A couple weeks ago I came to the brilliant epiphany that the Mesorah is the fact we have a Mesorah, meaning the tradition is to teach us that somehow over 80 generations or so we have managed to keep in tact our religion as it was supposedly given at Sinai. The Mesorah is one of those things that kiruv industry professionals like to shove down our throats convincing us that 600,000 people saw something and told their kids who in turn told their kids – so our religion is almost exactly what it was when it was originally given.
Like most realistic people I’ve always felt that the Mesorah was inherently flawed, like any 3000 year old game of telephone would be, but I always wondered how anyone with half a brain could believe in the drivel we call the Mesorah, it seems reasonable enough that no religion could be exactly or even similar to what it was when it was created right? But lo and behold, I hear constantly of our mesorah – how could 600,000 men (they always make sure to say the Torah only counted men over 20 in its famous account) lie about something? How could someone not believe in Judaism if so many people saw the revelation and told their children about it? Then the kiruv rabbi will almost always add the fact that our religions revelation was seen by so many people and other big religions were only see by few – proving that Judaism is real!
Alas I’m not here to prove whether Judaism is real or not, sure it makes no sense, but we do need to explain the inexplicable right? How else would we be able to sell mussar books that prove God because of the complexities of an orange – if you have never seen this proof go get yourself any mussar book or download some Rabbi Shafier to hear the orange proof. I’m just here to tell you that the Mesorah is a load of crap and here’s my proof (of course all you smart fully believing mesorahists will disprove me somehow – but I love a good Jewish philosophical debate)
As many of you know I work as a cook, in my tenure as cook I have worked under many different chefs. Every time a new chef comes in, the recipes are usually changed or tweaked.During the last chef change, many people were laid off, the kitchen was reorginized and we started from scratch, new plate ups, new potion sizes, new recipes, new ground rules – kind of like when the Jews got the Torah. So everyone adhered to the new stuff for the first little while, until one of the morning cooks decided to changbe the knish one day because she felt like mixing it up, then someone decided one plates could be enhanced with a strawberry flower and so on – suddenly a month later (not 3000 years of wars and nations trying to wipe us out) lots of things were changed, the chef tried to get a reign on things, but plates were changed, recipes were being tweaked and the general mesorah of the kitchen was lost. Sure they needed to clean house (God kills a bunch of people – we fire them) and then things were changed a bit again – but it wasn’t the same as before and never will be.
So Judaism is the same, I have no idea how it was practiced when it was created, if the things we do now are the same or if Sinai even happened – I’m liable to think that Sinai was a big hallucination and part of the tradition (I told my friend this and she said there’s a lot of people who agree with me) the response to that is always “so why do you stay frum?” and that’s mostly because being frum is my tradition – I don’t actually know if it’s the right way to practice Judaism – I don’t really think there is a right way or a wrong way – which of course leaves me with more skeptical debates which I ignore most of the time unless I feel like stirring the pot and airing my crazy thoughts with you people.
Then again, Judaism makes a lot more sense than anything else besides for Atheism (which would suck because there’s no one to thank or blame and I enjoy davening in the woods too much)