – but there are loads of folks that drive to shul and maybe we can look at the good of that, maybe we can take the good from the bad, you know, like a spiritual borer.
Sure, I’m rambling, but I think a lot of us orthodox Jews like to look at the negative aspects of each other, and especially our non-orthodox brethren without putting ourselves in their shoes or thinking for a moment that they may be on a different level or just agree with the way we practice Judaism and realizing that there is no one way to practice Judaism.