In praise of Orthodoxy

In praise of Orthodoxy

Let me see if I have this right. I have been reading articles and letters by people who are not Orthodox. I’m sure that the writers believe that they’re better informed and more intelligent than the rest of us in the Jewish community. The conclusion they all seem to come to is that the Orthodox seem to be the segment of the Jewish community that causes most of the disunity. If only the Orthodox would “go along to get along,” all would be well.

The problem I have with that philosophy is that those writers seem to ignore the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on studies and reports of the Jewish community over the last few decades. These studies seem to appear after there are reports of growing assimilation and intermarriage emptying the pews in centers and temples.

With the publication of these reports there is much discussion about what assimilation and intermarriage is doing to the Jewish community and what should be done to slow the process and how to make it easier to accept new members to the fold.

The solutions the non-Orthodox have come up with over the years are as follows. First we allow women to be counted as part of the minyan. When that seems to work only for a short time, we start to ordain women as rabbis and allow them to lead congregations. As that also only works for a few years, we move on to the next bright idea. Let’s welcome the intermarried as full members.

I recall the Reform movement, when they found at least one congregation with most, if not all, officers being non-Jewish, passing a resolution mandating that officers must be Jewish. Following that, the Reform movement decided to recognize as Jewish all those who have at least one Jewish parent, thus undoing generations of accepted tradition and history.

I am sure that there are other examples of how to water down our Jewish heritage, which we have been following for thousands of years and which has served to keep us alive as a people.

With each report there is a passing comment about the fact that the Orthodox seem to have the least number of the intermarried, and it is the only segment of the Jewish community that seems to be growing. The Orthodox community does not seem to have a problem filling the seats in its shuls. There does not seem to be any study as to the reasons for this taking place.

So I ask again, do I have this right? The only segment of the Jewish community that has the least problem with assimilation and intermarriage, the only segment of the Jewish community that seems to be doing something right to hold the line against assimilation and intermarriage and to help those who wish more religion in their lives to return to the fold should now “go along to get along”? Please explain to me and the readers of this publication to what end should we “go along to get along”?