[Thoughts reposted from 4-15-07. Haven't changed our opinion.]
Orthodoxy claims to be the most authentic form of Judaism. All those fasts and feasts and taboos and rituals - who can surpass the Orthodox? The special clothing, the mannerisms, the cloistered study of Torah - who can deny that they are the real deal?
It's time to look again.
The Tanakh teaches us that our history matters. What happens to the Jews is real and meaningful and G-d is visible to us through our history.
It's up to us to recognize that and to be the active protagonists in the historical role that's been decreed for us.
Denying that is heresy.
And that's what the Orthodox have been doing for years...
Denying the story of the Holocaust has theological meaning and should be part of our faith and ritual.You will point to a few meager prayers and say that I am wrong. I will point to book after book, lecture after lecture, that refuses to acknowledge any theological meaning in the reality of our people's sadness and triumphs over the past century.
Denying the State of Israel has theological meaning and should be part of our faith and ritual.
By not recognizing the sadness of the Holocaust at the center of our religious life - that is the real crime of Holocaust denial.
By not recognizing the triumphs of the State of Israel every day, three times a day, and in a glorious and central expression of our practice and preaching - that is another crime of gross denial.
And so the most pious looking can also be the most heretical.
That's my koan for today.