Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Yesterday, my sister threw out some scrambled eggs. I asked her why. She said because she accidentally mixed them with a spatula that was used for milk and the frying pan was used for meat and that meant the eggs were no good. I asked her why. She said because that's the . I asked her why. She said, "Because."
There are so many things like this in the Jewish religion. Don't play musical instruments on . Why? Because you might come to fix one. So what? You're not allowed. Why? Because. Don't mix wool and linen. Why? Because.
Tell me, rabbi, is this a sensible religion?
No, it is not. And your first mistake is to believe that Jews do these things for any particular reason. Jews do these things because they are Jews. Keeping is not a reasonable act and neither is Shabbat or the prohibition against mixing wool and linen. The same with readings, bar and , black leather boxes or dipping in the . These are neither rational nor religious acts—in the modern understanding of "religious." They do not speak to the modern mind because they are not of modernity. They are ancient tribal rituals, preserved by a people obsessed with their history and their tribalism.