Sunday, February 27, 2005

In honor of U.S. Presidents' Day (slightly belated)--my "George Washington chopped down the cherry tree" approach to Jewish tradition

(This was supposed to have been posted last Monday, Presidents' Day, but I was a bit busy with my recent series at the time.)

Every American knows the legend of George Washington and the cherry tree. According to the story, a young George chopped down a cherry tree, but, when confronted with his naughty deed, he 'fessed up (confessed), saying, "I cannot tell a lie."

In my opinion, it's not important whether this event actually took place. What's important is that Americans can learn from this story and teach it to our children. What's important is not that the story is true, but, for Americans, that it's ours.

I approach Judaism the same way. What's important is that we can learn from Jewish tradition and teach it to our children. What's important about Jewish tradition is that it's ours.


Blogger Tevel said...

Great point! We're not Jews because the tradition mandates it; we maintain and continue the traditions because we're Jews.

Wed Feb 17, 06:43:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Spoken like a true Reconstructionist. :)

Thu Feb 18, 03:13:00 PM 2010  

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